Wednesday Night Catechism • There will be no adult Catechism this Wednesday. Instead, both Fr. Ryan and Fr. Stephen will be offering confession to our CCD Students. Thanks to all who usually attend our Wednesday Night talks! CCD classes will meet as usual.
Grandparents’ Day • St. Mary’s will host it’s annual Grandparents’ day program on the last school day prior to the Thanksgiving break - Friday, November 20 at 10a in the St. Mary’s Gym. As always, our students have prepared a delightful program of song and dance. Doors open to the public at 9:30a. All are welcome to attend!
Protecting Our Children • If you know of anyone in this parish or at St. Mary’spotentially harming children, call (318) 445-1427 or visit DioceseAlex.org/Safe-Environment. Documentation, policies and procedures are available from the office or at the back tables in the Church. Periodic training seminars are also available, call the office for more information.
Advent Mission soon • Our Advent Mission will be offered this year from Tuesday, December 1 through Thursday, December 3 at 6p each night at the St. Mary’s Chapel. Our speaker will beFr. Chris Decker of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Fr. Decker is a dynamic speaker with a great sense of humor and faith. Make plans to attend!
Year of Mercy 2016 • Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy from Dec 8, 2015 to Dec 8, 2016. During that year, special graces and spiritual activities will abound around the Church and here in Natchitoches. The opening Mass will take place at 5:30p on Tues, Dec 8 at Immaculate. That Mass will include the dedication of the Shrine of Divine Mercy and the opening of the Holy Door. The Mass will be followed by our traditional Lessons & Carols at 7:30pm. Throughout the year, celebrations and spiritual activities will take place on a parish, city, deanery and diocesan level. All are encouraged to take advantage of this year of grace!
Missa en Español por La Santa Virgen de Guadalupe • A special Holy Mass will be offered on Friday, December 11th at 11pm in anticipation of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mass will be offered predominantly in Spanish, but the sermon will be bilingual. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas and has a particularly important place in the pro-life movement here in the United States. The Mass will be accompanied by professional musicians from Mexico and will be followed by a meal of celebration for the feast day. Bilingual handouts will be available, so the ability so speak or understand Spanish is not necessary. All are welcomed to attend!
From The Font
“In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” —Mk 13
Apocalyptic literature runs throughout the scriptures. From Genesis 3:15 to the strange character of Enoch to Elijah in the Books of Kings to the prophets Daniel, Joel and Ezekiel, the Old Testament is chock-full of differing stories of the end of days.
All of these stories have two key similarities. First, in every case, the end is terrifying and unmistakable. No one in the stories of the apocalypse is unaware of what’s happening. They all recognize immediately that the end is here and that it is so awe-inspiring that every thingthat was is as nothing. The second similarity is hope. While everyone will be surprised by the arrival and everyone will be rightly fearful - those who are living their life according to the Law of God (in the Old Testament) and the Word of God (in the New Testament) will be saved and enjoy eternal life.
Jesus, Himself, is careful to remind us not to try to predict the day or the hour. Pope John Paul II reminds us that people of every age have believed themselves to be at the end of days. The Apostles believed that. So did St. Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries. St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas in the middle ages also believed that the end was nigh. The spread of Protestantism had sixteenth century Catholics sure the end was near. The modern Warfare of WWI and the Nuclear Age had the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council saying the same thing. And, indeed, we are to live as if the end is right around the corner - both our own end and the end of the world.
As Jesus reminds us, we ourselves and our generation will see an end. We will face our own mortality. That can be a cause for fear - as evinced by the YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality - or it can be a cause for abundant hope. The promises of God are verifiable by the study of history, the study of logic and philosophy, the study of psychology and really any other field of human study. The multitude of miracles which have been verified by science is remarkable.
In all, the end - of our personal lives and of the world - is a cause for fear but also for faith, hope and love. And as St. John reminds us, “perfect love casts out all fear.” As the psalmist says, “I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed!”
Insights from Second Street
Today, I want to share a few beautiful and moving quotations on the theme of mercy in anticipation of the Holy Year… I hope they are a blessing to you as they are to me!
From Pope St. John Paul's homily for the canonization of Sr Faustina Kowalska, (2000): "Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified: Tell [all people], my daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself, Jesus was to ask Sr Faustina. Christ pours out this mercy on humanity though the sending of the Spirit who, in the Trinity, is the Person-Love. And is not mercy love's 'second name', understood in its deepest and most tender aspect, in its ability to take upon itself the burden of any need and, especially, in its immense capacity for forgiveness?”.
From Francois Mauriac's comment in his La Vie de Jesus: "For the first time Jesus entered the room where the disciples had gathered out of fear of the Jews. He had shown them his wounds, he had flooded them with his peace and joy, and had communicated to them that power to forgive sins. The certainty of being forgiven through the priest! Over our foreheads the words of absolution that permeate our hearts and our flesh, like the water and blood that poured from the wound in Jesus' side opened by the spear)”.
From Is 53:2-5: "For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; / he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, / and no beauty that we should desire him. / He was despised and rejected by men; / a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, / and as one from whom men hide their faces / he was despised, and we esteemed him not. / Surely he has borne our griefs / and carried our sorrows; / yet we esteemed him stricken, / smitten by God, and afflicted. / But he was wounded for our transgressions, / he was bruised for our iniquities; / upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, / and with his stripes we are healed”.
From St Leopold Mandic: "Oh how weak is human nature! It was so grievously wounded by original sin. How great is our need for the infinite mercy of God our Master! God's mercy is far above any expectationI want to show great mercy and kindness to the souls of sinners… Were the Lord to chastise me for excessive generosity, I could say to him: Blessed Master, it is you who set me this bad example, by dying for souls on the Cross, moved by your divine charity!”.
From Eph 2:4-9: ”But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works, lest any man should boast”
From Pope Pius XII's “Mystici corporis" (on the "pious practice of frequent confession”): "by it, genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased.”
The care with which we bury the dead expresses our faith in the victory over ever lasting death which our Lord Jesus Christ has won in our human nature by his own death and resurrection. We bury the dead in the sure hope of the resurrection of the body, when their mortal bodies will share fully in the glory of the risen Christ.
St. Paul encountered a certain lack of faith in the resurrection of the body among the early Christians at Corinth. He responded by pointing out that to deny the resurrection of the body is to deny the resurrection of Christ, and to deny the resurrection of Christ is to empty the Christian faith of its content (cf. 1 Cor. 15:12-14). St. Paul went on to teach about the transformation of our bodies which will take place at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: "The trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. This corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, this mortal body with immortality" (1 Cor. 15:52b-53).
St. Paul likened the glorification of our earthly body at the Lord's coming to the transformation of the seed which is buried in the ground, decays and then comes forth from the earth as a living plant. St. Paul, using this image from agriculture, taught the truth about the resurrection of the body to the early Christians at Corinth: "What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible. What is sown is ignoble, what rises is glorious. Weakness is sown, strength rises up. A natural body is put down and a spiritual body comes up" (1 Cor. 15:42b-44).
The Christian gives up his spirit in death with hope in the resurrection of the body when body and soul will be united once again in the glory which is without end. We bring the body of the deceased Christian to reverent burial in anticipation of the resurrection of the body in glory on the last day.
With St. Paul we assure one another regarding the truth about life and about death: "As you well know, we have our citizenship in heaven; it is from there that we await the coming of our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will give a new form to this lowly body of ours and remake it according to the pattern of his glorified body, by his power to subject everything to himself * (Phil. 3:20-21).
— Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke
Intentions & Dedications
For the week of November 15th
- Sat 4p Mike Bouchie, Harry Gongre, Jr. and Joe Bienvenu
- Sat 5:30p Calvert Scott
- Sun 9a Becky Masson
- Sun 11a Doris & Will Pierson, Elise James, Antonio Esparza
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Shirley Ragland
- Mon 8a Bobbie Sue LeBert
- Tue 6:30a Jim Klein
- Wed 6:30a Bobbie Maggio
- Thu 6:30a Joe Sampite
- Fri 6:30a Leo Abraham
- Sat 8a Sister Mary Roland
- Sat 4p NL Vercher, Antonio Esparza
- Sat 5:30p Mary Moss
- Sun 9a Buddy Masson, M/m Lucas LaCaze
- Sun 11a Gerald Burke
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Flay Rose Balthazar, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Cletus Bauer, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, RJ Ducote, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Jeff Green, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Angelette LaCour, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Irene Lynche, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer
Within the Sanctuary
- Saturday & Sunday 11/14-15
- 4p Lector L. Thompson; EMHC M. & J. Yankowski; Servers Thibodaux
- 9a Lector Roger Cunningham; EMHC S. Taylor; Servers G. Fedelak, P. & M. Vienne
- 11a Lector G. Burke; EMHC C. Cook; Servers S. Maggio, W. Lee, J. Burrell
- Saturday & Sunday 11/21-22
- 4p Lector K. Hicks; EMHC N. Maggio, M. Hennigan; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
- 9a Lector E. Bacon; EMHC B. Giering; Servers J. Miley, J. & G. Ingrish
- 11a Lector E. Giering; EMHC J. Gill; Servers A. & J. Parker, C. Fisher