Thanksgiving Week • Thanksgiving week is always a nice time of rest before the busyness of Natchitoches Christmas Time. It’s also the kick off for the Festival of Lights. Please note a number of items of interest during this week. First, there is no school for both St. Mary’s and Natchitoches Parish. That means there will be no CCD and no Wednesday Night Adult Catechism. Also, Fr. Ryan will be out of town that week. Our Office will be closed on Wed, Thurs and Fri of Thanksgiving week. Masses will be offered as usual, except for Thanksgiving day. Thursday Mass at 6:30a will be moved to 9a. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and a great start to the holiday season!
Advent Mission • 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!
Remember the Sick & Suffering • Don’t forget to call the priest when someone you love becomes seriously or chronically ill. The difficult time of physical decline is so much more spiritually beneficial with the assistance of the sacraments. Please don’t assume father knows - call the office! We will be happy to come out to your home and offer you Anointing, Confession and\or Holy Communion.
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. 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
“You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
The biblical Jews espoused “divine right monarchy.” They believed that their king was appointed by God. The first three Jewish kings were Saul, David and Solomon. Each was appointed and crowned by a great prophet at the direction of the Lord. As has been the case in almost every monarchy in world history, after enough time, usurpers began to take the throne through power and warfare. By the time that Herod sat on the tributary throne under the Roman empire, the great line of kings was more mockery than monarchy.
The arrival of the Wise Men from the East in Jerusalem around the time of Jesus’ birth was utterly unexpected by anyone. They addressed the king of the Jews by stating factually that the king-to-be had been born. As a king who had been prophesied, they wanted to go and honor him. Kingship was clearly still very meaningful to these wise men - far more so than it was to the Jewish people.
In the New Testament, Jesus is rarely associated with kingship. Other than Pilate, the scriptures only mention one moment when Jesus avoids a crowd because He believes that will try to carry Him off and make Him a king.
Even in the Book of Revelation, Jesus is less identified with traditional symbols of kingship like crowns and more associated with symbols of authority like scepters and swords. But even more than these, the kingship of Christ is associated with the image of the “lamb who was slain and yet lives.”
Scriptures scholars often remind themselves that the Bible uses images as metaphors. The words of the Bible are trying to translate eternal ideas into our simple way of thinking. And so we mustn’t say that Heaven will be like the images in the Book of Revelation, but rather that Revelation is trying to describe heaven. In the same way, we can’t say that the Kingship of Jesus is like earthly kingship, but rather than earthly kingship is a dim reflection of Christ the King. Because of this, what we see as symbols of kingship in the Bible and in this world are just ways of expressing the true authority and glory of Christ the King.
Our Lord invites us to be His subjects. He invites us to belong to the truth and to listen to His voice. Jesus tries to correct Pilate. He says “You say I am a king.” We could imagine Him adding, “but your idea of kingship is too small to contain me. You see the world in terms of power and control - I created it to be a world of love and freedom and grace.” This Christ the King Sunday, the Church calls us as Jesus called Pilate to think bigger!
Insights from Second Street
There is an old proverb from the nation of Estonia, it goes ‘He who does not thank for little will not thank for much.” How true!
Thanksgiving is one of the most powerful tools for the Christian life. If we believe everything is a gift and that “God works all things to the good of those who love Him,” then we do well to give thanks for everything in our lives - blessings and crosses alike.
The so-called attitude of gratitude is well known to increase joy and happiness and to decrease anxiety, pride and frustration. It lowers the blood pressure and increases physiological factors associated with happiness. And, because thanksgiving is such a deliberate and concrete thing - it’s much easier to measure I am thankful than it is to determine whether or not I am humble or holy.
As a teen, I heard someone say “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, thank you for this parking space!” It seemed silly at the time. When I worked construction, I heard someone thank God for a good deal on car. That made a little more sense. As a young priest, a parish employee asked if Jesus had finally got me the right price on a TV that I planned to buy… I didn’t even know how to respond!
Nowadays, the mentality of thankfulness has been broadly replaced with the mentality of entitlement. It’s easy to say to myself that I “deserve” this or that. I deserve respect. I deserve good service at the restaurant. I deserve to be heard. I’ve put in my time and I deserve seniority. And that may be true. But it’s also a recipe for disappointment. If I deserve this or that and I don’t get it - for whatever reason - I’m going to be angry. If I do get it, then all I get is a smug satisfaction… But if I cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, then I’m truly happy when I get what I “deserve” and I can easily shrug off not getting what I deserve because I can see it as an opportunity to be thankful for the Cross.
The other payoff for this attitude of gratitude is that I begin to see everything in my life as coming to me for a reason. When life is just random and we experience a frustration, all we can do is shake our fist at the universe… But when the Lord is behind everything - when everything is a blessing or a cross or an admixture of the two - then I have recourse for the good and the bad. Thankfulness really does engender this kind of thinking. If I’m thankful for the green light and the price I got on the TV and the best table at the restaurant, I want to thank some ONE rather than some THING for that. If I am diagnosed with a serious illness, I can turn not just to the unfair universe, but to the loving God who intends to bring some good from this apparent evil. Thankfulness builds up all the other virtues that we so long for. It also resists against the vices which weigh us down.
Perhaps best of all, thankfulness requires no study or preparation. We can start right now to be thankful for any and everything in our lives. We can look to our families, our faith, our material possessions, our personal talents and even to the crosses that we bear. Thankfulness is the easiest and best investment that we can make at the beginning of this holiday season!
Christ the King
The Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This consecration is traditionally offered on this final Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.
You are King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
You are King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
You are King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Your chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever.
Intentions & Dedications
For the week of October Nov 22nd
- Sat 4p N.L. Vercher, Antonio Esparza
- Sat 5:30p Mary Moss
- Sun 9a Buddy Masson, Mr & Mrs. Lucas LaCaze
- Sun 11a Gerald Burke
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Kenneth & Sally Prudhomme
- Tue 6:30a Deceased Members of the Ray & Gwen Pontheiux Families
- Wed 6:30a Gary LaBar, Jr.
- Thu 6:30a Russ & Lori Harvey
- Fri 6:30a Robert Vercher
- Sat 8a Kenneth & Sally Prudhomme
- Sat 4p Red & Sadie Thomas, Leola Walmsley
- Sat 5:30p Joe Bienvenu
- Sun 9a Becky Masson
- Sun 11a Richard Ragland, Andrew Maggio, Justin Wyatt
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Ryan Branch, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, Bailey Byrd, Fulton Clark, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, 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, Isabelta & Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Angelette LaCour, John LaCour, Samuel Lane, 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, Cecil Odom, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Sharon Roach, Tucker Roe, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, 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
- Sat & Sun 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
- Sat & Sun 11/28-29
- 4p Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC R. & J. Lapeyrouse; Servers Thibodaux
- 9a Lector R. Lavespere; EMHC E. Odom; Servers C. Cunningham, R. & R. Cunningham
- 11a Lector G. Norwood; EMHC J. Sklar; Servers S. Maggio, M. Leone, S. Maggio