Our Special Collection this week is for St. Mary's Catholic School

Parish News

Wednesday Night Catechism • This Wed, Nov 11 at 6pm at the St. Mary’s Chapel, Fr. Ryan’s talk will be titled “What does the Church teach about war?” Father will explain “Just War,” the moral principal of self-defense, the Catholic understanding of pacifism and of conscientious objection. He will also apply these principles to classical wars, World War I, World War II, modern ballistic war and nuclear war.

Monday is an Indulgenced Feast Day • Monday is the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Roman Cathedral-Basilica of St. John in Latteran. The Church, which is named for Ss. John the Baptist and John the Beloved Disciple, is the Pope’s Cathedral. While the Holy Father lives near to St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John is the location of the papal throne - the symbol of papal authority in this world. This feast is one the nine days which basilicas - major and minor - must celebrate. Plenary Indulgence is available to all who attend Holy Mass at Immaculate and fulfill the ordinary requirements for an indulgence. We will have a simple Mass at 6:30a and a festal Mass at 6p. All are welcome!

Advent Mission Soon • Our parish advent Mission will be offered this year from Dec 1-3 (6p at SMS) by Fr. 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.

Knights of the Altar Informational Meeting • In an effort to increase our Youth Ministry outreach and to offer ministry targeted to young men, the “Knights of Altar” is being formed from our altar servers as a social and service society which will travel to sporting events and perform some local service projects. All local altar servers are encouraged to attend an informational meeting Saturday, Nov 14 at 11a in the Rectory. 

Don't Forget Sunday Vespers • Every Sunday evening, Solemn Vespers is offered at 4:30p. It consists of Benediction of the Most Holy Eucharist and the singing of psalms and spiritual songs. Vespers are required of a Minor Basilica so please consider coming on some regular basis! All are welcome.


From The Font

“Amen, Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.”

Jesus has a special place in His heart for widows and widowers. He shows His love more than once for those who suffer this universal and yet utterly unique trial. 

In the early days of the Jewish religion, to be an old widow was to be praiseworthy and wise. Young widows, like cripples and lepers, were outcasts - thought to be experiencing Divine punishment for some horrific sin. As the Jewish faith grew and expanded, especially in times of war, young widows were seen less as punished-by-God and more as a drain on society. At that time, of course, women couldn’t work or earn money or own property. A young widow, then, would be forced to move in with family or in-laws just to survive. Young widowers - on the other hand - were quite free to remarry and start again. Many early Christians asserted that Joseph of Nazareth was almost certainly a middle aged widower who took Mary as his second wife. (Hence, the brothers and sisters of Jesus were, in fact, half-siblings.)

There are, of course, several examples of widows in the Old Testament who are particularly praiseworthy. In particular, the widow who welcomed Elijah in our first reading and the widow Ruth from the Old Testament book of the same name are both integral parts of the story of the Jewish people. Still, as the Jewish faith aged toward the time of Christ, widows were generally thought of as little more than a burden. 

Thing change with the arrival of Jesus, though. Jesus is met at his presentation in the temple by the widow-prophetess Anna. His calls to care for the poor frequently include widows. And, in today’s Gospel, He praises the widow who gave all that she had to give.

In a real sense, that widow is all of us. We are all weighed down by sin. We are all limited and reliant upon another for the real currency of the universe - God’s love. And while God’s love may seem fairly ordinary, like two copper coins, it is, in fact, beyond the greatest worth. Our Lord’s call to honor the poor is also a call to recognize our own poverty and need. It’s a call to see ourselves in others and to love God by loving them.

Thanks to Jesus, we know that widows and widowers are not being punished by God, rather they are especially loved by God. The first chapter of Wisdom reminds us that “God did not create death.” He does, however, us it and “all things for the good of those who love Him.” Let’s all take a moment today for pray for all our local widows and widowers - may God console them and give them hope.

Insights from Second Street

Before the days of modern calibrated gauges, people used simple measuring sticks. From sundials to literal sticks with markings on them, the analog method lacked precision, but they got the job done.

In the spiritual life, we have just such a measuring stick in the fifth chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. St. Paul says that the “Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient-endurance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Effectively, St. Paul is telling us to look for these things… Where we find them, someone is almost certainly living rightly. If they are absent, something is wrong.

Using the fruits of the spirit as a personal measuring stick for our lives of faith, we can take real stock of how we’re doing spiritually. If joy or kindness is missing, we can and should look within and ask what’s not in line with the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, even if we don’t feel like God is near, the presence of faithfulness and peace lets us know that we’re on the right track. 

Unfortunately, like the analog examples above, there isn’t what we would think of as modern precision in this kind of measuring stick. We can’t say that prayer bring peace and fasting brings kindness and that works of mercy bring gentleness. The fruit of the spirit work as a package. They are really just different manifestations of the same Holy Spirit at work in and through us. Peace and self-control and gentleness aren’t really different things, they’re just slightly different ways that other perceive God’s presence in our hearts. 

That brings us to another part of this story. The Fruit of the Spirit is a measuring stick for me, but it’s also a measuring stick for others - for people I see and for people who see me. If we are living rightly, others will “see [our] good works and give glory to God.” If, on the other hand, we profess Christ and live wrongly, others will see our lack of this fruit of the Fruit of the Spirit and they may reject Jesus… At the same time, we must resist the temptation to cast judgements onto others who may not be expressing the Fruit of the Spirit in a way that we readily sense. We have to remember that our own hardness of heart can blind us to the goodness of others.

The great blessing of this little list from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians is that it is wonderfully human. God has designed us in such a way that we long for those natural side-effects of his presence within us. As soon as he finishes the list, St. Paul add that “against these things, there is no law.” No one really rejects the presence of authentic joy or peace or kindness. On the contrary, all of us long to see these within ourselves. 

From Rome

from Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, On the Role of Christian Family in the Modern World

The family finds in the plan of God the Creator and Redeemer not only its identity, what it is, but also its mission, what it can and should do. The role that God calls the family to perform in history derives from what the family is; its role represents the dynamic and existential development of what it is. Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored, and that specifies both its dignity and its responsibility: family, become what you are.

Accordingly, the family must go back to the "beginning" of God's creative act, if it is to attain self-knowledge and self-realization in accordance with the inner truth not only of what it is but also of what it does in history. And since in God's plan it has been established as an "intimate community of life and love," the family has the mission to become more and more what it is, that is to say, a community of life and love, in an effort that will find fulfillment, as will everything created and redeemed, in the Kingdom of God. Looking at it in such a way as to reach its very roots, we must say that the essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride.

Every particular task of the family is an expressive and concrete actuation of that fundamental mission. We must therefore go deeper into the unique riches of the family's mission and probe its contents, which are both manifold and unified.

Thus, with love as its point of departure and making constant reference to it, the Synod emphasized four general tasks for the family:

  1. forming a community of persons;
  2. serving life;
  3. participating in the development of society;
  4. sharing in the life and mission of the Church.

Intentions & Dedications

Mass Intentions

For the week of November 8th

  • Sat 4p Donna Doll, Johnny Defee, Red & Sadie Thomas
  • Sat 5:30p Helen Wickenheiser & Caroline Schatz
  • Sun 9a Billy Benefield, Nathan Ezernack, Martha LaCaze
  • Sun 11a Pro Populo
  • Sun 5p The Humphries, Mestayer & Barbier Families
  • Mon 6:30a Irene Niette
  • Mon 8a Edwin McClung
  • Mon 6p Pro Populo
  • Tue 6:30a Gary LaBar, Jr.
  • Wed 6:30a Tony Ruggiero 
  • Thu 6:30a Sister Mary Roland
  • Fri 6:30a Donald Gongre
  • Sat 8a John Bacon
  • Sat 4p Mike Bouchie, Harry Gongre Jr, Joe Bienvenu
  • Sat 5:30p Calvert Scott
  • Sun 9a Becky Masson
  • Sun 11a Doris & Will Pierson, Elise James, Antonio Esparza
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo

Our Sick & Recently Deceased

Raymond Litton, RIP

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

  • Saturday & Sunday 11/7-8
    • 4p     Lector L. Johnson; EMHC K. Hicks, C. Henry; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
    • 9a     Lector M. King; EMHC J. Green; Servers Lirettes
    • 11a     Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC J. Maggio; Servers C. Fisher, S. Maggio, M. Leone
  • 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