Special Collection for St. Mary's School
Our Christmas Schedule will remain the same as it was last year.
On Thursday, December 24
- no 6:30a Mass
- Mass at 4p
- Caroling at 11:30p
On Friday, December 25
- Mass at Midnight
followed by Champaign &
Hors d'oeuvres in the Rectory
- Mass (in Latin) at 8a
- Mass at 10a
Congratulations to the St. Mary’s Tigers! • The St. Mary’s Tiger Football team had an amazing season this year going undefeated into the State Championship game against the Souther Lab Fighting Kittens. The game was a tough one and a heartbreaker, but the Tigers held their own against a team of the biggest kittens God ever created! Our boys and our coaches deserve a prayer and a pat on the back for a great effort and a great season. Thanks be to God also for our amazing fans who filled the stadium and did us proud! Go Tigers!
Please Don’t Neglect the Souls of the Sick • 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. Don’t assume father knows - call the office!
Confess Your Sins and Be Washed Clean! • Remember that father is in the confessional about 45m before weekend Masses. Drop in and get yourself right with the Lord. The Act of Contrition is on the wall and there’s a cheat sheet outside the confessional. We all need a regular confession!
Thank you for the Gift of Beauty! • A special thank you to those who helped design and establish our Shrine for the Year of Mercy. The shrine will remain throughout the Year of Mercy (Dec 8, 2015 - Dec 8, 2016) as a reminder and an opportunity to seek out God’s gift of Mercy for ourselves and to share the good news of God’s forgiveness of sins with others. The beautiful shrine is truly a gift from this community to this community. Thank you so very much to those who spent time and energy researching and designing the shine and then searching out the right accoutrements and fabrics. Special thanks, too, to those who executed the design and hefted everything into place. God Reward You!
From the Font
The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?”
There are lots of Jewish stereotypes about dispensing unsolicited advice… They don’t arise from nothing. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes, the Zealots, the Romans, the Priests, and probably everyone else in and around Judea and Jerusalem were happy to answer anyone who had the guts to ask “what should we do?”
That the crowds ask John, speaks volumes. John had established a credibility that the others had lost. For some of these people, John was at the center of a cult of personality. They listened because they had a caricature of him in their mind. The same can be seen in our modern world where people respect the political advice of celebrities who are as far as can be from their own real life experience. For some, this cult of personality drew them to John. For others, they felt the quiet draw of the Holy Spirit and so they listened even as he challenged or insulted them.
The arrival of Jesus was similar. Some followed Him because of miracles. Some were enamored of His teaching. Many followed Him because they just knew - deep down - that He was the real deal. Even at the end when Pilate was questioning Him, Jesus did not look elsewhere for the source of His authority - it was within Him.
In the Church which Christ established, things are quite different. The authority of the Church comes neither from personality, nor from within. The authority of the Church derives from Christ Himself. Surely, there is a kind of personal authority which arises when a representative of the Church is well liked or has a charismatic personality. Too, there is a kind of authority that comes from the historical or cultural background of “The Teaching of the Church.” But ultimately, the authority of the Church and Her teaching rests entirely on Jesus.
The big consequence of this fact is that even when the “moral authority” or the likability or the acceptance and social standing of the Church are compromised - as they are becoming in the modern Western world - the authority of the Church is not effected in the least. What’s more - history tells us that the Church and Her members do best in these moments by behaving like John the Baptist. We ought to speak the truth - without softening it - even if it offends. John calls his audience a “brood of vipers” and they can’t turn away. If John had tried to soften the truth or make it more palatable, he may have filled a few more pews - but he wouldn’t have been able to utter with any kind of authority that most important of his teachings: “Behold the Lamb of God!”
The crowds ask John what they ought to do, as spiritual ancestors of John, we are challenged to respond as he did - with the truth - which alone can set us or our hearers free.
Insights from Second Street
The Year of Mercy is upon us. It ought to be an exciting time. More than any of the jubilees established by the popes in the past years, this Jubilee of Mercy is directed toward us - the Church. It is not for a specific group or in honor of an historic occasion. It’s for us and it’s directed toward our own well-being and toward our efforts to evangelize.
This two-pronged mission of the Christian life is at the center of much debate nowadays among the clergy of the Church. It’s a similar question to the one being proposed by governments around the world… In short, how healthy do I need to be before I can reach out to others?
In politics, the one side wants to make sure that our nation is secure, financially stable and healthy in governance before reaching out. The other side wants to use the resources that we have to reach out, rather than let them sit fallow.
In the Church, some want to focus our energies on stabilizing the Church after years of serious destabilization following on war, moral dissension, public scandal and the like. Others want to focus on evangelization or engaging in social justice and politics.
Even within our own hearts and homes, we are constantly asking the same question. Can I give $20 to the fireman’s charity or $50 to the Church or $5 to the homeless man at the intersection when my finances are questionable. Do I know my faith well enough to share it with co-workers or friends? Am I sufficiently strong in my own moral life to walk into a place of temptation or challenge?
The same kind of question arises in scripture and, indeed, in every human heart. Part of the great gift of this Year of Mercy is that it provides a real motivation to consider that question. It gives us time to employ the virtue of prudence - wise judgement. It also gives us to time to consider the virtue of Hope which allows us to entrust ourselves (and our shortcomings) to the Lord, rather than depend entirely upon ourselves. it also gives us time to consider Faith which allows to truth in the truth that God has revealed about Himself and His Church.
All in all, this year has to be about Mercy both internally and externally in each of us individually and in the entire Church. What makes us different than the politicians and economists is that they are on their own. They have only themselves to rely upon. Their efforts live and die in this world. We, on the other hand, are concerned primarily with what is beyond - we are concerned with eternity. No supply and demand chart will matter in heaven. On the other hand, what we do with the time, the opportunities, the cash, the talents and the people that God gives us here will be there at the moment of judgement. They matter in a way that all those other things don’t.
Let’s start this Year of Mercy off right by asking ourselves the tough questions. Am I spiritually healthy enough to reach out? To what degree do I believe I can reach out? Am I trusting God when I answer these questions or depending upon myself? Are Faith, Hope, Love, Prudence and the other virtues alive and well in my life? May God bless our meditations.
For the week of December 13th
- Sat 4p Tony Ruggiero, Lillie Meshell, and Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sat 5:30p A.B. Chenault
- Sun 9a Buddy Masson
- Sun 11a Antonio Esparza, Ken Prudhomme, Mary Francis Lowrey
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a N.L. Vercher
- Mon 8a Calvert Scott
- Tue 6:30a Grant Ingram
- Wed 6:30a Anna Katherine Shuler
- Thu 6:30a Shirley & Richard Ragland
- Fri 6:30a Martha LaCaze
- Sat 8a Grant Ingram
- Sat 4p Latief Ackel, Brooke Hennigan, Clay Hennigan, Lillie Meshell, Helen & Rusty Bostick
- Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
- Sun 9a Buddy Masson
- Sun 11a Donald Gongre, Antonio Esparza, Janis Abraham, James Raymond Litton
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Please Pray for our Sick & Suffering
Ann Lee Alford, 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, Dekeyser, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Isabelita & 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
Assistants Within the Sanctuary
- 4p Lector K. Hicks; EMHC M. & J. Yankowski; Servers The Thibodauxs
- 9a Lector J. Ackel; EMHC C. Green; Servers J. Miley, J. & G. Ingrish
- 11a Lector G. Burke; EMHC T. Whitehead; Servers C. Fisher, M. Leone
- 4p Lector K. Hicks; EMHC R. & J. Lapeyrouse; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
- 9a Lector S. Taylor; EMHC J. Cunningham; Servers G. Fedelak, P. & M. Vienne
- 11a Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC L. Lee; Servers W. Lee, S. Maggio