From The Font
“Then the fever left her and she waited on them.”
Ahh, the most sexist of all the scriptures except Ephesians 6… Or is it? Only if we assume that “traditional gender roles” are the result of a Darwinian accident. Only if we assume that men and women are interchangeable animals without any sense of intended or designed complementarity.
The modern world is based upon a mess of confused ideas which only make sense if everything that exists is a result of random chance. If there is a God who has authority in this world, then all of modernity from its dogmatic scientism to its inhuman economics to its atheistic skepticism to to its irrational faux-rationality would come crumbling down. In fact, the philosophical mess of the last five centuries is visibly crumbling around us, but it’s just too devastating - even for many Christians - to admit.
In reality, our scripture today is an antidote to the intellectual disaster that we still call the “Enlightenment.” Simon’s mother-in-law was touched by the Lord. Her response - as all of our responses would be - is to offer to the Lord what we have to offer. One kind of person might offer an eloquent speech, another might offer wealth, another food, another a pledge to follow after Him. It’s not accidental that each of the major players during Jesus’ Earthly life responds differently. God’s plan always creates complementarity - that condition where individuals are like puzzle pieces which fit one with the other so that each person’s strengths and weaknesses compliment one another to create a whole which is stronger than the individuals which comprise it.
Simon Peter - as the first Bishop and first Pope - brought the Lord into the house the way a priest would bring the Blessed Sacrament to one who is ill. The Lord healed her and set her back to her work which, at that moment, was hospitality. She began to make a place for the Lord in her home. When He left her, she certainly didn’t just wash the dishes and move on with her life! She was transformed by her encounter with the Lord. Something similar happened with Zacchaeus, the short-statured tax collector, who also set a table for Jesus after he was healed of his fear and his greed. When Matthew - a tax collector like Zacchaeus - was touched by the Lord, he set no table. Rather, he left everything to follow Jesus. Complementarity! Just as God calls us each to different paths, so He has always done - intentionally and not by accident.
Insights From Second Street
Families are messy. The German Philosopher Martin Heidegger used a phrase to describe life; he said it was da-sein - "thrown in." That's how families work. People who would not necessarily be compatible are thrown in together and find in their difference a kind of unity amidst the drama and joy and discord. One of the main causes of divorce in our country nowadays is the simple fact that people are unwilling to accept the fact that families are messy by design! Even as we have become less romantic, we have become more utopian. We’ve come to believe the lie that everything can be perfect in this life… But God gives us trial and frustration and difficulty as a blessing... as a way of attaining salvation. We must come to realize that God is God and I am not.
As with all things related to salvation, it's a cross. It's hard. It's unpleasant at times. It's also necessary. Without taking up our cross, we cannot get to heaven. And - being honest - given the choice, most of us are not going to take up our cross voluntarily. Families are built to order to make us realize our own limitations and weaknesses. They are also built to teach us what happiness, joy and love can be.
It's not particularly impressive to love someone with whom we are completely compatible... Think about it. If every single thing about my spouse were a perfect match for me, loving that spouse wouldn't be heroic - it wouldn't even be impressive. It's only when love become sacrificial that it becomes heroic. Loving a cooing baby is easy, loving a screaming baby is not! Loving a spouse who is trying to woo me is easy, loving a spouse who is demanding their way is not! Families are meant to be exactly what they are. They are beautiful and exhausting and dysfunctional and chaotic and joyful and fulfilling and holy.
As we look at our family experience, we must remember that none of us need some kind of perfect utopia - that's a recipe for damnation. What we need are opportunities for heroic virtue... We need chances to choose love over self-gratification. And I imagine every one of us can bring to mind a brother or an aunt or a cousin who is a big, giant, annoying, frustrating, bothersome, <bleep!> opportunity for heroic virtue. And on judgement day, every one of us will be thanking God for them!
by: Fr. Ryan
As Americans, we like things to be official. It doesn’t always change our habits, but it feels American to know that Pepsi is the official beverage of the 2015 Ryder Cup (or some such thing). As Catholics, though, we have to be content with lots of less-than-official traditions. For example, Saturday is Mary’s Day. There’s no official document that says that. There’s no one particular saint or historical moment to point to. There’s no consequence if someone fails to keep it properly. But Saturday is Mary’s Day and it has been for at least a thousand years.
Each day of the week and each month of the year has a traditional devotion associated with it. Saturday is Mary’s Day. Friday is devoted to the Sacred Heart and Thursday to the Priesthood of Jesus. April is devoted to the Holy Spirit, November to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and February to the Holy Family. Why? Mostly because of the importance that has always been placed upon the Liturgical Calendar. January 3 is the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus… That feast was once so important that the entire month of January was considered fair game for celebrations of various types. February 2 was the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (now it’s the Presentation of the Lord). The Jewish day of purification took place forty days after childbirth. It was the first day that a new mother could be considered “ritually pure” to enter into the temple. The Purification of the Blessed Mother was the day that the Holy Family could finally all “worship the Lord in His Holy Place” together as a family, and so, February became the month of the Holy Family. All manner of feast and celebration related to family and family life took place in February.
As I said, Americans like things to be official and there’s real value in accepting the wisdom of centuries of saints. But - as a practical part of our spiritual lives - perhaps the general idea of devoting months or days to certain mysteries of faith might be a good idea for us spiritually. Perhaps we, as families and as individuals, might consider putting a note on the fridge reminding everyone of shared prayer intentions or a shared spiritual exercise (like the Rosary or daily renewal of Baptismal promises). Perhaps the month of February should be devoted to family togetherness in a concrete way. It’s nothing official - but it’s a heck of a good idea.
PARISH OFFICE & ST. MARY’S SCHOOL CLOSED Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 16th-17th, the Parish Office & St. Mary's School will be closed for Mardi Gras. The Office & School will re-open Wednesday, Feb. 18th, at 8am. We pray that everyone has fun-filled and safe holiday!
CCD & WED. NIGHT ADULT CATECHISM
- Wed., 2/18: No CCD & No Wed. Night Adult Catechism. All adults and CCD students should attend an Ash Wednesday Mass instead.
- Wed., 2/25: No Wed. Night Adult Catechism, but students should still report to their CCD class at 6p as normal.
- Wed., 3/4: No CCD & No Wed. Night Adult Catechism. All adults and CCD students should attend the Seder Dinner instead.
- Wed., 3/11: No Wed. Night Adult Catechism - Adults should attend the Parish Lenten Mission instead. However, students should still report to their CCD class at 6p as normal.
ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 18th It is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation, but it is a day of mandatory fasting and abstinence from meat and meat products. Everyone is encouraged to begin Lent right by observing the requirement to fast and, if possible, by attending Holy Mass and receiving your ashes. Masses will be offered on Wednesday at 6:30a and 6p in the Church and at 9a at St. Mary’s School.
A DAY OF RENEWAL The DSC of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Alex. & CENLA Magnificat will host a Day of Renewal on Sat, 2/21, at St. Anthony's Church Hall in Natchitoches. Fr. John Pardue, Aggie Neck, & Joan Gahagan will be speaking. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 and Praise & Worship at 9. Breakfast & lunch is included in the $15 registration fee. The day will end with a Vigil Mass at 4p at St. Anthony's. This event is open to men & women. For more info on the event & on how to register, call Diane at 318-419-1547 or Mary at 318-359-7735. All registrations must be mailed in by 2/17. No on-site registration.
SEDER DINNER There will be a Lenten Passover meal (a Seder Dinner) for the CCD Students and for the entire parish on Wed, March 4th, at 6pm in the St. Mary's Gym. The meal is an adaptation of the traditional Jewish feast in which Jesus established the Holy Eucharist. All are heartily encouraged to attend!
- Sun, 2/8, Fr. Ryan explains the TLM, after 5p Mass
- Tue, 2/10, Pastoral Council Meeting, 6p
- Tue, 2/10, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Wed, 2/11, CCD & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Mon-Tues, 2/16-2/17, MBIC Office & SMS Closed, Mardi Gras holiday
- Tues, 2/17, CDA Meeting, 6p
- Wed, 2/18, Ash Wednesday, 6:30a & 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Wed, 2/18, SMS All-School Mass, 9a
- Wed, 2/18, No CCD - CCD students should attend 6p Mass @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Fr. Cunningham’s 50th Anniversary Mass, 11a @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/20, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ the Rectory
- Mon, 2/23, Basilican Feast Day: St. Peter’s Chair, 6:30a & 6p Indulgenced Mass
- Tue, 2/24, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Tue, 2/24, SVdP Meeting in Hall, 6:30p
- Wed, 2/25, CCD & NO Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 6-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Thu, 2/26, Stroke Scan Screening in Hall, 10a
- Thu, 2/26, KC1357 Social, 6p
- Fri, 2/27, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 2/27, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ Parish Hall
- Tue, 3/3, Confession, 5-6p @ MBIC
- Wed, 3/4, Seder Dinner, 6p in SMS Gym (No CCD)
- Fri, 3/6, Way of the Cross, 5:15p @ MBIC
- Fri, 3/6, KC Fish Fry, 5:30-6:30p @ Parish Hall
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 2/7 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/8 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • BB.Behrendsen, J.Ingrish, G.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/8 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, M.Leone, J.Burrell, (Altar Boys)
Sat 2/14 4p Laura Jo Johnson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/15 9a Michael King, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Elaine Bacon, John Cunningham, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, P.Vienne, M.Vienne, (Altar Boys)
Sun 2/15 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • Patsy Melder, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • V.Maggio, S.Maggio, W.Lee, (Altar Boys)
*Altar Boys who are not scheduled may serve if space permits. Come to the Sacristy 10 minutes before Mass.
Memorials & Prayer Intentions
- Sat 4p: Gene Doll
- Sun 9a: Billy Benefield, Sr.
- Sun 11a: Pro Populo
- Sun 5p: Vicki Gahagan
- Mon 6:30a: Mark Birch
- Mon 8a: A.B. Chenault
- Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux's Families
- Wed 6:30a: Brian Stuart
- Thu 6:30a: Deceased Members of the Erwin & Giering Families
- Fri 6:30a: Lauren Bienvenu
- Sat 8a: Andrew Maggio and Gary LeBar, Jr.
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild their lives with dignity. And that, married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Irene Niette
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Bob Allen, Lolette Allen, William Lynn Basco, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Danny Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mar-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Sonya Campbell, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Frederick Hickman, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Jo Lapeyrouse, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr. Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel,Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly,Jessica Warner, Glen & Mary Williams, & Marilyn Williams