From The Font
“He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
Easter begins with a profound experience! From our perspective… From the perspective of the apostles… From the perspective of the Early Church… From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, the whirlwind is probably unmatched in history. But after Jesus rises from the dead, our human minds begin to become separated from the emotions and the experiences. The colors become less vivid, the memories foggier, the intensity just lessens… And so after only a few weeks, we find ourselves at a distance from the incomparable event… And so it is that Jesus comes to us as He came to the apostles to open our minds that we might understand the Scriptures.
Unlike the apostles, though, we aren’t starting from a place of confusion. We have the blessing of skipping ahead in the story. We know that Jesus has risen and that He will ascend. We know He will send the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire and that the Church will spread throughout the world… And we know that for twenty centuries, the greatest minds in human history will pray and think and record their understanding of the scriptures so that we can - at our convenience - come to understand the scriptures through study. We also know, though, that the Lord comes to us (in particular when we are at prayer, when we are fasting and when we are doing works of mercy) to fill us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we call Understanding and Wisdom. God infuses wisdom…
The struggle within each of us is that somewhat unappreciative and lazy prayer: “God, please come and give me all the knowledge, wisdom and understanding I need so that I don’t have to read or study!” There’s a reason that as the Church matured — the miraculous and supernatural receded. It’s not that the Church stifles the Holy Spirit. Hardly. It’s that the Church is the Body of Christ and as the Church grew to speak all the languages of the world, individual believers didn’t need to. As we read this past weekend, “It is better to have not seen [miracles] and, yet, to believe.” The supernatural is good, but the Church gives us access to the mysteries of God with stability and regularity that the early disciples would have longed for. Sure, those intense moments are more intense than reading the catechism or going to confession - but they are also fleeting. How many of us are already forgetting the feelings and the experience of the long intercessions on Good Friday or the washing of the feet or the Easter Alleluia? He opened their mind to understand the scriptures in order that they may not be forced to rely on experiences, but that they may have constant access to grace!
Insights From Second Street
This past Friday was a remarkable moment. From time to time in the past years, the Bishops of our diocese have, for varying reasons, chosen to combine the celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation at nearby parishes into one event. (Some will remember when Bishop Jacobs did this to honor the Great Jubilee Year 2000.) This Friday, we had confirmandi from across the Natchitoches Deanery gathered together with their families and sponsors for the celebration of the Sacrament.
It’s such a theologically rich sign! When we gather around our Bishop, we call to mind the early Church where the “Sacraments of Initiation” were always celebrated at his hand. In the early Church, Baptism would’ve taken place on Holy Saturday. The anointing with oil, which took place after the dunking into the water, was no little cross on the forehead - it was a pouring, a soaking! Then, the next day, Easter Sunday, the newly baptized, still dressed in their white robes, would have witnessed the Eucharistic Prayer for the first time. They would’ve received Holy Communion and been greeted as part of the community. For that next week, they would’ve worn their white garment as a sign of their new identity and visited daily with the Bishop, or one of his priests or deacons, to receive the “Mystagogia,” the instruction, on all manner of Christian living. Finally, at the end of this octave week, they would’ve taken off their white robes and taken up ordinary clothing again. But at Mass on that Sunday after Easter, they would’ve been given an “AgnusDei” - a small white medallion, made from wax, which had the image of the Lamb of God upon it. This AgnusDei would’ve been blessed by the Pope and placed upon the newly initiated by the Bishop as a sign of their Baptismal garb.
It’s such a fascinating picture to imagine… Nowadays, the sheer numbers of those being welcomed into the Church make it near impossible to save baptisms for Easter Vigil. But the signs retain their value. The Bishop, himself, is one of the most potent signs. Here is a successor of the Apostles present among us. There is a remarkable website (Catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bherzog.html) which shows Bishop Herzog’s Episcopal “lineage” going back four hundred years! The Bishop is a sign of Christ’s direct presence among us. His presence at Confirmation, draws us into a unity as a region, surely, but also as a diocese and a part of the Universal Church.
My sincere thanks to all who had a part in preparing our Confirmation celebration! May God Reward You!
by: Ashley Hebert
The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
The first four days of April fell during the season of Lent which was represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. Hopefully we sacrificed and prayed so that we are now able to more fully reap the fruits of a well spent Lent. The rest of April falls in the Easter season in which white, the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity, and innocence, is the liturgical color.
Christ has risen, Alleluia! Our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord is over and we can now spend the remainder of the month basking in the joy of the Resurrection and of Jesus Christ – the Paschal mystery. Even nature joins us as buds and blooms begin to surface - Spring is here! :)
For many of us, this transition from Lent into Easter is the perfect reminder that everything in our personal and spiritual life depends on the Holy Spirit's operation in us. The more fully we allow ourselves to be drawn and guided by the Holy Spirit, the closer we shall come to Jesus and His mysteries and graces. The Holy Spirit must draw us to every good thought, word and deed. Every act of faith, of hope and of love for God requires the inspiration and help of the Holy Spirit. If our virtues and our deeds are to be truly perfect and worthy of God, they need the special and continual touch of the Holy Spirit. Even though we are endowed with all the supernatural virtues, we still remain mere apprentices in the spiritual life. We know what we must do; and yet lack the virtue and the faculty to perform these things with ease. The Holy Spirit must guide us. He must seize our intellect and our will and guide us in prayer, in work, in the decisions we have to make, and in the difficulties we encounter every day. He must share with us His manner of seeing, of loving, of thinking, and of working.
Our works and our conduct will be perfect only when the Holy Spirit has taken complete possession of us. Therefore, in addition to the supernatural virtues of faith, hope, charity, justice, fortitude, temperance and wisdom, He gives us also His seven gifts. Thus He equips the tiny boat of our soul with sails upon which He Himself, the Spirit of God, blows. Our progress across the sea of life is then no longer slow and painful. We are propelled and guided by the Spirit. If the Spirit of God breathes upon the sails of our boat, then our journey will be a happy one. Then through the work and the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives in our soul, we shall come to the Father.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CONFIRMATION CLASS Prayers & Congratulations to our 2015 Confirmandi! (Lyle Alford, Hannah Aviles, Joshua Bayonne, B.J. Bertus, Jr., Peregrine Burrell, Christian Cunningham, Reagan Cunningham, Ryan Cunningham, Kenneth Darcy, Mazie DuBois, Lacey Duck, Matthew Gallien, Drake Hale, Melanie Hall, Josh Hickman, Ellen Ingram, Warner Lee, Emily Leone, Micheal Leone, Thomas Lirette, Gabrielle Lovemore, Scott Maggio, Madelyn Matt, Sidney Menou, Nicholas Miller, Garren Mitchell, Tori Prudhomme, Michael Sampite, David Smith, Madeline Taylor, Garrett Vienne, Hunter Vienne, Jeffrey Watley, Nicholas Wiggins) Thanks to Mr. Michael King and to all of our Confirmation teachers, past and present, who have gotten them this far. Thanks, also, to Bishop Herzog for his pastoral direction and support.
MBIC GIFT SHOP For any parishioners interested, the MBIC Gift Shop has a nice selection of First Communion gifts available. (First Communion is scheduled for Sunday, 5/3, at 11a.) Gift Shop hours are: Tues-Fri, 10a-2p & Sat, 10a-4p.
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS Mon-Fri, 4/20-4/24, St. Mary’s 3rd through 10th grade students will be taking the ACT Aspire Test. Saturday, 4/25, St. Mary’s students will be participating in the State Literary Rally. Please join us in praying for all of the SMS Students that will be involved in this events.
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!
PRIESTHOOD & RELIGIOUS LIFE Until you’re married or dead, every Catholic owes God the courtesy of considering a life dedicated to the Church as a priest, a nun or a religious brother. Every parent owes their child encouragement in discerning that life. And every Catholic is waiting for the heroism of the young. ForYourVocation.org or (318)757-3834.
Mon-Fri, 4/20-4/24, SMS ACT Aspire Testing & SMS Scholastic Book Fair
Tue, 4/21, SMS Book Fair Family Night, 5p
Tue, 4/21, CDA Meeting, 6p
Thu, 4/23, KC1357 Social, 6p
Tue, 4/28, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
Fri, 5/1, SMS May Crowning, 8:30a @ MBIC
Fri, 5/1, First Friday - Adoration begins @ Noon. Benediction of the MBS @ 5:15p.
Sat, 5/2, First Saturday - Vocations Club @ 8:45a.
Sat, 5/2, First Confession & First Communion Practice, 9-11a @ MBIC
Sun, 5/3, First Communion Mass, 11a @ MBIC
Tue, 5/5, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
Wed, 5/6, SMS All Sports Banquet, 6p
Sun, 5/10, Mother’s Day
Sun, 5/10, SMS Baccalaureate Mass, 11a @ MBIC
Mon, 5/11, SMS Senior Graduation, 7p @ SMS Gym
Tue, 5/12, SMS Kindergarten Graduation, 10a @ SMS
Tue, 5/12, SMS Jr. Ring Ceremony, 6p
Tue, 5/12, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 4/18 4p Laura Jo Johnson, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/19 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Elaine Bacon, John Cunningham, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, J.Miley, G.Fidelak, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/19 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • Barbara Laborde, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • W.Lee, C.Fisher, M.Leone, (Altar Boys)
Sat 4/25 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/26 9a Rebecca Lavespere, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Stephen Taylor, Buddy Giering, (EMHC-CH) • M.McCart, G.Ingrish, JH.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/26 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • J.Burrell, V.Maggio, S.Maggio, (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: Mike Bouchie, Dr. Tommy Johnson, & Lynne Weaver
- Sun 9a: Billy Benefield, Sr., Leo Abraham, & Larry Lambert, Sr.
- Sun 11a: Pro Populo
- Sun 5p: Edwin McClung & Fr. Richard McBrien
- Mon 6:30a: Dora & Gerald Jeansonne
- Mon 8a: Vicki Gahagan
- Tue 6:30a: James & Jean Lee
- Wed 6:30a: Daniel Chesal
- Thu 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Fri 6:30a: Eula Henry
- Sat 8a: Andrew Maggio
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God. And that, persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, William Lynn Basco, Cletus Bauer, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Danny Bostick, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Bailey Byrd, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, John DeFee, Richard DeVargas, RJ Ducote, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Ross Gwinn, Andy Harrington, 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, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Mary Moss, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Judy Risty, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Leola Walmsley, Jessica Warner, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer