From The Font
"When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles…"
Pope Francis has often called on the laity of the Church to call forth excellence and courage from the clergy. He famously said "¡Vaya Lío!" (Make some noise!). And the Holy Father has history on his side. The laity have traditionally been the ones to call the clergy to excellence.
In the Church, there are two complementary missions which have to work as a team. There is the doctrinal aspect which includes the truth Jesus taught, the moral law, and the unchangeable teachings of the faith and theology. Then, there is the pastoral aspect which includes all the tools that are needed to communicate those doctrinal truths to the world. For comparison, think about math. Math is wildly complicated and complex. Think about how differently a fourth grade teacher must communicate the truths of Math than would a college professor. The math, itself, never changes - but the modes of communication are drastically different.
This is where the laity come in. The clergy are trained to understand the doctrinal. The doctrinal doesn't and can't change. But the laity are the experts on the world. The laity are the ones who have to teach the clergy how to communicate with the world.
It's easy to see how badly some people have confused these aspects or tried to mix them together - that's nothing new. Some people think the Church should change her doctrine in the name of being "pastoral" or "compassionate." That can't happen. That kind of thing has caused a certain hesitancy among the clergy (c.f. The first reading) to listen to the laity. That hesitancy has caused some overzealous laity to attempt to take matters into their own hands… But teaching the Faith without knowing the Faith is like trying to teach a language without knowing the vocabulary. That's led us to oxymoronic (and just plain moronic) non-entities like pro-choice "catholics" or "catholics" for marriage equality. We don't change math to make it easier for fourth-graders to understand and we don't change the faith to make it more palatable. The teachings of Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today and forever.
What we need in the Church is a laity that believes those teachings and that wants to help the clergy understand how to communicate them. That kind of Catholic would be invaluable for the priest and for his or her fellow Catholics. How can Father better explain this moral teaching? What phrases work and don't work? What aspects of the faith aren't being made clear?
Insights From Second Street
First Holy Communion is the most modern of all the sacramental moments of initiation in the Church. Unlike Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Ordination as a Deacon or Priest, First Holy Communion and its accompanying spectacle of white dresses and clip-on ties has become a kind of coming-of-age in the Faith.
Holy Communion - the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist - connects Catholics to our worship in a way that is utterly unique. The ceremonies of the Mass all revolve around the moment of consecration wherein the boring old bread and wine are transubstantiated (changed in substance but not in appearance) into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. The act of receiving Holy Communion joins us to that moment of consecration in a profound and personal way. Far more than the busyness of serving at Holy Mass, a worthy reception of Holy Communion unites us to the Lord so intimately that Jesus in St. John’s Gospel warns that without “eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood, you shall not have life within you!” Wow!
If we take a moment to consider the repercussions of that statement, we begin to realize just how amazing the Lord’s plan is… He wants to unite us not merely to the ideas contained in a book or the teaching of a way of life - He wants to unite us to Himself in the midst of the Church. What a remarkably human and yet supernatural plan! All too often, we become disconnected from God’s providence by focusing too intently on the ways and means that we would prefer to interact with God… We think about miracles we’d like to see, blessings we’d like to receive, healings of various sorts and any number of crosses that we’d like to see removed. Too rarely do we wonder at just how amazing and cohesive God’s revelation of Himself is to us in the Church.
As our little ones approach the altar today in an entirely new way to begin their journey as Catholics in earnest - let us all redouble our own appreciation of just what it means to receive Holy Communion. If it’s been awhile since you went to confession - perhaps it’s time to ask if going to Communion should be automatic… That same Gospel of St. John reminds us that the one “who receives the Lord without discernment, eats and drinks condemnation upon himself.” First Holy Communion is a good time for all of us to appreciate anew our own relationship with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
by: Fr. Ryan
The Greek Philosopher Archimedes famously said: "Give me a fulcrum and I shall move the Earth!" The fulcrum of anything is that central point to which every part looks for its balance, support and grounding. In the Holy Mass, that central point is Jesus Christ. Christ is present bodily in the tabernacle. He is present actually, but not bodily, in the Priest and the Altar. He is present mystically in the congregation. As in life, all things in the Church are hierarchical. Because Christ is present in three modes in the Church during Mass, there is a logical layout (or "ordination") of worship. Logically, the tabernacle is the center with an image of Christ crucified above it. Everything is ordered to that beating heart of the Church. Also logically, the altar and the priest are "at" the tabernacle. The mystical Body of Christ (the faithful in the congregation), then, are situated near to the sacrificial altar.
From about 325AD until 1969, that meant that everyone in the Church (priest and faithful) faced the tabernacle together. In that posture, the entire Christ stands united (head, actuality and mystical body). In 1969, a German fad wherein the priest faced the congregation with his back to the tabernacle, gained widespread popularity. (No mention of this experiment was made in Vatican II.) It spread like wildfire. Rome, of course, asked priests and bishops to stop. After some years, the practice was "tolerated." Some experts searched history books to find justifications in history, but nothing of substance was found. In our time, the practice is retained by sheer force of momentum. "People like it." Of course, Mass attendance among Catholics is down by over 50% since the practice was begun, so there are some serious questions to be asked about the practice…
I should add at this point that all of the above points in this little article come not from Fr. Ryan Humphries but from Pope Benedict XVI in his book "The Spirit of the Liturgy." In that same text, Pope Benedict advises priests to ensure that the altar is always decorated with six candlesticks and an image of the Christ. These decorations should be large enough to make clear that Christ, neither the priest nor the congregation, is the center (fulcrum) of the action at Holy Mass. For the vast majority of the Mass, the priest is interacting with the congregation, but when He is at the Altar, the priest is addressing God the Father in Heaven, made present most perfectly in Christ in the tabernacle. Until such time as the force of momentum makes the more correct orientation possible, the appointments on the altar are placed to remind everyone - priest and congregation - that we are not the fulcrum, Christ is the fulcrum.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIRST COMMUNICANTS Prayers & Congratulations to our 2015 First Holy Communion class! (Ainsley Armstrong, Roman Armstrong, Emma Blanchard, Layla Cedars, Addison Evans, Gavin Hoffpauir, Luke Johnson, Peter Kautz, Anderson Kelly, Brianna McConathy, Gracie Moore, Finley O’Con, Georgia Kate Philen, Tatum Roberts, Jackson Rodriguez, Daniel Williams, Titus Williams, Logan Wyatt) Thanks to Mr. Michael King and to all of our First Communion teachers, past and present, who have gotten them this far. May God reward you all!
ST. MARY’S GRADUATION Prayers & Congratulations to our St. Mary’s Class of 2015! A big thanks to all of the faculty and family who have gotten them this far. For anyone who would like to attend, St. Mary’s Baccalaureate Mass will be Sun., 5/10, at 11a at the Minor Basilica. St. Mary’s Graduation will be Mon., 5/11, at 7p in the St. Mary’s Gymnasium. All are welcome to attend.
MAY 13th IS A BASILICAN FEAST DAY Wednesday, May 13th, is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. A Plenary Indulgence has been extended by the Holy Father for our Church. We will have a simple Mass at 6:30a and a festal Mass at 6p. All are welcome!
DON’T FORGET OUR SUNDAY EVENING SCHEDULE Every Sunday evening, Solemn Vespers is offered at 4:30p. It consists of Benediction of the Holy Eucharist and the singing of psalms and spiritual songs. It is followed by, but not connected to, the 5p Mass which is offered in the Extraordinary Form. Mass concludes around 6p. Vespers are required of a Minor Basilica so please consider coming on some regular basis! All are welcome.
- Sun, 5/3, First Communion Mass, 11a @ MBIC
- Tue, 5/5, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Wed, 5/6, SMS All-School Mass, 9a @ SMS Gym
- Wed, 5/6, SMS All-Sports Banquet, 6p @ Natch. Events Center
- 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 Gym
- Tue, 5/12, SMS Jr. Ring Mass, 6p @ MBIC
- Tue, 5/12, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Wed, 5/13, Basilican Feast Day: Our Lady of Fatima, indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
- Wed, 5/13, SMS All-School Mass, 9a @ SMS Gym - *Awards Ceremony to follow*
- Thu, 5/14, SMS 8th Grade Graduation, 6p
- Fri, 5/15, SMS Last Day of School - Noon Dismissal
- Mon, 5/25, Memorial Day - MBIC Office CLOSED
- Tue, 5/26, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Thu, 5/28, KC1357 Social, 6p
- Sat-Sun, 5/30-5/31, Fr. Stephen gives Mission Appeal at all weekend Masses
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 5/2 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/3 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • BB.Behrendsen, P.Vienne, M.Vienne, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/3 11a Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Joseph Sklar, Patsy Melder, (EMHC-CH) • M.Leone, A.Parker, J.Parker, (Altar Boys)
Sat 5/9 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Michael & Joanne Yankowski, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/10 9a Elaine Bacon, (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • R.&R.Cunningham, A.Behrendsen, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/10 11a Sarah Kay Whitehead, Lainy Jackson, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, C.Fisher, J.Burrell, (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: Andrew Maggio, Leslie Laffitte, & Frances James
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland, Audrey Armstrong, & N.L. Vercher
- Sun 5p: Special Intentions, Fr. Kenneth Williams, & Mamie Jabbia
- Mon 6:30a: Mike Bouchie
- Mon 8a: Donald Gongre
- Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux’s Families
- Wed 6:30a: Martha LaCaze
- Thu 6:30a: Billy Smith
- Fri 6:30a: Mary Jean Thomas
- Sat 8a: Ann Britton
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who suffer, especially the sick and the poor. And that, Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.
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, Raymond Litton, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, 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, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer