From The Font
“With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”
Power is a dangerous thing. Steam power brought about great good and caused many, many deaths. The same is true of electricity, hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants… Geez, lightning is pretty intense. Power, in the non-scientific sense, is also dangerous. The great leaders used their power for good - mostly - but look at the potential for destruction. In the last 100 years, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ortega and others killed (and lost in terms of their own casualties) more human lives than lives on the planet before the year 1000… That’s staggering!
When we turn our thoughts about power to God, we have to turn our entire way of thinking. God’s power is not a power of manipulation - as all our power is - it is a power of creativity. God doesn’t need to harness energy; He is energy. God doesn’t need to build power on the back of citizens or armaments; He is the one who creates us and all the stuff that goes into our so-called powerful technology.
God’s power is nothing so limited as our illusory power. And so it is that the disciples are able to bear the power of God in their frailty. They bear witness to God’s power when they - weak as they visibly are - work wonders beyond their power. No one is surprised when a strong man can lift a stone… Everyone is surprised when a weak man does. No one takes notice when a brilliant, charismatic person gains popularity… Everyone is surprised when a poor, homely fisherman does. God consciously chooses from those who are weak so that His power may not be mistaken as mere worldliness.
And that brings us to the Feast of Divine Mercy. The power of God is most intensely shone in this world not in the pitiful things that we call power, but in the awe-ful things that we call pitiable. Chief among those is mercy. In the minds of the powerful, forgiveness is an alternate course one takes when one can’t punish one’s enemies. To God, forgiveness is a near-divine act that can be achieved only by the one who has truly mastered himself - regardless of his prowess with a rifle or tactical nuke. For God, power is nothing so small as it is for us. Power is found in being Godlike… Which is - most remarkably of all - something which we are well suited and equipped to pursue!
Insights From Second Street
On October 16, 1978, for the second time in two months, the senior Cardinal Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church stepped on to the main balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square and announced "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum!" And the people cheered. Onto the balcony walked a dapper sixty-two years young Karol Wojtyła. An unknown Cardinal from communist Poland, Wojtyła combined the names of the two popes of the Second Vatican Council and took the name of his predecessor. Pope John Paul II had the second longest papal reign in recorded history. His slow death from Parkinson's Disease and Septicemia spoke volumes to a world which had warmly embraced both abortion and euthanasia as part of an entire ethos which the Pope called "the culture of death."
Honest historians will also make note of his profound effect upon Soviet Communism. His visits to Poland had a profound impact upon the world and his support of the Solidarność movement almost single-handedly brought a bloodless end to Polish Communism.
Moreso even than these two great witnesses to the power of the Church and of God, Pope John Paul II's writings constitute one of the five or six most important bodies of philosophical and theological work in the last thousand years and they could well be in the top twenty-five for all of human history. His works on the meaning of suffering, the dignity of the human being before God and the radical and essential connection between the biological and the spiritual aspects of creation stand alongside the likes of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. (It's nearly certain that he will be named a Doctor of the Church in the years to come.)
For most people, though, it's not his personal, intellectual or political accomplishments that stand out. He was the pope… They loved him. They saw his love for God and they saw his faith and his fearlessness and his passion and his humanity. They saw that a real person could love God and be loved by God. That personal witness, more than anything else, makes him a saint. And now, we can say with the crowds at his funeral, "Santo Subito!" Sainthood now!
It is fitting that his memory and legacy are integrally connected to the Feast of Divine Mercy which originated in his homeland and which he inserted into the Liturgical Calendar. Divine Mercy was the defining characteristic of his life in this world and it is his constant experience in eternal life!
by: Tommy Myrick
Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. It was promoted by Pope John Paul II along with the canonization of St. Faustina in 2000. Today is a special day marked with the dispensation of a plenary indulgence under the usual rules. (Go to confession, receive the Eucharist on the Feast, be detached from venial and mortal sins, pray for the intentions of the Pope, and participate in the prayers and devotions in honor of the Divine Mercy in a church or chapel.) The faithful who cannot participate in the devotions may say one Our Father and the Creed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament adding the prayer: “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you.” Additionally, to the faithful who for a justified reason beyond control cannot go to a church or chapel, only with the recitation of one Our Father and Creed before a devout image of Jesus, adding "Merciful Jesus, I Trust in you," will obtain the plenary indulgence that day with the condition of fulfilling the usual sacramental requirements later.
Father will be leading the devotions at 3:45pm on Divine Mercy Sunday. All are encouraged to attend and receive the mercy of the Lord! Jesus I trust in You!
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY This Sunday, 4/12, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Father will be leading a Holy Hour & Vespers from 3:45-4:45p (devoted in honor of the Divine Mercy). All are encouraged to attend and receive the mercy of the Lord!
CONFIRMATION IS THIS FRIDAY All Confirmation candidates are reminded that the Bishop will preside at the Mass of Confirmation this Friday (4/17) at 6p. A reception will follow in the Catholic Daughter’s Hall for all of the MBIC Confirmandi and their families.
MBIC GIFT SHOP For any parishioners interested, the MBIC Gift Shop has a nice selection of First Communion and Confirmation gifts available. (Confirmation is scheduled for Friday, 4/17, at 6p. 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 Saturday, 4/18, St. Mary’s students will be taking the ACT 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 these events.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CATHOLIC Are you or someone you know interested in becoming a new Catholic or a parishioner at the Minor Basilica? New instruction begins year round! Contact our parish office for more information. Of course, there are no obligations - anyone interested is welcome.
OUR CHILDREN DESERVE THE BEST If you know of anyone in this parish potentially harming children, call (318) 445-1427 or visit DioceseAlex.org/Safe-Environment. Documentation, policies and procedures are available from the office or at the back tables in the Church. Periodic training seminars are also available, call the office for more information.
- Sun, 4/12, Divine Mercy Sunday - Divine Mercy Holy Hour & Vespers, 3:45-4:45 @ MBIC
- Tue, 4/14, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Wed-Fri, 4/15-4/17, SMS Scholastic Book Fair
- Fri, 4/17, Confirmation Mass, 6p @ MBIC
- Sat, 4/18, ACT Test
- 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
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 4/11 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/12 9a Joe Cunningham, Jr., (Lector) • Micheal King, (EMHC-CI) • Jeff & Carol Green, (EMHC-CH) • A.&C.Lirette, S.&T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 4/12 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, A.Parker, J.Parker, (Altar Boys)
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)
*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, Irene Niette, & Melinda McClung
- Sun 9a: Martha LaCaze, Grant Ingram, & N.L. Vercher
- Sun 11a: Gladys McFerron & Special Intentions
- Sun 5p: Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a: Nelva Jean Shepherd
- Mon 8a: Donald Gongre
- Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux’s Families
- Wed 6:30a: Tena Cullins
- Thu 6:30a: Gary LeBar, Jr. & Mike Bouchie
- Fri 6:30a: Martha LaCaze
- Sat 8a: Deceased Members of the Erwin & Giering Families
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, 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