From The Font
"While Peter was still speaking these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word."
In our modern world, we tend to put emphasis on the active rather than the passive. We tend to emphasize the role played by the one doing something and de-emphasize the role played by the one receiving the action. At Pentecost, we almost always focus on the Holy Spirit at work in the apostles who are preaching. But we often overlook the Holy Spirit at work in the listeners who "hear the word of God and keep it." Remember the parable of the seeds and the sower. Some seed fell on the path; other seed fell among thorns. In our first reading, Peter is preaching, but the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the listeners is described as an entirely different moment.
The readiness of my heart and soul to encounter the Lord is a far more significant factor in my experience of faith than are those things to which more attention is usually given. Think about a sermon. Peter may have been a fine preacher or a complete failure. When the truly docile heart - ready to encounter the Lord - hears a sermon, it is not the quality of the preacher, but the Holy Spirit that teaches. When the hardened heart - unrepentant of personal sin or in bondage to false belief - hears even the finest and most brilliant sermon, that heart is unmoved… As the Lord says in the psalms, "unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do the builders labor!"
The Holy Spirit working within us opens us up to find the Lord at work all around us. We see Him giving us opportunities for patience in traffic, opportunities for works of mercy in the poor, opportunities for kindness with our coworkers and opportunities to bear the cross in personal suffering. As we are further from the Holy Spirit - because of infrequent confession, obstinate sin and the like - we see only coincidences, annoyances and drudgery. The adventure of a life in the Holy Spirit, which St. Paul teaches us will bear the Fruit of the Spirit, is replaced by a kind of existential sadness and fatigue. We find even the beautiful and wondrous tedious. The Church becomes a source of frustration and merely a human institution in need of adjustment - like a pious version of the IRS.
St. Ignatius of Loyola describes this existential lack of joy as "desolation." Typically, it is a result of the absence of the Holy Spirit due to sin. The best way to get rid of it is to make a regular confession and to set aside anything which separates us from the Love of God and communion with His Church.
Insights From Second Street
Today is the day of fulfillment when the Church is officially born as the promise of the Father, the Mystical Body of the Son and the vessel of the Holy Spirit. The Church celebrates her birthday on Pentecost because today is the day when everything comes together.
For the longest time, I didn’t see the value in the consistency that so drives Catholicism. I thought: “to each his own.” If I liked the Charismatic Renewal and someone else liked chant music - no problem. If I liked the Rosary and someone didn’t - not problem. As long as the homily wasn’t too long, everything was peachy!
I still feel that way, but with a significant nuance. As far as our personal relationship with God, everyone can and should make the faith their own by drawing near to those saints and those devotions to which they connect. BUT, the Sacraments should never be interpreted so personally. The sacraments - especially the Mass - should be offered to God as the Church orders. While it may be “our wedding,” it really isn’t. In the sacraments, we are merely participating in something God has ordained through His Church. The Mass isn’t “my Mass.” The music ought not to be chosen by the personal preference of this or that person. The ritual reverence should never be reduced to the Fr. Ryan show. The decor of the Church, the furniture, the art, even the Mass times, should be what the Church wants, not the individual.
Imagine the outrage if I paid $300 for tickets to a broadway show only to discover that the cast preferred to do everything their own way. I don’t want the Phantom of the Opera to wear a pirate costume! I don’t want Angel of Music to be played on the key-tar! We have the right to expect that what is billed as Phantom of the Opera will be Phantom of the Opera. Everyone has the same right to expect that what is billed as Mass will be the Holy Mass of the Roman Catholic Church!
Catholics used to take pride in saying that they could go to Mass anywhere in the world and it would be the same Mass. Not any more, though… You can’t go to Mass down the block and expect the same thing. This summer, most of us who travel will have at least one horror story about St. Bob’s church where the priest consecrated tortillas instead of regular hosts! The moral of the story is simply that we ought to seek out a personal relationship with God while letting the Sacraments stand as bulwarks of stability - free from excess personalization and customization. At least that’s how I see it.
by: Pope Benedict XVI
Pentecost is the feast of union, comprehension, and human communion. We can all see that in our world, although we are increasingly close to one another with the development of the means of communication, and geographical distances seem to be disappearing, understanding and communion between people is both superficial and problematic.
Imbalances endure that frequently lead to conflict; dialogue between the generations is heavy-going and at times antagonism prevails; we witness daily events in which it seems people are becoming more aggressive and more belligerent; understanding each other seems too demanding so they prefer to remain closed in on themselves, in their own interests. Can we truly find and live in this situation the unity we need?...
Can unity and harmony really exist? How? We find the answer in Sacred Scripture: unity can only exist as a gift of God’s Spirit who will give us a new heart and a new language, a new ability to communicate. And this is what happened at Pentecost. On that morning, fifty days after Easter, a mighty wind blew through Jerusalem and the flame of the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples gathered together. It settled on each one of them and kindled within them the divine fire, a fire of love capable of transforming them. Their fear evaporated, they felt their hearts filled with new strength, their tongues were loosened and they began to speak freely in such a way that everyone could understand the announcement that Jesus Christ had died and was risen. At Pentecost, where there had been division and alienation, unity and understanding were born…
Jesus explains to us what the Church is and how she should live in order to be herself, to be the place of unity and communion in Truth; he tells us that behaving as Christians means no longer being shut into our own “I” but rather being open to all things; it means inwardly welcoming the whole Church within ourselves or, even better, inwardly letting her receive us. Therefore when I speak, think, and act as a Christian I do not do so by closing myself into myself, but I always do so in all things and starting with all things: thus the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of unity and of truth, may continue to resonate in our human hearts and minds and spur people to meet and to welcome each other.
Precisely because the Spirit acts in this way, he ushers us into the whole truth, which is Jesus, and guides us to look at it more deeply and to understand it. We do not grow in knowledge by locking ourselves into our own ego, but only in an attitude of profound inner humility do we become capable of listening and sharing in the “we” of the Church.
DIOCESE OF ALEXANDRIA ORDINATIONS Reminder that our Diocese will be ordaining 4 men to the Priesthood on May 23rd at 10a & 1 man to the Deaconate on June 6th at 10a. All are invited to attend. Please pray for these men & for more vocations.
MEN OF GOD RETREAT The Community of Jesus Crucified is hosting a silent retreat for men. The retreat will address the call to holiness & reflect upon the means provided by the Church to become real men of God. The retreat will be led by Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC at Our Lady of Sorrows Retreat Center (103 Railroad Ave., St. Martinville) beginning at 7p on Friday, May 29, and ending on Sunday, May 31, at 3p. There is no cost for the retreat but register early as space is limited. For more information & to register call Vic Guidry at 337-824-3045. (If you cannot attend this in May, the same retreat will also be given: July 31-Aug. 2 & Dec. 18-20)
MISSION APPEAL MAY 30th & 31st Our Vice-Rector, Fr Stephen Soares, is a missionary priest of the order of St. Francis De Sales. He will be making a mission appeal for his order’s work in Mozambique in Africa. Before coming to the US, he worked there as the Rector of a seminary and as the Pastor of St Francis de Sales church. He will tell us about the life and activities of the missionaries there (priests, seminarians and laity). The people continue to suffer after 25 years of brutal civil war, but their Faith in Jesus is being rebuilt by the missionary efforts.
Father can accept gifts and donations for the missions and invites all of us to do our part to assist the poor and those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” You are invited to be a missionary and a friend of St. Francis de Sales in reaching out and supporting the missions with your prayers and financial support. Your monetary gifts will be used for the evangelization of the many families the Church has entrusted to the missionaries. It will also assist in educating seminarians, caring for orphaned children with AIDS and for assisting clergy in bringing the Holy Mass to distant villages. Donations of technology - especially laptop computers and smart-phones - are especially helpful to those doing ministry in rural Africa.
In 2016, Fr. Stephen will be traveling to Mozambique and welcomes anyone who may be interested to come along with him. All are free to contact him at the rectory with questions or donations. God reward you for your generosity!
OLIVE WOOD CARVINGS FOR SALE The Bethlehem Group will be visiting our parish May 30-31. They will have beautiful, handmade olive wood carvings from the Holy Land for sale. All proceeds from the sale will be used to buy food and other necessities for the needy families in the Holy Land. Please help as much as you can.
MBIC OFFICE HOURS CHANGING Beginning Monday, June 1st, there will be new MBIC Office Hours for the months of June & July. The new office hours are Monday-Friday: 8am-12pm.
ADDITIONAL SATURDAY MASSES ADDED Beginning Sat., June 6th, Fr. Ryan will offer an additional Saturday evening Mass at St. Mary’s School Chapel at 5:30p during the Summer. The Mass will count for your weekend obligation. All are welcome.
- 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
- Tue, 6/2, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Fri, 6/5, First Friday - Benediction of the MBS @ 5:15p
- Fri, 6/5, First Friday Talk - by Dc. Whitehead @ 5:30p
- Sat, 6/6, First Saturday - Vocations Club @ 8:45a
- Sat, 6/6, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 6/9, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Sat, 6/13, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 6/16, CDA Meeting, 6p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 5/23 4p Levi Thompson, (Lector) • David Bouchie, Mickey Hennigan, (EMHC-CI) • J.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/24 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Emelda Odom, (EMHC-CI) • Stephen Taylor, Micheal King, (EMHC-CH) • A.&C.Lirette, S.&T.Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/24 11a Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CI) • Sam & Lillie Misuraca, (EMHC-CH) • M.Leone, A.Parker, J.Parker, (Altar Boys)
Sat 5/30 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • J.Friedel, D.Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/31 9a Joe Cunningham, Jr., (Lector) • John Vandersypen, (EMHC-CI) • James & Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CH) • M.McCart, G.Ingrish, JH.Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/31 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Tara Whitehead, (EMHC-CI) • Joseph Sklar, Barbara Laborde, (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: N.L. Vercher, Janey Simpson, & Joe Bienvenu
- Sun 9a: Martha LaCaze, Dr. Harold Ledford, Barbara Manshack, & Irene Niette
- Sun 11a: Dr. Joseph Bienvenu, Dr. John Price, & Fr. David Richter
- Sun 5p: Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a: Edwin McClung
- Tue 6:30a: Lauren Bienvenu
- Wed 6:30a: Wallace Firmin
- Thu 6:30a: Larry D. Smith
- Fri 6:30a: Louis & Agnes Sklar
- Sat 8a: Tena Cullins
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, Johnny Batten, Cletus Bauer, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, 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