From The Font
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.“
For the Biblical Jews, the bearing of fruit was no mere analogy. In a world without fertilizer, the fallow-field method, and government subsidy, a talented worker who bore fruit meant the difference between life and death! Whether we’re talking about tending sheep, tending soil, or tending orchards and vineyards, the good laborer was essential to the quality and quantity of fruit and the wise landowner knew that. The temporary yield of olives or wheat, then, became a permanent yield in a salary and in job-security.
As He so often did, Jesus spiritualized this experience by calling for spiritual fruit which would remain - not merely in the moment of sharing the love of God with one’s neighbor but for days and years to come. That fruit is seen inwardly when we live a life in the Holy Spirit (prayer, regular fasting, works of mercy, regular confession, obedience to the moral law). It’s manifested as the “fruit of the spirit” which St. Paul enumerates in Ephesians 5: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-possession.” That fruit is also experienced outwardly as a willingness to share faith, confidence in God and the fourteen spiritual and corporal works of mercy: To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To harbor the harborless; To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; To bury the dead; To instruct the ignorant; To counsel the doubtful; To admonish sinners; To bear wrongs patiently; To forgive offenses willingly; To comfort the afflicted; To pray for the living and the dead.
While these fruits are surely powerful and life-changing, each is tied to a momentary experience. Joy can be dispelled and gentleness disturbed. Feeding the hungry isn’t an all-day-every-day kind of thing. When the Lord calls for bearing fruit that remains, He is talking about the transformation of these fruits from momentary choices into the “treasure in heaven” that is so often mentioned in the Gospels. The actions themselves - be they fasting or serving - are less important than the attitude and disposition which underlie them. The internal and external fruits of deep love for God are merely the expression of that same love. These expressions are good things. They may even be necessary for your or my personal salvation. But they do not truly remain unless they are a selfless expressions of love. On our own, we can’t generate this kind of love - but that’s why the scripture begins with God choosing us first. He generates the love - we respond to it!
Insights From Second Street
This weekend, our St. Mary’s seniors take a bow in recognition of their first great adult accomplishment: senior graduation. Indeed, this time of year is a moment to recognize this and other accomplishments of many of our parishioners. For most of us adults, graduation is a memory. It is immediately superseded by new obligations or by new opportunities or by new accomplishments… But we ought not lightly pass over the significance of stopping to recognize and reflect upon the ending of important chapters of life.
The oddly modern idea of secondary education creates a kind of artificiality where children are rigidly grouped by age. That creates a frighteningly inhuman environment where people with differing ideas, aspirations, and attitudes are forced to interact for long hours over the extended course of years. The end of high school means entry into the working world or the world of higher education, both of which allow for a far more human experience of selective grouping and study by interest. The value of the inhumanity of the secondary school environment is in the strength and character that is born in fire and in suffering. Life can be defined - albeit sadly - by the struggles we face. Each of us will have to put up with people, environments, and expectations that are contrary to our skills, affinities, or personal preferences. Each of us will have to say no to some things by saying yes to others. And these choices and these challenges are conquerable only by the one who has found his or her inner strength. In particular, St. Mary’s is deeply committed to this most important of human skills.
On this day of prayer and blessing for our graduates in particular, each of us would do well to ask Our Lord for blessing upon them. They are, in many ways, our future. We would also do well to ask Our Lord to convict us by their example - good and bad! The seemingly endless promise at this moment in their lives should cause our eyes and minds to turn to eternal life where no chapter need close and all that is truly possible is realized!
by: Tommy Myrick
This Sunday we celebrate the 6th Sunday of Easter, but we also acknowledge the people who discerned their vocation to the family by carrying us into the world. Mothers are called to much sacrifice. They shed their blood and sacrifice the comfort of their own bodies so that we may have a place in this world. No family is possible without both mother and father, but the relationship that mothers share with their children are unique and special.
Mothers are the first people to meet their children. The first nine months of a child’s life are spent getting to know their mother from the inside out. Moms will know some of their children’s favorite foods by the cravings they receive during pregnancy. They feel their children before anyone else, and they are our first protectors. Moms take great care in keeping their children safe from harm while they are preparing to enter the world.
Moms do not get to pick their children, yet they love them. This is especially true of our Blessed Mother. She did not ask to be the Theotokos (God bearer), but when the Angel of the Lord shared God’s plan for her to bring the Savior into the world, she replied: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Mother Mary accepted her child and all the circumstances that would be included with His coming with love and obedience. She bore Him into the world, nourished Him with her own body, and nurtured Him in his childhood as only mothers can. She supported and encouraged Him in fulfilling his mission. Remember that it was Mary who instigated the miracle at the wedding at Cana. It was Mary who kept her station as Jesus was crucified on the cross. Jesus’ entire life and ministry was nurtured and supported by His mother. What a blessing that she has also become mother for us! I pray this Mother’s Day that moms embrace their motherhood and model themselves after our Blessed Mother! I also thank all mothers for patiently and lovingly being the gateway for our lives into this world. Thank you for your sacrifice, love, and support!
BASILICAN FEAST DAY: OUR LADY OF FATIMA On May 13, 1917, The Blessed Virgin appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. She called for prayer, penance and the Rosary. She returned to them on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months. The messages of those visits - which included three secrets - are considered by the Holy Roman Church to be the most important of all the Marian messages and they contain serious consequences if the messages aren’t heeded. The consequences, She said, wouldn’t come from God, but from the world. For 50 years, the messages were closely heeded. Since the mid-1960s, they have been almost universally ignored by the laity and the clergy alike. With only 2 years until the centenary of the first appearance, it’s time for all of us to get back on track! We will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima Wednesday, May 13th. 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. Please attend if you are at all able!
ST. MARY’S GRADUATION Prayers & Congratulations to our St. Mary’s Class of 2015! (Madison Ackel, Ty Barbour, Hunter Bedgood, Shelby Bishop, James Carney, Matthew Chambliss, Kara Davis, Jonathan Frederick, Garrison Friedel, Emily Heard, Mary Katherine Horton, Elaina Jackson, Jacob Loach, Tyler Mccain, Keator Poleman, Taylor Roberts, William Rogers, Sadie Simmons, Joseph Thibodaux, William Torrent, Warren Ward, Kaleigh Webb, Sarah Kay Whitehead, Riley Wilkerson) 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 Graduation will be Mon., 5/11, at 7p in the St. Mary’s Gymnasium. All are welcome to attend.
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2015! Congratulations to all of the 2015 Graduates from St. Mary’s, Natchitoches Central, LSMSA, and Lakeview! All are asked to pray for our Seniors that they may find the Lord’s will in their life and, with it, true happiness and joy!
MONDAY 8am MASS DISCONTINUED UNTIL AUGUST Tomorrow, Monday, May 11th, will be the last of our Monday morning 8am Masses at St. Mary’s until school resumes in August. All are invited to attend.
LAST ALL-SCHOOL MASS Wednesday, May 13th, at 9am, St. Mary’s will have their last All-School Mass of the 2014-2015 school year. All are invited to attend.
COME & SEE CATHOLICISM (By: Fr. Robert Barron) This adult formation program was designed to enhance & support the Church’s mission to evangelize & teach the content of the Catholic faith. The series began Thursday, May 7th, at 10am in the MBIC Parish Hall & will continue weekly for 9 more lessons. All are invited to attend. There is no cost to participate.
- 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 @ MBIC
- 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 5/9 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 Lainy Jackson, Madi Ackel, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • Chris & Jennifer Maggio, (EMHC-CH) • S.Maggio, C.Fisher, J.Burrell, (Altar Boys)
Sat 5/16 4p Laura Jo Johnson, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • D.Thibodaux, M.Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/17 9a Stephen Taylor, (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • Buddy Giering, John Cunningham, (EMHC-CH) • C.Cunningham, J.Miley, G.Fidelak, (Altar Boys)
Sun 5/17 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Lucile Ingram, (EMHC-CI) • Patsy Melder, Linda Lee, (EMHC-CH) • W.Lee, 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
The Sanctuary Flowers this week are offered in honor of the St. Mary’s Class of 2015 & in memory of Grant Ingram by the St. Mary’s Faculty & Staff.
- Sat 4p: Donna Doll and Luther & Rae Laborde
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland and Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sun 5p: Stacy Mestayer
- Mon 6:30a: Marva Cunningham
- Mon 8a: Gladys McFerren
- Tue 6:30a: Deceased Members of Erwin & Giering Families
- Wed 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Thu 6:30a: Brian Stuart
- Fri 6:30a: Eula Henry
- Sat 8a: Donald Gongre
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