From The Font
“Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid; just have faith.’”
The modern emphasis on science has led us to believe that which is testable and visible is what is “really real” and that spiritual realities are secondary. Over and over, though, Jesus ignores that which is perceived to be the case in order to show forth the power of God. In disregarding the report of death, Jesus accomplishes three things.
First, He shows his own authority which is not grounded in science, worldly power, or even in the spoken word. Jesus is the Lord of this world and the Lord of Life. He is the one who decides how mortal and eternal life play out. He is the one who has the kingship.
Second, He teaches that each of us must subordinate our own perceptions and ideas to that authority. Any of us may well believe that what we perceive is true. By all human measures it may well be true. Every kind of human reason may say it’s true. But, at the end of the day, God remains God.
Third, Jesus teaches us how to face trial and suffering. Our natural human instinct is fear. When confronted with that we cannot change, we naturally feel helpless, afraid, lonely. The Lord directs us, though, to faith. Faith drives out fear because it connects us with Him who is actually all-powerful and can do whatever needs to be done. Faith also orients us to trust that God’s plan and God’s will is wiser and more profound that our will.
Despite the fact that we know that the soul is immortal and that heaven is a better place to be than here and that spending eternity with God is the highest hope of our humanity, we still find ourselves feeling like the Jews did. They focused their attention and their hope entirely on this world. They saw death as the worst of all punishments. They acknowledged the possibility of an eternity, but it just wasn’t something that affected daily life. As Christians, we know this isn’t the case… Our Christian hope gives us the courage and peace in the Holy Spirit to face the trials of life realizing that the Lord will assist us in this life and will use those trials to usher us into the eternal life which He promises!
Insights From Second Street
This weekend marks eight years since my first arrival in Natchitoches as the assistant priest here at Immaculate and two years since by appointment as pastor. And rather than feeling jubilant or even excited, I find myself humbled to the very depths of myself. And this is not a bad thing! Quite the contrary, I feel much like John the Baptist in his discussion over purification in John 3:25-30. After John has met Jesus and is on his own again, a jew approaches and asks about Jesus and Baptism. John is overcome with the whole circumstance of this encounter with the Lord and he says: "No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven… He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease."
In so many ways, my early enthusiasm to implement and to plan - especially as regards the many requirements for Basilicas - has been tempered by these past two blessed years. I have been in over my head and I've loved it. But it's also stripped me of my own delusions of adequacy. I'm sure that sounds bad or causes someone to be concerned, but I assure you it's quite the opposite. It's a cause for great confidence in my heart. After ten years of priesthood, I'm finally starting to realize that the only person who can pastor any parish is the Lord Jesus! The only true priest is Jesus! The only true prophet is Jesus! The only true king is Jesus!
In many ways, this seemingly obvious revelation came into focus in my heart and mind a few months ago when I read about a nun who blogged about her love for terrible sermons… That's right, she likes bad sermons. She said that she just knew that if she didn't like the sermon, then God must be using that sermon for someone else's needs rather than hers. And she liked to be able to pray for whoever that person is. What a beautiful sentiment! As I read that, I realized that only Jesus changes hearts. Only Jesus mends souls in the confessional. Only Jesus gives authority to the homily of the priest or deacon.
On this weekend, and in this year of my tenth anniversary of ordination to the priesthood, I want to say thank you to God and to all of you who have been such a gift and blessing to me and have borne with my youth and my enthusiasm - good, bad and in-between. Your gift to me can never be overstated!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS Please join us in praying for all of the High School Students who will be attending Camp Joshua Louisiana June 28th - July 2nd in Baton Rouge. Camp Joshua’s “Joshua Leadership Institute” is an intensive, five day summer program that trains high school students to be prolife leaders. Please pray especially for all of the SMS Students that will be attending.
JUNE 29th IS AN INDULGENCED FEAST DAY Monday, June 29, is the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. 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!
PARISH OFFICE CLOSED Wednesday, July 1st, and Friday, July 3rd, the Parish Office will be closed. The Office will be open Thursday, July 2nd, from 8a-12p and it will reopen again on Monday, July 6th, at 8am. We pray that everyone has a safe and fun-filled Independence Day weekend!
FIRST FRIDAY & FIRST SATURDAY The First Friday & Saturday of each month are kept in honor of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Adoration on First Friday begins after morning Mass and continues until Benediction at 5:15p. Sign-up at the back of the Church if you can watch with the Lord for an hour. First Saturday Mass and Benediction are at 8a.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL The MBIC along with St. Mary's will be hosting its annual Vacation Bible School at St. Mary’s School July 13-17, from 9a-Noon. Children between the ages of 4-11 are invited to attend. There is a suggested donation of $5 per family (but we will not turn away anyone due to finances). Virtus trained teenager and adult volunteers are needed. (All adult volunteers must have completed the Virtus Touching Safety Program prior to the beginning of VBS.) For more information and/or to register as a volunteer or attendee, contact Susan Chesal at the MBIC Rectory at (318) 352-3422 or Jennifer Maggio at firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up registration forms at the back of the Church/at the MBIC Rectory.
MBIC OFFICE SUMMER HOURS 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.
- Sat, 6/27, Holy Mass, 5:30p @ SMS Chapel
- Sun-Thu, 6/28-7/2, Camp Joshua Pro-Life Leadership Camp, in Baton Rouge
- Mon, 6/29, Indulgenced Feast Day: The Holy Apostles Peter & Paul, Indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
- Wed, 7/1, MBIC Parish Office CLOSED
- Fri, 7/3, MBIC Parish Office CLOSED, Independence Day
- Fri, 7/3, First Friday - Benediction of the MBS @ 5:15p
- Fri, 7/3, First Friday - Talk by Fr. Ryan @ 5:30p
- Sat, 7/4, First Saturday
- Sat, 7/4, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 7/7, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Sat, 7/11, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Mon-Fri, 7/13-7/17, Vacation Bible School at St. Mary’s School, 9a-Noon
- Tue, 7/14, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Thu, 7/16, MBIC 2016 Pilgrimage Orientation Meeting, 6:30p @ MBIC Parish Hall
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 6/27 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Nita Maggio, Jimmy Gunter, (EMHC-CI) • D. & M. Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/28 9a Joe Cunningham, Sr., (Lector) • Alice Barrios, (EMHC-CI) • J. Miley, JH. & G. Ingrish, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/28 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Cecilia Cook, (EMHC-CI) • J. Burrell, S. & V. Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 7/4 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Jo & Red Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • D. & M. Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/5 9a John Ackel, (Lector) • Buddy Giering, (EMHC-CI) • R. & R. Cunningham, G. Fedelak, (Altar Boys)
Sun 7/5 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Joseph Sklar, (EMHC-CI) • A. & J. Parker, C. Fisher, (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 and Buddy & Jane Stroud
- Sat 5:30p: David Samuel
- Sun 9a: Carl & Eula Henry, Dora & Gerald Jeansonne, & Special Intentions
- Sun 11a: Richard Ragland, Robert Vercher, & Sister Mary Roland
- Sun 5p: Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a: Maroon & Beatrice Antoon
- Tue 6:30a: Dr. & Mrs. J.T. Melancon
- Wed 6:30a: Red & Sadie Thomas
- Thu 6:30a: Wallace Firmin & Ronnie Babin
- Fri 6:30a: Donald Gongre
- Sat 8a: Sam & Carmelette Maggio and deceased Family
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come. And that, the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.
Please pray for our Recently Deceased: Mrs. Mary Moss
Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Flay Rose Balthazar, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Johnny Batten, Cletus Bauer, Lauren Bienvenu, Millard Bienvenu, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, 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, 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