From The Font
“This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”
In our modern world, the sight of blood signals a problem. It usually indicates a risk to life, rather than symbolizing life itself. For the ancients, though, blood was a constancy. It indicated a fresh kill - safer to eat. It indicated the cycle of life and the coming of age. It also indicated a sacrifice in the temple or the fixing of a covenant contract. Covenants were sealed by bisecting an animal and symbolically - or actually - walking the path between the two halves. In doing so, the two signers sealed themselves by the life which is a gift from God. When the Jews renewed their covenant with the Lord yearly, this was accomplished symbolically by the priests who would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the altar in the temple and by the father of the family who would eat the sacrifice with his family.
When Jesus established a new covenant, he also used an altar, blood, a sacrifice, and a meal. He changed the game, though, by insisting that the blood be part of the meal! While the Jews had a familiarity with blood and loved what it symbolized, they didn’t want to touch it! Beyond just being icky, it also made the individual ritually unclean. (So butchers, midwives and priests were constantly washing themselves - practically and ritually - to cleanse themselves of blood. Which is another example of the law serving a dual purpose of hygiene and spirituality.) The idea of working with blood was one thing, the idea of consuming it was another. There’s no reason to believe that eating the bread at the last supper would’ve raised an eyebrow… But drinking the blood of the covenant! That would’ve been a serious matter!
Even today, the idea of consuming blood is unpleasant. Excepting any vampires or other undead parishioners here at Immaculate, people just don’t drink blood. A rare steak may have a little bit of blood left - but that’s it! And yet, Jesus insisted just prior to the Last Supper in John 6 and then again at the meal that this wine IS His blood.
For a very few years right after the resurrection, the apostles offered Holy Communion in the form of wine to the faithful at early Masses. It was generally stopped well before 400AD and doesn’t appear again until the 1960s. The Church has long believed that the Holy Eucharist in the FORM of bread or the FORM of wine are spiritually identical. Both are the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. And so, to receive one is to receive both.
Insights From Second Street
Beginning this month, we will be returning to Holy Communion under the “species” of bread only. As many of you know, Holy Communion from the chalice has come and gone here at Immaculate since the 1960s. It has always started strong and then waned. Participation nowadays is generally quite low. As I alluded to in today’s “From the Font” article, there is a historical precedent in receiving Holy Communion only under the “species” (the appearance) of the host. That precedent arose from and was maintained for many reasons - some practical and some spiritual. While the decision to return to former practice here is primarily practical, it doesn’t hurt to know a few of the other reasons why scaling back reception from the chalice is a growing trend.
For starters, the law of the Church strongly insists that the number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be kept to an absolute minimum. In a word, extraordinary practices should not be ordinary. In a monastery, where a dozen priests and deacons can be called upon to distribute Holy Communion, there’s nothing wrong with multiplying “stations” for communion. But in a parish where only one or two “ordinary ministers” are available, the number of “stations” should exceed the number of ministers by the smallest possible amount.
Then, we turn to the human problem of confusion. Spiritually, the “species” of bread and wine are identical. They are both the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, whole and entire. The multiplication of similar symbols is almost always confusing, both intellectually and spiritually. Some confusion accompanies all religious signs and symbols. It just does. But when a symbolic act creates confusion rather than clarity, we have to question the benefit of that symbol. (And, to be honest, nothing drives a priest crazier than someone referring to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ as “the wine.” The chalice doesn’t contain wine, it contains the Holy Eucharist!)
We could well note, too, that there is the cultural reality of poor catechesis. Catholics just don’t know their faith anymore. Sixty years ago, we could’ve dismissed some nominal confusion or vocabulary problems, but now we have Catholics who don’t know the ten commandments or how to go to confession. In a mission field like this, we have to focus on the essential and endeavor to create a sense of clarity. This happens to be one of the great strengths of Catholicism - but only when options are chosen carefully and symbols placed in their proper context.
by: Sem. Justin Ward
As we are quickly approaching the Feast Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 12), we are offered the opportunity to reflect on the link between the Sacred Heart and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that will follow the next day.
The feast springs from contemporary piety but has its roots in the Marian apostolate of St. John Eudes (1680), and outstanding apostle of devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. After repeated requests and repeated refusals between 1669 and 1729, on December 8, 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Pius XII dedicated the Church and the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He placed the feast on August 22 and extended it to the entire Latin Church. It has now been moved closer to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus always falling on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
At Fatima, Our Blessed Mother revealed her Immaculate Heart to the three shepherd children. We saw then that Our Mother’s Heart was surrounded by thorns—the thorns of sin. We were then asked to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by prayer and sacrifices—to console her Motherly Heart—to remove those thorns. Also at Fatima, Our Lady requested that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart saying, "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
She also told them: "Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it. Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands." It was Venerable Pope Pius XII who first consecrated the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during World War II on October 31, 1942, and again, solemnly, on December 8, 1942. He repeated the Consecration in July 1952.
In more recent times, moved by millions of petitions and by the occasion of the attempted assassination of his own person on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, 1981, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world and every nation to the Immaculate Heart in 1982, and repeated this act in union with all the Catholic Bishops in 1983. In 1984, Pope John Paul II once again consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Let us all renew our fervor for devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate hearts of Jesus and Mary. Immaculati Cordis Mariæ, ora pro nobis!
DIOCESAN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Are you or someone you know celebrating a 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 or more anniversary any time during 2015? If so, please contact the MBIC Office by Tuesday, June 16th, with this information. All of the information we collect will be shared with the Diocese and they will send you an invitation to the Diocesan Anniversary Celebration to be held on Sunday, July 12th, at 2pm at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. The Celebrant will be Bishop Ronald P. Herzog.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT DAD! Gifts for Father’s Day (June 21st) are now available in the MBIC Gift Shop. Come and see the variety of prayer books, rosaries, visor clips, key chains, cards, and more!
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.
VIRTUS TRAINING There will be a Virtus Training Session at the MBIC Parish Hall Tuesday, June 16th, at 6:00p. With the Steubenville South Conference, Vacation Bible Schools and summer youth trips coming up, please remember that every adult who works/volunteers with children/youth in the Diocese of Alexandria’s churches/schools must be Virtus trained (and up-to-date on the on-going online portion of the Virtus training). If you would like to pre-register for the session, go to: www.virtus.org & click on “Registration” (on left side of screen) to begin the process. You can also call the MBIC Rectory at (318) 352-3422 to register for this session.
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.
Sat, 6/6, Holy Mass, 5:30p @ SMS Chapel
Tue, 6/9, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
Sat, 6/13, Holy Mass, 5:30p @ SMS Chapel
Tue, 6/16, Virtus Training Session, 6p @ MBIC Parish Hall
Tue, 6/16, CDA Meeting, 6p
Sat, 6/20, Holy Mass, 5:30p @ SMS Chapel
Sat-Sun, 6/20-6/21, CDA Bake Sale (after 4p, 9a, & 11a Masses)
Sun, 6/21, Father’s Day
Tue, 6/23, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
Thu, 6/25, KC1357 Social, 6p
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, Basilican Feast Day: The Holy Apostles Peter & Paul, Indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 6/6 4p Laura Jo Johnson, (Lector) • Jo & Red Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • D. & M. Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/7 9a Michael King, (Lector) • Carol Green, (EMHC-CI) • J. Miley, G. Fedelak, M. McCart, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/7 11a Joe Payne Williams, (Lector) • Chris Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • C. Fisher, M. Leone, Sc. Maggio, (Altar Boys)
Sat 6/13 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Carl Henry, Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • D. Bennett, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/14 9a Stephen Taylor, (Lector) • John Cunningham, (EMHC-CI) • C. Cunningham, P. & M. Vienne, (Altar Boys)
Sun 6/14 11a John Laborde, (Lector) • Barbara Laborde, (EMHC-CI) • W. Lee, S. & V. 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
- Sat 4p: Gene Doll & Darrel & Patsy Wilmore
- Sat 5:30p: Dr. Joseph Bienvenu & Russ & Lori Harvey
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland, Mary Lou Squyres & Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Sun 5p: Dr. Joe Bienvenu, Bishop William Friend & Daniel Chesal
- Mon 6:30a: N.L. Vercher
- Tue 6:30a: Sandi Ponthieux
- Wed 6:30a: Brian Stuart
- Thu 6:30a: Mary Jean Thomas
- Fri 6:30a: Eula Henry
- Sat 8a: Sister Mary Roland
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 Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Maudie Baranowski, 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