From The Font
“Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds”
Socrates and his famous student Plato agreed that all moral failures were simply the lack of adequate instruction and understanding. For them, failures of the morals were failures of the mind. And, really, right knowledge does play a gigantic role in right action. But the will to do good and to master the “lesser urges” of our animalistic side also plays its part. That’s why St. Paul calls for Christians to live rightly in all things, not just in the futility of the mind. Right understanding combined with right intention combined with right prayer bring about what the Greeks call “metanoia” - a change of heart.
The Fathers of the Church also had an important saying that bring much of this together. They said “lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi” - the way of prayer is the way of belief is the way of life. For Christians, right living begins in prayer. Right prayer includes both the sacraments and personal devotion. The sacraments teach us to see our own destiny (salvation), purpose (evangelization) and nature rightly. This is the lex credendi - the way of right belief. Our personal relationship with Jesus make each of those broad realities concrete. The spiritual exercises which follow from this prayer (fasting, works of mercy, etc) keep us on the right path and protect us from sin. This is the lex vivendi - the way of right living.
For the Greeks, it was all a matter of information. For us - as modern people and as Christians - knowing the right thing and doing the right thing are very, very different things. Jesus knows that we need help to overcome our nature. We need help to put aside our perception of what is best. And He helps us by giving us the sacraments and personal prayer. At times, they can feel like a burden, but, in reality, they are the glue that links our minds, our hearts and our wills together into a unity that makes us a truly good person.
While Christianity can seem like an addon, it’s actually the most natural and human of all the world’s religions. Catholicism is both spiritual and physical. It includes the ideal and practical. It calls for a personal relationship and a worshipper’s humility. Catholics must see Christ both as friend and king. The Church is both human and divine. In almost every aspect, Catholicism expresses those seemingly contrary tensions that Jesus loved to point out in the scriptures and that God built into our creation.
Insights From Second Street
When I was involved with several Protestant communities in my youth, I always admired the rich sense of community. In part, that was much easier because those communities were usually very small by comparison to the Catholic Church with its multiple Masses and its truly diverse base of parishioners. In part, though, it was because the faithful really wanted the experience of closeness and the “Church family.” After my ordination to the Priesthood, I struggled with the challenges of creating that kind of community in the large Churches of Alexandria. How do you feel connected and close to a thousand other families?
When I arrived in Campti, I discovered the beauty of the small Catholic community. I was able to meet and know almost all of my parishioners. I could look out from the pulpit and speak to people whose stories I knew. Immaculate is right in between. Just a little too big to know everyone, but small enough so that people aren’t lost in a sea of names.
But still, some are lost in the sheer volume of activity. As I reflect on the past few years, I want to apologize to those of you who have been seriously ill or who have lost loved ones in that time. I’m so thankful for Fr. Adam Travis and for Fr. Stephen Soares for focusing so well on the needs of our sick parishioners. Still, I don’t feel like I’ve been there for all of you as I would like.
I know part of that failure is simply that my calendar is too full and that I need to prioritize better. I’m working on that! Part of it, though, is that we need a better system of knowing who is sick at any one time. I know that most Catholics in Natchitoches are Roamin’ Catholics (I love that pun) and I don’t blame any of you for catching Mass at another Church. Life happens. But that means that someone can be sick or even hospitalized and we won’t notice it here at the rectory for weeks.
In many Protestant communities and in smaller Catholic communities, there are a few people who are in the know who have taken it upon themselves to call the pastor and let him know that someone is ill and to let him know if that person would like to be visited. Some people prefer not to be visited. Others would like to confess. Others may just want a phone call. That kind of info would be highly appreciated. If you know someone who is ill and who needs to see me or Fr. Stephen, please don’t hesitate to call or email. Thanks in advance!
The Diocese Speaks
The diocese needs your input!
During the past several months, Bishop Herzog has consulted with pastors, diocesan leaders and parishioners about the challenges and opportunities facing the Diocese of Alexandria.
The Bishop is now asking for your input about the proposed plan for addressing the challenges facing our diocese as we look toward a bright future of the Catholic Church in Central Louisiana. Meeting these challenges will require an extraordinary level of financial support, which is not possible through our Annual Diocesan Appeal.
Before any final decisions are made regarding a campaign and its goals, the diocese wants to gather personal feedback concerning its proposed plans, which include support for maintenance and needed upgrades to the Maryhill Renewal Center, strengthening priest retirement and seminarian education reserves, renovations and improvements to Holy Savior Menard High School, and support for parish-specific needs. It is critical for the diocese to receive input from priests, parishioners and other supporters before determining its next step.
The Diocese of ALexandria has retained the services of the Steier Group, a Catholic development and fundraising firm, to conduct a planning study. The study will enable the diocese to effectively gather information for use in prioritizing its needs and gauging the level of overall support for the effort.
Your ideas and comments regarding the diocese’s future are extremely important to the planning process. In the coming weeks, you will receive more information about how to go online to fill out a survey and share your thoughts.
If you have any questions, please contact the Development Office at (318) 445-6424 ext. 209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUGUST 5th is a INDULGENCED FEAST DAY Wednesday, August 5th, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows. 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. Both Masses will end with the proper prayers for the Plenary Indulgence. All are welcome!
SUMMER ACCOMPLISHMENTS BULLETIN EDITION With summer coming to a close, it's time to celebrate and appreciate all that our young people accomplished this summer. The Aug. 15th edition of our parish bulletin will be a special Summer Accomplishments Edition. Email or write us at the office by Aug. 7th with a short list of your child's accomplishments (photos welcome). We will list them all in the Aug. 15th bulletin and include some of the photos on the website. Help us to celebrate your kids!
ADDITIONAL SATURDAY MASSES CONTINUED Fr. Ryan will continue offering an additional Saturday evening Mass at St. Mary’s School at 5:30p. The Mass will count for your weekend obligation. All are welcome.
MBIC GIFT SHOP The August edition of the Magnificat and other new merchandise has arrived at the Gift Shop. Come by and see us sometime!
CCD TEACHERS NEEDED! Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, the MBIC Parish Supper, CCD Classes, & Wed. Night Adult Catch. for 2015-2016 will begin. The MBIC is in need of 2 adult volunteers to teach the 7th, 8th, 9th, & 10th grade CCD classes. For more information and/or to register as a volunteer, contact Susan Chesal at the MBIC Rectory at (318) 352-3422.
MARCH FOR LIFE MEETING HAPPENING SOON! The Orientation Meeting for the 2016 National March for Life in Washington D.C. will be Thurs., August 20th, at 6:30p in the St. Mary’s Gym. Anyone seriously interested in traveling with us next year (Jan. 20-24, 2016) should attend this meeting. This will be the only time representatives from Magnificat Travel will be in town to discuss details and answer questions about the trip. Registration/payment for the trip will begin at this meeting. All are welcome! (All SMS High School students, parents, alumni, parishioners, and everyone in between are invited. You do not have to be Catholic to attend. This is the only group from the Diocese offering adults & the public a way to the D.C. Pro-life March.) — Don’t forget to bring a pen & paper, your checkbook, and a friend!
- Tue, 8/4, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Wed, 8/5, Indulgenced Feast Day: The Dedication of St. Mary Major, Indulgenced Masses @ 6:30a & 6p
- Fri, 8/7, First Friday - Benediction of the MBS @ 5:15p
- Fri, 8/7, First Friday - Talk by Fr. Ryan @ 5:30p
- Sat, 8/8, Day of Enrichment for Deacons in Honor of St. Lawrence
- Sat, 8/8, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 8/11, KC1357 Meeting, 6:45p
- Fri, 8/14, SMS - 1st Day of School
- Fri, 8/14, SMS All-School Mass, 9a in Gym
- Sat, 8/15, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 8/18, CDA Ice Cream Social, 6p
- Thu, 8/20, MBIC & SMS - Washington D.C. March for Life - Orientation Meeting, 6:30p @ SMS
- Fri, 8/21, SMS Steak Supper
- Sat, 8/22, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Tue, 8/25, SVdP Meeting, 6:30p in Hall
- Thu, 8/27, KC1357 Social, 6p
- Fri, 8/28, Natchitoches High School Football Jamboree
- Sat, 8/29, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
- Wed, 9/2, Parish Supper, CCD, & Wed. Night Adult Catechism, 5-7:30p @ St. Mary’s
- Sat, 9/5, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p
Within the Sanctuary
Sat 8/1 4p Kathy Bundrick, (Lector) • Jo & Red Lapeyrouse, (EMHC-CI) • D. Bennett, J. Friedel, (Altar Boys)
Sun 8/2 9a Roger Cunningham, (Lector) • Micheal King, (EMHC-CI) • R. & R. Cunningham, J. Miley, (Altar Boys)
Sun 8/2 11a Greg Burke, (Lector) • Jean Gill, (EMHC-CI) • C. Fisher, Sc. Maggio, M. Leone, (Altar Boys)
Sat 8/8 4p Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Kathleen Hicks, (EMHC-CI) • D. & M. Thibodaux, (Altar Boys)
Sun 8/9 9a Sydney Frederick, (Lector) • Stephen Taylor, (EMHC-CI) • Lirette, (Altar Boys)
Sun 8/9 11a Ed Giering, (Lector) • Haley Johnson, (EMHC-CI) • J. Burrell, S. Maggio, W. Lee, (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: Brooke Hennigan, Bobby Jankowski, & James Davis
- Sat 5:30p: Anne Giering
- Sun 9a: Pro Populo
- Sun 11a: Shirley Ragland, Leo & Janis Abraham, Grant Ingram, and Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sun 5p: Raymond Arthur
- Mon 6:30a: Daniel Chesal
- Tue 6:30a: Gary LeBar, Jr.
- Wed 6:30a: Mary Jean Thomas
- Thu 6:30a: Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Fri 6:30a: Eula Henry
- Sat 8a: Leo Abraham
Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for this Month are that refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights. And that, Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.
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, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Elizabeth Governale, Jeff Green, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Curt Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, 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, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer