From The Font

“The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’”

St. Benedict, in the fourth century, would teach his monks that “murmury” is the eighth deadly sin. The act of complaining, which is effectively vocalizing the lack of faith, is a constant theme in the scriptures. Sometimes complaining is done for good reason, sometimes it’s done as an act of ignorance and sometimes it gets some praise from the Lord after the fact (when that complaining is against an unworthy human ruler). But whatever its origin, it’s constant throughout the scriptures. Adam bickers that none of the animals God has made for him is adequate. The sons of Israel bicker that he dotes on his youngest son Joseph. The Israelites bicker constantly against Moses. Elijah the prophet bickers against God for leaving him so vulnerable against the wicked queen Jezebel. And, in our Gospel today, the Jews murmur against Jesus because His teaching challenges their conceptions and - more importantly - their comfort.

Jesus is the constant recipient of this kind of talk because He is consciously trying to change perceptions. He is working against the religious leaders of the Jews who have become comfortable in their own mediocrity. He is working against the secular Roman rulers who constantly encourage the Jews to abandon their “radical” and “extreme” religious beliefs. He is working against His Own followers who are constantly confused about the Lord’s message. And He is also working against the people themselves who recognize that a problem exists, but who simply refuse to take action. They know the Pharisees are hypocrites. They know the spirit of the Law is being ignored. They recognize that each year more and more Jews are abandoning their faith for the heathen ways of Rome. The people see that the temple has been reduced - but they are mired in lethargy and lack of leadership. 

Jesus is the object of their complaining not because they don’t agree with Him, but because they DO agree with Him and that agreement requires action. Jesus calls them from a faith life which requires an hour of Synagogue a week, a few donations to the temple and a handful of annoying moral rules (no work on the sabbath and the like) to a faith life that requires real vigilance, sincere prayer, intellectual and emotional investment, serious financial and social consequences and eternal effect. That kind of call - whether it comes from Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi or Pope St. John Paul - is tough to hear not just because it’s challenging, but because it resonates in us. It makes sense. It “feels right” even as it is scary and induces anxiety. It challenges, because it’s what God made us for!

Insights From Second Street

The aspect of modern society that gets most under my skin is the 24-hour news networks. It bothers me so much because it’s truly insidious. You tune in to whatever network you like and you’re fed talking points. One person says them, then another repeats them and another repeats them again and so on and so on. Every now and then, a short quotation or the title of some study or book is mentioned to attest to the certainty of those talking points and that’s it. Later, pundits come on and talk about the consequences of these talking points which everyone now assumes to be true. After a few hours, the brainwashing is complete. Sadly, sprinkled into all this is a healthy dose of hatred and recrimination for those “fools” who don’t see the truth as “we” do. Whether it’s fair or not, I place a lot of the blame for the dissolution of our cultural ability to talk and to disagree upon this 24-hour news station phenomenon.

Why can’t we disagree any more? It makes me sad. One of the great joys of life - especially for us Southerners - is the art of conversation. A few people sit down with some tea or coffee and talk about the world. Maybe we solve some problems, maybe not. Maybe we can convince someone to put another bridge across the Cane. But the idea is that we share our perspectives and we are enriched by those differences. We are enriched and challenged by disagreements. We are encouraged to consider another’s way of thinking, feeling and knowing. It’s a very human, life-giving part of conversation.

Now, though, almost everything has been subsumed as a political issue. And topics which lend themselves to broad and nuanced discussion are reduced to talking points. How can “the environment” be reduced to talking points? How can “the right to bear arms” be reduced to talking points? How can the dignity of the human person or the role of the individual in the greater economy or the place of poetry in a high school curriculum or the best way to measure patriotism or the naming of a sports team be reduced to four or five talking points? The expectation is that we are all supposed to line up behind one incredibly narrow perspective and then bind ourselves to it along with all of the other perspectives associated with it.

As un-PC as it may be, it’s my hope and prayer that we reject this way of thinking. It’s my prayer that we bring back disagreement in conversation - not in anger, but in authentic dialogue.  It’s my hope to drink a glass of iced tea with one of you and hear you say, “Father, I think differently about that. From my point of view…” 

Rome Speaks

From: Vatican Council II • Dei Verbum #10

Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (c.f. Acts 2:42), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort.

But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.

It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls

Parish News

ST. MARY’S TAA FUNDRAISERS St. Mary's annual TAA Steak Supper fundraiser has started! (The Steak Supper & Scrimmage will be Friday, August 21st.) Steak Supper tickets as well as Tiger Athletic Association membership packages are now available to purchase. Contact the school or any of our student athletes to purchase tickets and/or membership packages. 

ST. MARY’S ORIENTATION St. Mary’s Catholic School will be hosting a MANDATORY orientation for ALL students & AT LEAST one parent. This meeting will take place at 6:30p in the St. Mary’s Gym. 
Monday, August 10th = 7th-12th grade. 
Tuesday, August 11th = 1st-6th grade. 
Wednesday, August 12th = Pre-K & K. 

ST. MARY’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL Welcome back Tigers! St. Mary’s Catholic School will begin the 2015-2016 school year on Friday, August 14th. (There will be an All-School Mass at 9am on Aug. 14th.) St. Mary’s Pre-K & Kindergarten students will begin their school year with half-days on Mon.-Tues., Aug. 17th-18th. We look forward to another blessed & successful school year! St. Philomena, pray for us! 

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.

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!

Parish Events

  • 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
  • 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
  • Fri, 9/4, First Friday
  • Sat, 9/5, Holy Mass at SMS Chapel @ 5:30p


Our Sunday Collection last week was $9,514Thank you for your generous return to our Lord!

To Donate Onlineclick here or scroll to the bottom of this page.

For more information on our parish finances, click here.

Within the Sanctuary

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)

Sat 8/15 4p Kathleen Hicks, (Lector) • Mickey Hennigan, Nita Maggio, (EMHC-CI) • D. Bennett, J. Friedel, (Altar Boys)

Sun 8/16 9a Joe Cunningham, Sr., (Lector) • Elaine Bacon, (EMHC-CI) • G. Fedelak, P. & M. Vienne, (Altar Boys)

Sun 8/16 11a Gilen Norwood, (Lector) • Chris Maggio, (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
Holy Masses

  • Sat 4p: Gene Doll, Joyce O'Conner, Tony Ruggiero, Harold Farris, Shirley Slimer, and Lillian & J.C. Perot 
  • Sat 5:30p: Bill Lirette
  • Sun 9a: Billy Benefield, Sr., Gerald J. Mayeux, Ethel O. Mouchand, & Dr. Harold Ledford
  • Sun 11a: Grant Ingram
  • Sun 5p: Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a: N.L. Vercher
  • Tue 6:30a: Brian Stuart
  • Wed 6:30a: Sandi Ponthieux
  • Thu 6:30a: Wallace Firmin
  • Fri 6:30a: Mae Desadier
  • Sat 8a: Harry Gongre, Jr.

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 Recently Deceased: Mr. Johnny Batten

Please pray for our Sick & Suffering: Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafat, Flay Rose Balthazar, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Cletus Bauer, 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, 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, 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