CHESTERTON SOCIETY • For several years, MBIC parishioner Dr. Kent Hare has been leading a beloved Bible Study on Monday Nights in the Rectory. This Summer, he added to that excellent work by founding the Natchitoches Chesterton Society (MinorBasilica.org/chesterton). The Society meets weekly on Thursdays at 6p in the Rectory to study the great Catholic author’s books chapter by chapter. All are welcome to attend, but regular attendance is preferable.
PRIESTS’ RETREAT SOON • Many of the priests of our diocese attend the annual retreat at Maryhill sponsored by the Diocesan office of Clergy Formation. Fr. Ryan & Fr. Stephen will be attending this retreat from Mon, Sept 28 until Thu, Oct 1. During that time, no daily Masses will be offered in the Parish. Masses will resume as usual at 6:30a on Fri, Oct 2. First Friday devotions on Oct 2 will take place as usual.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CATECHISM • This Wed, Sep 16 at 6pm at the St. Mary’s Chapel, Fr. Ryan’s talk will be titled “Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodist\Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.” He will discuss the similarities and differences between our faith and the faith traditions that we collectively call “Protestant.” He will also discuss things that we can learn from our Protestant brethren and things which we have to share with them.
KC COUNCIL BINGO • The Knights of Columbus #1357 host weekly Bingo nights every Wednesday beginning at 7pm and on the second Sunday of every month. Proceeds from these events go to support all of our local Catholic Churches as well as other worthy causes like the N.A.R.C., the Special Olympics and St. Mary’s School to name only a few. All are welcome.
MINISTRY TO THE INCARCERATED • Each week, we have the privilege of going to the local detention center to pray with the incarcerated. About twice a month, Fr. Stephen offers Mass. On the other weeks, a lay person from our parish leads the men in prayer and distributes Holy Communion. Please pray both for the victims of crime and for those incarcerated. If you are interested in assisting our outreach, please contact the office. Also, if you know of someone incarcerated in Louisiana, please contact our office and we will ensure they are accorded ministry in the facility in which they reside.
YEAR OF MERCY 2016 • Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy from Dec 8, 2015 to Dec 8, 2016. During that year, special graces and spiritual activities will abound around the Church and here in Natchitoches. Please begin to pray now for those planning activities. If you have ideas or are interested in helping out, please let us know at the office. Thanks!
From the Font
"Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’”
At every moment in the history of the Church, this passage has encouraged and frightened clergy and laity alike. Bp. Greco used to say “beneath the miter (the Bishop’s hat) is a crown of thorns!” Those in authority often struggle to think as “God does” and not “as human beings do.” It’s incredibly difficult because every single person in the Church is, in fact, a human being! Still, we mustn’t let our weaknesses stop us. St. Paul teaches us that “in weakness, we are made strong.” And Isaiah reminds us in the first reading that “The Lord GOD is my help.” And indeed He is!
The challenge is thinking as God does is to love as God loves. And God tells us that to love as He loves, we must love God first, our neighbor second and ourselves third. That kind of selfless love is challenging, but it’s also part of who we are. We love our kids that way. We love our spouses that way.
If the Church is to be built up, then all of us - clergy and laity - must take up the challenge to love as God loves. Only then can we truly hear the love that Jesus shows to Peter with His harsh words. Think about anyone in our lives who is incapable of rational thought... A child. A pet. Someone in the throes of hysteria or crisis. When you can’t think rationally - the only remedy is a shock.
By shocking Peter with harsh words, Jesus helps the severity of his error sink in. The clos- er Jesus gets to Jerusalem, the more important it is that Peter understands what’s going on. Jesus isn’t going to Jerusalem for the triumph of the sword, but for the triumph of the cross. As Jesus will remind Peter at the last supper, “unless you let Me do this for you” (Jesus washing Peter’s feet) “you will have no part with me.” Jesus has to reinforce to them that the cross is the only way to the resurrection. There is no Easter without Lent and Holy Week!
As we ourselves face challenging words from Jesus - in our own prayer, from the scriptures, from the teaching of the Church or even from our own clergy - let us receive them in the spir- it of love in which they are given! Surely all of us have our own sins and weaknesses. But God will not leave us alone in them. Nor will He leave us useless in those weaknesses. God uses us in our weakness in ways that our strength could never even aspire!
And so Isaiah can say “Who disputes my right? Let that man confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help!” Indeed, the Lord is our help and our strength and our song!
Insights from Second Street
In the 1990s, when Fr. Kenneth Roy was pastor of Immaculate Conception, a cooperative of local faith communities established the “Helping Hands Soup Kitchen” as a way of serving those in need in our community. In the beginning, several local faith communities worked together to provide hot meals to the poor.
As happens with these kinds of efforts, the first fer- vor wains and time passes. Some years ago, the other faith communities - for many reasons - were unable to continue with the project. For the past several years, Immaculate Conception - in the person of the wonderful Mrs. Alice Nora - has provided hot meals, almost daily, for many people in our community.
Mrs. Nora’s cooking - which is delicious! - goes far and beyond what most people think of when they think of soup kitchen fare. For over a decade, she has labored for our Lord in this wonderful ministry thanks - in large part - to the constant support of so many of you who help with financial donations and with manpower in delivering the meals and assisting Mrs. Nora in so many ways.
After these many years and for her own health, Mrs. Nora is no longer able to continue to maintain the Helping Hands soup kitchen. With a heavy heart, on Thursday, August 27, the last meals were delivered and the labor of love, started years ago, came to its conclusion.
On behalf of the entire community of Natchitoches, certainly the Catholic Community and the many priests and lay people who have been served by Mrs. Alice and know her love and her wit, I want to say the most sincere and hearty “Thank You!” Mrs. Al- ice, you are indeed a good and faithful servant of Our Lord!
Perhaps it is divine providence, that at the same time Mrs. Alice was pondering the end of this ecumenical effort, another ecumenical effort was in the making. The fine people at First United Methodist, in coop- eration with Immaculate and several smaller faith communities have established the Cane River Food Pantry in response to a similar, but distinct need in our community. The Cane River Food Pantry oper- ates, at present, on borrowed premises near the NPDC on the Bypass. We are actively seeking out new, permanent facilities. With the guidance of our temporary director, Mrs. Beth Cole, the Cane River Food Pantry has already grown substantially and has begun receiving support from local and out of town donors.
It’s my hope that as the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen leaves behind a legacy of love, faithfulness and genuine concern for those in need, the Cane River Food Pantry will become a kind of spiritual successor. Donations made to the Food Pantry through Immaculate Conception will be forwarded along to the proper people.
Once again, my sincerest and most appreciative thanks to Mrs. Alice Nora for her years of faithful service and Christian love!
Don’t fret. Mrs. Alice is not leaving Immaculate. She has decided to stay on at the rectory for the near future.
The communion between God and His people finds its definitive fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom who loves and gives Himself as the Savior of humanity, uniting it to Himself as His body. He reveals the original truth of marriage, the truth of the “beginning," and, freeing man from his hardness of heart, He makes man capable of realizing this truth in its entirety.
This revelation reaches its definitive fullness in the gift of love which the Word of God makes to humanity in assuming a human nature, and in the sacrifice which Jesus Christ makes of Himself on the Cross for His bride, the Church. In this sacrifice there is entirely revealed that plan which God has imprinted on the humanity of man and woman since their creation; the marriage of baptized persons thus becomes a real symbol of that new and eternal covenant sanctioned in the blood of Christ. The Spirit which the Lord pours forth gives a new heart, and renders man and woman capable of loving one another as Christ has loved us. Conjugal love reaches that fullness to which it is interiorly ordained, conjugal charity, which is the proper and specific way in which the spouses participate in and are called to live the very charity of Christ who gave Himself on the Cross.
In a deservedly famous page, Tertullian has well expressed the greatness of this conjugal life in Christ and its beauty: "How can I ever express the happiness of the marriage that is joined together by the Church strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels and ratified by the Father? ...How wonderful the bond between two believers with a single hope, a single desire, a single observance, a single service! They are both brethren and both fellow-servants; there is no separation between them in spirit or flesh; in fact they are truly two in one flesh and where the flesh is one, one is the spirit.”
Indeed, by means of baptism, man and woman are definitively placed within the new and eternal covenant, in the spousal covenant of Christ with the Church. And it is because of this indestructible insertion that the intimate community of conjugal life and love, founded by the Creator, is elevated and assumed into the spousal charity of Christ, sustained and enriched by His redeeming power.
— From Familiaris Consortio (On the Christian Family in the Modern World), #13, Pope St. John Paul II
Memorials & Intentions
Mass Intentions for the week of September 13th
- Sat 4p Donna Doll, Helen Bostick, NL Vercher, and Red & Sadie Thomas
- Sat 5:30p Grant Ingram
- Sun 9a Billy Benefield, Sr., Gary LaBar, Jr., Gilbert & Sadie Stroud, Allison Breazeale Webb
- Sun 11a Irene Niette
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Terry Scott
- Mon 8a Sadie Stroud
- Tue 6:30a Harry Gongre, Jr.
- Wed 6:30a Billy Benefield, Sr.
- Thu 6:30a Burl Young
- Fri 6:30a Eula Henry
- Sat 8a Sister Mary Roland
- Sat 4p Mike Bouchie, Shirley Phalan, Jimmy Scott, and Raymond Arthur
- Sat 5:30p Fr. Daniel Pekanske
- Sun 9a Kenneth & Sally Prudhomme
- Sun 11a Grant Ingram, Irene Niette, Leola Walmsley, Fredrick Hickman
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Prayers for our Ill and recently Deceased
Mrs. Judy Risty, RIP
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, RJ Ducote, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Ga- hagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, 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, An- gelette LaCour, Jheanny Ladao, Samuel Lane, Ray- mond Litton, Jaden Eli Lo- dridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Irene Lynche, Brit- tany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Mary Odom, Sue Prud- homme, Sharon Roach, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Joseph Ryan, Donna Slaughter, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timo- tio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Julien Vienne, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warn- er, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer