Special Collection for St. Mary's School

Parish News

A complete calendar of events can be found at minorbasilica.org/calendar

Roe v. Wade day • On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court handed down the ungodly decision that has legalize the slaughter of almost 60 million American children in their mother’s wombs. Each year, the Church in the US keeps Roe V Wade Day as a day of obligatory fasting, abstinence from meat and penance. This Friday is Roe V Wade Day. Every Catholic should plan to fast (one full meatless meal, two smaller meals as needed for strength) and to do penance in reparation for the murder of the innocents and to pray for an end to this atrocity. Please pray, too, for our students from St. Mary’s who will be in Washington, DC, at the March for Life. (MarchForLife.org)

Monday is MLK Day • This Monday is Martin Luther King Day. St. Mary’s will be closed and so there will be no 8a Mass at St. Mary’s. 

All-School Mass this Friday • This Friday, Fr. Louis Sklar, St. Mary’s Alumnus and Director of Vocations for the Diocese will offer an all-school Mass at 9am for Roe V Wade Day. The Mass will be offered in the gym. All are welcomed to attend. Guests are asked to arrive no earlier than 8:30a. As with all of our all-school Masses, ordinary classes Masses on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be cancelled.

No Adult Catechism this Wednesday • As Fr. Ryan will be away, there will be no Wednesday Night Adult Catechism this week. Wednesday Night Presentations will resume on January 27 when the topic will be “Spiritual Warfare & Exorcisms in the Church.” Thanks for understanding. *CCD Classes will take place as normal.*

March for Life Local Opportunities • Those unable to attend the national March for Life in Washington DC are encouraged to consider attending one of the two local Marches which will take place in Alexandria and Shreveport. The Louisiana Life March North will take place on Saturday, January 23 from 10a to noon beginning at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Shreveport. For more information, http://www.prolifelouisiana.org/events/lalifemarch/northmarch.html 

The Louisiana Life March Central will take place on Saturday, January 30 from 10a to noon beginning on the campus of Louisiana College. For more information, http://www.prolifelouisiana.org/events/lalifemarch/marchcentral.html 

Both events are sponsored by the Louisiana Right to Life Federation, an amazing organization sponsored in part by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Those interested in other ways to get involved in the fight against the atrocity of abortion should visit their site at http://www.prolifelouisiana.org/


From the Font

“There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.”

Modern weddings are three to six hour affairs with a ceremony lasting only a few minutes and a party lasting only a few hours. Regardless of the attention to detail shown by the bride and her cadre of planners, they’re one day events. Ancient weddings, though, were entirely different. There was no “church ceremony” or even an exchange of vows. 

The Jewish wedding began with the “ketubbah” which we might call the Betrothal. At this point, the couple was married, but neither lived together nor consummated their union. Joseph and Mary’s parents had already signed the ketubbah which is why the scripture (Mt 1:18) says that Joseph and Mary were married, but were not living together. It’s also why Joseph was looking for a divorce. 

The ketubbah (betrothal contract) could be signed even when those to be married were children, so long as they “took up their marital duties” within 7 years. Within that time, the husband had to provide what we would call the dowry which was specified in the betrothal contract. Once the dowry was paid, the father of the bride scheduled the chuppah. The chuppah was the highly ritualized act of consummation. The bride and her handmaidens would decorate the bedroom and await the arrival of the bridegroom and his groomsmen. The couple would enter the bedroom and consummate their union while the bridal party waited outside. Once the consummation was concluded, the entire bridal party processed to the home of the groom where a multi-day feast was celebrated according to the wealth of the groom’s family. 

It was in this context that Jesus and his disciples were rejoicing with the unknown bride and groom in the little village of Cana. And it was in this context that the groom has clearly run out of money sooner than he expected.

The scene evokes many spiritual parallels. Most important, though, is the limitedness of the natural world and the unlimited excellence of the supernatural or miraculous power of God. Jesus reveals Himself here to be the true bridegroom who provides that which is needed. He takes the Jewish ceremonial vessels - used for symbolic purification of the natural body - and transforms the symbolic and the natural into the truly supernatural. 

Not only is the bridegroom spared embarrassment in his poverty and poor planning, but the people will now rejoice with the good wine which signifies not only God’s blessings, but the blood which Christ will shed on His Cross.

Insights from Second Street

“In a world that has forgotten the question, it will mean little to state that Christ is the answer. In a world that has no understanding of contrition and repentance, ‘mercy’ will be voided of any substance beyond unconditional social acceptance. In a school where nobody fails, there can no longer be any credible talk of examinations. The medium of ‘mercy' is quickly becoming the universal solvent of the Catholic deposit of faith and morals.” -Phillip Blosser

Pope St. John Paul II often spoke of a need to “recover language.” In a language where love for pizza and love for a television show and love for a fictional character and love for God all share the same word, that word can’t be said to be adequate for real evangelization. In the same way, when someone redefines a word to mean something new, we can’t just continue to use the word as if we’re unaware of the new meaning. In our culture, plenty of words are being redefined around us: marriage, justice, mercy, truth, safety, freedom, christian… In many ways, our world looks much like the fictional dystopias that our children are reading with such interest. George Orwell called the malicious restyling of language “NewSpeak.”

Some words are lost to us. We’re never going to get words like “love” back from secular culture. Love has been reduced to a series of temporary feelings. But “mercy” hasn’t been lost entirely. Surely, for some, mercy has been reduced to kindness or tolerance or acceptance. But during this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is calling us to draw the deeper meaning of mercy out of ourselves, out of our communities, out of the scriptures and into action. Mercy begins when justice ends. We show mercy when the condemned is pardoned and loved, despite his sins. 

It’s not mercy to pretend that the sin doesn’t exist; it’s mercy to acknowledge the sin and love the sinner in the midst of it. Mercy, like forgiveness, is only known by those who don’t deserve it and can’t really earn it. The angels don’t know mercy, but the saints do. In this way, mercy is more divine than basically any of our experiences save for love, itself.

There’s no mercy in coddling someone or accepting their sin. There may be kindness and genuine compassion, but not mercy. There’s no mercy in explaining away sin in myself or in others. There may be real concern and even honest love, but not mercy. No, mercy begins in the truth that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) and continues with the belief that “Jesus Christ and He alone reveals man to Himself” (Vatican II) and finds its fulfillment in the reality that all men are called to find their salvation and the truest purpose in Jesus. When this truth is bathed in the love of God, “mercy” is truly found. Everything is just a cheap imitation. 

The cheap imitation, as Dr. Blosser says in the above quotation is caustic and dangerous - but it can be wiped away in an instant by a single Christian who has known the mercy of God and desires in love and evangelical zeal to share that liberating experience with the people around them. “Mercy” is no lost word - it’s a word that brings those who are lost back!

From Rome

Jesus Christ taught that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called "to practice mercy" towards others: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” The Church sees in these words a call to action, and she tries to practice mercy. All the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount indicate the way of conversion and of reform of life, but the one referring to those who are merciful is particularly eloquent in this regard. Man attains to the merciful love of God, His mercy, to the extent that he himself is interiorly transformed in the spirit of that love towards his neighbor.

This authentically evangelical process is not just a spiritual transformation realized once and for all: it is a whole lifestyle, an essential and continuous characteristic of the Christian vocation. It consists in the constant discovery and persevering practice of love as a unifying and also elevating power despite all difficulties of a psychological or social nature: it is a question, in fact, of a merciful love which, by its essence, is a creative love. In reciprocal relationships between persons merciful love is never a unilateral act or process. Even in the cases in which everything would seem to indicate that only one party is giving and offering, and the other only receiving and taking (for example, in the case of a physician giving treatment, a teacher teaching, parents supporting and bringing up their children, a benefactor helping the needy), in reality the one who gives is always also a beneficiary. In any case, he too can easily find himself in the position of the one who receives, who obtains a benefit, who experiences merciful love; he too can find himself the object of mercy.

In this sense Christ crucified is for us the loftiest model, inspiration and encouragement. When we base ourselves on this disquieting model, we are able with all humility to show mercy to others, knowing that Christ accepts it as if it were shown to Himself. On the basis of this model, we must also continually purify all our actions and all our intentions in which mercy is understood and practiced in a unilateral way, as a good done to others. An act of merciful love is only really such when we are deeply convinced at the moment that we perform it that we are at the same time receiving mercy from the people who are accepting it from us. If this bilateral and reciprocal quality is absent, our actions are not yet true acts of mercy, nor has there yet been fully completed in us that conversion to which Christ has shown us the way by His words and example, even to the cross, nor are we yet sharing fully in the magnificent source of merciful love that has been revealed to us by Him.

— Pope St. John Paul II, Dives in Misericoria, Encyclical Letter “Rich in Mercy”

Mass Intentions

For the week of January 17th

  • Sat 4p Miriam Aycock Gaspard, John Robert Tubre
  • Sat 5:30p Jim Klein
  • Sun 9a Doris & Will Pierson & Elise James
  • Sun 11a Harry Gongre, Jr.
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a Antonio Esparza
  • Tue 6:30a Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux Families
  • Wed 6:30a Fr. Jose Palathara
  • Thu 6:30a Intentions of Destry Conoley
  • Fri 6:30a Red & Sadie Thomas
  • Sat 8a Johnny Antoon
  • Sat 4p Leola Walmsley, Bostick & Marcicelli Families
  • Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
  • Sun 9a Johnny Batten
  • Sun 11a James Raymond Litton, Janis Abraham
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo

Our Sick & Recently Deceased

Coach Julien Vienne, RIP

Ann Lee Alford, Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Ryan Branch, Chad Bouchie, Mary-Lou Brasher, Marion Brossette, Flo Brouillette, Darlene Bynog, Bailey Byrd, Fulton Clark, Carolyn Carter, Marie Charleville, Emilia Cofio, Peggy Cooper, Kim Cunningham, Lela Mae Dalme, Joe Davis, Dekeyser, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Tom Foshee, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Ross Gwinn, Tammy Hall, Andy Harrington, Joyce Hayne, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Isabelita & Michael Kearney, EvaGrace Keyser, Gary Kilgore, Angelette LaCour, John LaCour, Samuel Lane, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Irene Lynche, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Barbara Manshack, Danny Manuel, Jack McCain Jr., Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Cecil Odom, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Sharon Roach, Tucker Roe, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Donna Slaughter, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Jessica Warner, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Marilyn Williams, Laura Young, & Melinda Zolzer

Assistants within the Sanctuary

  • 1/16-17
    • 4p     Lector K. Hicks; EMHC C. Henry & N. Maggio; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
    • 9a     Lector R. Cunningham; EMHC E. Bacon; Servers G. Fedelak, P. & M. Vienne
    • 11a     Lector G. Burke; EMHC C. Cook; Servers M. Leone, S. Maggio
  • 1/23-24
    • 4p     Lector K. Bundrick; EMHC R. & J. Lapeyrouse; Servers Thibodaux
    • 9a     Lector S. Frederick; EMHC B. Giering; Servers R. & R. Cunningham, M. McCart
    • 11a     Lector K. Apponey; EMHC J. Gill; Servers C. Fisher, Sam Maggio