Our Special Collection this week is for Sick & Infirm Priests
Welcome Visitors! • We want to extend a special welcome to guests and visitors who are joining us this Easter at the Minor Basilica. During this year of Mercy, our Basilica Church has been established as a shrine for the Divine Mercy and an indulgenced Holy Door has been established. The tradition of the Holy Door goes back to the time of medieval pilgrims who journeyed to holy sites as an act of faith and repentance. On this Easter day, you can take advantage of the indulgenced door by making a good confession prior to receiving Holy Communion. Then simply take some time in prayer for our world and for our Pope. More information can be found on the blue cards entitled “Indulgences.”
A Special Word of Thanksgiving • Lent is always a somewhat hectic time for the Church and for priests. There are lots of extra activities taking place and as Holy Week approaches, those activities multiply. In addition to all this planning and pastoring, the priest is also trying to grow in holiness, keep his own penances and fasts and manage parish and school responsibilities. This Lent, with Fr. Stephen away in India, was a pretty tall order! I want to say a very special word of thanks to those who worked hard and helped pull everything together to make our Friday Stations, CCD, Holy Week events and “the other stuff” successful. Please know - from the bottom of my heart - that you are very appreciated and I pray that God would reward you in great, great abundance. Thank God for you all! — Fr Ryan
Divine Mercy Sunday • As a special shrine for the Year of Mercy, we at the Minor Basilica are pleased to welcome Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of the Diocese of Madison, WI to offer a special Mass in honor of the Divine Mercy on Sun, April 3 at 3:30p. The Mass will serve as our indulgenced celebration for the Year of Mercy will begin by processing through the Door of Mercy up to the altar. All are encouraged to attend! (Please note that there will be no 5p Mass that Day.)
First Friday & First Saturday • Easter Friday and Saturday, Apr 1 & 2 respectively, are First Friday and First Saturday. We will celebrate with our usual devotions. On First Friday, the Most Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the Altar of Sacrifice after the 7a morning Mass until benediction at 5:15p. On First Saturday, we will pray the Holy Rosary prior to the 8a Mass and adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament after Mass while offering the devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
SMS Easter Break • St. Mary’s school will take a Spring break after Easter from Mar 28 through Apr 1. School will resume onApr 4, which is a ‘B’ day. That week of Apr 4 is also an All School Mass week which means that students do not need to wear their Mass uniforms except on Friday, Apr 8.
A complete calendar of events can be found at minorbasilica.org/calendar
From The Font
“You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in the Canterbury Tales, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Put in Christ’s idiom, “a prophet is not welcome in his own place and among his own people.” The story of Jesus is “our” story. It is the story of our history. Everyone we meet knows the story whether they believe it or not. Just as Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare is universally known and almost as universally disregarded. Something so simple - so easy - could never really be true, right? After all, the truth should be complicated. We’re taught in school that the things that really matter must be left to experts. We “know” that anything which seems too good to be true, is a lie.
And the message of Jesus is far, far too good to be true. That God, who created the universe out of nothingness and then created each of our souls in particular, would choose to come among His people is too good to be true. That’s something like a man who built a giant lego village, all the while wanting to transform himself into a lego man and spend time with the creation that he has labored over for a long time and now has come to love. (That might make a good movie…) That the same God who wants to be among us because He loves us would choose to create an elaborate religion which can be practiced by anyone willing to be truly loved and to love in return and yet could intrigue the wisest men ever born is too good to be true. That this religion would, unexpectedly, fit in perfectly with our human nature, the world in which we live (on the grand and the microscopic scale) and even have answers to crazy problems created by generations upon generations that rejected His revelations is too good to be true. It’s crazy to think that the Big Bang Theory (the science, not the TV show) was written by a priest who was seeking to validate scientifically what the first verses of the Bible recorded thousands of years earlier.
In fact, it is far too good to be true and yet it is. It’s like the genuine love of a parent or the authentic kindness of strangers. It is undeserved, unearned and yet desired at our very depths.
This message is the message that went out to all the world. This message converted the entire world and inspired a generation of martyrs who feared neither Roman emperors nor pagan rulers nor entrenched religions nor human nature itself. This message has saved souls since the very beginning, and - where it is preached fearlessly - it continues to do so. Perhaps it was the English poet and journalist G.K. Chesterton who said it best, “The difficulty of explaining ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.”
Insights from Second Street
Some years ago, before I was a priest, I went to Easter Sunday Mass with my parents in a small town outside of Baton Rouge. For the sprinkling the Easter Water, the priest wanted to do something creative so he opted to use a full blooming rose to “sprinkle” the water. Sadly, he didn’t conduct much testing on this method of water distribution… So as he came to our pew, he dunked the rose into the water and then flung several cups of water straight onto my dad’s new, decidedly pink, shirt. The priest didn’t notice, but all the cajuns around us did. What can only be described as a group Catholic giggle ensued. People were doubling over by the time father got back to his chair…
The purpose of “sprinkling” water, like the purpose of lighting candles, burning incense, decorating the Church and wearing sacred vestments, is simply to draw that which is natural up into the supernatural.
Jesus did not come to preach a faith that is entirely spiritual. He came to establish a Church which would worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Jesus wanted the sick anointed with oil. He wanted baptism to involve water. He wanted the Jewish signs of vestments and incense and candles to speak to the whole human person - body and soul.
And ultimately, wouldn’t any religion which purports to worship a God who became flesh and dwelt among His people have to be a religion which is both spiritual and physical? Wouldn’t any religion whose Messiah came “not to abolish, but to fulfill” be expected to look a good bit like what it came to fulfill? If we can’t see the Jewish temple at Sunday Mass, then something is quite wrong. If Jesus insisted - even to losing quite a few disciples - that His flesh is true food and His blood is true drink, then wouldn’t a religion that believed that man to be God want to make that concrete in some specific way?
Of course, the answer to all these questions is a resounding “yes.” Christ didn’t come merely to offer a personal relationship. Elijah had a personal relationship with God. In fact, everyone of us does. God is our Father, like it or not… just like our earthly relationships - some are close, some are distant, but all are relationships. No, Jesus didn’t come to open the door slightly wider than it was already open. He came to build a Church in order that the Sacraments he established as visible signs of invisible realities could convey grace and provide an authoritative means of teaching the Gospel message. Anyone can read the Bible. No one on the face of the Earth can truly study the whole thing. There are just too many languages, details and nuances for any one human being to study in 70-80 short years. The Church, then, acts as a guardian of the “Deposit of Faith” which is the fruit of millions of followers of Jesus, each expert in some aspects of God’s revelation (from the Bible to the natural world). Together, this Tradition gives us the ability to understand the deeper meaning of Jesus words that most of us will only ever read in translation. The old fashioned way to say it is that the Church is mater et magistra - mother and teacher. And so the Church is for us the living Body of Christ on Earth - uniting in herself and in her sacraments the bodily worship and spiritual reality of Jesus, Her head.
Intentions & Dedications
For the week of March 27th
- Sat 8p Pro Populo
- Sun 9a Laura Jo Johnson, Elise James, Doris & Will Pierson
- Sun 11a Richard Ragland, Janis Abraham, Sadie & Red Thomas, Bernice Beaudoin, Richard Williamson, Sr.
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Tony Ruggiero
- Tue 6:30a John Boudreaux
- Wed 6:30a Marc Boudreaux
- Thu 6:30a Beau Boudreaux
- Fri 6:30a Reggie Coco
- Sat 8a Most Rev. Michael Jarrell
- Sat 4p Bob Methvin, Frances Dexendorf, Calvert Scott
- Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
- Sun 9a Latif Ackel, Martha LaCaze, Leola Walmsley
- Sun 11a Shirley Ragland
- Sun 3:30p Pro Populo
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Gene Baudion, 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, John & Esther Dobernig, Jayce Estep, Angela Eversall, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Andy Harrington, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Jean Jordan, Isabelita & Michael Kearney,Gary Kilgore, Angelette LaCour, John LaCour, Samuel Lane, Jaden Eli Lodridge, Patricia Loftin, Joseph Longo, Irene Lynche, Brittany MacBrown, Lisa Mack, Dominic Majorie, Danny Manuel, Meg Michael, Lacey Mitchum, Gary Murphy, Shane Niette, Cecil Odom, Mary Odom, Sue Prudhomme, Sharon Roach, Tucker Roe, Wes Rollo, Makaehan Ross, Shirley Roy, Krista Sklar, Donna Slaughter, Meredith St. Andre, Lil Taylor, Clay Thompson, Mariano Timotio, Ren Todtenbier, Brent Trichel, Patricia Vazquez, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Laura Young & Melinda Zolzer
Within the Sanctuary
- Sat & Sun 3/26-27
- 8p Lector E. Bacon, K. Hicks; EMHCs ; Servers Thibodaux, D. Bennett
- 9a Lector J. Cunningham; EMHC J. Green; Servers J. Miley, P. & M. Vienne
- 11a Lector J. Williams; EMHC J. Sklar; Servers M. Leone, Sc. Maggio
- Sat & Sun 4/2-3
- 4p Lector L. Johnson; EMHCs N. Maggio, M. Hennigan; Servers D. Bennett, J. Friedel
- 9a Lector S. Taylor; EMHC A. Barrios; Servers Lirette
- 11a Lector E. Bacon; EMHC J. Gill; Servers W. Lee, C. Fisher