An Apology

My apologies to those who haven't been getting emailed versions of the bulletin for several weeks. A few technical problems all lined up together and created some havoc. The problems are fixed now and you should receive bulletins as usual from now on. Thanks for understanding! -- Fr. Ryan

Our Special Collection this week is for St. Mary's School

Parish News

Holy Week • Next Week is Holy Week. The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place in the Church at 7pm on Holy Thursday with optional Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight. The Outdoor Way of the Cross will begin on the lawn of the rectory at 10am on Good Friday, refreshments to follow. The Veneration of the Cross will begin in the Church at 3p on Good Friday. The Paschal Vigil will begin at 8pm on Holy Saturday. There will be no 4p Vigil or 5:30p Mass at St. Mary’s.

SMS Easter Break • St. Mary’s students will not have classes from Good Friday, March 25 until Monday, April 4 which will be a “B” day. That week will be an All-school Mass week and so there will be no classes Masses on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The following week, April 11 - 15, is ACT Aspire testing and so there will no class Masses that week either. Students will not need Mass day attire that week.

Wednesday is the final Spring CCD Class • This Wednesday, March 23, is our last CCD class of the Spring. Students - especially Sacramental students - are expected to attend. There will not be an accompanying Wednesday Night Adult Catechism class this week because of Holy Week. Special thanks to our volunteer teachers and to Mrs. Susan Chesal, interim DRE!

Palm Folding

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


Articles

From The Font

“Jesus proceeded on his journey…”

The metaphor of journey is as essential to Christianity as it is Judaism. Adam and Eve are originally situated in a perfect place. But the moment that they sin, then and only then, are they directed to get a move on. And move they do. From Noah to Abraham to Moses to Elijah, every major story of the Old Testament is a physical or metaphorical journey. Noah builds his ark. Abraham is told to leave his ancestral grazing ground - his people were nomadic wanderers. The Jews briefly settle in Egypt only to be enslaved. The cost of their freedom is a return to the journey under the direction of Moses. Once they arrive in the promised land, there are constant scriptural references to prophets and judges who represent the people in relationship to God the Father traveling here and there to address problems. Once the Babylonians and, then, the Romans return, the journey metaphor returns from slavery to liberation upon he arrival of a Messiah.

Jesus has no home and claims no place to lay His head. His disciples, too, are journeymen. Only with the founding of the particular Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome does the wandering pilgrimage settle down. Even now, though, each of us is on a journey from son or daughter of Adam to son or daughter of Christ. We are being transformed - or we hope we are - by our nearness to the Lord.

All the great spiritual masters make use of the journey metaphor at some point. And the metaphor is potent!

As the aphorism goes, “don’t go with the flow - dead bodies go with the flow; it takes a strong, living body to swim upstream.” Countless football coaches have stumbled onto the same wisdom when they have reminded players that no one ever really stands still. When the clock is ticking, you’re either moving forward or you’re moving backward. 

The human journey is a religious one to be sure. We are always trying to give ourselves to the Lord and before you can give something, you have to posses it. The human journey isn’t only religious, though. We are also on a journey of self-discovery, of fulfillment, of loving others, of service and of growing in wisdom. Everything from skill with a musical instrument to the willingness to listen rather than talk grows with practice and age. The metaphor of the journey is incredibly helpful because the metaphor is one that we can all relate to. No journey is perfectly smooth. No journey follows the plan or the map 100%. Every journey will require something we didn’t expect and teach us something we didn’t anticipate. So it is with Christ’s journey - at least from the point of view of His followers - and so it is with each of us. We are all on a journey - let us hope that one day it links up with Christ’s.

Insights from Second Street

I’m not really equipped to review movies. I don’t see many films and those I see aren’t generally in themainstream. I do try each year to rematch the Passion of the Christ. Some years that’s tough to do. I also try to watch Quo Vadis and even Ben Hur. This year, I had the opportunity to see a new movie in theaters called Risen. The film stars Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, a roman military leader instructed by Pilate to deal with the whole Jesus situation. 

The film begins as Jesus is already on the cross. I’m not giving anything away to say that Clavius is there to witness Christ’s death. From there, the Jewish leaders charge Pilate to seal the tomb so that the Apostles won’t be able to steal the Lord’s body and make a bigger mess of the whole situation. Well, the Lord does rise and the predicted mess ensues. The story, then, follows the investigations of this soldier as he interacts with the followers of Jesus and, ultimately, Jesus Himself. I won’t give any more of the story away and what I’ve said will be, in no way, a detriment to the viewing experience. 

The film is truly astounding. The setting and the scene are incredibly accurate, perhaps even more so than The Passion of the Christ. The film includes some violence, but remarkably little and only what is really necessary to set the scene. The music and dialogue seem incredibly organic and real to history. Only one or two minor details differ from the scriptural account of the time between our Lord’s death and His resurrection. The acting is quite good and the personalities brought to life - especiallyfor Peter and Mary Magdalene are genuine and engrossing. 

Personally, I don’t generally like religious films. I find most of them to be too saccharine and cautious to bring any reality to the story. The times in which Jesus lived were harsh and trying and scholars are fairly certain that Jesus didn’t travel with a hair and makeup staff. At the same time, films that go out of their way to be gritty or even risqué fail to reach any kind of spiritual note in the viewer. Even The Passion of the Christ often fails to move the heart because the stomach is turned. Risen, though, strikes the right chords. The film is honest, but not arrogant. It’s authentic but doesn’t revel in that realism. 

Perhaps most importantly, the film brings to life a part of the scriptures that are almost always overlooked. As modern Catholics, Lent gets a great deal of attention. We pray the stations. We fast and do penance. We are focused for Lent! But all too often, Easter is less about the Resurrection and more about “Thank God I can drink Dr. Pepper again!”

Risen looks at the incredibly important moments where the Church is really born. From the tomb to the ascension, those forty days are perhaps the least popularly considered and preached upon days of the Church year. Most of us - priests included - are just spiritually exhausted. 

This year, whether you see the film or not (and you should!), we would all do well to keep a little spiritual energy set aside for Easter. Consider the stone rolled away. Consider the appearances (and disappearances) of Jesus. Consider the state of mind of the Apostles. Consider those who saw Him die and saw Him live.

Bishop Sheen

Having delivered His farewell address from the pulpit of the Cross and finished the work of His Eternal Father, Jesus bows His head and dies. To make certain of His death, a centurion, Longinus by name, pierces His heart with a lance and the Divine Master, who saved up a few drops of His Precious Blood, now pours them out to prove that His love is stronger than death.

Two men who lacked courage to declare their affiliations while He was living, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, brought perfumes and spices and embalmed the body of Jesus. It was first laid on Mary’s lap, and it seemed to her that Bethlehem had come back again — but really it had not. Between Bethlehem and Calvary our sins had intervened. The body was lifeless. Jesus was dead.

His enemies remembered that He had said that He would rise again, but they were certain He would not. They were afraid that the Apostles would come and steal away the body and then say He had risen. Guarding against such deceit, they went to Pilate, asking him to set a watch of soldiers about the tomb for three days in addition to which they would attach their own official seal to the stone before the entrance. Pilate acceded to their request. In the words with which the Evangelist Matthew closed his Gospel, the most ironic sentence in literature: “And they departing made the sepulchre [sic.] sure.” The seal was placed on the sepulcher and a great stone rolled in front of the door. They took every precaution against fraud, but could take none against Divinity. As they made their way down Calvary’s hill, such thoughts as these ran through their minds: “Now his fisherman can go back to their nets and their boats; their kingdom is a mockery. As for their master, his heart was so pierced that blood and water came from it. Even though he had a breath of life left in that bloodless body, it is now being suffocated by the hundredweight of spices with which he was embalmed. Our vigilance and that of the soldiers will not permit any one to steal away the body. He who said he had life in abundance is now dead; he who said he could summon twelve legions of angels to his assistance now is cold as death; he who said he could raise up a child of Abraham from a stone is now buried under stone. The imposter is dead! How wonderfully effective is a Roman death! Nothing can survive a crucifixion! He will never rise again!”

Is that true? Can one rise from the dead? Does not the very fact that He was born in a stranger’s cave and buried in a stranger’s grave prove that human “birth and death are equally foreign to Him? Look about at nature. Is not the springtime the Easter Day of the Good Friday of winter? Has not all death within itself the germs of life? Does not the “falling rain bud the greenery”? Does not the falling acorn bud the tree? Why should all creation rise from the dead and not the Redeemer of creation?

— Bishop Fulton Sheen, “The Divine Romance,” April 13, 1939


Intentions & Dedications

Mass Intentions

For Holy Week 2016

  • Sat 4p Donna Basche, Frances Dexendorf, Bostick & Maricelli Families
  • Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
  • Sun 9a Joseph W. Rachal
  • Sun 11a Richard & Shirley Ragland, James Litton, Mike Bouchie, Gladys McFerren
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a Patricia Connor
  • Mon 8a Ross Gwinn
  • Tue 6:30a Mona Bertrand
  • Wed 6:30a Shirley Ragland
  • Thu 7p Pro Populo
  • Fri 3p The Veneration of the Holy Cross (Not a Mass, so no Mass intention)
  • Sat 8p Pro Populo
  • Sun 9a Laura Jo Johnson, Elise James, Doris & Will Pierson
  • Sun 11a Richard Ragland, Janis Abraham, Sadie & Red Thomas, Bernice Beaudion, Richard Williamson, Sr.
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo

Our Sick & Recently Deceased

Mrs. Ann Lee Alford, RIP

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 3/19-20
    • 4p     Lector K. Bundrick; EMHCs R. & J. Lapeyrouse; Servers Thibodaux
    • 9a     Lector R. Cunningham; EMHC B. Giering; Servers R. & R. Cunningham
    • 11a     Lector G. Burke; EMHC C. Cook; Servers A. & J. Parker
  • 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