Parish News

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

May Crowning • This Friday, May 6, is our annual St. Mary’s May Crowning procession. Students will begin to queue in the courthouse parking lot and will begin their procession to the Church about 8:30a. The procession will conclude with the crowning of Mary with flowers and with a public Mass. St. Mary’s families are asked to bring a flower or two for our Lady. All are welcome to witness this wonderful tradition and to join us for First Friday Mass!

First Friday Adoration Begins at Noon • Because of St. Mary’s May Crowning procession and Mass, First Friday Adoration will begin at noon, rather than 7a. Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament will take place at 5:15p as usual. All are encouraged to attend!

Interested in Becoming Catholic? • Are you or someone you know interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith or joining our Church? Our parish priests are happy to speak with you! Instruction is tailored to each individual faith background, schedule and experience level. Contact our parish office at the number below to arrange for a visit. Of course, there are no obligations of any sort. We’re looking forward to hearing from you! 

First Holy Communion • First Holy Communion for our little ones is this Sunday at 11am. Congratulations to our communicants and their parents. Special thanks to those who worked hard to prepare them through our St. Mary’s Religion program and our Parish CCD program, especiallyMrs. Susan Chesal, Victoria Close and Kathleen Hicks.

SMS May Events • May is a wonderful time at St. Mary’s. Some of the events to anticipate which are open to the public are:

  • May Crowning, Fri, May 6, 8:30a in the Church
  • Baccalaureate, Sun, May 8, 11a in the Church 
  • Senior Graduation, Mon, May 9, 7p in the Gym
  • Junior Ring Mass, Thu, May 12, 6p in the Church
  • 8th Grade Graduation, Tu, May 17, 6p in the Church
  • End of School Mass, Fri, May 20, 9a in the Gym

May also brings field days and class parties. Please pray for our seniors who are preparing to bring their time at St. Mary’s to an end as well as for our other students who will be advancing to higher grade levels. Please also remember in your prayers those students and families just beginning their time at St. Mary’s. Lord, grant them a fruitful and joyful community as well as a wholesome environment in which to grow as individuals, as people and as students!

Articles

From The Font

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”

The Latin word used for “dwelling” in our Gospel today is “Mansiones.” More than a simple dwelling, we get the sense that the Lord wants to make His presence with us a truly glorious building more akin to a gigantic mansion than simply a place to lay His head. We also get the sense that this is entirely different than the spiritual presence that God has within all of us. The word choice evokes the story of the Solomon’s temple. In the time of King David, the Ark of the Covenant - which was the presence of God on Earth - dwelt in a tent which was called a “tabernacle.” The tabernacle was cloth and was called “the Dwelling.” David told the Lord that He wanted to build a temple for him, but God spoke to David and told him to build a house for himself first. David obeyed. Later, David’s son Solomon was told to build the Lord’s Temple. That transition from tent to building, is described in words very similar to the Lord’s words in today’s Gospel. 

It’s import for us to remember that Jesus speaks these words to the disciples at the last supper. He has just given them all the Holy Eucharist for the very first time. He is explaining that God is going to dwell in them in an entirely new way and he starts using words like mansion that can’t be understood in an entirely spiritual way. After all, Jesus never described heaven as a purely spiritual place. 

The Gospel today really does call us to think of the dwelling that God wants to make in us as a physical dwelling. And so Jesus gives His disciples the Holy Eucharist, He tells them to “do this in memory of” Him and then He explains that God wants to dwell in them using entirely new language. 

Of course, the dwelling that God wants to make in us is sacramental! Jesus wants to come into our bodies in a physical and spiritual way when we receive Holy Communion. 

Of course, the early Christians believed this exactly. After all, St. Paul goes out of his way in His letter to the Corinthians to remind them not to receive Holy Communion unworthily. The reception of Holy Communion was an essential part of the practice of Christianity from the very beginning. This notion of the Lord’s indwelling was constantly repeated by the earliest bishops and fathers of the Church.

If, indeed, God wants to make not merely a dwelling, but a mansion of us, then we must make His presence - most perfectly experienced in the Holy Eucharist - the centerpiece of our lives and of our faith. After all, Jesus is the master builder who will mold and shape us into the mansions that He knows that we must become to be saints!

Insights from Second Street

The month of May is filled to overflowing with special events that call to mind the passage of time: the completion of school years, the celebration of accomplishments, the conclusion of sporting seasons, the ending of one chapter of life for our youth and the simultaneous beginning of new adventures. These moments aren’t just special to those directly experiencing them either, they serve as a reminder of similar times in each of our lives. From the little ones making their First Holy Communion to the seniors graduating high school to our college students preparing to begin careers in the real world, May is a time of transition, of reflection and of celebration. 

We don’t usually use religious terms to describe all the feelings and excitement of this season, but we could. We could call our experience and excitement a kind of sanctification of time. We understand at the most human level that the interaction of all of these moments is important! Each event is present before us and yet brings to mind memories of our own pasts and anticipation of the same experience for younger generations. We realize in moments like these that time is not just trudging forward. We realize that newness and spontaneity - which are the idols of our modern world - are not always preferable to the ritual of a graduation ceremony or the tradition of a First Communion photo taken on the same kneeler that mom used.

In moments like this, we begin to see why the Catholic Church does what she does in prescribingthe ritual of the Holy Mass (as opposed to a less structured mode of worship) and in establishing a liturgical calendar which repeats itself year after year. These traditions which seem so small and unimportant in our youth become powerful and profound as our own children walk down the aisle. And, just as we thought in our youth, they find the rituals tedious and would prefer to update them. In twenty years, though, they’ll fight to be sure that the old becomes new in just the way they remember it.

We shouldn’t write this off as meaningless nostalgia. It’s our human need for context and for feeling like we have a place in the big picture being expressed. We need to know that there’s something larger than our little slice of soil and our little moment of history. Sanctifying time opens the past up for our reflection and makes wisdom possible. Sanctifying time also encourages us to hope for the future and to practice the self-restraint which will bring that future about. 

Without this sense of context, we are treading water in the middle of the ocean, unable to see land and thus unable to grow or make real progress. When we take advantage of this time for reflection, though, God can work wonders in us and help us to see the world as it is, free from the pollution of self-centeredness and the idolatry of the new and improved.

Congratulations to those who are celebrating this year and to those who love them! Thank you for being a living embodiment of this human need of ours to reflect, to remember, to rejoice and to imagine. May your special day(s) be a source of great blessing now and throughout your lives! 

From Rome

By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church. As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. For in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother. By her belief and obedience, not knowing man but overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, as the new Eve she brought forth on earth the very Son of the Father, showing an undefiled faith, not in the word of the ancient serpent, but in that of God's messenger. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, namely the faithful, in whose birth and education she cooperates with a maternal love.

The Church indeed, contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By her preaching she brings forth to a new and immortal life the sons who are born to her in baptism, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God. She herself is a virgin, who keeps the faith given to her by her Spouse whole and entire. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps with virginal purity an entire faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity.

But while in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin. And so they turn their eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues. Piously meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse. For Mary, who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her exalted Type, and continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the will of God in all things. Hence the Church, in her apostolic work also, justly looks to her, who, conceived of the Holy Spirit, brought forth Christ, who was born of the Virgin that through the Church He may be born and may increase in the hearts of the faithful also.

— Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, On The Church 

Intentions & Dedications

Mass Intentions

  • Sat 4p Sadie & Red Thomas, Mary Moss, Irene Niette, Tracy McConathy, Gerald & Dora Jeannsonne
  • Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
  • Sun 9a Mary M. Young
  • Sun 11a Shirley Ragland, Mike Bouchie
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo
  • Mon 6:30a Tony Vartenian
  • Mon 8a Robbie Vercher
  • Tue 6:30a Deceased Members of Ray & Gwen Ponthieux Families
  • Wed 6:30a Butch Wiggins
  • Thu 6:30a Dr. Wilhelmena Wise
  • Fri 6:30a Florence Zulick
  • Sat 8a Col. & Mrs. Urban Beebe
  • Sat 4p Donna Doll, Jimmy Scott, Terry Scott, Jay Ingram, Harry Gongre, Jr.
  • Sat 5:30p Anne Giering
  • Sun 9a Buddy & Beck Masson
  • Sun 11a Shirley Ragland, Janis Abraham, Todd Roque, G.A. Beasley, Sadie & Red Thomas
  • Sun 5p Pro Populo

Our Sick & Recently Deceased

Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Gene Baudion, 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, Ruthie J. Wallboughly, Charlene White, Glen & Mary Williams, Laura Young & Melinda Zolzer