A complete calendar of events can be found at minorbasilica.org/calendar
Transition Update • The formal transition of pastors will take place on Wednesday, June 29. Fr. Ryan will offer the morning Mass on that Indulgenced Feast Day of Ss. Peter & Paul and then depart for his new assignment at St. Edward the Confessor Church. Fr. Blake Deshautelle and Fr. Brian Seiler will arrive on that day to begin their ministry as Pastor and Associate Pastor respectively.
At that time, the current emergency contact number - which is Fr. Ryan’s mobile phone - will no longer be useful. (Those wishing to keep in touch with Fr. Ryan are welcome to call, text or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wishing to keep in touch with Fr. Stephen may do by contacting Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Winfield at 318-628-2561.)
Because of the inherent busyness of transition, the usual 6p Mass for the Indulgenced feast day has been cancelled.
Due to summer office hours, planned vacations and the work of packing and moving, those wishing to make private appointments with Fr. Ryan or Fr. Stephen should do so prior to June 23. Emergency appointments will still be available, but by that time, any concerns about the parish, school or one’s personal spiritual life would better be addressed to the incoming priests.
As a way of saying farewell, Fr. Stephen will offer all the parish Masses on the weekend of June 18/19 and Fr. Ryan will offer all the parish Masses on the weekend of June 25/26.
Any new information relevant to the transition will be published in the bulletin.
Farewell Reception for Father Ryan • An open-house style farewell reception for Fr. Ryan will be held in the parish hall on the afternoon of Sunday, June 26 from 12p to 2p. Light appetizers will be served. All are encouraged to drop by and say farewell to Fr. Ryan.
TLMN This Sunday • This Sunday following the 5p Latin Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass Society of Natchitoches will host their monthly supper and meeting. All are welcome to attend - covered dishes and\or libations are very welcome but not required. Food may be dropped off in the hall prior to Mass.
Steubenville South • Please take a moment to pray this week for our teenagers who are attending the Steubenville South youth conference in Alexandria. The conference, which has been hosted by the diocese since 1996 has been a source of great spiritual renewal in the lives of many young people. St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Pray for them!
Sheriff’s Dept. Mass • At the request of Sheriff Victor Jones, Mass will be offered on Thursday, June 23 at 9a for the NPSD. Both new and old deputies and officers will be remembered in prayer on this day. All are welcomed to attend and encouraged to pray for all our Law Enforcement Officers!
From The Font
[Jesus] said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
The scriptures operate on many levels. Some of these levels lead us to deep spiritual truths and some can be used to lead us into error as the serpent in the desert tried to do with Jesus.
Our Gospel today is one of those scriptures which is easily misunderstood. It’s possible to read this scripture and think “Jesus created us and said that we are good and so now our job is to save ourselves by faith in Him, but also by faith in ourselves…” Well, that’s not right. It’s also possible to think “As long as I believe in Jesus, I’m going to heaven and I don’t need to worry about anything or any teaching or any other belief because I have faith and faith is enough.” Also, very, very wrong.
On the contrary, Jesus, here, is speaking about the faith that the woman has manifested in her actions. The woman is crying tears of repentance and is giving everything that she has: bodily tears, emotional repentance, financial penance and cultural symbols like washing His feet. Upon seeing all this, Jesus tells her that her sins have been forgiven not just because she made a show of her sorrow… Rather, it’s because she believed Jesus could forgive her sins and she went to Him with all she could. It is what she believed, not just that she believed.
Belief is a simple choice. We can choose to believe what we want to believe. We may be helped out by facts or anecdotes or the opinions of our friends, but belief is a choice. I can believe that so-and-so will be elected president. I can believe in the devil. I can believe in manmade climate change or Darwinian evolution. None of these things is provable according to the scientific method. They may or may not be supported by limited evidence, but that’s neither here nor there. Simply believing in Jesus isn’t enough.
Faith is trust - not just belief! The woman comes to Jesus with belief that is backed up by her tears, her vase of perfumed oil and by her kisses upon His Holy feet. And it is in light of the outward manifestation and the inward faith that Jesus says to her that she is saved.
The other detail that is easily lost in talk of faith is the fact that the faith, itself, begins as a gift from the Holy Spirit. The woman does not have this faith just because of her creation. Faith is not inherent to us as human beings. The need for God is built into us, but the initial gift of faith comes from the Holy Spirit acting within. It is, then, the Holy Spirit which fills the woman with faith and saves her. Her response to that faith with tears and kisses and gifts is merely her acceptance of the salvation which is offered to her in repentance and the acts of faith which she performs.
We should always take care to look to the Church when we come across a challenging scripture, lest we be led astray and find ourselves reading what we want to see rather than what Jesus teaches.
Insights from Second Street
The spiritual masters of the Church have always spoken of three main divisions of the Christian life which must be kept in careful balance: prayer, work and leisure. From St. Benedict to Pope St. John Paul, the role of each has been spoken of as essential.
Surely, the quantity and quality of each changes with the individual’s vocation, age and spiritual depth. A monk’s prayer time will look very different from the prayer time of a single mother. So will the prayer time of a widow or widower who has more free time than they would have twenty years ago. In the same way, the daily work of a priest looks different than the work of a teenager or the parent of several children.
Beyond prayer and work, though is the oft forgotten third of the spiritual life, leisure, which is all too often - in a more destructive way than we realize - replaced by entertainment. Leisure is that aspect of life where our minds are free to wander and to wonder. It’s that hobby that takes away stress and gives us time to dwell in memories and fantasies and daydreams. It’s that visit with a friend which allows us to open up and be peaceful and genuinely relaxed. It’s that time when we are most human and truly ourselves.
What leisure is not is a Disney vacation or a stressful supper party or a fiercely competitive hobby. When we say to ourselves “I need a vacation from this vacation,” we are not at leisure. Neither is leisure zoning out in front of the TV or staring at a phone or tablet. Leisure isn’t merely the absence of busyness - just as peace isn’t merely the absence of war. Rather, leisure is that time which recharges us - body and mind.
That looks different for different people. A more extroverted person may find a recharge at a public festival and may be best able to reflect on life by telling stories among friends and may prefer a hobby with lots of interaction. A more introverted person may recharge by reading a book while wearing pajamas and may prefer to tinker in the garden or woodshop.
The essential aspect of leisure is that the mind needs to be able to wander around without laser focus and without a schedule to follow; because these moments of wandering allow the Holy Spirit to take the lead. It’s in these moments of leisure that we sense an unexpected desire to go on a pilgrimage or a mission. It’s in these moments that an old memory arises which inspires us to repent of an old sin or to seek forgiveness from an old acquaintance. It this wandering where we finally figure out why St. So-and-so did what she did and why Jesus said what He said in that passage from Scripture. It’s during leisure that we are prone to humbling realizations, appreciation of blessings, forgiving others and letting go of grievances.
None of that can happen, though, while we’re being entertained. YouTube and Netflix leave us little time to think about anything. Facebook and Snapchat aren’t any better. The new dark and depressing TV shows or the vicious news channels aren’t the place for leisure.
During this summer, perhaps we will find some time to listen to the advice of the spiritual masters and reincorporate leisure - and not just entertainment - into our lives. The balance it provides may just well be what our spiritual lives need to blossom!
From Fr. Stephen
As a missionary priest, of Saint Francis De Sales, in India, I dreamed of one day working in the United States. I began my parochial work in India and worked throughout the country. Later, I was assigned to Mozambique, Africa, where I was pastor of a church community with a hospital, orphanage, kindergarten and an outreach program for the sick. My work both in India and in Mozambique provided me with wonderful and unexpected experiences. In 2011, my dream was fulfilled. When I came to the United States. I appreciated seeing the good roads, the green grass maintained on the sides of the road, and the lovely gardens that the people kept around their homes. I was assigned to Sacred Heart Church, as parochial vicar, in Pineville, Louisiana. I was busy attending to many church duties and adjusting to a new lifestyle. During the Christmas season, I heard about the “City of Lights.” Finally, I visited the city one night with a friend and understood why Natchitoches was called by that name. However, I was not able to see the churches.
In 2014, I was appointed to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as parochial vicar and I became part of this city. The city is beautiful at Christmas, but the downtown historical area is always changing to reflect a new colorful season. I have met so many lovely people in the city and thank them for accepting me as a friend and working with me. I will miss working with Fr. Ryan, our Pastor. He is a young dynamic, intelligent, hardworking and holy priest. Susan has been a joy to work with and Alice and Dennis were always ready to help me.
It has been a pleasure serving the people of our parish. It was a great joy to have baptized some of the children of our church family. I was blessed to have been able to visit the sick in our community and to celebrate Holy Mass at the nursing homes and also at the detention center. Whenever I celebrated the 6:30 am, Holy Mass at the Basilica, I was reminded that as an altar boy in India, I always served at 6:30 am Holy Mass. I enjoyed going to St. Mary’s football and basketball games . It was gratifying to see parents and teachers attending the games. It was a pleasure attending the Knight of Columbus gatherings. I thank the different associations and members of the church community that helped me and the missions and orphanages in Mozambique, Africa. I thank the individuals who have made it possible for a few Indian children to receive a good education. I thank Elaine who was always very kind to me and worked diligently preparing for the Holy Masses at the nursing homes. I thank Beatrice, my friend and Spanish teacher. I will miss all of you who have added so much to my life. I will keep you in my prayers. But I am not going very far, so come and visit me at Winfield. God bless all of you.
Intentions & Dedications
- Sat 4p Joe, Hazel, & Sharon Sampite, Calvert Scott, Luther & Rae Laborde
- Sat 5:30p Justin Wyatt
- Sun 9a Virginia Bruce
- Sun 11a Mike Bouchie, Raymond Arthur, Lesley Bailey-Gates, Chad C. Burch
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
- Mon 6:30a Allen Dawson
- Tue 6:30a George Mallet, Jr.
- Wed 6:30a Mrs. Faye Fruit
- Thu 6:30a Dr. George Hay
- Fri 6:30a Gloria Johnston
- Sat 8a Dc. Jay Bergeron
- Sat 4p Richard Ragland, Sadie & Red Thomas, Judy Risty
- Sat 5:30p Lillian Giering
- Sun 9a Laura Jo Johnson
- Sun 11a Richard Ragland, Judy Risty, Sue Dearman, Julien Vienne, Nathan Ezernack, Denise Poleman
- Sun 5p Pro Populo
Our Sick & Recently Deceased
Lolette Allen, Teresa Arafa, Maudie Baranowski, William Lynn Basco, Gene Baudion, Chad Bouchie, Jimmy Bowen, 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, Theo Ezernack, Reba Friday, Paula Gagymad, Kramer Gahagan, Vicki Gahagan, Patsy Gallion, Maddie Gardner, Anne Giering, Sophie Gill, Andy Harrington, Deborah G. Hernandez, Sue Van Hook, Kalita Jones, Jean Jordan, Isabelita & Michael Kearney,Gary Kilgore, Mary LaCaze, 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,Tom Shea, 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