From the Pastor – September 21, 2014

“Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?  Take what is yours and go.  What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?  Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?  Are you envious because I am generous?  ‘Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.’” (Mt. 20:13-16a)

A number of years ago, one of my closest friends and I were on a retreat at Manresa.  Although it was a silent retreat, several of my buddies and I used to sneak out to the levee late on the last evening of the retreat as kind of “debriefing.” I remember looking up at the starry sky and my friend saying: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘simple faith,’ like a farmer.   You just got up in the morning, did the farm work, went back into the house in the evening and prayed for good weather.”  It was just a little question, but I reflect on it every now and then.

Our lives are terribly complicated.  With all of the “new media,” we are inundated with information that causes reactions in us.  We worry about the news of wars, disease and the economy.  We are scared of terrorism.  We are shocked by violent acts and natural disasters.  And sometimes we are amused by funny messages we receive.  But all of those are really distractions from the “right here” and “right now.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is faced with some workers who are worried about their lives.  They’ve worked all day for the daily wage, but they think they should be paid more because they’ve worked longer than the others who received the daily wage.  They think more money will give them a little more security and allow them to live better lives.  The truth is, they are trying to complicate their lives.  Instead of being grateful for the gifts of God, they are anxious about their situation and they want more!

It sounds like us sometimes.  Instead of being grateful for what we have, we want more.  We want a better house, a nicer car, a newer phone.  And even if we have all we want, we want more money so we can have security for ourselves. I’m not immune from that!  I get it.

Maybe we all need to yearn a little more (and work a little more) for a “simple faith.”  Maybe we need to realize how much we actually have.  We live in the greatest city in the greatest country in the world.  We have a beautiful house of worship filled with people who are always willing to help us in our need. Getting more and more involved in our parish helps us to see how God works in all of our lives.  And helping in parish ministry allows us to be around more people from whom we can learn more and more about having a “simple faith.”


(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

Read more posts From the Pastor

Prayer Ministry

The Problem with Islam

by (Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty

Please don’t think that I’m trying to become the victim of a fatwa by the provocative title to this article.  But there is a problem with Islam.  All around the world, followers of Islam are engaging in terrible acts of brutality and violence in the name of their religion.  At the same time, there has been condemnation by some more “moderate” Muslims.  Why?

A number of years ago, I was visiting one of my sisters, and she invited a friend of hers to dinner with us – a devout Muslim.  In the midst of dinner, he began to challenge me on Christianity and it’s core belief:  The Holy Trinity.  He argued that God is one, to which I agreed; but he denied that God could be “three in one” as we profess in the Nicene Creed.  It’s hard preaching on Trinity Sunday to a church full of practicing Catholics, but that’s child’s play compared to explaining the “mystery” of the Holy Trinity to a Muslim who denies the Divinity of Jesus Christ.  After some fruitless conversation (basically a Bible versus Koran fundamentalist argument), I asked him a series of questions.  “Do you believe that God is all powerful?  Do you believe that God is all knowing?  Do you believe that God created everything that we can see and everything that we can’t see?  Do you believe that God can do whatever God wants?”  After acknowledging all of these questions in the affirmative, I asked one last question: “If God wanted to, could He become a man and walk on the earth?”  There was no other answer that he could give.  He had to say “yes.”  And I replied, “That’s the difference between our religions.  We believe that He did.” [Read More...]

Notre Dame Seminary Gala & Auction

The Notre Dame Seminary Gala & Auction will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at the Seminary. Gala guests will meet the seminarians and experience the history and culture of seminary life while enjoying a great evening of food, music and fellowship. Silent and Live Auctions. Black tie optional. All proceeds will benefit Notre Dame Seminary.

For ticket/sponsorship information, please contact the NDS Development Office at (504) 866- 7426, ext. 374, ylacour@nds.edu or by visiting our website at www.nds.edu.

Blesses Francis Xavier Seelos Memorial Mass

The Seelos Shrine will be welcoming the Most Reverend Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R., Superior General, Redemptorists from Rome, Italy as the next presider of the Seelos Memorial Mass on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Go to www.seelos.org for more information.

The Sorrowful Mother September 15

In recent weeks, the Church has celebrated three feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary: the Assumption, the Queenship and the Nativity. This week, we recall Our Sorrowful Mother, also known as Mater Dolorosa in Latin. The notion of Mary as the “sorrowful Mother,” has its origin in the Biblical prophecy of Simeon at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, where he states to Mary: “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:34-35).

Over the centuries, the Church has recognized popular devotion to seven sorrows of Mary: (1) the Prophecy of Simeon over the Infant Jesus (Lk 2:34); (2) the Flight into Egypt of the Holy Family (Mt 2:13); (3) the Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days (Lk 2:43); (4) the Meeting of Jesus and Mary along the Way of the Cross (Lk 23:26); (5) the Crucifixion, where Mary stands at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:25); (6) the Descent from the Cross, where Mary receives the dead body of Jesus in her arms (Mt 27:57); and (7) the Burial of Jesus. (John 19:40). Numerous devotions, and even religious orders, have arisen around meditation on the Seven Sorrows.

Our Lady of Sorrows has been the subject of some key works of Marian art. In iconography, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows is at times represented as the Virgin Mary wounded by seven swords in her heart, a reference to the prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation. In other depictions, the expression of the Virgin is one of sadness.

The first known altar to Mater Dolorosa was made in 1221 at the monastery of Schönau in southern Germany. In many countries, parishioners traditionally carry statues of Our Lady of Sorrows in processions on the days leading to Good Friday.

The liturgical feast of the Our Lady of Sorrows originated in 1413, and Vatican approval for the celebration of a feast in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows was first granted to the Servite order in 1667. Pope Pius VII extended the celebration to the whole of the Latin Church in 1814, and Pope St. Pius X established the feast on September 15, the day after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. The sequence known as Stabat Mater is sung at Mass on that day.

Parish Ministry to the Poor at the Rebuild Center

August 21, 2014

Be advised that we had a great day today. We planned to feed 200 people and cooked enough food too do that. However today we had 212 guests at the Rebuild Center.

Thanks to our cook team which consisted of the following: Mary Ann Bohlke, Becky Brocato, Dana D’Anzi, Dorothy Forly, Hunter Harris, and Daniel LeBlanc.

Then today, Thursday we had a great group to help serve the guest which were: Dana D’Anzi, Dorothy Forly, Marjorie Frederic, Joyce Griener, Hunter Harris, Alice Lastrapes, and Daniel LeBlanc.

Our Thursday team came in and cut items for the green salad and bread to be served with the baby lima beans and sausage that had been cooked on Wednesday. The meal we prepared fed 202 guests and the last 12 were served a sandwich, Oh!  They also got an ice cream because they did not get a hot meal!

Dan LeBlanc

A Retreat for Married Couples and Their Children (7 – 18 yrs)

“A family that prays together…”

A Family That Prays is a powerful weekend designed to enrich marriages, faith & family. Spouses will grow closer in their sacrament while their children will explore a deeper understanding & encounter with God. The retreat culminates on Sunday when families are brought back together for a memorable family experience led by Archbishop Hughes! The retreat is held at the St. Joseph Abbey in Covington and it begins on Saturday, November 1st at 8:30am and ends after lunch on Sunday. Space is limited.

If you would like to register or more information, call Jason Angelette at (504) 830-3716 or visit www.faithandmarriage.org.

Archdiocesan Natural Family Planning Classes

With professional instruction, Natural Family Planning has proven itself to be safe, effective, and a moral way for couples to plan their families which respects the meaning of human sexuality as God created it and thus marital love is enhanced and strengthened.

Come join the class series that Family Life Apostolate is offering in the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning conducted by Patrycja Black and Gayle Rizzo of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The dates of the class series are August 23, September 6, September 20 and October 25, 2014 at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Slidell.  Preregistration is required and the cost is $100.00.  For more information and registration please call: Family Life Apostolate (504) 861-6243.

Priest Convention & Daily Masses

Next week is the annual Archdiocese of New Orleans Priest ConventionFr. Doug and Msgr. Nalty will be unavailable from September 23-25.  Please contact the parish office for emergencies.  Mass will continue at St. Henry Church at 6:30am all week, and the 6:00pm Mass at St. Stephen’s will be celebrated by Fr. Menard because Fr. Chambers is out of town due to the death of his brother, John.   Please keep the Chambers family in your prayers during their time of loss.

Second Harvest Helpline

The Second Harvest Helpline is a toll-free number that assists community members with public assistance applications (SNAP, CCAP, Kinship Care, FITAP, and Child Support), emergency food assistance, and referrals for specialized services and programs. Those in need of services can call 1-855-392-9398 for assistance. Second Harvest Community Advocates are availableMonday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and can assist English and Spanish-speaking clients over the phone or schedule a meeting in-person.

The Holy Name of Mary

September 12, 2014

By St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Richard of St. Laurence states “there is not such powerful help in any name, nor is there any other name given to men, after that of Jesus, from which so much salvation is poured forth upon men as from the name of Mary.” He continues, “that the devout invocation of this sweet and holy name leads to the acquisition of superabundant graces in this life, and a very high degree of glory in the next.”  After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in heaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness.

Hence Richard of St. Laurence encourages sinners to have recourse to this great name, “because it alone will suffice to cure them of all their evils;” and “there is no disorder, however malignant, that does not immediately yield to the power of the name of Mary.” The Blessed Raymond Jordano says, “that however hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced that heart will be wonderfully softened.” Moreover, it is well known, and is daily experienced by the clients of Mary, that her powerful name gives the particular strength necessary to overcome temptations against purity.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions

September 2014

Mentally disabled:  “That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.”

Service to the poor:  “That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.”

Please pray for the intentions of the Holy Father!

Annulment Writing Workshop

Family Life Apostolate will offer a writing workshop for persons seeking an annulment in the Catholic Church or for persons responding to an annulment. The workshops will be held at the Administration Building for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, 7887 Walmsley Avenue in New Orleans. The series will be for five (5) Tuesdays, September 6, 13, 20, 27 and October 4, 2011.  The materials for the series cost $20.00. To register or for more information, call Family Life Apostolate, (504) 861-6243.

A Call to Help the Homeless in Our Community

When we think of people who are homeless, we often think of an image of someone standing on a street corner with a sign asking for money or people living in a tent or on a mattress under an overpass.  Sometimes we have further thoughts of what happens to these people, how did they get where they are, and who takes care of them.  These folks are the forgotten souls living in our Catholic community.  Most of the homeless are struggling with an addiction or mental illness that has overtaken their lives, and are unable to get back on their feet.

In our Catholic community, Ozanam Inn provides daily shelter for approximately 120 men who are homeless.  Many of these men are graduates of our Catholic schools but have lost their way.  Some are victims of abusive family environments, others are war veterans, and still others are former skilled workers or professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, or engineers.  The purpose of the Ozanam Inn is to provide these men with a place to stay, provide clean clothes, and give them an opportunity to get off the street.  [Read More...]

A “Trending” Message from Archbishop Aymond

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge There has been quite a stir regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

We have received questions on this project. Many people do not realize that some of the research is done with embryonic stem cells, which is against our Pro-Life stance. However, it is possible to contribute to research that is morally acceptable. Please specify in your donations how your gift should be used. For example, the Steve Gleason Fund provides research that does not use embryonic stem cells.

We have many people in the Archdiocese of New Orleans who suffer from ALS, including Fr. Ray Fitzgerald, S.J. and former Saints player, Steve Gleason.

Please join me in prayer for all those who suffer from this disease and for their families.

It is possible to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge and to do so in a way that is morally acceptable.

Seeker’s Young Adult Retreat

SEEKERS’ YOUNG ADULT RETREAT

ATTENTION YOUNG ADULTS: Mark your calendars for the Seekers’ Young Adult Retreat on Saturday, October 4, 2014! This retreat is specifically for young men and women in their 20s and 30s. The day will be spent focusing on where God has been in your past, where God is currently present, and where God is calling you now. Sponsored by the Archdiocesan Young Adult Ministry Office, the retreat will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Parish (105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie) from 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. Registration is available online through www.charisministries.org . The cost is $25/person if you register alone or $20/person if you register with a friend. Contact Chelsea Colomb at ccolomb@arch-no.org or 504-227-3229 for more information. Flyer attached.

Home Middle #3 Widget

This is a widgeted area which is called Home Middle #3. It is using the Genesis - Featured Page widget to display what you see on the Metric child theme demo site. To get started, log into your WordPress dashboard, and then go to the Appearance > Widgets screen. There you can drag the Genesis - Featured Page widget into the Home Middle #3 widget area on the right hand side. To get the image to display, simply upload an image through the media uploader on the edit post screen and publish your page. The Featured Page widget will know to display the post image as long as you select that option in the widget interface.