From the Pastor – November 16, 2014

Blessed are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. (Psalm 128:1-2)

What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?  Fear seems to be something negative.  We associate it with threats and negative consequences.   So what does the Psalmist mean today when he says that those who “fear the Lord” are blessed?

Perhaps surprisingly, “fear of the Lord” is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, along with Wisdom Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge and Piety. Fear of the Lord is more closely related to “awe,” and allows us to be aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by St. Thomas Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a “filial fear,” like a child’s fear of offending his father, rather than a “servile fear,” that is, a fear of punishment.

Fear of the Lord is rooted in our desire for unity with God. Love seeks union. Sin disrupts the unity of love. We thus come to fear sinning and creating distance between God and us. This type of fear is sometimes called “holy fear.” Since we desire union with God, the gift of holy fear helps us to be afraid of cutting off our relationship with the source of all love.

In an even deeper way, holy fear is our appreciation for God’s Holiness. We don’t walk into God’s presence in the spiritual equivalent of a t-shirt and shorts.  It inspires us to be clothed in a pure, white baptismal garment, made clean through repentance, confession and penance. And that’s the meaning the Psalmist intends today.  We are blessed and fear the Lord when we “walk in His ways,” meaning obeying His commandments.

Finally, we recall Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This verse gives us additional insight:  there is a sharp contrast between the wise life and the foolish life. A wise person obeys the Lord, and a fool despises God’s instruction and cannot be told what to do. The wise person is wise because he has started at our origin, the Creator.  The fool has no foundation on which to build wisdom.

Without “holy fear,” we might make important decisions based on faulty human understanding, because something is popular or “fashionable.” When we incorporate the fear of the Lord into every moment of our lives, we make decisions based upon His approval, which is always trustworthy. Holy fear guides us to Heaven.

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

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Blessing of the Cemeteries

msgr-blessing

On All Saints Day, Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 11:30am, Msgr. Nalty will bless the St Vincent and St. Joseph Cemeteries on Soniat and Loyola Avenue (behind Newman School).  These cemeteries are the resting places for many longtime parishioners of St. Stephen Church, as well as the Vincentian Priests and Daughters of Charity who served our parish for over 150 years.  Many people take the occasion of the blessing as a time to beautify these resting places and pray for the souls of their faithfully departed relatives, priests, religious sisters and friends.

Be a Good Steward

Good Shepherd Parish needs average weekly collections of $6,500 in order to fund parish operations.  Rarely does our collection exceed $5,000. The deficit is paid by generous donors at the end of the year, thank God!  I encourage you to take this time to prayerfully consider whether you might increase your donations to to our parish.  For those who are able, please consider an additional 10% per week.  Your help will make a big difference in our ability to meet our financial obligations.  One way to make this easy is to use our electronic giving program.

Simply click here to go to the Online Donations page to set up your online giving account.  You may also use the paper authorization form, available at the Online Donations tab or from Dianne Caverly in the parish office.  Call Dianne if you have difficulties.

Don’t Forget to Register!

Good Shepherd Parish frequently receives calls from “parishioners” who want to have their children baptized, get a school voucher, get married or serve as a godparent.  In order for the parish to agree to these things, you must be a “registered” and “contributing” parishioner.  This isn’t our rule; it’s the rule of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  All information is kept in strict confidence by the parish.

To be “registered” at Good Shepherd Parish means that (1) you have completed a parish census form or have registered online at goodshepherdparishNOLA.com, (2) you use parish envelopes or checks for donations.

First Friday Devotion

Jesus recounted the following to St. Margaret Mary, and this devotion has been recognized by the Church:
“To all those who, during nine months on end, will receive Holy Communion on the first Fridays of every month.  I promise the Grace of final perseverance. They will not die in My disgrace, but will receive the Sacraments (if necessary), and My Heart will be sure shelter for them in that extreme moment.”

The First Friday promises of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary:
1.  I will give them graces necessary for their state of life.
2.  I will establish peace in their houses.
3.  I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4.  I will be their strength during life and during death.
5.  I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8.  Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9.  I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Join the 2014 Public Square Rosary

(with America Need Fatima and 40 Days for Life)

What: The Holy Rosary

Where: Near the Planned Parenthood Site
(on Claiborne between Jena and Cadiz)

When: October 11th at Noon

For more info contact Lydia Rose at 452-5392

Synod for the Family in Rome

Sunday, 28 September is to be set aside as a Day of Prayer for the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled to take place in Rome from October 5-19 to treat the topic: The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.

We are invited to pray for this intention during Mass and at other liturgical celebrations, in the days leading to the synod and during the synod itself. In Rome, in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, prayers will be recited each day in the chapel of the icon, Salus Populi Romani. The faithful, individually but above all in families, are invited to join in these prayers.

The suggested prayers include the Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod, composed by Pope Francis, as follows:

Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer.

Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi

Feast Day – October 4

Blessing of the Pets – October 5 at noon

Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis of Assisi deal with his love for animals. Part of his appreciation of the environment is expressed in his Canticle of the Sun, a poem written in Umbrian Italian in perhaps 1224 which expresses a love and appreciation of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, Brother Fire, etc. and all of God’s creations personified in their fundamental forms.  Francis’ attitude towards the natural world, while poetically expressed, was conventionally Christian. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.  Next Sunday, all pets are invited into the schoolyard at 12:00 noon, after the 10:30am Mass, for the Blessing of the Pets.  Please make sure that your pets can play “nice” before bringing them over!

Thanksgiving Baskets

The St. Vincent de Paul Society would like to request your help in providing Thanksgiving Baskets for the needy of our parish.  We would appreciate monetary, or donations of non-perishable food items and gift cards.  Please contribute to the poor box, or bring items listed on the red sheets at the Thanksgiving display to the rectory by Monday, November 17.  As always, thank you for your GENEROUS support!

Catholic Foundation Annual Foundation Dinner

The Catholic Foundation will host the annual Foundation dinner Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. This year’s dinner will honor the 2014 Saint John Paul II Award recipient Judge Jay C. Zainey and also feature keynote speaker Paul Mainieri. Reservations are required. More information is available by calling (504) 596-3044, or email MObrien@archdiocese- no.org.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions

November 2014

Lonely people. That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.

Mentors of seminarians and religious. That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.

Please pray for the intentions of the Holy Father!

Pope St, John Paul II

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 is the first time that the Church throughout the world will celebrate the Feast Day of Pope St. John Paul II.

Pope St. John Paul II, also known as Saint John Paul the Great, was Pope from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.  He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX, who served for nearly 32 years from 1846 to 1878. Born in Poland, John Paul II is credited as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.  John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.

One of the most traveled world leaders in history, John Paul II visited 129 countries during his pontificate. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 people and canonized 483 saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors during the preceding five centuries. By the time of his death, he had named most of the College of Cardinals, consecrated or co-consecrated a large number of the world’s bishops, and ordained many priests.

John Paul II’s cause for canonization commenced a month after his death, due to Pope Benedict XVI, his successor and close collaborator, having waived the traditional five-year waiting period.  Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed him Venerable on December 19, 2009 and Blessed on May 1, 2011 after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints attributed a miracle to him, the healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease. A second miracle, the healing of a Costa Rican woman from a brain aneurysm, was approved on July 2, 2013 and confirmed by Pope Francis two days later. John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2014, alongside Pope John XXIII.  Like John XXIII, his feast day is not celebrated on the date of his death, but on the anniversary of his Papal election, October 22, 1978.  Last month, on Thursday, September 11, 2014, Pope Francis added his optional memorial to the worldwide General Roman Calendar of saints’ feast days, in response to requests from around the world.

40 Days for Life

Want to help mark the beginning of the end of abortion in New Orleans?

The 40 Days for Life Campaign kicked off on September 28.  We are teaming up with Holy Name of Jesus parish to help cover all of the hours from 7:00am to 7:00pm on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 3044 Ridgelake Drive in Metairie. If you feel called to peacefully pray at the abortion clinic please sign up for an open hour. The sign up sheet is in the back of the church. If you are unable to join us in our peaceful vigil, we ask that you commit to praying daily and fasting to end abortion.  We have placed prayer cards at the back of the church on the Pro-Life table.

For more information, or to volunteer to help, please visit us online at www.40daysforlifenola.com.

Our Lady of the Rosary

In 1571 Pope Pius V instituted “Our Lady of Victory” as an annual feast to commemorate the victory of Lepanto, where Christian forces successfully thwarted an attempted invasion of Western Europe by the Muslim forces of the Ottaman Empire. The victory was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a Rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter’s Square in Rome for the success of the mission of the Holy League. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this feast-day to “Feast of the Holy Rosary”. This feast was extended by Pope Clement XII to the whole of the Latin Rite, inserting it into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1716, and assigning it to the first Sunday in October. Pope Pius X changed the date to 7 October in 1913, as part of his effort to restore celebration of the liturgy of the Sundays.

Vocation Weekend for High School and College Age Men

Come and See Vocation Discernment Weekend for high school juniors and seniors, and college- age men will be held November 7-9, 2014 at St. Joseph Seminary College, Covington, Louisiana. This is an opportunity for men who are interested in the priesthood and who would like to find out more about seminary life. There is no cost for the weekend but availability is limited on a first come, first served basis. For more information or to register, call the Archdiocesan Vocation Office at (504) 861-6298 or e-mail vocations@archdiocese-no.org.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat

RETREAT FOR THOSE HEALING FROM AN ABORTION EXPERIENCE

If you or someone you love is hurting from an abortion, please consider attending this healing retreat. There is forgiveness and hope after abortion.  All faiths are welcome!

The Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center
5500 St. Mary Street, Metairie, LA
Friday, October 31st – Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
$170 per person (financial assistance is available)

Priest Facilitator: Rev. Joseph Palermo

To register or for more info, please contact either of the following retreat facilitators: Pam Richard at (504) 460-9360 cell or (985) 809-0773 home or richj504@bellsouth.net Melanie Baglow at (504) 889-2431 home or mkbaglow@cox.net

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.