From the Pastor – February 3, 2019

very short prayersAnd all spoke highly of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. (Lk 4:22 & Lk 4:28-30)

What happened here? These are two different parts of the 4th chapter of Luke’s Gospel separated by only 5 verses. In the first section, the people are rapt by the beautiful words of Jesus, and in the second they are so angered as to want to kill Him. What provoked that? What caused their attitude to change? Actually, it was a strong statement of Jesus about what had happened with prophets that had come before Him. The people didn’t want to hear that. And that change in attitude reminds us of the changing attitudes of the people of Jerusalem from Palm Sunday (when He is praised) to Good Friday (when He is crucified).

Is it any wonder that the Church faces the same attitudes? As long as the Church is engaged in charitable activity, then it is extolled. When the Church is giving food to the poor, visiting the sick and sheltering the homeless, there’s no problem. But when the Church begins to preach the Gospel of Christ, it gets into the same trouble that Christ got into. People want it to go away. Many in society don’t want to hear how abortion is wrong, and how marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Many in society disagree with the Church on birth control and don’t see a problem with extra-marital intercourse. Many don’t have a problem with divorce and remarriage. Many want the Church to change its position on an all-male priesthood and priestly celibacy. Many don’t appreciate a Church that abhors war and rejects the death penalty in most cases.

The truth is that all of us are in need of conversion. When we hear a teaching of the Church with which we disagree, it should make us think that perhaps that is the area in which Christ is calling us to convert. Although the Church is heavily engaged in the corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned & burying the dead), the Great Commission given by Christ to the Apostles was to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20). And that is the activity in which the Church is engaged. It preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ – in and out of season. And sometimes it is criticized for doing so. But we shouldn’t ever be surprised by persecutions of the Church. Our founder is Jesus Christ, the persecuted Son of God. But we should always be careful to avoid being one of the persecutors!
masstime.us
(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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St. Joseph Altar Cookies!

In preparation for the St. Joseph Altar on Tuesday, March 19, we will begin collecting ingredients for the traditional Italian cookies and for the meal itself.  We would greatly appreciate donations of the these ingredients on the following dates

2/3       Sugar, pecans and walnuts
2/10      All purpose flour, raisins and dates
2/17      Crisco shortening with butter (no oil!)
2/24      Red wine

Because we know that some parishioners find it difficult to get to St. Stephen Church during the Mardi Gras parades, you are more than welcome to bring food donations on other than the assigned days.  Thank you for your generosity, and we hope you can attend the St Joseph Day meal since it’s on a Saturday this year!

For more details, contact Hunter Harris at 417-6066.

St. Blaise Throat Blessing

St. Blaise Throat Blessing after Masses Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3

Sunday, February 3 is the Feast of St. Blase, Bishop and Martyr, although it is not celebrated because it falls on a Sunday. St. Blaise, the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia was martyred in the year 316. The oldest accounts tell us that Blaise was a physician at Sebaste before he was made bishop. In the 4th century persecution of Licinius, St. Blaise was taken prisoner. After suffering various forms of torture he was beheaded.

The most popular story attributed to St. Blaise occurred while he was in prison, when he cured a young a boy who was in danger of choking to death because of a fishbone in his throat.  That story, and the fact that St. Blaise was a doctor, made the saint very popular for intercessory prayer for throat ailments.

At an early date, the veneration of this Eastern saint was brought into Europe, and Blaise became one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. Numberless churches and altars were dedicated to him.

On the feast day, the blessing of St. Blaise will be given in St. Henry Church after the 6:30 am Mass. Also, the blessing will be given in St. Stephen Church after the 6:00 pm Mass on Tuesday, February 4. The blessing of the throat is carried out using two white taper candles that were blessed on the previous day, February 2, the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day). The white color of the candles symbolizes purity. A red ribbon draped over the base of the candles symbolizes the martyrdom of St. Blaise. The candles are grasped in an X-shape and held up to the throat of the person receiving the blessing: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

What is Ordinary Time?

The Christmas Season officially concluded on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord last Sunday, and Monday we began “Ordinary Time” with the colors of the vestments and altar furnishing returning to green from the violet of Advent and the white of Christmas. What’s so “ordinary” about it? Actually, “Ordinary Time” is the English translation of the Latin Tempus Per Annum (“time throughout the year”) and gets its name from the word ordinal, meaning “numbered,” because we begin to count the weeks rather than the seasons. Ordinary Time, depending on the year, runs either 33 or 34 weeks, and makes up the time in the Church calendar that does not fall within the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter.

The Church celebrates two periods as Ordinary Time. We just entered the first period, which runs until the evening of Mardi Gras when Lent begins. The second period begins on the Monday after Pentecost and runs until Advent begins. This period includes Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday of Ordinary Time.

The use of the term “Ordinary Time” was used before the Second Vatican Council, but it was not until after the council that the term was officially used to designate the period between Epiphany and Lent, and the period between Pentecost and Advent. The older names for those seasons were the “Season After Epiphany” and the “Season After Pentecost.”

Ordinary Time celebrates the mystery of the life of Christ in all its aspects, and contains many important liturgical celebrations, including, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Assumption of Mary, he Exaltation of the Holy Cross, All Saints, All Souls and Christ the King. In addition, the Church continues to celebrate other feast days of Mary, feasts of many saints, and the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Proclamation of Epiphany Sunday

The Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany dates from a time when calendars were not readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the year depend on its date.

Although calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year in advance, the Epiphany proclamation still has value as a reminder of the centrality of the Resurrection of the Lord and the importance of the great mysteries of faith that are celebrated each year.

Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of His return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: His Last Supper, His Crucifixion, His burial, and His Rising celebrated between the evening of the 18th of April and the evening of the 20th of April, Easter Sunday being the 21st of April.

Each Easter – as on each Sunday – the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the 6th of March.

The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the Sunday, the 2nd of June. Or Thursday, the 30th day of May.

Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the 9th of June.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the Passover of Christ in the feasts of the Holy Mother of God, in the Feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise, for ever and ever.    R. Amen.

Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

From the Christmas Martyrology
(traditional version read at Midnight Mass)

The twenty-fifth day of December.
In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens & earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going
forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
he seven hundred & fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed  since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Christmas Giving Tree

St. Vincent de Paul Society needs your help. A Christmas Giving Tree has been set up next to the St. Anthony Statue. The ornaments on the tree have names and ages of children along with their Christmas gift wish. We also will be helping the Veterans and needy in our community that frequent our food pantry. If you can, please pick an ornament from the Tree then return the gift with the ornament and place under the tree by Sunday, December 16th following the 10:30 mass.

Pro-Life Activities


Every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. we pray the Rosary at the Woman’s Health Care Center on the corner of General Pershing and Magnolia near Oschner Baptist Hospital. This facility is one of at least three abortion centers in the New Orleans area and just outside of our parish boundaries. Please join us!

Dream Event

February 6, 2019

GOOD SHEPHERD PARISH
DOORS OPEN AT 6:30 PM
DREAMING BEGINS AT 7:00 PM

The Dream Event is a 90 minute dream exercise, led by Executive Coach and Dream Manager Tony Ferraro. Discover your personal dreams. Experience energy and inspiration from others’ dreams. “Dream storm” powerful ideas for the future of our faith community.

We need you. We hope you and your dreams will join us for this wonderful event.
REGISTER ONLINE AT: DynamicCatholic.com/Imagine
The Dream Event is Free. Everyone is invited.

Palm Branches Needed!

Each year the blessed palms from Palm Sunday are burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday. We will burn them next weekend. Since the palms are blessed, burning is the suitable way to dispose of them.  Please remember to bring them to Mass next weekend and place them in the brass urns in the back of the church. Thank you!

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18 -25

The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us.” (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII). . . , “it was in the context of the Reformation Anniversary that the Council of Churches in Germany took up the work of creating the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017. It quickly became clear that the materials for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity would need to have two accents: on the one hand, there should be a celebration of God’s love and grace, the ‘justification of humanity through grace alone,’ reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation. On the other hand, the materials should also recognize the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church, openly name the guilt, and offer an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.”

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.”  (cf. John 17:21)

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter  (January 18) and the Conversion of  St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us! Feastday January 4

Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up immersed in New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels.

In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth’s early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort; she would continue to love the Scriptures for the rest of her life.

In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. Elizabeth wrote in her diary at first autumn, “My own home at twenty – the world – that and heaven too – quite impossible.”

This time of Elizabeth’s life was to be a brief moment of earthly happiness before the many deaths and partings she was soon to suffer. Within four years, Will’s father died, leaving the young couple in charge of Will’s seven half brothers and sisters, as well as the family’s importing business. Now events began to move fast – and with devastating effect. Both Will’s business and his health failed. He was finally forced to file a petition of bankruptcy. In a final attempt to save Will’s health, the Setons sailed for Italy, where Will had business friends. Will died of tuberculosis while in Italy. Elizabeth’s one consolation was that Will had recently awakened to the things of God.

Feast of the Holy Family

December 29
Consecration to the Holy Family

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity. Amen.

Say the Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be 3 times.

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