From the Pastor – September 23, 2018

short daily prayersThen he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,

“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” (Mk 9:35-37)

What does it mean to be “the best”?  Our American society puts a premium on it. If it’s high school, the best student is the “valedictorian.”  If it’s high school sports, then the best team is the “state champion.” Pro football awards the “Lombardi Trophy” for winning the Super Bowl, and professional baseball gives the “Commissioner’s Trophy” for winning the World Series.  Locally, Gambit Magazine list an annual “Best of New Orleans” with lists of the best restaurants, bars, banks, schools, theater and just about every local food item you can imagine.

But for a Christian, what does it mean to be “the best”? Are you the best if you’re a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Altar Society or the Ladies of Charity? Are you the best if you come to daily Mass, pray the Rosary and attend Adoration and Benediction?  What about if you’ve received an important award from the Archbishop?  Does that make you “the best Catholic”?

Let’s be honest, we all want to be recognized for doing a good job.  We value hard work and dedication, and we admire those who’ve received awards.

But we have to have a long-term approach to being “the best.”  And that long-term approach is the one demonstrated in the lives of the Saints.  (No, not the New Orleans Saints!  I want them to be the best, but they’re going to have to start by winning their first game!)  I’m talking about the Saints in Heaven.  The Saints led lives of heroic virtue on earth, and so they have achieved “ the best” that life has to offer:  Eternal Life in Heaven.

So once again, what does it mean to be “the best.”  Our example is Jesus.  His words and actions today speak directly to the Apostles about what it means to be “the best”:   “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” (Mk 9:35)

That’s quite a contradiction.  To be the best, Christ calls us to be the “last”?  To be the best, Christ calls us to be a “servant”?  That’s hard to jibe with our notion of being “the best.”  It’s all a matter of perspective.  Striving for “the best” is striving for the “best things.”  And the best things aren’t found in earthly honors, which are fleeting, but heavenly honors, which last forever.

This weekend, Christ reminds us of his suffering and death.  He “bested” sin and death on the cross.  And we follow his humble example.  Think about it, have you ever said about another person: “he is one of the best people I know”?  If you did, you probably weren’t talking about an award, but rather about the way that person lives his life.
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(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Introduction

 

Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress

The Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress has been an annual event for 28 years, and this year will take place at Our Lady of Divine Providence in Metairie. The dates are October 6 thru October 12. It has drawn thousands of people from all over the area and beyond.

The church is open day and night for seven days. That is 168 hours, of continuous prayer and adoration of Jesus. Many spiritual groups, families, and individuals from local and adjoining areas cover the time. Prayer begins hourly, except when other activities are taking place. There is time for Mass, Adoration, Rosaries, processions, spiritual talks, periods of silence, and singing. The beauty and diversity of the Catholic Church is demonstrated in the many activities held during this week.

This year’s theme is the “The Pillars of Victory,” which comes from a dream of St. John Bosco where he saw the Holy Father in a terrible storm moor the Barque of St. Peter (an image of the Church) between two pillars, on top of one was the Eucharistic Host and on top of the other was Our Lady of the Rosary.

There is plenty room for all to come and pray together, here in the New Orleans – Metairie area. Those who come experience the proven power of these prayers.

If you wish to come and be a part of the Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress or be a helper or be a representative from different areas, call Marie at 504-508-7100 for more information.

St Michael, the Archangel Prayer

Beginning September 15, 2018, we will say the St Michael, the Archangel Prayer after all of the Masses at St. Stephen and St. Henry churches.

Saint Michael Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares
of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and
all the evil spirits,
who prowl through the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Masses Back at St. Stephen Church

Beginning Friday, August 31, both the School Mass and the Tuesday evening Mass that is preceded by a Holy Our of Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will return to St Stephen Church.  The School Mass is celebrated on Fridays at 9:00am (unless there is a Holy Day of Obligation that week, in which case it is moved to the Holy Day of Obligation), and the Tuesday evening Mass is celebrated at 6:00pm, with the preceding Holy Hour beginning at 4:45pm.

Confessions

September 12, 2018
5:00pm – 6:30pm

As he did last year, Archbishop Aymond has asked that each parish offer the Sacrament of Confession on September 12, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.

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 Schunau 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.

Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother

by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

O my afflicted Mother! Queen of martyrs and of sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merit, then, of thy sorrows, obtain me true contrition for my sins, and a real amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy dolours. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of hell, may suffer something for your love. “O Lady,” will I say with St. Bonaventure, “if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with Him, and myself without a wound.” In fine, O my Mother, by the grief thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down His head and expire on the cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, O advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combats in which it will have to engage on its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech, and strength to invoke thy name and that of Jesus, who are all my hope, I do so now; I invoke thy Son and thee to succour me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to you I commend my soul.

40 Days for Life Pre-Campaign Party

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

The 40 Days for Life New Orleans campaign is Sept. 26 through Nov. 4 at Women’s Health Care Center, 2701 General Pershing St., New Orleans. This is a new location for 40 Days for Life. For more information on the campaign, contact campaign director Shanon Snyder at snyder@prolifelouisiana.org or 504.835.6520.

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!

ANO Retreat Center-Men’s Retreat

The Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center in Metairie will hold a Men’s Retreat on October 19- 21, 2018, with Fr. Joe Kraft presenting on the theme, “Man Up! Living Our Call to Discipleship and Holiness.” This is the only retreat currently scheduled there for men, as the retreat center’s weekend group retreats are open to women during most of the year. For more information, call Lou Piazza at 504-628-6593.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Saint Teresa of Calcutta New Orleans
Msgr. Nalty with Mother Teresa in in 1996.

Sometimes I tell stories in my homilies about the summer that I spent working in Calcutta with the Missionaries of Charity. Saint Teresa of Calcutta used to have a little card that she gave to people she met. She called it her “business card.” I’ve reproduced one she gave to me after I worked in Calcutta one summer:

ShortPrayers.us

It’s nice having her autograph, but that’s not the point. The point is how she connects silence to prayer to faith to love to service to peace. We all want peace. Mother Teresa provided me that recipe.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Feast Day September 5

On 10 September 1946, on a train journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, Mother Teresa received what she termed the “call within a call,” which was to give rise to the Missionaries of Charity family: “to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls” by “laboring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.” On October 7, 1950, the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially erected as a religious institute for the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Mother Teresa expanded the work of the Missionaries of Charity both within Calcutta and throughout India. From the late 1960s until 1980, the Missionaries of Charity expanded across the globe and in their number of members. Mother Teresa opened houses in Australia, the Middle East, and North America, and the first novitiate outside Calcutta in London. In 1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. By that same year there were 158 Missionaries of Charity foundations.

By 1997, the Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members, and were established in almost 600 foundations in 123 countries of the world.

On September 5, 1997 Mother Teresa died at her Motherhouse in Calcutta. Hundreds of thousands of people from all classes and all religions, from India and abroad, paid their respects. Presidents, prime ministers, queens, and special envoys were present at her funeral on behalf of countries from all over the world.

66nd Annual Red Mass

OCTOBER 1, 2018

The Saint Thomas More Catholic Lawyers Association, in conjunction with the Catholic Bishops of the State of Louisiana, announce the celebration of the 66th Annual Red Mass, invoking the Holy Spirit upon the bench and bar of the State, on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, will be the principal celebrant. Reverend Paul Scalia, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington and son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, will be the homilist. Members of the bench and bar of the State, as well as the public, are invited to attend.

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