From the Pastor – September 9, 2018

daily short prayersThey were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mk  7:37)

Two weeks ago we finished reading the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, called the “Bread of Life” discourse. It’s a break that we experience each year during the normal reading of Mark’s Gospel, and it’s meant to point directly to what Jesus gives us in the Holy Eucharist each time we participate in Holy Communion. Now we are back to reading the Gospel according to Mark.

Out of all of the Gospels, Mark’s is the shortest, and is likely to have been the first written. However, it often tells the story of the ministry Jesus in more vivid detail than either Matthew or Luke. Mark stresses Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God breaking into human life as good news. Jesus is portrayed as immensely popular among the people during his ministry. He works miracles and drives out demons, but gradually receives mounting opposition.

The story this weekend is about a man having his hearing restored.  It’s interesting that Mark gives the Semetic word that Jesus would have used.  He said “Ephphatha!”  And Mark says it’s translated as “be opened.” And it is characteristic of Mark’s Gospel that Semetic words are placed in the mouth of Jesus, many of which are familiar to us, words like “Abba” addressing God as Father, “talitha kum” to the little girl Jesus raises from the dead, and “Eli Eli, lema sabachthani” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”) which Jesus spoke from the cross.

The call of Jesus to “be opened” points back to the first reading in Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of the Lord.  And it had such a profound effect on the followers of Jesus that they wanted to reproduce not simply the “meaning” of what Jesus said, but the actual word: ephphatha.  And the word points to us in two ways. Most of us heard it for the first time at our Baptism, when the priest – after anointing our head with Chrism – whispered it in our ear and prayed that “our ears would soon be open to hear the Word of God and our mouths to proclaim it.”

And it also points to our present day, to a command that we open our own ears to Jesus and His plan for us. It points to His proclamation of the Kingdom of God.  It points to the Beatitudes.

Next week we’ll reach a breakthrough in Mark’s Gospel with Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ and then Jesus emphasizing His passion rather than the glory of the kingdom.  The kingdom cannot come except through the cross, and the Resurrection is the biggest miracle of all.
masstime.us for New Orleans Mass Times
(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Introduction

 

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.

Annual Mission Appeal

August 25-26, 2018

The Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province in the United States in collaboration with their Sisters at the Motherhouse in Vietnam, provide direct service to the most neglected and disadvantaged.  Their mission is the salvation of humankind by evangelizing for the reign of God, educating youth in the authentic Catholic spirit, and doing charitable works as exemplified in Christ. Sr. Magalena Nguyen, O.P. and St. Luong Nguyen O.P. will give a brief presentation at each of the Masses next weekend to appeal for your help so that they may serve the poor of Vietnam.

The Assumption of Mary – Holy Day of Obligation

6:30am and 6:00pm, August 15
(all Masses at St. Henry Church)

After the Ascension of Jesus, Mary aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers. In her association with the apostles and several women, we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation. Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: “In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”

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.

What is “Active Participation”?

“In the celebration of Mass the faithful form a holy people, a people whom God has made his own, a royal priesthood, so that they may give thanks to God and offer the spotless Victim not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, and so that they may learn to offer themselves.”  This is the basis for the “full conscious and active participation” of the faithful demanded by the very nature of the Liturgy.  Because the gathered liturgical assembly forms one body, each of its members must shun “any appearance of individualism or division, keeping before their eyes that they have only one Father in heaven and accordingly are all brothers and sisters to each other.”  Singing is one of the primary ways that the assembly of the faithful participates actively in the Liturgy. The people are encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalms, antiphons [and] hymns. . . . The musical formation of the assembly must be a continuing concern in order to foster full, conscious, and active participation.  Sing to the Lord Music in Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 24, 25, 26.

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!

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