From the Pastor – April 14, 2019

short daily prayersIt was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. (Lk. 23:44-46)

“Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion” begins Holy Week. If you have never really experienced all of the services of Holy Week, consider doing so this year.  Commemorating the events of the Lord’s Suffering and Death help us to have a greater understanding of the importance of the Easter Resurrection.  Jesus had to suffer and die before he rose.

On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm, which commemorates the night when Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist and washed his Apostle’s feet.  This Mass begins the Sacred Triduum, and at the conclusion of the Mass, the Eucharist is removed from the center Tabernacle in the church and “reposed” in another altar to recall Jesus’ being arrested and jailed.  There will be Adoration at the Altar of Repose from the end of Mass until the sun rises on Good Friday at 6:00am.   On Good Friday the church will be open at 7:00am for those who are walking to visit the nine churches.  Also open will be St. Henry Church and Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.

Later on Good Friday, the Veneration of the Cross will take place at 3:00pm, the hour of Our Lord’s death.

Holy Saturday is a day of great stillness, as we remember when Christ died and descended into Hell.  That great stillness is broken by the joy of the Easter Vigil Mass at 8:00pm, when we gloriously proclaim the Resurrection of Our Lord.  The Easter Vigil which will be preceded by Confessions beginning at 6:30pm.  There will be no 4:00pm vigil Mass, and Masses on Easter Sunday will be as usual at 8:00am and 10:30am.

This weekend there is a sign-up sheet at the back of church for those who will respond to the plea of Jesus “to stay awake with me one hour” (Mt. 26:40) on Holy Thursday.  It is one of the most solemn nights of the year to contemplate Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prepares for his Passion and Death.  Please consider taking one of the hours on the sign-up sheet for our Holy Thursday Vigil.  And please consider attending all of the events of Holy Week, which is the most important week of the year for all Catholics.
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(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Altar of Repose

Mass of the Lord’s Supper

At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (7:00 p.m.) sufficient hosts are consecrated for that Mass and for the next day. These consecrated Hosts remain in a ciborium on the corporal in the center of the altar until the end of Mass, after which they are carried in Solemn Procession to the Altar of Repose, with the priest vested in a Cope and Humeral Veil, and covered with a canopy. The Blessed Sacrament remains in the temporary tabernacle at the Altar of Repose, and the Holy Thursday service concludes with the stripping of all altars except the Altar of Repose.

Holy Thursday is a day of exceptional devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and the repository is the center of the love, prayers and aspirations of the faithful.  After the Good Friday service, the Blessed Sacrament remains available only as viaticum for the dying and for Communion given on Good Friday at the service called The Veneration of the Cross (Good Friday at 3:00pm). While the Blessed Sacrament remains in this temporary tabernacle at the altar of repose, a lamp or candle is always kept burning.

On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m., which commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist when Jesus washed his Apostle’s feet.  This Mass begins the Sacred Triduum.  This year Adoration at this Altar of Repose will take place all night, from the end of the Holy Thursday Mass until the sun rises on Good Friday at 6:00 a.m.

PLEASE SIGN-UP to take an hour or a half-hour of the Vigil!  Sign-up sheets are in the back of church.

Stations of the Cross

During Lent there will be Stations of the Cross and Confession on Fridays at St. Henry Church.  Confession begins at 5:30pm and the Stations at 6:00pm.  Remember that Msgr. Nalty is also in the Confessional from 3:00-3:45pm on Saturdays and 9:15-10:15 a.m. on Sundays.

Lenten Guidelines

FASTING AND ABSTINENCE
Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound to fast may take only one full meal. Two smaller

meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to each one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years or older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and on all Fridays of Lent. The determination of certain days as obligatory days of penance should not be understood as limiting the occasions for Christian penance.

MAINTAINING THE SPIRIT OF OF LENT
The Spirit of the season of Lent should be maintained throughout the weeks of Lent. The obligation to observe penitential days of the Church is a very important part of our spiritual life.  Individual circumstances must be taken into account, but in general, people should seek to do more rather than less, since fast and abstinence on the days prescribed should be considered a minimal response to the Lord’s call to penance and conversion of life.

St. Joseph Altar Cookies!

Thanks to all who brought bags of flour and sugar and Crisco, and placing them in the large wooden box at the entrance of the church! In preparation for the St. Joseph Altar on Tuesday, March 19, we will begin making the traditional Italian cookies.  Anyone who would like to learn how to prepare these delicacies is asked to go to:

St. Stephen School on Sunday, March 10 after the 10:30am Mass.

It’s a real family affair, and an instruction in the traditions of so many of our parishioners of Italian heritage!   For more details, contact Becky Brocato at figladybrocato@gmail.com or at 920-0770.

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.

Corporal Work of Mercy: Feeding the Hungry

A request from Deacon Richard Eason: “The parish provides a meal service for the homeless at the Rebuild Center on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, and at the Ozanam Inn on the 4th Thursday of each month. This is a great opportunity to serve Our Lord’s neediest people and enjoy fellowship with our parishioners. The next meal service is set for March 3rd. For those interested, the meal is cooked in the kitchen of the rectory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, beginning at noon on the day before. The meal service is provided at the Please contact Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Forly,” at 242-1919.

The Story of the Palms

It was a common custom in many lands of the ancient Middle East to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. In 2 Kings 9:13 Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, was treated to this honor. Each of the four Gospels report that the people of Jerusalem gave Jesus the honor of walking on a covered path. However, in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) we hear that the people lay their garments and cut rushes to place on the street. Only the Gospel of John specifically mentions palms.

So what is the significance of the palm? The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and of victory in Jewish tradition, and is treated as such in other parts of the Bible (e.g. Leviticus 23:40 and Revelation 7:9). Based on this significance, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path has given the Christian celebration its name. It shows the freedom desired by the Jews, and their desperation to have political freedom. In fact, they were welcoming their “Messiah,” whom they expected to be a great king who would free them from the oppression of foreign rulers. The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem included chants from Psalm 118 and 148:1. The Hebrew hoshiiah na’ (I beseech you, save now) was changed in Greek to hosanna, which became a famous Christian term, and had a huge Messianic significance.

The palm is a symbol of victory for us as Christians. Since we recognize that Jesus is the Messiah (a word which we normally use in the Greek translation – “Christ”), we recognize that He has already achieved a victory for us. But the victory is not over earthly rulers. It’s much bigger. It’s victory over Satan. It’s a victory over sin and death. It’s a victory that gives us Eternal Life.

Nine Church Walk

A traditional New Orleans devotion takes place on Good Friday next week. The “nine church walk” calls for pilgrims to walk from church to church, stopping briefly in each of nine churches, to pray and meditate on the passion of Christ.  In other parts of the world, particularly in cities like Rome where churches are densely congregated, Catholics visit churches on Holy Thursday, rather than Good Friday.  Traditionally, nine signifies the nine days of a novena.  A wonderful novena to begin on Good Friday is the Novena for Divine Mercy, which continues until Divine Mercy Sunday.

Many pilgrims begin the nine church walk at St. Stephen Church as early as 7:00 am.  They will arrive in family groups, parish communities and youth groups.

St. Stephen Church, St. Henry Church and Our Lady of Good Counsel will be open from 7:00 am until noon on Good Friday.  If you can help greet pilgrims and distribute water at either St. Stephen, St. Henry or Our Lady of Good Counsel, please contact the parish office at 899-1378, or just show up!

Easter Lilies!

Some of the most beautiful and fragrant reminders of Easter morning are Easter lilies.  We will be purchasing them for the altar for use over the Easter season.  If you would like to donate an Easter lily in the name of a loved one for $25, there are envelopes in the back of church.  Please return by April 14, 2019.

What Is BEST LENT EVER?

It’s a free email program that will guide you on an incredible journey toward the-best-version-of-yourself. From Ash Wednesday to Easter, you’ll discover ways to transform your life in forty days.

Coming soon to Good Shepherd Parish…

Lenten Fish Fry

Come and support the KC’s and Good Shepherd Parish at a fish fry. Knights of Columbus will be hosting the Lenten Fish Fry every Friday during Lent starting March 8th through April 12th at the Mother Pauline Center after the 6pm Stations of the Cross in St. Stephens Church.  March 8th Stations will be at St Henrys.

Plate will consist of Fish and French Fries or Crawfish Pasta, Cole Slaw, Vegetable, Desert and a Drink

Cost: $9.00
$6.00 Child’s Plate

Hope to see you there!

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