From the Pastor – May 13, 2018

New Orleans Mass TimesLord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19-20)

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, which is the elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in the presence of His disciples. In Sacred Scripture, this occurred on the fortieth day after the Resurrection – which was actually last Thursday, traditionally called “Ascension Thursday.” However, the celebration of the Ascension has been moved to Sunday to encourage a more active participation in the Feast. With all of the new TSA rules, I guess Jesus’ flight got delayed for three days!

The Ascension was prophesized by Christ’s own words. In John 6:63, Christ asks the Jews: “What if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?” and in 20:17, He says to Mary Magdalen: “Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God.”

Tradition has consecrated the place of the Ascension as Mount Olivet near Jerusalem, since the disciples are described as returning to Jerusalem after the Ascension from “the mount that is called Olivet.” (Acts 1:12). Christian piety memorialized the event by erecting a basilica over the site. The original basilica was destroyed by the Persians in 614, rebuilt in the eighth century, destroyed again, and rebuilt a second time by the crusaders. This second basilica was also destroyed by the Muslims, leaving only an octagonal structure that encloses the stone said to bear the imprint of the feet of Christ. It is now used as a small oratory.

What does the Ascension mean to us theologically? It meant a greater blessing for the Church. While Jesus walked the earth in the flesh, he was only present in one place at any one time. After the Ascension, He could be present everywhere through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel says that Jesus “raised up His hands, and blessed them.” Because of the Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, every priest in the world – configured to Christ through ordination – will raise up his hands this week and bless the people. At Sunday Mass, Jesus will be present when we gather in His Name, in the Word proclaimed, in the Eucharist and in the Priesthood. By the Ascension, Jesus opened the way for us to be present with Him in a much greater way.
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(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Introduction

 

Diaconate Ordinations

On Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 10:00 AM at St. Louis Cathedral, we will ordain to the transitional Diaconate Douglas Michael Busch, Daniel Steven Darmanin, Andrew Octavio Gutierrez, Daniel Chinedu Okafor, Leon Keller Poche, Jr., Andrew Charles Rudmann, and Damian Patrick Zablocki for the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Br. Ton Huu Dang for the Missionaries of Faith. You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony. Priests and deacons are asked to bring their alb. Vestments will be provided. Reception at the Old Ursuline Convent to follow.

Gift of the Holy Spirit

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are gifts which assist us in furthering our sanctification and help “complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.” The term “gift” means that the Holy Spirit bestows them; they are supernatural gifts operating in a supernatural manner. They are not gifts one simply invokes in times of emergency. The gifts are enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3.

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
Wisdom – The gift of wisdom allows us to see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the joys and sorrows of our lives take on deeper meaning.

Understanding – The gift of understanding allows us to comprehend how we should to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the correct way to live. Similar to “common sense,” the gift of understanding perfects a person’s speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. St. Thomas Aquinas described it is as a gift “whereby self-evident principles are known.”

Counsel (Right Judgment) – The gift of right judgment allows us to see the difference between right and wrong, and to choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Christ. This gift of truth allows the person to respond prudently and happily to God’s commandments.

Fortitude (Courage) – The gift of fortitude allows us to overcome our fears and to be willing to take risks as a follower of Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, condemnation, or even physical injury and death. Courage gives us the firmness of heart to do good and endure evil.

Knowledge – By the gift of knowledge, we understand knowledge of the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Church. It is not simply an accumulation of facts and figures.

Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of piety or reverence, have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that Piety “is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit’s instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father.”

Fear of the Lord – 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.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are something for which we need to pray. We beg the Holy Spirit to give us these gifts! And here is a good traditional prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Beginning Sunday, May 20, 2018,

Good Shepherd Parish will have a 5:00pm Mass each Sunday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.

Congratulations to Dotty Forley, Michael & Donna Riess!

On May 6, 2018 at 3:00pm at St Joseph Church, our parishioners Dotty Forley and Michael & Donna Riess will be awarded the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion by Archbishop Aymond at St. Louis Cathedral.  The Order of St. Louis IX award was established more than 40 years ago to honor those members of the laity who have contributed their time and talents to the church.

Even if you don’t know Dotty, Michael and Donna, you surely know of their work! Dotty is extremely active in our ministry to the poor both at the Rebuild Center and here in our ministry to our neighborhood poor. Michael & Donna headed our Restoration Campaign, which is the reason we’re making so much progress in restoring our church.

Alleluia!

Easter Sunday is the day of the “Alleluia!” After forty days of Lenten sacrifice and fasting, we finally arrive at the most important day of our liturgical year, and the only word we have to express our inner joy is “Alleluia!!”

In the old Greek version of the Book of Tobias, in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew psalter, and in the original Greek of the Apocalypse we hear about this most holy word. It is part of the earliest Christian liturgies of which we have record.

It is a word composed of the divinely acclaiming verbal form Allelu and the divine pronoun term Ya (for YHWH or Yahweh). So, preserving its radical sense and sound, and even the mystical suggestiveness of its construction, it may be literally rendered, “All hail to Him Who is!”–taking “All Hail” as equivalent to “Glory in the Highest,” and taking “He Who is” in the sense in which God said to Moses: “Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel; WHO IS hath sent me to you.” The ancient Jewish and Christian tradition all point to the conclusion that the “Alleluia” belonged to the Hebrew liturgy from the beginning as a divinely authorized doxology. As to when it was first formed, much evidence points to it being one of man’s most ancient formulas of monotheistic faith–the true believer’s primitive Credo, primitive doxology, primitive acclamation. That in part would explain remarkable fondness for its liturgical use. As a rule the Church uses it wherever joy is to be emphatically expressed, especially as to triumph or thanksgiving.

The “Alleluia” is a great characteristic of Easter, as it has an important place in all of the liturgies, constantly appearing at the beginning and end, and even in the middle, of psalms, as an instinctive exclamation of ecstatic joy.

The very sound of the words should be held to signify a kind of acclamation and a form of ovation which mere grammarians cannot satisfactorily explain; this is the reason why the translators of the Old Testament have left it untranslated, and the Church has taken it into the formulas of her Liturgy or of the people who use it at any time or place where joy need be expressed for God’s greatness and love! Alleluia! Praise God!

Retrouvaille Weekend for Troubled Marriages

Retrouvaille is a program designed to provide help and support to married couples who are undergoing difficulties in their relationship. Sponsored by the Catholic Church, Retrouvaille is open to couples of all faiths. It has proven helpful to couples who are troubled and stressed, or if the relationship has grown cold and distant. The next Retrouvaille Weekend will be July 6-8, 2018, at the William J. Kelly Retreat Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. For additional information or to have information mailed to you contact the Office of Marriage and Family Life at 504-861-6243 or see the website at www.retrouvaille.org.

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
(to be prayed beginning May 11)

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant is listening.” Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Peter’s Pence Collection: Be a Witness of Charity

 

Peter’s Pence is the annual collection to benefit the charitable works of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who calls us to be attentive to the voices of those on the margins and respond joyfully to their needs. Participation in this collection gives each parishioner the opportunity to become a witness to charity, a force of mercy that reaches out to those around the world. The collection will be taken up in the Archdiocese of New Orleans on the weekend of May 19-20, 2018.

May Crowning of Mary

May 13, 2018 – 10:30am Mass

The month of May is traditionally dedicated to Mary in many cultures, since May is considered the season of the beginning of new life. In ancient Roman culture, May was dedicated to Flora, the goddess of bloom, of blossoms, and the Romans celebrated ludi florales (floral games) at the end of April, asking the help of Flora for all that blooms since May 1 was considered the beginning of growth. In the same way, the Blessed Virgin Mary gives us the newness of life in the person of Jesus Christ so that we might become new creations born into Eternal Life.

Since medieval times, we begin to see a connection between Mary and the month of May. Among the earliest witnesses are: Alphonsus X, King of Castille, Spain (+1284) with his “Cantigas de Santa Maria.” Here and elsewhere, both Mary and the month of May are greeted, welcomed and celebrated on specific days in May. Later, it became the custon in Italy to devote the whole month of May to Mary. On each day of the month, special devotions to Mary were organized.

Today, May crownings occur in many Catholic parishes and homes with the crowning of a statue of Mary. The ceremony traditionally takes place with young girls dressed in dresses carrying flowers (traditionally hawthorn) to adorn the statue. One of the girls (often the youngest) carries a crown of flowers or an actual golden crown on a cushion for placement by the May Queen (often the oldest girl) on the statue. The flowers are replaced throughout the month to keep them fresh.

Crowning Mary is associated with adding ornamentation to an icon of Mary, sometimes as simple as adding additional gold trim. Perhaps in homage to this, Pope Clement VIII (+1605) added two crowns to the icon of Mary with the Infant Jesus in the Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. The crowns were eventually lost, but were replaced by Gregory XVI in 1837 in a Rite that was to become the standard practice for crowning.

Hope and Healing After Abortion

The May Respect Life Gathering, Hope & Healing after Abortion, will be held on Monday May 7, 2018, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Seelos Center, 2030 Constance ST in NOLA at 6:30 PM with Pam Richard, Rachel’s Vineyard team member presenting. All are welcome.

2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 22, 2018

Today the Church throughout the world prays for vocations. Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life?

Pray for the priests who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.

Keep our parish priests in your prayers throughout the week.

Encourage your children, grandchildren, or other young people to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister.

Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.

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