St. Stephen Catholic Church on Napolean Avenue in Uptown New Orleans
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:19)
Preferring quiet, I rarely listen to music around the rectory or in the car, but when I go to my family farm in Alabama, I listen to a lot of country music. It started many years ago when it was the only thing I could pick up on the radio in my beat-up 1980 Suburban. And now I listen to country because it seems to go well with riding around in the woods. Although I generally enjoy the melodies of country songs, what I particularly like are the lyrics. They’re easy to understand in country music, and they usually have some kind of good, wholesome message. I mention this because one song in particular reminds me of the Scriptural quote above from this week’s Gospel. The song is by Rodney Atkins, and it’s called “Watching You.” In the song, Rodney recounts a story where he’s driving in the car with his little boy, and he’s forced to slam on the brakes when his four year old boy uses a curse word. In the song, he asks: “son, where’d you learn to talk like that?”
I wonder how many parents have had that same experience? “Where’d you learn that word?!” It’s a natural reaction when you realize the innocence of your child has been touched by the sins of the world. In the song, the answer surprised Rodney. The little boy’s response is the title and refrain of the song: “I’ve been watching you, Dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo; I want to be like you! And eat all my food, and grow as tall as you are! We got cowboy boots and camo pants. Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we Dad? I want to do everything you do. So I’ve been watching you!”
No matter how much we may not intend to, our examples influence others. And it’s not just kids; we influence older children, friends, neighbors, work colleagues and even our elders. If someone respects us, our actions have an effect on their lives. That’s the warning that Jesus gives us in this passage from Scripture.
The good thing is that Rodney’s son also watches him at other times. In the song, he prays to be a better Dad, and then he puts his son to bed. And the lyrics continue: “Just this side of bedtime later that night, turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-doo night light, he crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees. He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands, spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend. And I said, ‘Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?’”
And the refrain continues: “I’ve been watching you, Dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your buckaroo; I want to be like you …”
Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty
Saturday Vigil at 4:00pm
Sunday at 8:00am and 10:30am
Weekdays (Monday -Friday)
6:30am in St. Henry Church
6:00pm Mass Tuesdays in the Church
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Tuesday 4:45pm – 5:45pm
Thursday morning 7:00am – 8:00am
Confession Times at Good Shepherd
Saturdays at 3:00pm
(before the 4:00pm Vigil Mass)
Sundays at 9:30am – 10:15am
(before the 10:30am Mass)
Thanks to all who donated sugar, flour, shortening, shelled peanuts/pecans and powdered sugar for the cookies for the St. Joseph Altar over the last four weekends! Next week is “CANOLA OIL SUNDAY.” Only one more Sunday after that! Please consider bringing this item and placing it in the box next weekend!
The Family Life Apostolate will offer a writing workshop for people seeking annulments in the Catholic Church or for people responding to an annulment. The workshop will be held at the North Shore Pastoral Center in Covington. The series will be for five Tuesdays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The materials for the series cost $25.00, to register or for more information, call Family Life Apostolate, 504-861-6243.
Monday, 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.”
Elders. That the Church and society may respect the wisdom and experience of older people.
Collaboration in Evangelization. That priests, religious, and lay people may work together with generosity.
Please pray for the intentions of the Holy Father!
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO) will sponsor its annual Holy Spirit Retreat for teenagers and young adults, better known as January Retreat, January 3-5, 2014 at the Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Avenue, Metairie, LA 70002.
The retreat theme is “Freedom” and the weekend will include Talks, Skits, Music, Worship, Mass, Confessions, and Fellowship. It will feature Fr. Steve Bruno, Matt Bourgeois and other well-known local priests and youth speakers. Everyone of high school and college age is invited to attend participants must register by December 6, 2013, $160 for lodging and meals. Youth groups are welcome. One free chaperone registration for every eight retreatants who register together by December 2, 2013. For more information and to register, visit www.ccrno.org or contact the CCRNO office at (504) 828-1368.
All of you are aware of the massive destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. While Archbishop Aymond is not calling for a special 2nd collection, pastors are asked to please announce that anyone who would like to donate can send their Typhoon Haiyan Relief donations to Archbishop Aymond’s attention at the chancery, 7887 Walmsley Ave. New Orleans, LA 70125. Archbishop Aymond will send the donations to the bishops in the Philippines.
The Advent wreath is a set of four candles which are lit each Sunday of the Advent Season. Three of the candles are violet-colored, and one is rose-colored. The violet candles symbolize faithful expectation, and the rose candle symbolizes joy and hope. These colors mirror the colors of the priest’s vestments used during the Sundays of Advent. In earlier times, the season of Advent had stronger penitential and ascetic aspects, and a relaxation of disciplines was offered on the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin for “rejoice”, the first words of the Introit. This turn is reflected in the shift from violet to rose. One violet candle is lit on the first evening of Advent (a Sunday). On successive Sundays, the second violet candle is added, then the rose candle on Gaudete Sunday, and finally, the third violet candle. So enough about the colors, what about the flame? The flame signifies Christ, the “Light of the World.”
The Office of Communications and the Clarion Herald are engaged in a process of strategic planning. An essential part of this process is to get feedback from a wide range of people in the Archdiocese. To that end, a very short online survey has been created and we ask that you help us by completing the shot survey online and distributing the survey link to people in your network. If you have already received this link from another source and completed the survey there is no need to complete it again. In any event, please also pass the link on to other Catholics – the more response they receive the better!
The link to the survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RZMH98Y If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah McDonald at email@example.com or Peter Finney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Catholic Men’s Fellowship’s next Morning of Spirituality for Men will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, located at 4640 Canal St. in New Orleans.
The theme for our 19th Men’s Morning of Spirituality is “Food for the Soul,” our speakers, restaurateurs John Besh of the Besh group of restaurants and Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago’s Restaurant, will discuss how their Catholic faith guides their work, and family lives.
As always, in addition to the presentations, the day will include prayer and Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the celebration of the Eucharist. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond will be our celebrant and homilist.
Our Lady of Czestochowa
St. Stephen Church – Monday, February 17
Holy Hour of Adoration 4:45pm
Holy Mass 6:00pm
A reproduction of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as the Black Madonna, is coming to St. Stephen Church on Monday, February 17.
“From Ocean to Ocean” is sponsored by Human Life International (HLI.org). This worldwide pilgrimage is dedicated to the defense and support of life and family through the intercession of the Blessed Mother under her title of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
The pilgrimage started in 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia, then made its way through 24 countries and more than 400 cities and towns to reach the Atlantic Ocean.
One of its final European stops was on Divine Mercy Sunday 2013 in Fatima, Portugal, where the icon was placed on the site of the Fatima apparitions of Our Lady, which the faithful recall on Oct. 13.
In January 2012, this splendid reproduction of the original icon in the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland was blessed by the archbishop of Czestochowa. The the icon was touched to the original icon, which is believed to have been painted by St. Luke.
Father Roman Majewski, prior of Jasna Gora, wrote of the pilgrimage online at FromOceantocean.org: “The pilgrimage of the Czestochowa icon ‘From Ocean to Ocean’ through the world is an unprecedented historical event and has enormous significance.”
Since Aug. 24, when the pilgrimage landed on America’s shores at St. Clement’s Island, Md., the icon has traveled to a number of parishes and places, such as Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
The icon reproduction is also uniting East and West by stopping at Russian Orthodox churches.
The majority of churches the icon traveled to across Russia were Orthodox. It received the support and blessings of Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Catholics and Orthodox have always shared a love and veneration for Our Lady, in particular through this icon.
Father Peter West, Human Life International’s vice president for missions and coordinator for the pilgrimage in America, enumerated several examples from Catholic Tradition of the faithful’s reliance on icons and holy relics, including Marian ones. Among them:
“In the Old Testament, there was a tradition of bringing the Ark of the Covenant into battle,” he said. “At the siege of Jericho, the Israelites marched around seven times, and the city walls fell down. The people of Poland prayed [during their own] ‘siege of Jericho’ [with the Russian occupation in the 20th century]; and at the end of the siege, the Polish government dropped its restrictions, and the Pope [Blessed John Paul II] was able to go to Poland and speak boldly, shortly after which communism was defeated in that country and then in the Soviet Union.”
“The Russians carried the icon of Our Lady of Kazan into battle as they drove Napoleon out of Russia,” added Father West. “The memorial of the Holy Name of Mary [Sept. 12] was instituted in 1683, after John Sobieski won the Battle of Vienna, relieving the city and crushing Moslem domination in Europe for over 300 years. The Polish Hussars wore an emblem of Our Lady of Czestochowa [on their uniforms] as they went into battle, and the king consecrated the kingdom of Poland to Our Lady of Czestochowa.”
Father West makes the connection clear regarding miraculous interventions through Our Lady in modern times: “Now, we are renewing this tradition and bringing the icon into the battle for life. We are calling on Our Lady and bringing the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa into the battle against the culture of death and asking her to help us build a culture of life. We’ve entrusted the civilization of life and love into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Already, our Blessed Mother is healing souls, saving lives and transforming the culture at stops along the way. During the icon’s visit to a late-term abortion business, three women chose life.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us!
Summarized from: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/black-madonna-reproduction-makes-pilgrimage-for-life#ixzz2saQqp1kW
At the Chrism Mass on April 15, 2014, we will convoke the Ninth General Synod of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The purpose of the synod is to discern God’s Vision and Priorities for our local church for the next three-five years. I have appointed Sister Elizabeth (Beth) Fitzpatrick, O. Carm., Sister Mary Ellen Wheelahan, O. Carm. and Fr. Pat Williams as Archdiocesan Synod Leaders. They will work in partnership with Paul Breaux and the Catholic Leadership Institute to tailor the synod vision and priority setting process to meet the specific needs and goals of our archdiocese. We hope that this synod will be an opportunity for us to “work together for your joy.” (2 Cor.1:24)
Good Shepherd Parish is pleased to announce that we have completed the preparation to offer electronic giving as a way to automate your regular donations. Electronic giving is convenient for you and provides much-needed donation consistency for the parish.
Set up automated donations to Good Shepherd and you’ll never again have to worry about finding your envelopes or check book before Mass. You may have your donation transferred automatically from your bank checking/savings account OR your credit card. You select the donations you want to make, the amount and the frequency (weekly, semi-monthly, monthly), then you don’t have to think about it again unless you want to make a change. You may donate to parish stewardship/regular collections, the poor fund, the restoration fund… even help us cover the cost of your weekly Clarion Herald.
You may also complete and return a paper authorization form . Return it in a sealed envelope to Dianne Caverly in the parish office, and she will set up a recurring donation according to your specific instructions.
There is a fee, paid by the parish, to use this service. The checking/savings account fee is $0.25 per transaction. The credit card fees are a percentage of your donation, approximately 3% of the total ($3.00 per $100.00 donation).Â YOU choose the most convenient way to donate; Good Shepherd will cover the fee.
Your donation will be processed by Vanco Services, LLC. Vanco processes electronic donations for more that 10,000 churches and nonprofit organizations. If you have any questions about the program, please call Dianne Caverly at the parish office.
Saturday, January 18, 2014, Baton Rouge, La
Saturday, January 18 the Louisiana Walk for Life will once again take place at the state capital. The walk will allow us to show our solidarity with all the other people of God in commemoration of the misguided Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973.
There is a bus that will depart from Mater Dolorosa Church at 9:00am and return by 2:30PM. The fee for the bus is $15/person, and please bring a lunch. The deadline to participate is January 6. Please call Bonnie Talbot at 866-6911.
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.
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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