From the Pastor – May 8, 2016

new orleans masstime.usThen he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them.  As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.  They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God. (Lk 24:50-53)

Today we celebrate the Solemnity 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.  In terms of modern air travel, I guess Jesus’ flight got postponed 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 and is 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 today 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.

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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UPCOMING EVENTS IN MAY

May 15, 2016 – Pentecost Sunday
Confirmations with Archbishop Aymond at the 4:00pm Vigil Mass

May 22, 2016 – Trinity Sunday

May 29, 2016 – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) with Eucharistic Procession after the 10:30 am Mass to be followed by a parish fish fry and snowballs!

Thank You!

From the Knights of Columbus

On behalf of the Knights of Columbus Council, I want to thank Msgr. Nalty for allowing the Knights to conduct the Lenten Fish Fry at The Mother Pauline Center. Thanks to all the parishioners that came to the fish fry in support of our fund raising event. And to the volunteers who gave of their time and talents to prepare, cook and clean up for these meals: A HEARTY THANK YOU!

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We are truly blessed by the number of people who come forward to make these events the success that they are. Of the monies raised one-half will go to The K.C. Youth Expansion Program (YEP). The second half goes to Good Shepherd Parish. A check for $875.00 was presented to Msgr. Nalty following the 10:30 AM mass on Sunday April 24th.

May Crowning of Mary

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.

Novena to Our Lady of Good Counsel

April 18 – 26
(say this prayer every day for the nine days)

Aware of the powerful intercessory prayers of Our Blessed Mother, let us commit to pray this short prayer for the next nine days.

O Holy Virgin, to whose feet we are lead by our anxious uncertainty in our search for and attainment of what is true and good, invoking thee by the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech Thee to come to our assistance, when, along the road of this life, the darkness of error and of evil conspires towards our ruin by leading our minds and our hearts astray. Do Thou, O Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the doubtful and the erring, that they be not seduced by the false appearances of good; render them steadfast in the race of the hostile and corrupting influences of passion and of sin. O Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from Thy Divine Son a great love of virtue, and, in the hour of uncertainty and trial, the strength to embrace the way that leads to our salvation. If Thy hand sustains us, we shall walk unmolested along the path indicated to us by the life and words of Jesus our Redeemer, and having followed freely and securely, even in the midst of this world’s strife, the Sun of Truth and Justice under Thy maternal star, we shall come to the enjoyment of full and eternal peace with Thee in the haven of salvation. Amen.
By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953

Altar of Repose

Mass of the Lord’s Supper

At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (April 5, 2012 at 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.

St. Joseph Altar

Thanks so much to all who helped to make the Solemnity of St. Joseph such a wonderful day in our parish.  So many of you devoted so much time and energy to prepare, cook, serve, organize and clean up.  And thanks for the wonderful guidance of Hunter Harris, Rosary Henry, Dan LeBlanc and Dana d’Anzi and SO SO MANY volunteers.  We’re still  figuring out how many people attended and the actual donations received, but we will get that information to you next weekend!

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.

Easter Holiday Baskets for the Needy

Easter Food Baskets will be distributed again this year.  Thanks to your continued generosity and support of the needy in our parish we have the resources to purchase food items to create our Easter Food Baskets this year.   Our food baskets will include green beans, carrots, mashed potatoes, gift certificate for a ham, cake mix,  etc.  We would like to include some Easter candy so if you would like to donate any Easter candies including chocolate bunnies we would greatly appreciate it.  THANKS again for providing for the least in our Parish and ensuring families will have a traditional meal to enjoy Easter Sunday.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions

March 2016

Universal: That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments.

Evangelization: That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church.

Please pray for the intentions of the Holy Father!

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
(to be prayed beginning May 30)

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.

Annual Mother’s Day Rosary Crusade for Life

The 18th Annual Mother’s Day Rosary Crusade for Life will be held on Saturday, May 7th, 2016 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. starting with Mass at St. Angela Merici followed by an adoption testimony by Debbie Shinskie, Director of the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and ending with Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary & Benediction.  Archbishop Gregory Aymond and Fr. Beau Charbonnet will be the celebrants.  This prayer event is sponsored by the Archdiocesan Sidewalk Counseling and Prayer Ministry, a ministry of the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  All are welcome.  For more information, please call Pam Richard at (504) 460-9360 or (985) 809-0773.”

Congratulations to Becky Brocato and Mark & Kathy Fayard!

st_louis_medal

On Sunday May 1, 2016 at 3:00pm at St. Joseph Church (because the Cathedral is undergoing work on the AC), our parishioners Becky Brocato, Mark Fayard and Kathy Fayard were awarded the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion by Archbishop Aymond. 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 Becky, Mark and Kathy, you surely know of their work! They are all active in our ministry to the poor both at the Rebuild Center and here in our ministry to our neighborhood poor. Mark and Kathy and their children regularly pray the Rosary at 11:00 am on Saturday at the abortion clinic on General Pershing and Magnolia, and Mark is our volunteer webmaster. “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” (Mt 25:40). Becky, Mark and Kathy minister to Jesus.

Nominations Sought for the Pope John Paul II Award

The Catholic Foundation is seeking nominations for the Pope John Paul II Award. The award is presented annually to an outstanding Catholic layperson(s) or permanent deacon who resides in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and who exhibits inspirational examples of Christian stewardship. This year’s award will be presented at The Catholic Foundation’s Annual Dinner held at the Hilton Riverside on Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

Award nominees should be a practicing Roman Catholic with an outstanding record of volunteer service in the Catholic Community, high moral character, volunteer board memberships and exemplary values. A nomination form is available on The Catholic Foundation website (www.archdiocese-no.org/catholicfoundation). Nominations should be no longer than three pages in length. All nominations are due to The Catholic Foundation by Friday, May 17, 2013. Please submit nominations to: The Catholic Foundation, 1000 Howard Ave., Suite 800, New Orleans, LA 70113 or fax to (504) 596-3068 or email mwolfe@arch-no.org

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!

Five Finger Prayer Guide

Here is a simple prayer that has been attributed to Pope Francis, which he wrote as a Cardinal.  It’s called the “five finger prayer guide. “

  1. The thumb is the closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a “sweet obligation.”
  2. The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.
  3. The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God’s guidance.
  4. The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even that it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.
  5. And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you are done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.

How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Instructions on how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, using as a Rosary

Start at the Crucifix
Make the Sign of the Cross.
“Thou didst expire, Lord Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.  O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Thyself out upon us.”

(3 times) “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in Thee!”

1. Pray the Our Father.
2. Pray the Hail Mary.
3. Recite the Apostles’ Creed.

* On the large bead before each of the five decades (set of ten prayers) say:
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Thy Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

* On each small “Hail Mary” bead:
“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

* After five decades, conclude by saying three times:
“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

* Concluding prayers:
“Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Thy mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Thy holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen.”

Divine Mercy

A Mass in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday will be celebrated by Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond on April 12, 2015 at 3:00p.m at St. Joseph Church, 1802 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Divine Mercy Sunday is dedicated to the devotion to the Divine Mercy promoted by St. Faustina , and is based upon an entry in St. Faustina’s diary stating that anyone who participates in the Mass and receives the sacraments of confession and Eucharist on this day is assured by Jesus of full remission of sins.

According to the notebooks of Saint Faustina, Jesus made the following statements about this day: “On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 699)

The devotion was celebrated unofficially in many places for some years.  However, on April 30, 2000 (Divine Mercy Sunday of that year), Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday in the General Roman Calendar , with effect from the following year. He also decreed a plenary indulgence associated with this devotion. Pope John Paul II said he felt a closeness to St. Faustina when he was writing his letter Dives in misericordia. He died during the vigil of the Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.

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