From the Pastor – June 30, 2019

Louisiana Catholic ChurchesBrothers and sisters:  For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1)

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day next week, we might reflect a little bit about what it means to be “free.”  In the context of the Fourth of July holiday, freedom means being separated from the political control of a king as had been the case prior to the American revolution.  But “freedom” means many things.  Webster’s Dictionary has a very lengthy definition of freedom.  In part it reads: “a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action  b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.”

In all of these contexts, freedom seems to be something good.  But even Webster’s goes on to note that freedom without responsibility can degenerated into something that is undesirable:  something called “license.”  License implies a freedom specially granted or conceded and may actually connote an abuse of freedom.  Imagine a bunch of teenagers being left alone in a house for a week while their parents are out of town.  “We’re free!” they might proclaim.  So they raid the freezer and pantry to fill themselves up with ice cream and snacks and whiskey while trashing the kitchen.  They invite friends over for a party during which they play dodge ball in the living room, destroying the furniture.  Some of them decide to use the bedrooms for immoral acts.  Someone drops a lit cigarette, and the dining room burns before they’re able to put out the fire with the garden hose.  Theirs is not true freedom.  Their abuse of freedom will have repercussions when their parents return.  And in the meantime they’re now living in a house that’s more fit for animals than human beings.

Christ calls us to a freedom that gives us peace in this life and points us to a life to come.  But it’s sometimes hard to understand what that means.  The reason is that mankind abused his freedom at the very beginning of history when he succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. Even though we still desires the good, our nature bears the wound of original sin, and we are inclined to evil and subject to error.

What are some examples?  Well, the law of the US allows a mother the “freedom” to kill the child in her womb.  We’re free to commit whatever sexual acts we want as long as they’re done “in the privacy of our own bedroom.”  We’re free to gorge ourselves on food until we’re obese, to drink ourselves into oblivion, to destroy our health with cigarettes.  But are any of those things “true” freedom?

Catholic teaching says otherwise: “Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude. But by deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.

There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin.’ … Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts.”

We have true freedom in Christ.  May we use this freedom – this mastery of our own minds and bodies – to set ourselves free, and to avoid becoming slaves to sin.  And when our own sins place us in chains of misery and despair, may we reach out for the freedom provided by Sacramental Confession.  The world is not our final destiny.  May we always keep our eyes on Eternity.

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

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2019 Corpus Christi Pics

Solemnity of Peter and Paul

On Friday, June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI will bestow the pallium on 38 metropolitan archbishops, including 14 from Europe and six from North America. The Americans are: Archbishops Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida.

The vestment is called a “pallium,” (plural is “pallia”) and it is a narrow band of cloth woven of white lamb’s wool with a ring in the center which rests on the shoulders of its wearer. The narrow band falls down the front of the chest like a necktie and goes similarly down the back. It is decorated with six black crosses, one on each tail and four on the loop. The pallium has its origin as a liturgical vestment of the Holy Father since at least the 4th century, and it has been given to each Metropolitan Archbishop since at least the 9th century.

Worn by the pope, the pallium symbolizes the plenitudo pontificalis officii (i.e., the “fullness of Pontifical office”). When worn by Metropolitan Archbishops, it signifies the power which the Metropolitan, in communion with the Roman Church, has by law in his own province.

The story of how the pallium is made gives clues to its symbolism. The wool comes from lambs raised by Trappist monks. On, January 21, the Feast of St. Agnes (“agnes” is from the Latin word for lamb), the lambs whose wool is destined for the making of the pallia are solemnly blessed at the Basilica of Saint Agnes. However, during the last three years, the Holy Father has blessed these lambs himself at the Vatican. Wool from these lambs is then given to the Benedictine nuns of the Basilica of St Cecilia in Trastevere, and they weave the pallia. The new pallia are solemnly blessed at the Basilica of St. Peter after the Second Vespers on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and are then stored in a special golden chest located directly above the original tomb of St. Peter. It is called the “Niche of the Pallia.”

If you’re ever at St Louis Cathedral on a Sunday, notice Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s pallium. It’s a great reminder of the universality and long history of our Church.

Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Friday, June 28, 2019
Margaret Alacoque was born in Burgundy, France on 22 July, 1647. From her early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. During her time before the Blessed Sacrament, Christ even made Himself visually apparent to her. This did not surprise her, because she thought others had the same Divine assistance! Although tempted by the luxuries and distractions of the world, Margaret Mary entered the Visitation Convent in 1572, where her visions became known. Because of her perceived “special status,” she was subjected to many trials to prove her vocation. She showed obedience, humility, and invariable charity towards those who persecuted her.

Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish a Holy Hour during which she lay prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven until midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness Christ endured when he was abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony. She also made sure to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month.

In the first great revelation, Jesus made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Sacred Heart with all of its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation. He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the Feast of the Sacred Heart; He also called her His “Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart.” The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings.

The discussion of the mission and virtues of Margaret Mary continued for years. All her actions, her revelations, her spiritual maxims, her teachings regarding the devotion to the Sacred Heart, of which she was the chief exponent as well as the apostle, were subjected to the most severe and minute examination. After a thorough examination, Pope Pius IX declared her Blessed in 1864. In 1856, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was inaugurated.  And in 1920 Margaret Mary was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

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!

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts
(to be prayed beginning May 24)

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 Trbinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed y every Christian.

NOVENA PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT
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.  (Say 7X Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be)

 

Diaconal Ordinations

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 10:00 AM at St. Louis Cathedral, we will ordain Sylvester Ugbada Adoga, Luis Carlos Duarte Gonza?lez, Kesiena Dennis Obienu, Luis Carlos Valencia Osorio and John Daniel Yike to the Transitional Diaconate for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony.

Religious Freedom Week 2019: Strength in Hope

In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ in God and free from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those riches which remain forever and generously dedicate themselves wholly to the advancement of the kingdom of God and to the reform and improvement of the temporal order in a Christian spirit. Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that “the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
-Apostolicam actuositatem,                                                                                                                                           

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, brining the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength if mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; Give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters Gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome-for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us – this great land will always be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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.

Eucharistic Miracles of the World

Sunday, June 23, 2019 is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).   On that weekend, our parish will have the Vatican International Exhibit of Eucharistic Miracles on display.  Did you know that there have been hundreds of documented cases where the bread and wine consecrated at Mass actually turned into visible flesh and blood?  The exhibit showcases dozens of these cases with photos and descriptions.


Catalogue of the Vatican International Exhibition

With an extensive assortment of photographs and historical descriptions, the exhibition presents some of the principal Eucharistic Miracles that have taken place over the centuries and throughout the world. Most Eucharistic miracles involve incidences in which the Host has “turned into human flesh and blood.” Certainly, the Church teaches (and we believe) that the consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. Through Eucharistic miracles, Christ manifests His Presence in a more tangible and visible way. Interestingly, many Eucharistic miracles have occurred during times of weakened Faith. For example, a number of Eucharist miracles have taken place as a result of someone, often the priest himself, doubting the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Included in the exhibit are descriptions of many of the most famous miracles, including those of Lanciano, Orvieto and Siena. Each of them has received full approval by the Church. By means of the exhibit, one can “virtually visit” the places where the miracles occurred.

It is important for us to remember that while Eucharistic Miracles can help us more fully understand and live our faith (with Christ the Eucharist as its source and summit), these Miracles are only useful as long as they are closely focused on Jesus Christ. They cannot become autonomous. Miracles can strengthen the faith of believers and even non-believers, but they are valuable only if they direct us to the Eucharist instituted by Christ and present at each celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They must serve the faith. They must not and cannot add anything to the one and only, definitive gift of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. They are a humble reminder of the Real Presence and can impart a more fruitful and deeper knowledge of it. Join us and see the different ways that Christ has manifested His Real Presence to increase our faith!

THANK YOU, Brother Knights!

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!

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 $1,338.47 was presented to Msgr. Nalty following the 8:00 AM mass on Sunday May 19.  

Good Church Etiquette

An instructive reminder

Remember to keep your Eucharistic fast by abstaining from food and beverages (water excluded) for an hour before Mass.

Always dress modestly and appropriately. Arrive early to allow for personal prayer and/or read the readings of the day.

Turn off all mobile devices while still in the vestibule. This is your time with God and His people.

Use the restroom before or after Mass. Men remove hats or caps before the Lord.

Deposit all water bottles in the waste receptacles.

Make the sign of the cross with Holy Water upon entering.

Genuflect with great reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle before entering your pew. If unable to genuflect, a profound bow is respectful.

Refrain from chit-chat which distracts others who are connecting with God through prayer before Mass.

Join the singing. St. Anselm said that “singing is praying twice.”  Singing with others gives great praise to God, which is really why we are gathered here.

Listen to the readings. God is speaking directly to you.

Receive Communion with laser-like attention. We receive Communion, we do not take it. If choosing to receive the Body of Christ in the hand, place the hand you write with under the hand you will receive, in a way, creating a throne for the Lord. A simple bow of the head to the Eucharist is appropriate as a sign of reverence to Christ before receiving.

Don’t forget to make a prayer of thanksgiving after receiving Communion. “There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul than that which is made during the thanksgiving after Communion.” (St. Alfonsus Liguori)

Remember that the point of being at Mass is not to see what we can get out of it, but what you can do to praise and worship the Almighty.

And finally, leave church only after the procession has left the altar. Only one person left the Last Supper early”

Congratulations to Maria Brady and Kate Mascari!

Archbishop Aymond will present the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion to our parishioners Maria Brady and Kate Mascari on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. in St. Joseph Church.  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 Marie and Kate, you surely know of their work!  They are two of our most diligent rectory volunteers.  Both of them help us with the collection counting.  Kate is also involved with the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and Maria helps with our sacramental registers.  “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” (Mt 25:40).

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