From the Pastor – October 29, 2017

Very Short Prayers“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
(Mt. 22:36-40)

In English we use the word “love” in a lot of ways. We might use it to describe our favorite restaurant, “I love La Petite Grocery.” We might use it to describe our favorite tech device, “I love my iPhone.” Or we might use it to describe bigger things, like “I love New Orleans.” And in all of these usages, it’s used primarily as a superlative of the word “like.”
When it comes to people, the usage of the word “love” can also vary. We might love our grandparents, our parents, our spouses and our children, but the way we express our love reveals a slight difference in the use of the word. Love of parents and grandparents is characterized by respect and honor. Love of children is characterized by guardianship and nurturing. Love for spouses is different; it’s a love that can be romantic, but it’s more properly characterized as a love relationship of respect and mutual self-giving.

But what about love for God? Clearly, love for God is unique among all of the other loves. It’s a love that exists despite the ability to interact in a completely physical way because of the nature of God as pure spirit. Among the Jewish people the way that love for God was developed was by contemplating divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature. The history of the children of Abraham noted and recorded God’s intervention into the lives of their forefathers, and recognized a love relationship based upon God’s saving help.

But what about us, as Catholic Christians? Our understanding of love comes to us in the person of Jesus. Instead of appearing as a spirit, Jesus appeared in the flesh. The simple fact of God making Himself subject to His creation revealed the love of God in a different way. Although, as humans, we have no ability to be equal to the omnipotent Creator, God entered into our world to show us love at our level. And the early Christians used the Greek word for love that Jesus used: “agape.” It’s defined as a love that is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It’s a sacrificial love that is most perfectly understood by gazing upon Jesus on the cross. It’s the love God has for us. And it’s the love that Jesus calls us to have for each other.
(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty

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All Saints Day

All Saints Day (November 1) is a Holy Day of Obligation.  Mass will be celebrated at 6:00pm in St Stephen Church on Tuesday, October 31 (Vigil) and at 6:30am and at 9:00am (the School Mass) at  St. Henry Church on November 1.  The 6:00pm Vigil Mass will be preceded by a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 4:45pm

All Hallows’ Eve

Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve is not a liturgical feast on the Catholic calendar, but the celebration has deep ties to the Liturgical Year. These three consecutive days ”” Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day ”” bring to mind the Communion of Believers. On earth we are called the “Church Militant,” because we are striving to get to heaven.  We pray for the “Church Suffering,” the souls in Purgatory, especially on All Souls Day (and even the entire month of November). We also honor and ask the intercession of the “Church Triumphant,” those souls, whether canonized or uncanonized, who are in Heaven.

In England, saints or holy people are called “hallowed,” hence All Saints Day was  “All Hallow’s Day.” The evening before the feast became popularly known as “All Hallows’ Eve” or even shorter, "Hallowe’en."

Since Vatican II, some liturgical observances have been altered, one being that the practice of a “fast prior to a feast” is no longer required. Originally, the days preceding great solemnities, like Christmas and All Saints Day, had a penitential nature, requiring abstinence from meat, fasting and prayer. Although no longer required by the Church, it is still a devout practice to prepare oneself spiritually before great feast days.

Since it occurred the night before All Saints Day, Halloween was a vigil and required fasting. Many recipes and traditions were attached to this evening, including pancakes, boxty bread, barmbrack (Irish fruit bread with hidden charms), colcannon (a combination of cabbage and boiled potatoes). The night was also known as “Nutcracker Night” in England, where the family gathered around the hearth to enjoy cider and nuts and apples.

Halloween is the preparation for the two upcoming feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Although neither demons nor witchcraft have a place in a Catholic celebration, some macabre elements can be incorporated into Halloween. Skulls are often used in Catholic art as a “memento mori” or “reminder of death,” since it is good to remind ourselves of our impending death and the Poor Souls in Purgatory. But, ultimately, everything points to the glory of Heaven and the saints surrounding the throne of God.

St. Francis of Assisi – Blessing of the Pets

October 1 at Noon

Feast Day – October 4

Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis of Assisi deal with his love for animals. Part of his appreciation of the environment is expressed in his Canticle of the Sun, a poem written in Umbrian Italian in perhaps 1224 which expresses a love and appreciation of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, Brother Fire, etc. and all of God’s creations personified in their fundamental forms.  Francis’ attitude towards the natural world, while poetically expressed, was conventionally Christian. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.  This Sunday, all pets are invited into the courtyard between the church and the school at 12:00 noon, after the 10:30am Mass for the Blessing of the Pets.  Please make sure that your pets can play “nice” before bringing them over!

Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress

The Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress has been an annual event for 25 years, and this year will take place at St. Rita Catholic Church – 7400 Jefferson Hwy. The dates are October 7 thru October 13.  It has drawn thousands of people from all over the area and beyond.

The church is open day and night for seven days. That is 168 hours, of continuous prayer and adoration of Jesus. Many spiritual groups, families, and individuals from local and adjoining areas cover the time.  Prayer begins hourly, except when other activities are taking place. There is time for Mass, Adoration, Rosaries, processions, spiritual talks, periods of silence, and singing. The beauty and diversity of the Catholic Church is demonstrated in the many activities held during this week.

There is plenty room for all to come and pray together.  Those who come experience the proven power of these prayers.

If you wish to come and be a part of the Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress or be a helper or be a representative from different areas, call Marie at 504-508-7100 for more information.

Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

October 2

Angels are intellectual beings created by God with a natural higher dignity than man; they have intelligence and will, are personal and immortal. Good angels serve God and help man. They always behold the face of God in heaven (Matt. 18:10).  Christ is at the center of the angels. Each one of us has a Guardian Angel to accompany us through life and shield us from the assaults of demons and even temporal evils, except what God permits for spiritual advancement.  Keep close to your Guardian Angel!

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, too rule and guide. Amen.

Vincentian Priests Celebration!

200 Years since the Arrival of the Vincentians in the United States

September 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

St. Joseph Church
1802 Tulane Avenue

The Congregation of the Mission (the “Vincentians”) invite all, clergy religious and laity, to their celebration.  As part of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Congregation of the Mission in the United States, there will be a Mass, reception and the inauguration of a “New Orleans Congregation of the Mission scholarship Fund.”

After consulting with Xavier University, the Vincentians are establishing a scholarship fund for Xavier students who have shown an interest in working to promote peace and justice after they graduate from college. Specifically, they will offer aid to students in their last year or two of college, who are running short of finances to complete their college education.

The New Orleans Vincentians at DePaul Residence and St. Joseph Church will contribute an initial $100,000 to the fund. In an effort to have the scholarship fund reach a goal of $200,000, they welcome additional contributions.  Please send checks made out to “St. Joseph Church” with note “for scholarship fund” to St. Joseph Church, 1802 Tulane Ave., New Orleans., La 70112.

The Congregation of the Mission arrived in Baltimore in 1816, spent 1817 in Bardstown, Ky and arrived in Perryville, Mo. in 1818. At the celebration, we will also distribute a booklet describing the history of Vincentian priests and brothers in our Province that included New Orleans from 1818 to the present day.

Blessing of the Cemeteries


On All Saints Day, Tuesday, November 1, 2017, at 11:30 am, Msgr. Nalty will bless the St Vincent and St. Joseph Cemeteries on Soniat and Loyola Avenue (behind Newman School). These cemeteries are the resting places for many longtime parishioners of St. Stephen Church, as well as the Vincentian Priests and Daughters of Charity who served our parish for over 150 years.  Many people take the occasion of the blessing as a time to beautify these resting places and pray for the souls of their faithfully departed relatives, priests, religious sisters and friends.

November 2

The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed

“On this day is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven, strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city.”
Roman Martyrology

All Souls Indulgences
An indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; it is partial on other days of the year.

A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (as well as on the Sunday preceding or following, and on All Saints’ Day) piously visit a church. In visiting the church it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

To acquire a plenary indulgence one must fulfill the following three conditions: (1) Sacramental Confession, (2) Holy Communion, and (3) prayer for the intention of the Holy Father. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the visit; it is, however, fitting that Holy Communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day as the visit. The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can only be acquired once a day.

Respect Life Program USCCB

Spiritual work of mercy – During the month of October, please join in our prayer.

“Father and maker of all, you adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.”

 Corporal works of mercy—October 2 – What To Do When a Friend is Considering Abortion

One who is considering abortion needs to know you care about her for her own sake and she is not

alone. Take The L.O.V.E. Approach – Listen and Learn– find out what her perspective is. Open Options – provide facts in a loving and caring manner. Vision and Value– let her know she is valued and encourage her. Extend and Empower-provide practical support.

Learn more about The LOVE Approach at Heartbeat International at

Support the ACCESS Pregnancy Baby Shower at

Catholic Community Radio

If you listen to Catholic Community Radio at 5:00pm on October 12, you might hear someone you know…

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!

Right to Life 2018 Calendar Sale

Respect Life Sunday will be observed September 30-October 1, 2017. Good Shepherd Parish will be selling the 2018 Right to Life Calendars that weekend. The calendars cost $5.00 and portray pro-life themes in beautiful full color graphics. The proceeds will help all the good pro-life work of New Orleans Right to Life, CYO, and other parish organizations. For more information contact Jan Delcorral at 504-952-7277 or email Jan at

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

On the week when we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Archbishop Aymond has asked that every parish offer Confession for two hours. To that end, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Confessions will be heard beginning at 5:00pm until 6:30pm.

Parking During Construction

Parking for Sunday Mass will be a little more difficult during the Church Restoration, but we are trying to make it better.  There are a limited number of spaces in the schoolyard, which we hope can go first to less mobile parishioners.  You can enter behind the rectory on General Pershing and walk through the gate by the school to get to the church.  We also have a temporary handicap ramp on the front of the church.  We will also do our best to free up the spots on Camp Street when they are not needed by the contractors.  Thank you for your patience!

Lord Teach Me To Pray

Are you interested in a deeper relationship with God; do you want to improve your prayer life?  Lord, Teach Me to Pray is a three-part prayer series for men and women based on Ignatian Spirituality.  Beginning early to mid-September, all three parts of the series will be offered in several locations throughout the Archdiocese.  Part 1, Praying Christian Virtues, helps deepen prayer life, and discover what to do for dryness and obstacles in prayer.  This 12 week prayer series introduces the different methods of Ignatian prayer, meditation, contemplation and Consciousness Examen.  Small groups meet with 2 trained facilitators for 1-2 hours/week to pray and faith share.  In Good Shepherd Parish, Part III (women) will meet at St. Henry Church, Tuesdays, 10:30am-12noon beginning Sept 5th.  Contact Dianne Caverly, 504-388-3430 or, for more information or to register.  Additional sessions for men and women are available at other Uptown churches.  Consult the flyers in the foyer, or visit the web site,,  for the full schedule.

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