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From the Pastor – October 25, 2020

US Catholic Mass Times“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
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Remember to Pray for the Faithful Departed!

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

Be a Good Steward

Good Shepherd Parish needs average weekly collections of $6,500 in order to fund parish operations.  Rarely does our collection exceed $5,000. Thankfully, we often cover our deficit with year-end donations by generous.  I encourage you to take this time to prayerfully consider whether you might increase your donations to our parish.  For those who are able, please consider an additional 10% per week.  Your help will make a big difference in our ability to meet our financial obligations.  One way to make this easy is to use our electronic giving program.  Simply sign up at our web site: www.GoodShepherdParishNOLA.com.  Go to the Online Donations tab at the top of the page to set up your online giving account.  You may also use the paper authorization form, available at the Online Donations tab or from Dianne Caverly in the parish office.  Call Dianne if you have difficulties.

Lord Teach Me to Pray

PART 1:  PRAYING CHRISTIAN VIRTUES

WHAT:      A 12- week prayer series that will introduce you to the meditative and contemplative way of prayer devised by St. Ignatius of Loyola, enabling you to deepen your prayer life and your relationship with Our Lord

WHEN:      Starts Thursday, Sept 24, 2020 at 6:00pm.
New participants accepted until Oct 8, 2020.

WHERE:   In St. Stephen Church.  Enter through the (school) side door.

REGISTER:  Dianne Caverly, 504-388-3430

NOTE:       This session is for women only.  Contact Dianne for more information on men’s sessions or the complete schedule for women.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

“We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern.” – Pope Francis, 9/16/13

As important local, state, and national elections approach, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is launching an informational campaign to educate Catholics on their responsibility to exercise their right to vote with a properly formed conscience. Using resources based on the US Bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” the archdiocese will share through the Clarion Herald and digital communications resources about the roles and responsibilities of Catholic clergy, religious, and laity in public life, how to properly form one’s conscience, and how to have civil dialogue in political debate. For the latest information visit https://nolacatholic.org/ or follow the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans on Facebook.

St. Francis of Assisi – Blessing of the Pets

October 4 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!

Appeal for Hurricane Laura Survivors

On Septmeber 12 – 13 ONLY at St. Stephen Church

The Knights of Columbus will collect donations of items listed on the flyers in the back of church.

In Our Parish

The parish office frequently receives calls from “parishioners” to have their children baptized, get a school voucher, get married or have permission to serve as a godparent. Being a “parishioner” at Good Shepherd Parish means that you either (1) reside in the parish boundaries (Leontine to Seventh Street, Carondelet to the River) or (2) you have completed a parish census form (3) have registered online at goodshepherdparishNOLA.com. This isn’t our rule, it’s the rule of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  To be a “contributing parishioner” (for the purposes of school vouchers) you must use parish envelopes or personal checks for donations.

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.

Blessing of the Cemeteries

msgr-blessing

On All Saints Day, Sunday, November 1, 2019, at noon, Msgr. Nalty will bless the St Vincent 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.  At 12:30 pm, Msgr. Nalty will bless St Joseph Cemetery located at 2220 Washington Ave.

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.

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 & one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can be acquired once a day.

40 Days for Life

Want to help mark the beginning of the end of abortion in New Orleans?

The 40 Days for Life Campaign kicked off on September 23. If you feel called to peacefully pray at the abortion clinic we have a small group who prays the Rosary at 11:00am on each Saturday at the clinic on General Pershing and Magnolia. If you are unable to join us in our peaceful vigil, we ask that you commit to praying daily and fasting to end abortion.  For more information, or to volunteer to help, please visit 40 Days online at http://prolifelouisiana.org/40daysforlifenola

Notice Regarding Archdiocese of New Orleans Chapter 11 Reorganization

The bankruptcy court in case number 20-10846 pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has set a deadline of March 1, 2021 to file a Sexual Abuse Proof of Claim in the Archdiocese of New Orleans Bankruptcy. A Sexual Abuse Proof of Claim form may be found at: www.NolaChurchclaims.com

The bankruptcy court in case number 20-10846 pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has set a deadline of November 30, 2020 to file a General Proof of Claim in the Archdiocese of New Orleans Bankruptcy. A General Proof of Claim form may be found at: https://www.donlinrecano.com/Clients/rcano/Static/BDPOC

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