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
Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC)
Center of Jesus the Lord
Sunday at 10:30am
Monday – Friday 6:30am St. Henry
Tuesdays 6:00pm St. Stephen
First Fridays 7:00pm OLGC
Extraordinary Form Latin Mass
Last Sunday of month at 12:30pm
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Tuesdays 4:45 – 5:45pm St. Stephen
Thursdays 7:00 – 8:00am St. Henry
First Fridays 8:00 – 9:00pm OLGC
Confession Times at Good Shepherd
Saturdays 3:00 – 3:45pm St. Stephen
Sundays 9:30 – 10:15am St. Stephen
Sundays 10:00 – 10:30am OLGC
First Fridays 6:30 – 7:00pm OLGC
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!
Americans United for Life released the 2017 LIFE LIST after analyzing progress made legislatively or in litigation in 2016. The Life List takes into account the 50 states’ overall advances since Roe v. Wade toward re-building a culture of life, including events of the last year. Louisiana comes in at number 3 for the second year in a row (we were number 1 for 6 years before that. But we should never stop working and praying until the government of our country changes the law to protect human life in the womb. Every biological textbook teaches that human life begins at conception,when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg. From that moment on, that unborn child should be protected. Please join us in prayer each Saturday at 11:00am outside of the abortion clinic located at on the corner of General Pershing and Magnolia.
This prayer, from the U.S. edition of the Book of Blessings (no. 1965), is an adaptation of the prayer for the Church and for civil authorities that was composed by Archbishop John Carroll for use on the occasion of the inauguration of George Washington in 1789.
Prayer on the Occasion of the Inauguration of a Public Official
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed your glory to all nations.
God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
For the President:
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality. Amen.
January 20, 2017
Memorial for the Unborn Prayer Service will be held at St. Patrick’s #3 Cemetery, 202 City Park Ave. (near Canal Blvd.), NOLA on Friday January 20, 2017, at 2:00 PM with Archbishop Aymond leading the prayers. All are invited to attend. If you have any questions, please contact the Respect Life Office 504-286-1119 or email@example.com.
January 21, 2017
Louisiana Life March South will be held Saturday January 2, 2017, in Baton Rouge. Life March South activities will begin at 9:30 AM with pre-event remarks and program at Galvez Plaza behind the Old State Capitol. The March for Life will begin at 10:00 AM concluding at or near the State Capitol at 10:45 AM. At that point, the formal program of the event will begin. Visit Louisiana Right to Life’s site for more information at prolifelouisiana.org. Contact Louisiana Right to Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-463-5433.
The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us.” (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII). . . , “it was in the context of the Reformation Anniversary that the Council of Churches in Germany took up the work of creating the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017. It quickly became clear that the materials for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity would need to have two accents: on the one hand, there should be a celebration of God’s love and grace, the ‘justification of humanity through grace alone,’ reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation. On the other hand, the materials should also recognize the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church, openly name the guilt, and offer an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.”
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)
The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.
Parishioners of Good Shepherd Parish who have registered now receive envelopes in the mail. Please register if you would like to receive envelopes. Also, we offer electronic giving as a way to automate your regular donations.
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)
Our spiritual work of mercy…
February 8th is the International Day of Awareness and Prayer Against Human Trafficking. On this day we are going Silent on Social Media for 24 hours! Join us as we go silent in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are victims of Human Trafficking. Don’t post…PRAY!
February 9th – 17th is our Archdiocesan novena to end Human Trafficking. To sign up for our archdiocesan daily email reminder for the February 9th-17th novena, please send an email to: email@example.com
Our corporal work of mercy…
This month we are assisting a local safe house, the Free Indeed Home, where girls ages 12-17 who have been sex trafficked can come for healing and restoration. If you or your group would like to participate in the collection of much-needed items, please contact the Respect Life Office to facilitate on this (no drop-offs can be accepted). The following items are needed:
The Archdiocese of New Orleans will offer a writing workshop for persons seeking an annulment in the Catholic Church or for persons responding to an annulment. The workshop will be held in St. Rita Parish’s Msgr. Champagne Complex, 7100 Jefferson Hwy in Harahan. The series will be for five (5) Tuesdays, March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4, 2017. Hours are 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The materials for the series cost $25.00. To register or for more information, call Cathy, 504-861-6243.
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!
Lord Teach Me To Pray is a three-part Ignatian prayer series developed in 2001 to meet the desire of men and women for on-going spiritual growth as they respond to the call to holiness and to a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. It was developed as an outreach program to bring the Holy Spirit into our daily lives in facilitated faith-sharing prayer communities, where the Lord, himself, teaches them to pray. Lord Teach Me To Pray is part of the New Evangelization as understood in the writings and initiatives of Blessed John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. The mission of Lord, Teach Me To Pray consists in enabling men and women to grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, thus facilitating their eternal salvation and that of their family.
Lord, Teach Me to Pray is a three-part prayer series. 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 I (women) will meet in the Rectory Chapel, Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 beginning Jan 26th. Contact Sheila Boyson, 919-995-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information or to register. Additional sessions for men and women are available at other Uptown churches. Please visit the web site, lordteachmetopray.com for the full schedule.
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!
Archbishop Gregory Aymond will celebrate a Mass with the Community of Deacons for the annual Feast of St. Stephen on Monday, December 26, 2016, 6:30 PM at St. Stephen Church. He will be specifically honoring the deacons who are celebrating anniversaries of 10, 15, 20, 25, 35, and 40 years of diaconal service. All are invited.
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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