Archives for July 2014

From the Pastor – July 27, 2014

Jesus said to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Mt. 13:44-46) A few years ago, one of my friends who is in the construction business told me a story about a man who owned some property on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. It was basically swamp land that he used for hunting and fishing. At that usage, the land couldn’t have been worth more than $1000-2000 an acre. And then something happened. A survey found that there was a large vein of clay on the property. With all of the coastal protection projects going on, the need for local clay is enormous. Small amounts of clay are not that expensive, but clay is expensive to move in large … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 20, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’” (Mt. 13:32-31a) One of the memorable scenes from the Acts of the Apostles is when the Pharisees are deciding what to do about the pesky Apostles, who seem content to suffer persecution as they courageously preach about the Resurrection of Jesus. One of the Pharisees, named Gamaliel, orders the Apostles out of the Sanhedrin, and makes the following appeal to the members: “Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men. Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was … [Read more...]

Back to School!

St. Stephen Catholic School had its first day of classes on Tuesday, August 14, and we had our first weekly school Mass the next day on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 8:30 am.  I wish each parishioner could come to at least one school Mass (which is normally at 8:30 am on Friday) during the year to see what well-behaved, enthusiastic and attentive students we have at St. Stephen’s. Unfortunately, many of the families that attend St. Stephen Catholic School do not live in the parish and, therefore, attend Mass at their home parish.  However, you do know some of our students (and former students) who participate as altar servers at our Saturday 4:00pm Vigil and Sunday 10:30am Mass.  Those young men are representative of the quality of the students that we … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 13, 2014

You, O LORD, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you. Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my pleading. (Ps. 85:5-6) The Gospel for this 16th Sunday in Ordinary time is the parable from Matthew 13 about the field sown with good and bad seed.  We might have heard the expression “bad seed” as referring to someone who came from a “bad family.”  While it’s true that one’s environment can have a serious effect on our personalities, attitudes and habits, the Church teaches that we are all God’s children.  You might also hear the expression that someone is “beyond redemption.”  This expression is contrary to Catholic doctrine.  The catechism teaches that “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did … [Read more...]

Eucharistic Procession 2014

Click for all the pics! … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 6, 2014

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt 11:28-30) “Come to me,” the Lord asks us in today’s Gospel.  The word used for “come” in the original Greek is “?????” – pronounced “dyoo-teh.”  It’s a command, and it’s directed to the entire group to whom Jesus is speaking.  The same word is used by Jesus a number of times in the New Testament, speaking to a past event, a present event and a future event. In the past event, Jesus first used the word: “Come, after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1:17).  In the future event, Jesus gives us the parable of the talents, and uses the word as … [Read more...]

What a Wonderful Feast! (of Corpus Christi)

Last weekend was a beautiful procession of the Eucharist to honor our belief that what we receive in Holy Communion is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  We were blessed that Archbishop Aymond was about to come and celebrate our Mass and lead the procession.  Since the word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving,” I need to do some thanksgiving here! Six years ago I asked Kathy Fayard if she would help coordinate a simple Eucharistic Procession on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.  Little did she know that she’d still be doing it 6 years later! And little did she know how much it would grow! So thanks, Kathy! Thanks to Dixie, Phillip and Dianne for all the behind the scenes clerical work and organizing the procession crew. Thanks to our canopy bearers: … [Read more...]

Artificial Contraception

Societal Concerns A great deal has been written and discussed recently concerning the recent directive of the Department of Health and Human Services to require Catholic institutions to pay for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives. While much of the commentary has focused on how the policy affects the freedom of religion of the Catholic Church, the press discussion of this issue has also prompted discussion of artificial contraception. Over the next three weeks, I want to briefly present the Church's teachings on artificial contraception through three different areas of concern: (1) societal concerns; (2) scientific/medical concerns; and (3) moral concerns. It's helpful for us to understand the teachings of the Church rather than accepting the attacks of the … [Read more...]