Archives for August 2020

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 9, 2020, Confessions will be heard in the “bride room” of St. Stephen Church beginning at 5:00pm until 6:30pm. … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 30, 2020

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.” (Mt. 16:24-26) I spent five years of my seminary formation in Rome, studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University.  During the first three years, I obtained a Bachelor in Sacred Theology, which would be similar to a Masters of Divinity. During my final two years of seminary, I spent most of my time studying canon law. Anyway, one day I was discussing the Scriptural passage above with a friend who was in advanced Scripture studies, and I asked him: “To what was Jesus referring to when … [Read more...]

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Feast Day September 5 On 10 September 1946, on a train journey from Calcutta to Darjeeling, Mother Teresa received what she termed the “call within a call,” which was to give rise to the Missionaries of Charity family: “to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus on the cross for love and souls” by “laboring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor.” On October 7, 1950, the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially erected as a religious institute for the Archdiocese of Calcutta. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Mother Teresa expanded the work of the Missionaries of Charity both within Calcutta and throughout India. From the late 1960s until 1980, the Missionaries of Charity expanded across the globe and in their number of members. Mother … [Read more...]

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist August 29

The Church, having celebrated the earthly birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24, honors the anniversary of his martyrdom on August 29. Besides our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist is the only one whose birth and death are celebrated in the liturgy of the Church. Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, John bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his suffering he revealed that Christ also would suffer. As St. Venerable Bede wrote: “He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ. “To endure … [Read more...]

Workshops for New Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Basic workshops for new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will be presented this Fall by the Office of Worship. Due to COVID restrictions, workshops will be conducted on a virtual platform with a limit of 15 participants per session. Attendance at this workshop is required before a person can be delegated by the Archbishop to serve in this ministry. The complete schedule and more information can be found on the Office of Worship website at https://nolacatholic.org/basic-workshops-for-emhc. Participants are to be pre-registered by their parishbefore attending. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Worship at 504-861-6300 or worship@arch-no.org. … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 23, 2020

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:16-19) Last Sunday I mentioned the “Scavi,” the excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  The excavations contain a cemetery with tombs dating from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries.  Although many of the tombs are pagan, as the visit gets closer to the area under the main altar of St. Peter’s, we begin to see many signs of Christian burials.  The highlight of the tour is the area immediately under the altar where the Pope celebrates Mass on most Sundays in Rome.  There we … [Read more...]

Mission to the Holy Spirit – “Finding Strength and Hope in Today’s World”

Thanks to all of those who took part in our mission this week.  I was gratified by the attendance!  And thanks especially to Deacon Rich Eason and his friends in the “Sociedad de Hombres Pecadores” for organizing the celebrants and the musicians. … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 16, 2020

Jesus said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” (Mt. 15:26-27) For the first 36 years of my life, I spent a lot of time listening to homilies at Mass, rather than giving them.  Of course, I’ve heard some really amazing homilies.  But I’ve also heard some that didn’t say a lot to me.  One of my biggest pet peeves was when there was a line in the Gospel that begged to be explained and the homilist ignored it like nobody heard it. I think that the above quote from this Sunday’s Gospel is just that sort of quote.  Think about it, did Jesus just call that woman a “dog”?  That’s pretty strong language here!  And she just took … [Read more...]

Back to School

St. Stephen Catholic School is getting ready to restart school in the end of August for the youngest students and in early September for the older students. I wish each parishioner could come to at least one school Mass (which will normally be at 9:00 am on Fridays) during the year to see what well-behaved, enthusiastic and attentive students we have at St. Stephen’s. Unfortunately, most of the children 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 educate here in our parish. If you know someone who … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 9, 2020

Peter said to him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.”  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mt. 14:28-31) There are three things about the above encounter between Jesus and Peter from today’s Gospel that should make us think.  First, there is the command of Jesus; second, there is the fear of Peter; and, third, there is the reaction of Jesus to Peter’s lack of faith. First, we have to recognize that Jesus “commands” Peter to go across the water.  If Jesus gives us a … [Read more...]