From the Pastor – March 7, 2021

Jesus said: “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace.”  His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.  At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn. 2:16-19) Two weeks ago Jesus was out in the desert, hungry and thirsty.  Last week, He was on top of a mountain, gloriously transfigured in dazzling white before Peter, James and John.  This week, He’s in the Temple, purifying it.  Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus casting the money-changers out of the Temple, and most of us understand that the scene is more than about a beautiful stone building in Jerusalem.  … [Read more...]

Stations of the Cross

During Lent there will be Stations of the Cross and Confession on Fridays at St. Stephen Church.  Confession begins at 5:30pm and the Stations at 6:00pm. Remember that Msgr. Nalty is also in the Confessional from 3:00-3:45pm on Saturdays and 9:15-10:15 a.m. on Sundays. … [Read more...]

Live Stream Weddings from St. Stephen Catholic Church

With the recent installation of 4 state-of-the-art video cameras for streaming Masses at St. Stephen's, we now can live-stream weddings as well. Our mounted cameras are omni-directional and can zoom and pan to practically any spot in the church so all special moments can be captured and shared online for family and friends who are not able to attend in-person. Weddings can be live-streamed to Facebook and/or YouTube. Dominic Fayard is our resident live-stream videographer and has live-streamed Sunday Masses for the past year. Dominic is happy to speak with couples prior to their wedding to discuss any particular wishes they may have about streaming their ceremony at St. Stephen. In addition to live-streaming, an MP4 file will also be provided to the newlyweds. For any and all wedding … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 28, 2021

Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. (Mk. 9:2-3)  Last week Jesus was out in the desert, hungry and thirsty.  And this week, He’s on top of a mountain, transfigured in dazzling white before Peter, James and John.  This transfiguration has traditionally been interpreted as a preliminary revelation of the glory of Jesus given to His closest collaborators so that they might be strengthened in advance of the scandal of the cross. And in this moment of mystical experience, they also hear a voice from heaven:  “Listen to Him.” During Lent, there is something comforting about the transfiguration for us, too.  It reminds … [Read more...]

Lenten Mission – St Stephen Church

Monday, March 1-Wednesday, March 3 The Four Weapons of Spiritual Combat  Monday, March 1, 2021 at 7pm “Distrust of self and confidence in God” Tuesday, March 2 after 6pm Mass “Training through personal discipline for spiritual warfare” Wednesday, March 3 at 7pm followed by Confessions. “Prayer, God's mighty weapon” By Fr. Jeffrey Montz, Head of the Spirituality Department at Notre Dame Seminary. Also, Fr. Luke Buckles, O.P. Prof of Spiritual Theology from the Angelicum in Rome. … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 21, 2021

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,  and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan.  (Mk. 1-12) I always look forward to Lent.  And this year is no exception.  Now that Lent is here, I’m happy to create my own little desert of calm by the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  It’s the perfect remedy for the last two weeks of noise, feasting and excess. One of the good disciplines of Lent is “giving something up.”  When I was in seminary, I remember my rector publicly acknowledging that he gave up cigars during Lent.  And then one Friday in Lent, I walked by his room and smelled cigar smoke.  The next day I asked him about it, and he said that he decided to do something different that year because he felt like everyone knew he gave up cigars.  … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 14, 2021

Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.  (1 Cor. 10:31) It’s too bad that this year we won’t be able to gather in front of our church as we watch parades!  But I’m sure we’ll all figure out some way to celebrate Mardi Gras.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Fat Tuesday is meant to be a time of feasting in preparation for the fasting and austerity of Lent. But that doesn’t mean that Lent is a “holy” season and Mardi Gras is a “pagan” season.  As St. Paul tells us above, everything should be done for the glory of God. A recent article in the Times Picayune had a question asked the question:  “What vices are you giving up for Lent?”  And then it listed a long list of “vices,” including among them “meat” and “alcohol.”  Now … [Read more...]

Lenten and Easter Guidelines

THE LENTEN SEASON A distinction is to be made between Lent and the Easter Triduum. Strictly speaking, Lent ends with the beginning of the Triduum on Holy Thursday. The Ordo notes: “Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive on Holy Thursday.” FASTING AND ABSTINENCE Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound to fast may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to each one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years or older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and on all Fridays of Lent. The determination of certain days … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 7, 2021

Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me.  (Job 7:4) Most of us know the story of Job.  He was faithful to God, but God let the devil take away all of Job’s possessions, kill all of his children and ruin his health.  And despite his misfortunes, Job does not curse God.  But that doesn’t stop him from bemoaning his situation.  The passage above reflects his poor attitude, but it speaks to a truth.  The world often imposes on us many miseries.  We get tired and frustrated with work.  We get in arguments with family members and friends.  We get sick, we can’t pay the bills, … [Read more...]

Good Stewardship

An article in the Times-Picayune several years ago woke me up a bit.  It said that out of all religious groups in America, the group that gave the smallest percentage of their income to their church were Catholics.  While Mormons generally give the Biblical 10% we call “tithing,” and while the average churchgoer in the United States gives 2.4 %, Catholics give the lowest percentage of every other religion. And I don’t write this because we still haven’t completely funded our Restoration (but we haven’t!) or because we need more money to operate (but we do!), but let me tell you the real reason: giving to charity shows a great reliance on God, and God rewards a cheerful giver.  Ever since I began “tithing,” God has given me more blessings than I can imagine.  And as He gives me more, I … [Read more...]