From the Pastor – April 14, 2019

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. (Lk. 23:44-46)“Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion” begins Holy Week. If you have never really experienced all of the services of Holy Week, consider doing so this year.  Commemorating the events of the Lord’s Suffering and Death help us to have a greater understanding of the importance of the Easter Resurrection.  Jesus had to suffer and die before he rose.On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm, which commemorates the night when Jesus instituted … [Read more...]

The Story of the Palms

It was a common custom in many lands of the ancient Middle East to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. In 2 Kings 9:13 Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, was treated to this honor. Each of the four Gospels report that the people of Jerusalem gave Jesus the honor of walking on a covered path. However, in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) we hear that the people lay their garments and cut rushes to place on the street. Only the Gospel of John specifically mentions palms. So what is the significance of the palm? The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and of victory in Jewish tradition, and is treated as such in other parts of the Bible (e.g. Leviticus 23:40 and Revelation 7:9). Based on this significance, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by … [Read more...]

Altar of Repose

Mass of the Lord’s Supper At the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday (7:00 p.m.) sufficient hosts are consecrated for that Mass and for the next day. These consecrated Hosts remain in a ciborium on the corporal in the center of the altar until the end of Mass, after which they are carried in Solemn Procession to the Altar of Repose, with the priest vested in a Cope and Humeral Veil, and covered with a canopy. The Blessed Sacrament remains in the temporary tabernacle at the Altar of Repose, and the Holy Thursday service concludes with the stripping of all altars except the Altar of Repose.Holy Thursday is a day of exceptional devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and the repository is the center of the love, prayers and aspirations of the faithful.  After the Good Friday service, … [Read more...]

Nine Church Walk

A traditional New Orleans devotion takes place on Good Friday next week. The “nine church walk” calls for pilgrims to walk from church to church, stopping briefly in each of nine churches, to pray and meditate on the passion of Christ.  In other parts of the world, particularly in cities like Rome where churches are densely congregated, Catholics visit churches on Holy Thursday, rather than Good Friday.  Traditionally, nine signifies the nine days of a novena.  A wonderful novena to begin on Good Friday is the Novena for Divine Mercy, which continues until Divine Mercy Sunday.Many pilgrims begin the nine church walk at St. Stephen Church as early as 7:00 am.  They will arrive in family groups, parish communities and youth groups.St. Stephen Church, St. Henry Church and Our Lady of … [Read more...]

Easter Lilies!

Some of the most beautiful and fragrant reminders of Easter morning are Easter lilies.  We will be purchasing them for the altar for use over the Easter season.  If you would like to donate an Easter lily in the name of a loved one for $25, there are envelopes in the back of church.  Please return by April 14, 2019. … [Read more...]

Msgr. Nalty Homily – April 7, 2019

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Msgr. Nalty Homily – March 31, 2019

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From the Pastor – April 7, 2019

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. (Lk. 23:44-46)“Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion” begins Holy Week. If you have never really experienced all of the services of Holy Week, consider doing so this year.  Commemorating the events of the Lord’s Suffering and Death help us to have a greater understanding of the importance of the Easter Resurrection.  Jesus had to suffer and die before he rose.On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm, which commemorates the night when Jesus instituted … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 31, 2019

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.  He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Lk 15:20)When we hear the Gospel for this Sunday, our mind immediately identifies it as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.”  It’s so familiar that we could probably recite it from memory and likely explain it to others.  We call the son “prodigal” because what he did was “prodigious” meaning “extraordinary in size and degree.”  Calling someone a “prodigious” spender means they are a person who spends a lot of money.  And the son is call “prodigal” because he spent his money with a wasteful extravagance.Our eyes tend to be fixed on the prodigal son rather than on the father or the other son.  He’s the protagonist.  He’s the one who … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – March 24, 2019

There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.  So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.  If not you can cut it down.’ (Lk 13:6-9)I love the agricultural parables of Jesus.  Anyone who has ever planted and nurtured a garden can understand them.  We have such rich soil here in southern Louisiana that just about anything can grow.  So if something in our garden isn’t growing, we’re pretty quick to remove it.In this parable, it’s … [Read more...]