MARDI GRAS MADNESS!

STEPHEN CATHOLIC SCHOOL St Stephen Catholic School will be hosting their annual school fundraiser during the Mardi Gras parades.  Please patron the school by purchasing food and drinks through the windows of the school facing Napoleon Avenue.  They will also offer bathroom passes for those wishing to avoid the Port-o-Lets.  They clean the bathrooms continuously throughout each day.  Please support our school that serves some of the neediest members of our community! … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 26, 2017

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. (Mt. 6:33-34) One of my favorite books is called the “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. I’m sure many of us have read it. The book takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior “tempter” named Wormwood, giving advice on the best way to ensure that a British man, known only as “the Patient,” ends up in hell. In a great irony, God is called “the Enemy.” One of my favorite letters involves the idea of “living in the present.” I’m going to let C.S. Lewis speak for the pastor today: “The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, … [Read more...]

Lent 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 and is observed until their 59th birthday. 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 and on all Fridays of Lent.  The determination of certain … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 19, 2017

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt. 5:43-48) “Nobody’s perfect.”  It’s a common excuse when we make a mistake.  We might like the perfect date, or the perfect sunset, or the perfect evening, but we don’t like applying the word to ourselves because, well, … [Read more...]

Visit of the Black Madonna

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 … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 12, 2017

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, … [Read more...]

February Respect Life Focus

Archdiocese of New Orleans February Respect Life Focus - Human Trafficking 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: mexnicios@archdiocese-no.org 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. … [Read more...]

Annulment Writing Workshop

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. … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – February 5, 2017

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Mt. 5:13) I’ve told this story before, but I’m reminded of it whenever I hear this Gospel! When I was in second or third grade, some of my classmates started making fun of me – as children do – by calling me “salty Nalty.” They would repeat it over and over again: “Salty Nalty! Salty Nalty! Salty Nalty,” especially as they realized that it distressed me at that young age. One day I came home from school and told my Mother about it. And she told me: “You just tell them that you are the ‘salt of the earth.’” I'm not sure I'd ever heard that saying before but it sounded like it came from … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 22, 2017

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mt. 4:18-20) One afternoon while I was in seminary I was having lunch with a some classmates, and we were joined by another seminarian who was a member of a religious community. He was younger than my classmates, and pretty “gung ho” about being a seminarian. With eager eyes and enthusiasm, he turned to my classmate, Mike Woods, and asked “So when did you get your call??!!” Now, you’d have to know Mike, but suffice it to say that Mike was about 10 years older than the other seminarian. He’s from Pittsburgh, … [Read more...]