Nine Church Walk

Thanks to our volunteers who greeted pilgrims taking part in the Nine Church Walk on Good Friday.  The pilgrims started arriving almost at the completion of our Holy Thursday vigil at 6:00am, and they continued even into the afternoon and evening.  We had our handy clicker to count numbers, so we know that close to 3,000 people came to visit St. Stephen’s on Friday.  I sat in the confessional from 9:00-11:00 am, and Father Doug from 11:00am-12:30pm, and we were rarely alone.  The line was continuous for the entire time.  Anybody who doubts the vitality of the Catholic Church in New Orleans need only to have seen the busloads of high school groups, CYO groups, and large families taking part in the walk to have their doubts removed.  I was so happy to greet many pilgrims from other parishes … [Read more...]

Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday is dedicated to the devotion to the Divine Mercy promoted by St. Faustina , and is based upon an entry in St. Faustina's diary stating that anyone who participates in the Mass and receives the sacraments of confession and Eucharist on this day is assured by Jesus of full remission of sins. According to the notebooks of Saint Faustina, Jesus made the following statements about this day: "On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though … [Read more...]

The Precepts of the Church

“Now when they heard [Peter's preaching] they were cut to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). When the people heard Peter and the apostles preaching about Christ, they instinctively asked, “What shall we do?” Over the centuries, the Church has given answers to this question, adapting the unchangeable elements of the Christian vocation to the pastoral requirements of each age. In our times, the responses to this question are summed up in what have come to be known as “The Precepts of the Church,” which are derived from Catholicism's moral and doctrinal foundations. The Cathechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2041-2043, lists five precepts of the Church, listed and briefly discussed below. Attend Mass on Sundays and on … [Read more...]

Alleluia!

Easter Sunday is the day of the “Alleluia!” After forty days of Lenten sacrifice and fasting, we finally arrive at the most important day of our liturgical year, and the only word we have to express our inner joy is “Alleluia!!” In the old Greek version of the Book of Tobias, in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew psalter, and in the original Greek of the Apocalypse we hear about this most holy word. It is part of the earliest Christian liturgies of which we have record. It is a word composed of the divinely acclaiming verbal form Allelu and the divine pronoun term Ya (for YHWH or Yahweh). So, preserving its radical sense and sound, and even the mystical suggestiveness of its construction, it may be literally rendered, “All hail to Him Who is!”--taking “All Hail” as equivalent … [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...]

Baby Bottle Campaign to Benefit Woman’s New Life Clinic

Please take a baby bottle after Mass on April 10/11, 2021 and return it the following weekend with a donation to support this life-affirming ministry or give online at womansnewlife.com/babybottle … [Read more...]

St. Joseph Altar!

Thanks to those who decorated and provided the decorations for the St. Joseph Altar.  And thanks to those who attended! … [Read more...]

Easter Baskets for the Needy

We will again be distributing “Easter Baskets” with food items to families in need so they can enjoy a traditional holiday meal.  Please check out our Easter display in the rear of church for basket item suggestions. We would ask that all donations be returned by Sunday, March 21, 2021.  … [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 forms in the back of church. … [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...]