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...]

Nine Church Walk

An old New Orleans devotion will take place on Good Friday next week. The “nine church walk” calls for pilgrims to walk from church to church, stopping briefly in each to pray and meditate on the passion of Christ.  Many pilgrims will begin the nine church walk at St. Stephen Church as early as 7:00 am.  They will arrive in family groups, parish communities and CYO groups. In other parts of the world, particularly in cities like Rome where churches are densely congregated, Catholics visit nine 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. This year St. Stephen Church and St. Henry Church will be open … [Read more...]

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions

April 2017  Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life. Please pray for the intentions of the Holy Father! … [Read more...]

The April Respect Life Focus is on Fertility/Infertility/Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Our spiritual work of mercy-Prayer for those struggling with Infertility: Mother of Christ, you were graced by God with the privilege of bearing our Divine Savior. You experienced the joys and challenges of being a parent. Your life was blessed with seeing Jesus grow from infancy and childhood, into his adult years of teaching a ministry. With St. Joseph, you created a home for your family to love and share together. Please intercede before the God of all life, that those struggling with infertility may conceive a baby and raise healthy children, with whom they can share the Lord’s good gifts. May their children honor them and You by lives of virtue and caring for others. May their home be holy and their family be blessed with health, happiness and abiding love. And for those for whom … [Read more...]

Easter Lilies!

One 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 9, 2017. … [Read more...]

Easter Holiday Baskets for the Needy

Our parish and the St. Vincent De Paul Society are sponsoring Food Baskets for the needy for Easter. Please visit the “Lenten Tree/Cross” by the St. Anthony statue in the back of church fill out a card!  We hope to put the baskets together by April 9, 2017. May God bless your generosity! … [Read more...]

Support Christians in the Holy Land

CChristians around the world are united in a special way during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Our hearts, minds and prayers are especially in solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land. Once a year, on Good Friday, Catholics through- out the world are called on to support Christians in the Holy Land. Many Christians in the Holy Land depend on this collection for their lives. It is critical that we continue to support the Christians who are living in the Holy Land. They are surrounded by a majority Jewish and Islamic population. With your support, we ensure Christians living there and future generations of Christians will have a place to live. It is with the funds from the Good Friday Collection that the Franciscans living in the Holy Land provide presence, care and service to the … [Read more...]

Pro-Life Activities

Every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. we pray the Rosary at the Woman's Health Care Center on the corner of General Pershing and Magnolia near Oschner Baptist Hospital. This facility is one of at least three abortion centers in the New Orleans area and just outside of our parish boundaries. Please join us! … [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...]

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...]