Saturday, May 30, 2009

Evangelization in the Digital World

The Catholic Church celebrated the 43rd World Day of Communication on May 24, 2009. The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, in his message for World Day of Communication speaks of “New Technologies, New Relationship. Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue, and Friendship.” He concludes, addressing himself to young Catholic believers:

…to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent". Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the "Good News" of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people. Human hearts are yearning for a world where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. Our faith can respond to these expectations: may you become its heralds! The Pope accompanies you with his prayers and his blessing.

In an attempt to respond to the Holy Father’s challenge, Mr. Andrew Guidroz has been at work improving the website – Mr. Guidroz informs us:
  1. The website has gone through a pretty big facelift that is still

    There, you can find a new Calendar with events happening around the church parish. There is a new feedback page for folks to email the church parish. We’ve also got the Photosynth/3D photo of the Father Lafleur monument along with downloadable prayer cards in remembrance of him. The website is usually updated weekly on Thursdays with a downloadable/printable copy of the bulletin.

  2. We have a blog

    A Blog is a website where updates, news, and current events are written about. It gives the parish a place to provide additional and more current information than can be fit into the bulletin. It is updated daily and sometimes as much as 6 times a day!

  3. And now we have a Twitter site.

    Twitter is a lot like a blog but the messages there are very tiny in size. Twitter can send text messages to parishioners as events are happening around the parish and diocese. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath.

Mr. Guidroz also says, “I would also like to encourage all parishioners to go to the feedback page and drop us a note that includes your email address. We can then include you on the notification list when updates are made. As entries are made to the blog, you’ll get an email notice.”

I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Guidroz for a great work. He is putting St. Landry Church in the forefront of the digital world.

Monsignor J. Robert Romero

Welcome to Seminarian Mr. Mark Miley!


Mr. Mark Miley is a seminarian for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana and will be with us for the summer.

Seminarian Miley has completed two years of pre-theology studies, and will begin theological studies this fall at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Teche, New Iberia, La. is Mr. Miley’s home parish, which is also where he was for last year’s summer assignment.

Mr. Miley is 50 years of age; a widower and has two children. Catherine, age 25, lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and newborn daughter. Mr. Miley considers himself truly blessed with his first granddaughter. His son, Alex, is 22 years old and attends Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

“I look forward to serving the people of St. Landry Church Parish this summer. If anyone has any questions about my vocation or the journey of life after losing a loved one, please contact me. I will be more than happy to visit. God bless … Love Ya! Mark”

La Pucelle - The Maid

Today is the Feast of St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. She is the patroness of France and soldiers.

Born in 1412, she received personal and general messages from the saints starting around the age of 13. St. Joan received revelations that told her to go forward as a general to help the King of France regain his kingdom from the English. At the age of 17, after meeting with the King, she set forth with a small group of soldiers and there began a series of great military victories that culminated with the crowning of the king at Rheims.

Political intrigue caused her to be captured and tried as a heretic. She was burned at the stake at age 19.

Within 20 years, her case was reopened and she was declared not guilty posthumously. The cause for her sainthood peaked with her canonization by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. Her feast day is today, May 30, the date of her death.

More information on her life can be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia by clicking here.

The statue featured in the photos of this post is found in New Orleans at the corner of St. Philip and Decatur, along the Mississippi, near the French Market. It was a gift from the people of France and is a duplicate of the famous statue at Place des Pyramids in Paris.

The statue was sent to New Orleans in 1958 and stored due to lack of funding. After French President DeGaulle's visit in 1960, a group was formed to fund a project to erect it. It was placed on a 17 foot pedestal at the end of Canal Street in 1972 and was gilded in 1985. It was later moved to its current place.

Working for the restoration of Holy Rosary Institute

Holy Rosary Institute was opened back in 1914 as a school, dormitory, and convent. Some of the initial financial investment came from St. Katherine Drexel, the Philadelphia born daughter of a philanthropist who became a nun and donated much of her $20 million inheritance to the education of blacks and Native Americans.

The grounds have fallen into disrepair and many of the alumni have worked together to form a group to try to save the buildings while turning them into a spiritual and educational center again.

Their site can be found by clicking here.

Lafayette City-Parish government is working toward a comprehensive plan of upgrading sites with a view towards what Lafayette will be in the next century. The restoration of Holy Rosary Institute is one site that is being considered.

To read a recent news article on this, click here.

The Community of Jesus Crucified, with Father Michael Champagne and Father Jerome Frey, is based there on the grounds.

Readings and Themes for the Weekend of May 31, 2009

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of May 31, 2009, Pentecost Sunday

Reading I Acts 2: 1-11
As on Sinai, the Lord descends in fire and wind.

Psalm 104
“Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the

Reading II Galatians 5: 16-25
Be guided by the Spirit

Gospel John 20: 19-23
The Spirit of truth will guide people to all truth.

As the Father sent me, so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit!

Our fifty-day celebration of Easter culminates on this day when we remember with vigor the inrushing of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. As we listen to the words of scripture today, let us open our hearts to a renewal within ourselves and within the entire Church. Let us pray that the Spirit will take hold in us and strengthen us on our mission to bring food to the hungry, shelter the homeless, and justice to those who are oppressed. Veni Sancte Spiritus! Come, Holy Spirit!

Question for Children:
When have you heard your inner voice or conscience guiding you to do what is right?

Question for Youth:
When have you felt the Holy Spirit in your life?

Question for Adults:
When have you felt the power of the Spirit, giving you the right words, giving you insight into a dilemma, or in other ways?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bulletin for the Weekend of May 31, 2009 is now posted

The bulletin for the weekend of May 31, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

The new calendar on the website has been updated with all events for the coming week along with prayer intention information for all of the masses. Take some time to look at our new calendar here.

Updates are also being made to our new St. Landry Catholic Church blog. You can get to the blog from the church home page under the Bulletins and News section or you can just click here to go to it.

L'Angelus on TV live tonight

L'Angelus, a local family band of Catholics that play beautiful music with a Cajun influence, will be performing on EWTN tonight live. The show "Life on the Rock" will be broadcast at 7 PM CST. EWTN is found locally on Channel 35 if you have Charter Cable in Opelousas.

The three older siblings do a lot of the performing but, many times, all 9 of the family members perform. Those of you who participated in the Walk for Life in Opelousas this year will remember them playing both before and after the event.

Click here for the band's website.

Click here for EWTN's Life on the Rock's website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Year of St. Paul - Humble Ministers

Humble Ministers

Let us think again of St. Paul’s phrase: both Apollos and I are servants of Jesus, each one in his own way because it is God who gives the growth [cf. 1 Cor 3:5-9]. These words also apply to us today, to the Pope, the Cardinals, Bishops, priest and laity. We are all humble ministers of Jesus. We serve the Gospel as best we can, in accordance with our talents, and we pray God to make his Gospel, his Church, increase in our day.

Pope Benedict’s address to the General Audience on 31 January 2007

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

At 10 AM Mass on Sunday, we took time to recognize and remember our veterans who have served, have given the ultimate sacrifice, and those who are still serving.

Click here for photos from the mass and remembrance ceremony.
Below, is a novena to Lt. Father Verbis Lafleur, a St. Landry Catholic Church parishioner, priest, and soldier who gave his life in World War II.

Novena to Father Verbis Lafleur

O, God of Goodness,You never tire of sending us examples of Your Love.You called Your servant Father Verbis Lafleur to the Priesthood from an early age and kept him in Your sight.In the fulfillment of time, he willingly offered up his life for his God and his country.

Far from home on the battle fields of the South Pacific, O Lord, You were with him.You were with him in the prison camps.You were there, as he healed the spiritual wounds and comforted his comrades.

May we all be blessed by his holy and heroic life, as he was doing Your will.

Our loving God, lead us to charity and allow us to receive the favors we ask through Your good servant Father Verbis Lafleur (name your petition here).
We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You forever and ever.

Published with ecclesiastical approbation
Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, D.D.
Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana
March 20, 2006

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Ascension of the Lord

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. From a homily by Pope Benedict XVI:

The meaning of this last gesture of Jesus is twofold. Above all, ascending on “high,” he unequivocally reveals his divinity: He returns to where he came from, that is, to God, after having fulfilled his mission on earth. Moreover, Christ ascends to heaven with the humanity he had assumed and which has resurrected from the dead: That humanity is ours, transfigured, divinized, made eternal. The Ascension, therefore, reveals the “supreme vocation” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22) of every human person – called to the eternal life of the kingdom of God, kingdom of love, light and peace.
Pope Benedict XVI, Regina Caeli Address, 21 May 2006

Those of you praying the Novena in Honor of the Holy Spirit are now praying Day 3 and counting down the days until Pentecost. Click here for our earlier blog posting that gives details about praying that novena.

Keeping the Lenten Mission Alive in our Hearts - Part 3

Lenten Mission

This past Lent, Father Mark Thibodeaux, S.J. conducted a Parish Mission on the topics of “Cloister, Community, and Hospitality.” As a way for us to keep the mission’s message alive in our hearts, the handout for each session will be posted here on the blog. Today, “Session III: Hospitality” follows. Parishioners are encouraged to leisurely reflect on these handouts. Let the content inspire us to grow in the Lord Jesus.

Monsignor Robert Romero

Session III: Hospitality
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'

Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Luke 10:25-37

For your reflection

  • Looking back on times that I have "helped" someone, do I recognize that I might have been responding to my own needs rather than to what the person actually wanted/needed? Speak with Jesus about this.

  • Can I recall a time when someone really listened to me as I told my story. How did that feel? Can i recall a time when I was that Keeper of the Stories for someone else What was that like? Speak with Jesus about this.

  • Do I answer and welcome Jesus into my home no matter what face he is wearing? Is there some person or type of person that is not welcome in my life? Is God calling me to open the door to this person at this time?

  • God's sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will. We learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love.

    Pope Benedict XVI

    May 29, 2009 - Day of Prayer and Fasting before Hurricane Season

    The Catholic Bishops of Louisiana declared Friday, May 29th, 2009, to be a Day of Prayer and Fasting, asking the Lord’s intercession, that we be delivered from all storms. St. Landry Catholic Church is within the North Region of the Diocese. In the Diocese of Lafayette, regional prayer services will be held as follows:

    WEST REGION: St. Anne Catholic Church—Mass
    17315 Lionel Rd. • Abbeville, La. (Cow Island)
    Thursday, 28 May @ 6:30 pm

    NORTH REGION: Ecumenical Prayer Service
    Hope Presbyterian Church
    434 S. Main St. • Opelousas, La.
    Wednesday, 3 June @ 6:30 pm

    CENTRAL REGION: Cathedral of St John the Evangelist
    914 St. John St. • Lafayette, La.
    Monday, 8 June @ 6:30 pm
    A Prayer for the Hurricane Season written by the second Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, La., Bishop Maurice Schexnayder is found below.

    A Prayer for the Hurricane Season
    by Maurice Schexnayder, Second Bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana

    O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; You are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of danger over which we have no control; the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, overstep its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster.

    During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wound seem to refuse to heal with passing time. O Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities common to this area and animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a stormless eternity awaits us. Amen.

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    iFaith now available from Archdiocese of New Orleans

    The Archdiocese of New Orleans, parent of our Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, has released software that runs on the iPhone to keep parishioners up to date on all things Catholic. The software is called iFaith.

    It has a news section with text news releases and mass schedules. It has a podcast section where the audio of each of the Archbishop Hughes' homilies are available each week. And it has a video section where the weekly talk show produced by the Archdiocese is available for watching.

    Really amazing changes are happening.

    Click here to read more about it on the Archdiocese's website.

    Memorial Day Mass and Prayer


    Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2483 and American Legion Post 45 are sponsoring a Memorial Day Celebration at St. Landry Catholic Church’s 10:00 am Mass on 24 May 2009. A brief ceremony will be held after Mass in front of the Fr. LaFleur Monument.


    Almighty God, In whom we live, love, and have our being.
    We take time today to uplift the heavy hearts of
    Those for whom Memorial Day is more than a mere diversion.
    But is, instead, a painful time of reflection, lamentation
    And enduring bereavement.

    This day we remember with compassion
    Your children who have lost their lives to war;
    Incline us to honor their memory, dear Lord,
    With a sincere pledge to seek peace,
    And non-violent solutions to world conflict.

    We pray for the safety of those entering military service,
    And succor for the many returning from combat with wounded
    Bodies, or minds sickened by the sight and sounds of war.

    Our prayers also extend, Great Comforter,
    To those who still wait and pray day by anxious day,
    For the precious moment of reunion
    With a distant family member, friend, or loved one.

    And to others whose reunion has been sorrowfully delayed
    Until that Heavenly homecoming with Christ in the
    Fullness of time—
    We offer the gentle assurance of your promise to all believers,
    “Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.”

    Tracy McNeal

    Readings and Themes for the weekend of May 24, 2009, Ascension of the Lord

    Readings for Faith Sharing
    Week of May 24, 2009, Ascension of the Lord

    Reading I Acts 1:1-11
    Jesus is taken up to heaven.

    Psalm 47
    God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

    Reading II Ephesians 1:17-23
    Christ is seated at God’s right hand.

    Gospel Mark 16:15-20
    After the Ascension the disciples go and preach everywhere.

    We are sent and Christ is with us

    When we hear the account of the Lord’s ascension, we can only imagine how abandoned the apostles must have felt when Jesus was lifted up before their eyes. The power emanating from his passion, death, and resurrection, however, was enough to keep their hearts filled with hope and this hope was the springboard from which they began a preaching and teaching ministry that began to spread the good News of salvation, a ministry that reaches us even to this day. As today’s word is proclaimed; let us listen for words of hope, encouragement, and commissioning.

    Question for Children:
    Jesus helps us be brave when we need to be. When do you need to be brave?

    Question for Youth:
    Even after Jesus ascended into heaven, he worked through the disciples to spread the Gospel. We are Jesus’ disciples today. How can you open yourself up more to let Jesus work through you to be Good News in the world today?

    Question for Adults:
    How do you experience the divine power of Christ-among-us in your daily life?

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    "Evangelization of this 'digital continent'"

    The Holy Father has released a statement and a brand new website for the 43rd World Day of Communications. He has called on everyone --- the youth especially --- to participate in the "evangelization of this 'digital continent'".

    The website is

    There, you'll find press releases related to the event. You'll find links to the Vatican Youtube channel where you'll find videos and news from the Vatican and of the Holy Father.

    There is a Facebook application on the website. And, in a few days, an iPhone app will be available as well.

    Please make use of your technology skills to share your Catholic faith with others. As the Holy Father says within his statement,

    When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call - a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.

    Bulletin for the Weekend of May 24, 2009 has been posted.

    The bulletin for the weekend of May 24, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

    The new calendar on the website has been updated with all events for the coming week along with prayer intention information for all of the masses. Take some time to look at our new calendar here.

    Updates are also being made to our new St. Landry Catholic Church blog. You can get to the blog from the church home page under the Bulletins and News section or you can just click here to go to it.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    Opelousas Catholic School News


    Congratulations to 7th grader Chloe Letulle who qualified to take the ACT exam through the Duke University Talent Identification, scored in the top 10 percent, and has been invited to be recognized nationally at the Grand Ceremony in North Carolina.

    Family and friends are reminded to please send in the General Mills box tops and Community Coffee UPC labels before the school year ends and to continue collecting all labels through the summer.

    Sunday, 10 AM Mass - Memorial Day Celebration


    Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2483 and American Legion Post 45 are sponsoring a Memorial Day Celebration at St. Landry Catholic Church’s 10:00 am Mass on 24 May 2009.

    A brief ceremony will be held after Mass in front of the Fr. LaFleur Monument.

    Year of St. Paul - Unconditional Love

    Unconditional Love

    The human being needs unconditional love. He needs the certainty which makes him say: “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man redeemed”, whatever should happen to him in his particular circumstances.

    Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical letter on Christian Hope, no. 26
    November 30, 2007

    Summer Semester for Aquinas Institute

    Registration for the Summer Semester at Aquinas Institute closes at 12 Noon Friday, May 22, 2009. For registration information call the Office of Christian Formation at (337) 261-5674.

    Cost: $225 for course credit, $50 for audit.

    St. Landry Catholic Church Parish's own Larry Jagneaux is one of the instructors for the Theological Latin course.

    For more information on the Aquinas Institute, please click here.

    Summer 2009 Courses

    LAT 101: Theological Latin (3 credits)
    Rev. Jerome Frey & Mr. Larry Jagneaux
    Library of Prayer
    421 ½ Carmel Avenue, Lafayette, LA.
    Monday & Wednesdays 6:30PM - 8:30PM
    Classes begin on June 1, 2009 and ends August 12, 2009

    Course Description
    This course will provide an introduction to Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary. The course will focus predominantly on Ecclesiastical Latin. Emphasis will be placed on developing the basic skills for reading and translating Latin. Readings and translations from the Vulgate edition of Sacred Scripture, the Roman Liturgy, and the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas will be used.

    THE 280: Principles of Catholic Morals (3 credits)
    Ms. Jennifer Miller
    John XXIII Classroom, Immaculata Center
    1408 Carmel Ave., Lafayette, La.
    Thursday's 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    Classes begin July 7, 2009 and ends September 17, 2009

    Course Description
    This course presents a study of fundamental Catholic moral teaching. Based on natural law and the teachings of Scripture and the Church, the course outlines a moral theology focused on the Sermon on the Mount and the virtues while addressing contemporary issues in moral thought.

    THE 615: Mariology (MA) (3 credits)
    Rev. Michael Champagne, cjc
    Library of Prayer
    421 ½ Carmel Avenue, Lafayette, LA
    Tuesday and Thursdays 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM
    Classes start June 2, 2009 and ends July 30, 2009

    Course Description
    It has been said that "Mariology meets at the crossroads of Theology," and since many fundamental theological questions impinge upon the study of Mariology, this course will study the Mother of Jesus in the Mystery of Salvation, in the light of Vatican II theology from Christocentric, Ecclesiotypical, Trinitarian, and Ecumenical dimensions. Further, this course, of necessity, will be scripturally based, grounded in tradition, supported by doctrine (dogma) and nourished by Marian devotion.

    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Novena in Honor of the Holy Spirit

    Novena in Honor of the Holy Spirit

    Begin Praying on May 22nd, 2009, the Friday after

    The Solemnity of the Ascension

    The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.


    To be recited daily during the Novena

    On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


    To be recited daily during the Novena

    O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
    The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

    FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

    Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

    The Holy Spirit

    Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin· Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."


    Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    SECOND DAY (Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)

    Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

    The Gift of Fear (NOW KNOWN AS The Gift of Wonder/Awe in God's Presence

    The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."


    Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter or transferred Ascension)

    Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

    The Gift of Piety NOW KNOWN AS The Gift of Reverence

    The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.


    Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)

    Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

    The Gift of Fortitude NOW KNOWN AS The Gift of Courage

    By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."


    Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)

    Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

    The Gift of Knowledge

    The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."


    Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.
    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

    If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill.

    The Gift of Understanding

    Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."


    Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

    Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

    The Gift of Counsel NOW KNOWN AS The Gift of Right Judgement

    The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."


    Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

    Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

    The Gift of Wisdom

    Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.


    Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.
    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

    Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

    The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

    The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.


    Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

    Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

    Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Monday in May - Rosary with the Catholic Daughters

    Don't forget: the Catholic Daughters will pray the rosary at the grotto on the south east side of St. Landry Catholic Church TODAY. Start time is 5:30 PM and the weather should be cool and beautiful. Bring a lawn chair, a family member, and your prayer intentions.

    There is only one Monday left in May after today.

    Keeping the Lenten Mission Alive in our Hearts - Part 2

    Lenten Mission

    This past Lent, Father Mark Thibodeaux, S.J. conducted a Parish Mission on the topics of “Cloister, Community, and Hospitality.” As a way for us to keep the mission’s message alive in our hearts, the handout for each session will be posted here on the blog. Today, “Five Rules for a Loving Fight” follows. In the week of the 24th of May, “Session III: Hospitality” will be posted. Parishioners are encouraged to leisurely reflect on these handouts. Let the content inspire us to grow in the Lord Jesus.

    Monsignor Robert Romero

    Session II: Community
    What drew me closest to my brothers was the delight of chatting and laughing together; of showing our affection for one another by kindly services; of reading together from books that spoke of pleasant things; … of joking together amicably; of disputing now and then but without resentment, as one is wont to do with himself; of awakening by rare contest the pleasure of being one in mind; of mutually instructing one another; of longing for the absent one, and tasting joy at his return. We loved each other with all our hearts, and these marks of our friendship that were shown in our faces, by our voices, in our eyes and a thousand other ways were among us like ardent flames that fused our souls together, and of many made but one.

    St. Augustine

    Nothing is more practical than finding God --- that is --- than falling in love in a quite absolute and final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

    Fall in love and stay in love and it will decide everything.

    Pedro Arrupe, SJ

    For your reflection

  • Chose one of the quotes above and read over it prayerfully, asking the Lord to speak to you through the words. If you find a word or phrase that strikes you, stay with it and repeat it several times, allowing it to sink deep in your heart.

  • Reflect on the reality that you are called to be with each member of your family/community. Feel the Lord calling you to them now.

  • As a member of a family/community, I am called to:

  • o Invest my best
    o Confront
    o Be vulnerable
    o Let go and let grow
    o Ritualize our togetherness.

    Which of these am I really good at? Which do I need to work on, especially in the season of Lent? Talk to Jesus about it.

    Five Rules for a Loving Fight

    1. Love can be your only motivation and the only standard by which you say one thing and refrain from saying another. Beware of “It’s a matter of principle.” When lovingly confronting, use no jokes, gossip, cynicism or sarcasm.

    2. The one who initiates the confrontation must be willing to listen twice as much as he or she speaks.

    3. Tell facts about others and emotions about yourself. Do not make judgments about what the other person is thinking or feeling. Simply state the observable behavior and then state how that behavior makes you feel.

    4. Seek creative ways to meet the values of both parties. If you work hard enough, most situations are not win-lose situations, but win-win situations

    5. Affirm all affirmable things. Do some affirming activity shortly after the confrontation is over.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Updated Father Lafleur prayers and prayer cards

    I spent a little time this morning updating the website with prayers and prayer cards related to Father Verbis Lafleur.

    You can find them by clicking here.

    Here is a sample of one of the prayers.

    Novena to Father Verbis Lafleur

    O, God of Goodness,
    You never tire of sending us examples of Your Love.
    You called Your servant Father Verbis Lafleur to the Priesthood from an early age and kept him in Your sight.
    In the fulfillment of time, he willingly offered up his life for his God and his country.

    Far from home on the battle fields of the South Pacific, O Lord, You were with him.
    You were with him in the prison camps.
    You were there, as he healed the spiritual wounds and comforted his comrades.

    May we all be blessed by his holy and heroic life, as he was doing Your will.
    Our loving God, lead us to charity and allow us to receive the favors we ask through Your good servant Father Verbis Lafleur (name your petition here).

    We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You forever and ever.

    Published with ecclesiastical approbation
    Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, D.D.
    Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana
    March 20, 2006

    Article on Lt. Father Verbis Lafleur in today's Advocate

    Today, the Advocate newspaper has a wonderful article on Lt. Father Verbis Lafleur and his impact on the lives of the Lowe family in Riverside, California.

    Click here to read the article.

    Click here for information about the monument.

    Click here for the St. Landry Catholic Church photo gallery where we have photos of the erection of the monument.

    And click here for a 3D interactive view of the monument.

    Readings and Themes for the Weekend of May 17, 2009

    Readings for Faith Sharing
    Week of May 17, 2009, 6th Sunday of Easter

    Reading I Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
    The Holy Spirit is poured out on the Gentiles.

    Psalm 28 “The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.”

    Reading II 1 John 4:7-10
    God is love.

    Gospel John 15:9-17
    The greatest sign of love is to lay down one’s life for one’s

    Love One Another

    In today’s first reading, Saint Peter addresses the deep division that existed between the circumcised believers and the Gentiles, the uncircumcised, who had received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Placing Christ at the center of the dispute became the answer and, in a bold, wise, and prophetic step, Peter orders that Gentiles be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Today’s readings give us much to ponder as we try to understand why religious and cultural differences sometimes erupt in acts of violence and terrorism.

    Question for Children:
    In what ways do you experience God’s love, offered to you through family, friends, and teachers?

    Question for Youth:
    Jesus commanded us to love one another. Who is most in need of your love and kindness right now?

    Question for Adults:
    Concretely, how do you show love to others?

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Opelousas Catholic School Groundbreaking Ceremony for Campus Revitalization

    Thursday at 10 AM, Opelousas Catholic School celebrated the beginning of a new campus revitalization project. Students, teachers, and various people from throughout our community attended.

    The weather was beautiful and the program well organized thanks to the Mistress of Ceremonies Mrs. Kathy Hebert and the entire group there at OC. Alumni Judge Kenneth Boagni, Jr. and Deacon Jerome Collins both gave motivational talks. Louie LaBruyere, a fifth grade student, gave a message of thanks. Ron Bezet and Susan Lafleur, Long Range Planning Co-Chairs, spoke. Principal Perry Fontenot was a festive host in an OC purple blazer. And we enjoyed beautiful music from Adrion Guidry, Richard Tatman & Marla Faust, from Our Lady Queen of Angels Youth Music Ministry.

    Monsignor Romero and Monsignor Melancon opened and closed the gathering with beautiful prayers. Father Cremaldi and Father Bienvenu attended. Fittingly considering the history of OC, a few nuns also attended.

    Future generations of children will receive the benefits of a Catholic education within the soon to be revitalized classrooms. And this is a wonderful thing.

    Click here for photos of the event on the St. Landry Catholic Church Photo Gallery.

    Opelousas Catholic School thanks everyone who has supported this tremendous project for the benefit of Catholic education in Opelousas. To our OCS parents, grandparents, alumni (OCS, AIC , Holy Ghost), family and friends in the community, may God bless you!

    From the event:

    Groundbreaking Ceremony for Campus Revitalization
    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Mistress of Ceremonies: Kathy Hebert, OC Development Director

    Flag Procession High School Student Leaders: Nicole Barry, Trey Schwartzenburg, Lexie Soileau, and Jason Howard

    Pledge of Allegiance: Ron Bezet, Long Range Planning Co-Chair

    “God Bless America”: Marla Faust, OC Elementary Music Teacher

    Opening Prayer: Msgr. J. Robert Romero, Chancellor

    Welcome: Perry Fontenot, Principal

    Special Introductions

    Remarks: Susan LaFleur, Long Range Planning Co-Chair
    Judge Kenneth Boagni, Jr., Alumnus and Community Friend
    Deacon Jerome Collins, Sr., Alumnus and Community Friend

    Student Gratitude: Louie LaBruyere, Fifth Grade Student

    Appreciation Cheer: OC Varsity Cheerleaders

    Groundbreaking Pictures

    “Forever”: Adrion Guidry, Richard Tatman & Marla Faust
    Our Lady Queen of Angels Youth Music Ministry

    Closing Prayer: Msgr. Louis Melancon

    Alma Mater
    OCS Alma Mater

    Come let our voices loudly ring
    And praise to OCS we
    While we cheer for victory,
    we proudly hail our varsity.

    OC honor to the end.
    Thy Glory bright we shall
    We trust in God with all our might,
    And are faithful to the
    and white.

    Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Bulletin for the Weekend of May 17, 2009 has been posted

    The bulletin for the weekend of May 17, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

    The new calendar on the website has been updated with all events for the coming week along with prayer intention information for all of the masses. Take some time to look at our new calendar here.

    Updates are also being made to our new St. Landry Catholic Church blog. You can get to the blog from the church home page under the Bulletins and News section or you can just click here to go to it.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Opelousas Catholic School Groundbreaking

    Opelousas Catholic School is happy to announce its official “Groundbreaking Ceremony” on Thursday at 10:00 am on the campus to celebrate the beginning of the school’s revitalization made possible by the 150th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

    Other important events taking place this week include the Athletic Awards Banquet on Monday at 6:00 pm; Senior Awards Banquet on Wednesday at 7:00 pm; and Graduation Mass on Friday at 7:00 pm in St. Landry Church celebrated by Bishop Michael Jarrell.

    Consider a gift to the Angel Appeal Drive in honor (or in memory) of your mother!

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Priests

    From the Vatican:
    According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant priests and faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year for Priests, which is due to run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010 and has been called in honour of St. Jean Marie Vianney.

    The period will begin with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, "a day of priestly sanctification", says the text, when the Pope will celebrate Vespers before the relics of the saint, brought to Rome for the occasion by the bishop of the French diocese of Belley-Ars. The Year will end in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of priests from all over the world "who will renew their faithfulness to Christ and their bonds of fraternity".

    The means to obtain the Plenary Indulgence are as follows:

    (A) All truly penitent priests who, on any day, devotedly pray Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed to public adoration or in the tabernacle, and ... offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, will be granted Plenary Indulgence, which they can also apply to their deceased confreres, if in accordance with current norms they take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Priests are furthermore granted Partial Indulgence, also applicable to deceased confreres, every time they devotedly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and to carry out the duties entrusted to them.

    (B) All truly penitent Christian faithful who, in church or oratory, devotedly attend Holy Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to His Heart, are granted Plenary Indulgence, on the condition that they have expiated their sins through Sacramental Confession and prayed in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. This may be done on the opening and closing days of the Year of Priests, on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month, or on any other day established by the ordinaries of particular places for the good of the faithful.

    The elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, "on the days concerned, they pray for the sanctification of priests and offer their sickness and suffering to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles".

    Partial Indulgence is offered to all faithful each time they pray five Our Father, Ave Maria and Gloria Patri, or any other duly approved prayer "in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life".

    New Parish Council Members

    The Parish Council nominating committee came up with four candidates for election to fill three positions. However, one other member of the Pastoral Council has chosen to step down. This means that the four nominated are appointed without election. These new members are Mr. Dwayne Joubert, Mr. Richard LaFleur, Mr. Kenny Moreau, and Mrs. Cindy Prather.

    For a list of Parish Council members and contact information, please click here.

    Information about the new members is listed below.

    Dwayne Joubert
    I am completing my first 3 year term, having served as council chair for the past 2 years. My wife, Mary, and I are deeply rooted in St. Landry Catholic Church, and since returning to Opelousas some five years ago, we have carried on this tradition with our daughter, Sarah. In addition to serving on the Council, I am a lector at Mass, serve as coordinator for the Altar Servers and am a member of the Knights of Columbus #1048 serving as Exalted Ruler/President.
    I am also in my second year of Permanent Diaconate Formation. I appreciate all the prayers and support I have received over the past several years.

    Cindy Prather
    My husband, Burton Prather, and I have been married for 17 years. We have two beautiful children, Brooke and James, who are a junior and a freshman at Teurlings Catholic, respectively. I also have the privilege of serving God as Principal of St. Ignatius Catholic School. I have been a member of St. Landry Catholic Church for 19 years and currently serve as a lector and Eucharistic minister. This church parish has had a big impact on my life, as I attended RCIA classes here to become a Catholic.
    Burton and I were married in this church, baptized both children and they received their First Communion here as well. Brook will be confirmed here later this month. To serve on the Parish Council is an honor and an opportunity for me to give back to my church community.

    Richard LaFleur
    My wife, Carrol, and I have been married for 39 years. We have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. As a youth, I was an altar server at Our Lady of Mercy Church and I graduated from the Academy of the Immaculate Conception. I have been a parishioner of St. Landry Church since 2005 with involvement in the Father Verbis LaFleur monument project and the cemetery tours.

    Kenneth Moreau
    Since the age of 6, I have been a parishioner of St. Landry Catholic Church. My wife Dolores Lagrange Moreau, and I reared 3 daughters and 1 son. Our children attended Opelousas Catholic and we are now the proud grandparents of two grandchildren. After 35 years with the Opelousas Fire Department, I recently retired with the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. In addition to my career with the fire department, I have been a member of Hope Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Department for 39 years and served on the Louisiana State Fireman's Association Board from 1999 to 2007. Moreover, since 1979, I have been a member of the Opelousas Elks Lodge serving currently as the Exalted Ruler.

    Pope Benedict XVI in the Holy Land 2009

    Pope Benedict XVI places a prayer in Jerusalem's Western Wall (Reuters). The prayer says,
    "God of all the ages,
    on my visit to Jerusalem, the “City of Peace”,
    spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike,
    I bring before you the joys, the hopes and the aspirations,
    the trials, the suffering and the pain of all your people throughout the world.
    God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
    hear the cry of the afflicted, the fearful, the bereft;
    send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East,
    upon the entire human family;
    stir the hearts of all who call upon your name,
    to walk humbly in the path of justice and compassion.
    “The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul that seeks him” (Lam 3:25)!"

    Graduation 2009

    Graduation and mass for Opelousas Catholic School is Friday, May 15, at 7 PM with Bishop Michael Jarrell as the celebrant.

    St. Landry Church Parishioners offer words of congratulation to all graduates – High school and College and University. While many times we focus on graduations as completion of study, let us see it as a commencement of activity. It begins a new aspect of life. It may be more school; it may be military service; it may be professional work. Graduation is the time to look ahead, seeing what we can do for society and for God. May God bless each and everyone with a sense of purpose and a strong desire to do God’s will.

    We suggest each graduate pray the following prayer:

    Dear Jesus, you have blessed me with many gifts. The gift of an education provides me the skills to be a better person and to advance toward a career and a vocation. Please help me do my best to always bring your values to my life’s activity. Please help me work for a better world, where you are the focus of life and work. Amen.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Monday May 11th means Rosary at the Grotto

    Today, Monday, May 11th at 5:30PM join the Catholic Daughters and pray the rosary. May is the Month of Mary. Come and bring a friend as well as your prayer intentions. We'll meet at the Grotto on the south east side of St. Landry Catholic Church. Bring a lawn chair.

    Sunday, May 10, 2009

    Keeping the Lenten Mission Alive in our Hearts - Part 1

    Lenten Mission

    This past Lent, Father Mark Thibodeaux, S.J. conducted a Parish Mission on the topics of “Cloister, Community, and Hospitality.” As a way for us to keep the mission’s message alive in our hearts, the handout for each session will be posted here on the blog. Today, “How to Have Daily Cloister Time with Jesus” follows. Next week, “Session II: Community” will be posted. In the week of the 24th of May, “Session III: Hospitality” will be posted. Parishioners are encouraged to leisurely reflect on these handouts. Let the content inspire us to grow in the Lord Jesus.

    Monsignor Robert Romero

    Session I: Cloister

    Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

    Revelation 3:20

    Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

    John 14:1-3

    For your reflection

    • Every person, every family and every community needs to have a balance of cloister, community, and hospitality. But for each, that balance will look a little different. In your own personal life, is there such a balance? Do you have as much cloister as you need? In your family/community life, is there as much cloister as is needed? What do you and your family/community need to do in order to being about such a healthy balance?

    • Ignatius was convinced that the Creator deals directly with the creature. Do you have that direct contact with God? Ignatius saw himself as a companion of Jesus. Do you have a companionship with Jesus?

    • In our spiritual lives, sometimes we see ourselves as being called to God’s House and sometimes we hear Christ knocking on the door of our own house. Which image resonates more with your present spiritual life? Speak with Jesus about this.

    How to Have Daily Cloister Time with Jesus (1)
    • I don’t need to pray for long stretches of time every day, but I do need to pray a little every day. Very few people have the luxury of praying for long periods, and frankly it isn’t necessary. If I am a beginner, I could start with ten or fifteen minutes and very gradually build up to thirty or thirty-five. That’s all that is really necessary. What is essential is that I do not skip many days. It is better to pray consistently for fifteen minutes a day than to pray an hour only every now and then.

    • Concretely, what do I do in my prayer time? There are many step-by-step guides for beginners in prayer including my own book Armchair Mystic. I recommend getting one of these and working through it with a mentor who has been praying a while. Basically, this is what usually happens in one’s daily prayer.
    1. Before beginning prayer, I think about what has been on my mind and heart these days, what I might want to pray about. I set by my side anything that might help me to focus on this matter: a scripture passage, a spiritual reading, a photograph, the brochure of the college I hope to attend, a journal entry, my wedding ring.
    2. I begin with some formulaic prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer or the Glory Be. I ask God to come to me and I name for God the topic about which I would like to pray.
    3. I spend a few moments getting myself quiet. I might hum a religious song for a while. I stay with this quieting down as long as it feels right. Sometimes, it’ll take up the entire prayer time.
    4. If I feel moved to do so, I pick the object I’ve placed by my side. I read the scripture passage. I look intently at the photograph. I hold my wedding ring in the palm of my hand. If I don’t have any such object, then I close my eyes and place before me an image that moves me: the person I have strong feelings for, the city I’m being transferred to, the sin I hope to be freed of.
    5. As best I can, I now let the Lord take over and let whatever happens happen. My only job is to spiritually hold that object or image, to mull it over in my mind and my heart. I avoid getting heady about it; I don’t use this time for intellectual reasoning. Instead, I simply sit with this matter: I hold it not only in my hand or my head but most especially in my heart. I allow this matter to move me to some deep emotion: joy, fear, contentment, anger, peace, longing, sorrow.
    6. I sense Jesus or God the Father present with me in this manner. I imagine the Lord being moved by this as well and I begin to sense the way in which the Lord is moved. I notice that the way my heart is feeling about the matter is moving in sync with the way the Lord is feeling about it. Or I notice the opposite: I notice how differently we seem to feel about it. I listen quietly for anything the Lord might want to say to me. I listen for anything my heart might be saying to the Lord.
    7. When I feel moved to do so, I gently pull out of the prayer. I say another Our
      Father. I thank God for this moment and I close with the Sign of the Cross.

    • My prayer life will go smoother if I have a consistent time, place, and opening and closing ritual. For example, I might pray in my overstuffed living room chair every morning before the kids wake up. I might begin every prayer with a Glory Be and end it with a Morning Offering. I might light a special candle or cover myself with a blanket or prayer shawl.

    • It is highly recommended that I work with a mentor or spiritual director who has been praying this way for a while. I will need someone to speak to about my prayer as questions or problems arise.

    (1) Excerpt from Ignatian Intuition by Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J., Loyola Press 2009

    Catholic Daughters meet this week

    The Catholic Daughters of America will meet this week on Tuesday, May 12. The meeting starts at 6 PM with a mass at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Opelousas. Afterwards, the group will gather in the catechism center there. The meeting will include the installation of new members. Awards will be given out including a scholarship from the state organization of Catholic Daughters to local student Angelica Simmons.

    Mother's Day Blessing and Thoughts on Mary

    Mother's Day Blessing

    God bless you on this Mother’s Day,
    God guide you always on life’s way,
    and may His Love for you impart
    true happiness unto your hearts.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    Our Mother

    Mary is Mother of the Savior. Just as obviously, however, we can and must affirm that she is our Mother because, by living her very special maternal relationship with the Son, she shared in his mission for us and for the salvation of all people.

    Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
    December 31, 2007

    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    Readings and Themes for the Weekend of May 10, 2009, 5th Sunday of Easter

    Readings for Faith Sharing
    Week of May 10, 2009, 5th Sunday of Easter

    Reading I Acts 9:26-31
    Saul spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.

    Psalm 22 “I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.”

    Reading II John 15: 1-8
    We should believe in the name of Jesus Christ and love one another.

    Gospel John 10:11-18
    “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

    I Am The Vine, You Are The Branches

    A marvelous image of the Church is set before us in today’s readings. Jesus refers to himself as the vine and calls his followers the branches. Saint Paul, who once persecuted the early Christians---in a sense, attempting to sever the branches—is converted to Christ and begins to proclaim boldly the name of the Lord. The Church is made up of a wide variety of people who together make up this glorious vine that bears the fruits of justice and peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, comfort and consolation.

    Question for Children:
    How do you keep yourself connected to Jesus in your daily life?

    Question for Youth:
    Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, connected to Him as our life-source. When do you feel most connected to Jesus in your everyday life? How can you go there more often?

    Question for Adults:
    How does your own connection to Christ, the vine, affect your daily life? What image from this reading helps you see the importance of this connection to Christ?

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    The Holy Father arrives in the Middle East

    A Spiritual Force

    Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Amman, Jordan today beginning a one week pilgrimage that will include a pilgrimage into the Holy Land. (Photo, Reuters, Pope Benedict XVI with the Jordanian Royal Family)

    Click here for his schedule for the week.

    Click here for photos of the trip.

    And from this article at Catholic News Service:

    "We are not a political power but a spiritual force, and this spiritual force is something that can contribute to progress in the search for peace," the pope told reporters aboard his Alitalia charter jet May 8.

    As believers, he said, Christians are convinced of the power of prayer.

    "It opens the world to God, and we are convinced that God listens and can work in history. And I think that if millions of believers pray this is truly a force that can have an influence and advance the cause of peace," he said.

    The pope, standing next to aides in the reporters' section of the plane, took four questions submitted by journalists and read aloud by the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

    The pontiff said that in addition to prayer the church contributes to peace by forming consciences and convincing people to liberate themselves from personal or particular interests in favor of the common good.

    He emphasized that the church's teachings on peace and tolerance are founded on "truly reasonable positions" that are not in conflict with faith -- a point the pope has made consistently throughout his pontificate, most strongly in a speech in Regensburg, Germany, in 2006.

    The pope said it was a difficult time for the beleaguered Christian population in the Holy Land, but also a time of hope, of a "new beginning and new effort on the way of peace."

    Christian communities are an important component of the life of Middle Eastern countries, and the church wants to encourage them to have the "courage, the humility and the patience to remain in these countries," he said.

    For their part, he said, the Christian communities contribute to society especially through their networks of schools and hospitals. Schools in particular -- including the university the pope will lay the foundation stone for in Jordan -- help bring Christians and Muslims together, he said.

    "They meet here and speak to each other. It's also a place where a Christian elite is formed that is prepared precisely to work for peace," he said.

    Asked about Catholic-Jewish relations, the pope said it was important that both faiths shared books of the Old Testament and thus have "common roots."

    "Naturally, after 2,000 years of distinct, in fact separate, histories, it's not surprising that there are misunderstandings, because different traditions of interpretation, language and thought have formed," he said.

    Today, he said, it was important for Christians and Jews to make great progress in learning each other's language again. In part, this is being done through university exchange programs, he said.

    "We are learning from each other, and I am certain and convinced that we are making progress. This will also help the cause of peace, and in fact of mutual love," he said.

    The pope said "trilateral" dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews was also important, and is helped by the fact that all three faiths have a common belief in one God and a common descent from Abraham.

    Bulletin for the Weekend of May 10, 2009 has been posted

    The bulletin for the weekend of May 10, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

    The new calendar on the website has been updated with all events for the coming week along with prayer intention information for all of the masses. Take some time to look at our new calendar here.

    Updates are also being made to our new St. Landry Catholic Church blog. You can get to the blog from the church home page under the Bulletins and News section or you can just click here to go to it.

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    Prayers and Intentions

    The parish web site has been updated with a new Prayers page. On it, you can read the names of everyone on our parish prayer intention list. Also listed are the prayer intentions for the sanctuary lights in the church and in the chapel.

    You can see it by clicking here.

    You can find it from the front page by clicking the word Prayers on the menu bar near the top.

    Pray for them.

    58th Annual National Day of Prayer

    Today, the nation celebrates the 58th Annual National Day of Prayer. Many ecumenical groups are gathering together in public places across our country.

    Click here for the website for the National Day of Prayer Taskforce.

    For a wonderful story about the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for whom every day is a prayer day, please click here.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Year of St. Paul - Optimism


    Jesus, the Good Shepherd, acts in souls with his grace.

    “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9), the Apostle Paul heard the Lord answer when he asked the Lord to spare him suffering. May this very awareness always nourish your faith and stimulate within you the search for ways to reach the hearts of all with the healthy optimism that you must always spread around you.

    Pope Benedict XVI’s address to newly ordained bishops
    21 September 2006

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    A Thank You

    I take this occasion to thank Mr. Bobby Dupre for the refreshed parking lot at Valentin Hall. He donated the limestone. It is a much-needed improvement. Many thanks.

    Monsignor Robert Romero

    Next meeting of the Cemetery Tours group

    The next meeting of the Cemetery Tours group is scheduled on Monday, June 8 at 5:30 PM in Valentin Hall.

    Please make plans to attend this meeting as we continue our plans for the next season.

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    Rosary on May 4

    We had a small group for our rosary this afternoon. The weather was beautiful and we had a nice, prayerful time.

    Mark your calendars for the next rosary on May 11th at 5:30PM. May is the Month of Mary. Come and bring a friend as well as your prayer intentions.

    May - The Month of Mary

    May is the Month of Mary. All parishioners are invited to pray the rosary every Monday evening in May at 5:30 pm in honor of our Blessed Mother --- starting today, May 3. The Catholic Daughters will gather at the grotto behind St. Landry Church for the rosary.

    Everyone is welcome to come; bring your own intentions and join them in praying the rosary.

    Don’t forget your lawn chairs!

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Message of the Holy Father for the 46th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

    Message of the Holy Father
    For The 46th World Day
    Of Prayer For Vocations

    3 May 2009, Fourth Sunday Of Easter

    Theme: Faith in the divine initiative - the human response

    Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
    Brothers and Sisters,

    On the occasion of the next World Day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, which will be celebrated on 3 May 2009, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, I want to invite all the People of God to reflect on the theme: Faith in the divine initiative - the human response. The exhortation of Jesus to his disciples: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38) has a constant resonance in the Church. Pray! The urgent call of the Lord stresses that prayer for vocations should be continuous and trusting. The Christian community can only really “have ever greater faith and hope in God's providence” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 26) if it is enlivened by prayer.

    The vocation to the priesthood and to the consecrated life constitutes a special gift of God which becomes part of the great plan of love and salvation that God has for every man and woman and for the whole of humanity. The Apostle Paul, whom we remember in a special way during this Pauline Year dedicated to the Two-thousandth anniversary of his birth, writing to the Ephesians says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Ef 1:3-4). In the universal call to holiness, of particular relevance is God’s initiative of choosing some to follow his Son Jesus Christ more closely, and to be his privileged ministers and witnesses. The divine Master personally called the Apostles “to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons” (Mk 3:14-15); they, in turn, gathered other disciples around them as faithful collaborators in this mission. In this way, responding to the Lord’s call and docile to the movement of the Holy Spirit, over the centuries, countless ranks of priests and consecrated persons placed themselves totally at the service of the Gospel in the Church. Let us give thanks to God, because even today he continues to call together workers into his vineyard. While it is undoubtedly true that a worrisome shortage of priests is evident in some regions of the world, and that the Church encounters difficulties and obstacles along the way, we are sustained by the unshakable certitude that the one who firmly guides her in the pathways of time towards the definitive fulfilment of the Kingdom is he, the Lord, who freely chooses persons of every culture and of every age and invites them to follow him according to the mysterious plans of his merciful love.

    Our first duty, therefore, is to keep alive in families and in parishes, in movements and in apostolic associations, in religious communities and in all the sectors of diocesan life this appeal to the divine initiative with unceasing prayer. We must pray that the whole Christian people grows in its trust in God, convinced that the “Lord of the harvest” does not cease to ask some to place their entire existence freely at his service so as to work with him more closely in the mission of salvation. What is asked of those who are called, for their part, is careful listening and prudent discernment, a generous and willing adherence to the divine plan, and a serious study of the reality that is proper to the priestly and religious vocations, so as to be able to respond responsibly and with conviction.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church rightly reminds us that God’s free initiative requires a free response on the part of men and women; a positive response which always presupposes acceptance of and identification with the plan that God has for everyone; a response which welcomes the Lord’s loving initiative and becomes, for the one who is called, a binding moral imperative, an offering of thanksgiving to God and a total cooperation with the plan which God carries out in history (cf. n. 2062).

    Contemplating the mystery of the Eucharist, which expresses in a sublime way the free gift of the Father in the Person of his Only Begotten Son for the salvation of mankind, and the full and docile readiness of Christ to drink to the dregs the “cup” of the will of God (cf. Mt 26:39), we can more readily understand how “faith in the divine initiative” models and gives value to the “human response”. In the Eucharist, that perfect gift which brings to fulfilment the plan of love for the redemption of the world, Jesus offers himself freely for the salvation of mankind. “The Church”, my beloved predecessor John Paul II wrote, “has received the Eucharist from Christ her Lord not as a gift – however precious – among so many others, but as the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 11).

    It is priests who are called to perpetuate this salvific mystery from century to century until the Lord’s glorious return, for they can contemplate, precisely in the Eucharistic Christ, the eminent model of a “vocational dialogue” between the free initiative of the Father and the faithful response of Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist it is Christ himself who acts in those whom he chooses as his ministers; he supports them so that their response develops in a dimension of trust and gratitude that removes all fear, even when they experience more acutely their own weakness (cf. Rm 8:26-28), or indeed when the experience of misunderstanding or even of persecution is most bitter (cf. Rm 8:35-39).

    The awareness of being saved by the love of Christ, which every Mass nourishes in the faithful and especially in priests, cannot but arouse within them a trusting self-abandonment to Christ who gave his life for us. To believe in the Lord and to accept his gift, therefore, leads us to entrust ourselves to Him with thankful hearts, adhering to his plan of salvation. When this does happen, the one who is “called” voluntarily leaves everything and submits himself to the teaching of the divine Master; hence a fruitful dialogue between God and man begins, a mysterious encounter between the love of the Lord who calls and the freedom of man who responds in love, hearing the words of Jesus echoing in his soul, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16).

    This intertwining of love between the divine initiative and the human response is present also, in a wonderful way, in the vocation to the consecrated life. The Second Vatican Council recalls, “The evangelical counsels of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience are based upon the words and examples of the Lord. They were further commanded by the apostles and Fathers of the Church, as well as by the doctors and pastors of souls. The counsels are a divine gift, which the Church received from its Lord and which it always safeguards with the help of His grace” (Lumen Gentium, 43).

    Once more, Jesus is the model of complete and trusting adherence to the will of the Father, to whom every consecrated person must look. Attracted by him, from the very first centuries of Christianity, many men and women have left families, possessions, material riches and all that is humanly desirable in order to follow Christ generously and live the Gospel without compromise, which had become for them a school of deeply rooted holiness. Today too, many undertake this same demanding journey of evangelical perfection and realise their vocation in the profession of the evangelical counsels. The witness of these our brothers and sisters, in contemplative monasteries, religious institutes and congregations of apostolic life, reminds the people of God of “that mystery of the Kingdom of God is already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven” (Vita Consecrata, 1).

    Who can consider himself worthy to approach the priestly ministry? Who can embrace the consecrated life relying only on his or her own human powers? Once again, it is useful to reiterate that the response of men and women to the divine call, whenever they are aware that it is God who takes the initiative and brings His plan of salvation to fulfilment, is never patterned after the timid self-interest of the worthless servant who, out of fear, hid the talent entrusted to him in the ground (cf. Mt 25:14-30), but rather expresses itself in a ready adherence to the Lord’s invitation, as in the case of Peter who, trusting in the Lord’ word, did not hesitate to let down the net once more even after having toiled all night and catching nothing (cf. Lk 5:5). Without in any sense renouncing personal responsibility, the free human response to God thus becomes “co-responsibility”, responsibility in and with Christ, through the action of his Holy Spirit; it becomes communion with the One who makes it possible for us to bear much fruit (cf. Jn 15:5).

    An emblematic human response, full of trust in God’s initiative, is the generous and unmitigated “Amen” of the Virgin of Nazareth, uttered with humble and decisive adherence to the plan of the Most High announced to her by God’s messenger (cf. Lk 1:38). Her prompt “Yes” allowed Her to become the Mother of God, the Mother of our Saviour. Mary, after this first “fiat”, had to repeat it many times, even up to the culminating moment of the crucifixion of Jesus, when “standing by the cross of Jesus” as the Evangelist John notes, she participated in the dreadful suffering of her innocent Son. And it was from the cross, that Jesus, while dying, gave her to us as Mother and entrusted us to her as sons and daughters (cf. Jn 19:26-27); she is especially the Mother of priests and consecrated persons. I want to entrust to her all those who are aware of God’s call to set out on the road of the ministerial priesthood or consecrated life.

    Dear friends, do not become discouraged in the face of difficulties and doubts; trust in God and follow Jesus faithfully and you will be witnesses of the joy that flows from intimate union with him. Imitating the Virgin Mary whom all generations proclaim as blessed because she believed (cf. Lk 1:48), commit yourselves with every spiritual energy, to realise the heavenly Father’s plan of salvation, cultivating in your heart, like her, the ability to be astonished and to adore him who is mighty and does “great things”, for Holy is his name (cf. Lk 1:49).

    From the Vatican, 20 January 2009