Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cemetery Blessings of the Graves, today and tomorrow

Cemetery Blessings of the Graves

Saturday, October 31, 2009
St. Landry Catholic Cemetery 5:30 p.m.
Myrtle Grove Cemetery 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Bellevue Cemetery 2:00 p.m.

Upkeep of St. Landry Cemetery

As November is a traditional time for us to visit cemeteries and pray for our deceased relatives and friends, I approach all to help maintain the Historic Catholic Cemetery of Opelousas at St. Landry Church.

The cost of maintenance is around $20,000.00 per year. I invite all to provide proper reverence for our deceased with a financial donation. Envelopes are available at all doors and on the back table for this purpose. Please place these envelopes in the offertory collection on any given Sunday.


Many thanks.

Monsignor J. Robert Romero

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 119, 100th Anniversary Mass this morning at 11 AM


The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 119 will celebrate 100 years at St. Landry Catholic Church with a mass this morning, Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 11 AM. The celebrant will be Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana who grew up in our church parish.

Originally called the Daughters of Isabella, the organization has been very active in supporting our church. From donating one of the large art glass windows within the church, having the massive brass bell cast and installed in the bell tower at St. Landry Catholic Church, and in leading our parish rosary at the grotto during the months of May and October, the Daughters support all facets of parish life.

For more information about the mass, contact Debbie Fay at 594-8198.

Pictured below is an art glass window at St. Landry Catholic Church of the Assumption of Mary which was donated by the Catholic Daughters.



Pictured below is the inscription on the bell at St. Landry Catholic Church, donated by the Daughters and installed in April 1912.


Readings and Themes for the Week of November 1, 2009

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of November 01, 2009,
Solemnity of All Saints

Reading I Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
The saints rejoice in the heavenly liturgy.

Psalm 24
“Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.”

Reading II John 3:1-3
We shall be like God.

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
Jesus offers a glimpse into the kingdom.

THEME:
We become blest by being children of God.

This festival day offers a glimpse into the wonders of heaven. The book of Revelation tells of heaven’s glory, of the brightly robed saints who bear the palm branches of eternal life. The First Letter of John says in simple and beautiful language something that is more than anyone can imagine, we shall be like God. The Lord Jesus has the last word about the inhabitants of heaven: Blessed are the persecuted, the sorrowful, the peacemakers, and the lowly. These are the children of God.

Question for Children:
When have you become a peacemaker?
Among your friends? In your family? At school? Other times?

Question for Youth:
All Saints Day gives us a chance to remember the saints of our Church and of our lives. Who are the people who have been saints in your life?

Question for Adults:
When you heard the Beatitudes today, which one did you hear most clearly as a summons for your own life?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Statement of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops on Health Care Reform

Statement of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops on Health Care Reform
October 26, 2009

The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops recognizes the need to reform access to health care in the United States. The Catholic Church has been and continues to be an advocate for health care reform that provides medical care for all in an accessible and affordable manner.

According to church teaching, health care is not merely a privilege, but a basic human right. In Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII stated that “rights are universal and inviolable, and therefore altogether inalienable.” These include, but are not limited to, the “right to medical care,” and “to be looked after in the event of ill health.” The New Testament Scriptures further reveal an apostolic duty, commanded by Jesus, to heal the sick while proclaiming the Gospel (MT 10: 7-8).

For centuries, Catholic hospitals have served and ministered to the sick and the dying. Other Catholic institutions have welcomed and served the elderly, handicapped, expectant mothers, newborns, and others with physical, emotional or spiritual needs. This is an important expression of our respect for the innate dignity that lies within every human being, regardless of race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or social class.

This respect for life and dignity directs us to urge congress to support reforms that:
  1. Exclude public health care monies for abortion;

  2. Prohibit any form of euthanasia;

  3. Protect the right of conscience of a health care professional or institution; and

  4. Respect the right of a physician and a patient to decide treatment for the healing of that patient without interference.

Finally, in shaping public policy on access to health care, we appeal to congress for a plan that ensures basic affordable medical care for all, including legal immigrants, and a plan that protects the role of personal and private entities in carrying out their health care mission.

The bishops urge that any health care plan embraces all of these principles, and invite all Catholics to pray for all legislators that they will be enlightened by God to know what is good for our society and particularly those in need.

Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops
3423 Hundred Oaks Avenue
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
(225) 344-7120

Integrating the Christian message into a changing culture

Today, the Holy Father asks all to use our new technology and methods of communication not just to spread the Christian message but to integrate that message into the formation of our changing culture.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications "has, for some time now, been following the surprising and rapid evolution of the means of communication growing in the involvement of the magisterium of the Church". With these words, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of that dicastery, presided over by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, which is examining the role of new technologies in the media during these days.

The Holy Father cited Paul VI's pastoral instruction "Communio et Progressio" and John Paul II's "Aetatis Nova", "two important documents that have favoured and promoted greater awareness on the themes tied to communication in the Church".

He also recalled John Paul II's encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" that affirms: "Involvement in the mass media, however, is not meant merely to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel. There is a deeper reality involved here: since the very evangelization of modern culture depends to a great extent on the influence of the media, it is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the Church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications".

"Effectively," Benedict XVI said, "modern culture is established, even before its content, in the very fact of the existence of new forms of communication that use new languages; they use new technologies and create new psychological attitudes. All of which supposes a challenge for the Church, which is called to announce the Gospel to persons in the third millennium, maintaining its content unaltered but making it understandable, thanks also to the instruments and methods in tune with today's mentality and culture".

At the same time, the Pope referred to his last message for the World Communications Day in which he encouraged "those responsible for communication in all areas, to promote a culture of respect for the dignity and worth of the human being, a dialogue rooted in the sincere search for truth and friendship (.) capable of developing the gifts and talents of each and of putting them at the service of the human community".

"In this way the Church exercises that which can be defined as a "deaconate of culture" in today's "digital continent", using its means to announce the Gospel, the only Word that can save the human being. The task of enriching the elements of the new culture of the media, beginning with their ethical aspects, falls to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as well as serving as orientation and guide in helping the particular churches understand the importance of communication, which represents a key point that cannot be overlooked in any pastoral plan".

Concluding, the pontiff recalled the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Film Archive founded by Blessed John XXIII, which possesses a "rich cultural patrimony pertaining to all humanity" and he encouraged to continuing collection and cataloguing of images "that document the path of Christianity through the suggestive witness of the image".

Bulletin for the weekend of November 1, 2009



The bulletin for the weekend of November 01, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

See the website for additional information on the visit of a relic of St. Mary Magdalene on Friday, November 6, 2009.

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

Updates are also being made to our 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.

Don't forget, we're also sending out live updates via Twitter. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath. You can see updates by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Relics - What are they and what is the scriptural basis? By Monsignor J. Robert Romero

As we are preparing to receive a relic of St. Mary Magdalene on November 6, 2009, I would like to explain what is a relic, why relics are important to us, and how to spiritually prepare for the visit of St. Mary Magdalene’s relic.

The word relic comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains." A reliquary is a container that houses one or more relics. In religion a relic is kept and venerated because it once belonged to a saint, martyr, or religious leader, especially a part of his or her body. A relic is either the physical remains of a saint, some part of their remains, or else an object associated with them, that they have used, such as clothing. A saint is a dead person with whom, following prayer, a miracle is associated.

Relics are divided into three classes. First class relics are part of the remains of a saint. This could be their body, a bone, hair, ashes, etc. Second class relics are objects associated with a saint, like clothing, rosary they used. Third class relics are ordinary objects which have been touched to either a first or second class relic. These are usually small pieces of cloth.

Relics have been part of the human experience since ancient times. In ancient Greece, remains of Oedipus, Theseus, Demetrius, Phocion, Aesculapius and Perdicas I were given honor or veneration. In Buddhism, relics of the Buddha are venerated. In the Muslim religion there is in Istanbul at the Topkapi Palace Museum relics of the sword and standard of Muhammad, a hair from his beard, and the staff of Moses as well as other relics. Relics are preserved by different Muslim communities. In the secular and civic world of America, the bodies of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are given national importance. A house where George Washington slept is given more value than other houses. The Lincoln Bedroom at the White House is given more significance than other rooms at the White House.

The Christian practice of venerating the relics of the saints has its roots in the soil of ancient Israel. For example, Elisha’s tomb in 2 Kings 13:20-21 shows us the power of relics:

20 Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. 21 Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. (NIV)


Early Christians cite this reference and others to claim that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling affects the physical body and that God can do miracles through the bodies of His servants.

In the New Testament we see the cases of the woman cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ’s cloak (Matt. 9:20-22) and the sick who were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them (Acts 5:14-16). "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12). Early Christians also cite the veneration of St. Polycarp's relics recorded in the Martyrdom of Polycarp (written 150–160 AD).

As Catholics we come to the relics with Saint Jerome’s attitude as he tells us, "We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are" (Ad Riparium, i, P.L., XXII, 907).

So coming to the relic of St. Mary Magdalene and to any relic of a Saint, we focus on God Himself who is seen in the life of the Saint whose relic we venerate. As I said earlier, let us prepare spiritually for the visit of St. Mary Magdalene’s relic by

  1. spiritually wanting to see and to attend to Jesus Christ as St. Mary Magdalene did,

  2. experiencing the joy and surprise of witnessing Jesus Christ in our own lives as St. Mary Magdalene did, and

  3. responding to Jesus’ instruction to tell others of Jesus Christ as St. Mary Magdalene did.

Let us please realize, the relic of St. Mary Magdalene’s tibia [the tibia is the large bone at the ankle] is the relic we will see. As Richard Borgman has said, “This tibia knelt before the crucified and resurrected Christ. Imagine that your life is lived in such holiness that 2000 years after your death your bones are still bringing people to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Lord said to Mary Magdalene: Go and tell my brothers that I shall ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God.
(John 20:17)

PRAYER


Father, your Son first entrusted to Mary Magdalene the joyful news of his resurrection. By her prayers and examples may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord and one day see him in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[From the Roman Sacramentary, July 22nd ]


Monsignor J. Robert Romero

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tonight on EWTN, Presentation on the relic of St. Mary Magdalene



Prior to the relic coming to St. Landry Catholic Church, Father Thomas Michelet will appear at 9 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 27 on a special “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa. He will discuss the story of St. Mary Magdalene and the relic, which is coming to the U.S. from France for the first time. EWTN broadcasts on Charter Cable Channel 35 in the Opelousas area.

The relic will be at St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, Friday, November 6, 2009.

Itinerary

8:40 a.m. Opelousas Catholic All School Prayer Service Receiving Relic
Entrance of the Reliquary containing St. Mary Magdalene relic at the beginning of entrance procession. A Dominican Priest gives the homily. Following the Prayer Service, there is personal veneration by the students and public.

10:30 a.m. A French Language Presentation
Following French Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public.

12:10 p.m. Votive mass of St. Mary Magdalene for the public.
A Dominican Priest gives the homily. Following Mass, there is personal veneration by the public.

3:30 p.m. An English Language Presentation
Following English Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public.

6:30 p.m. A Spanish Language Presentation.
Following Spanish Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public until departure of the Relic.

For more detailed information, prayers, and photos of the relic, please click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Opelousas Catholic School News


OC CORNER
Opelousas Catholic was proud to honor Mr. Roddy Dye as Grand Marshal of the 2009 Homecoming Parade this past week for his dedicated service to OC athletics and the school.

Past queens and captains recognized were Queen Camille Chachere and Captain Taylor Hebert, 2008-2009; Queen Robyn Deranger and Captains Jonathan Fisher and Rob Roy, 1999-2000; Queen Kayla Giron-Baker and Captain Ashton Provost, 1989-1990; Queen Marie Gardiner Lalonde and Captain Dewayne Elter, 1979-1980; Jennifer Martin Marine in memory of her mother, Queen Beth Roy Martin and Captain Al Martin, AIC 1969-1970; and Queen Jessica Jarrell Bernard and Escort Ronnie Daigle, AIC 1959-1960

RCIA - Learning more about our Faith

Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30 pm, the adult religion class will be discussing the Commandments 6 thru 10. Join us at Valentin Hall.

For more information, contact Deacon John Miller at 942-2911

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Name of Jesus and the Compendium


Today, during his homily, Monsignor Romero referenced the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Compendium is a wonderful reference to Catholic teaching that, in turn, references back into the more detailed Catechism of the Catholic Church. Both books are wonderful reference texts to have.

The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available by clicking here for the Vatican website.

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available by clicking here for the Vatican website.

Both are also available in printed form locally at:
The Catholic Bookshoppe
2364 Larkspur Lane
Opelousas, Louisiana 70570
(337) 948-8050

During the homily, Monsignor Romero referenced paragraph 81 in the Compendium.

81. What is the meaning of the name “Jesus”?

430-435
452

Given by the angel at the time of the Annunciation, the name “Jesus” means “God saves”. The name expresses his identity and his mission “because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Peter proclaimed that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Compendium references paragraphs 430 thru 435 as well as paragraph 452 in the Catechism. Monsignor Romero spoke of paragraph 435:

435 The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All liturgical prayers conclude with the words "through our Lord Jesus Christ". The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words "blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." The Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer, says: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc, have died with the one word "Jesus" on their lips.

Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homilies are now available to download and listen to!

As part of our answering the challenge of the Holy Father to go out and evangelize utilizing new technologies, we're now offering the homily each week for download. Clicking the link to the homily should download it and automatically start it playing in whatever music player your computer is set up with.

On the technical side, the file sizes are about 5 megs which means it may a minute or two to download on slower internet connections. It is also an MP3 formatted file which means that these are essentially podcasts. Don't worry if all the technical words don't mean much to you. It means we're using the latest in technology in order to make sure our church parish can reach the most people.

The current week's homily is available on a link on the front page of the website next to the link for the current week's bulletin. On the page with the prior bulletins, the corresponding homily will be sitting side by side with its bulletin. We started on the anniversary of the start of the Catholic Church, Pentecost Sunday. This week, The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, is our twenty-second homily to be posted. This week, the homily is given by Monsignor J. Robert Romero.

So, take a listen and let us know what you think. Click here to download the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time homily from St. Landry Catholic Church, Opelousas, Louisiana.

Letter from Pope Benedict XVI to the Mississippi River Symposium

The Eighth International Symposium on Religion, Science and the Environment titled "Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River" is underway in Memphis, Tennessee. It was organized under the patronage of Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I and will be ending today. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, sent the following letter to the symposium via Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans.

* * *

To His Holiness Bartholomew I
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

On the occasion of the Eight International Symposium on the theme Religion, Science and the Environment, devoted this year to the Mississippi River, I have asked the Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, to offer Your Holiness my cordial greetings and my prayerful good wishes for the occasion. I likewise renew my appreciation for your continued efforts to promote respect for God’s gift of creation and a sense of global solidarity for its wise and responsible stewardship.

From earliest times, water has always been acknowledged as a primary human good and an indispensable natural resource. Around the great rivers of the world, like the Mississippi, great cultures have developed, while over the course of the centuries the prosperity of countless societies has been linked to these waterways. Today, however, the great fluvial systems of every continent are exposed to serious threats, often as a result of man’s activity and decisions.

Concern for the fate of the great rivers of the earth must lead us to reflect soberly on the model of development which our society is pursuing. A purely economic and technological understanding of progress, to the extent that it fails to acknowledge its intrinsic limitations and to take into consideration the integral good of humanity, will inevitably provoke negative consequences for individuals, peoples and creation itself (cf. Common Declaration, 30 November, 2006). Authentic human development likewise calls for intergenerational justice and practical solidarity with the men and women of the future, who are also entitled to enjoy the goods which creation, as willed by God, is meant to bestow in abundance upon all.

I fully agree with Your Holiness that the urgent issues surrounding the care and protection of the environment, while touching important political, economic, technical and scientific questions, nonetheless are essentially of an ethical nature, and the solution to the ecological crisis of our time necessarily calls for a change of heart on the part of our contemporaries.
Nature, in fact, is prior to us, and, as the setting of our life, it must be used responsibly, with respect for its inbuilt equilibrium. As the expression of the Creator’s plan of love and truth, nature must be acknowledged as containing “a ‘grammar’ which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation” (Caritas in Veritate, 48).

Precisely for this reason, by virtue of their faith, Christians are called to join in offering the world a credible witness of responsibility for the safeguarding of creation, and to cooperate in every way possible to ensure that our earth can preserve intact its God-given grandeur, beauty and bounty.

The present Symposium, which calls attention to the majestic Mississippi River, also reminds us of the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding which caused such great devastation to New Orleans and surrounding areas on 29 August 2005. My thoughts and prayers are with all those, especially the poor, who experienced suffering, loss and displacement, and all those engaged in the patient work of rebuilding and renewal.

With these sentiments, Your Holiness, I embrace you with fraternal affection in the Lord. At the same time I ask you kindly to convey my greetings and heartfelt good wishes to all those taking part in the Symposium, together with the assurance of my prayers that this important gathering will lead to the renewed awareness of our responsibility for the gift of creation, which God has entrusted to us “to till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15) as common inheritance and home.

From the Vatican, 12 October 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 119 - 100th Anniversary Mass


The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 119 will celebrate 100 years at St. Landry Catholic Church with a mass, Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 11 AM. The celebrant will be Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana who grew up in our church parish.

Originally called the Daughters of Isabella, the organization has been very active in supporting our church. From donating one of the large art glass windows within the church, having the massive brass bell cast and installed in the bell tower at St. Landry Catholic Church, and in leading our parish rosary at the grotto during the months of May and October, the Daughters support all facets of parish life.

For more information about the mass, contact Debbie Fay at 594-8198.

We're also hoping to complete a repair and renovation of the bell ringing assembly in time for that mass. Once completed, the tolling of the bell should be heard across all of Opelousas.

Below is a photo of the bell along with a close up of the inscription. Click here for a photo gallery showing inside the bell tower during a recent inspection.



Year for Priests, Priesthood Sunday, and a Prayer for Vocations

YEAR FOR PRIESTS
Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests

The priest, for the Church and in the Church, is a humble but real sign of the one, eternal Priest who is Jesus. He must proclaim his word authoritatively, renew his acts of pardon and offering and exercise loving concern in the service of his flock, in communion with the Pastors and faithfully docile to the teaching of the Magistrium.

From Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting with priests, seminarians and students in Sardinia, Italy. 7 September 2008

Priesthood Sunday
This Sunday we celebrate vocational calls to the priesthood and to the role of priests in the life of the Church. Throughout this year we can look and pray for vocations.

Prayer for Vocations
Lord Jesus, as You once called the first disciples to make them fishers of men, let your sweet invitation continue to resound: Come, follow Me!

Give young men and women the grace of responding quickly to Your voice. Support your bishops, priests and consecrated people in their apostolic labor.

Grant perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are carrying out the ideal of a life totally consecrated to Your service.

Awaken in our community a missionary eagerness. Lord, send workers to your harvest and do not allow humanity to be lost for the lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel.

Mary, Mother of the Church, the model of every vocation, help us to say “yes” to the Lord Who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. AMEN

Readings and Themes for the Week of October 25, 2009

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of October 25, 2009,
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Jeremiah 31:7-9
The Lord has delivered the remnant of Israel.

Psalm 126
“The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy.”

Reading II Hebrews 5:1-6
You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
Jesus heals Bartimaeus. The healed man follows Jesus.

THEME:
Power in Weakness

With joyful and expectant hearts we prepare to listen to God’s healing word. Jeremiah reminds us what the kingdom of God is like: an immense throng of diverse people welcomed home. The Gospel story of the healing of Bartimaeus inspires us to seek healing and forgiveness from the Lord. As God’s word is proclaimed, let us be mindful of our own thirst for the fountains of healing and forgiveness.

Question for Children:
What would you like to ask Jesus for?

Question for Youth:
"Master, I want to see!"
What do you most want to be able to "see" in your own life? How are you blind?

Question for Adults:
What does it mean for you to "see"?
Are there blind spots in your life?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bulletin for the Weekend of October 25, 2009



The bulletin for the weekend of October 25, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

See the additional inserts in this week's bulletin related to the relics of St. Mary Magdalene coming to St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas, Louisiana! This week, we include details on just what relics are.

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

Updates are also being made to our 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.

Don't forget, we're also sending out live updates via Twitter. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath. You can see updates by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bishop's Services Appeal

Each one of us is called through our common Baptism, to be a light to the world and do our share in implementing the victory Jesus won on the Cross.

While we cannot always be the one to comfort the grieving, bring hope to the socially oppressed, teach the young and reach out to those in need, we can---through our generosity ensure that our Diocesan Church is strong and vibrant so that it is able to meet the needs of so many in the year ahead.

The Bishop’s Services Appeal provides the financial lifeblood for a broad range of ministries, apostolates, and outreach programs. Your generous gift can and will make a difference.

Your generous gifts given in His name, give praise to the Heavenly Father and make you co-workers in his sanctifying and redemptive works.

St. Landry Catholic Church International Dinner

Parishioners are invited to participate and attend the 1st Annual International Dinner for St. Landry Catholic Church. It will be held on Sunday, November 8th after the 10:00 a.m. mass in Opelousas Catholic School’s Cafeteria. Come join our Church Family for fellowship, food, and fun. If you would like to share a dish from your native country, please call or come by the church office to let us know. We suggest a dish for 10 people. Your input and participation will unite our church families in making this a memorable event. Many thanks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Opelousas Catholic School News


OC CORNER
It’s Homecoming week at OC with the theme, “A Walk Down Viking Lane”! Alumni, family and friends are encouraged to participate. The parade will roll down Union Street on Thursday @ 6:00 pm; Mass will be celebrated in St. Landry Catholic Church on Friday morning at 8:40am, and the game will kick off at 7:00 pm on Friday in Donald Gardner Stadium.

The Catholic Schools of Opelousas Alumni Assoc. members will enjoy Mass and a brunch on Sunday, Oct. 25th.

Shoppe de Noel


The Rotary Club is coordinating this year’s Shoppe de Noel. This activity is for the three nursing homes in Opelousas. On November 29, 2009 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Shoppe do Noel will occur at these Nursing Homes. Parishioners are asked to participate. First, items are needed for residents to win and to purchase. These items can be body spray, candles, knick-knacks. Second, parishioners may have items at home they do not use anymore and would like to donate. There may even be things in the closet not being used and needs a good cause to be donated. Third, boxes will be placed in church for us to deposit these items. When we come to mass, we may place these in the boxes. Fourth, anyone wanting to help with Shoppe de Noel, please let Yvonne Normand know. Different churches are designated for each Nursing Home. St. Landry Catholic Church is taking care of Prompt Succor Nursing Facility.

Monday, October 19, 2009

RCIA - Learning more about our faith

Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30 pm, the adult religion class will be discussing the first 5 Commandments and why we honor Saints, Relics and Images. Join us at Valentin Hall.

For more information, contact Deacon John Miller at 942-2911

Year for Priests

YEAR FOR PRIESTS

Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests

The priest receives his “name”, his very identity, from Christ. Everything he does is done in His name. His “I” becomes totally relative to the “I” of Jesus.

From Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at the Mass for the ordination of priests, May 7, 2006.


Prayer Cards for the Year of the Priest

Our Knights of Columbus Council, St. Landry Council #1173, has provided both St. Landry Parishioners and Opelousas Catholic students, faculty and staff with a prayer card for the Year of the Priests. This prayer card is available to parishioners on the table behind the last church pew. Parishioners are encouraged to pray for priests in this Year of the Priests, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. We give special thanks to the Knights of Columbus, St. Landry Council #1173 as they give us an example of generous concern for our spiritual good.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homilies are now available to download and listen to!

As part of our answering the challenge of the Holy Father to go out and evangelize utilizing new technologies, we're now offering the homily each week for download. Clicking the link to the homily should download it and automatically start it playing in whatever music player your computer is set up with.

On the technical side, the file sizes are about 5 megs which means it may a minute or two to download on slower internet connections. It is also an MP3 formatted file which means that these are essentially podcasts. Don't worry if all the technical words don't mean much to you. It means we're using the latest in technology in order to make sure our church parish can reach the most people.

The current week's homily is available on a link on the front page of the website next to the link for the current week's bulletin. On the page with the prior bulletins, the corresponding homily will be sitting side by side with its bulletin. We started on the anniversary of the start of the Catholic Church, Pentecost Sunday. This week, The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, is our twenty-first homily to be posted. This week, the homily is given by Father Gus Gordon. Father Gordon spoke on behalf of Food for the Poor. Click here for more information about this great group.

So, take a listen and let us know what you think. Click here to download the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time homily from St. Landry Catholic Church, Opelousas, Louisiana.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Relic of St. Mary Magdalene comes to St. Landry Catholic Church


Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene
by Alexander Ivanov
Noli Me Tangere - "Do not touch me"
As part of a first visit to the United States of America, from October 21 to November 30 of 2009, a relic of St. Mary Magdalene will be at St. Landry Catholic Church on Friday, November 6, 2009.

This is a very special event for us with a full day scheduled.

Fr. Thomas Michelet, a Dominican priest, will be touring with the permission of Bishop Dominique Rey of the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon, where the relic is normally housed. This is the first time the relic will be in the United States. Click on the image of the letter from the bishop below to read it.



Mary Magdalene is recorded in the Gospels as the first witness of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The relics, hidden at the time of the Saracen invasions (Early Middle Ages), were found in 1279, the date from which they have been venerated without interruption,” the Bishop writes. “They are presently kept by the Dominican priests in the cave of St. Baume, a part of my diocese. A new reliquary has been constructed to allow one of the relics, a piece of the tibia, to travel to different countries for veneration by the entire Church.”

Click on the photo below to see the relic up closer.



And click on the photo below to see the new reliquary.



Itinerary

8:40 a.m. Opelousas Catholic All School Prayer Service Receiving Relic

Entrance of the Reliquary containing St. Mary Magdalene relic at the beginning of entrance procession. A Dominican Priest gives the homily. Following the Prayer Service, there is personal veneration by the students and public.

10:30 a.m. A French Language Presentation
Following French Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public.

12:10 p.m. Votive Mass of St. Mary Magdalene for the public
A Dominican Priest gives the homily. Following Mass, there is personal veneration by the public.

3:30 p.m. An English Language Presentation
Following English Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public.

6:30 p.m. A Spanish Language Presentation
Following Spanish Language Presentation, there is veneration by the public until departure of the Relic.

The Lord said to Mary Magdalene: Go and tell my brothers that I shall ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God.
(John 20:17)
Prayer


Father,
your Son first entrusted to Mary Magdalene
the joyful news of his resurrection.
By her prayers and examples
may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord
and one day see him in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[From Roman Sacramentary, July 22nd ]
As recorded in St. John’s Gospel:

But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Women why are you weeping?” “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,’ and what he told her. (John 20:11-18)


To prepare spiritually for this historic visit of St. Mary Magdalene’s relic, please make an effort to:

  • Want to see and to attend to Jesus Christ as St. Mary Magdalene did.

  • Experience the joy and surprise of witnessing Jesus Christ in our own lives as St. Mary Magdalene did.

  • Respond to Jesus’ instruction to tell others of Jesus Christ as St. Mary Magdalene did.
Prior to the relic coming to St. Landry Catholic Church, Father Thomas Michelet will appear at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 on a special “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa to discuss the story of St. Mary Magdalene and the relic, which is coming to the U.S. from France for the first time. EWTN broadcasts on Charter Cable Channel 35 in the Opelousas area.

Cemetery Tours and Food for the Poor



It's a busy weekend at St. Landry Catholic Church.

At each mass, Father Gus Gordon will be speaking to us about the Food for the Poor. Food for the Poor serves the poorest of the poor in 16 countries. Click here for a prior blog posting with more details.

It's also Cemetery Tour time. The weather didn't cooperate with us last weekend but we should have beautiful clear skies this weekend. Tour times are 6 PM, 7 PM, and 8 PM today. Tomorrow, the tour times are 2 PM and 3 PM. The cost is $10 per person and all of the funds collected will pay for restoration and repairs of tombs and graves dating back over 200 years.

Come visit Mr. J.B. Sandoz who built a general merchandise store. Talk with Judge Simon who along with General Kirby Smith were among the last Confederates to surrender at the end of the Civil War. Listen to the singing of a Yamba Queen. Mr. Thibodeaux will talk about how he was the contractor who built the St. Landry Catholic Church 100 years ago ... and then went on to become Sheriff. And 14 year old Verbis Lafleur will tell you about his dreams to become a priest ... and how his call to service as a child shaped the man who became a World War II hero.

Click here to download brochures and find more information.

Readings and Themes for the Week of October 18, 2009

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of October 18, 2009,
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Isaiah 53:10-11
God’s servant, through his suffering, will justify many.

Psalm 33
“Lord, let your mercy be upon us, as we place our trust in you”.

Reading II Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus was tested in every way we are, yet never sinned.

Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many.

THEME:
We are called to serve as Jesus served

In a society that espouses upward mobility, today’s readings are especially challenging. The disciples ask the Lord Jesus to guarantee them the best seats in heaven. He reminds them that real upward mobility has more to do with service of others than any earthly power. Let us echo the sentiments from today’s second reading and confidently approach the Lord, asking for strength to meet the challenges of the gospel.

Question for Children:
How difficult would it be for you to give something you treasure to someone else who needed it more than you do?

Question for Youth:
What is your most important possession?
How hard would it be for you to give it up?

Question for Adults:
How hard is it for you to part with things you treasure?
Do your possessions ever stand in the way of having deeper communion with God?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bulletin for the Weekend of October 18, 2009




The bulletin for the weekend of October 18, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

See the additional inserts in this week's bulletin related to the relics of St. Mary Magdalene coming to St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas, Louisiana!

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

Updates are also being made to our 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.

Don't forget, we're also sending out live updates via Twitter. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath. You can see updates by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Orphan Train Museum Ribbon Cutting



Click here to see photos from the ribbon cutting at the Orphan Train Museum in Opelousas, Louisiana.

We've posted information here on the museum and how the pastor of St. Landry Catholic Church Father Emberink worked with the Foundling Hospital in New York to find homes for these orphans.

Ms. Flo Inhern is dressed like one of the sisters. You'll see a mural of the arrival of the train with Father Emberink meeting the children at the station.

Cemetery blessings of the graves

Saturday, October 31, 2009
St. Landry Catholic Cemetery 5:30pm
Myrtle Grove Cemetery 5:30pm

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Bellevue Cemetery 2:00pm

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Message from Monsignor J. Robert Romero


“As often as you did it to one of the least
of My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me.”

Matthew 25:40



Rev. Gus Gordon with “FOOD FOR THE POOR” will be speaking at all masses the weekend of October 18, 2009. Click here for the Food for the Poor website.

Food for the Poor was founded on the basis of Matthew’s gospel. This ministry seeks out the poorest of the poor in 16 different countries. In each face they see the living Christ, who is hungry, thirsty, a stranger and naked.

Fr. Gordon will share what he has witnessed about Food for the Poor’s mission to care for the destitute as a means of living out the Gospel mandate to love one another.

Fr. Gordon was ordained in 1969 and belongs to the Archdiocese of Castries in St. Lucia. He worked with a hands-on ministry in Alabama and has preached on behalf of Food for the Poor for 17 years.

Please help me welcome Fr. Gus Gordon next weekend.

Monsignor J. Robert Romero

Monday, October 12, 2009

Year for Priests

YEAR FOR PRIESTS

Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests

Update on Seminarians
Diocese of Lafayette and North Region

Father Aaron Melancon, Director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Lafayette, reports that with the start of the Fall Semester, the Diocese of Lafayette has thirty-two (32) seminarians representing every area of the Diocese. Eighteen of the men are in Theology and Pre-Theology, ten of the men are in college seminary, two of the men are in their Pastoral year and two of the men are in the novitiate. Four men are scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in June 2010. The Lafayette seminarians are enrolled at St. Joseph Seminary College (St. Ben’s) in Covington, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Theological College in Washington, D.C., Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. Of the thirty-two (32) current seminarians representing the Diocese of Lafayette, the following four (4) men are from the North Region (St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes):

  1. Matthew Barzare (St. Anthony of Padua, Eunice)

  2. Mitchell Hebert, III (Sacred Heart of Jesus, Port Barre)

  3. Johnathan Janise ** (Sacred Heart of Jesus, Ville Platte

  4. William Schambough (St. Anthony of Padua, Eunice)
Please pray for these and all seminarians of the Diocese of Lafayette:

** Jonathan Janise will be ordained a Deacon on November 7, 2009 and will be ordained a Priest on June 5, 2010.

Prayer for Seminarians

Father, in your plan for our salvation you provide shepherds for your people. Fill your Church with the spirit of courage and love. Raise up worthy ministers for your altars and eager but gentle servants of the gospel. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer adapted from the Roman Sacramentary).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cemetery tour happening now!

Wear good shoes and meet us for the Cemetery Tour at 2 pm and 3 pm.

RCIA - Learning about our faith

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm the adult religion class will be discussing what is meant by the Communion of Saints, also Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

The weekly RCIA class is held at Valentin Hall each Tuesday. It is open to those wanting to become Catholic as well as those Catholics wanting to gain a deeper understanding about our faith.

For more information contact Deacon John Miller at 942-2911.

Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homilies are now available to download and listen to!

As part of our answering the challenge of the Holy Father to go out and evangelize utilizing new technologies, we're now offering the homily each week for download. Clicking the link to the homily should download it and automatically start it playing in whatever music player your computer is set up with.

On the technical side, the file sizes are about 5 megs which means it may a minute or two to download on slower internet connections. It is also an MP3 formatted file which means that these are essentially podcasts. Don't worry if all the technical words don't mean much to you. It means we're using the latest in technology in order to make sure our church parish can reach the most people.

The current week's homily is available on a link on the front page of the website next to the link for the current week's bulletin. On the page with the prior bulletins, the corresponding homily will be sitting side by side with its bulletin. We started on the anniversary of the start of the Catholic Church, Pentecost Sunday. This week, The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, is our twentieth homily to be posted. This week, the homily is given by Monsignor J. Robert Romero.

So, take a listen and let us know what you think. Click here to download the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time homily from St. Landry Catholic Church, Opelousas, Louisiana.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tonight's Cemetery Tour cancelled due to rain

No tours tonight due to the rain. Come and join us 2 to 3 PM tomorrow, weather permitting. And the weekend of the 17th and 18th of October.

Beautiful ribbon cutting event at Orphan Train Museum



The rain stayed away and we had a beautiful ribbon cutting event at the Opelousas Orphan Train Museum. A representative from the National Orphan Train Museum was on hand along with dozens of descendants of the original riders. Reenactors came dressed in period costume of children, nuns, and railroad men. Our own pastor, Monsignor J. Robert Romero, was there along with our former pastor Father Tremie and Father DeBlanc. It's well worth a visit.

Some of the families represented were the Dupre's, Brown's (Briley), Roy's, Stelly's, Inhern, ... and a host of others.

Coincidentally, the New York Foundling Hospital, where the orphans came from, is celebrating its 140th anniversary.

Click here to read an article in the New York Times about the anniversary in New York.

The photo at the top is of some of the reenactors. Mrs. Flo Inhern, who was so instrumental in getting seeing this dream of a museum become reality, portrays one of the nuns.

The photo below is of a mural painted depicting the orphans arriving in Opelousas. Father Engberink can be seen there on the left.

Bishop's Services Appeal

This is commitment weekend. Your generous pledges to the Bishop’s Services Appeal will be placed in the service of Jesus Christ. The BSA is the most effective and efficient way to meeting the needs of the multitudes.

Our parish goal for this year is to have every family and individual participate to the very best of their ability, in recognition and in thanksgiving for God’s many blessings.

All registered parishioners should have received a special letter from Bishop Jarrell requesting a personal commitment and a pledge. If you have already responded in the spirit of stewardship and discipleship, fervent thanks and blessings are yours. If not, today you have the opportunity to offer your generous pledge, in the spirit of love and unity, by using the pledge envelopes available here in Church.

God will indeed bless and reward your generosity and concern for others, of that you can be assured.

Orphan Train Museum opens

The Orphan Train Museum opens today with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 AM.

Back in the early 1900's, trains of orphans out of New York City were sent down across the country to be placed with families. Father John Emberink, who was the pastor of St. Landry Catholic Church, led the effort to find homes for the children who came to our area. The orphans and their descendants have made a huge impact on our parish and are a large part of our multicultural mix.

A new museum in now opening in the Vieux Village in Opelousas, right at the eastern gates of the city on U.S. Highway 190.

The ribbon cutting is at 9 AM today. Hours of operation are scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday.

Click here for an article on the new museum.

After viewing the museum, come out to our Cemetery Tours at St. Landry Catholic Church. There, you can learn more about just who these orphans were and who they became. Click here for Tour information.

Readings and Themes for the Week of October 11, 2009

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of October 11, 2009,
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Wisdom 7:7-11
Riches are nothing in comparison to wisdom.

Psalm 90
"Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!"

Reading II Hebrews 4:12-13
The word of God is living and effective.

Gospel: Mark 10:17-30
Sell all that you have, and follow Jesus' way.

THEME:
Making God a priority in your life...

Each week we gather to listen to God’s word. Too often it does not penetrate our hearts. Let us be especially attentive today as God’s word is described in the Letter to the Hebrews as ‘sharper than any two-edged sword.” Let us respond with generosity to the call of the Lord Jesus in today’s Gospel. Let us abandon those things that turn our attention away from God and learn to embrace the simplicity of true discipleship.

Question for Children:
How difficult would it be for you to give something you treasure to someone else who needed it more than you do?

Question for Youth:
What is your most important possession?
How hard would it be for you to give it up?

Question for Adults:
How hard is it for you to part with things you treasure?
Do your possessions ever stand in the way of having deeper communion with God?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cemetery Tours beginning



Saturday, October 10, the Cemetery Tours begin at St. Landry Catholic Church!

Tour times are 6 PM, 7 PM, 8 PM on Saturday evening. On Sunday, tour times are 2 PM and 3 PM.

The fee is $10 per person. All proceeds help pay for tomb repairs and preservation.

Meet a Monsignor who helped build a catholic school 75+ years ago, a businessman who opened a hardware store 100 years ago, a Yamba Queen, and an altar boy who will grow up to become a World War II hero. Walk with a Civil War veteran, the man who built St. Landry Church ... plus orphans who came from New York, were adopted by locals, and whose descendents are interwoven into our multicultural fabric.

Click here for more information at the parish website.

Click here to download a brochure.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bulletin for the Weekend of October 11, 2009



The bulletin for the weekend of October 11, 2009 has been posted. Click here to see it.

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

Updates are also being made to our 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.

Don't forget, we're also sending out live updates via Twitter. Our Twitter name is StLandryCath. You can see updates by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Opelousas Catholic School News


OC CORNER
The O.C. Senate recently sponsored a successful project, “Treats for Troops” where the OC families contributed needed items and Tony Chachere’s donated 3000 containers of seasoning for care packages directed to the Army National Guard 256th and 156th Infantry Brigades stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The 256th family support group helped with the shipping. May God bless our military, and keep them safe!

Feast of St. Bruno


Today is the Feast of St. Bruno who died on October 6 in the year 1101. He was the founder of the Carthusian Order in Chartreuse, France. After his death, a scroll was brought around Europe on which hundreds of people who knew him wrote their condolences and promised their prayers for his soul.

The photo above is of a statue of him in St. Peter's Basilica carved by French sculptor Michelangelo Slodtz in 1744. It depicts a scene from his life when St. Bruno turned down the mitre and staff of a bishop.


The monastery at Chartreuse today is famous for producing Chartreuse liquor.
A beautiful movie about life within the Carthusian order called "Into Great Silence" was made just a few years ago. The beauty of the house there at Chartreuse, the coming and going of the seasons as well as the hours of the day make for a very moving film. Click here for the movie website. Click here for more details about the Carthusian order at their website.

Click the link below to see a YouTube video of St. Bruno's life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZDiNBAqWxI

Monday, October 5, 2009

Red Mass Homily - Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

Wordle: Red Mass Homily, Archbishop Daniel DiNardo, October 4, 2009




Yesterday, before the opening of the new session of the Supreme Court, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveson-Houston gave the homily at the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, Washington, D.C. The mass was attended by members of the Supreme Court, government officials, and many within the legal profession in Washington.

Above is a word cloud showing those words emphasized in his homily. "Word", "Spirit", and "Servant" stand out. Click on the image for a much larger view.

Below is the full text of the homily.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Washington, DC • October 4, 2009

I want to extend my deepest thanks to Archbishop Wuerl and to the Members of the John Carroll Society for their invitation to preach at this Year’s Red Mass in Washington, DC. It is an honor. In this federal city where the role of lawyer and judge is so important and where the legal profession is so prominent, even ubiquitous, the invocation of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the judicial year is appropriate and necessary.

The Liturgy of the Word is simultaneously proclamation as an action and proclamation as teaching a message or content. For the Christian community, it was and remains the primary access to the Scriptures: they are read out loud in the “Lord’s Day” Assembly. The presence of the Word in the inspired words of Sacred Scripture proclaimed is both an assurance and a challenge: it is the Living Word. The Word meets us, embraces us; it also judges us, indicts us. So significant is this proclamation that even our “response” to the Word of God comes from the Word of God, the Psalms. God “gives” us words to respond to his Word, words of praise and thanks, of lament and instruction.

The Readings this day, Readings assigned for a celebration of Mass invoking the Holy Spirit, come from three of the most heavyweight books of Scripture: Isaiah the Prophet; St. Paul in his most famous of Letters, the one to the Romans; and the Gospel of St. John, frequently “branded” by the symbol of an eagle, because the eagle flies high where the oxygen is thinner but purer, even as the Fourth Gospel seems more difficult to understand at first than the other three Gospels but is very profound in its presentation of Jesus Christ.

Beginning at Chapter 40 in the Book of the prophet Isaiah, the tone changes and the message of imminent judgment and forensic accusation against Judah and Jerusalem is modified. Now there enters a tone of sympathetic understanding and a message of consolation, even legal defense. “Comfort, Comfort my people!” Aligned with this new tone and message is the appearance of a strange and wonderful figure, “the servant of the Lord,” subject of four remarkable poems in this part of Isaiah. He is introduced into the text in Chapter 42 of Isaiah. It is that text we hear this morning.

The Servant brings God’s saving action. This is the real notion of justice, not an abstraction but the vivid understanding of deed and word together accomplishing integrity everywhere, most especially for God’s beloved but tragically exiled people, Israel. The first person singular of God speaking here is magnificent. Entire chapters in this section of Isaiah form a court scene where God, in the first person singular, presents his case while the plastic idols and lifeless images of the nations are paraded before all for interrogation and cross examination. Obviously God wins the case hands down! But the victory is not boasting or vaunting but merciful renewal and regeneration.

The one true God works through the Servant, unafraid to use what seems paltry to bring about on a human scale a compassionate reversal of injustice and a merciful uplifting of the poor and those of no account. The Lord will work through the Servant who will not scream or hype the message of salvation. In fact the Servant makes real a new understanding of MISHPAT, of law, not only what is required but the teaching that enables it. It is a new Torah for Israel and all the nations. The healing that the Servant bestows makes the teaching vivid.

The images of “bruised reed” and “smoldering wick” are arresting. Though the Lord is victorious through his servant, neither He nor the servant act like a conquering middle-Eastern potentate to crush the opposition or snuff out the wavering and those confused about the truth. The Lord vows and decrees “my spirit” to be upon the Servant. The Lord will take him by the hand so he will not faint but help open the eyes of the blind and bring release to those in dungeons. What is strikingly new here is the power of the Spirit of the Lord to effect a new justice universally, not just for Israel. It becomes an anointing for mission without limits.

There is no question but that the New Testament, especially the Gospels, apply the image of the Spirit-soaked Servant of the Lord to Jesus Christ. In fact, the Evangelist St. Matthew, whose name graces this cathedral Church, quotes the entire First Servant Song we just heard proclaimed verbatim in his comments upon the public life and ministry of Jesus in Galilee and beyond. The context there is opposition by some to Jesus’ interpretation of the Law; Jesus responds, but does not wrangle. Instead, he heals the sick and broken-hearted, the point made by St. Matthew in commenting on what spirit-filled activities are. Jesus cares for the bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.

The Gospels not only promise salvation and a new freedom to those who come to Christ, Himself filled with the Holy Spirit. They promise that the gift of the Spirit suffusing every fiber of Jesus is, in turn, given by Jesus Christ to all believers, to disciples. Their status is changed. They are a part of the life of the Father and Son in a new way; they can say “Abba” like Jesus Himself prayed. They have an adoption, children of God. St. Paul borrowed the word “adoption” in Greek from Hellenistic secular legal vocabulary to make clear that this new status is a genuine verdict by God that is more than a veneer but a genuine transformation. Chapter Eight of the Letter to the Romans is a joyous cry of ecstasy by Paul over the intimacy granted to the children of God through Jesus Christ. We are conformed to Him and by Him.

The Gospel of Saint John uses still another word for the intimacy of the Father and Son with each chosen disciple: abiding. Already in Chapter One of the Gospel two timid disciples-to-be are sent to Jesus by the pointing of John the Baptist. They follow Jesus and he turns around to ask: “What are you looking for?” They answer: “Where do you abide?” He answers: “Come and See!” The burden of the rest of the Gospel is to unpack the meaning of “abiding” or “remaining.” At the very center of the Last Supper Sermon which we read today, Jesus promises that just as he abides with the Father so also will each disciple abide and rest in that Father-Son friendship. He also promises the Paraclete, the Lawyer, to teach, and above all to remind disciples of who Jesus is and what He said. One cannot but be struck by the forceful and extraordinary way the Gospel of St. John treats the use of the First Person Singular by Jesus Christ. Jesus speaks of God from the inside not like a commentator or prophet on the outside. Compare Jesus’ words in the Gospel and the mighty “I” of the Lord heard in Isaiah the Prophet in today’s First Reading. The personalizing of the Spirit in the Gospel of St. John is also remarkable and important for our understanding of God, Father, Son and Paraclete, and for our understanding of the work of Living Memory, great mode of the Spirit’s life in us. The Holy Spirit recalls us from religious amnesia, from forgetfulness—especially about where we belong!

“Justice” – “Servant of the Lord” - “bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks,” “adoption” “children of God,” “Paraclete” “abiding” and “remembering.” Can we retrieve some of this from today’s Proclamation of the Word and find a foothold for reflection and meditation?

Memory, living memory, in all its layered and sedimented character, is a crucial dimension of personal identity. Within the Christian Faith, living memory forms the basis for the identity of the Church and each disciple. Yet even some important memories can lapse, languish or fall hidden. When we deal with our relationship to the Lord as “children of God” in St. Paul’s terms, the dignity and truth of what that means needs constant reminding. Otherwise our relationship to the Lord no longer abides but becomes merely an external piece of information. Last Pentecost Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI gave a splendid homily on the role of the Spirit’s work as memory. (Some day they will collect all his homilies, magnificent beyond description, and put them together as a corpus similar to the way Pope St. Leo the First, the Great’s, homilies have been collected.) The Pope took the two images of the Holy Spirit that became manifest on that first Pentecost Sunday, driving wind and tongues of fire, and unpacked them for their current significance. Against poor air quality, he spoke, the Holy Spirit’s “wind” is an environmental fresh breeze so that the truth of Christ’s words might become more transparent. The physical air we breathe is a subject of much concern and environmental activity and rightfully so; no less of concern should be the sometimes stagnant air of our relationship with the Lord, and thus to one another. The Holy Spirit’s activity is providing a cleaner air and it takes discernment to recognize that movement. Further, the “fire” of the Holy Spirit purifies what has become polluted, within each disciple and within the Church. Such purification especially affects the tongue, the place where the mind and the heart physically crease our environmental space in speech, action and decision.

Yet the Holy Spirit rarely works at the surface of things but probes more deeply into the heart. On the same day of Pentecost, the Church sings a poem, a sequence as it is called, that salutes the Holy Spirit for: “bending the stubborn heart and will, melting the frozen and warming the chill.” Anyone who has watched a block of ice melt knows the subtle way that occurs.

The proclamation of the Word of God today then invites us to “invite” the Holy Spirit for an action of revivifying and cleansing memories, opening us up anew to a deeper impulse of the Lord’s work among us. Though the invitation is received actively, it is an activity of “receiving,” dare I say, an act of contemplation. The legal profession is one of the first of human activities and bodies of human knowledge to receive the word and accolade: “Profession.” Its systematic knowledge has always been technical and nowadays the increasing specialization within the law is dizzying. Such wondrous formal knowledge frequently becomes semi-mechanical and distancing. A person can forget that the basis of that knowledge is something much more natural in the human condition, that the law and lawyers are around because justice among human beings is always an issue. There are always smoldering wicks and bruised reeds needing our human attention, an attention that cries out and says that even sophisticated knowledgeable “human” lawyers need reminding, need a purifying divine fire from the Lord, both in their personal lives and in their profession itself. It is that reality that brings us to praise, reflection, and prayer this day.

The many smoldering wicks are our “clients” but more than clients. They are poor and wealthy, confused and lucid, polite and impolite. In some cases the clients are voiceless for they lack influence; in others they are literally voiceless, not yet with tongues and even without names, and require our most careful attention and radical support.

The Christian Faith responds to God who not only brings order but to the God who has spoken. The work of the Holy Spirit is to illumine, purify and constantly remind all those of Christian Faith that the Word must take root in hearts and become a kind of “abiding.” The Word of God has taken an initiative in speaking and the response is certainly to hear and understand. This contemplative dimension, however, also leads to obedience, an obedience of Faith. Graced in this manner, we respond in our personal lives of faith and witness and in our professional lives too, not only for the good of our souls but also for the sake of our professions that must show God’s justice in the world. An early Christian thinker, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, commented on the Holy Spirit as one whom the Lord through the Prophets promised to send upon his servants. The Spirit descended upon the Son of God become a son of man, so that he could abide in the human race and thus “be at home among people” and renew them. This beautiful familial image that places the work of the Holy Spirit as one who transforms from the old man, frequently forgetful, to the new life of every man in Christ is also a great picture summary of what we have heard today in the voice of the Readings. May that voice of the Word of God touch our hearts and tongues in the judicial year that lies ahead.

Catholic TV launches new iPhone App


CatholicTV is the world's first diocesan television station, founded in the 1950's in Boston. They have now launched their new "CatholicTV" iPhone app.

Here's the announcement from their blog site.

iPhone/iPod Touch owners can now download the world’s first iPhone application by a Catholic television network, courtesy of CatholicTV. CatholicTV began broadcasting the Mass over 50 years ago (Now there are over 60 programs available). The new iPhone application gives users access to full-length video of the Daily Mass produced by CatholicTV, the full rosary, and even current Catholic news. The “app” is free and can be downloaded onto the iPhone and the iPod touch.

The new “app” is called “CatholicTV”. It also includes a daily video reflection by a Catholic person. The daily reflection features Catholics of various ages from grade school to 70+. Daily reflections feature notable Catholics such as Monsignor Jim Lisante, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, Fr. Jim Bayhi, musician Angelina Davis, and others.

The CatholicTV app will also include information on “What’s New” at CatholicTV. “What’s New” includes Catholic Newsbreak and video footage from “Rome Reports”, which is produced by the Vatican News Service.

The Daily Mass offered in the CatholicTV app features different priests every day. The rosary is filmed in different places including Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and other locations as well.

Catholics who do not own an iPhone or an iPod iTouch can enjoy CatholicTV for free at CatholicTV.com and at iTunes.com. CatholicTV produced an entertaining promotional video about the app featuring a nun and some Catholic students. The video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjFKyCrivqk

More information on the CatholicTV iphone app is available at www.CarryYourFaith.com

Update on Deacon Candidates: Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana and the North Region

Deacon Jim Kincel, Director for the Office of Permanent Deacons for the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana reports that currently there are twenty-six (26) candidates in the diaconate program representing every area of the Diocese of Lafayette. The candidates are continuing a journey towards ordination as Permanent Deacons for the Diocese which could occur as the program continues.

We are very proud of our own parish's Dwayne Joubert and the commitment he and his spouse, Mary, have made.

Of the twenty-six (26) current candidates representing the Diocese of Lafayette, the following five (5) men are from the North Region (St. Landry Parish):
CandidateParishSpouse
Dwayne Paul JoubertSt. Landry Catholic ChurchMary
Scott Ellis PeytonSt. Peter, MorrowLetitia
William Logan PollingueOur Lady Queen of Angels, OpelousasCharmaine
Charles Ray RichardHoly Ghost, OpelousasEdith
Jerry Wayne WybleOur Lady of Mercy, OpelousasGloria

Please pray for these men and their wives, and for all deacons and their spouses of the Diocese of Lafayette:

Prayer for Deacon Vocations

Dear God, Jesus your son “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). Jesus is for us an example of deacon love. In the gospel, Jesus told the disciples “not to be served but to serve” (Mt. 20:28). At the Last Supper, after having explained to the Apostles that He was among them “as one who serves” (Lk.22:27), Jesus made a humble gesture of washing the feet of the Twelve, giving an example so that his disciples might imitate him in service and in mutual love.

We ask you to raise up worthy men among us who love as Jesus loves. Raise up men who care for the church as the seven in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:1-7) cared. Fill those who are candidates for the Diaconate with enthusiasm and dedication. Help them persevere. Bless their wives and children. Build up your church through them. Amen.

Year for Priests

YEAR FOR PRIESTS

Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of priests

The Parish Priest


Who knows the men and women of today better than the parish priest?....And people often come here to the parish priest, usually openly, with no pretext other than suffering, sickness, death or family matters. And they come to the confessional stripped of any veneer, with their very being. No other “profession”, it seems to me, gives this possibility of knowing the person as he is, in his humanity, rather than in the role he plays in society. In this sense, we can truly study the person in his core, beyond roles, and learn ourselves what it is to be human, what it is to be in the school of Christ. To this end, it is absolutely important to come to understand the human being, the human being of today, in ourselves and with others, but also always listening attentively to the Lord and accepting in myself the seed of the word, so that it may become leaven within me and become communicable to others.

One of the tasks of the parish is offering hospitality to those who have no experience of normal parish life. We must not be a circle closed in on ourselves. We have our customs but still we must be open and endeavor to create “vestibules,” that is, places which will draw others closer. Someone who comes from afar cannot immediately enter parish life, which already has its own practices. For such a person everything is novel, far removed from his own life. Therefore, with the help of the word, we must seek to create what the early Church created with the catechumenates: spaces in which one begins to live the word, to follow the word, to make it understandable and realistic, corresponding to forms of actual experience. In this sense I think that it is very important, that is, the need to associate the word with the witness of a just life, being for others, opening oneself to the poor, to the needy, and also to the rich who need to have their hearts opened, to feel someone knocking at their hearts. So, it is a question of different avenues, according to the situation.

Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting with clergy of the Diocese of Rome, 26 February 2009.