From the Pastor – July 25, 2021

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.  When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.  When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” (Jn 6:11-14)

If you regularly attend Mass in Good Shepherd Parish, you know that it is rare when I don’t mention the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in a homily.  Since Mass is divided into two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I want my homily to be a bridge that leads from the Word to the Eucharist.  But the readings for Mass over the next six weeks gives me an opportunity to go a little further. Beginning this weekend on the 17th Sunday of the Ordinary Time and ending on the 21st Sunday (August 26) we will hear entirely the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel.  It’s called the “bread of life discourse,” and it is the theological basis for our Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

John 6 begins this Sunday with the feeding of the multitudes.  On August 1 Jesus discusses the “sign,” and reveals Himself as the “bread of life.”  On August 8, Jesus connects the “bread of life” to His own flesh.  On August 15, we will break for the Solemnity of the Assumption, but that is the day that Jesus drops the bombshell when He tells his followers: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”  And finally, on August 22, we hear that some of the followers of Jesus cannot accept this teaching.  They begin to depart.  And Jesus does something unusual.  He doesn’t correct Himself.  He doesn’t tell them that He was only speaking in allegory.  He doesn’t beg them to come back and understand.  He lets them go.  And then He turns to the 12 Apostles and asks them “Do you also want to leave?”  And St. Peter speaks for the group when he tells Jesus:  “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

As I said above, anybody who spends time in Good Shepherd Parish knows that I speak about the Eucharist as often as possible.  Why?  Because I believe what Jesus told us in John 6.  Unlike the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which have the same viewpoint (that’s what syn -+ optic means), John’s Gospel is more deeply theological.  He begins John 6 with the facts of the Multiplication of the Loaves, and then He has Jesus explaining and foreshadowing what He will give the Apostles at the Last Supper.  And the good news is that He will give us the same thing to us today:  The Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty
msgr.nalty@gmail.com

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Were you married in St. Stephen Church?

If so, would you donate a simple framed photo of your wedding in the church for our collection? (Max size  5”x7”)   We now have a beautiful, antique cabinet from a parishioner’s estate in the room we use for brides and would like to display wedding photos of our brides over the years.  Please deliver to Paige Saleun in the rectory M-F 9-4:30pm.  We’d love photos from the earliest days!

Mission to the Holy Spirit – “Making a Difference for the Future”

Coming August 9 – 13, 2021

Each night:
Confessions 6:15 – 6:45pm
Musical performance 6:30pm
Mass at 7:00pm

More information coming soon!

Feast of St. Henry Mass

The Vigil Mass on Saturday, July 17 will be celebrated at St. Henry Church to honor one of our patrons on his feast day.

St. Henry (6 May 973 – 13 July 1024) was the fifth and last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian dynasty, from his coronation in Rome in 1014 until his death a decade later. He was crowned King of Germany in 1002 and King of Italy in 1004. He is the only German king to have been canonized.
Henry was the son of Henry, Duke of Bavaria. As his father was in rebellion against two previous emperors, he was often in exile. This led the younger Henry to turn to the Church at an early age, first finding refuge with the Bishop of Freising, and later being educated at the cathedral school of Hildesheim. He succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 995 as Henry IV. Henry’s most significant contributions as emperor came in the realm of church-state relations and ecclesiastic administration within the Empire. Henry founded the Diocese of Bamberg, which quickly became a center of scholarship and art.
Henry had been working with the pope to call a Church Council to confirm his new system of politico-ecclesiastical control when he died suddenly in 1024, leaving this work unfinished. Henry was canonized in July, 1147 by Pope Clement II; and his wife, Cunigunde, was canonized in the year 1200, by Pope Innocent III. His relics were carried on campaigns against heretics in the 1160s. He is buried in Bamberg Cathedral. Because as king he supported the Church, Henry is usually portrayed wearing a crown and holding a small model of a church.

Mosaic Installation!


The “IHS” monogram is an abbreviation or shortening of the name of Jesus in Greek to the first three letters. Thus ?????? (I?sus or “Jesus”), is shortened to ??? (iota-eta-sigma). It is sometimes transliterated into Latin characters as IHS or ??C. The abbreviation is meant to reflect the Holiness of the Name of Jesus – something to be revered. The mosaic is located in the center of the church porch so as not to interfere with entering the church. Please avoid walking on the mosaic!

Pro-Life Activities


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

Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic Procession

Sunday, June 6, 2021

All are invited to participate in a Eucharistic Procession immediately following the 10:30am Mass next weekend.  The procession will exit the Church, turn right on Napoleon Avenue and then go around the school and the church before returning into the church for Benediction.  It will be lead by a crucifer, and we will chant Eucharistic hymns as we bring carry Jesus in the Holy Eucharist throughout our neighborhood!

We would like to invite First Communicants and young children (K-4th) to wear white attire to lead the procession.  Please meet in the front of the church near the confessional immediately after the 10:30am Mass and we will direct you.  Either bring your own decorated basket for rose petals, or one will be provided.  Anyone who can save rose petals (by putting them in the fridge) is also asked to do so. Any questions about the Corpus Christi Procession can be directed to Kathy Fayard at kfayard@yahoo.com

Good Shepherd Parish Adult Education

The Hidden King:  The Jewish Roots of St. Joseph

Video Presentation by Dr. Brant Pitre
Wednesdays 6:30pm – 8:00pm
June 9 – June 23

St. Stephen Rectory Conference Room

Register with: Mr. Phillip Bellini,Director of Religious Education
pbellini@arch-no.org  or 504-227-3794

TOPICS: How was Joseph the Hidden King of the Jews; Why Joseph was a threat to the Fake King Herod;

Why Herod murdered his own wife, three sons and the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem;  Why Joseph accepted Mary’s Jewish Vow of Virginity; How Joseph hid the Virgin Birth from Satan; Joseph’s Relations to the “Brothers” of Jesus; Apocryphal Legend of the Elderly St. Joseph; The Biblical Age of St. Joseph; The Persecution of Joseph’s Family; How Joseph is the earthly Shadow of Jesus’ Heavenly Father

Marriage and Sexuality

The desire to love and be loved is the deepest need of our being.  We long to be known, accepted, and cherished by another. Yet, the ability to fully give or receive this love is unattainable on our own. As Catholics we believe Jesus Christ has entered our broken world to conquer sin and restore us to new life. Throughout every age he continues to invite all women and men to follow him through his Church, to whom he has entrusted his teaching authority, so that all can know and follow him.

Only God can give us the unconditional love and acceptance that we desire. Yet, he has created marriage, a holy union, to mirror this supreme love on earth. At the heart of their married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become “one flesh.” Through the language of their bodies, their sexual union recalls their vows: giving themselves to one another in love that is total, faithful, and life-giving.

This call to love is to follow Christ himself, who handed himself totally over for his bride, the Church. Spouses imitate him by giving the entirety of themselves to one another, including the gift of their fertility and their openness to new life. Contraception and sterilization, which deliberately suppress fertility, reduce the sexual act so that husband and wife withhold the completeness of their total gift to each other. This changes the meaning of their sexual union so that it no longer expresses the fullness of their love.

God our Father loves us and wants our lives to be full and rich! He has given his Church the task of bringing women and men to the fullness of truth which leads to our happiness in this life and in the life to come. Jesus gives us the power and strength of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Love—so that we, particularly husbands and wives, can truly love one another.

The teaching on the use of contraception and sterilization may seem challenging, but it is to preserve the true, complete self-gift between husband and wife, the kind of love that brings real, lasting joy and peace. If we have failed to live this in the past, we need not be discouraged. Our loving Father is always calling us back through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and wanting to strengthen us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

When we embrace the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage and follow Jesus, we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives in a powerful way. When we trust in the Lord’s desire for our happiness, he can transform our love in a way that can transform the world.

To learn more, visit www.usccb.org/love-and-sexuality

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola – July 31

Ignacio López de Loyola was born in Spain in 1491, the youngest of 13 children. In 1506, he adopted the last name “de Loyola” in reference of the Basque city of Loyola where he was born.  In 1509, Ignatius took up arms under the Duke of Nájera and participated in many battles without injury to himself.  However, on May 20, 1521, in a battle against the French, a cannonball wounded both of his legs.  During his recuperation at Loyola, Ignatius read the Life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony, a commentary on the Gospels with extracts from the works of over sixty of the Fathers of the Church; the book influenced his whole life.  Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself at the scene of a Gospel story and visualize the scene in a simple contemplation.

During his recuperation at Loyola, Ignatius read the Life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony, a commentary on the Gospels with extracts from the works of over sixty of the Fathers of the Church; the book influenced his whole life. Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself at the scene of a Gospel story and visualize the scene in a simple contemplation. He also read the lives of the saints.

When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady’s altar, and passed the night watching before them. The next morning, he retired to a cave near the neighboring town of Manresa, where he retired for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms.

It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of “Spiritual Exercises.”

St. Ignatius spent a number of years studying in Paris, where he became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study. Starting a small society in Paris, the Society of Jesus was approved by the Holy See in 1540. He died on July 30, 1556 and was canonized in 1622.

Currently, the Jesuits are the single largest religious order in the world, numbering nearly 20,000 members, of which nearly 14,000 are priests. They work in 112 nations on six continents.

Good Church Etiquette

An instructive reminder

Remember to keep your Eucharistic fast by abstaining from food and beverages (water excluded) for an hour before Mass.

Always dress modestly and appropriately. Arrive early to allow for personal prayer and/or read the readings of the day.

Turn off all mobile devices while still in the vestibule. This is your time with God and His people.

Use the restroom before or after Mass. Men remove hats or caps before the Lord.

Deposit all water bottles in the waste receptacles.

Make the sign of the cross with Holy Water upon entering.

Genuflect with great reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle before entering your pew. If unable to genuflect, a profound bow is respectful.

Refrain from chit-chat which distracts others who are connecting with God through prayer before Mass.

Join the singing. St. Anselm said that “singing is praying twice.”  Singing with others gives great praise to God, which is really why we are gathered here.

Listen to the readings. God is speaking directly to you.

Receive Communion with laser-like attention. We receive Communion, we do not take it. If choosing to receive the Body of Christ in the hand, place the hand you write with under the hand you will receive, in a way, creating a throne for the Lord. A simple bow of the head to the Eucharist is appropriate as a sign of reverence to Christ before receiving.

Don’t forget to make a prayer of thanksgiving after receiving Communion. “There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul than that which is made during the thanksgiving after Communion.” (St. Alfonsus Liguori)

Remember that the point of being at Mass is not to see what we can get out of it, but what you can do to praise and worship the Almighty.

And finally, leave church only after the procession has left the altar. Only one person left the Last Supper early”

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – July 16

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid-13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the “Lady of the place.” Our Lady of Mount Carmel was adopted in the 19th century as the patron saint of Chile, in South America.

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary’s special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its difficult early years. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary” at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was 17 July; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, requiring a shift to 16 July, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church. The Latin poem “Flos Carmeli” (meaning “Flower of Carmel”) first appears as the sequence for this Mass.

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