From the Pastor – August 7, 2022

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. (Lk 12:39-40).

There are two ways by which we will see God face-to-face: upon our death or at the time of the Second Coming.  And the truth is that we really don’t know when either of those events might occur!

Several years ago, I was the celebrant at two funeral Masses in a few days that marked a real contrast.  The first funeral was of a young, 18-year-old boy in the beginning of a promising life.  And the second was of a 93-year-old great-grandfather.  Although it’s certain that only God knows the state of their souls at their death, we prayed at both funeral Masses that God would be merciful to them.  And we commended them to Heaven.

But there was one difference between the two of them.  The 93-year-old grandfather knew that the Lord was near.  He knew that he was nearing the end of his life.  And he did everything that he could to prepare for it.  He went to Confession; he received the Sacrament of Holy Anointing; he asked for the Holy Mass to be celebrated in his room next to his bed; and he surrounded himself with his family who prayed the Rosary unceasingly for him during his final illness.  And the 18-year-old boy?  He had no time to prepare.  The Lord came for him “like a thief in the night,” and he died alone in his bedroom.  Did he have any inkling that the Son of Man was coming to him?  By all accounts and circumstances, he didn’t.

Throughout the earthly life of Jesus, He warned us that our time is short.  And it is.  Whether we live 18 years or 93 years, it passes very quickly (although it didn’t seem that way in high school!).  Because of that, we should always have a sense of “urgency” to our faith.  If we have mortal sins on our soul, it’s urgent that we go to Confession.  If we are engaged in habitual sin, it’s urgent that we work on correcting it.  If we are living in a state of sin (an irregular marriage, an illicit relationship, or a morally sinful relationship), it’s urgent that we recognize it and work to restore ourselves to God’s grace through Confession with a firm intention to amend our lives.

We will see the Lord face-to-face.  It’s only a matter of time.  And we will be judged; that’s a fact.  And all of those things about ourselves that we were “going to do something about some day” will be before His eyes. Will we have done something about them? Remember, He will come again to separate the sheep from the goats.  I know on what side of the fence I want to be found!

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

The Basilica of St. Stephen!

While somewhat familiar to Catholics, the term Basilica originally referred to a style of building in use during the time of the Roman Empire.  Now it is a designation given by the Holy See to churches around the world.

There are two types of basilicas – Major Basilicas and Minor Basilicas. There are four Major Basilicas in the Church, and they are all in Rome.  They are St. John Lateran, the Basilica of Saint Peter, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls.  Some argue that the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi and the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem are also designated Major Basilicas.

Minor Basilicas are those churches throughout the world that have been given a special designation by the Holy Father.  Many reasons exist for bestowing this title on a church.  It may be granted for architectural beauty, historical significance, liturgical renown, the presence of a special relic or work of art, or for any combination of these qualities.  A Minor Basilica shares a special relationship with the Holy See and with the Holy Father.  Various privileges and obligations of the Minor Basilica highlight this important attachment to the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff.

The Papal document, Domus Ecclesiae, spells out the specific privileges granted to a Minor Basilica. One of most important of these is the Plenary Indulgence, which the faithful may receive who devoutly visit the basilica on certain days and participate in any sacred rite “or at least recite the Lord’s Prayer and the profession of faith.”

There are three signs that are present in a basilica that help one recognize the church as a basilica.  They are the ombrellino (little umbrella), the tintinnabulum (bells), and the symbol of the tiara and keys that is on the Vatican flag.  Each of these elements will soon be added to our new basilica as well as to our letterhead and website.

(to be continued)

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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15, 2022 is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but it is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year because it falls on a Monday.  Mass will be celebrated at 6:30am at St. Henry Church.

After the Ascension of Jesus, Mary aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.  In her association with the apostles and several women, we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.

Finally, the Immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:  “In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”

(THE PARISH OFFICE IS CLOSED FOR THE FEAST)

Final Version of Our New Coat of Arms

Retreat for Women Facing Infertility

If you struggle with infertility, you may feel like you’re in a lonely, desert place. But you are not alone! The Archdiocese of New Orleans and Springs in the Desert are partnering to offer a one-day retreat for women on Saturday, August 27 at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Wherever you are on the path of infertility, we invite you to join us for reflections on different aspects of the infertility experience, to receive encouragement and some practical suggestions for strengthening your relationship with God and your spouse, and to pray and share community with others on this same path. The retreat will take place on Saturday, August 27 – St. Pius X Catholic, New Orleans, from 9am until 3pm – Lunch and a light breakfast are provided. Please join us for Mass at 8am in the Church

Learn more and register at https://springsinthedesert.org/nola/ It is our honor to walk with you!

Christmas in July!

A Christmas Giving Tree has been set up next to the St. Anthony Statue. St. Vincent de Paul Society would like to be able to offer more dollars and maybe pay an entire utility bill for someone in need. All donations will be designated to assist with an utility bill payment.   Take an “ornament” from the tree in the rear of church and return before the end of July. There is no need to buy a present and wrap it; the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will do the rest!  God’s blessing to all of you!

Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic Procession

Sunday, June 19, 2022

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

Ordinations to the Priesthood 2022

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 10:00 AM at St. Louis Cathedral, Archbishop Gregory Aymond will ordain Joseph Alfonse DiMaggio, III, Andy Gil Gonzalez, Lennin Arroyo Martinez, Jeffrey Austin Merritt, William Patrick Mumphrey and Kesiena Dennis Obienu for the Archdiocese of New Orleans as Priests. All are invited.  Priests and deacons are asked to bring their alb. Vestments will be provided. Reception at the Old Ursuline Convent to follow.

Upcoming Celebrations

The Ascension of the Lord
May 29, 2022

Pentecost Sunday
June 5, 2022

The Most Holy Trinity
June 12, 2022

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 19, 2022

The Angelus

The Angelus is a prayer of devotion to the Blessed Mother commemorating the announcement of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The name “Angelus” comes from the opening words in Latin: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ (“The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary”) and refers to the Angel Gabriel, the messenger of God who revealed to Mary that she would conceive a child named Jesus who would be called the Son of God. (Lk 1:26-35).  The Angelus is prayed by reciting three verses from Luke’s Gospel, and alternating with the “Hail Mary.” In a Catholic tradition dating to at least to the 14th century, the Angelus is prayed in churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily – 6:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m. – and is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell.

As stated in the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy released several years ago by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments:

The Angelus Domini is a recollection of the salvific event in which the Word became flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, through the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the salvific plan of the Father.

The recitation of the Angelus is deeply rooted in the piety of the Christian faithful, and strengthened by the example of the Roman Pontiffs. In some places changed social conditions hinder its recitation, but in many other parts every effort should be made to maintain and promote this pious custom and at least the recitation of three Aves. The Angelus “over the centuries has conserved its value and freshness with its simple structure, biblical character […] quasi liturgical rhythm by which the various time of the day are sanctified, and by its openness to the Paschal Mystery.”

Since our neighbors might not appreciate the early morning wake-up, we ring the Angelus bells daily at noon and 6:00 p.m.  The Angelus bell is a triple set of chimes to correspond to the three Hail Mary’s.

Although the praying of the Angelus may have tapered off since the Second Vatican Council, it is still prayed daily in many parts of the world.  In the Vatican, virtually all of the different offices gather together to pray the Angelus daily at noon.  Further, each Sunday at noon, the Holy Father presides over the public recitation of the Angelus at St. Peter’s, and the Piazza and surrounding streets are filled with thousands of people.

The Angelus

  1. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
  2. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

  1. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
  2. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary…

  1. And the Word was made Flesh.
  2. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary..

  1. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
  2. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Feast of the Transfiguration – Aug 6


While he was still speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them, and they became frightened when they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Lk 9:34-36a)

Most of the Church Fathers saw the Transfiguration as a glimpse of the glory of Christ given to his disciples so that they might be strengthened to witness the scandal of the Cross. And this is certainly true. But three things immediately jump out of the reading.

First, is the number of apostles. Not all of the twelve are present – only Peter, James and John, the same three apostles that would accompany Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane. Even though they were strengthened by their witness to the glory of the Transfiguration, they would still flee at the beginning of the persecution of Christ.

The second point is the encounter between Jesus and Moses and Elijah. Of course, an easy connection can be made to Jesus being the fulfillment of the law (represented by Moses, who received the Ten Commandments) and the prophets (represented by the prototypical prophet Elijah). But it’s important to note what they are discussing on Mt. Tabor. Shrouded in glory, they’re not focused on Heaven’s glory but on the “exodus that He was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.” This exodus meant the passage Jesus would make from the slavery of death to the Promised Land of eternal life, a journey prefigured in the exodus by which Moses led the Jewish people out from the slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Israel. And the means by which Jesus would accomplish this exodus is His suffering and death. Once again, the Transfiguration points to the cross.

And then comes the third, penultimate point of the passage: God the Father speaks. He confirms His Son’s true identity. Jesus wasn’t John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the prophets, as many people believed. He wasn’t simply the long-awaited Messiah. God the Father thundered from heaven, “This is my beloved Son!” Then he gave a command to the three apostles with Jesus on the mountain: “Listen to Him!” The command echoes to us to listen to what Jesus said about his suffering and death, and believe in Him.

The encounter on Mt. Tabor is given for us to remember where we are headed. Is it to the glory of Heaven represented by the transfigured Lord? We hope so. But we can only get there through the Paschal Mystery: the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A Statement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Victims of Violence

Dear Brother Priests,

Each Sunday we pray “Our Family Prayer” that God will make us peacemakers of our time and for an end to violence, murder and racism in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and throughout the world.

Every parish has members who are victims of many types of violence.  The Church cannot be silent at this crucial time when so many of the faithful have been so deeply affected by violence. Prayer is powerful and can change hearts. This is an opportunity for us as a community of faith to pray for reconciliation and healing and to ask God’s help as we strive to build a better community free from violence and its causes.

On Sunday, September 11, 2022, I will celebrate the annual liturgy for the Victims and Survivors of Violence at the 11:00 a.m. mass at Saint Louis Cathedral.

I ask you to submit the names of families in your parish have been affected by violence and murder. We will send them an invitation to the special Mass. We are asking the families who’ve lost loved ones to bring a framed photo of their family member to carry during the procession. Survivors who attend will also be remembered in prayer.

Thank you for your cooperation and participation in this effort. Let us as a Church give evidence of our concerns.  Fraternally in Christ,

Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans

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.

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