From the Pastor – July 6, 2024

The woman [healed from her hemorrhage], realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk 5:33-34)

The interesting thing about the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospel this weekend is how it happens. Jesus doesn’t actually “do” anything positive to heal the woman. She took the initiative to touch his clothes, and the power of Jesus healed her. Jesus knew that “power” (His healing power) had gone out of Him, but the healing came about through her faith in Him.

What a wonderful message for us! Since we don’t live at the time when we can actually see the incarnate Lord face-to-face, we have the assurance that our faith can be the means by which we can be healed. As Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

So what are the means that we can use our own faith to allow Jesus to cure us? It’s through our faith in the Sacraments. There are two Sacraments that are “one time shots”: Baptism and Confirmation. And there are two Sacraments that are “lifetime Sacraments”: Marriage and Holy Orders. But there are three Sacraments of which we can avail ourselves throughout our lives: Confession, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion. Our faith in each of these Sacraments can bring us healing. The most obvious Sacrament for physical healing is Anointing of the Sick. Over the years I have spent a lot of time administering this Sacrament in Touro, Ochsner and in people’s homes. It often results in physical healing. However, it’s not primarily directed toward temporary healing, but to the remission of sins — something that is ultimately directed toward eternal life. While we can always avail ourselves of Anointing of the Sick when we are in grave health, Confession is the Sacrament that we can approach the most often. By our faith in Confession, we are healed from the disease of sin. Although we might think that physical healing is a more “miraculous” event, any physical healing only lasts until the next illness. Eventually, some physical condition will result in our death. Confessions can be even more powerful since it concerns our immortal soul that is called to holiness and union with God. But Holy Communion is even greater. In Holy Communion, we not only touch the “garment” of Jesus; we touch Jesus Himself. We come into “union” with Christ in the Eucharist, a union that is imperfect in this life (because of our sins), but points toward that perfect union of Heaven. So when we approach the Eucharist in a state of grace (forgiven from sin) and with a strong faith, we should be able to hear Jesus say to us: “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

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

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Happy Father’s Day

God our Father, We give you thanks and praise for fathers young and old.

We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation; May they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.

We pray for our own Fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering; May they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.

We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor and guide us with fatherly love and advice.

We remember fathers, grandfather, and great grandfathers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen

Ministry to the Poor at the Rebuild Center

Many of you know that our parish, largely through our St. Anthony Poor Box, feeds the poor at the Rebuild Center on almost every Thursday of the month. The meals are cooked at Our Lady of Good Counsel rectory, and then volunteers serve the food at the Rebuild Center. The list below shows how many people we have fed a nutritious meal since the beginning of this year, nearly 3000! Thanks for all you do to feed the poor through your donations to the St. Anthony Poor Box! If you would like to assist directly in cooking and feeding the poor, please call the parish office, or email Eddie Connick at edwinconnick@gmail.com.

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Friday, June 7, 2024

Margaret Alacoque was born in Burgundy, France on 22 July, 1647. From her early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. During her time before the Blessed Sacrament, Christ even made Himself visually apparent to her. This did not surprise her, because she thought others had the same Divine assistance! Although tempted by the luxuries and distractions of the world, Margaret Mary entered the Visitation Convent in 1572, where her visions became known. Because of her perceived “special status,” she was subjected to many trials to prove her vocation. She showed obedience, humility, and invariable charity towards those who persecuted her.

Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish a Holy Hour during which she lay prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven until midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness Christ endured when he was abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony. She also made sure to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month.
In the first great revelation, Jesus made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Sacred Heart with all of its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation. He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; He also called her His “Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart.” The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire that consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings.

The discussion of the mission and virtues of Margaret Mary continued for years. All her actions, her revelations, her spiritual maxims, her teachings regarding the devotion to the Sacred Heart, of which she was the chief exponent as well as the apostle, were subjected to the most severe and minute examination. After a thorough examination, Pope Pius IX declared her Blessed in 1864. In 1856, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was inaugurated. In 1920 Margaret Mary was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic Procession

Sunday, June 2, 2023

All are invited to participate in a Eucharistic Procession immediately following the 10:30am Mass on June 2.  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 led by a crucifer, and we will chant Eucharistic hymns as we bring carry Jesus in the Holy Eucharist throughout our neighborhood!

Upcoming Ordinations

Priest Ordination
On Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Louis Cathedral, Archbishop Aymond will ordain Deacons Austin Barr, Jorge Gomez, and Cuong Tran to the presbyterate for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony. Priests and deacons are asked to bring their vestments.

Signing with Courage

Signing with Courage – Charles Carroll of Carrollton

The legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a committee with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams’ prediction was correct, but he was two days off! From the beginning, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. And the Declaration itself wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776.

Divorced People Are Not “Outside” the Church

[What follows is a clarification from the Holy Father. Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, that you might consider handing along to any of your Catholic friends who are divorced and remarried]

We sometimes hear from our friends who are divorced and remarried:  “I’m excommunicated.”  That’s not true at all.  During the World Meeting of Families held in 2012 in Milan, a Brazilian family raised the issue of divorced couples who have remarried and cannot avail themselves of the Sacraments. Pope Benedict XVI affirmed that “this is one of the great causes of suffering for the Church today, and we do not have simple solutions. Naturally, one very important factor is prevention. This means ensuring that, from the beginning, the act of falling in love is transformed in a more profound and mature decision. Another factor is that of accompanying people during marriage, to ensure that families are never alone but find authentic company on their journey. We must tell people in this situation that the Church loves them, but they must see and feel this love.” Parishes and other Catholic communities “must do everything possible so that such people feel loved and accepted, that they are not “outsiders” even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist. They must see that they too live fully within the Church. The Eucharist is real and shared if people truly enter into communion with the Body of Christ. Even without the “corporeal” assumption of the Sacrament, we can be spiritually united to Christ.” It is important for divorced couples “to have the chance to live a life of faith, to see that their suffering is a gift for the Church, because they also help others to defend the stability of love, of Marriage; theirs is a suffering in the community of the Church for the great values of our faith.”

As a canon lawyer, I do a great deal of ministry with divorced and remarried Catholics, especially in helping guide their cases through the Metropolitan Tribunal.  If you need my help, call me.  That’s what I’m here for!

Religious Liberty is the Foundation of the United States of America

Below is an example of how the Founding Fathers understood the issue of “religious liberty” in our country from the beginning. It is a letter written by then-president Thomas Jefferson in response to a letter from the sisters of the Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, Louisiana, after the French colony of Louisiana was transferred to the jurisdiction of the United States of America via the Louisiana Purchase. The sisters were concerned about how the United States would regard their religious freedom.

* * * *

Washington May 15, 1804

To the Soeur Terese de St. Xavier Farjon, Superior, and the Nuns of the Order of St. Ursula at New Orleans.

I have received, holy sisters, the letter you have written me wherein you express anxiety for the property vested in your institution by the former governments of Louisiana. The principles of the constitution and government of the United States are a sure guarantee to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate, and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules without interference from the civil authority. Whatever diversity of shade may appear in the religious opinions of our fellow citizens, the charitable objects of your institution cannot be indifferent to any; and it’s furtherance of the wholesome purposes of society, by training up it’s younger members in the way they should go, cannot fail to ensure it the patronage of the government it is under. Be assured it will meet all the protection which my office can give it.

I salute you, holy sisters, with friendship and respect,

Thomas Jefferson
President of the United States of America

How Should I Dress for Mass?

by Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond

Summer is here, which in New Orleans usually means dressing down even more casually than we do at other times of year. I know the issue of church attire is a sensitive one – especially in an area where it’s hot nine months out of the year.

What’s your perspective on how people should dress for Mass?
I have a variety of feelings about this. There’s a part of me that remains grateful to God that a person is in church, regardless of how he or she is dressed. I certainly realize there are individual circumstances where a person may have other responsibilities and is not able to dress in what we might consider an appropriate manner, so I want to be sensitive to that. At the same time, the church is a sacred place – truly holy ground. It is a consecrated place where we meet God in a unique way through the Scriptures, through the assembly and through the Eucharist. At some level, our attire speaks to the importance or unique nature of what we are doing in that sacred space, worshiping God in the Sunday assembly. When people go to social events such as weddings or anniversaries or graduations, they most often dress with care. That’s not to say they are in formal attire, but they are dressed appropriately. Shouldn’t we also take the same care as we go to church to experience God’s presence in a unique way through the Mass?

What’s been your experience of how people dress for church?
I think we’ve all been aware that there are some who at times dress too casually for Mass. In some cases, one might even question the level of modesty in attire. I think it’s important for all of us to note that our attire should not be a distraction to other people. This goes for both men and women. I don’t think we need to wear T-shirts that advertise beer or that have inappropriate words that could bring offense to someone else. Again, I think the responsibility lies with each individual. We should act with charity and responsibility and not be a stumbling block to someone else’s worship experience.

Is the problem also just a general relaxing of dress codes in the culture?
That does have something to do with it. Everybody knows about “Casual Fridays” and events like that. Fewer people wear coats and ties to the workplace. It used to be that to get into a fancy restaurant in New Orleans, you had to be dressed appropriately. Men had to wear a jacket and tie. Nobody could walk into a restaurant in flip-flops. Those days are largely gone. I realize that the more we live in a casual society, that relaxed dress code becomes more the norm. I want to be sensitive to that reality. At the same time, I’d like to continue posing the question: Does the way we dress for church say something about how we view the importance of the event? I’d like to reiterate: I am always grateful to God that people are in church with the desire to celebrate the Eucharist. To me, attire is always a secondary consideration. Nevertheless, it is worthy of our consideration. I’m not sure how much God cares about our attire, but dressing appropriately is a way of our saying to God and to others that we value the Eucharist and see it as sacred and as the source and summit of our lives as Catholics. My prayer would be that people truly would understand what it means not to be a distraction to others in such a sacred moment. I’d love to encourage more people to live up to the adage of wearing their “Sunday best” – not to show off but as a concrete way of thanking God and caring for our neighbors in the next pew.

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