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From the Pastor – October 1, 2022

The Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Lk 17:5)

By the time the Apostles have gotten to the 17th Chapter of Luke’s Gospel, they’ve seen Jesus do a lot of things.  They’ve seen a miraculous catch of fish.  They’ve seen Jesus expel demons.  They’ve seen Him heal a mother-in-law, a leper, a paralytic, a man with a withered hand, a servant, a woman with a hemorrhage, a crippled woman and a man with dropsy.  They’ve seen Jesus calm a storm, feed 5000 people and raise two children from the dead.  At this point, they realize that Jesus has some pretty serious authority.  And out of all the things they can ask for, they ask him for one thing: “increase our faith.”

What is it about “faith” that is so important to the Apostles?  There are two ways that we understand faith in the context of the Apostles.  It’s an obedient trust in God, and it’s an understanding of the content of what we believe through Divine Revelation.  And the Apostles knew that they needed both.  They needed a more confident trust in God, and they needed more understanding of the signs that Jesus was performing.  And it was the one thing they wanted.

As we celebrate Respect Life Sunday this weekend, we might ask for the same thing.  Most of us haven’t spent a lot of time researching the history of Divine Revelation, but we understand what our Catholic faith teaches about the crime of abortion.  It’s not complicated at all.  Every biological textbook in use in each university in the world tells us that human life begins at conception.  That’s not a matter of faith; that’s a biological fact.  Each of us began the same way.  We weren’t a different person when we were in the womb; we were just a smaller person.  And what does Divine Revelation tell us about human life?  The 5th Commandment says: thou shalt not kill.  We know that there are certain times when a killing might be justified – like in self-defense.  But there is no justification for the killing of innocent children.  It’s not a “choice.”

And we also can ask for the second understanding of faith: obedient trust in God.  That’s why married couples love each other without holding back.  That’s why a pregnant woman sees her baby as a blessing, rather than an “intrusion.”  That’s why a mother who has had an abortion experiences such pain and sorrow, and must be embraced by the Church as one of its wounded members.

And that’s why those of us with no stake in the argument take part in the greatest moral struggle of our time.  We know that every human life is precious, unique, with a God-given soul.  That is why we pray and sacrifice for all those involved in abortion. That is why we take an active part in the pro-life movement —to help women make the right choice for life. That is why we vote for pro-life candidates who will support pro-life judges.  We are called to know our faith, and most of all, we are called to live it.

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

Religious Education

We offer C.C.D. (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes for grades 1 – 3.  Classes meet on Sunday mornings 9:20-10:20, beginning September 18, and follow the academic calendar.  Please register with the parish office or Phillip Bellini at pbellini@archdiocese-no.org.

What We Believe: 

The Beauty of the Catholic Church

Adult education classes begin Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30pm.  The Catholic Church is extraordinary. Founded by Christ himself, the Catholic

Church is where we encounter God in his Word, his sacraments, and his saints. The Church faithfully proclaims the fullness of faith, leaving no truth out. It proclaims the fullness of life, leaving no person out. It calls all to repent and to believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the source of all life and salvation. Maybe you’ve been Catholic your entire life. Maybe you’re just beginning to explore the Catholic Faith. Wherever you may be in your journey, you will be profoundly moved by the beauty and the richness of the Catholic Church.

R.C.I.A. is a process of reflection, prayer, instruction, discernment, and formation for those who wish to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.  Catholics are also invited to attend to further their religious education.  Classes begin Thursday, September 22 at 7:00pm.

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St. Francis of Assisi – Blessing of the Pets

October 9 at Noon

Feast Day – October 4

Many of the stories that surround the life of St. Francis of Assisi deal with his love for animals. Part of his appreciation of the environment is expressed in his Canticle of the Sun, a poem written in Umbrian Italian in perhaps 1224 which expresses a love and appreciation of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, Brother Fire, etc. and all of God’s creations personified in their fundamental forms.  Francis’ attitude towards the natural world, while poetically expressed, was conventionally Christian. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.  On Sunday, October 9th, all pets are invited into the courtyard between the church and the school at 12:00 noon, after the 10:30am Mass for the Blessing of the Pets.  Please make sure that your pets can play “nice” before bringing them over!

Rosary Congress Basilica of St. Stephen October 3-4, 2022

The first Rosary Congress was held in Poland.  Pope John Paul II wanted to visit his native country in 1979. The government with sanctions made the visit impossible. A prayer group went to God in prayer. Through inspiration they came to pray 7 days and nights, with Masses, Eucharistic Adoration and the Rosary hourly at their National Shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa. On the seventh day, all government sanctions were dropped. The Pope was allowed to visit his native country.

In 1988, The Rosary Congress came to the United States. John Downs, a quadriplegic, was inspired to organize the first Rosary Congress at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is patroness of the United States. Imitating the Polish people who prayed at their National Shrine, Our Lady of Czestochowa.  All who attended were encouraged to bring this Rosary Congress back to their towns and cities, enabling many to experience these powerful prayers.

In 1989, a New Orleans delegation attended the Second Rosary Congress at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This idea was brought back to the city. Many organized prayer groups, families and Adoration Chapels in the area agreed to help make this first Rosary Congress a success.  The Rosary Congress will be at the Basilica of St. Stephen next Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4.  Please sign up in the back of church to take one of the slots to pray next week!

Willwoods Married Couples Retreat

October 8-9, 2022

Would you like to break away with your spouse and spend quality time enriching your marriage? Then join us on our upcoming Married Couples Retreat at the newly renovated St Joseph Abbey’s Christian Life Retreat Center in Covington, LA.

A Married Couples Retreat does not mean that someone is failing but rather it is a falling into the arms of our Lord. It is a weekend dedicated to giving you and your beloved the opportunity to find rest, strength, and enrichment, which is something we all need! A once a year commitment to attending a retreat as a couple is a great habit that will bless and deepen your love for God and each other! You may download a flyer here.

To register call (504) 830-3716 or visit www.FaithandMarriage.org . A suggested donation is requested but not required. Scholarships are available. Cost should never be a reason why a couple cannot make a weekend!

REMINDERS!

WEEKDAY MASS:   On Federal holidays the morning Mass at St. Henry Church is moved from 6:30am to 8:00am.  Such will be the case on Labor Day, Monday September 5, 2022

SCHOOL MASS: When the school Mass falls on a First Friday, it will be moved to the Thursday before that Friday.  Such is the case next week.

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!

Spiritual Excellence Series: The Path to Happiness, Holiness and Heaven

Tuesdays: Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, 2022, 10:00-11:30am at the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center 5500 St. Mary St. Metairie Presenter: Deacon Rich Eason. Many of us are struggling with all kinds of issues such as: doubts in our faith; stress, worry and fear; temptation; suffering: handling conflict; anger; family matters and self-discipline. These issues are robbing us of our joy in life. The remedy for these issues, as St. Paul tells us, is to learn to pursue Spiritual Excellence. The series on Spiritual Excellence address- es all of these most challenging issues that we have in life, provides remedies for them and helps each participant develop an individual spiritual plan putting us on the path to happiness, holiness and heaven. Donation: $40.00 (Adjustments can be made.) Register on the web: https:nolacatholic.org/asc Email: archspirctr@arch-no.org or call (504) 861-3254.

Knights of Columbus Silver Rose Program

Monday and Tuesday, October 3-4

In December 1531 the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico asking him to have the Bishop Juan de Zumarraga to build a church in her honor.  The Bishop was reluctant to just take his word and asked for sign from Juan.  He returned with a cloak of roses which were not native to the area.  The Blessed Virgin had arranged the roses in his cloak and she told him to bring them to the Bishop.  When he showed the bishop and even more wondrous sign appeared; a remarkable portrait of Our Lady was imprinted on the coarse fabric of his cloak.  The image and the cloak are displayed for the veneration of the faithful to this day at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica of Mexico City.

The Knights of Columbus have over the years had 7 Silver Roses made.  One Rose was presented to Pope Francis in 2014.  For the past 56 years the silver roses traveled from Canada to Mexico to symbolize unity among the peoples in the Americas. The rose is also a symbol of the pro-life movement, which recognizes Our Lady of Guadalupe as its patroness. The roses began their journey in Canada in May, and for six months they have been carried by Knights of Columbus throughout the western, central and eastern corridors of North America. The journey concluded on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the basilica bearing her name in Mexico City. The roses will be presented before an image of Our Lady.

The Silver Rose program is replete with symbolism. The seven guides carrying the roses represent the sacraments of the Catholic faith and the ways to approach God. The thorns represent all the efforts and sacrifices of the Columbian Squires and Knights of Columbus along the way. Lastly, the strong stem represents faith.

One of these Silver Roses will be here at St. Stephens Church in Good Shepherd Parish on Monday, October 3rd and Tuesday, October 4th. Please come and join us in this Celebration of the Silver Rose for Our Lady of Guadalupe.  To see the routes of the Silver Roses please go to www.runningoftherose.org

Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7

In 1571 Pope Pius V instituted “Our Lady of Victory” as an annual feast to commemorate the victory of Lepanto, where Christian forces successfully thwarted an attempted invasion of Western Europe by the Muslim forces of the Ottaman Empire. The victory was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a Rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter’s Square in Rome for the success of the mission of the Holy League. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this feast-day to “Feast of the Holy Rosary”. This feast was extended by Pope Clement XII to the whole of the Latin Rite, inserting it into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1716, and assigning it to the first Sunday in October. Pope Pius X changed the date to 7 October in 1913, as part of his effort to restore celebration of the liturgy of the Sundays.

In Our Parish

Good Shepherd Parish frequently receives calls from “parishioners” to have their children baptized, get a school voucher, get married or serve as a godparent.  In order for the parish to agree to these things, the person must either reside in the boundaries of the parish or be “registered” and “contributing” parishioner.  This isn’t our rule, it’s the rule of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  Obviously, all of your information is kept in strict confidence by the parish.

So let’s make sure that we all know: To be “registered” and “contributing” at Good Shepherd Parish means that (1) you have completed a parish census form or have registered online at goodshepherdparishNOLA.com, (2) you use parish envelopes or checks for donations.

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