St. John Bosco – January 31, 2023

Patron Saint of the Youth John Bosco was only two years old when his father died, leaving the support of three boys to the mother, Margaret Bosco. His early years were spent as a shepherd and he received his first education at the hands of his parish priest. At the age of nine, John had a dream, which influenced and gave great meaning to the rest of his life. In the dream he saw himself amidst a great throng of young people whom he was charged to care for by means of goodness, kindness and love, rather than by means of force and compulsion. Even as a boy he commented to his mother on the fact that the priests he met were cold and distant and never bothered to speak to him. “If I am ever a priest,” he told her, “I won't be like that. I will devote my life to young people. Children will … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 29, 2023

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.  He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:1-3) Who are the “poor in spirit” to whom Matthew refers in the Gospel today?  The other seven of the eight beatitudes concern people who seem easy to identify (the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, and those who are insulted and persecuted because of Jesus).  But what does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? The word “poor” comes from the Aramaic or Hebrew word anawim, which means bent down, afflicted, miserable, or poor.  Although the word can mean … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 22, 2023

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mt. 4:18-20) One afternoon while I was in seminary, I was having lunch with some classmates, and we were joined by another seminarian who was a member of a religious community. He was younger than my classmates, and pretty “gung-ho” about being a seminarian. With eager eyes and enthusiasm, he turned to my classmate, Mike Woods, and asked “So when did you get your call??!!” Now, you’d have to know Mike, but suffice it to say that Mike was about 10 years older than the other seminarian. He’s from Pittsburgh, and … [Read more...]

Ya’ Mama was Pro-Life, dahlin’!

Americans United for Life released the 2021 LIFE LIST after analyzing progress made legislatively or in litigation in 2020. The Life List takes into account the 50 states’ overall advances since Roe v. Wade toward re-building a culture of life, including events of the last year. This year, the State of Louisiana ranked Number Two. Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life said, “Working with state leaders and lawmakers to create the Life List this year has been so encouraging because it is clear that Life is winning in our country. There is so much to be thankful for throughout the list this year, but the bipartisan, courageous, life-affirming work accomplished by legislators and pro-life advocates in Louisiana is truly a marvel. The fact that through the … [Read more...]

What is Ordinary Time?

The Christmas Season officially concluded on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord last Sunday, and Monday we began “Ordinary Time” with the colors of the vestments and altar furnishing returning to green from the violet of Advent and the white of Christmas. What's so “ordinary” about it? Actually, “Ordinary Time” is the English translation of the Latin Tempus Per Annum (“time throughout the year”) and gets its name from the word ordinal, meaning "numbered," because we begin to count the weeks rather than the seasons. Ordinary Time, depending on the year, runs either 33 or 34 weeks, and makes up the time in the Church calendar that does not fall within the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter. The Church celebrates two periods as Ordinary Time. We just entered the first period, … [Read more...]

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18 -25 The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years, during which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."  (cf. John 17:21) The theme of this year's WPCU is "Abide in my love... You shall bear much fruit" from the Gospel of John, chapter 15, expresses the Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family. Here, Jesus reminds his disciples that he is the vine and we are the branches. If we abide in him, in Jesus and the Covenant made in his precious blood, we will be such a healthy branch as to bear much … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 15, 2023

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (Jn. 1:35-36) In the readings this weekend, we have some “naming” going on.   John calls Jesus the “Lamb of God” and the “Son of God.”  But what we’re dealing with has both theological and practical implications.  In the Bible - and in real life - names are important. In William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, the lovers have a dialogue about their own names.  It begins with Romeo hearing Juliet call his name: “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?”  The dialogue has been paraphrased to something like: “there’s nothing so sweet as the sound of one’s own name.”  And even if we don’t read Shakespeare or understand poetry, we can relate to that.  We like hearing … [Read more...]

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1, 2023 Some Christians become offended when Catholics refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.   But it’s not a complicated teaching.  If (a) Mary is the mother of Jesus, and (b) if Jesus is God, then, therefore, (c) Mary is the Mother of God.  There is no escaping the logic here. However, saying Mary is the Mother of God, does not mean that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity.  Rather, Mary is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb the divine person of Jesus Christ, and that her body provided the genetic material for His body. Although most Christians understand Jesus Christ as both fully God and fully human, the term Mother of God must be understood through its origins. Orthodox Christians and Catholics call Mary … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – January 1, 2023

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16 ) Although the Feast of the Holy Family fell last Friday, I think that this season is a good time to reflect upon our family lives, and to examine whether we’re being good family members.  When we contemplate the Holy Family, we note the fact that when Jesus became man – when the Word became flesh – He became flesh as a little child within a family. That was a divine choice; because Jesus could have chosen any way he wanted to manifest Himself.  He could have arrived on earth as a 33 year old adult or an 80 year old man. But Jesus was conceived and began his existence in Mary’s womb, and was born … [Read more...]

Twelve Days of Christmas

I always loved Christmas when I was growing up. It wasn't just the gifts, the lights, the holly or the music. It was the magical feeling of awaiting the Birth of Christ. In our house, we always had a creche scene, an Advent calendar and a Christmas tree with a star on top. But every year, December 26th seemed like such a let-down! Sure, we still had the tree and decorations, but the excitement, the sense of joy, and the feasting gave way to empty wrapping paper and leftovers. One problem is that Christmas has become an isolated feast day, excised from its place in the liturgical year, especially Advent, Epiphany, and the Baptism of Our Lord. Just as we often ignore the hopeful and quietly expectant mood of Advent, we also forget about the feasting and joy of the full Christmas season. But … [Read more...]