From the Pastor – September 19, 2021

Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me." (Mk 9:35-37) What does it mean to be “the best”?  Our American society puts a premium on it.  If it’s high school, the best student is the “valedictorian.”  If it’s high school sports, then the best team is the “state champion.” Pro football awards the “Lombardi Trophy” for winning the Super Bowl, and professional baseball gives the “Commissioner’s Trophy” for winning the World Series.  Locally, Gambit Magazine list an annual … [Read more...]

Hurricane Ida Severely Damages St. Stephen School

We very much need and appreciate your assistance. No amount is too small! CLICK HERE to see a video describing the damage. DONATE HERE … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – September 12, 2021

Along the way Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Mk 8:27b-29a) Very few people deny the historical reality that there was a man named Jesus who lived in the first century and died by crucifixion.  However, throughout history men have argued about the identity of Jesus. Jewish people traditionally see Him as “false Messiah.” The Muslims call Him a “prophet.”  Atheists might acknowledge His historical existence and even recognize the beauty of some of His teachings (“Love your neighbor as yourself”), but label Him as simply a delusional inspiration.  Even among some so-called “Christians,” Jesus might be reduced to a “holy … [Read more...]

Hurricane Storm Damage

It will be obvious when you come to St. Stephen Church on Saturday or Sunday that we were hard hit by Hurricane Ida.  We lost the entirety of the roof to our school gym as well as much of the copper covering our gorgeous steeple. We are already in the process of mitigating our damages and repairing things so that we can get our children back in school.  The steeple might take a little longer to evaluate.  Notwithstanding the forgoing, we have maintained our Mass schedule since the hurricane hit, although we had to move it around over the last two weeks.  But beginning Monday, September 13, we will resume our normal Mass schedule at St. Stephen and St. Henry Churches. Due to the storm and the numbers of people who evacuated, we are pushing the start of our fall adult education and our … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 29, 2021

He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” (Mk 7:15) If there’s one thing in the world we don’t like, it’s hypocrisy.  I remember sitting next to a man on an airplane one time.  When he saw that I was a priest in clerics, he was initially very courteous.  He said he was Catholic and spoke about being involved in the Church when he was younger.  As our conversation continued, he began to spend a lot of time criticizing the Catholic Church, particularly it’s teachings on marriage and sexuality, a male priesthood, and the “hierarchy.”  After listening for a while, I asked him where he went to church at the moment.  He responded: … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 22, 2021

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “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.” (Jn 6:66-69) This Sunday we complete our five week Eucharistic study of the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel.  Four weeks ago we heard about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes – earthly food.  Three weeks ago we heard Jesus describe Himself as the “bread from Heaven,” calling to mind the manna sent from heaven to nourish the Israelites in their Exodus in the desert.  Two weeks ago Jesus starts facing detractors; but instead of backing down, He … [Read more...]

Announcing Our Next Adult Bible Study Class

Where? St. Stephen Catholic Church/Rectory Meeting Room When? Every Thursday from September 9th to November 4th: From 6:30  P.M. to 7:45 P.M.  Cost is $25.00 for the Workbook. Call our D.R.E., Mr. Phillip Bellini to Register at 899-1378 or E-mail at Pbellini@arch-no.org Do you follow Jesus ‘on the way’? Can we trust the Gospels? Do we really know who wrote them? Do the Gospels communicate truth – or fabricated fables? Who is Jesus? Who did Jesus claim to be? Join Dr. Brant Pitre as he draws evidence from both early Christian and non-Christian writings attesting to the authenticity, authorship, and dating of the Gospels, and as he gives an in-depth look at the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the proclamation of Christ’s divinity.  This dynamic video … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 15, 2021

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.  (Lk 1:46-49). What does it mean to be “famous”?  One clue is found in the origin of the word “fame,” which comes from a Greek word that means “talked about.”  In our modern culture, being famous usually means being on television or on the internet, where many people can come to recognize you.  Being “famous” means that a person is talked about.  But something interesting might happen when you actually meet a “famous” person.  They might be exactly like you thought they would be, or you might be surprised how they’re different.  Being famous … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 8, 2021

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven, ” and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say,‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. (Jn 6:41-44) As I mentioned over the last two weekends, the Gospel this Sunday is a continuation of the 6th Chapter of John’s Gospel.  Two weeks ago we heard about the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes.  Last week we heard Jesus raise the bar and describe Himself as the “Bread from Heaven,” calling to mind the manna from heaven of the Exodus.  This Sunday Jesus starts facing … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – August 1, 2021

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.  And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (Jn 6:24-29) Beginning last weekend on the 17th Sunday of the … [Read more...]