How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Instructions on how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, using as a Rosary Start at the Crucifix Make the Sign of the Cross. “Thou didst expire, Lord Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Thyself out upon us.” (3 times) “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in Thee!” 1. Pray the Our Father. 2. Pray the Hail Mary. 3. Recite the Apostles' Creed. * On the large bead before each of the five decades (set of ten prayers) say: “Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Thy Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and … [Read more...]

Sacred Relics of the Saints

The relics on display in the church are in the custody of the Community of Jesus Crucified, and highlight the Year of the Family.  They include: the True Cross, large bones of St. John the Baptist, St. Zachariah, and St. Elizabeth. St. Therese of Lisieux and her parents Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. St. Cosmas and his brother St. Damian, St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica, Saint Peter and his brother Andrew, Saint James and his brother John, Saint Martha, St. Mary and Lazarus, all the Apostles, Mary’s mother St. Anne and the Veil of the blessed Virgin Mary, the cloak of St. Joseph, the veil of St. Rita of Cassia, the veil of St. Rose of Viterbo, the manger of the Lord, the column of flagellation, the titulus of Jesus’ Cross, St. Agnes and St. Ursula, St. Louis King of France and … [Read more...]

Why are the Statues Covered?

The tradition of covering (or “veiling”) the crucifix and statues this Sunday dates from the Church calendar prior to the Second Vatican Council when the Fifth Sunday of Lent was called “Passion Sunday” and the period from this Sunday until Holy Saturday was called “Passiontide.”  Elements of Passiontide remain in the liturgy in that the Preface of the Passion of Our Lord is read at all weekday Masses from now until Holy Thursday. In the Roman Missal we find this instruction: “In the Dioceses of the United States, the practice of covering crosses and images throughout the church from [the fifth] Sunday [of Lent] may be observed. Crosses remain covered until the end of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, but images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter … [Read more...]

The Story of the Palms

It was a common custom in many lands of the ancient Middle East to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. In 2 Kings 9:13 Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, was treated to this honor. Each of the four Gospels report that the people of Jerusalem gave Jesus the honor of walking on a covered path. However, in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) we hear that the people lay their garments and cut rushes to place on the street. Only the Gospel of John specifically mentions palms. So what is the significance of the palm? The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and of victory in Jewish tradition, and is treated as such in other parts of the Bible (e.g. Leviticus 23:40 and Revelation 7:9). Based on this significance, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by … [Read more...]

Easter Lilies!

Some of the most beautiful and fragrant reminders of Easter morning are Easter lilies.  We will be purchasing them for the altar for use over the Easter season.  If you would like to donate an Easter lily in the name of a loved one, there are envelopes in the back of church.  Please return by April 10, 2022. … [Read more...]

Corporal Work of Mercy: Feeding the Hungry

A request from Deacon Richard Eason: “The parish provides a meal service for the homeless at the Rebuild Center on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, and at the Ozanam Inn on the 4th Thursday of each month. This is a great opportunity to serve Our Lord’s neediest people and enjoy fellowship with our parishioners. The next meal service is set for March 3rd. For those interested, the meal is cooked in the kitchen of the rectory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, beginning at noon on the day before. The meal service is provided at the Please contact Dorothy ‘Dottie’ Forly,” at 242-1919. … [Read more...]

Tradition of the St. Joseph Altar

The tradition of a St. Joseph Day altar came to New Orleans from the Italian people of Sicily.  During the middle ages, Sicily faced a severe drought, and the people were reduced to eating fava beans, which were usually given to the animals. They prayed for the intercession of St. Joseph, and their prayers were answered: the rains came! In thanksgiving, the people of Sicily developed a tradition to decorate the St. Joseph Altar on the right side of most of their churches (or to make a small private altar at home) with flowers, fruit, candles, wine, fava beans, specially prepared cakes, breads, fish and cookies. Since the Feast of Joseph (March 19) almost always occurs during Lent, no meat is allowed on the altar. The custom of preparing an altar as a symbol of devotion to St. Joseph is … [Read more...]

Lenten Fish Fry

Knights of Columbus will be hosting the Lenten Fish Fry every Friday starting March 11th through April 8th.  Food will be served after the Stations of the Cross at St. Stephen Church. Plates consist of Fried Fish, French Fries, Cole Slaw, Vegetable, Dessert and a drink. Details will follow next Sunday! Proceeds benefit the KC and Good Shepherd Parish. … [Read more...]

Lenten Guidelines

THE LENTEN SEASON A distinction is to be made between Lent and the Easter Triduum. Strictly speaking, Lent ends with the beginning of the Triduum on Holy Thursday. The Ordo notes: “Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive on Holy Thursday.” FASTING AND ABSTINENCE Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound to fast may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to each one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years or older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and on all Fridays of Lent. The determination of certain days as … [Read more...]

Mardi Gras Madness

St Stephen Catholic School will be hosting their annual school fundraiser during the Mardi Gras parades.  Please patronize the school by purchasing food and drinks through the windows of the school facing Napoleon Avenue.  They will also offer bathroom passes for those wishing to avoid the Port-o-Lets.  They clean the bathrooms continuously throughout each day.  Please support our school that serves some of the neediest members of our community! … [Read more...]