Page 1

Connection The Catholic

Shreveport Martyrs and the

1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic

Vol. 28 No. 4 November 2018


CONTENTS

14

FEATURES 5

Protecting Our Children in the Diocese of Shreveport by Deacon Michael Straub

14 Shreveport Martyrs and the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic by Fr. Peter Mangum, Ryan

Smith and Dr. Cheryl White

COLUMNS 6

MIKE’S MEDITATIONS

7

LIBRARY NOTES

From the Dust of the Earth by Michelle Chopin Review by Kelly Phelan Powell

8

FAITHFUL FOOD

9

NEWS 17 Q&A with Illustrator Deacon

DOMESTIC CHURCH

18 St. Joseph Cemetery:

Taking Little Ones to Mass by Katie Sciba

Catholic Campaign for Human Development by Fr. Rothell Price

11 NAVIGATING THE FAITH

Martyrs and Saints: A History of Witness and Holiness in the Church by Dr. Cheryl White

12 FROM THE POPE

19

Groans Too Deep for Words by Kim Long

10 SECOND COLLECTIONS

SAVE THE DATE

“Do Not Kill” from the Vatican Press Office

13 VOCATIONS VIEW

Giving Tuesday by John Mark Willcox

San Óscar Arnulfo Romero, Canonizado el 14 de Octubre por Rosalba Quiroz

26 School News 28 Around the Diocese 30 November Calendar

On the Cover Vol. 28 No. 4 November 2018

Union Scholarship by Patricia McFatter

20 Gratefulness is the Secret to Graceful Aging by Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS 20 Saying Yes to Embrace Grace!

by L’Anne Sciba

Shreveport Martyrs and the

1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic

21 Catholic Charities:

Overcoming Obstacles to Seminary by Chris Dixon

24 KIDS’ CONNECTION

2 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

Remembering & Revitalizing by Kate Rhea

25 HISPANIC NEWS

19 Siharath Receives Catholic Credit

Shreveport Yellow Fever Martyrs

Andrew Thomas by Jessica Rinaudo

19 Join Us for iGiveCatholic on

18

One Commandment is Enough by Mike Van Vranken

November 27, 2018

Making a Difference by Meg Goorley

22 The Seven in Heaven: Meet the Recently Canonized Saints by Jonah McKeown

Five priests who gave their lives in service to the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873 are shown in front of the stained glass windows in Holy Trinity Church that depict their story. Illustration by Deacon Andrew Thomas.


FROM THE EDITOR

Bringing North Louisiana Catholic History to Life by Jessica Rinaudo

Y

ou may have noticed that the cover of this issue of The Catholic Connection magazine looks a little different this month – it is an illustration of the five priests who died in serving the sick in the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. These are the same priests who are depicted in the stained glass windows inside Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport. This cover is the first of many illustrations you will see in The Catholic Connection in the coming months. The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, most notably Fr. Peter Mangum, Dr. Cheryl White and Ryan Smith, have embarked on a project to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic, and help make the faithful of our diocese more aware of the importance of these five martyrs, as well as the three Daughters of the Cross who died in the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. As part of their project, they have commissioned comic book artist and illustrator, Deacon Andrew Thomas, to draw a comic book of the events surrounding the lives of these priests in 1873, including their faith, service and deaths. One to two of those pages will be released each month

in The Catholic Connection magazine as a serial, telling this important piece of Shreveport Catholic history. This project is sponsored by the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, and we are grateful to be able to share it with all the people of the Diocese of Shreveport. With that in mind, there are several other articles in this issue that relate to this topic: an interview with the illustrator, Deacon Andrew Thomas, on page 17; a story on St. Joseph Cemetery, where two of these priests are buried, on page 18; information on martyrs in the Catholic church on page 11; and, of course, the main feature, which details the stories of these priests and how they shared their lives with the faithful of Shreveport in 1873, on page 14. And don’t forget our Kids’ Connection this month on page 24! There is also information about an upcoming podcast series on these priests that will debut the first weekend in November (pg. 16). We hope you enjoy this special issue of The Catholic Connection, timed to print in conjunction with All Saints and All Souls days, and that you remember these martyrs in your prayers, especially during the month of November. •

Priest Assignment Father Duane Trombetta has been appointed Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, effective October 1, 2018, through June 30, 2020. Father Trombetta is relieved of his appointment as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Zwolle.

TWITTER @CathConnect

FACEBOOK facebook.com/ dioceseofshreveport

INSTAGRAM @CatholicConnection

Connection The Catholic

Publisher The Diocese of Shreveport Editor Jessica Rinaudo Contributors Chris Dixon Meg Goorley Daniel Ibanez Kim Long Fr. Peter Mangum Patricia McFatter Jonah McKeown Kelly Phelan Powell Fr. Rothell Price Rosalba Quiroz

Kate Rhea Sr. Martinette Rivers Katie Sciba L'Anne Sciba Ryan Smith Michael Straub Randy Tiller Mike Van Vranken Dr. Cheryl White John Mark Willcox

Editorial Board Lisa Cooper Kim Long Fr. Matthew Long Dianne Rachal Melina Sanchez Randy Tiller Deacon Mike Whitehead John Mark Willcox Mission Statement The Catholic Connection is a monthly publication funded by your Diocesan Stewardship Appeal; mailed to every known Catholic household in the Diocese of Shreveport. Our Mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of our Catholic Faith among the faithful. We seek to foster the application of Christ’s teachings and our Church’s mission in our daily lives and to encourage our sense of Catholic identity within our family, parish, and diocesan faith community. Subscriptions & Address Changes Contact: Jessica Rinaudo, Editor Email: jrinaudo@dioshpt.org Write: Catholic Connection 3500 Fairfield Avenue Shreveport, LA 71104 Call: 318-868-4441 Fax: 318-868-4609 Website: www.thecatholicconnection.org

The Catholic Connection is a member of the Catholic Press Association.

The Diocese of Shreveport complies with Virtus’s Protecting God’s Children program. Classes are offered every second Wednesday of the month at the Catholic Center in Shreveport. To report child sexual abuse by a cleric or church worker in the Diocese of Shreveport, call Glennda Lawson. Hotline is 318-294-1031 and your local law enforcement agency.

NOVEMBER 2018 3


Protegiendo a Nuestros Niños en la Diócesis de Shreveport Por el Diácono Michael Straub

E

CREE QUE LA AYUDA Y LA SANACIÓN SON POSIBLES. HAY ESPERANZA.

s difícil evitar ver las noticias de los últimos meses sobre el abuso a niños por quienes trabajaban para la iglesia yElque deberían protegerlos. Aunque la mayoría de coordinador o coordinadora de asistencia a las víctimas en tu (arqui)diócesis/eparquía es: estos casos pasaron hace 40-70 años, nos remueven muchas emociones cuando lo escuchamos. Estamos enojados por todo el daño hecho, por la incertidumbre de como esto pudo pasar, y sentimos la urgencia de proteger mejor a nuestros niños. En el año 2002 la diócesis de Shreveport estableció el programa de ambiente Seguro y Pólizas sobre el Abuso Sexual, que puede encontrarse en la página de la diócesis: (http:// www.dioshpt.org/administration/human-resources/safeenvironment-2/), no solamente para proteger a nuestros niños y a los adultos vulnerables de los peligros de hoy, sino también se dirige a aquellos que desean reportar abuso que les haya ocurrido en el pasado. Aquí es donde hay confusión y surgen más preguntas. ¿Qué pasa cuando alguien desea reportar el abuso? Es importante saber que nuestra diócesis ha publicado información de cómo reportar el abuso. El documento que ya se mencionó es la póliza sobre el abuso, o como se conoce más bien es “La Póliza Referente al Abuso Sexual de Menores por el Clero, Empleados o Voluntarios Comisionados”. Este documento de casi 50 páginas explica todo el proceso, procedimientos e individuos involucrados en ayudar con los problemas de abuso sexual reportados en nuestra diócesis. La Póliza completa se puede encontrar en nuestra página de internet mencionada arriba. Otro documento es el folleto “Protegiendo Nuestros Niños en la Diócesis de Shreveport” el cual explica lo que hacemos El Coordinador para Asistencia a las Víctimas está disponible en tu localidad para ayudarte a ti o a cualquier otra persona que haya sido abusada por algún representante de la Iglesia Católica. Escucharemos tus necesidades y te apoyaremos.Te ayudaremos a presentar formalmente una queja y a concertar una cita con el obispo o su delegado, si fuese deseable. Te animamos a que te presentes y hables.

Copyright © 2014, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. Se reservan todos los derechos. Para ordenar la publicación no. 7-492 visite el sitio web usccbpublishing.org o llame al 877-978-0757.

4 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

en la Diócesis para proteger a los niños. En la parte de atrás hay instrucciones claras y simples de como reportar un posible problema de abuso sexual en nuestra parroquia (ver la barra lateral). Se les requiere a todas nuestras parroquias y escuelas que tengan estos folletos accesibles para quien sea que entre en cualquiera de nuestras instalaciones. Estos documentos declaran que cuando se informe de un problema de abuso sexual, las autoridades sean SIEMPRE contactadas, así como los Servicios de Protección Infantil. Pedimos que la víctima o su familia contacten al asistente de coordinación de víctimas. La información de contactos se encuentra en la barra lateral, así como en nuestra página de internet y en el folleto. Esto les permite aquellos que han sido lastimados a no esperar que la corte decida si el abuso ocurrió, sino que les da la oportunidad de recibir asesoramiento y sanación inmediata. Nuestra póliza de abuso sexual convoca a una revisión continua por un grupo de voluntarios no-católicos que ayudan a la diócesis en su decisión hacia la víctima y su familia, a que haya transparencia para las autoridades, las comunidades eclesiales, y el público en general. Los nombres de las víctimas se mantienen confidenciales, y si la acusación es creíble el nombre del ofensor se da a conocer. La diócesis anima a quien haya sido lastimado por esta persona a presentarse para que encuentre ayuda y sanación. Desafortunadamente el abuso sexual ocurre en nuestra sociedad y aún en nuestras parroquias. Como Iglesia estamos llamados a no solamente mantener seguros a nuestros niños, jóvenes, y adultos vulnerables, sino también a acercarnos a aquellos que han sido lastimados. La Iglesia es un lugar donde nuestras almas sanan y donde hay consuelo y esperanza para los que luchan en sus vidas diarias con heridas del pasado. Con el trabajo arduo de voluntarios, continuamos ayudando a los que tienen gran necesidad del amor y sanación de Cristo. •

Recursos y Números Útiles Para Reportar Abuso Sexual a Niños por el Clero/Iglesia o un Empleado(a) en la Diócesis de Shreveport Llamar a: Glennda Lawson-Coordinadora de Asistencia para Victimas • Línea de Ayuda- (318) 294-1031 El Depto. de Servicios para Niños y Familias de Luisiana (DCFS) 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) & la Agencia Local del Cumplimiento de la Ley Administrador/Asesor: Ron Murry (318) 465-7833 Coordinador para un Ambiente Seguro: Diacono Michael Straub (318) 219-7280 • Línea Gratuita (800) 256-1542


Protecting Our Children in the Diocese of Shreveport by Deacon Michael Straub, Safe Environment Coordinator

Resources & Contact Numbers To Report Child Sexual Abuse by a Cleric/Church Worker in the Diocese of Shreveport

Call: Glennda Lawson, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Hotline - (318) 294-1031 The Louisiana Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) & your Local Law Enforcement Agency Administrator / Assessor: Ron Murry (318) 465-7833 Coordinator for Safe Environment: Deacon Michael Straub (318) 219-7280 • Toll Free (800) 256-1542 our sex abuse policy, or more formally titled Diocesan Policy Concerning Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clerics, Employees or Commissioned Volunteers. t is hard to miss all the news in the last This almost 50 page document couple of months on sex abuse by those placed in a position of trust in the Church. explains all the processes, procedures and individuals involved in assisting Even though most of these cases are 40 to 70 years old, they still bring strong emotions with sex abuse issues reported in to the forefront. We are angry for those who our diocese. The full policy can be found on our website at the above were harmed, perplexed on how this could mentioned link. happen, and feel an urgency concerning the Another document is our one page safety of our children today. handout, “Protecting Our Children In 2002, the Diocese of Shreveport established a Safe Environment Program and in the Diocese of Shreveport,” which explains what we do in our diocese Sex Abuse Policy, which can be found on to protect children. On the back are the diocese’s website (http://www.dioshpt. clear, simple instructions on reporting org/administration/human-resources/safea possible sex abuse issue within our environment-2/), to not only protect our Church (see the sidebar). All of our children and vulnerable adults from harm today, but to also address those who wish to churches and schools are required to report abuse that might have occurred in the have these handouts easily accessible past. This is where some confusion arises and to all who enter our locations. As these documents state, when questions are asked. What happens when reporting a possible child abuse issue, someone wishes to report abuse? the authorities must ALWAYS be It is important to know that our diocese has published information on how to report contacted, which in this case would be Child Protection Services. Following abuse. One document already mentioned is

I

Spiritual Direction for Sexual Abuse Victims

The following spiritual directors have offered to direct victims of clergy child abuse at no charge:

Joe Bernal Katherine Bernal Dianne Rachal Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS Susan Rothwell Mike VanVranken

West Monroe West Monroe Shreveport Shreveport Benton Shreveport

jkmca2000@aol.com jkmca2000@aol.com drachal@dishpt.org queenfarfalla@gmail.com susan_rt@hotmail.com mikevanvranken@comcast.net

this, we ask that the victim or their family to call our Victim Assistance Coordinator. Contact information for CPS and Victim Assistance can be found in the sidebar, as well as on our website and flyer. This allows those who have been harmed to not wait for the courts to decide if there was abuse, but gives them a chance to receive immediate counseling and healing. Our sex abuse policy calls for the establishment of a Permanent Review Board made up of non-Catholic volunteers who help the diocese in its decision making process for the victim and their families, as well as transparency to the authorities, church communities and the public in general. The victims’ names are not released to the public for confidentiality reasons, but if the claim is credible, then the offender’s name would be released and the diocese would encourage anyone harmed by this individual to come forward to find healing and help. It is unfortunate that sex abuse occurs in our society, and more so in our churches. We as a Church are called to not only keep children, youth and vulnerable adults safe, but to also reach out to those who have been harmed. Yes, the Church is a place for our souls to be healed, but to also bring comfort and hope to those who struggle in their daily lives with past hurts and pains. Through the hard work of many volunteers, we continue to be the hand and heart to those who are in most desperate need of Christ’s love and healing. • NOVEMBER 2018 5


MIKE'S MEDITATIONS

One Commandment is Enough by Mike Van Vranken

M

any of us learned as children that there are Ten Commandments of God. He gave them to Moses for all of us to obey. And, while they may be difficult to keep, our humanity likes commandments or rules. They give us boundaries to live in. Of course, we usually ask for exceptions for each commandment, but we like them just the same. In one of the gospel stories, someone asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. This man too was looking to make sure he was following the rules. Jesus began by saying: “You know the commandments...” (Matthew 19:16). Of Van Vranken course, in this particular story, Jesus ends by explaining that it’s who we become, not what we do, that really matters. In this case, it is to be a follower of Jesus; be his disciple; that’s who Jesus commanded the man to be. If we study Jewish history, we learn that they followed around 613 laws or commandments. Wow! That seems like a burden to keep. But again, the more rules we have, the easier it is to say “we are doing it right!” Our egos absolutely LOVE to do it right. So, how confusing it must have been for those attending Jesus’ last supper when he gave them only one commandment to follow. That’s right, only one. He said it twice, but it is the same commandment. Here’s how John the Evangelist quoted Jesus: “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). “This I command you: love one another” (John 15:17). One God, one Body of Christ, one people, one commandment. We really don’t have to worry if we are following the seventh commandment, or the fourth commandment or the 612th commandment. There is only one that Jesus left us: “Love one another.” Why have we made it so difficult? You may be thinking: “But what about loving God above all things with our whole heart, mind and strength?” Didn’t he say that too? Yes, and more than once. But, if we think about it, when we love one another, we are loving the God who lives within us. It is such a reality that Jesus could declare that whenever we do something or neglect to do something to anyone, we are doing it or neglecting to do it to him. How we treat another human being, is exactly how we are treating God at the same time. While the other person is not God, because God’s real presence lives in all of us, whatever we do or don’t do to another person, we do or don’t do to God. Genesis 1:27 declares that God made humans in His image and likeness.

6 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

Psalms 8:6 teaches that God made mankind a little less than “elohim.” My Jewish study bible translates “elohim” as “divine.” We are made a little less than divine. So, any way we can understand all of this, our conclusion has to be: when we love another person, we are loving God at the same time. Jesus makes it very easy for us to follow him: “Love one another.” And, to what degree do we love one another? He goes on to say: “as I have loved you.” Reading all of these scriptures in prayer recently, I felt an overwhelming sense of awe, but also conviction. I asked God: “In spite of knowing all of these Bible verses, why is it so hard for me to be conscious of you in every other human being on the face of the earth? God, why don’t I always recognize you in others?” Then I sat in the quiet and allowed Him to enlighten me. He reminded me of Mother Teresa’s words when she was talking about the poor and helpless: “Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.” He asked me how I would treat others differently, no matter who, if I realized each one was Jesus in disguise. I began thinking of everyone who is different than I am: race, age, gender, philosophically, spiritually, socio-economically, enemy – everyone. We continued to sit quietly for an extended period of time. I could feel myself changing, but would it continue once I was back in my daily routine? I prayed for the grace to be constantly aware that God is not only in all things, He is especially in all people. In your personal prayer time this month, take Jesus’ one commandment to contemplation and prayer. Ask God for His perspective about “love one another as I have loved you.” Then, sit still in the quiet and wait for His loving and compassionate response. And whatever that response is, pray for the grace to be able to become whoever He is asking you to be. It will change your heart. It will transform your life. And you only have to remember one commandment. It alone is enough. • Mike is a spiritual director, author, speaker and teacher. You can contact him at mikevanvranken@comcast.net


LIBRARY NOTES

From the Dust of the Earth Who, Me? by Michelle Chopin

Slattery Library News & Notes

Reviewed by Kelly Phelan Powell

L

ocal Catholic author, Michelle Chopin, was inspired to write her first book, From the Dust of the Earth - Who, Me? A Study for Reflection, after a bout with a serious illness. Though she had originally envisioned a manuscript entitled Hopes, Dreams and Realities, it wasn’t until her body “shut down,” as her doctor phrased it, that this busy wife, mother, grandmother and professional was able to spend time discerning the nature and topics of her long-dreamed-of book. What resulted is an uncomplicated yet profound collection of quotes, scriptural quotations, excerpts from sermons and a myriad of other treasures that provide fertile ground for study, reflection, insight and prayer. From the Dust of the Earth is organized into sections: “Meditations for the Heart and Mind,” “Melodies for the Soul” and “Nourishment for the Mind and Body.” Each section contains “themes,” as Chopin calls them, such as “Creation,” “Gratitude” and “Accomplishment.” Within each of these themes (organized alphabetically so the reader can easily return to any of them for further study) are poems, stories and quotes by a myriad of people ranging from astronomer Carl Sagan to local parish priest, Fr. Karl Daigle. Throughout the book are plenty of lined pages on which the reader can jot down notes and questions, making this an ideal devotional or material for a discussion group. Within the theme “Journey,” Chopin writes, “Thoughts were streaming, flying, of course not at light speed, but almost.

With so much going on inside of me, a real sense of urgency absolutely had developed. I realized I had so much to say, so much to share. Not only thoughts, but also words, phrases, sentences, examples, analogies and themes were coming to mind so fast that at times I actually felt dizzy. I felt excited and enthusiastic to have a writing project.” Her passion is evident throughout From the Dust of the Earth, and it gives her manuscript a sense of the personal nature with which she approached the work of writing and collecting a literal lifetime of wisdom. One of the things I most enjoyed about From the Dust of the Earth is that the reader is able to approach it in a nonlinear fashion. As a wife and mother of two small children, I frequently find myself in need of copious amounts of encouragement and wisdom, and it was nice to be able to turn to practically any page in this book and find something uplifting and thought-provoking. The newly-installed Bishop of Baton Rouge, Michael G. Duca, said in a dustjacket excerpt for the book, “[The] power to inspire is the real gift Mrs. Chopin gives us in this collection of wisdom from her life. I thank her...for reminding me that an attentive spirit can find wisdom and inspiration from many sources: The Bible, for sure, philosophers, parish priests, friends and even, at times, fortune cookies.” From the Dust of the Earth is available through Amazon.com, or by contacting the author at 318-505-8350, or professorec@bellsouth.net. •

Slattery Library is open every week day from 9am to 1pm! Kate Rhea is the Administrative Assistant for the Library and Cemetery, and is available to help patrons research information, search and select reading material, and even host group meetings in the library. With themed displays each month and many newly cataloged materials ready to borrow, our library is revitalized and ready to serve our patrons. To sign up for the newsletter featuring topical and seasonal collections, information on newly catalogued books, book and movie reviews, information on book clubs, and more, please e-mail Kate at krhea@dioshpt.org.

Visit the Slattery Library Visit the Slattery Library inside the Catholic Center! The library is open Monday Friday from 9am to 1pm. 3500 Fairfield Avenue Shreveport, LA 71104 318-868-4441 NOVEMBER 2018 7


FAITHFUL FOOD

Groans Too Deep for Words by Kim Long

L

ast month I received a text message that a woman I had known growing up was killed in an automobile accident. It hit me hard, harder than expected as we were friends, but not “besties,” and with Long the exception of the great digital gathering place Facebook, I hadn’t laid eyes on her in years. The news set me on my heels and I cried for a good two hours. Later, I puzzled at what I was truly mourning. The answer came from two friends and a cousin: I was mourning “home,” the place where I came into the world, the associations which continue to form me as I move through the days and weeks of my life. When I consider other things which have had their hand in forming and shaping me, this is how they rank up: family, scripture and church. Those may sound self-explanatory, but things are seldom as simple as first believed. Here is a scripture I read, quite by accident, on the same day I received the unwelcome news of my friend’s death: Paul writes in Romans: “but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.” (8:26). “Groans too deep for words” blew me away with comfort and wonder. I realized I had felt that feeling a little before in my life, at those liminal moments which define us in our eyes and the eyes of those who hold us. All that day I sat with that text, prayed those words and saw them gathering around me to keep me upright until I could move past my sadness for this latest loss to the bright light we so bravely profess and in which we so fervently hope. And now we are in November, a truly tricky month combining saints, souls, ghosts, giving thanks, counting blessings and, last but not least, feasting all in one

8 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

La Jo’s Green Bean Casserole Ingredients: • 2 cans (17 oz) green beans • ¼ chopped onions • 1 stick butter • 10 oz package of cream cheese • 1 can cream of chicken soup • 1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers Directions: 1) Warm green beans. 2) In a separate pan, sauté onions in butter until translucent. 3) Stir cream cheese and soup into green beans. 4) Remove onions with slotted spoon and mix with green beans. 5) Crush Ritz crackers and mix with butter.

30 day time frame. November is not so much a month of remembrance, as it is a month of celebrating those memories. There are two Masses on the first and second days of the month to set the tone: All Saints and All Souls. Everyone is covered, so to speak. Oscar Wilde has a wonderful quote “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” It’s good to know I have a future! November also holds the celebration of Thanksgiving, the feast when we take a day and we are still and know that He is God, and in Him all our lives originate. This is the light and hope we pray for, we count on, and in November we recall and remember those who first shared that with us. What did my friend share with me? I can tell you easily and quickly: life, a sense of “joie de vive,” a delight in being alive! She had long red hair, a huge beautiful smile, and sartorially she could hold her own against anyone choosing bright bold colors over my more modest palette. When I was in fifth grade she

6) Spread beans into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker mixture 7) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

strode confidently into the classroom to deliver the daily school bulletin to our teacher, inviting us into the grace in which she lived. We little fifth grade girls soaked it in. In the week before Thanksgiving I am typically self delusional, believing with an absolutism that I have more hours than I do and I end up clinging to the myth that I work better under pressure so I will do it “tomorrow.” This year I will let go and let Thanksgiving unfold. I will be thankful that I have seen joie de vivre in action, and I will try to let that flow through me. My sister-in-love, LaJo, gave me this recipe some years ago, and it has been a staple since then. I share it with you now. May we find peace and joy in our days and may we all throw ourselves into the love of a God whose spirit intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. • Kim Long is the Director of Religious Education at St. Mary of the Pines Parish in Shreveport, LA.


DOMESTIC CHURCH

Taking Little Ones to Mass by Katie Sciba

I

have a confession to make: I haven’t always liked going to Mass. There have been some lengthy periods when the idea of going to Sunday Mass with my family made me want to head for the hills. Our kids were challenging and obnoxious in Mass, so much so that I was resolved that Andrew and I would attend Mass Sciba separately each Sunday just so we could avoid hauling our traveling circus into parish-view. We’ve received fantastic advice and insight from veteran parents that made going to Mass as a whole family not just possible, but enjoyable. It’s taken tears, fits and persistence to get us where we are, but we’re grateful for the wisdom passed to us.

1. Up your pre-game.

We’ve learned there’s no such thing as getting ready for Mass “real quick” for our family. It has to start 1 �₂ to 3 hours ahead of departure time, and it takes a divideand-conquer approach from Andrew and me. Teamwork from us parents is a must if we want to arrive on time and stave off mutual resentment. The kids’ Mass attire is presentable, but it has to be comfortable, too. Uncomfortable shoes, pants and shirts make it hard for the kids to deliver good behavior. To avoid further disruption and tears during Mass, every child takes two trips to the bathroom an hour before and immediately prior to our departure. Though things can be pretty chaotic at our house, we try to keep Mass prep slow to avoid the stress of rushing.

2. Check and voice expectations.

Regardless of how terribly or well our preparations go, the ride to church is a behavioral pep talk. We’ve been going over the same rules every Sunday for years, and now every little Sciba can recite them. They know there won’t be any trips to the bathroom, they have to

be prayerful with their bodies – folded hands and upright posture – and they have to pray along, saying the responses. Three simple rules. When our kids slip in any area, we give them a nudge and then model what we want them to remember.

3. Sit up close and talk.

This one is counter-intuitive. It’s tempting to sit toward the back in case we have to make a quick exit with a fit-thrower or potty-goer; but it turns out that kids with comfy clothes and empty bladders are more likely to behave, and with the added bonus of being able to see, the whole family has a shot at making it through Mass, sanity intact. There in the front pews the kids experience every part of the liturgy in plain sight. For our younger ones, we hold them and whisper what’s happening on the altar, “See how Fr. Dan kisses the Gospel after he reads it?” “Watch the servers when they ring the bells. They do it because Jesus is here.” We talk almost the whole Mass to our little ones learning so we can help keep them focused.

4. Respond to behavior.

For the children with angelic manners during Mass, there are stickers or check marks on a chart at home; high fives for the older ones. Whatever we use to reward, the kids get psyched for it. For the kids whose behavior needs tweaking (or revolutionizing), there is a conversation about what they need to work on with follow-through the next Sunday. Really bad behavior gets bigger discipline. Above all, the biggest, most important tip I’ve received was to KEEP GOING. Practically speaking, parents and kids need consistent practice for behavior and experiences to improve; but even setting this aside, there is nothing more powerful than bringing our families before God. Wild kids will at least be in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, as well as their tried and tired parents. The Lord sees our persistence, our struggles and victories with our families, and loves us in both. • Katie Sciba is married to Andrew. Together they have five children. She is the author of thecatholicwife.net.

NOVEMBER 2018 9


SECOND COLLECTIONS

Catholic Campaign for Human Development by Father Rothell Price

Support the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Working on the Margins www.facebook.com/povertyusa

|

www.usccb.org/cchd/collection

Collection Dates: November 17 & 18 Announcement Dates: November 4 & 11

|

T

he Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection occurs annually in the month of November as our country prepares for our nationwide day of thanksgiving. We intentionally pause to give thanks to our loving and gracious God for the many Price blessings we have received from Divine Providence in the course of the year. We express our gratitude over a bountiful meal prepared in the unique tradition of our individual and national families. We place God’s bounty to us on our home table in a visual display, which becomes a feast for our body and soul. Our five senses delight in this thanksgiving as the bounty before us becomes a magnificent feast for our eyes, ears, nose, fingers and taste buds. “Working on the Margins” is a fitting theme for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection.” The 10 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

www.twitter.com/endpovertyusa

European colonists, who were the fore fathers and mothers of this fledgling nation, were themselves working on the margins of the New World. There were numerous obstacles for them to meet and successfully manage for their spiritual and physical survival. Their success was due in significant part to the Native American peoples who helped the colonists overcome some of those obstacles. The first Thanksgiving was the colonists’ act of gratitude to both God and the Native Americans who helped them survive and flourish. “Working on the margins,” is precisely the work of the U.S. Bishops in the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection. Through the work of this campaign, the bishops of the United States work to permanently change the lives of impoverished people for the better. Our bishops’ long-term goal is to eradicate poverty and its root causes here at home, in our own country. This work is accomplished through grants that allow work to be done locally to bring about lasting and systemic change

Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Photo: © Getty Images. 40200200

where it counts the most. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is our unified effort to end poverty right here at home. Just as our faithful God and the indigenous peoples of the New World helped our fore fathers and mothers, so we, in our turn, can help our struggling brothers and sisters identify, meet, and overcome obstacles to being self-sustaining and contributing members of society. “Working on the Margins” is where Jesus, our Savior worked. We, his modern-day disciples, also work in and on those margins. The mission of the Church and the aim of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is to bring people into the kingdom and society. Through this collection, you are giving those on the margins a hand up, not a hand out. What relief and hope our fore fathers and mothers must have felt as they saw and feasted on God’s bounty through the help of those who reached out to help them! We provide that same uplifting vision of God’s loving concern when we contribute to this campaign to develop human persons into fully capable and functioning members of the Kingdom and our great society. Thank you for your generous participation in the second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving! • Father Rothell Prices, Moderator of the Curia, is the Director of Second Collections for the Diocese of Shreveport.


NAVIGATING THE FAITH

Martyrs and Saints: A History of Witness & Holiness in the Church by Cheryl H. White, Ph.D.

T

he earliest centuries of Christianity are punctuated by periods of severe persecution of the faithful in the Roman Empire, beginning in earnest under the reign of Emperor Nero, when the Church was just decades old. The very first persecution was of Jesus Christ, followed of course by the Apostles. The word “martyr” in Greek was applied to describe the Apostles, both who they were, and what they had done, for the word literally translates as “witness.” By their deaths, they provided the ultimate witness to the Truth they had seen and known in the person of Jesus Christ. In the pagan culture of the Roman Empire, there was a civic expectation that people would recognize the gods St. Stephen is considered the first Christian martyr. The objects around his head and body worshipped by others, and the refusal are the rocks, which were used to kill him. of this in Christianity naturally made its followers suspicious to Roman authorities. quickly became recognized as the first Through the first three centuries of the saints of the Church, and the willingness Church, generalized edicts condemning to lay down one’s life for Christ became a Christianity were common, and resulted clear path to holiness. in many Christians going to what was In the first centuries of the Church, often a sentence of horrific torture and there was no formal process of death. This did not deter or discourage canonization as there is today, with the faithful. In fact, martyrdom became elevation to sainthood usually occurring the model and ideal for the Christian, as at the level of the local bishop. By it has been likened to “the narrow gate” the sixth century, the names of the by some scholars. Tertullian of Carthage, most well-known of these were being a prominent theologian of the second commemorated in the liturgy, evidenced century, expressed this concept well when by the Roman Canon. Martyrdom, he wrote, “the blood of the martyrs is while the first ideal of the Church, the seed of the Church.” The persecuted eventually gave way to the recognition Church only grew in numbers. of other models of exceptional holiness, Martyrdom became such an identifiable heroic virtue, and rigor of life, as equal aspect of the faith that when active potential for sainthood. By the tenth persecutions ended during the reign century, it became standard that all such of Constantine the Great in the fourth canonizations took place at the level of century, Christianity sought new ways the papacy, and the formal process known to find the highest possible calling in today has existed since the sixteenth other expressions, such as asceticism and century creation of the Congregation for monasticism. Still, to die a martyr’s death the Causes of Saints. remained an ideal for centuries to come, The stages of the canonization process as Christians continued to identify with are defined as: Servant of God, Venerable, the sacrifice of the persecuted faithful Blessed, and Saint. To be recognized of the earliest era. Those early martyrs as a Servant of God states that the

Church has begun the process of official investigation into the life of a potential saint; to be declared Venerable is to have been associated with heroic deeds; to be Blessed (beatified) is to have one miracle confirmed through the intercession of the person in question; and finally, to be a Saint (the final step) requires the confirmation of a second miracle. In 2017, Pope Francis articulated another way to beatification in an apostolic letter, Majorem Hac Dilectionem, or “greater love than this,” drawn directly from the Gospel of John. The pope stated that besides martyrdom and heroic deeds, the offering of one’s own life out of charity is yet another pathway to the Church’s recognition, with the same requirement of at least one miracle for beatification. “They are worthy of special consideration and honor, those Christians who, following in the footsteps and teachings of the Lord Jesus, have voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered until death in this regard.” Pope Francis went on to say in the apostolic letter, “It is certain that the heroic offering of life, suggested and supported by charity, expresses a true, full and exemplary imitation of Christ, and therefore deserves the admiration that the community of the faithful usually reserves to those who have voluntarily accepted the martyrdom of blood or have exercised in a heroic degree the Christian virtues.” From the persecutions and martyrdoms of the earliest Christians, to the countless heroic and selfless acts on the part of many other saints throughout history, the Church has always formally recognized holiness. By the new guidelines offered by Pope Francis, the Shreveport “martyrs to their charity” of 1873 seem particularly worthy of this consideration, as they all knowingly offered the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives in the service of others. • NOVEMBER 2018 11


FROM THE POPE

Pope Francis General Audience 10/17/18 "Do Not Kill" from the Vatican Press Office

D

ear brothers and sisters, good morning! Today I would like to continue the catechesis on the Fifth Word of the Decalogue, “Do not kill.” We have already underlined how this commandment reveals that in the eyes of God, human life is precious, sacred and inviolable. No one can disregard the life of others or his own; indeed man carries within him the image of God and is the object of His infinite love, whatever the condition Pope Francis may be in which he is called to existence. In the Gospel reading we have just listened to, Jesus reveals to us an even deeper meaning to this commandment. He affirms that, before God’s tribunal, even anger against a brother is a form of homicide. For this reason the apostle John writes: “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer” (I Jn 3: 15). But Jesus does not stop at this, and by the same logic he adds that even insults and disdain can kill. And we are accustomed to insulting, it is true. And an insult comes as easily to us as if it were a breath. And Jesus says to us, “Stop, because the insult hurts, it kills.” Disdain. “But I … this people, I disdain them.” And this is a way of killing the dignity of a person. It would be good if this teaching of Jesus entered into the mind and heart, and each one of us said: “Do not insult anyone ever again”. It would be a good intention, because Jesus tells us: “Look, if you disdain, if you insult, if you hate, this is murder.” No human code of law equates such different acts by assigning them the same degree of judgment. And coherently Jesus even invites us to interrupt the offering of the sacrifice in the temple if we remember that a brother is offended by us, to go and look for him and reconcile with him. We too, when we go to Mass, should have this attitude of reconciliation with the people we have had problems with. Even if we thought bad about them, we insulted them. But many times, while we wait for the priest to say Mass, we chat and talk badly about the others. But this must not be done. Think of the gravity of the insult, of contempt, of hatred: Jesus puts them on the line of killing. What does Jesus mean by extending the field of the Fifth Word to this point? Man has a noble life, very sensitive, and possesses a hidden self no less important than his physical being. Indeed, an inappropriate sentence is enough to offend the innocence of a child. A gesture of coldness is enough to hurt a woman. To break the heart of a young person is enough to deny his trust. To annihilate a man, just ignore him. Indifference kills. It is like saying to the other person:

12 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

“You are a dead man for me,” because you killed him in your heart. Not to love is the first step to killing; and not killing is the first step to love. In the Bible, at the beginning, we read that terrible phrase that came out of the mouth of the first murderer, Cain, after the Lord asked him where his brother is. Cain replies: “I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?” (Gen 4: 9). [1] This is how it kills: “It does not concern me,” “It is your business, not mine” and similar things. Let us try to answer this question: are we our brothers’ keepers? Yes, we are! We are each other’s keepers! And this is the path of life, it is the path of nonkilling. Human life needs love. And what is authentic love? It is what Christ showed us, that is, mercy. The love we cannot do without, is the one that forgives, which welcomes those who have harmed us. None of us can survive without mercy, we all need forgiveness. So, if killing means destroying, suppressing, eliminating someone, then not killing will mean curing, valuing, including. And also forgiving. No one can deceive himself by thinking, “I’m fine because I do not do anything wrong.” A mineral or a plant has this kind of existence, but a man does not. A person – a man or a woman – no. More is demanded of a man or woman. There is good to be done, prepared for each of us, each to his own, which makes us truly ourselves. “Do not kill” is an appeal to love and mercy. It is a call to living according to the Lord Jesus who gave his life for us and rose for us. Once we all repeated, here in the Square, a phrase of a saint on this. Perhaps it will help us: “Doing no harm is a good thing. But not doing good is not good.” We must always do good. We must go further. He, the Lord, who incarnating himself sanctified our existence; He, who with his blood made it priceless; He, “the author of life” (Acts 3: 15), thanks to whom each person is a gift from the Father. In him, in his love stronger than death, and through the power of the Spirit that the Father gives us, we can accept the Word, “Do not kill” as the most important and essential appeal: that is, not killing means a call to love. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2259: “In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain, Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: ‘What have you done? the voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground, and now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand’ (Gen 4: 10-11).” •


VOCATIONS VIEW

Overcoming Obstacles to Seminary

H

by Chris Dixon

ave you ever planned for a big event, and in the end felt something was still missing? I’m all too familiar with this process – it’s been the story of my life! I’m happy now to have found what I’ve been missing for almost 30 years. After growing up Baptist and finding my way to the Catholic Church, I now feel that God is calling me to be a priest! That definitely wasn’t my initial plan. I had the dreams many young people do after college: a career, family, friends, success. I was brought up well and had the foundation I needed to make it in life. I achieved much of what I set out to do, but something was still missing. I will never forget finding the missing piece to my life on Christmas Eve at a midnight Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Mansfield. As a Southern Baptist, when I was invited to the midnight service, I didn’t know what I was walking in to. I heard the rumors and was certainly skeptical of the Catholic faith. Something nudged me on. I’ll be forever grateful to my friend for inviting me, because that night my life changed forever when I experienced the “True Presence of God.” After that experience I did lots of research and began learning about the Catholic Church and her teachings. Over the course of a few years, I reached out to RCIA directors at a few churches. I found just the place to begin my journey of faith at St. Matthew Parish in Monroe. Deacon Scott Brandle and the entire parish were so very welcoming. Towards the end of my RCIA journey, a seminarian spoke to our class about vocations. It was during this conversation that I first experienced God’s call in my life. At first I told God, “Not me! I have plans I’m living out!” But God continued to call, and I reluctantly began to listen. After I was welcomed into the Church, I began to seriously consider what my vocation was and what God was asking of me. During prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, God again tugged my heart and I felt He was calling me to the priesthood. I spoke with several of my new friends about this experience and they encouraged me to speak with the Vocations Director. Vocations Director Fr. Matthew Long told me I needed to practice my faith for a few years to be considered for the priesthood. I was eager to do just that. I moved to Shreveport and joined Holy Trinity Parish. A new job, a new faith, I was ready! I couldn’t have asked for a better guide to this faith than my pastor, Msgr. Earl Provenza. We quickly became very good friends and he showed me the gift and sacrifice of the priesthood. I became more and more in love with the Church and service to others. I was active in the church inside and out, especially with service to those in need through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. I found a routine and was becoming comfortable with my new

Catholic way of life when I was invited to attend an ACTS retreat. I had never been on retreat before and didn’t know what to expect. I went in with an open mind and heart and with an intention to understand what God’s plans were for me and for my life. It was there the Holy Spirit moved and spoke to me in such a real way. I was kneeling at the foot of the bed, praying while looking at the crucifix, I heard Jesus ask me three times, “Chris, do you love me?” I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to His priesthood. I couldn’t wait to get back and speak with Fr. Long again. I completed my application and turned it into the diocese. I met with Fr. Jerry Daigle, current Vocations Director, to discuss my application and fill him in on my journey up to this point. Upon review of my application, there appeared to be one thing that hindered me taking my next steps: my educational debt. I wasn’t sure what the next steps were or how I would overcome this hurdle. Many hours of prayer and adoration were answered with an introduction to the Labouré Society. The Labouré Society has answered the call of assisting men and women in their journey of discerning a vocation by helping them overcome educational debt. I’m now part of a class of 16 other men and women who are raising money for church vocations. Any donation made in my honor gets me and my classmates closer to our vocation. Approved by the Catholic Church, this organization has helped over 300 people enter formation. I’ve learned to consult with God through prayer and active listening now before making changes and decisions in my life. I know that Christ and the Blessed Mother are watching over each of us and I truly feel the Holy Spirit is guiding and encouraging me in this journey. We all must follow our vocations, and even when they seem impossible, God is ready to show us nothing is impossible when He is directing the way. It is good for us all to pray for each other. I appreciate your prayers for me as I continue to discern God’s call in my life, and rest assured of my prayers for you as you similarly try to discern God’s call in yours. If you have questions about my vocation story, my work with the Labouré Society, or would simply like to visit, please feel free to contact me. May God continue to bless each of us! chrisd@laboureaspirant.org https://labouresociety.org/christopher-dixon • If you would like more information on the priesthood, contact Fr. Jerry Daigle: jdaigle@dioshpt.org, or call 318-868-4441.

NOVEMBER 2018 13


Shreveport Martyrs and the

1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic by Fr. Peter Mangum, Ryan Smith and Dr. Cheryl White

I

Their stories, while tragic, are yet inspiring in their witness to n the late summer of 1873, Shreveport was besieged by the very ideal given us by Christ: “Greater love has no one than the third worst epidemic of Yellow Fever that is recorded this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) in United States history. On scale, the population loss The religious demographic of Shreveport in 1873 reflected was unprecedented. From late August until early November, a city that was mostly Protestant, but with a large Jewish Shreveport lost approximately one-fourth of its population population as well. Roman Catholics were but a small to an illness that no one fully understood, although previous minority, and indeed, only three priests were assigned here at experience had taught that once the first frost arrived, the the time. Shreveport was a remote location of the Diocese of epidemic would abate. No one had yet made the connection Natchitoches, founded in 1853. Its first bishop, Auguste Marie that the virus of Yellow Fever is actually mosquito-borne, and Martin, recruited priests and seminarians in fact, requires the third vector of the insect to spread in a human population. from the Archdiocese of Rennes in France The Sisters of the to come to northern Louisiana. Among Because of the unique conditions of a DAUGHTERS OF THE those men were five who could not have transient commercial population in this known at the time that their mission in river port city, the density of population, CROSS WORKED Louisiana meant going to their deaths. and as home to a large mosquito ALONGSIDE THE Fr. Jean Pierre, the founding pastor of population in the summer months, CLERGY to minister Holy Trinity, had been in the area since Shreveport was no stranger to the illness. However, the scale and ferocity of the 1854, when Bishop Martin first assigned to both physical and him to Holy Apostles parish church in epidemic of 1873 proved to be one for spiritual needs. the Bayou Pierre community (Carmel, the history books. This year marks the Louisiana today). Fr. Pierre built the first 145th anniversary of this milestone in Shreveport history, but it marks a significant passage of Catholic Catholic parish of Holy Trinity in Shreveport, and by the time of the Yellow Fever outbreak in 1873, he had only recently been history, as well. joined by an associate pastor, the young 26-year old Fr. Isidore Counted among the city’s dead were five Roman Catholic Quemerais. At the Daughters of the Cross convent, located priests and two religious sisters of the Daughters of the Cross, as well as a young novice of that order. The sacrifice of on the site of the old Fairfield Plantation, Fr. Narcisse Le Biler their lives in the service of the city’s sick and dying provides served as chaplain. With the Yellow Fever virus spreading rapidly, the Daughters compelling testimony to the Christian virtue of charity, and their willingness to die for others is a model for true selflessness. of the Cross convent opened its doors as a hospital, as did Holy

14 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION


The five priests who died in service to God's people in the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873 are depicted in the stained glass windows of Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport. From left to right: 1. Father Louis Gergaud 2. Father Narcisse Le Biler, 3. Father Jean Pierre 4. Father Isidore Quemerais. 5. Father Francois LeVezouet

Trinity and many other churches, and even private homes throughout the city. Those who undertook the care of the sick and dying knew well the risks, and as the epidemic grew in both strength and numbers of lives claimed, it became apparent that 1873 was worse than the region had ever seen. Yet, the care for others did not cease. The sisters of the Daughters of the Cross worked alongside the clergy to minister to both physical and spiritual needs. On September 15, 1873, Fr. Isidore Quemerais died of the virus. The following day, September 16, Fr. Jean Pierre succumbed as well. Two days later, on September 18, realizing that he was also ill with Yellow Fever, Fr. Le Biler sent a telegram to Fr. Louis Gergaud, pastor of St. Matthew Church in Monroe, asking for help. Fr. Gergaud boarded a stagecoach bound for Shreveport, and his final words to his assistant were, “Write to the bishop and tell him I go to my death. It is my duty, and I must go.” Indeed, Fr. Gergaud’s prophecy proved true, for he contracted the virus almost immediately upon arriving in Shreveport, and died on October 1. Providentially, Fr. Gergaud arrived in time to provide comfort and final sacraments to Fr. Le Biler, who died on September 26. At the convent hospital, the epidemic had also

already claimed the lives of Sister Marie Martha on September 17, and Sister Marie Angela on September 23. Also receiving word about the increasingly desperate situation in Shreveport was Fr. Francois LeVezouet in Natchitoches. The ensuing meeting between Bishop Martin and Fr. LeVezouet is recounted in this excerpt from a forthcoming book by these authors about the Shreveport martyrs: Upon his return to the Natchitoches Cathedral of St. Francis on Second Street, positioned just one block from a dead arm channel of the Red River, Father LeVezouet tied up his horse at the stable near the rectory, where he was soon met by the grim face of Bishop Auguste Marie Martin. The Bishop wasted no time in handing LeVezouet the two documents. The parish priest unfolded the letters and examined them. One was a desperate letter scrawled by Mother Mary Hyacinth Le Conniat at the Fairfield convent and girl’s academy on the southern outskirts of Shreveport. The matron was bearing witness to the virtual eradication of the small Catholic community there and she feared Shreveport and its suffering masses would soon be without the sacraments. Both of the priests in the city were deadly sick and the strong probability was arising that they would soon die in tandem. She was concerned also there would be no clergy remaining to carry on the affairs of the mission, to offer the daily Masses, let alone minister to the multitudes of the sick and dying from the sweeping epidemic. The second note was the even more worrisome letter from Father Le Biler himself, pastor of the convent, who in a desperate voice and shaking hand requested aid at once, as it was feared by all that he would not last much longer. Father LeVezouet took in the contents of the dispatches and looked up at the bishop to find him searching the priest’s face as he stood before him. A great sadness was perceptible, almost tangible in the air as the moments passed. “What would you like to do, my son?” Bishop Martin asked, at last breaking the painful silence. “Monseigneur, if you tell me to go, I go, if you leave it up to me, I stay.” Bishop Martin paused and thought for a moment trying to understand “the real meaning of his words.” The bishop was not convinced his priest was shirking in fear, but nonetheless did not understand his meaning all at once. He was puzzled, like a disciple on a Galilee hilltop awaiting the parable’s explanation: do you not yet understand? Some more painful moments passed. Then, Father LeVezouet added, “I want to go so much that, if you left the decision up to me I would believe that in going I was acting according to my own will… I do not want to do anything but the will of God.” The bishop was leveled by the piety before him. He could hardly NOVEMBER 2018 15


CATHEDRAL LAUNCHES NEW

PODCAST

MINI-SERIES HIGHLIGHTING

SHREVEPORT 1873

NO GREATER LOVE SHREVEPORT 1873

T

he Cathedral of St. John Berchmans will have a special podcast mini-series during the month of November entitled, No Greater Love: Shreveport 1873. The series will commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Yellow Fever epidemic in Shreveport, which ended in mid-November 1873. That epidemic witnessed the deaths of five Catholic priests and three religious sisters from the Daughters of the Cross. Each episode will highlight a different Shreveport “martyr to his charity,” in the order of their deaths: Fr. Isidore Quemerais, Fr. Jean Pierre, Fr. Narcisse LeBiler, Fr. Louis Gergaud, and Fr. Francois LeVezouet. The podcast series is being produced by Fr. Peter Mangum, Ryan Smith and Dr. Cheryl White, who are authoring a book on the priests and the other religious of 1873 who sacrificed their own lives in the service of others. It will be available in the iTunes store and on the Cathedral website. •

16 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

speak any further and only told the priest to make ready to go at once in relief of Shreveport. Fr. LeVezouet arrived in Shreveport just in time to provide viaticum to Fr. Louis Gergaud on October 1. It was not long before Fr. LeVezouet was also ill and knew his own death was near. He died on October 8, but not before two priests from New Orleans arrived. Fr. James Duffo, S.J. and Fr. J. Ferrec both had been exposed to Yellow Fever before, and their arrival in Shreveport was timed, yet again, to assure that the Catholics of the city were never without the sacraments. By that time, a third death had been recorded at the convent. Sister Rose of Lima, who was yet a novice, died October 5. It is remarkable, and even miraculous, that the grim timeline of 1873 bears out such Providential care at work. Each priest arrived in succession, just in time to care for the one before, with the end of their lives timed so that the terminal phase was not reached until another priest could offer the sacraments. To again draw from the forthcoming book on their lives: What is certain is that Francios LeVezouet died violently, expelling black vomit throughout his last evening on Earth. Then, through Divine mercy personified, the New Orleans priests arrived by his bedside with what was recorded as only moments to spare before his passing, knowing full well it was not only his earthly cry for help they had answered, but that they were also serving the will of God. Within whatever parlor, boarding house room, or commercial structure the dying priest lay, Fathers Duffo and Ferrec

administered Francios LeVezouet, a child of God and a devoted disciple of Christ, his final sacraments, and with little time to spare as he passed quickly thereafter. Thus the New Orleanian Jesuit and the assistant pastor to the Cathedral of St. Louis were initiated into the confraternity of the charnel house priests, with the dual missions to bring hope and peace to the dying strangers surrounding them and to continue the sacraments without a moment’s secession, to the handful of remaining Catholic faithful in northwestern Louisiana. As this area commemorates the 145th anniversary of the Yellow Fever epidemic in Shreveport, it provides Catholics with an opportunity to foster a lively devotion to these priests and religious sisters who truly were martyrs to their charity. Their lives, and especially their deaths, provide the strongest possible witness to the fundamental call of our historic Catholic faith, which is to serve others. The population statistics underscore the poignant truth of their ultimate sacrifice: they did not question the creed or faith of the dying they comforted. They did not choose to suffer and die just for Catholics, but for any and all - because they were Catholic. Their ongoing witness to us is resoundingly clear, their sacrifices were not in vain, and may the memory of them be forever woven into the rich tapestry of our local Catholic identity. ------------------------------------Let us pray through the intercessions of these servants of God for divine favor for those we know who have special need of our prayer, especially the ill, as well as for ourselves and for our city. •


Q&A with Illustrator Deacon Andrew Thomas by Jessica Rinaudo

B

eginning with the cover of this issue of The Catholic Connection, we will start printing one to two pages of a graphic novel on the five priests who gave their lives in service to others in the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. Deacon Andrew Thomas is the artist behind this amazing new series. We chatted with him about his art and faith to give you an idea of the person behind the pen. Tell us a little bit about yourself - when you became a deacon, where you serve. I am married to my lovely wife, Patty, and I have four beautiful children: Sara (15), Lisa (11), Monica (10), and Benedict (4). I became a deacon on February 11, 2017, ordained on the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes for the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. I am very blessed to be serving at St. Michael Catholic Church in Murrells Inlet, SC, just south of Myrtle Beach. How did you begin drawing graphic novels? I began drawing comics at a very young age. I really loved reading comic books when I was a child. There was a group of us in sixth grade that used to collect and draw comics, and I remember distinctly getting in trouble one day for drawing one of my comics during class time. My teacher told me to write on the back of the comic book I was making, “I was drawing this during English class,” and have it signed by my parents! Did you go to art school? Yes, I was very fortunate to go to one of the best art colleges in the world, Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Our instructors there pushed us really hard on fundamental drawing skills. We had to study muscular and skeletal anatomy as well, drawing very frequently from live models. Our illustration instructors stressed the importance of sketching out and then choosing the best idea before starting the final composition. Competition was fierce, but the majority of us left the college as highly-skilled illustrators. How did you grow your talent? I have been drawing throughout my entire life. I don’t ever remember a period of my life when I was not drawing. The two desires I contemplated with respect to utilizing my art talent were either to draw animated cartoons, or to draw comic books. Animated cartoons are such an involved process and take so many artists to put together even a very short film, so I lost interest in doing so very early on. What I liked about

comic books is that one person could do them, so I decided I would illustrate comic books, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity not only to draw captivating scenes, but also to use them to tell a story. What are some other graphic novels / series you've done? My first graphic novel is a book titled, Borderline. I did most of the drawing of this book when I lived in Puebla, Mexico, early on in my marriage. I think it’s a really unique story. The main character, Bart Selmer, a south Texan, crosses the border to Mexico for the first time, and he is shocked by the level of poverty he sees, but gains a healthier perspective of his neighbors south of the border. My second graphic novel is a book titled, The Life of St. John Berchmans. I had found a reprint online of an old biography of the saint and had a strong desire to read about him. Once I found out that the miracle that led to his canonization took place only an hour west of Baton Rouge where I had grown up, I felt compelled to tell his story in a graphic novel format. I’m continuing to work on A History of the Diocese of Charleston for our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Miscellany, which will culminate in the celebration of the bicentennial year for the diocese on July 11, 2020. How does your faith play a role in your art? I decided early on, having left my graphic art career in 2002, upon entering Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, that I would only use my artwork for God’s greater glory. In the seminary, I started an illustrated book of saints, but never finished the book or my seminary formation. However, my marriage benefited tremendously from the seminary formation, and my diaconal ministry benefited from it as well, and I would again illustrate saints, but now in a more compelling graphic novel format. God had a plan! I am very thankful that all of the graphic novel work that I have been blessed to produce has been God-centered. What is your process for creating a comic book? I start by researching as much as possible. Not only do I have to understand the time period and environment that I am illustrating, but I also have to be aware of the architecture and fashion of the time. Then, I try to make a number of sketches of the main characters that I will be illustrating. Once I feel comfortable, I jump in page by page and try to bring life to each panel, starting with pencils, then brush and ink, finally adding color and dialogue with the computer. Many comic illustrators today produce all of their artwork digitally, and they certainly achieve dynamic results. I still prefer to use traditional materials, using pencil and paper, and brush and ink. I try to give my work a classic look throughout which lends itself well to the historical work I’ve produced lately. • NOVEMBER 2018 17


St. Joseph Cemetery: Remembering & Revitalizing by Kate Rhea

I

n November of 1882, less than a decade after arriving in Shreveport, Fr. Joseph Gentille, the second pastor of Holy Trinity Church was contemplating a major decision. North Louisiana’s growing Catholic population was in need of space to bury its dearly departed; a private place for peaceful rest during a turbulent time in history. His faith and devotion to his fledgling parish led him to use his own savings to establish Shreveport’s first Catholic Cemetery. He named it in honor of his patron saint, and 136 years later, St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery is still operating as a resting place for departed Catholics in the area. Since taking over operations at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in 1996, the Diocese of Shreveport has facilitated the burial of hundreds of Catholics who have the privilege of being interred in a cemetery full of rich and enduring history. St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery has developed over the decades. Its present state offers nearly 100 sections arranged into plots and crypts. In addition, a Garden Mausoleum and Chapel Mausoleum feature over 200 interred tombs. For older cemeteries, the common question is whether or not expansion is necessary or optional. In the case of St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, there are already nearly 300 plots currently available with a projected additional 200 plots which will become available when needed. Those interred at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery are in good and honorable company. Many notable persons are buried throughout the cemetery, including local religious leaders, such as two of the beloved priests who died during the Yellow Fever epidemic, 14 Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and Fr. Gentille himself. Shreveport’s early champions of entrepreneurship and philanthropy are also buried at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. One such champion is Justin Vincent Gras who came to Shreveport from France in the late 19th century, ran a successful family grocery, and later became the largest landowner in Caddo Parish by the 1920s. A benefactor of St. Vincent’s Academy and St. Mary School, Gras was 18 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

a community contributor. He is credited with the phrase, “What’s good for Shreveport is good for me!” Contributors to academia and the art world are also present at the cemetery, including Lebanese novelist Afifa Karam. Karam was an advocate for Arab Feminism who made her literary debut in 1906 by the age of 23. She was put in charge of an Arabic-language newspaper called Al-Hoda in New York City, and created al-'Ālam al-Jadīd al-Nisā'ī, a monthly periodical for women. She settled with John Karam in Shreveport and is described by biographers as an ardent and involved Catholic. Veterans of several wars are interred at St. Joseph including Pvt. A.J. Stacey, a Confederate soldier and member of Stewart’s Louisiana State Guard C.S.A. and Henry Lane Mitchell, a veteran of World War II who served as Shreveport’s public works commissioner from 1934 to 1968. Local football legend David Woodley, who played quarterback for Byrd High School, LSU and professionally for the Miami Dolphins, is buried there also. In 1983, Woodley played in Super Bowl XVII as the youngest starting quarterback in history at that time, solidifying his place in sports history. Presently over a dozen beloved Catholics and their family members are buried annually at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery and the cost of such a privilege is less prohibitive than one might imagine. With national averages for burial plots in private cemeteries hovering around $1,500, buying a plot at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery costs $750, with cremation burial rights costing considerably less at $375. The range of prices for opening and closing fees associated with burial at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery are between $850 to $1,100, depending on whether the service is held on a weekday, weekend or holiday. Other items needed for grave side services, such as tents and chairs, are available upon request and for a reasonable fee. The staff at the Diocese of Shreveport are courteous and professional with many years of experience and can answer any questions you have about the process, whether you’re planning for the future or dealing with an unexpected burial need. In early 2018, the Diocese of Shreveport honored St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery’s past by revitalizing its digital archival database for those interred over the last 100+ years. The complicated yet necessary tasks of mapping and confirming burial sections, researching records and preserving individual documents are currently underway. Cemetery prayer services, cleaning days and genealogical study groups for family members are all a part of the plan for keeping St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in the hearts and minds of Catholics in the diocese. For more information about burial costs and available spaces, please contact Ed Hydro at ehydro@dioshpt.org, or 318-2197277. If you would like information pertaining to a loved one interred at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, please contact Slattery Library and Resource Center at 318-219-7264, or e-mail Kate Rhea at krhea@dioshpt.org. •


Join Us for iGiveCatholic on Giving Tuesday by John Mark Willcox

W

shreveport.igivecatholic.org

e are excited to announce that the Diocese of Shreveport will be participating in #iGiveCatholic, the first-ever online giving day created to celebrate our unique Catholic heritage! The #iGiveCatholic Giving Day inspires faithful stewards to “Give Catholic” on Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. The goal of the #iGiveCatholic Giving Day is to rally the Catholic community of our diocese in support of the organizations that shape our souls: Our Annual Appeal programs and ministries, our Catholic schools and nonprofit ministries dedicated to helping those in need. We know that, for Catholics, generosity and giving have a profound meaning. As children of God, giving is the ultimate expression of mercy as we provide quality education to our young people and help those in need while preserving our Catholic heritage in North Louisiana for future generations. Compelled to action by our shared faith, our prayer is that area Catholics will be energized to give back with critical needed financial support. This is the first year that the Diocese of Shreveport will take part in this unique and very successful program which has provided monetary assistance to many worthy ministries over the past several years. #iGiveCatholic will take place this year on November 27th (Giving Tuesday) from midnight until 11:59 pm Central Time. Plan to visit #iGiveCatholic on the web on November 27th and remember that this is a wonderful opportunity to offer your generous support to our core efforts to serve our region through gifts to our Annual Appeal, Catholic schools, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities of North Louisiana.

If you have any questions or need more information on this year’s #iGiveCatholic day of giving, contact the Diocesan Development Office, bvice@dioshpt.org. •

Siharath Receives Catholic Credit Union Scholarship by Patricia McFatter

C

ongratulations to Joseph Alexander Siharath, recipient of the 2018 Louisiana Catholic FCU College Scholarship of $1,000! Siharath is a graduate of Loyola College Prep and will continue his studies at Louisiana Tech University. We wish Mr. Siharath much success in his future endeavors and applaud him for his accomplishments. To apply for the 2019 Louisiana Catholic FCU College Scholarship, applicants must be a graduating high school senior intending to attend college the fall following graduation, must be a member in good standing with Louisiana Catholic FCU prior to submitting the application, must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 cumulative, and must not be a child or grandchild of a LCFCU employee, Board of Directors or Supervisory Committee. Louisiana Catholic FCU will award one $1,000 scholarship and two $500 scholarships in 2019. For more information, please contact Patty McFatter at 318-212-0391. NOVEMBER 2018 19


Gratefulness is the Secret to Graceful Aging by Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS

O

ld age is a proving ground for faith and just another season of life. The wonder of it all is that gratitude can stretch your mind if you allow it to capture you. It breathes in this wonder and breathes it out during this season when we live in gratitude and thanksgiving. How enriched our lives can be by this wonder shared with others! To grow old spiritually is only possible when we live that new season as a thankful person. Gratefulness is the secret of graceful aging. Aging is all God’s doing, so don’t fight it. Pope Francis says that older people still have a lot to offer younger people. God calls them to become spiritual

grandparents to the youth, in spite of many people, he says, who might not want older people around. They might call them the “gerontocracy of the Church,” but older people say they don’t know what they are talking about. We’re not geriatrics, we’re grandparents! God says, according to Pope Francis, “Get up, Look! Hope!” Grandparents share a sense of life and experience with their grandchildren. This is a beautiful reflection from Pope Francis. Nature brings out the true spirit of a person because they are in touch with the most noble parts of their life in ways they couldn’t have been in younger years.

Living a spirited life is what aging is all about. Join the profession of aging! Being grateful for all this during the season of Thanksgiving can break all boundaries between people. It shows that we are still the “psycho-spiritual us” wherever we are. Let it show as you honor the season, your families, friends, as it’s a season of our souls. Dazzle everyone! We’ve learned how to fight our culture’s allergy to aging and remember, no one stays young forever. Victor Hugo said, “When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.” With or without turkey, this month will be a great celebration! How stunningly blessed we are to have in the Catholic faith, the central point, the EUCHARIST as THANKSGIVING. We can trust in Jesus, in the Eucharist. Electrify the whole world by breaking all barriers that separate us and treat everyone with dignity and respect as Jesus did. Have a marvelous season of Thanksgiving and gratitude. •

Saying Yes to Embrace Grace!

O

by L'Anne Sciba

n October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the fifth Embrace Grace Baby Shower was sponsored by the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans and Mary’s House. Thirteen young mothers were honored because they are carrying babies in tough circumstances, but they said “YES” to the invitation to attend 12 classes at Mary’s House – classes that introduced them to Jesus, new people, practical information and the Church. What is just as wonderful is that women and men from eight parishes in the diocese and other groups in Shreveport said “YES!” to pray, bring gifts and/or to attend this Embrace Grace Baby Shower. The Embrace Grace vision is to give single, pregnant women a church to go to for spiritual, emotional and physical support. The Embrace Grace mission is to inspire and equip the Church to love single and pregnant young women and their families. Both the girls and the people of the Church step out of their 20 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

comfort zones to make an Embrace Grace class and baby shower happen. Thank you for your prayers, gifts, work and attendance at the Embrace Grace Baby Shower. •


Catholic Charities: Making a Difference by Meg Goorley, Executive Director of CCNLA

M

ost of the people who reach out to Catholic Charities of North Louisiana need some financial assistance with utilities and/ or rent. Often I’m asked, “How do you know if you’re making a difference?” referring to the help we give the poor and vulnerable we serve. The answer to that question is multi-faceted. Before discovering the need, everyone requesting financial assistance is required to attend the Money School, a roughly three-hour class which helps people recognize “leaks” in their finances. The classes are held at each of our offices in Shreveport, Monroe and Lake Providence. I have personally attended this class multiple times and learned something new at every single one. During the session, each attendee takes a pre-test and post-test to determine how much information is being absorbed. The average increase in financial knowledge is 40 percent. In addition to the test, we provide a survey at the end, asking our clients specifically what they thought of the Money School. Here are some of their responses: “It made me realize I need to get a job and SAVE.” “I’m going to write down everything I spend money on.” “Thank you for taking time out to help me learn to make the right decisions.” “I need to eliminate the LEAKS!” After the Money School, each client is offered a one-on-one counseling session with a case manager, free of charge. During this visit our case managers really dissect each person’s finances and delve into the problems people are experiencing. Overall, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana helps less than half of the people seeking monetary assistance, due to a lack of funding. There are many more people who truly need our help—and

SEMINARIAN BURSES

THANKS TO OUR RECENT DONORS • (001) Dr. George and Sandra Bakowski Foundation ($500)

• (016) James A. Frantz ($1,000) COMPLETED BURSES • (001) Fr. Mike Bakowski Memorial Burse ($10,000) • (010) Memory of Rita Scott from the John Scott Family ($10,000) • (012) Jack E. Caplis, Jr., Memorial Burse ($10,000) • (013) Mary Evans Caplis Burse ($10,000) Volunteer Lauren Gore surveys clients three months after they’ve attended Money School.

qualify—but our budget simply cannot accommodate everyone who enters our doors. Finally, a sampling of all who attended the Money School (those helped and not helped by CCNLA) are given a phone survey after three months to determine changes in the clients’ situation. Here is the combined result from our surveys: Gained Habits 73% (such as tracking spending, purchasing needs vs. wants, etc.) Opened a Bank Account 12% Gained Employment 19% Increased Income 27% (average increase: $1,032.58) Current on Rent 72% Current on all Utilities 55% **Disclaimer: Individuals may not seek help again from CCNLA until 24 months have passed, and they must be able to prove that the tools we gave them were being used, e.g. tracking spending. So, “How do you know if you’re making a difference?” can be answered by our clients, their statistics, and the respect we’ve earned from other non-profits in the community who use Catholic Charities as a benchmark. Catholic Charities is supported by the Community Foundation of NW Louisiana, Beaird Family Foundation, Grayson Foundation, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, Louisiana State Bar Association, Jonesboro State Bank, First United Methodist Church of Shreveport, Walmart and the Diocese of Shreveport. •

INCOMPLETE BURSES • (001) Fr. Mike Bakowski Memorial Burse #2 ($500) • (002) Joseph & Antoinette Bakowski Memorial Burse ($2,100) • (003) Sam R. Maranto Memorial Burse ($1,200) • (004) Kathryn Atherton Cook Memorial Burse ($350) • (005) Cathedral of St. John Berchmans ($250) • (006) Msgr. J. Carson LaCaze Memorial Burse ($3,545) • (007) Dr. Carol Christopher Memorial Burse ($1,300) • (008) St. Jude Parish ($5,718) • (009) St. John Berchmans Knights of Columbus Council #10728 ($450) • (011) Rev. David Richter Memorial Burse ($6,935) • (014) Bob & Peggy Semmes Memorial Burse ($6,100) • (015) Bishop’s Seminarian Burse ($260) • (016) Elaine Malloy Frantz Memorial Burse ($1,000) For more information on donating to seminarian burses for the support of educating men in formation for the priesthood for our diocese, contact Fr. Jerry Daigle 318-868-4441, or jdaigle@dioshpt.org. • NOVEMBER 2018 21


ACROSS THE NATION

The Seven in Heaven: Meet the Recently Canonized Saints by Jonah McKeown • Photos by Daniel Ibanez, Catholic News Agency

V

ATICAN CITY, (ACI Prensa) - Meet the seven people Pope Francis officially recognized as saints of the Catholic Church on Sunday, October 14. Below are brief biographies on each of their lives, as well as photos of each saint’s banner currently on display at the Vatican. SAINT POPE PAUL VI Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 and ordained a priest in 1920, he did graduate studies in literature, philosophy and Canon Law in Rome before beginning to work for the Vatican Secretariat of State. In 1954, he was named Archbishop of Milan, and in 1958 was made a Cardinal by Pope John XXIII. As a Cardinal, he helped to arrange the Second Vatican Council and chose to continue the council after he became pope. Montini was elected as Pope Paul VI in 1963 at age 65, not long after the start of the second Vatican Council. This was a difficult time for the Church and for the world, as the “Sexual Revolution” was in full swing and the struggle for civil rights in the United States in particular was at its peak. Paul VI is perhaps most noted for his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which served as the Church’s official rebuke to artificial contraception, prohibiting its use. Paul VI died in 1978 and Pope Francis beatified him in 2014. SAINT OSCAR ROMERO Born in 1917 in El Salvador, Romero was auxiliary bishop of San Salvador for four years before being elevated to Archbishop in 1977. He was an outspoken defender of the rights of the poor in El Salvador, who were being terrorized by right-wing military death squads, mainly because of protests over the extreme economic inequality in the country in the 20th century. His weekly homilies, broadcast across the country on radio, were a galvanizing force for the country’s poor as well as a reliable source of news. In addition to speaking out against the government’s actions El Salvador, he also criticized the US government for backing the military junta that seized El Salvador 22 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

in 1979, and even wrote to Jimmy Carter in February 1980 asking him to stop supporting the repressive regime. In March 1980, Romero was assassinated, likely by a rightwing death squad, while celebrating Mass. Pope Francis beatified Romero in 2015. SAINT VINCENT ROMANO Born in 1751 and ordained a priest in 1775, Romano had studied the writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori and developed a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He spent his whole life as a priest in Torre del Greco and was known for his simple ways and his care for orphans. He worked to rebuild his parish, often with his bare hands, after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1794. He died in December 1831 of pneumonia and was beatified by Paul VI in 1963. SAINT FRANCESCO SPINELLI Born in Milan in 1853, Spinelli entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1875. He began his apostolate educating the poor and also served as a seminary professor, spiritual director, and counselor for several women’s religious communities. In 1882, Fr. Spinelli met Caterina Comensoli, with whom he would found the Institute of the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. The sisters dedicated themselves to Eucharistic adoration day and night, which inspired their service to the poor and suffering. He died in 1913. Today his institute has around 250 communities in Italy, Congo, Senegal, Cameroon, Colombia and Argentina. Their ministries include caring for people with HIV, orphans, drug addicts and prisoners. St. John Paul II beatified him in 1992. SAINT NUNZIO SULPRIZIO Born in Pescosansonesco, Italy in 1817, Sulprizio lost both of his parents at age six and was brought up by an uncle who exploited him for hard labor. Fatigued and often


given dangerous assignments, he developed gangrene and eventually lost his leg. Despite his tremendous suffering, he would reportedly make statements such as: “Jesus suffered a lot for me. Why should I not suffer for him? I would die in order to convert even one sinner.” He recovered from the gangrene and dedicated himself to helping other patients before his health deteriorated again. Sulprizio died of bone cancer in 1836, when he was only 19 years old. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1963. SAINT NAZARIA IGNACIA MARCH MESA Born in 1889 in Madrid, Spain, Nazaria was the fourth of 18 children. Growing up, her family was indifferent and sometimes even hostile to her desire to enter religious life, but later she led several family members back to the Church when she entered the Franciscan Third Order. Her family moved to Mexico in 1904, and Nazarie met sisters of the Institute of Sisters of the Abandoned Elders, who inspired her to join their order. In 1915, she chose to take perpetual vows with the order in Mexico City and was assigned to a hospice in Oruro, Bolivia for 12 years. Beginning in 1920, she felt a call to found a new order dedicated to missionary work. In June 1925, she founded the Pontifical Crusade, later renamed the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, with the mission to catechize children and adults, support the work of priests, conduct missions and to print and distribute short religious tracts. Many opposed her work, but Nazaria pressed on.

Her order cared for soldiers on both sides of the 1932-35 war between Paraguay and Bolivia, and she herself survived persecutions in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. She died in July 1943, and four years later Pope Pius XII finally granted papal approval to the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, which by that time had spread throughout South America and begun work in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Cameroon. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1992. SAINT MARIA KATHARINA KASPER Born in Dembach, Germany in 1820 as Catherine Kasper, she attended very little school because of poor health. Despite this, she began to help the poor, the abandoned and the sick at a young age. Her mother taught her household chores, as well as how to spin and weave fabric. After her father died when she was 21, Catherine worked the land as a farm hand for about 10 cents a day. Her helpfulness toward others attracted other women to her, and she felt a call to the religious life, but knew she needed to stay and support her mother, who was in poor health. After her mother died, Catherine started, with the approval of the bishop of Limburg, Germany, a small house with several friends who also felt the call. In 1851 she and four other women officially took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and formed the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Catherine, known in the religious community as Mother Mary, served five consecutive terms as superior of the house and continued to work with novices and to open houses for their order all over the world. Today there are 690 sisters in 104 houses in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Mexico and India. She died of a heart attack in February 1898, and Pope Paul VI beatified her in 1978. • NOVEMBER 2018 23


Kids'

Connection

Shreveport Yellow Fever Martyrs Scavenger Hunt!

Visit Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport and find the stained glass windows depicting these priests. You will see their names by their pictures in the church windows. Can you identify them?

1

2

3

Who Were They? Bishop Auguste Marie Martin asked priests and seminarians from the Archdiocese of Rennes in France for their help in north Louisiana. Included with those who came from France were five priests:

1. Fr. Jean Pierre

4

5

(founder of Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport)

2. Fr. Isidore Quemerais (associate pastor of Holy Trinity)

Word Find

Shreveport Yellow Fever Martyrs

3. Fr. Narcisse Le Biler (chaplain to the Daughters of the Cross convent)

EPIDEMIC

4. Fr. Louis Gergaud

FEVER

(pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Monroe)

FRANCE GERGAUD HOLY TRINITY LE BILER LEVEZOUET LOUISIANA MARTYRS PIERRE QUEMERAIS SHREVEPORT YELLOW 24 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

5. Fr. Francoise LeVezouet (serving in Natchitoches) Each came to serve those suffering from Yellow Fever in Shreveport, arriving in time to serve before the priest before him died, thus Shreveport was never without the sacraments.


HISPANIC NEWS

San Óscar Arnulfo Romero, Canonizado el 14 de Octubre del 2018 por Rosalba Quiroz

Reconociendo su martirio el Papa Francisco lo beatificó el 25 de mayo del 2015. La curación inexplicable de una mujer, Cecilia Flores y su milagrosa recuperación fue el milagro aprobado que permitió declararlo santo el 14 de Octubre del 2018 en la Plaza de San Pedro en Roma. A la joven mamá se le hizo cesárea esperando que ella moriría pues todas las pruebas indicaban que no sobreviviría. Se dice que sus amistades también rezaban por la intercesión del beato y en un lapso de cinco días, de manera inexplicable, la mujer mejoró y además se curó por completo. Su curación no tiene explicación científica solo la intercesión del ahora Santo Oscar Romero. El siguiente párrafo es parte de una oración hermosa hecha por Monseñor Romero y va muy en acorde con los que ayudamos en la iglesia. SOMOS PROFETAS DE UN FUTURO QUE NO ES NUESTRO- De vez en cuando, dar un paso atrás nos ayuda a tomar una perspectiva mejor. El Reino no sólo está más allá de nuestros esfuerzos, sino incluso más allá de nuestra visión. Durante nuestra vida, sólo realizamos una minúscula parte de esa magnífica empresa que es la obra de Dios... Esto es lo que intentamos hacer: plantamos semillas que un día crecerán; regamos semillas ya plantadas, sabiendo que son promesa de futuro… Puede que sea incompleto, pero es un principio, un paso en el camino, una ocasión para que entre la gracia del Señor y haga el resto... S. E. Mons. Óscar Romero Como Msgr. Romero tratemos de hacer nuestra parte en este mundo que como decimos la vida es muy corta y solo podremos contribuir una pequeñísima parte pero que lo hagamos con amor y entrega. •

Foto: David Ramos/Catholic News Agency

M

onseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero nació en Ciudad Barrios, al este de El Salvador, el 15 de agosto de 1917. Se ordenó como religioso Jesuita en 1942. Fue nombrado Arzobispo de San Salvador por el Papa Pablo VI en 1977. Su gobierno pastoral destacó por la defensa de los derechos humanos, en medio de una naciente guerra civil. En sus homilías, Mons. Romero denunciaba los atentados cometidos por el gobierno militar. El Papa VI lo apoyó en su defensa de los más débiles y oprimidos por el gobierno. Desafortunadamente, el 24 de marzo de 1980, Mons. Romero fue asesinado por un francotirador frente al altar donde celebraba Misa.

Calendario del Mes Novimbre del 2018 9-11. Retiro para jóvenes adultos Experiencia Cristo, Scottsville, TX. 17. Escuela de Liderazgo Pastoral. Parroquia de Cristo Rey de 9:00am-5pm. 22. Día de Acción de Gracias – centro católico cerrado. MINISTERIO HISPANO CATOLICO - DIOCESIS Rosalba Quiroz, Directora (318) 219-7265; rquiroz@dioshpt.org Melina Sanchez, Secretaria (318) 219-7257; msanchez@dioshpt.org Cristo Rey: Bossier City

425 McCormick Street P. Rigo Betancurt P. Mark Watson (318) 221-0238 Domingo-1:00pm Lunes y Martes-7pm Sabado-6pm

Santo Tomás Aquino: Ruston

810 Carey Avenue P. Tony Posadas (318) 243-0115 Domingo-1:30pm

Sta Maria de los Pinos: Shreveport

1050 Bert Kouns Ind. Loop P. Fidel Mondragon (318) 455-2300 Domingo-11:30am

Vicario General para la Diocesis de Shreveport Padre Rothell Price, V.G. (318)219-7259; rprice@dioshpt.org Coordinador de la Vicaria del Este Padre Luis Jost, OFM (318) 243-0115; pluisofm@yahoo.com

San Pascual: W. Monroe

711 North 7th Street P. Luis Jost (318) 243-0115 Domingo-4:00pm Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro: Farmerville

600 East Water Street P. Luis Jost (318) 243-0115 Sábado-7:00pm

San Juan Bautista: Many

1130 San Antonio Ave. P. Francis Kamau (318) 256-5680 1er Domingo de Mes-5pm

Sagrado Corazon: Oak Grove

201 Purvis St. P. Joseph Kallookalam (318) 559-2876 Domingo-5:00pm

NOVEMBER 2018 25


SCHOOL NEWS

James Named National Merit Semifinalist

S

t. Frederick’s Julian James was recently chosen as a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Approximately 1.6 million students were submitted from 22,000 high schools vying for a chance to become a finalist in the scholarship program. Julian is one of only 16,000 students chosen after a rigorous qualifying process. The chosen students must meet several standards, including a record of high academic performance in college preparatory course work, SAT scores and PSAT performance. They must also write a detailed essay outlining their volunteer service, leadership positions, honors and awards, and their overall academic achievements. There are three levels of the scholarship awarded each year totaling more than $31 million. •

F

JGS Participates in the SVdP Walk

O

n Wednesday, September 26, Jesus the Good Shepherd School hosted the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Friends of the Poor Walk/Run. JGS had a total of 152 students arrive at 7:30 a.m. to run/walk in support of the SVdP charity. We are very proud of our students’ participation and involvement in this wonderful event each year. •

SJB to Begin STEM Certification

W

e are proud to announce that St. John Berchmans School will begin the re-accreditation process for AdvancED in the spring. In addition, we will begin the process for STEM Certification. AdvancED STEM Certification is a mark of STEM distinction and excellence for those institutions that are granted the certification. We will be honored to be one of two schools in the state of Louisiana with this distinction. •

Loyola Students Tutor at St. Joseph School

or five years now, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, members of the Loyola College Prep chapter of the National Honor Society leave school to offer their time and talents to students at St. Joseph Catholic School through an after-school tutoring program that has become a win-win situation for kids on both sides of the books. Loyola NHS students get to share their knowledge with younger students, remind themselves of all they have learned, and serve as positive role models for the students they help. Some of the Loyola students are SJS alums, giving back to the school that played a major role in teaching and guiding them to be the young men and women they are today. NHS sponsor Linda Harris said, “The tutoring program gives the NHS members a chance to connect with younger students and gives both the tutors and their young charges the opportunity to find their wings and develop the courage and strength to fly.” Currently there are 100 members in NHS at Loyola, and nine of them are present to tutor per session. • 26 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION


Alumni Henderson and Faust Thank Loyola AP Preparation for College-Level Success

Why I Love Catholic featuring

School

Zoe Kudlas

Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic School

I

Loyola Alumni Nick Henderson and Ali Faust

B

oth receiving National AdvancedPlacement Scholar awards, Loyola alumni Nick Henderson and Ali Faust have reached senior status with 4.0 GPAs in only their second year at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The two Ragin Cajuns are working towards medical careers as Henderson is majoring in physics and mathematics, and Faust is studying biology with intentions to become a doublemajor in chemistry. Loyola College Prep takes pride in three pillars: academic excellence, faith in action and student involvement. Both alumni show exemplary performances in academic excellence with recognition in the Top 50 Undergraduates in the College of Sciences at ULL. Each led their high school class of 2017 prior to their university accomplishments. Faust marked a 4.0 GPA serving as the valedictorian, and Henderson additionally graduated at the top of the class. While at Loyola, each partook in advanced-placement courses where they built a solid academic foundation. “They were great at academically and mentally preparing us to not need to be guided

love Catholic school because we get to attend religion class daily, and weekly school Mass at JGS Church. In religion class we learn about God, the saints, the Church and the sacraments. The Eucharist is my favorite sacrament, because I am receiving the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist brings me closer to God each time I receive it. Every student at JGS is given the opportunity to take part in the Mass as readers, choir members, gift bearers, altar servers, song announcers and prayer intention readers. I love the fact that we are able to pray at school whenever we feel the need. The teachers and students always have a kind smile and a helpful spirit,

which makes my day even better. I am truly thankful that I attend a school where I receive an outstanding education and I am also encouraged to worship freely. •

down the academic path. They taught us to be more independent students and study on our own, while still being there to help,” Henderson said. Out of 15 advanced-placement courses offered at Loyola, Henderson completed nine, and Faust 10. The duo agreed that they were “wellprepared” for their AP exams that were a“breeze” thanks to the Flyer faculty. “The teachers at Loyola were really good, and they taught us the skills we needed to learn on our own and really study to do well in school,” Henderson said. “My experience at Loyola taught me good work ethic,” Faust added. “I also grew spiritually in the Catholic

Jesus the Good Shepherd School 318-325-8569 environment. It prepared me to go off on my own.” With goals to work in medical research, Faust currently assists in processing and banding birds to then extract DNA samples in an oncampus lab for studying infectious diseases in birds, specifically malaria. Henderson additionally aspires to work in medical research, but with a physics and mathematical angle. He is already gaining experience in campus employment where he performs direct-STIM (Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy). This process entails using particle accelerators to send positively charged ions into a sample that is then prepared for use as highresolution images of cells or tissue. • NOVEMBER 2018 27


AROUND THE DIOCESE

1

P

Blessing of the Pets in Many

arishioners of St. John the Baptist Parish gathered for the annual Blessing of the Pets on October 3 in Many. (1)

Rodeo Roundup for Jesus in Minden

2

R

odeo Roundup for Jesus” was a riproaring good time at St. Paul Parish in Minden. The focus was on our “Cowboy Commandments” during the Barnyard Bible Study. The kids are now better prepared to “pan for souls.” (2)

3

S

Family Rosary at St. Jude Parish

t. Jude held a GIFT Family Rosary in October. The Pre-K through Kindergarten students had a cupcake rosary, and the 1st through 5th grade students prayed the rosary outside, using balloons attached to our living rosary. (3)

Companions on the Journey at LA Tech

4

28 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

T

o help the newest bulldogs settle into college life with the least amount of stress possible, the Association of Catholic Tech Students (ACTS) sponsors a peer ministry program called “Freshmen Crossing.” With ACTS vision of “Being Catholic at Tech,” an integral part of Freshmen Crossing is that returning members are paired up with freshmen as “companions.” This companionship finds its roots in early Christianity as Jesus tells his disciples to companion each other on the journey. Companionship gives a sense of equality and cooperation as opposed to a “Big Brother or Sister.” The bond formed between the two is mutually social and spiritual, rather than one being superior to the other. This year, 15 companion groups were formed helping our freshmen “cross over” into their new lives of “Being Catholic at Tech.”(4)


S

Blue Mass in Bastrop

t. Joseph Parish in Bastrop welcomed the community and surrounding areas to the 15th Annual Blue Mass, which honors police officers, sheriffs, firefighters, first responders, emergency medical technicians, state troopers and support personnel. Fr. Richard Norsworthy, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Zwolle, served as principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass. (5)

5

6

Lirette Wins for KOC Christmas Contest

A

lex Lirette of St. Pius X Parish was recently presented with a Best-in-State award for his entry in the “Keep Christ in Christmas� poster contest by the Knights of Columbus. Eight-year-old Alex loves to draw and paint, and is home-schooled. He previously won first place in the district competition for his age level. At state level, his poster was selected from over 100 other entries. (6)

7

SPY Youth Serve Homeless

S

everal of the St. Paschal Jr. High youth group spent their Columbus Day holiday serving lunch to the homeless at Grace Place Ministry in Monroe. They also sorted and folded donated clothes in the clothes pantry to make it easier for guests to find what they need. (7)

KOC Support Education

T

he Knights of Columbus presented Fr. Peter Mangum, Diocesan Administrator, with a check in support of adult education. Pictured left to right are Knights (back) Kenny Birch, Tommy Canizaro, Glenn Scioneaux, Jack Gustafson (front) Steve Cude and Fr. Peter Mangum (8)

8

9

Fall Fair at Sacred Heart

S

acred Heart of Jesus Church in Shreveport had their fall fair on September 30, with a dunking booth, petting zoo, horseback riding, cake walk, bingo, a band, Humane Society rescue mission, face painting and a variety of games with plenty of food. All had a great time dunking Fr. John Paul Crispin, Deacon Clary Nash, Mary Chauvin and Richard Guzman. (9)

Send submissions to "Around the Diocese" to jrinaudo@dioshpt.org. Please include a photo that has not been resized and a brief description. NOVEMBER 2018 29


NOVEMBER CALENDAR November 9-11

Experiencia Cristo Retreat Retiro “experiencia Cristo #8" para jovenes adultos de 18-35 años de edad en el campamento de Scottsvile, TX.

PRISON MINISTRY WORKSHOP

November 10

Protecting God’s Children St. Paschal Parish, West Monroe, 9:00 a.m. For more information, email Deacon Mike Straub at mstraub@ dioshpt.org.

Diocesan Prison Ministry Workshop • November 10

FEAST DAYS

November 22

Saturday, November 10,&2018 St. Cecilia, virgin martyr All Saints Day 8:30 am November to 4 pm 23 Holy Day of Obligation Catholic Center St. Clement I, pope & martyr; Catholic Center Closed November 1

St. Columban, abbot; Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, priest & martyr November 2 All Souls workshop is for anyone in prison ministry, ThisDay November 24 it: more about or anyone who wants to learn St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest, & November 3 * Re-entry companions, martyrs St. Martin de Porres, religious * Restorative Justice November 25 November 9 * Meet other prison ministers Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica * All are welcome Universe

November 10

November 30 St. Leo the Great, pope & doctor of Registration is free, and includes continental breakfast and lunch. St. Andrew, apostle the Contact Church Regina White to register: (318) 219-7311, rwhite@dioshpt.org Deadline to register is November 1st. November 12 HOLIDAYS

St. Josaphat, bishop & martyr

November 13

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin

November 15

St. Albert the Great, bishop & doctor of the Church

November 16

St. Margaret of Scotland & St. Gertrude, virgin

November 17

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious

November 21

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 30 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

November 11

November 10

Prison Ministry Workshop This workshop is for anyone in prison ministry, or anyone who wants to learn more about it, including re-entry, restorative justice and meeting other prison ministers. Registration is free and includes breakfast and lunch. Saturday, November 10, 8:30am to 4:00 pm at the Catholic Center. Register by November 1 with Regina White, rwhite@dioshpt.org or 318219-7311. All are welcome.

November 13

Theology on Tap: Monroe This event is an opportunity for young adults to come together and learn more about a topic of the Catholic faith. Join us at Fieldhouse Bar and Grill in Monroe at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email Melina Sanchez at msanchez@dioshpt.org.

Veteran's Day

November 22

Thanksgiving Catholic Center Closed (through 11/23)

DIOCESAN EVENTS November 8

Theology on Tap: Shreveport This event is an opportunity for young adults to come together and learn more about a topic of the Catholic faith. Join us at Rotolo’s at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email Melina Sanchez at msanchez@dioshpt.org.

Save the Date: Fête for Life, Bossier City • February 19


67th Annual Conference of Chancery & Tribunal Officials: Nov. 27- 29

November 14

Protecting God’s Children Catholic Center, Shreveport, 6:00 p.m. For more information, email Deacon Mike Straub at mstraub@ dioshpt.org.

November 27

Protecting God’s Children Catholic Center, Shreveport, 9:00 a.m. For more information, email Deacon Mike Straub at mstraub@ dioshpt.org.

PARISH EVENTS November 2

Missa Cantata Requiem Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Please join the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans on All Souls Day at 5:30 p.m. The Mass will feature the music of W.A. Mozart’s Requiem, sung by the Cathedral Choir and St. Cecilia Diocesan Choir.

November 2 & 3

Mission Marketplace Shreveport churches are joining efforts to put on a fair-trade Mission Marketplace Nov. 2-3 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church. The event features handmade items for sale – foods and beverages, jewelry, pottery, woven baskets, candles, scarves, dolls, soaps, purses and Christmas items from artisans. Mission Marketplace is a faithbased, ecumenical initiative to improve the lives of people all over the world by hosting a yearly market where fair-trade gifts are sold. All proceeds go back to the mission to support underdeveloped nations fight poverty and give the artisans a chance to proudly sell their wares. A preview event runs Friday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for a $10 admission. There is no cost Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Broadmoor United Methodist Church is located at 3715 Youree Drive in Shreveport.

Mission Marketplace, Shreveport • November 2 & 3 November 5-7

Parish Mission at St. Paschal Parish At 6:30 p.m. November 5, 6 and 7 at St. Paschal Gymnasium, Fr. Pat Madden will present “The Three Advents of Christ:” 1) The Advent in Bethlehem 2) the Advent at the End of Time 3) The Advent in the Hearts of All Who Believe. Everyone is invited. St. Paschal Parish is located at 711 North 7th St. in West Monroe. For more information, contact the church office at 318-323-1631.

February 2

Catholic Charities of North Louisiana Presents: Bingo on the Delta, West Monroe Convention Center at 6:00 p.m. For more information contact CCNLA: development@ccnla.org. 318-865-0200, ext. 101

February 19

Fête for Life, Save the Date for a Mary’s House Pregnancy Care Center Fundraiser featuring guest speaker Jason Jones, author and movie producer. The event will be catered by Silver Star Steakhouse. Bossier Civic Center, 6:30 p.m. More details to come!

February 22

Save the Date: Find Your Greatness Dominick Albano, Catholic author and speaker, is coming to Shreveport on February 22, 2019! Join St. Joseph Parish, Shreveport, for a great evening of listening, learning, scripture and prayer. Find Your Greatness is based on Matthew Kelly’s bestseller The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. Visit DynamicCatholic.com/Shreveport, or call 859-980-7900 for tickets.

Veronica LaCour and Linda Sutton will assist with the CCTO Conference.

O

n November 27 through the 29, the Diocese of Shreveport will host the annual Chancery-Tribunal Conference for the provinces of New Orleans and Mobile. Diocesan employees Ann Goelden, Veronica LaCour, Randy Tiller and Linda Sutton, will assist Very Rev. Peter B. Mangum, JCL, JV, Cathedral Rector and Diocesan Administrator, in providing the conference with talented speakers, as well as great hospitality and meaningful liturgical celebrations. This conference brings together canon lawyers, chancery officials and finance directors in an effort to update Church issues pertinent to their ministry. This year’s conference is entitled “Legalism, Laxism and Antinomianism in the Church Today.” Speakers for this event will be Most Rev. Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, IL, and Dr. Diane L. Barr, JD, JCD, PhD, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Registration is due by November 5. Any questions, please contact Veronica LaCour 318-219-7304, or Linda Sutton 318-219-7254. It is Fr. Mangum’s hope that all who attend this event will have an opportunity for networking that will open up even more opportunities for collaboration in Church ministry. • NOVEMBER 2018 31


Connection The Catholic

DIOCESE OF SHREVEPORT 3500 Fairfield Ave. • Shreveport, LA 71104

Fairfield

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Fr. Matthew Long presents the Bishop's Cup trophy at the annual Loyola College Prep vs. St. Frederick High School football game.

32 THE CATHOLIC CONNECTION

Profile for Catholic Diocese of Shreveport

Catholic Connection November 2018  

Shreveport Martyrs and the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic

Catholic Connection November 2018  

Shreveport Martyrs and the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded