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VOL. 20, NO.5

Celebrate and Anticipate:



From the Chancellor & Office of Worship by Christine Rivers, Chancellor & Dianne Rachal, Office of Worship Publisher Bishop Michael G. Duca Editor Jessica Rinaudo Regular Contributors Bishop Michael Duca Kim Long Missy McKenzie Lucy Medvec Fr. Rothell Price

Rosalba Quiroz Dianne Rachal Jessica Rinaudo Christine Rivers John Mark Willcox

Featured Contributors Sam Alzheimer Fr. David Richter Ruth Burdges Sr. Martinette Rivers Billy Coenen Roxie Tabor Joann Crone Randy Tiller Deacon Clary Nash Mike Van Vranken Nancy Frazier O'Brien Linda Webster Editorial Board Dianne Rachal Cathy Cobb Christine Rivers Rev. Charles Glorioso Christie Weeks Kim Long John Mark Willcox Kelly Powell The Catholic Connection is a monthly publication funded by your Diocesan Service 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.

For a free subscription, address changes or article submissions: EMAIL: WRITE:   C  atholic Connection The Catholic Center 3500 Fairfield Avenue Shreveport, LA 71104 CALL: 318-868-4441 OR 800-256-1542 FAX: 318-868-4609 WEBSITE: The Catholic Connection is a member of the Catholic Press Association.

Our Diocese is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals as a Non-Profit Organization capable of giving Immigration Legal Advice. We offer Immigration Professional Services to LowIncome Families. To find out if you or someone you know qualifies for an Immigration benefit, please contact Mrs. Rosalba Quiroz at 1-800256-1542, ext. 265 or 318-219-7265 or email

• December 8 is a holy day of obligation, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Center will be closed. • Christmas Day, December 25 is a Saturday this year. Christmas Day is always a holy day of obligation. Masses celebrated after 4 pm on this day are still Masses of Christmas, not vigils for Sunday, December 26—the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As a practical matter, the USCCB Secretariat of the BCDW observes that pastors and other priests should not feel obliged to schedule a Mass with the people on Christmas evening as attendance would likely be low and it would be difficult to schedule sufficient liturgical ministers (August-September 2010 Newsletter). • The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, January 1 also falls on a Saturday this year. This feast day is a holy day of obligation, but since it is a Saturday the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated. Masses celebrated after 4 pm on this day are vigil Masses for the Epiphany of the Lord on Sunday, January 2. • Ritual Masses are prohibited on Christmas Day and the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Advent Reconciliation Schedule


his season of Advent with its “Great Expectations” reminds us of the hopeful possibilities of Christmas. Let us also approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation this year in a way in which our attention to Christ and His World may be broader and deeper. If your parish is not listed on the schedule please call for date and time.

Monday, December 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans in Shreveport. Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Pius X Church in Shreveport Thursday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary of the Pines Church in Shreveport.

Wednesday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Mary, Queen of Peace Church in Bossier City.

Tuesday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shreveport.

Thursday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Shreveport.

Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Church in Shreveport.

Saturday, December 4 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Church in Bossier City.

Friday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Jude Church in Bossier City.

Notice an envelope in this month’s issue? In the spirit of the season, Bishop Duca, local Catholic charitable organizations and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Shreveport have made wishlists. Want to donate an iPad to a classroom? Or how about a freezer to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul? See pages 12 and 13 of this issue for all the wishlists and more information.

December 2010






From the Chancellor & Office of Worship by Christine Rivers and Dianne Rachal................................ 2

Signs and Symbols for Advent and Christmas by Fr. Rothell Price..............................................................14-15

Advent Reconciliation Schedule................................................. 2

Sacred Heart’s 90th Anniversary Concludes by Billy Coenen.........................................................................16

Bishop Michael Duca’s December 2010 Schedule..................... 3 Bishop’s Reflection by Most Reverend Michael G. Duca............ 4-5 Diocese Welcomes New Youth Director by Randy Tiller............. 6 St. Pius X Church Dedicated New Sanctuary by Ruth Burdges.... 6 Second Collections in December by Fr. Rothell Price................. 7 Year End Giving by John Mark Willcox........................................ 7 Diaconate and Religious Education Update by Clary Nash........ 8 Good Shepherd Church Embarked on Local Mission by Joann Crone.................................................................... 8 Celebrate and Anticipate Advent by Mike Van Vranken..............9 Engaging Children in Advent and Christmas at Church and Home by Linda Webster................................................10 Men for Christ Discernment Retreat by Sam Alzheimer..............10 School News................................................................................11 Charitable Wishlists for the Holidays......................................12-13

Celebrate Your ‘Eternal Child’ This Christmas by Sr. Martinette Rivers............................................................16 Patron of the (Im)possible by Kim Long .........................................17 Two Diocesan Seminarians Installed as Readers by Fr. David Richter.................................................................17 Hispanic Corner by Rosalba Quiroz............................................ 18 Archbishops Dolan, Kurtz Elected USCCB President, Vice President by Nancy Frazier O'Brien............................................19 Around the Diocese............................................................. ....20-21 Pro-Life Wishes by Roxie Tabor..........................................................22 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of Shreveport............................22 Upcoming Events ........................................................................22 December 2010 Calendar............................................................23 St. Patrick Church Celebrated 140 Years! . ................................... 24

Bishop Michael Duca’s December Schedule Berchmans; 11:00 a.m.; followed by luncheon at the Catholic Center DEC. 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 5:30 p.m. DEC. 9 Bishop Desmond Assembly - 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Annual Christmas Dinner; Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant, Shreveport; 6:00 p.m. DEC. 1 & 2 Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials of the Province of New Orleans and Mobile meeting, Alexandria

DEC. 11 Christmas at the Cathedral Program; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 6:00 p.m.

DEC. 2 & 3 Region V Episcopal Support Day; Abbey Christian Life Center, St. Benedict, Louisiana

DEC. 12 Advent Sunday Mass/Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration; Reception following Mass; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Ruston; 2:00 p.m.

DEC. 5 Annual Society of St. Vincent de Paul Mass; Cathedral of St. John

DEC. 13 Louisiana Interchurch

Conference Executive Committee Meeting; Rectory of St. Alphonsus Church, Greenwell Springs, Louisiana; 12:30 p.m. DEC. 14 Diocesan Liturgical Commission Christmas Luncheon; Shreveport; 12:30 p.m. DEC. 15 Annual Corporation Meetings; Church of Jesus the Good Shepherd, Monroe; 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. DEC. 16 Annual Corporation Meetings; Catholic Center; 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. DEC. 20 Holy Land Pilgrimage Meeting; Catholic Center; 6:00 p.m. DEC. 25 Midnight Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 12:00 a.m.

La Reflexión del Obispo por Obispo Michael G. Duca


ada año cuando se acerca la Navidad me vienen a la mente bonitos recuerdos de celebraciones familiares, fiestas Navideñas, de las reuniones de parientes, del encendimiento de la última vela de la Corona de Adviento familiar y de la Misa de Medianoche. No hay duda que para muchos de nosotros estos recuerdos y rituales familiares nuestros corazones de gozo espiritual profundo pero si no están arraigados en una profunda fe y espera en el nacimiento de nuestro Salvador, Jesucristo, entonces el gozo que sentimos es frágil. Corremos el riesgo, especialmente en estos tiempos, de tener nuestra celebración Navideña separada del verdadero significado de la Navidad. Durante mi crecimiento no había duda que todo lo que mi familia hacia en la Navidad estaba centrado en nuestra fe. Antes de Navidad decorábamos el árbol y poníamos el Nacimiento. En cada comida, por las cuatro semanas antes de Navidad, encendíamos la corona de adviento y todas nuestras celebraciones y comidas eran programadas de acuerdo a la Misa y a otros eventos religiosos en la Iglesia. Es tan fácil perder el gozo espiritual en la Navidad. Ahora lentamente se llenan nuestro itinerario y DESPUES vemos si tendremos tiempo para ir a Misa. Tal vez hace mucho tiempo hayan dejado de planear reservar tiempo para ir a confesase durante el tiempo de adviento en preparación espiritual para la Navidad. Si las actividades Navideñas son separadas mas centro espiritual nos volvemos frenéticos, exigentes y menos abiertos a cambiar nuestro ritual o programa. Por ejemplo, puede ser tanto el estrés que podemos decidir que no hay tiempo para invitar a nadie más a comer, especialmente a “ya-saben-quien” porque van a echar a perder nuestros planes. Para entonces ya podríamos ser comparados con los dueños del mesón que no le dieron posada a la Sagrada Familia. Nuestra celebración Navideña se vuelve tan egoísta que robamos el tiempo que es de nuestro Salvador. Pocos años atrás mi familia decidió

4 5 Catholic Connection December 2010

que estábamos comprando muchos regalos y la angustia de darles a todos un regalo estaba robándonos el gozo de la Navidad. Así que decidimos intercambiar nombres y solo comprar un regalo a la persona que nos toca. Después de eso podemos llegar al día de Navidad con calma y con más tiempo de reflexionar en la maravilla del amor de Dios. Si sienten que es demasiado pesado hacer todos los preparativos para la Navidad o los hace gruñones mejor tomen el tiempo de pensar en su fe y (CNS photo/Bob Roller) lo que Cristo es en toda esta actividad. vienen de cenas navideñas y regalos El primer paso es no cambiar lo que ya para la familia. Especialmente en estos hacen, sino descubrir porque lo hacen. momentos es cuando el verdadero Cuando hayan re-descubierto a Cristo en significado del amor de Dios se revela: el centro de todo entonces no solamente que nuestro Salvador vino a estar con las cosas caerán en su lugar, sino que se nosotros y nos da esperanza aun en sentirán dispuestos a hacer un espacio estos momentos de oscuridad. Cuando para lo inesperado. estamos en la pobreza y con necesidad Tal vez hasta abran sus puertas al descubrimos nuestra fe más profunda y huésped inesperado o difícil y descubrir los regalos más hermosos que Jesús nos que no les estorba, sino mas bien es EL ofrece. CAMINO para actuar de manera amorosa A fin de cuentas piénsenlo de esta y verdaderamente celebrar el significado manera. Si la noche anterior a la Navidad del la Navidad, algo que el dueño del quitaras todas las decoraciones, las luces, mesón nunca descubrió en Belén. Al el árbol y toda evidencia de la Navidad y adentrarnos en un profundo significado cancelaras la reunión y la cena la mañana espiritual de la Navidad descubrimos que de Navidad, cuando te despertaras, ¿tu podemos encontrar esperanza y gozo aun corazón estaría aun lleno del gozo de la cuando sea difícil. celebración del Nacimiento de nuestro Para algunos no existen recuerdos Salvador? cuando la respuesta honesta buenos de las celebraciones Navideñas a esta pregunta sea SI, entonces todo con su familia, para otros, el gozo de esta lo demás ha encontrado el lugar que le celebración ha sido quebrantada por la pertenece. muerte o enfermedad de un ser querido. Ruego a Dios que este Adviento Para alguien que ha perdido su trabajo y Navidad sean tiempo de gracia y es difícil crear los buenos recuerdos que bendición.

Bishop’s Reflection by Bishop Michael G. Duca


very year as Christmas draws near I call to mind good memories of family celebrations, Christmas feasts, the gathering of relatives, the lighting of the final candle of our family Advent wreath and midnight Mass. There is no doubt that for many of us these memories and family rituals shape a deep spiritual joy in our hearts, but if these are not rooted in a deep faith and wonder in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, then the joy we feel will be fragile. We especially run the risk today of separating our holiday celebrations from the real meaning of Christmas. There was no doubt for me growing up that everything my family did for Christmas was centered on our faith. Before the Christmas tree was decorated, we put up the manger scene. At every dinner meal for the four weeks before Christmas we lit a family Advent wreath and all our celebrations and dinners were scheduled around going to Mass and any other religious event at the church. It is so easy to lose the heart of our spiritual joy at Christmas. Slowly schedules are made and THEN we decide when or whether we have time for Mass. We may have long ago stopped planning to make time to attend an Advent penance service to prepare spiritually for Christmas. As the activities of Christmas become more separated from a spiritual center we become more frantic, demanding and less willing to change the ritual or schedule. For example, we may decide out of our stress, that there is no room for any one else for dinner especially for “you-know-who” because they will mess things up. At this point we might be accused of sounding like the innkeeper who told the Holy Family there is no room at the inn. Our Christmas celebration becomes so selfcentered that we squeeze out a space for

Dr. Ramzi Sansour carves a leg of lamb for dinner as others fill their plates at a Sansour family home in the West Bank town of Bethlehem Dec. 24. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

our Savior. A few years ago my family decided we were buying too many presents and the frantic rush to give everyone a gift was taking the joy out of Christmas. So we decided to choose names and only buy one gift for the one person whose name we chose. The next Christmas we were able to approach Christmas day with calm and more time to reflect upon the

“If you feel you are losing it, or you are becoming a Christmas grouch, then take time to prayerfully consider where your faith in Christ is in all this activity." wonder of God’s love. If you feel you are losing it, or you are becoming a Christmas grouch, then take time to prayerfully consider where your faith in Christ is in all this activity. The first step is not to change what you do, it is to discover why you are doing it. When you have re-discovered Christ at the center then not only will everything find its place, but you will be free to make room for the unexpected. You might even open your door to the unexpected or difficult guest and

discover they are not in your way, but they may be THE WAY to act in a loving manner and truly celebrate the meaning of Christmas, something the innkeeper never discovered in Bethlehem. By grounding ourselves in the deeper spiritual meaning of Christmas you are able to find hope and joy even when it is hard. For some there are no warm memories of Christmas celebrations with their family. For others, the easy joy of this year’s celebration has been broken by the death or illness of a loved one. For someone who has lost their job it is difficult to create the memories that come with Christmas dinners and gifts for the family. Especially in these moments the truest meaning of the love of God is revealed: that our Savior came to be with us and give us hope even in these darkest moments. When we are poor and in need we discover our deepest faith and the most profound gifts that Jesus offers. So in the end think of it this way. If on Christmas Eve you took away every decoration, light, Christmas tree and evidence of Christmas and cancelled every gathering and dinner, on Christmas morning, when you awoke, would your heart still be filled with the joy of celebrating the birth of our Savior? When the answer to this is honestly YES, then everything else you do will find its proper place. I pray your Advent and Christmas will be a time of grace and blessing. 5 4

Diocese Welcomes New Youth Director

St. Pius X Church Dedicated New Sanctuary by Ruth Burdges

by Randy Tiller, Mission Effectiveness


ohn Vining, a convert to Catholicism and an experienced youth director and minister, began work November 3 as the Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult John Vining, New Director Ministry. John for Youth and Young Adult brings his Ministry for the Diocese experience of Shreveport and expertise to bear on the development, organization, education and formation of the many people throughout the diocese who are engaged in youth, campus and young adult ministry. This will involve a lot of parish contact to help the youth and young adults of our diocese to grow. During John’s interview, one of the committee members asked how he thought his first 30 days would be spent. Without hesitation he answered “building relationships through parish visits.” John has a very strong spiritual life and feels he was called to this ministry. He said he figuratively and prayerfully “cast his résumé upon the waters” and the Diocese of Shreveport was fortunate to cast our nets at the same time. Rev. Joseph Pallo, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Blytheville, AR, recommended John for this position because of his training in youth leadership. Rev. Pallo said John was searching for a place he could again use his talents to direct young people in their spiritual journey and nurture them as children of God. John plans on hitting the ground running and is very excited and enthusiastic about working with youth, parish youth leadership and ministers, campus ministers, young adult groups, and priests of the diocese and the staff of the Catholic Center. Once John gets a few months under his belt, I am sure he will share some thoughts, plans and initiatives for the future. If you want to welcome John or visit with him about youth, campus or young adult ministry, you can contact him at 318-8684441 ext. 258, or

6 7 Catholic Connection December 2010

Procession into the new St. Pius X Church sanctuary.


ctober 16, 2010 was a day the parishioners of St. Pius X Church will be talking about for years to come. The day marked the official closing of the original St. Pius X Church building as a holy place of worship, and the opening of the parish’s new church sanctuary. The symbolic ceremony brought mixed emotions for me, and I’m sure others from my parish, as we were reminded by Bishop Michael Duca of all the prayers that had been said in this now stripped building. Gone were the Stations of the Cross and the rows of candles that were kept burning for our special intentions or loved ones. Gone also was the lit Sanctuary candle, which signified the presence of Christ’s body, in the form of reposed hosts, housed within the tabernacle. As the congregation processed behind the bishop, priests and Knights of Columbus, the sound of bells heralded our arrival into the new church. As we entered the undressed church and were led to our seats, the symbolism became even more apparent. The holy relic of St. Pius X was transferred and placed in the altar. The altar and walls were anointed with holy oil and those gathered were blessed with holy water and incense. The lighting of candles and dressing of the altar began our first sharing of the Eucharist in this now holy setting. As the choir sang, I got chill bumps. They

had never sounded more beautiful. At one point, I looked up to see the light fixtures swaying slightly, likely because of the central air, but in my heart I felt it was the spirit of our fellow parishioners who had also realized the dream of a new church, but unfortunately, not lived to see the reality. During the homily Bishop Duca reminded us that we, the congregation, and family of St. Pius X, were “The Church,” not the building itself. And we, the holy people of Christ, made the building “holy.” He also encouraged and challenged us to invite people who did not have a home church, here to ours; to share the Word of God. After the final blessing, Fr. Joe thanked all those involved over the last several years in the completion of this new church project. Planning began with the idea of a new church during Fr. Charles Glorioso’s time as pastor and continued with the planning process, the birth of the Capital Campaign, the guidance of the Building Committee, the beginning of construction and the completion of the project overseen by Fr. Joseph Kallookalam. Following the dedication all in attendance were invited to a catered reception in celebration of this long, and sometimes challenging, eight-year process. And as I looked around, I truly felt that we at St. Pius X Church were so blessed. We are “The Church.” We are a family of God!

Second Collections in December by Fr. Rothell Price, Vicar General, jcl, vg

Year End Giving by John Mark Willcox, Development



ecember finds us busy with many things. We are trying to enter into the spirit of Advent by preparing ourselves for Our Lord’s return at the end of time with the fullness of salvation for his faithful ones. All this preparation ignites in us a spirit of generosity. I invite you to prepare yourself to respond generously to two collections in the month of December.

Him room.” The “Him” we sing of is Christ, our God and Savior who is born to us. In receiving Christ we receive far more than we realize.We receive the Lord and heavenly peace; we receive the heavenly host, communion with the saints, union with our faithfully departed and connection with one another. Our infirmed priests are included in that “far more.” I invite you to open wide your hearts and material means NATIONAL RETIREMENT FUND FOR to the Diocese of Shreveport Infirm Priests’ RELIGIOUS Fund in the spirit of this Christmas season. Announcement Dates: Nov. 27 & 28, This collection is to provide spiritual and Dec. 4 & 5. Collection Date: Dec. 7 & 8 material care to the retired priests of our I invite you to open wide your hearts and diocese. These are our infirmed priests material means to some very special women who have loved God, neighbor and self in and men in our spiritual family. Please give the great vocation of the priesthood. The generously to the National Retirement Fund Diocese of Shreveport Infirm Priests’ Fund for Religious to be collected in our parishes collection will be collected in your parish on December 7 and 8. These retired women on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and men religious have given their hearts, December 24 and 25. What a powerful way souls, minds and strength to God and you to offer a Christmas gift to the Lord and His and me who constitute the Church. infirmed servants on the occasion of our There are almost 35,000 religious past celebration of God’s Incarnation. Bless our age 70 living in the United States. In 2009, infirmed priests with peace of mind in the the average annual cost for their care reassurance that they are remembered and was more than $36,000 per person. For cared for by us, their spiritual legacy. On most of their lives, these women and men their behalf, I thank you! religious worked for small stipends that were reinvested in ministry. There were no How Well Did We Do? 401(k) plans or pensions. Now they are in Diocese of Shreveport Hispanic Ministry need of our kindness and gratitude. In their $14,843.43 senior years, they look to us, their spiritual Church in Latin America $875.21 children, to support them. I invite you to join me in bringing relief to their worried Church in Central and Eastern Europe minds. $435.23 DIOCESE OF SHREVEPORT INFIRM PRIESTS’ FUND Announcement Dates: Dec.11 & 12, 18 & 19. Collection Date: Dec. 24 & 25 In the Christmas hymn, “Joy to the World” we sing, “let every heart prepare

Catholic University & National Institute for Hispanic Ministry $480.57 Black and Indian Missions (Home Missions) $19,822.59 World Mission Sunday $17,203.53

all is traditionally the time when we express thanksgiving for our blessings and pause to make plans for the future. For many, it can also be an opportunity to share with the Church through charitable end year gifts. Thinking carefully about what to give and when to make the donation can help magnify the impact of your generosity. • Maximize Tax Savings: You can reduce or even eliminate taxes on amounts you give to the Church. Unlike many other deductions, the amount and timing of your charitable gifts are completely within your control. • Gifts of Cash: If the Church receives your completed gift by December 31 you will qualify for tax deductions within this year and this includes gifts of cash, by check, or through electronic transfer. Through cash giving it is possible to eliminate up to half of your adjusted gross income (AGI). • Giving Other Assets: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other property that are worth more than their original cost can be gifted resulting in even greater tax savings and investments owned for more than one year can be deducted at their current value. You may also want to gift stocks or other investments that have failed to yield viable income. This can result in immediate tax savings with little or no impact on future spendable income. If you have investments that have gone down in value, consider selling them and making a tax deductible gift of the cash proceeds. This creates a loss that you may be able to deduct along with your cash contribution. • Leaving a Legacy: At the end of each year, many also choose to review their long-range estate and financial plans. Life insurance policies, wills, retirement accounts and other planning vehicles can offer special ways to leave a lasting legacy to your charitable interest. As this year draws to a close, act now to accomplish your charitable goals. Remember that time spent deciding how to best make your gift to the Church can result in maximum tax savings and other possible financial benefits, as well as the satisfaction of maximizing your giving. 7 6

Diaconate and Religious Education Update

cultures, races, and ages but all with a unifying trait, ‘God’s call to service.’ His by Clary Nash, Director of the Permanent Diaconate love whispered to each of us and called us to a journey together.” - Bill Goss, St. Lawrence Church, Swartz “The Diaconate formation process has been challenging and exciting. The inspiration to become a deacon has resonated within me for 10 years. It is like an amusement park ride you are a little hesitant to ride at first, but once you finish the ride, you cannot wait to get back in line to go again! Trusting in God is to lift your hands up and shout for joy and let the ride take you where it may! I pray for God’s blessings for all in the formation process. I have been inspired he formation of deacons and Wise, St. Jude Church, Bossier City religious education teachers has “As the Director of Religious Education by the fellowship and witnessing by all. generated interest and excitement for St. Lucy Catholic Church, I am thrilled Please pray for us in our discernment of God’s call to service.” - Steve Lehr, St. in the parishes. I am constantly asked to be able to participate in the Saturday Jude Church, Bossier City how the formation is proceeding and religious education program by the This semester the religious education how the members are responding. I University of Dallas. All that I am learning formation courses are Ministry in the thought I would share the following can be shared with St. Lucy’s catechists Church, Philosophy, Introduction to responses from some of those enrolled in and students. The classes are stimulating Scripture and Vatican II. In addition, the program: and the professors are extremely helpful the Deacon Aspirants have an extra day “My wife and I are enjoying the Deacon in answering all questions. While many per month for spiritual and pastoral Formation program. The first semester college courses seem impersonal, these formation courses. classes are well chosen. They provide a classes make you feel involved and part The Diocese of Shreveport is fortunate basic understanding of the ministry, the of a group. The reading assignments have to have 21 men as Diaconate Aspirants scriptures behind the ministry and my been very interesting and informative. I and 12 others in the Religious Education role in the ministry. I am very thankful have learned so much more about my Program. The Diaconate formation is for the overwhelming support and faith and our Catholic church, both in a four-year commitment. Please keep encouragement being provided by the historical and current relevant terms.” them and their families in your prayers. parishioners and clergy of St. Jude. I - Maria Lucca, St. Lucy Church, Hodge Religious Education Formation classes look forward to a future of spreading the “Walking into the room the very first will open up to all involved in religious Word of God, and doing the Lord’s work, day of the deacon formation program, I education for the spring 2011 semester. serving God and His people.” - Mike saw a diverse group of people; different


but we could bring clothes and food, blankets and pillows and diapers. We were fortunate to have many donations. We even had an Enchilada Dinner after Mass on mission trip is usually a trip to October 10 and raised $1040. Mexico for the parishioners of We took the money raised and Jesus the Good Shepherd Church bought 8600 pounds of food from in Monroe. But for the past two years the Food Bank in Alabama to give there have been delays at the border and out at the convention center. There it seemed to be getting dangerous. So Fr. were people wrapped around Mark Watson, our pastor, made a trip the building by 7:00 a.m. waiting down to Bayou La Batre, AL. During for us to open at 9. The residents Katrina the town was partially destroyed of the small town thought they and the oil spill made it even worse. were coming to sign up for a food Churches were having a difficult time program that Friday. About 270 people trying to feed and help those in need signed up and got a surprise when they repair their homes. Fr. Mark decided found out we had food, clothes and dishes, we should go there this year instead of and all sort of goods including two truck Mexico. Fr. Mark asked me to take a group loads of bananas. of Missionaries from JGS for a visit. We enjoyed working hand-in-hand Because we ranged in age from 59 to 84, with AmeriCorps and eight young college we didn’t think we could repair a house, students who spent 10 months helping

Good Shepherd Church Embarked on Local Mission by Joann Crone


8 9 Catholic Connection December 2010

others in need. We slept in bunk-beds and ate with them. I liked being a missionary. I know now that age and arthritis cannot keep people from helping our neighbors. We at Jesus the Good Shepherd hope to be able to go back to Bayou La Batre and bring our youth group and adults to help next year. It was a true blessing to all of us who went.

Celebrate and Anticipate:

Advent by Mike Van Vranken, Greco Institute Instructor


saiah prophesied that “ . . .one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again” (Is 2:4). St. Paul wrote to the Romans “ . . . For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand” Romans (13:11-12). In the first reference, God is promising the “Anointed One” to his people who will bring peace to the earth. In the second, Paul is urgently preparing and cautioning his readers that Jesus’ return was closer than it was at the time of their conversion. Today, we use this season of Advent to celebrate the joy and redemption of the first coming while we eagerly and with great hope anticipate the second coming. If we could effectively meditate on the realization of the Incarnation of God during that first Christmas event, our joy, excitement and gratitude would probably transcend us into the very presence of Jesus himself. Our almighty and loving God humbled himself to become a flesh and blood man to live with us, to teach us, to be able to empathize with us, and to eventually suffer, die and rise for us. How do we begin to even attempt to understand the depth of that love? At the same time, if we can elevate our understanding of the hope we have in his imminent return our apprehension would be so great as to consume our every thought and activity. “ . . .whatever was written previously was written for our instruction” that “we may have hope” (Romans 15:4). When we say we have hope in the coming of the Lord, we mean we have great expectation of that coming. Using the season of Advent to comprehend that expectation, to fathom its meaning, to envision its blessings is an opportunity for us to try to realize the fullness of our relationship with God. Engaging in Advent activities that help us understand the power of our hope

in his return can help us experience a little heaven right here on earth. “ . . .be patient brothers and sisters until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7). How can we use this season of Advent to look for ways to be patient for Jesus in our crazy world? Jesus reminded (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) us that whatever we do for anyone else, we are also doing it for him. Just the to that same Word. Advent is a time of spiritual celebration act of showing patience to those we live and preparation. Our human nature loves with, work with, shop with and share the to remember the great joys and special world with can be a great reminder to us that Jesus came as an infant to live with us, occasions of history. Nothing in human history compares to the night when the he is coming again to reign with us, he is angels appeared to the shepherds and, in living in us now to show us the way. “ . . . therefore the Lord himself will give reality, to all of us, announcing that God had put his holy gift into the world for you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, our salvation. Nothing in future history and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel” (Is 7:14). This prophecy helps can ever be imagined like that great confirm the miracle of Christmas - God is day when Jesus returns for his Church. with us! That alone is enough to celebrate. Physical symbols like the advent wreath, physical benevolence such as giving to the That alone is enough to look for ways to hungry and homeless, even the physical be thankful and humble. That alone is actions of additional scripture reading enough to incite in us the burning desire and intentional prayer can and do help us to bring that promise of peace into our celebrate and anticipate. own world during this Advent season. Our initial Advent step should probably Paul commanded that we are to “ . . .bring be to seek the advice of the Holy Spirit as about the obedience of faith” (Romans to how we should celebrate and anticipate 1:5). According to the Catholic Study in 2010. Then, let’s make those daily Bible, “that is faith in the gift of the new life we have received though the life, death activities such a focus over the next four weeks that our celebration of Christmas and resurrection of Jesus and the activity and our anticipation of Christ’s return of the Holy Spirit.” Paul’s writings would dominate our every thought, word and contend this is the faith that begins with our hearing the Word and only continues deed, not only for this month, but for all with our commitment or even submission of our days to come. 9 8

Engaging Children in Advent and Christmas at Church and at Home by Linda Webster, phd

‘Men for Christ’ Discernment Retreat


here is so much excitement in the air once Thanksgiving is over that trying to present the usual lessons in PSR or at home with the kids is something of a challenge. So, why not toss out the “usual” and go for the “unusual?” The Advent and Christmas seasons are rich in symbols, so it would make sense to spend some time during Advent, in particular, building class sessions and home activities around crafts, games and special events that give our youngsters a sense of the meanings behind these symbols. Given that Christmas is on Saturday this year, most PSR programs will have at least three meetings after the Thanksgiving weekend. If we think about anticipation, Jewish roots and traditions, and Christmas symbols, then we can plan stories, crafts and activities that work in concert across those three weeks. Crafts might include creating an Advent calendar children can personalize with photos and prayers for their friends and families. Children of any age can create a classroom crèche by bringing from home one or more figurines for the crèche and being responsible for telling the story behind that figurine they are providing. For older children, creating an advent wreath for use at home is certainly an option; however, the craft elements can get expensive. The key is to have a wellplanned activity that is rooted in the symbols of the season, allows for some creativity and is adaptable for most ages and abilities. Jewish roots and Christian symbols are very meaningful when creating a class Jesse tree. Children have an opportunity to learn about Old Testament stories while creating symbols to hang as ornaments. This is also a wonderful opportunity to invite a guest speaker from the local Temple to talk about Chanukah and to share some symbols used by Jewish congregations all over the world. Older children might be encouraged to help with the parish Angel Tree including wrapping and transporting gifts. Adopting a local charity for which ornaments and Christmas decorations

10 11 Catholic Connection December 2010

by Sam Alzheimer, Vianney Vocations


Pam Hollis helps her son John make an Advent wreath at St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville, IL. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway)

might be created and given is another multi-week activity that makes the generosity of the season come alive. And, of course, older students can always be invited to help with the Advent calendar and Jesse tree projects with the younger students. If you’re really adventurous, think about a trip to a farm with the family where children can tour a stable and see where the animals eat, bringing the reality of Christ’s birth right into their eyes and ears and noses. These are wonderful activities on a day when you are sharing the scripture stories of the season – perhaps even sitting on bales of hay to read a gospel story from an age-appropriate book with the sound of lowing cows in the background. And don’t forget the smells of season such as frankincense and myrrh. Purchasing incense sticks for sharing is a small but dramatic sense offering. Making use of the excitement of the season is not only a key to keeping students coming back each week for class and teaching children the importance of the season at home, but it’s a valuable opportunity to look behind the commercial and popular culture images with which our children are relentlessly bombarded.

ive a man good information, bring him to Jesus, and then get out of the way.” That, according to vocation directors across the country, is the formula for a fruitful retreat. On January Fr. Jeff Bayhi will lead the “Men for Christ” retreat. 7-9, 2011 we’re fortunate to have Fr. Jeff Bayhi from Baton Rouge lead “Men for Christ,” a discernment retreat for young men considering a priestly vocation. Fr. Bayhi was ordained in 1979 and has had an extraordinarily active priesthood. He worked with Mother Theresa in Calcutta, authored several books and led retreats throughout the U.S. He is the CEO of Closer Walk Ministries and Metanoia Inc., and the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary, LA. He is intimately familiar with the process of discerning a priestly vocation, having served as Vocation Director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge for 10 years. Why a retreat specifically for men thinking about priesthood? Because even under the best circumstances, responding to God’s call can be daunting. Men need expert spiritual advice and time for deep reflection and prayer. A retreat allows him to spend time with other men who feel a similar call, and to get to know our Vocation Director, Fr. David Richter. Bishop Duca will also be present, as he was last year, to spend time with the retreatants. Most of all, this retreat will lead a man to a place of peace about his vocation, and give him the courage to follow God’s will for his life. The retreat will be held at the Catholic Center and Fairview House in Shreveport. Attendees should arrive between 5-6 p.m. on Friday, January 7. (Later arrivals on Friday are welcome.) The retreat concludes with lunch at noon on Sunday, January 9. For more information, contact Jeanne Brown,, (318) 219-7257. To register, visit www.

School News 5





4 1. Our Lady of Fatima Students Trick-or-Treat to Nursing Home


he Pre-K4 classes enjoyed trickor-treating with the residents of CHRISTUS St. Joseph Nursing Home. They had lunch on the grounds near the bayou. We wonder who enjoyed it more, the residents or the students?

2. St. John Berchmans Students Take Faithful Journey


t “The Pines,” a Catholic camp in East Texas, our eighth graders had the opportunity to nurture their relationships with God and with each other. Our three days away from school offered perfect fall weather and the possibility for physical, intellectual, social and spiritual growth. The retreat focused on leadership skills and preparation for Confirmation. Our 22 eighth graders worked together to discover more about themselves and each other. Based on the challenge by choice philosophy, they learned about risk-taking, trust, and acceptance. The magnificent ministry staff was friendly and insightful.

3. Bishop Duca Visited Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Academy


ishop Duca visited students at Our Lady of the Blessed Academy. Our students were excited to show him around our school and to tell him all of the things they have learned. We all had a great time and thank Bishop Duca for visiting our school! We hope everyone has a safe, blessed, and Merry Christmas!

4. Jesus the Good Shepherd School Uses Neo Technology


esus the Good Shepherd School is ahead of the school technology curve with our NEO 2 desktop learning tool. NEO 2 gives our teachers and students a variety of new features that expand its use beyond writing and keyboarding into virtually any academic subject. On the NEO, our students can take Accelerated Reading and Accelerated Math tests, as well as practice their Math facts with “Facts in a Flash.” Teachers can integrate NEO 2 with interactive whiteboards, projectors and classroom computers to make the most of what they already have.

5. St. Frederick High School Students Named to Academic All-State Football Team


e are proud of our student athletes named to the 2010 LHSAA Academic All-State 1-A football team! Congratulations to Harrison Howell, Gabe Sampognaro, Adrian Paragas, Ladd Sanderson, Cooper Hastings, Logan Blackford and Jake Johnson. These scholar athletes met or exceeded the required 3.5 GPA. Our athletes were among only 64 young men in class 1-A who earned this distinction.

6. St. Joseph School Holds Anti-Bullying Campaign


tudents from St. Joseph School celebrated Red Ribbon Week by learning about positive behavior, prevention of bullying and dangers of cyber bullying. During the week, students wore bracelets to remind themselves of the importance of “disarming” bullies. Cade Feliciano, Brandon Worley, Michael Vaughn, Cosette Loper and Maddie Bodden are pictured with speakers Lt. Shellie Anderson and Sgt. Scott Tucker. 11 10

Wishlists Wishlist s Charitable Charit able

for the Holidays

n the spirit of the Advent and Christmas seasons, Bishop Michael G. Duca and the Diocese of Shreveport ask you to consider making a donation to help Catholic schools and Catholic charitable organizations accomplish their missions of education and helping the poor this holiday season. These pages contain lists of items these organizations need to be more successful. Use the envelope inserted in this issue of the Catholic Connection to help pay for a wishlist item. You can list the specific organization and item on the envelope or make an general donation. And you don’t have to pay for an item in full! Consider donating towards part of an item. Any donation is appreciated by Catholic schools and organizations.

Bishop's Wish List q Bishop’s Tuition Fund for Catholic schools, any dollar amount q Seminarian Tuition Fund for diocesan seminarians, any dollar amount q Support for the Renzi Center, founded in by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows and community activists as a place for children and adults to explore, learn, and create under the guidance of professional teachers and artists, any dollar amount

Catholic Charities of Shreveport

Diocese of Shreveport Pro-Life

Setting up an office is expensive! We have many needs from the basics of paper and pens to copy machines and computers. Here are some ideas of our needs:

Our Christmas Wishlist reflects the desires of a strong respect for and willingness to work for life:

q Dell Optiplex 980 desktop computer (3 @ $1,175) q Dell ST2310 23 inch Full HD Widescreen monitor (3 @ $240) q Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 program (3 @ $72) q Printer Magicolor 4695 ($1300) q Copy paper ($38 per box)

Jesus the Good Shepherd School q iPads (10 @ $550) q SmartBoards (2 @ $3,500) q Computers (10 @ $600) q Laptops (2 @ $600)

12 13 Catholic Connection December 2010

q Legal size paper ($47 per box) q Paper shredder ($280) q Yellow lined pads (12 for $8) q Staplers ($9) q Gift Cards to Office Depot in any amount q Donations for clients gladly accepted

q Diapers and/or clothing for babies and toddlers ($20-$50) q Support of the Pro-Life Billboard on Kings Hwy. and additional billboards on Youree Dr. and/or I-220 Bossier City ($400 a month) q Establishing fund to provide training and support for Project Rachel Post-Abortion Healing ($10-$100+) q Scholarship support of youth trip to National Walk for Life in Washington, D.C. January 22, 2011. ($10-$100+) q Support of bus rental for participation in the Louisiana March for Life in Baton Rouge on January 22. ($10-$100+) q Any $ amounts to establish funding for developing the Pro-Life programs.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Academy q Math Manipulative Kit (7 @ $140) q Art Start Kit (7 @ $27) q Primary Math Cart ($360) q Bicycles ( 5 @ $70) q Early Childhood Science Exploration Kit (6 @ $200) q 25 Player Multi-Instrument Classroom Set (7 at $105) q Big Box Games: Sorting & Classifying (3 @ $25) q Dr. Jean Read Along & Sing! ($252) q Tot Town Kiddie Corral Activity Center ($3,000) q Tot Town Fun Center Playground ($4,500)

St. Vincent de Paul Society (Eastern) q Blanket or two pillows ($10) q Heater or set of pots and pans ($25) q Twin mattress for bunk bed or baby bed ($50) q Used gas stove or washer ($75) q Bike for a person who needs a way to work ($100) q Bunk bed set. They are handmade by a man in our community. They are very sturdy. Many children sleep on the floor, so every month we try to give one to a family. ($200) q Freezer for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul warehouse ($500)

Our Lady of Fatima School q iPads (7 @ $550) q Commercial ice maker for concessions ($2,200) q Wii Systems and TVs for PE (2 @ $6,500) q Folding bleachers for gym ($8,000) q Electronic outdoor message board or sign ($8,000) q Privacy Fence around perimeter of school ($15,000)

St. Frederick High School q Roll of bulletin board paper (8 @ $25) q Student desk ($125) q Printer for Computer Lab ($300) q SMARTSlate WS 200 for science classroom ($450) q iPad (30 @ $550) q Computer for lab (10 @ $600) q Trophy/display case ($1,500)

q SmartBoards (5 @ $3500)

q Repainting cafeteria ($2,000)

q Playground Equipment ($25,000)

q Improvements to front parking lot ($85,000)

q Asphalt for increased parking ($30,000) q Permanent playground surface($31,000)

St. John Berchmans Cathedral School q iPads (17 @ $550) q Flip camera ($100) q Private Eye Loype Set ($8) q Donation towards an elevator to help a paralyzed child get around the school, any amount.

q Improvements to football parking lot ($250,000) q Turf for football field ($500,000)

St. Vincent de Paul Society (Western) q Supplies for prayer blankets to give people in need ($50) q Diapers ($30) q Baby clothes ($25) q Food supplies for donations, any amount.

q iTunes gift cards for teachers to purchase iPad apps, any amount

St. Vincent de Paul Society (Southern) q Furniture (beds, tables, chairs) ($50 - $150) q Food items from food banks ($10$150)

13 12

Signs and Symbols for

Advent Christmas and

“Today, think of the glass ornaments as representations of the world that Jesus came to save.”

by Father Rothell Price, Vicar General

DVENT: Advent is the beginning of our liturgical year. January 1 marks the beginning of a new year, a new cycle of annual celebrations, memorials and observances in our civic life. Advent does the same for our liturgical or spiritual life. This start of our new spiritual cycle of annual celebrations, memorials and observances about Jesus and the saints begins the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A. In Advent we celebrate three comings of God into our lives. The Mass readings of the first two weeks of Advent prepare us for the coming of our God and Lord at the end of time. The Mass readings of the last two weeks of Advent prepare us to celebrate our God’s coming to us over 2,000 years ago in the little town of Bethlehem. Then, these readings and the readings of Christmas help us celebrate God coming to us today in the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, the other Sacraments of the Church, and in our lives of prayer and service out of love for our God. These are some symbols we can use to help us celebrate this threefold coming of our God into our lives. The Advent Wreath: It is composed of candles which remind

us of God, who is light. The light of God shines, especially in darkness, and each week there is more radiance and less darkness as we light more candles. The colors of the candles are purple and rose. Purple reminds us we are sinners who need to be loved and saved by God our Savior. It also reminds us of the majesty of God. The rose color reminds us that we, the Church, the bride of Christ, blush with anticipation as our Divine Spouse draws near to us both, at the end of time and in our annual celebration of His Incarnation.The Church blushes with excitement on that Third Sunday of Advent as the day of our Savior’s birth and the future event of our eternal salvation draws near. The Evergreen branches remind us that spiritual hope springs eternal, even in the cold, hard, lifeless, darkness of winter. We shape the greenery into a circle to remind us of the Eternal God who comes to bless us with the gift of eternity, immortality. The Advent House & the Advent Calendar are spiritual activities that help us mark each day of our Advent preparation. The windows and doors on these two spiritual aids are opened, one each day, to help us focus on preparing for the Lord’s threefold coming: physically, spiritually and sacramentally in our lives. Saint Nicholas is the holy person on whom our present day Santa Claus is based. As the holy Saint Nicholas attended people in their material and spiritual needs, so the figure of Santa Claus reminds us that we are spiritually blessed by the presence of God and materially blessed by the gift of Christ. The gifts we give and receive at Christmas remind us that we are gifts from God and we are gifted by God, just as the Father has gifted us with His Only Begotten Son. The Crèche or Nativity Scene is a reproduction of the place in Bethlehem where Christ was born. These were made popular by St. “The Advent wreath is composed of candles which remind us of Francis who started the custom of living Nativity scenes. The God, who is light.” (CNS photo/ Lisa A. Johnston)

14 15 Catholic Connection December 2010

living Nativity scene in church pageants, inside and outside of churches, is Catholic in origin! In one tradition the family gathers before the crèche or nativity scene each day. The children inform their parents of the good things they’ve done that day. The children are then given a straw for each good thing they’ve done. In this way, the whole family prepares the crèche or nativity day by day during Advent to receive Holy Mary, Saint Joseph and the Divine Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. The Jesse Tree is a tree that traces the genealogy of Jesus through the House of David the King, whose father was Jesse. A new symbol is added to the tree each day that represents the faith of our ancestors and/or the actual family line of Jesus from Adam to Jesse and King David to Joseph and Mary. It is a day by day activity like opening of windows and doors on the Advent House and the Advent Calendar. It reminds us day by day to prepare for the coming of our Lord. The Giving Tree is a version of the Jesse Tree. Families, communities or organizations sponsor a tree which is decorated with tags indicating gifts for people, especially children, in need. Information about a desired toy, clothing or other needs are on the tag. The individual, family, community or organization purchases the item on the tag and returns it before Christmas so that the gifts can be given to the designated person before Christmas. This act of giving reminds us that Our Heavenly Father gives us the gift of his Son, Jesus, so that we can become a gift from God, a blessing to others. CHRISTMAS: The Twelve Days of Christ begin on December 25 and end on January 6. The Christmas season officially ends on the evening of the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord which is the Sunday following the Feast of the Epiphany. On Christmas Eve, or when the family returns from Christmas Mass, Mary, Jesus and Joseph are placed in the crèche or nativity scene and our three week celebration of our Savior’s birth officially begins. At this time other people are done with Christmas. Hopefully, we Catholics are just beginning our celebration of the great Gift of God who is Joy to The World! The principal color of this season is white, which represents spiritual purity, light and life. God is pure, light and life and we are purified in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Light of the World. The Christmas Tree has a long and varied history. It originated in medieval Paradise plays. A fir tree was decorated with apples to symbolize the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Lighted candles were placed on the tree. When the medieval Paradise play was no longer celebrated, the tree moved indoors and became the Christmas tree. Wafers representing the Eucharist were added to the tree along with the apples. Eventually the wafers were replaced with pastries in the form of stars, angels and other things. Over time the candles came to represent Christ the Light of the World. Ornaments and Lights: Glass decorations were used along with the edible decorations. Today, think of the glass ornaments as representations of the world that Jesus came to save. Let the white lights represent Christ, the Light of the World. Let the colored lights

represents the wide range of emotions we experience as we celebrate the great gift of ink “You can th the Word Made Flesh. Let es of candy can the animals and other shaped g n ti as represen ornaments represent all of d o o Jesus the G God’s wondrous creation. Shepherd.” You can think of candy canes as representing Jesus the Good Shepherd. They can also represent the shepherds who came to see the Child the angels proclaimed to them. Traditional candy canes are white with red stripes. The white candy can represent the sweet holiness of God. The broad red stripes can represent the saving sacrifice of the Savior who comes to us. The three thin stripes can represent the Holy Trinity. Poinsettias come from Mexico. In Mexico the Poinsettia is a shrub like the camellia bushes outside many homes. In Mexico the Poinsettia is called the “flower of the Holy Night.” Its red leaves represent the love of God, the passion of Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Mistletoe was a sacred plant in pre-Christian times. It was believed to have the power to heal and protect. This plant was considered to be so sacred that enemies who met under it were expected to pledge themselves to a truce. As a result, this plant was soon hung over doorways as a sign of peace. At one time its use was forbidden to Christians. However, in time it became a symbol of Christ and his healing power. Nowadays, people meet under the mistletoe to kiss as a sign of friendship and peace. Holly was likened to the burning bush that Moses encountered on the Holy Mountain. The red berries and the sharp pointed edges came to symbolize the crown of thorns and the passion of our Lord. Luminaries are another custom of Hispanic origin. Candles are placed in a sack or other type container to light the way for the Christ child. The Feast of the Three Kings (Epiphany) is the great feast of the Christ Child being revealed to the nations by the light of a star. The three magi from the scriptures are not identified by name or race. The Scriptures only tell us that they came from the East guided by the light of a star that came to rest over the place where the Baby lay. The practice of giving gifts on Christmas is rooted in the magi’s presentation of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child. Gold represents Christ’s kingship; it’s also a practical gift, especially for a family on the run. Frankincense represents the divinity of the Christ Child and Myrrh represents the passion or suffering of Christ and the anointing he would receive in preparation for his saving death on the cross. May all the sights, sounds, taste and smells of the Advent and Christmas Seasons make you very mindful of the presence and great gift of God in your life, in our Church and in our world.

“In Mexico, the poinsettia is called the flower of the Holy Night.” 15 14

Sacred Heart’s 90th Anniversary Concludes by Billy Coenen


ishop Duca celebrated Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Rayville on Sunday, November 7, assisted by Father Philip Pazhayakari. A large attendance greeted the Bishop and a great meal was held after the Mass. Bishop Duca congratulated the congregation on having many functions celebrating the 90th Anniversary during the year, which included: - Inauguration Mass of the 90th Anniversary on January 3, celebrated by Msgr. Earl Provenza, at which time recognition was given to several families who first formed the parish in 1920; - Special eight week Greco Class on Revelation January-March conducted by Fr. Pat Madden; - A three-day Lenten Mission in March conducted by Fr. August Stewart from Leadville, Colorado; -The Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated on June 11, 2010 conducted by Fr. Pike Thomas; -Ecumenical Gathering on September 23 in which Bishop Duca and community leaders gathered to advance the spiritual, civic and business aspects of Richland Parish; -13 hour Adorations every third Wednesday during the year; - Praying the Memorare each Sunday asking that a new priest come from Sacred Heart parish before the church’s centennial anniversary. We of Sacred Heart are most appreciative of both Bishop Duca and Father Philip for making our 90th Anniversary so memorable.

who with an age old love has loved us for all eternity, has walked beside us as we have aged, and it is only He who could fill our hearts with true love. by Sr. Martinette Rivers, ols After all the Christmases we have celebrated, we could be called the ‘Seasoned “ n every adult there lurks an eternal child, Citizens of Love’ and decorate the whole something that is always becoming, is world with it. Is there a better way to do it? never completed, and calls for unceasing “Whoever has a heart full of love always has care, attention and education. That is the something to give, ” said Pope John XXIII. part of the human personality which wants Our determination will make it happen to develop and become whole.” Carl Jung. and you’ll never run out of love. Jesus When we keep that part of us, ‘the eternal didn’t. His love lasts forever. child’ inside our being, alive and filled with Don’t allow an opportunity to pass by determination, we can feel free at any age to during this Season of His Birth. It’s His create our own fun this Christmas. birthday, not yours. Keep the channels of No medical researcher can tell us for sure your heart open and allow it to laugh, cry, why our bodies age, why our minds can still forgive and to love and wish everyone you remain sharp, or why most of us lose interest in our ‘childhood playfulness,’ even at Christmas. No one else understands our hearts, minds, souls and spirits better than we. Let the child in you play a bit. Let the light of His glory shine in you. It will transform every fiber of your being and make celebrating Christmas worthwhile. The greatest miracle, the birth of a newborn Jesus in Bethlehem, has taken place again. He came to love and serve us and that will last forever. God allows this holy season to become ours again as we meet a Blessed Christmas. That aging heart experience His love anew. of ours speaks a language of love that should At Christmas we are easily lulled into seeing what the commercial world tells us to astonish everyone this year. With all that Christmas spirit in you and see with all the decorations, gifts, the latest love in your hearts, we must not forget to toys for our grandchildren. Could it be the give ample time to God’s Word in reflection Birth of Christ is our ‘prescription’ for love and get in touch with the spiritual and noble that gives us the spiritual and youthful vigor parts of our aging lives. we need during this holy season? Is not Every season of our lives is God’s gift God’s plan for us based on His love? If we to us. Can we meet all the challenges fail to see His love in ‘the eternal child’ in of this season with determination and us, in our later years, we fail to mature, we enthusiasm? Our lives this Christmas, just grow older and grumpy. We can render without that recognition of God’s life a great service to God this Christmas by in us, would be like a badly painted serving as role models of His love. landscape. Let’s make sure it is a beautiful The secret of successful aging is none one. Recapture the power of imagination other than the ability to develop a new life this Christmas and allow the child in you for ourselves. I’m putting it into practice with all the young students in my class. This to play again. Find the sacred in ordinary is an entirely new aging experience for me. I things and give thanks to the Lord. God wants us to live our lives to the fullest suppose my heart needed a new place to go and to appreciate our inner attractiveness, to find the wisdom of old age. and let our inner light shine like the lights With determination fill your minds and on your Christmas tree. That big moment hearts with His love, find it in everyone you has arrived, it’s Christmas around the world meet during this season and pour out plenty so we are not celebrating alone. Turn the of love into everything you do for yourself music up and the lights on. Buon Natale! and others. Make it a ‘Christmas Love,’one Happy Christmas from Italy! not even Santa could bring, but only a God

16 17 Catholic Connection December 2010

Celebrate Your ‘Eternal Child’ This Christmas


Patron of the (Im)possible by Kim Long, DRE


was introduced to Saint Rita and her powerful praying ways with the briefest of statements from a dear friend who said, “Don’t fool around with this, go to St. Rita, she’s the patron of the impossible.” I turned to St. Rita then and still do today. I laugh and tell my novena praying friends that St. Rita is on my speed dial. The depth of her story is amazing. Rita Lotti was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, near Cascia in Italy. Her parents Antonio and Amata looked upon their only child as a special gift from God, since they were advanced in years when she came along. Rita was raised by the good and godly example of her devout parents, so it was hardly a surprise when she expressed her desire to become a nun. Ever obedient, she deferred to her parents desire that she marry and be cared for. The husband Rita’s father chose for her was Paola Mancini, a good man though of strong and impetuous character. Their marriage was soon blessed with two sons. Rita’s days were filled with the typical concerns of wife and mother. Tragedy eventually touched the Mancini family when Paola was ambushed and killed as he returned from work one day. Rita showed true Christian faith and love of the gospel message by beseeching her sons to forgive their father’s attackers and not seek revenge. Her words sadly were unheeded and she lost not only her husband, but both her sons in short order. Left alone Rita devoted herself to works of charity and a more intense life of prayer. The desire to enter a convent began to resurface. Her three applications to the Augustinian nuns were refused. The nuns were frightened of the violence that surrounded the deaths of her sons and husband. Rita called on her three patron saints to intercede for her and eventually was allowed to enter the convent where she lived for the next 40 years, following the rule of the saint she had chosen years before as her spiritual father, Saint Augustine of Hippo. His was a gentle rule which invited members of the community to strive in every possible way to achieve communion of mind and heart with God and one another. After 25 years of religious life, Rita was given what she considered to be a gift from God. One day as she knelt in prayer, her forehead was pierced by a violent wound, a thorn from the crown

that covered Jesus’ own head. She bore this wound for 15 years, until her death. The origin of Saint Rita’s Shrine near Philadelphia is linked to both Italian immigration and to popular religious devotion which started at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1907 the Augustinian friars were asked to found a parish to assist in the care of the tens of thousands of Italian families coming into the city. This they did and they chose St. Rita as the patron of the new foundation. Not only was Rita a daughter of Italian soil, but she was canonized just a few years prior in 1900. She was quickly being brought to the attention of people as a sympathetic and attractive model for holiness and a powerful intercessor in the most needy of cases. The friar soon established a novena to St. Rita conducted 13 times each Sunday and Wednesday to accommodate the thousands of people who came to seek favors or give thanks for graces received.

A wish is a powerful thing. Rita’s parents wanted her security, Rita wanted the religious life, and we all want to think nothing’s really so far gone that it is viewed as impossible. With Rita’s help and intercession, those daunting moments can be prayerfully dealt with.

Two Diocesan Seminarians Installed as Readers by Fr. David Richter, Director of Vocations


he seminarians were instructed: “As a Reader of the Word of God, you are to help with the task of preaching the Gospel to every creature. It will be your responsibility to proclaim that Word in the liturgical assembly, to give children and adults, the baptized and catechumens, instruction in the faith; and to preach the Gospel, the Good News of Christ, to those who do not know it. Thus with your help men and women will come to know God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent, and so will be able to reach eternal life. Since you will proclaim God’s Word to others, see that you are ready to accept it yourself. Meditate on it thoughtfully and by your way of life show forth to the world Our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This ministry is one of the ministries (formerly called minor orders) in which seminarians are installed before transitional diaconate ordination, leading to priesthood ordination. Seminarians Jerry Daigle, Jr. and John Bosco Nyirenda, pictured with Bishop Roger Morin, are eligible for priesthood ordination in 2014 and 2015, respectively. 17 16

Hispanic Corner por Rosalba Quiroz

Celebrando el Nacimiento del Redentor iciembre es para muchos un tiempo de descanso y de estar en familia pero para nosotros los cristianos católicos es además el mes asignado para celebrar la Natividad de Jesús, Nuestro Salvador y Redentor. Este mes tradicionalmente celebramos: • El Primer Domingo y los domingos previos a la Navidad, también llamados Domingos de Adviento celebramos la espera del nacimiento de Jesús. • El 8 celebramos La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen Maria (Misa obligatoria) • El 9 La Canonización (Santificación) de San Juan Diego. Canonizado en 2002, San Juan Diego fue el primer Indígena Americano Canonizado. • El 12 La Virgen de Guadalupe, aparecida a San Juan Diego en el cerro del Tepeyac donde también hizo brotar frescas rosas y dejó su imagen grabada en la Tilma para probar al mundo que ella, la Madre de Dios mismo, vino a engrandecer a los pequeños. • Del 16 al 24 las Posadas. Muy apropiadamente dedicamos un novenario, nueve días de oraciones, en anticipación a la Natividad del Señor. • El 25 La Navidad. Finalmente celebramos al Redentor que bajó del cielo en la figura frágil y tierna de un recién nacido a llenar el hogar de Jose y María de inmensa felicidad. Este día el Único Hijo de Dios viene a recordarnos que no estamos solos y, si lo aceptamos, a quedarse con nosotros para acompañarnos en nuestras vidas. • El 31 la celebración de Fin de Año. Agradecidos y con alegría reconocemos que nuestro creador nos permite un año



Bossier City: Christ the King 425 McCormick St. Bossier City Domingo 3:00 p.m. Marilú Rodriguez Tel: 318-286-1492 Farmerville: Our Lady of Perpetual Help 600 E. Water Street, Farmerville Sábado 7:00 p.m. Rev. Al Jost Tel: 318-243-0115 Mansfield: St. Joseph 305 Jefferson Street, Mansfield 2do

más de vida y nos deja entrar al nuevo año que esperamos nos traerá nuevas ilusiones y nuevas energías para seguir cumpliendo la voluntad del Padre y esperando la segunda llegada del Rey del Mundo. ¿Cuál de estas es tu celebración favorita? Cualquiera que sea celébrala y compártela con tus familiares, amistades, comunidad parroquial y sobretodo haz que Cristo sea

siempre el centro toda celebración y de tu vida porque Él es el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida. (Jn. 14:6)

Calendario Diocesano Mes de Diciembre 4-5 Escuela de Ministerios: Metodología Pastoral. Sábado de 9a.m. a 8p.m. y domingo de 9a.m. a 2p.m. Centro Católico, 3500 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104 8-12 Conferencia Nacional para Asesores juveniles, New Orleans (conferencia en inglés) 11-12 3er domingo de Adviento y celebraciones de Nuestra Sra. De Guadalupe (Favor de confirmar horario de celebración con el coordinador de su comunidad) 16-24 Posadas en preparación para la Navidad 25 Celebración del Nacimiento de Nuestro Señor

1 Semana de Enero:

Los Obispos de Estados Unidos declaran esta la “Semana Nacional de Inmigración,” este año con el tema “Renovando Esperanza y Buscando Justicia” Unámonos en oración por una Reforma Migratoria justa.


El almacén de la parroquia de Santa Maria de Los Pinos abre todos los domingos después de Misa para aquellas familias que necesiten artículos para el hogar o ropa.

Domingo 2:00 p.m. y 3er Martes 6:30 p.m. Juanita Ibarra Tel: 318-872-5390 Minden: St. Paul 410 Fincher Road, Minden Viernes 7:00 p.m. Margarita Bratton Tel: 318-377-9684 Oak Grove: Sacred Heart 201 Purvis St, Oak Grove Domingo 5:00 p.m. Feliciano y Rosa Alviso Martinez Tel: 318-428-2137

Ruston: St. Thomas Aquinas 810 Carey Ave, Ruston 2do y 4to Domingo 2:30 p.m. Soledad Broyles Tel: 318-243-1958 Shreveport: St. Mary of the Pines 1050 Bert Kouns Ind Lp., Shreveport Domingo 1:00 p.m. Carmen Bradford Tel: 318-455-2300 West Monroe: St. Paschal 711 N 7th Street, W. Monroe Domingo 2:30 p.m. Lorena Chaparro Tel: 318-651-9136

Rosalba Quiroz, Directora del Ministerio Hispano 318-219-7265 • Rev. Al Jost, Coordinador de La Vicaría del Este • 318-243-0115

18 19 Catholic Connection December 2010

Archbishops Dolan, Kurtz Elected USCCB President, Vice President by Nancy Frazier O’Brien Catholic News Service


ALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a series of close votes, the U.S. bishops elected Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the next three years and chose Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, as vice president. By selecting Archbishop Dolan from a field of 10 candidates that included Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, AZ, USCCB vice president, the bishops diverged from the usual practice of electing the USCCB vice president as president. Because a USCCB vice president cannot serve for two consecutive terms under conference rules, Bishop Kicanas was not eligible to run for vice president. Archbishop Dolan succeeded Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago as USCCB president at the close of the bishops’ fall general assembly Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore. The change in the USCCB leadership took just a matter of minutes, thanks to electronic voting. In the first ballot for the presidential election, Bishop Kicanas had a clear lead over Archbishop Dolan, 104 to 84. On the second ballot, Archbishop Dolan pulled ahead of Bishop Kicanas, 118-111. Even so, neither prelate had acquired the majority needed for election. In a runoff after the other eight candidates for the presidency had been eliminated, Archbishop Dolan won 128 to 111. For the vice presidency, Archbishop Kurtz, the current USCCB treasurer, had a slim lead but not a majority on the first ballot. On the second ballot, he widened his lead – but again, not by enough to claim a majority. On the third ballot against Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop Kurtz won with 141 votes to 97. Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, WV, was elected treasurer. While he was not supposed to start until next year, he’ll start right away instead with the election of Archbishop

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, newly elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, newly elected president, arrive for a press conference during the U.S. bishops’ annual fall meeting in Baltimore Nov. 16.

Kurtz to the vice presidency. The election of Archbishop Dolan marks the first time since the bishops’ conference was reorganized in 1966 following the Second Vatican Council reforms that a sitting vice president who sought the presidency did not win the election. In two elections, circumstances dictated that the vice president did not rise to lead the conference. In 1974, Coadjutor Archbishop Leo C. Byrne of St. Paul and Minneapolis, vice president since 1971, died less than a month before his term ended. Three years later, Cardinal John J. Carberry of St. Louis as vice president declined to run for the top spot because he was 73 years old and was due to retire before he could complete a three-year term as president. This year’s voting nearly had to be conducted the old-fashioned way – by a paper ballot. A glitch in the electronic voting system kept the results from a test vote from appearing on an overhead projector screen in the front of the meeting room. After a technical fix, the test ballot finally went through without a hitch. A second test ballot did, too, on the question of whether the bishops would play a round of golf between now and the end of the year. The results: 25 yes, 207 no. To laughter from the assembled bishops, Cardinal George said, “That

vote signals the end of the clerical culture.” On the second day of their general assembly, the bishops also elected chairmen-elect for six committees. They will take office in November 2011. Those elected were: -- Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services as chairman-elect of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance by a 136-105 vote over Bishop Randolph R. Calvo of Reno, NV. -- Bishop Joseph P. McFadden of Harrisburg, PA, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Catholic Education by a 120-118 vote over Coadjutor Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, NJ. -- Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, 125-113 over Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Lexington, NY. -- Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, WS, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, 137-102 over Bishop Paul S. Coakley of Salina, KS. -- Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore, Committee on International Justice and Peace, 145-93 over Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, NY. -- Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Steubenville, OH, Committee on Child and Youth Protection, 146-92 over Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, TX. 19 18

Around the Diocese 2




4 1. SEAS Performs at the Rose Center


3. Run with the Nuns IV Raised Money for Abused Children


he St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Adult and he annual Run with the Nuns event Children’s Choir performed at the raises money for children’s health Second Annual Rejoicing in the Roses at each year. This year the event took place at the Gardens of the American Rose Center. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Bishop Duca and Msgr. Earl Provenza were on hand to bless medals of St. Joseph to give to the 2. St. Jude Church Helps the bikers. Bishop Duca and Msgr. Earl also Homeless blessed the bikes. Sisters from CHRISTUS ovember marks the beginning of Schumpert were there to greet and wave a new meal ministry for St. Jude to the bikers as they left for their run. Church. St. Jude rotates with other area Pictured: Bishop Michael Duca on the churches in this ecumenical ministry. Every fourth Wednesday, St. Jude prepares OCC Chesapeake Chopper. and delivers 70 sack meals to Hope House in Shreveport. These meals are distributed 4. Feast of St. Theresa to homeless men and women who gather Celebrated in Delhi ishop Michael Duca visited St. at Hope House for a blessing of word and Theresa Church in Delhi on October food. With 12 other churches, including 17 to celebrate a special Mass, the Feast of four Catholic parishes, meals are now St. Theresa. This was Bishop Duca’s fourth delivered EVERY weekday evening for the visit to the church to celebrate Mass. homeless in our community! The parishioners of Sacred Heart and St.



20 21 Catholic Connection December 2010

Theresa wish to thank Bishop Duca for his continued support.

5. St. Matthew Youth Celebrated All Saints and All Souls Days


ntioch, the youth group of St. Matthew Church in Monroe, was the host of the All Hallows Eve Bonfire on the evening of October 31. Over 60 teens attended. Bobby J. “Thomas” Kennedy, St. Matthew’s youth minister, gave a brief talk about the festivals of All Saints and All Souls. A bonfire, food, hayride and outdoor movie entertained the teens for several hours.

6. Living Rosary at St. Jude


n October 27, St Jude Church held a “Living Rosary.” Parents, catechists and students from first grade through high school joined together to pray the rosary and light candles in the place of traditional rosary beads. Both the prayer



8 9

and the sight were beautiful to behold.

7. Pilgrimage to Portugal and Spain


group of 15 local Catholics departed Shreveport on September 2 bound for Madrid, Spain. The group traveled to several locations including Portugal, where Fr. Gallagher said Mass. In Fatima we celebrated with a rosary and candlelight procession with the Blessed Sacrament. We also traveled to Alfama to a Cathedral called Se’ and the Church of Santo Antonio, built on the site of the birth place of St. Anthony. Mass was said there. Then we traveled to Lisbon to fly out the next day home to the U.S.A.

8. St. Mary of the Pines Held Mass of Remembrance


ishop Duca presided at the 10th annual All Souls Day Mass for those parishioners who have lost family

members in the past year. Members are sent invitations to attend the Mass and bring a picture of the loved one to place in the Church. Individual names were called out during the Prayers of the Faithful. Family members placed a lighted votive candle in front of the pictures. Bishop Duca placed a votive candle in front of the pictures of Fr. Carey, Fr. Pusch and Fr. Inzina who passed away this past year.


and English of the Mass so they could follow along.

10. Msgr. LaCaze Successfully Roasted at Cathedral


t was a full house at the Cathedral’s Multi-Room for a special roast of the venerable Msgr. J. Carson LaCaze on October 25, 2010. Over 200 acquaintances of Msgr. LaCaze gathered to have fun, wish him a happy 80th birthday and raise 9 All Souls Requiem Latin Mass funds to support the Cathedral’s new at the Cathedral organ which is scheduled to be installed n November 2, All Souls Day, the in time for the 25th anniversary of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans founding of our diocese in 1986. Delicious food was provided by celebrated an All Souls Mass. Fr. Peter Ernest’s Supper Club and those in Mangum was the principal celebrant and attendance enjoyed poking fun at one of was assisted by Fr. Luke Melcher and Fr. Peter Faulk, both priests from the Diocese the most well known priests of our area and most importantly, over $30,000 was of Alexandria. The voices of Saint Cecilia raised for the Cathedral’s organ project Choir filled the Cathedral. The Mass which will benefit all of the faithful of our was well attended and parishioners were provided with a program of both the Latin diocese for many years to come.


21 20

Pro-Life Wishes by Roxie Tabor

25th Anniversary of the Diocese of Shreveport



ro-Life in our diocese has so much to be thankful for this year! Each parish has supported Pro-Life efforts in many ways including prayer programs, Holy Hours for Life, educational programs, youth programs, diaper drives, funding for crisis pregnancy programs, youth trip to the March in Washington, Pro-Life Oratory Contest, Fertility Appreciation programs, public witness to our beliefs through active participation in 40-Days for Life, Respect Life Masses, and a Billboard for Life. We celebrated it all in October at the Bishop’s First Pro-Life Banquet. As pro-life ministry continues to grow in the diocese, we ask the following from you: P- Prayer. We wish for an increase of prayer among individual Catholics and organizations of the diocese. R –Respect for Life among all of us that includes a desire for peace among all people and a genuine love for every child of God in every circumstance from the unborn to the elderly. O - Opennness to the awe of the wondrous birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the true meaning of His incarnation as the greatest gift of all. L - Love for all those who work to make our diocese an ongoing expression of Christ’s ministry. I-Involvement of more people actively supporting life through prayer, example, and financial support of “Life” causes. Support includes those in crisis pregnancies, young families in need, care of the physically challenged, imprisoned, those in poverty, the elderly in need and those who may suffer post-abortion trauma and need for healing. F-Faith. An increase in faith for all of us as we live in a world that sometimes seems to reject the very truths that we hold so dear. E- Enjoyment of the rich spiritual gifts that the wonderful season of Christmas can bring to all of us.

22 23 Catholic Connection December 2010

ishop Michael Duca announces that the Diocese of Shreveport will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at the Shreveport Convention Center. The theme for this celebration is: “Christ Yesterday, Today and Forever.” The diocese will come together to celebrate our Catholic identity with a keynote address, breakout sessions, music and food. The day will culminate with the celebration of Mass. Mark June 11, 2011 on your calendars now and plan to celebrate our Catholic spirit, look back with thanksgiving for the past 25 years, and look forward in hope to the vision of the next 25 years for our diocese.

Upcoming Events DECEMBER 5-7: ADVENT MISSION AT ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MANY St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Many will host its Advent Mission, “Let Us Prepare for the Lord” on Sunday through Tuesday, December 5 - 7. Fr. Jim Sichko of the Diocese of Lexington, KY will lead the mission services from 7 to 8:00 p.m. each evening. Fr. Sichko, an exceptional homilist, often illustrates the points of the Gospel with personal stories of his own. He is a dynamic, high-energy speaker who seems to have a magic touch in attracting people to his presentations. Sichko leads mission events at churches across the nation one week a month. This is his third visit to the Diocese of Shreveport. He recently lead a mission at St. Mary of the Pines. He has given retreats for priests in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Dioceses of Houma-Thibodeaux, Lafayette, Lake Charles and the priests of the Augustinian Recollects. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church extends an invitation to all to join in preparing for the birth of our Lord by attending this special mission. For more information, contact the church office at 318-256-5680 or Shirley Rivers at 318-256-3499. All are welcome! DECEMBER 11: JOIN MARY, QUEEN OF PEACE YOUTH ON VISIT TO WARE YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY You are cordially invited to join Mary, Queen of Peace High School and Middle School

Youth to Ware Children’s Correctional Facility in Coushatta for our annual Christmas visit. Father Joseph Ampatt will lead our group to the prison on December 11. All groups should arrive at MQP at 8:30 a.m. for a prompt departure at 9:00 a.m. We will return from WARE no later than 12:00 noon. Each church is responsible for transportation of attending youth. Contact the church office at Mary, Queen of Peace 318-752-5971 for more information. JANUARY 15: RETREAT DAY FOR LAITY Our Lady of Fatima in Monroe will be hosting a Retreat Day for the combined pastoral and finance councils of St. Lawrence Church, Catholic Campus Ministry at ULM and Our Lady of Fatima Church on Saturday, January 15. Sister Marilyn Vassallo, csj, will lead the day of recollection on the topic “Laity in the Changing Church.” Her presentation from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon will include talks, sharing and time for reflection. Lunch will be served from 12:00 to 1:00. A business meeting for the combined councils will take place at 1:00 p.m. facilitated by Randy Tiller, Director of Mission Effectiveness for the Diocese of Shreveport. JANUARY 19: COMMUNITY GRIEF GROUP On January 19, 2011 St. Jude Church in Bossier City will begin a community grief support group for adults and teens experiencing the loss of a loved one. The group will continue to meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. The group meets in the Church Rectory dining room. Daycare is available. For more information contact St. Jude Church at 318-746-2508.








Third Sunday of Advent Our Lady of Guadalupe


Fourth Sunday of Advent



2 Jewish festival Hanukkah begins

3 Saint Francis Xavier, priest

Saint Andrew, apostle


St. Vincent de Saint Nicholas, Paul Annual Mass, bishop Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, 11am Second Sunday of Advent

30 Good Leaders, Good Shepherds

First Sunday of Advent



The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

13 Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr

20 Catholic Schools Christmas Holidays Begin

27 Saint John, apostle and evangelist

7 Catholic Connection Deadline 2nd Collection: Retirement Fund for Religious

8 2nd Collection: Retirement Fund for Religious Catholic Center Closed

St. Ambrose, bishop The Immaculate Conception of the & doctor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church




4 Saint John of Damascus, priest and doctor of the Church

11 Saint Damascus I, pope

Vocations Board Meeting, Catholic Center, 12pm Saint Juan Diego, hermit











Saint Elizabeth of Saint John of the Hungary, religious Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

Saint John of Kanty, Christmas Eve priest Catholic Center

St. Peter Canisius, priest and doctor of the Church

28 The Holy Innocents, martyrs

Christmas Day

Closes until January 3, 2011 2nd Collection: Infirm Priests Fund

29 Saint Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr


31 New Years Eve Saint Sylvester I, pope

1 New Years Day World Day of Prayer for Peace

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

23 22



Shreveport, LA 71104


St. Patrick Church Celebrated 140 Years!


s up a plaque Fr. Zach h o ld rs . ick's 140 Ye a r t a P t. S g in h onor

d e n pe r f or me Pa r ish childr le brat io n . du r ing t h e ce

24 Catholic Connection December 2010

t. Patrick Church of Lake Providence celebrated the 140th anniversary of the official founding of the Church on Sunday, October 24, 2010, with a special 10:30 a.m. Mass offered by Bishop Michael G. Duca. This was the highlight of a weekend of festivities. A wonderful fish fry dinner followed Bishop Duca’s Sunday Mass in Barker Hall and over 100 of the faithful were able to participate in this joyous event.

Bish op Michael Duca dist ri bu te s communio n du ri ng M as s.

ts wa rd th e gif Bri nging for ass . niversa r y M n a e th g n ri du

e Euch a r is t h t s e r a p e r p Fr. Zach rs a r y M as s . e iv n n a e h t du r ing

Catholic Connection December 2010  

Celebrate and Anticipate Advent