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Vol. 23, No. 5 December 2013

The of

Christmas Decemeber 2013 1


Advent Reconciliation Services

Publisher Bishop Michael G. Duca Editor Jessica Rinaudo Contributors Jennifer Chunn Bishop Michael Duca Patricia Hackney Jennifer Hill Edward Hydro Kim Long Fr. Matthew Long Theresa Mormino

Fr. Rothell Price Rosalba Quiroz Sr. Martinette Rivers Katie Sciba Fr. Pike Thomas Mike Van Vranken John Mark Willcox

Editorial Board Kim Long Fr. Matthew Long Kelly Phelan Powell Dianne Rachal Christine Rivers Mike Whitehead John Mark Willcox Mission Statement 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. 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.

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emember the Prodigal Son? The joy that young man experienced when his compassionate father, whom he had greatly wronged, embraced him in loving arms, should be your own experience in this Sacrament of Reconciliation. Below are a list of reconciliation services being held in the Shreveport/Bossier area during Advent. What a gift from God for this blessed season!

Tuesday, December 3 6:00 p.m. St. Mary of the Pines Church Wednesday, December 4 6:30 p.m. St. Pius X Church

Wednesday, December 11 6:00 p.m. Cathedral of St. John Berchmans

Thursday, December 5 6:00 p.m. Mary, Queen of Peace Church

Thursday, December 12 5:00 p.m. St. Jude Church

Monday, December 9 5:00 p.m. Holy Trinity Church

Tuesday, December 17 6:00 p.m. Sacred Heart Church, Shreveport

Tuesday, December 10 6:30 p.m. Christ the King Church

Thursday, December 19 6:30 p.m. St. Joseph Church, Shreveport

bishop’s december calendar DEC 4 Prayer Service for Immigration Reform; Sacred Heart Church, Oak Grove; 6:00 p.m. DEC 5 & 6 Bishops of Region V Episcopal Support Day; Christian Life Center at St. Joseph Abbey, St. Benedict, Louisiana DEC 8 Society of St. Vincent de Paul Annual Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans; 11:00 a.m.; followed by luncheon at the Catholic Center Mass in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Hispanic Ministry Presence; St. Joseph Church, Mansfield; 2:00 p.m. DEC 15 Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 8:30 a.m. DEC 17 Lessons & Carols; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 6:30 p.m.

DEC 20 Advent Party for Seminarians & Prospects; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 5:30 p.m. DEC 21 Seminarian Christmas Party; Catholic Center, Shreveport; 6:00 p.m. DEC 22 Candidacy: Jerry Daigle & Keith Garvin; St. Matthew Church, Monroe; 10:30 a.m. DEC 25 Midnight Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 12:00 a.m. DEC 31 Mass; Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Shreveport; 5:30 p.m.


contents

december 2013

columns Celebrating the True Spirit of Christmas

by Bishop Michael G. Duca........................................................................................... 4-5

Mike’s Meditations: The Middle Coming by Mike Van Vranken...........................6 Aging Wisdom: The Wonder of God's Love by Sr. Martinette Rivers ....................6 Domestic Church: Coming Together This Christmas by Katie Sciba...................... 7 Give the Gift of Time by Katie Sciba .......................................................................7

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Second Collections: Retirement for Religious and Diocese of Shreveport Infirm Priests Fund by Fr. Rothell Price ..................................................8 Navigating the Faith: The Sacrament of Reconciliation by Fr. Pike Thomas.......9 Keeping the Christmas Spirit by Patricia Hackney..................................................10 Moveable Feast: Preparing the Manger with "Haystacks" by Kim Long.............10 School News ...........................................................................................................11

features

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The Octave of Christmas by Fr. Matthew Long ................................................................................................ 12-13

news Renzi Center Teaches At-Risk Youth by Jennifer Hill...............................................14 Gifts to Catholic Charities Have Helped More Than 4,000

by Theresa Mormino...................................................................................................14

Diocese to Host Married Couples Conference by John Mark Willcox.................15 Diocese Hosted Facilities Management Seminar by Edward Hydro...................15 Students Celebrate Day of the Dead by Jennifer Chunn ....................................16 'Special Message' on the HHS Mandate from the Bishops of the U.S. ............16

15 on the cover

Hispanic Corner by Rosalba Quiroz ........................................................................17 Archbishop Kurtz Elected President of U.S. Bishops, Cardinal DiNardo Elected Vice President by the USCCB....................................................................18 Bishops Call for Pastoral Statement on Pornography by the USCCB..................18 Across the Globe by Vatican Information Services..................................................19 The Pope Prays for the Philippines and Renews Solidarity with the Jewish People on Kristallnacht; Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals in February 2014

Vatican News and Notes by Vatican Information Services ....................................19 Around the Diocese ...............................................................................................20-21 Upcoming Events....................................................................................................22 December Calendar .............................................................................................23 Picture of the Month by Blanca Vice......................................................................24

Nativity scene stained glass window in the Montserrat monastery in Catalonia, Spain.

Decemeber 2013 3


LA REFLEXIÓN del obispo

por Obispo Michael G. Duca

Celebrando el Verdadero Espíritu Navideño

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uando reciban la Catholic Connection de este mes, ya habremos entrado a la Cristiana temporada de Adviento y estamos con grandes esperanzas y expectativas de la celebración de Navidad, el Nacimiento del Señor. Este tiempo del año es único porque nuestras observancias religiosas de la temporada de Adviento y Navidad corresponden también a una observancia seglar en la temporada santa de Navidad. La pregunta que enfrentamos con esto es: ¿Cómo podemos todos – seglares o fieles formar un mejor entendimiento de esta temporada de Adviento y Navidad? Mientras que muchos de nosotros podemos recordar cuando las observancias seglares y las religiosas de la Navidad no eran tan diferentes, hoy que la cultura seglar continua definiendo Navidad sin Cristo, estas dos observancias son verdaderamente dos celebraciones diferentes. Pueden parecer lo mismo porque los símbolos son los mismos, pero en significado son muy diferentes. Nos damos cuenta de esto cuando sentimos que tenemos que pelear para recordar a otros el verdadero significado de Navidad que muchas veces se formaliza en Feliz Navidad Vs. Felices Festividades cuando tenemos encuentros públicos. Cuando vemos esta continua secularización de Navidad en el mercado necesitamos tomarnos un tiempo y recordarnos a nosotros mismos que no estamos llamados a pelear, sino a proclamar la buena nueva del Nacimiento de Jesús y a redescubrir el gozo de la Navidad en nuestros propios corazones. Debemos respirar profundo en oración y recordar que no es la responsabilidad de las tiendas o los centros comerciales de mantener primordialmente el corazón y el alma del mensaje de la Navidad. No, ese es nuestro mensaje, nuestra festividad, NUESTRO MISTERIO para celebrarlo y proclamarlo. Debemos tranquilizarnos y buscar el maravilloso gozo y misterio de Navidad donde se puede verdaderamente encontrar, en el corazón del Evangelio, en 4 Catholic Connection

una oración Litúrgica y compartida, en nuestra propia persona y en la caridad del corazón de la Iglesia. El Evangelio es una fuente de la historia del Nacimiento de Jesús y nos haría muy bien leer la historia del nacimiento de Cristo sacado directamente de la Biblia durante estas temporadas de Adviento y Navidad. ¡Qué hermosa tradición sería leer la historia del Evangelio de San Lucas del Nacimiento de Jesús antes de abrir regalos o al comienzo de nuestra cena de Navidad! Otra manera de proclamar nuestra celebración de la temporada centrada en Cristo es recordando que mientras que el mercado alrededor nuestro nos lleva directo a la navidad, comenzamos con la temporada de Adviento porque parte de la historia del nacimiento de Jesús es la historia bíblica que cuenta el tiempo que la humanidad esperó y se preparó para recibir al Redentor. La Biblia también predice el futuro sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección de Jesús. En la Palabra de Dios nos sumergimos en el misterio que se completa solo cuando juntos mantenemos la espera del pasado, el gozo del presente y la esperanza del futuro prometido. Una manera significativa de vivir esta celebración de Adviento en la familia es encendiendo la Corona de Adviento durante nuestras comidas familiares para recordarnos de nuestra espera del regreso de nuestro Redentor. Finalmente, recuperamos el significado verdadero de Navidad en nuestras oraciones personales y en nuestras celebraciones Litúrgicas del domingo de Adviento y el día de Navidad. En nuestras celebraciones litúrgicas, la anticipación y el gozo del misterio del nacimiento de Jesús es

compartido. En nuestra Misa compartida nuestro corazón se inspira en el misterio del amor de Cristo por nosotros (la Eucaristía) y esto nos da un significado mas refrescante y profundo que todas las decoraciones, regalos y celebraciones que tendremos esta temporada de Navidad. Esta inspiración santa nos mantiene enfocados en el significado verdadero de la Navidad, para que no nos arrepintamos del mundo seglar que nos da el espíritu de Navidad. Sino más bien, llevemos el espíritu de Navidad al mundo; llevemos y proclamemos a Cristo, que es la Luz y la Esperanza del Mundo. Esto se manifiesta aun más claro en la caridad que mostramos a los demás, especialmente a aquellos en necesidad. Los actos de bondad hechos gratuitamente, las donaciones a los pobres y los regalos significativos que damos a nuestros seres amados son las señales más claras que tenemos el verdadero gozo de la Navidad en nuestros corazones. Ese el verdadero espíritu de Navidad porque somos movidos a dar a los demás un Dios que nos dio a su Hijo para nuestra redención. Si vemos el pasado en nuestros mejores recuerdos de Navidad, podremos descubrir que esos momentos llenos de maravillas fueron creados por algo lleno de fe. Fue su fe y ese deseo oculto de hacer el amor de Dios real, revelado en el regalo de Su Hijo la fuente de gozo en esos momentos. Nuestro error es frecuentemente tratar y solo imitar el evento y olvidar que es la fuente más profunda de gozo: los papás o amigos que crearon una memora feliz de Navidad. El verdadero gozo de la Navidad no es encontrar el espíritu Navideño, sino ser la fuente de ese Espíritu para los demás.


bishop’s reflection

by Bishop Michael G. Duca

Celebrating the True Spirit of Christmas

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s your receive this month’s Catholic Connection, we have entered the Christian season of Advent and are waiting with hopeful expectations for the celebration of Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord. This time of year is unique because our religious observance of the seasons of Advent and Christmas correspond with a secular observance of the Christmas holiday Bishop Duca season. The question we are faced with is this: Which understanding of these seasons – the religious or secular – will most deeply shape our observance of Advent and Christmas? While many of us can remember when the secular and religious observances of Christmas were not that different, today, as the secular culture continues to redefine Christmas without Christ, these two observances are really two different celebrations. They may appear to be the same because the symbols are the same, but their meanings are very different. We realize this when we feel we have to fight to remind others of the real meaning of Christmas that often times gets formalized in the Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays battle in our public encounters. When we see this continual secularization of Christmas in the marketplace we need to take some time and remind ourselves that we are not called to fight, but to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ Birth and rediscover the joy of Christmas within our own hearts. We should take a prayerful breath and remember it is not the responsibility of the department stores or the malls to be the keepers of the primary heart and soul of the Christmas message. No, that is our message, our holiday and OUR MYSTERY to celebrate and proclaim. We should relax and look for the wonder, joy and mystery of Christmas where it will be

truly found, in the heart of the Gospel, in our personal and shared Liturgical prayers and in the charitable heart of the Church. The Gospel is the source of the story of the Birth of Jesus and we would do well to read the story of Christ’s birth from the Bible during these Advent and Christmas seasons. What a wonderful tradition it would be to read from the Gospel of Luke the story of the Birth of Jesus before we open gifts or at the beginning of our Christmas meal. Another way to reclaim our Christ centered celebration of the season is to remember that while the marketplace around us moves immediately to Christmas, we begin with the season of Advent because part of the story of Jesus’ birth is the biblical history that chronicles the time humanity waited and prepared for the Redeemer. The Bible also foretells the future suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. In the Word of God we are plunged into a mystery that is only complete when we hold together the waiting of the past, the joy that is present and future hope that is promised. A meaningful way to bring this Advent celebration into the family is with the Advent wreath burning at our family meals reminding us of our waiting for the coming of our Redeemer. Finally we recover the true meaning of Christmas in our personal prayers and in our Liturgical celebrations of the Sundays of Advent and on Christmas Day. In our Liturgical celebrations, the anticipation and joy of the mystery of Christ’s birth is shared. In our shared Mass we are inspired from the heart of the mystery of Christ’s love for us (the Eucharist) and this gives us a refreshing and deeper meaning to all the

decorating, gift giving and celebrating we will do this Christmas season. This holy inspiration keeps us focused on the real meaning of Christmas, so we do not depend on the secular world to give us the Christmas spirit. Instead, we bring the Christmas spirit to the world; we bring and proclaim Christ, who is the Light and Hope of the World. This is even more clearly manifested in the charity we show to others, especially to those in need. The freely given acts of kindness, the donations to the poor and the thoughtful gifts we give to loved ones are the clearest signs that we have the true Christmas joy in our hearts. It is the true Christmas spirit because we are moved to give to

others as God gave His Son to us for our redemption. If we look back on the best memories of Christmas, we may discover that these wonder-filled moments were created with someone faith-filled. It was their faith and underlying desire to make real the love of God, revealed in the gift of His Son that was the source of joy in those moments. Our mistake is often to try and imitate the event and forget the deeper source of joy: the parents or friends who created a joyful memory of Christmas. The real joy of Christmas is not about finding the Christmas spirit, but about being the source of that Spirit for others. Decemeber 2013 5


mike’s meditations

by Mike Van Vranken

The Middle Coming Seeing Jesus in Those Around Us

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ach Advent, we celebrate Jesus� first appearance in the world while, at the same time, we anticipate his final coming. It is healthy and holy to do such. But, within our focus on the Incarnation, as well as Christ�s triumphant return, we would deny ourselves the presence of God in our lives today if we ignore the “Middle Coming?” Jesus told us "the kingdom of God is among you." (Luke 17:21) Additionally, do we not know that we are the "temple of the Holy Spirit?" (1 Cor 3:16) Or, from Galatians 2:20 Paul says it is "no longer I, but Christ lives in me." God dwells within us now. How can we appreciate Jesus in the Incarnation, and how can we imagine Jesus when he comes again, if we cannot recognize and experience him now while he is here? When we allow ourselves to realize him, identify him and visualize him in other people, we can thrust our intimate relationship with him into the physical dimension of our reality. Here we are actually able to see, touch, smell and hear the real Jesus in those around us. We find him in our boss at work or our children at home. We experience him in the person on the street who asks us for money for a meal or the clerk at the convenience store who seems in a bad mood. Should we dare, we visit him in a nursing home or in a jail or prison. We forgive him when we pardon the representative from our cell phone company who cannot explain our bill. We smile at him as we allow him to pull in front of us on a busy street. You see, if my body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, if Christ lives in me, the same is true of the person who is in line with me at Walmart. Every evening this month, let�s spend 15 minutes writing down all of the "Jesus sightings" we had that day. Think about each one and how it affected you or someone else. We will find ourselves intimately prepared for Jesus on Christmas morning, recognizing Jesus in our daily lives on a level we�ve never experienced before, and be more fully prepared as we wait in joyful hope for the final coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. Mike has a teaching ministry (www.mikevanvrankenministries. org) and serves as an adjunct professor for the Diocese of Shreveport’s Greco Institute. 6 Catholic Connection

aging wisdom

by Sr. Martinette Rivers

The Wonder of God's Love Let the Spirit of Christmas Be Your Every Day Spirit

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od's light has been shining through you for many Christmas seasons, since you were a child, and He has closely watched the eternal child in you play year after year. Have you allowed the pain of one of those seasons to destroy the joy of all the rest? The passion in our lives keeps us alive longer and gives us a new purpose every day. Christmas then must be our time alive once more. When did you last have a time alive moment? Did you encourage the playful child in you to thrive? Or do you simply wait for Christmas with all the lights and parties and presents?  Picasso once said,“It took me a lifetime to learn to paint like a child.” I just love his statement.  How many lifetimes do we need? When I walk along the sea here in Rimini, Italy, and feel a part of every wave, the child in me becomes alive again, and I want to romp and play in the water. Christmas is really every day of the year for some of us. There is a powerful spirit within each of us that comes alive during our different seasons and, in particular, at Christmas – a time to cherish everything and celebrate. Feed your enthusiasm with lots of Christmas joy and keep that flame burning. Don't fake your enthusiasm, be authentic and keep that exuberant spirit alive. The loss of enthusiasm, says Alexandra Stoddard, quickens your aging process because you lose your ‘life force.� The seasons of our lives might do this to us because after the Christmas holidays are over, we may lose our exuberant spirit since all the physical evidence is gone – and what is left, if we don't have a strong spiritual sense about us? What happened to all those sacred intentions while the Christmas lights were on? Pope Francis says we should be wise Christians, so as you walk through all the malls ablaze with lights, remember what the holiday is all about. You know in your hearts Jesus is the reason for the Season of Christmas. When Christmas Day arrives, we will celebrate the wonder of God�s love in the newborn Jesus with peace and joy filling our hearts in response to his coming again. So let Him rule your hearts and you will be grateful. May His light shine through you into the world as 2014 begins. How will we spend our ordinary days now that we have received the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior? Tanti Auguri di Buon Natale! Greetings for a happy Christmas from Italy. Sr. Martinette Rivers is a Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows currently living in Rimini, Italy and a spiritual gerontologist.


domestic church

by Katie Sciba

Come Together This Christmas Pour more time and less cash into gifts for loved ones

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hanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year�s blow by in a hurried hustle. Even outside of the holidays, kids, teens, husbands and wives are constantly on the go, on the phone, and operating frantically on the fly. While it�s ideal to slow down and savor the moment in the midst of holiday preparations, for some it�s just not possible; there�s shopping and cooking and traveling to do, final exams, Christmas cards to mail. Where is the chance to be together? So often Christmas cheer becomes an afterthought of regret when we take the stockings down. Where did the time go? But what if Christmas were a little different this year? What if it were simpler? What if we spent Christmas morning together instead of off playing with new toys? What I propose to combat the distractions during Christmas is that we pour more time and less cash into gifts for loved ones and friends. Of course, there�s the glee of opening wrapped packages Christmas morn - I�m looking forward to it myself - but more than possessions I�d like time with my family having fun. This year, I�m toying with giving experiences versus material possessions because there is no gift like furthering joy within our own family. Here are gift suggestions that will enhance the quality of time versus the quantity of stuff. Spiritual gifts - There is nothing material about spiritual gifts, but they are out of this world! Did you know you could pay $5-$10 to have a Mass celebrated for someone? There is no more perfect prayer to pray and it�s as easy as calling your parish office to have it arranged. Or you could buy Rosary beads

for someone, but before you give them, use them to pray for your loved one. Does your husband or wife need to get away? Call your church office to learn of any upcoming retreats and pay for their attendance. Nothing restores a person like exclusive time with God. Gifts of Entertainment - This one is easy. Concert tickets, a gift card to the movies, or a made up “coupon” for snacks and favorite games at home. Books are ideal as well, especially for little ones who need grown ups to read with them. The point with these is that the giver can participate just as much as the recipient. It�s all about time and experiences together. Gifts for Activities - Get your husband a gift certificate to go play paint ball with his buds. Get your wife a manicure with a girlfriend or a pair of earrings with the promise of a night on the town for just the two of you. Daughters of any age would love a “Date with Dad,” and I�m willing to bet a mom would up her coolness if she watched a game with her son. What does your family member like to do? Find out and make it happen with them. The blessing of giving experiences is that they�re conducive to living life more fully and cultivating more love and joy in your home; it�s a hard thing to come by in an age when we�re tethered to devices and distracted by busyness. Of course, everyone likes wrapping to tear open as much as the next giddy 6-year-old; but what would mean more is if each gift came with the promise of time. Katie Sciba is the author of thecatholicwife.net. She lives in Shreveport with her husband, Andrew, and three sons, Liam,Thomas & Peter.

Give the Gift of Time

This Christmas try giving the gift of TIME to your family and friends. Check out these great suggestions for offering experiences over stuff:

Spiritual Gifts Have a Mass offered, give Rosary beads after praying with them for your loved one, or send a family member on a retreat. Spiritual gifts aren't material, but they are out of this world, and their value can never be overestimated.

Gifts of Entertainment

Concert tickets, a gift card to the movies, or a game night at home complete with favorite snacks. Books are perfect, especially for little ones. The point of these gifts is to participate with the recipient. Remember that it's about the experience together.

Gifts of Activities Find out what your recipient likes to do and make it happen! Paint ball with buddies for a husband, a date night out for a wife, a special outing with a daughter, or game time with your son. Nothing conveys love like giving something your friend or family member loves to do.

Decemeber 2013 7


second collection

by Fr. Rothell Price

second collections Retirement for Religious and Diocese of Shreveport Infirm Priests Fund

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he two special collections for the month of December are gathered to assist those who have helped us the most in our spiritual journey to the Kingdom of God. The Retirement Fund for Religious and the Diocese of Shreveport Infirm Priests’ Fund are a blessed opportunity to assist those who have spiritually assisted us. The Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has been brought to completion by his successor, Pope Francis. Bishop Duca has tirelessly visited every Catholic parish and church in our diocese during this spiritual year. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reminded us prior to his retirement that the door of faith is ever-open to us. In a similar manner, the door of opportunity to serve our aged and infirmed spiritual mentors is also ever open to us.

RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS

Announcement Dates: Nov. 23rd & 24th, and Nov. 30th & December 1st Collection Dates: December 7th & 8th “Please give to those who have given a lifetime.” The 2013 collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious is approaching and I ask for your assistance. I thank you in advance for the efforts you make on behalf of our nation’s senior sisters, brothers and religious order priests. These consecrated men and women have given personal and public witness to their faith in Jesus Christ. This annual collection is an opportunity for each of us to be the presence of Jesus to them. Give what you can to the care of these men and women who remain wholly committed to their vocations, accepting the limitations of aging, and embracing the opportunity to focus more 8 Catholic Connection

fully on praying for our Church and world. Please join me in supporting the Retirement Fund for Religious and in praying for God’s continued blessing on our nation’s elderly sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. I remember with the greatest affection and admiration Sr. Carla Mitchell, OSB, gone home to be with the Lord, and Sr. Helen Maurer, OSB, still living, loving and serving the Lord in this world. These Benedictine nuns mothered, sistered, nurtured and shaped me in my college years. I recall with a son and brother’s love the Franciscan Friars Archbishop Jim Lyke, OFM, and Fr. Cal Geisen, OFM, both now with the Lord, who fanned into full flame my priestly vocation. Sr. Kay Jo Evelo, S. H.Sp., former principal of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Academy, and Sr. Anthony Castellani, OLS, are sisters and heroines to me. No five hour energy drink can touch these women. There is this awesomely amazing elderly Sister of Our Lady of Sorrows, Sr. Pasquina Tamagnini, who just

floods my soul with joy and delight as often as I see her. I hope you know and remember similar men and women religious who helped and inspired you. They have given the Lord and his people a lifetime of service. They gave so much for so little recompense. Please give as generously as you can to those who have given a lifetime.

DIOCESE OF SHREVEPORT INFIRM PRIESTS’ FUND Announcement Dates: December 14th & 15th and 21st & 22nd Collection Dates: December 24th & 25th We begin the hope-filled, tranquil waiting that is Advent, and prepare for the joyful coming of our God in the Christmas Incarnation and at the end of time. I invite you to join me in supporting our once vigorous priests who helped us know, love and serve the Lord in this life so that we can be happy with Him in the next. In their vigor they taught us to worship, sing, pray and serve. They led us to discover the joy of giving and receiving presents. They revealed to us the goodness of the Lord in feasts and treats. They opened our eyes to the wonder of God manifest in family, friends, or a room full of strangers. Join me in providing much needed and greatly deserved care for our infirmed priests. What a wonderful way to honor the Lord Jesus on the occasion of our celebration of his birth. Please give the gift of care, gratitude, and generosity to our infirmed priests. Fr. Rothell Price, Vicar General, is the Director of Special Collections.


Navigating the Faith Sacrament of Reconciliation by Father Pike Thomas

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here did they get all this?” My mother, a questioning lady, used to ask this kind of question about the various changes wrought in the wake of Vatican II. She wondered why Mass became Liturgy, teaching became catechesis, not to mention all the various names and stages in the RCIA, and now the changes in the wording of the prayers and responses in the Mass (sorry... Liturgy!). Just so, we grapple with the meaning of this unwieldy present title of this, the “ordinary Sacrament of Healing.” The present title, “ordinary Sacrament of Healing,” for a sacrament still referred to on TV and in movies (always far behind practice in things religious) as “Confession” surely ranks at the top of these present-day “mysteries.” Why not just keep the former term? Actually, we have not lost the word “confession”: rather it is still used for the act of coming to the priest and revealing one’s sins. However, as Church leaders grappled with the breadth and depth of this sacrament, they realized confession only covers a part of the sacrament’s total reality. So, you can still use the term and be “in the know!” Four stages: This sacrament, which has experienced over the centuries a huge variety of styles of celebration, actually is composed of four major stages or moments: Repentance, Confession, Absolution and Penance. So, the Church is saying, it’s not enough to consider the act of entering the Reconciliation Room (popularly “confessional”) and reciting one’s moral faults and omissions as the entire composition of the sacrament. Rather the celebration of “Reconciliation” with God and neighbor begins long before that moment. Stage One, Repentance: The sacrament begins “at home” with the realization, which for most of us happens literally all the time, that we are indeed sinners and need to “come home.” If you are like me, I am constantly aware of failings and ask for God’s forgiveness (and, when I am at my best, the forgiveness of those around me). So Stage One is knowing oneself and our individual standing with the Lord at a given moment, asking immediately, if possible,

for forgiveness and grace from God and the world outside which and whom we have harmed by sin. God forgives immediately anyone who comes to this realization and makes a firm and loving resolution of change. After all, a “personal relationship” with God is marked by this frequent act. BUT, it is not enough, in the “real world.” Stage Two, Confession: A resolution for change entails sharing that determination with those we have wronged, especially the one who loves us above all things, God Himself. And our long-held Catholic theology counts the Church the special, privileged place of God’s Presence: so the Church needs to hear and assist personal repentance. Confession is that public revelation through the Lord’s ordained minister. Does this always have to happen? No, this stage can be a meditative resolution on the part of the sinner, but I have yet to hear someone who has come to confession suggest he or she found that enough: the grace of lifting the burden through the “public” retelling is indeed a powerful experience. The Church says that only serious, “mortal” sins, those deemed even to doom us to separation from God now and for future ages, must be confessed (and the minimum for the Sacrament: once a year). But why would one stop there when we have so many faults and we know that a fruitful celebration of any sacrament actually transforms us and brings us more into union with God? For some, this truth is so powerful that parishioners come often with an extensive list of failings from which they wish to free themselves, some of the most basic “unhealthy” traits in one’s lifestyle. Stage Three, Absolution: Almost always with a gentle, if challenging, voice of understanding like that of our Savior, the priest counsels the penitent with words of encouragement and a prescription for holiness. He then receives them back into the bosom of God’s grace and full communion with the People of God through the process. The power of God is channeled through the priest at this point, as he speaks the words of Absolution as God’s representative and that of the Church, as he gently lays hands of forgiveness and the power of Christian

Mission on the head of the now-freed. It is, as one ancient writer termed it, a “Second Baptism.” Stage Four, Penance: Those who celebrate this sacrament know there is always a “tying up the loose ends” of this freeing experience, the “act of Penance” which demonstrates that the person is determined to end his “slavery” to some attitude, practice or lifestyle and become “free in Christ.” When the writer was a boy, the aptness of this act of Penance was expressed usually in some prayer or prayers deemed to make one remember the event (so a lesser sin received only three Hail Marys, while a greater one might be a Rosary). Today, we confessors attempt to find a Penance which is a “balm” and a “wake-up call” to assist the memory cells and the resolve of the one who has now experienced “release.” So often it may be a new practice, or something counter to the sin – doing something praiseworthy in place of creating an injury, a healing rather than a sickness. Remember the Prodigal Son? The joy that young man experienced when his compassionate father, whom he had greatly wronged, embraced him in loving arms, should be your own experience in this Sacrament of Reconciliation. What a gift from God for this blessed season! Decemeber 2013 9


Keeping The Christmas SPirit

moveable feast

by Kim Long

Preparing the Manger with “Haystacks”

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he spirit of the Christmas season, which seems to elude us 11 months out of every year, is once again touching our lives, and it is time to resurrect “good will toward men,” and re-enact the wonderful religious rituals of times past. The silent devotions, candle lighting and hymns are still sacred and soul-consuming even in this fast and changing world we live in. There is no doubt or question on whose birthday Christmas really is. It is just that sometimes we let the weight of other things crowd out the spirit from our plans and hopes. Even the shopping, gift giving and the main errands of the season can rob one of the real joy intended. Think of the times you have felt or seen real joy. It is the moment when a family member or close friend returns from months of separation. It is the moment when you have worried and prayed about a loved one and you learn all is well. It is the moment when a youth passes a milestone of achievement and looks at you with the light of gratitude on his or her face. It is the hour when the guilt, that has been the “monkey on your back,” is lifted. It is those times when fulfillment of one type or another has come. It is times like these when we love and know we are loved and that the truth of joy floods into our lives. This is true joy! It is a gift of the Christ Child. As this sacred season draws closer, try to make it more meaningful for you and your family. May the spirit of Christmas remain with you and your loved ones throughout the coming year. Wishing each and every one a “Blessed Christmas.” By Patricia A. Hackney, parishioner of St. Joseph Church, Shreveport, and proud widow of Colonel Hunter Hackney, heroic recipient of the Air Force Cross for brave service in Vietnam. This article speaks to the challenges of separation that must be faced by military families so that we all enjoy our nation’s freedoms. May all of our soldiers both near and far have a blessed Christmas. 10 Catholic Connection

t this time of the year most of us are pulling double duty, multi-tasking, wearing many hats – whatever you want to call it! It’s difficult to carve out some time during the Advent and Christmas seasons to just be still and know He is God. We seem to cast around looking for ways to count the days. Advent calendars are fun, but sometimes when we come at things from a completely different angle we see a wider view. A few years ago we tried a new tradition in our Parish School of Religion classes; we let the youngest students write their good deeds or acts of kindness on strips of paper and add them to the empty manger that would be the bed for baby Jesus. It sounds simple, but everyone liked it. During a different Advent season, the parish children went up before the entrance procession began to place real straw into the empty manger. As they watched the manger soften and fill each week they really felt important, as though they were helping prepare the way of the Lord. I love this tradition because the kids are so involved and we are ingraining in them from an early age that they too can help. Food reinforces actions; we know this works, for who could think of Thanksgiving or Christmas and not have their mouth water with visions of pumpkin pie and dressing? So it can become with the Advent season as well. To simulate straw for the crib, I pulled out a classic recipe for “haystacks.” Gather the family and whip up a batch. They are an old favorite and they work so well for this tradition. After they have “set” and are ready to

eat gather in a comfy chair, talk about everyone�s good deeds, their acts of kindness and read a Christmas story. I found one about this very tradition called Marta and The Straw by Virginia Kroll. I am sure there are others but this one works great. When we teach in the kitchen, prayers at night, Eucharist in Mass, religious education classes or hugs and kisses, we are using a sensory approach. That’s one reason I think this old standby (someone ALWAYS brings them to our Christmas get-together) is so great for this tradition. So with those thoughts in mind, let us the infant greet.

Haystacks Ingredients: • 1 cup butterscotch chips • ½ cup peanut butter • ½ cup peanuts (optional – I didn’t add these and mine were fine) • 2 cups chow mein noodles Directions: Melt chips and peanut butter in microwave on 50 percent power and stir in noodles and peanuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. They harden quickly. You can substitute extra butterscotch chips for the peanut butter. Marshmallows can also be included. And there are even versions for chocolate haystacks!


school NEWS < Mrs. Ortolano�s second grade class poses for a picture in their All Saints Day costumes. The second graders, along with all the students at Jesus the Good Shepherd School, participated in the All Saints Day Mass on November 1. Each student had the opportunity to announce which saint they were representing. The students really enjoy dressing up and it is always a great way for the students to learn more about the Catholic saints.

Clockwise from top left: John Henry Hobgood, Nathan Marak and Craig Smith

^ St. John Berchmans School has announced its Students of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. The students are Alex Siharath (8th grade) and Jack Cryblyskey (5th grade). They were selected based upon their exemplary achievements in academics, leadership and extracurricular activities.

^ Our Lady of Fatima School held a Veterans Day program for the family members of its students, church members and community. Students worked very hard learning the songs from each branch of the military and sang the respective song as the veterans were called forward by their branch.

^ Loyola College Prep will send three delegates to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar in Washington D.C. The mission of HOBY is to seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential in young people. Loyola representatives for 2014 will be John Henry Hobgood, Nathan Marak and Craig Smith. The alternate is Griffin Neal.

> Max and Noah Crofton competed in the 2013 Powerlifting World Championships and took first place in each of their respective age classes. The Crofton Brothers wanted to present St. Joseph School with their World Championship trophies in gratitude for the academic and spiritual foundation they have and continue to receive. Max Crofton won four golds in Powerlifting. He won Best Youth Lifter Internationally, meaning he is the best and strongest powerlifter in the world (12 years and younger). He won gold on 12 of 16 events in Feats of Strength, and won age 11 and under Weightlifting. Noah also won four golds in Powerlifting. Noah, as a 13 year old, was runner up for best teen lifter (18 and under). Noah set new American records in squat and deadlift. Noah also won Most Versatile Athlete Overall. Decemeber 2013 11


The

W

of

Christmas

by Fr. Matthew Long

hen we hear the word “Octave,” the first thing that comes to most peoples mind is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. Octave is the Latin word for eighth and plays an important role in the liturgical year of the Church. Octaves have been an important part of Christian worship since the fourth century. Historically there have been four primary Octaves in the life of the Church: Easter, Pentecost, Christmas and Epiphany. There were also at one time Octaves for the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul, the Ascension and Corpus Christi. Currently there are two Octaves of note in the life of the Church: the Octave of Christmas and the Octave of Easter. They denote the eight days that we celebrate these two important feast days of Jesus Christ. We celebrate them for eight days because these moments in time of the birth of Christ and the Resurrection of the Lord are such momentous events that one day of celebration is clearly not enough. The Octave of Easter begins on Easter and concludes with the Second Sunday of Easter. There is no feast day that trumps one of these Easter days and each day is celebrated as if it is the first. The Octave of Christmas always begins on the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, December 25, and it concludes on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, January 1. If a Sunday falls during this time then it is normally the Feast of the Holy Family. If the first day and last day of the Octave is a Sunday, then the Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30. Unlike the Octave of Easter there are certain feast days which are always celebrated during the Octave of Christmas Mary, Mother unless they are trumped by the of God, is one Feast of the Holy Family. There of the principal is normally at least one day in feast days of the Octave of Christmas that is the Octave of celebrated simply as a Christmas Christmas day in the Octave. The Holy Family and Mary, 12 Catholic Connection

Mother of God are, after the Nativity of the Lord, the principal feast days of the Octave of Christmas. The Nativity completed the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. By celebrating the domestic church of Christ it reminds us of the importance of family in the life of the Church and in the life of Christ. He could have entered the world in any way He chose. His choice was to be a member of a family with a mother and a father. It was within the Holy Family that the infant Christ would be protected, nurtured and nourished. It would be within the Holy Family that He would experience love and support. It would be within the loving embrace of the Holy Family that he would grow in wisdom, strength and understanding. It would be the Holy Family that would mold Him into the man who would be willing to embrace the wood of the cross for our salvation and redemption. The Octave of Christmas is about beginnings and it is fitting that we are reminded that this beginning was not begun alone but in a community of love and sharing and that this beginning lasted longer than we sometimes realize. It is also good that we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God. This reminds us that Christ was real flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of Mary. She was more than simply a vessel that bore the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity into the world. She was the one from whom, in the words of St. Athanasius, Jesus Christ “originated within her and from her.” In other words, when the “Word became flesh” He did so through the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary who therefore rightly holds the title of Mother of God. December 26: The day immediately following the Nativity of the Lord is when we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the proto martyr of the Church. He is called the proto martyr because he was the


first martyr after the death and resurrection of the Lord. All of us have heard or read the account of St. Stephen’s story ending with his martyrdom in the Acts of the Apostles. He first appears in the sixth chapter when he is chosen to be one of the first deacons of the Church. He echoes the words of Christ at Calvary when he prays for those who stone him in the seventh chapter. It is at the martyrdom of Stephen that the great Apostle Paul is first mentioned as Saul of Tarsus who was “consenting to his execution.” (Acts 8:1). It is fitting that we celebrate this day one day after the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is for Stephen his birth into eternal life, true life, by the shedding of his blood for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as the birth of Christ heralded a new beginning in the life of the world, the martyrdom of Stephen heralds a new chapter in the life of the Church. From that day until this men and women have joyfully gone to their deaths for the sake of Christ. It is the blood of the martyrs that has watered the seeds planted by the Apostles and caused the Church to grow and spread throughout the world. It is also in this moment that Paul the Apostle would have a seed planted in his heart that would be brought to fruition by his encounter with the risen Dec. 26, Lord on the road to Damascus. the day Therefore it is fitting and right following that we celebrate this day of new Christmas, is birth in the Octave of Christmas. the Feast of St.

Stephen December 27: The third day of the Octave is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. St. John is often believed to be the beloved disciple mentioned in the Gospel of John which has traditionally been attributed to him. St. John was one of the sons of Zebedee and one of the Twelve Apostles. It is believed that he was the youngest apostle and he was the only one who did not abandon our Lord during His passion and death. He stood at the foot of the cross with the Blessed Virgin Mary and received as his mother, on our behalf, the Mother of God. He is also believed to be the last of the Apostles to die and the only one not to have died a martyr’s death. His unyielding faith in the Lord and his support and love of the Blessed Virgin Mary make it fitting for him to be included in the Octave. He represents in a real and tangible way our membership not only in the family of God, but also our inclusion into the Holy Family. He was to Christ a disciple, a brother, a friend and one to whom was entrusted the daughter of the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit and the mother of the Son. He holds an important place in the life of Church as the last witness of Christ. His place in the Octave is ensured because through his writings he reminds us that Christ did not come into existence at the Nativity of the Lord, but that He is eternal. In his gospel and letters he makes clear that Christ “existed from the beginning” and that it was only through the Incarnation that the “Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.” It is important for us to be reminded of this at Christmas and who better than St. John to do it?

December 28: On the fourth day of the Octave we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents. St. Quodvultdeus writes, “They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of

victory.” It is a victory because with the coming of Christ death�s power is already being diminished. This group of young children died simply because of an accident of their birth. They were born around the time of Christ and lived in the town of Bethlehem and because of this they died. They were the first to sacrifice their lives after the birth of Christ and for His sake. Their deaths were not the will of God, but are the result of Original Sin. Herod feared that his position would be usurped and ordered their wholesale murder because of pride and envy. In this case those deadly sins lived up to their names. Its placement in the Octave reminds us that Christ has come into the world to deliver us from slavery and bondage. Just as Moses was saved while many other Hebrew children died, so too Christ lived even though these Holy Innocents died. It also reminds us that although Christ has entered the world, we must cooperate with Him and His grace or sin will continue to reign. Even in the earliest days of Christ’s life this was made all too evident by the deaths of the Holy Innocents.

December 29 and 31: There are two commemorations that fall within the Octave of Christmas. They remember St. Thomas Beckett and St. Pope Sylvester I. Thomas Beckett was the Archbishop of Canterbury and was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by agents of Henry II, King of England, because he stood up for the rights of the Church against the state. Pope Sylvester I was the Bishop of Rome during the reign of Constantine when Christianity was first made legal within the empire. These two commemorations fit nicely within the Octave. Pope Sylvester most importantly because during his reign as pope the great heresy of Arianism Dec. 27, the 3rd questioning Christ’s divinity day in the Octave began. of Christmas, is the It is important to note Feast Day of that the Octave did not St. John the come about haphazardly. Evangelist These feast days did not just happen to fall within those eight days and there was just no other place to put them. It is carefully constructed to remind us of the true origins of Jesus Christ, of His Incarnation, of His teachings, of His passion, death and resurrection, of His Church’s beginning and of our role in continuing to make Christ present in the world. I urge all of you during the Octave of Christmas to reflect during these days. Learn more about those who have been so carefully chosen to remind us what the birth of Christ truly meant in the life of the world and what it means today in our own lives. Decemeber 2013 13


NEWS

Renzi Center Teaches Gifts to Catholic Charities have at-Risk Youth Helped More than 4,000 in Need After school program going strong

Making a difference one family at a time

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he Renzi Education and Art Center, which gives free after school academic and art classes to at-risk kids in the ShreveportBossier area during the school year, has had a lot going on since the After School Program started up again on September 3.   Our students have been creating wonderful things this year in their 50-minute art classes in Renzi�s Art House – small quilts, paintings, pottery, cartoons and sculptures to name a few – under the guidance of our talented, skilled and caring artists. In their two 25-minute academic classes, Renzi students have been getting their homework done and receiving educational enrichment, such as extra grammar and math exercises in their language arts and math classes. Other special moments this school year have been Renzi kids learning about and holding live exotic reptiles, a visit by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and some Halloween fun.  The Renzi Center, founded by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows in 1997, continues to reach out to at-risk youth living in the Shreveport-Bossier area and provide highquality afterschool academic and art classes that they would otherwise not be able to attend because of prohibitive fees. About one-third of children growing up in poverty will drop out of high school and most will lag behind their higher-class peers.  We at the Renzi Center know that when impoverished children receive educational enrichment and help with their homework and find creative outlets for their hidden talents, their chances of doing well in school and graduating from high school increase. If anyone is interested in donating to the Renzi Center or volunteering, please call us at 318-222-1414. by Jennifer Hill 14 Catholic Connection

hat have you faced that caused you worry and anxiety? It’s likely that all of us, at one time or another, have had to face a very hard situation and perhaps we wondered how we would survive it. It could have been loss: loss of a loved one, a job, a home, one’s health. It could have been a decision that would affect your life longterm. For the more than 4,000 poor and needy who have sought help from Catholic Charities of Shreveport this past year, those are the ordinary circumstances of daily living. The constant struggle to pay the bills, keep food in the pantry, send children to school properly clothed, meet medical emergency and health care needs is overwhelming and often the individual or family facing these crises give up. They lose the drive to keep on fighting and any hope for a better future. You who have so generously supported our programs throughout this year are making a life-altering difference for people like Clara. She was the sole provider and caregiver for her sister who was gravely ill with cancer, for her own children and her sister’s two. Clara was already working two jobs and trying to get the children to school and look after her sister when all those expenses overwhelmed her and she got behind on her rent. The day the eviction notice was placed on her door, she also received a shut off notice from the electric company. Imagine how desperate she was when she came to our door asking for assistance. Doesn’t it change your life knowing that your gifts to Catholic Charities, especially at this time of year, are giving people like Clara, her sister and the five children in her care hope? You make that possible! Your attention to Christ’s message to us as we clearly understand it in Matthew 25 allowed Clara to stay in her home, to keep the electricity on and to receive help for the youngest

children with items from our shop for low-income moms and their little ones, Gabriel’s Closet. If you could be here to hear the stories day after day from the single mothers, the grandmothers, the immigrants, the pregnant young women and new moms, you would understand even more why we must house them, feed them, clothe them and work to teach them that life can change and become safer and happier for them and their families. And speaking of Matthew 25, did you know that Catholic Charities can offer an uncomplicated way for you to donate monthly and become a sustaining member? Our Matthew 25 Partnership is an easy way to do that! You can make that choice at our website, www.ccshpt. org, or call us and we will help you set up your monthly donation. Just as we wish it for each and every one of our clients, we wish for you a Christmas full of blessings, the love of Christ spread to all and a season of peace. From everyone at Catholic Charities of Shreveport, Merry Christmas! by Theresa Mormino, Catholic Charities of Shreveport


Diocese to Host married Diocese Hosted Facilities Couples Conference Management Seminar

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t the end of the summer, the Vatican announced that an Extraordinary Synod will be held in October of 2014 on “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family.” Only two Synods of this rare type have been facilitated by the Church with the last one occurring in 1985. With this announcement comes the revelation that it is Pope Francis’ “express will” to see the Church focus anew on the role of marriage and family in the lives of Catholics. Since its inception in 1986, the Diocese of Shreveport has been seeking to host a series of conferences dedicated to the ministries of Marriage and Family Life. That dream will finally come true on Saturday, January 25, 2014, when the first ever Married Couples Conference will take place at the Catholic Center from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Cost for the day is only $10 per couple and a delicious gumbo lunch will be included. This powerhouse of a day will feature well-known Catholic presenters George and Judy Clark from the Diocese of Dallas. Following the Clark’s keynote address, there will be a series of morning and evening breakout sessions including programs targeting second marriages, fighting fair, natural family planning and navigating the first seven years of marriage. A Spanishspeaking session will take place in the morning and explore the riches of marriage with “Riquezas en el Matrimonio.” “With the emphasis Pope Francis is now placing on the important roles of marriage and family, there is no better time than now to begin to re-examine these critical aspects of our lives as Catholics,” commented Bishop Michael Duca. “I know the Clarks and feel sure their message will be well-received and I am excited about our other presenters and the breakout sessions.” Diocesan Chancellor Christine Rivers has spent the past several months working in union with Dotye Sue Stanford and Carol Gates to coordinate the event. “I hope to see plenty of married couples taking advantage of this special conference because we have tried to offer a nice variety of programs and topics. We are truly hoping for strong attendance and our hope is to follow this conference up with another focusing on family in the next year.” by John Mark Willcox

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he Diocese of Shreveport, with a grant from the Catholic Conference of Facility Managers and the Catholic Church Extension Society, hosted a Facilities Management Seminar on October 2. The intent of the program was to enlighten and educate those responsible for the operation of diocesan facilities, their staff and those working in parish facilities environments. Those attending were pastors, business managers, parish finance and pastoral council members, community council members, planning and building committee chairs, maintenance, buildings and grounds personnel, plant and facility managers, school principals and administrators. A continental breakfast to welcome guests and speakers was served to open the day�s event. Mr. Peter Silva from the Archdiocese of Boston and Mr. Louis Baird from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, both highly regarded in Catholic Facility Management circles, conducted the presentations. The speakers focused on everything from maintenance problems to contracts and protecting our facilities. This also included strategic planning, evaluating “needs versus wants,” and records and historical data. Local vendors were in attendance with display booths showing off their products and services available to the parishes. Dixie Paper Co., Industrial Roofing LLC, Payne Mechanical, Gallagher Bassett Ins. and Sunbelt Distribution Systems were represented at the seminar. Those in attendance went away with a wealth of information on how to keep parish facilities up and running in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner. One positive outcome of the event that will involve all of the Diocese of Shreveport parishes is that, “Associated Crafts,” out of Gilbert Arizona is being scheduled to conduct a full inventory, inspection and appraisal of all stained glass windows within the diocese. This is being done for the preservation of the historic stained glass in each of our churches. The seminar was attended by 80 individuals involved in the operations of the Diocese of Shreveport facilities. Each pastor is extended an invitation to participate in the stained glass evaluations. Please contact Ed Hydro or the Catholic Center Facilities department if your location has stained glass and if you want to be included when we schedule this group to come to Shreveport. by Edward Hydro, Facilities Manager, Diocese of Shreveport Decemeber 2013 15


NEWS

Students Celebrate Day of the Dead

‘Special Message’ on HHS Mandate

St. Frederick Jr. High remembers loved ones

he bishops of this country have just concluded their traditional fall meeting in Baltimore and have spent time on issues important to them and their people: help to those suffering from Typhoon Haiyan; an update on the situation in Haiti; matters of worship and teaching; service to the poor; and comprehensive immigration reform. Among those priorities is the protection of religious freedom, especially as threatened by the HHS mandate. Pope Francis has reminded us that “In the context of society, there is only one thing which the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, even when it runs counter to the world, even when it goes against the tide.” We stand together as pastors charged with proclaiming the Gospel in its entirety. That Gospel calls us to feed the poor, heal the sick, and educate the young, and in so doing witness to our faith in its fullness. Our great ministries of service and our clergy, religious sisters and brothers, and lay faithful, especially those involved in Church apostolates, strive to answer this call every day, and the Constitution and the law protect our freedom to do so. Yet with its coercive HHS mandate, the government is refusing to uphold its obligation to respect the rights of religious believers. Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization and contraception, which violates our deeply-held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all. Despite our repeated efforts to work and dialogue toward a solution, those problems remain. Not only does the mandate undermine our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith, which is their core

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rs. Trejo’s St. Frederick students learned that the Day of the Dead is a celebration to remember the life of those family and friends who have died. The celebration is held in conjunction with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Olga Trejo, Junior High Spanish Teacher at SFHS, said she taught the students in Spanish the importance of Day of the Dead because so many people misunderstand the true meaning of the Catholic holiday because they see only the skulls and skeletons and connect it to Halloween. In reality, the true meaning of this holiday is to celebrate the life of our loved ones who have passed. Students made paper flowers, brought in pictures of their deceased loved ones and had food and a celebration in her Spanish classes. Father Louis Sklar came and blessed the altar and explained the importance of praying for our deceased loved ones. “I learned it is a Christian celebration because it celebrates death and new life,” said Grant Johnson. It is a great time to gather together to have a fiesta celebration with good food and good friends to celebrate those who have died. “We had a fiesta and brought in different foods, but I realize it is much more than just a party,” said Weston Swanner. Both stressed how they had a better understanding of this holiday and were glad they learned about it in Spanish thanks to their teacher, Mrs. Trejo. by Jennifer Chunn 16 Catholic Connection

from the Bishops of the U.S.

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mission, but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care. The current impasse is all the more frustrating because the Catholic Church has long been a leading provider of, and advocate for, accessible, life-affirming health care. We would have preferred to spend these recent past years working toward this shared goal instead of resisting this intrusion into our religious liberty. We have been forced to devote time and resources to a conflict we did not start nor seek. As the government’s implementation of the mandate against us approaches, we bishops stand united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom. Even as each bishop struggles to address the mandate, together we are striving to develop alternate avenues of response to this difficult situation. We seek to answer the Gospel call to serve our neighbors, meet our obligation to provide our people with just health insurance, protect our religious freedom and not be coerced to violate our consciences. We remain grateful for the unity we share in this endeavor with Americans of all other faiths, and even with those of no faith at all. It is our hope that our ministries and lay faithful will be able to continue providing insurance in a manner consistent with the faith of our Church. We will continue our efforts in Congress and especially with the promising initiatives in the courts to protect the religious freedom that ensures our ability to fulfill the Gospel by serving the common good. This resolve is particularly providential on this feast of the patroness of immigrants, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was a brave woman who brought the full vigor of her deep religious faith to the service of the sick, the poor, children, the elderly and the immigrant. We count on her intercession, as united we obey the command of Jesus to serve the least of our brothers and sisters. from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


HISPANIC corner Celebrando la venida de Cristo

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omo cada año, viviremos una vez más la venida de Jesús al mundo. Este año, como en cada oportunidad que tengamos hay que meditar sobre nuestra vida y como nos encontrará en esta hermosa ocasión el Señor. Esta temporada de Adviento (Espera) es una ocasión especial en la que nuestro Señor viene a nosotros en forma de niño, el hermoso y tierno regalo que el Padre nos dio hace ya dos mil años para que nos acerquemos a Él. Podemos acercarnos también a Jesús en espíritu y por medio del prójimo, por medio de la oración, de la alegría, de la caridad, aun en el sufrimiento, y sobretodo tratando de imitarlo y tratar de vivir como Él. Vivir como Jesús quiere que vivamos, es dejarnos de envidias, dejar la pereza, el chisme, guardar no solo los Diez Mandamientos de la ley de Dios sino acercarnos al que sufre, es salir de nuestro pequeño mundo e ir más allá como nos enseñó también Jesús en el Sermón del Monte en Las Bienaventuranzas. Bossier City: Christ the King Church 425 McCormick St. Bossier City Sábado 7:00 p.m. Domingo 3:00 p.m. Lunes 7:00 p.m. Confesiones 45 minutos antes de Misa Marilú Rodriguez Tel: 318-286-1492 Farmerville: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church 600 E. Water Street, Farmerville Sábado 7:00 p.m. Rev. Al Jost Tel: 318-243-0115

por Rosalba Quiroz

Directora Ministerio Hispano 318-219-7288

Dichosos los que reconocen sus necesidad espiritual, pues el reino de Dios les pertenece Dichosos los que están tristes, pues Dios les dará consuelo. Dichosos los de corazón humilde pues recibirán la tierra que Dios les ha prometido Dichosos los que tienen hambre y sed de Dios, pues Él hará que se cumplan sus deseos. Dichosos los que tienen compasión de otros, pues Dios tendrá compasión de ellos. Dichosos los de corazón limpio pues ellos verán a Dios. Dichosos los que procuran la paz, pues Dios los llamará hijos suyos. Dichosos los que sufren persecución por obedecer a Dios, pues el reino de

MISAS Mansfield: St. Joseph Church 305 Jefferson Street, Mansfield 2do y 4to. Domingo 3:00pm Juanita Ibarra Tel: 318-872-5390 Oak Grove: Sacred Heart Church 201 Purvis St., Oak Grove Domingo 5:00 p.m. Feliciano y Rosa Alviso Martinez Tel: 318-428-2137

Eventos Especiales del Mes de Diciembre 1 Primer Domingo de Adviento 9

Inmaculada Concepción de María

9 San Juan Diego 12 Virgen de Guadalupe 16-24 Posadas 25 Nacimiento del Niño Jesús Dios les pertenece. Dichosos ustedes, cuando la gente los insulte y los maltrate, y cuando por causa mía los ataquen con toda clase de mentiras. Alégrense, estén contentos porque van a recibir un gran premio en el cielo; pues así también persiguieron a los profetas que vivieron antes que ustedes. Mateo 5:3-12. Al celebrar al Nacimiento de Jesús, recordemos que la iglesia nos dice que Jesús vendrá una vez mas y para siempre y que hay que estar preparados pues no sabemos ni el día ni la hora. Todas las enseñanzas, celebraciones y oportunidades que nos regala la Iglesia para vivir nuestra fe son también pasos para sentirnos más cerca del Reino de Dios ya desde ahora. Ruston: St. Thomas Aquinas Church 810 Carey Ave., Ruston 2do y 4to Domingo 2:30 p.m. Soledad Broyles Tel: 318-243-1958 Shreveport: St. Mary of the Pines Church 1050 Bert Kouns Indl Loop, Shreveport Domingo 11:30 a.m. Carmen Bradford Tel: 318-455-2300 West Monroe: St. Paschal Church 711 N 7th Street, West Monroe Domingo 2:30 p.m. Lorena Chaparro Tel: 318-651-9136

Oficina del Ministerio Católico Hispano: Rosalba Quiroz, Directora 318-219-7265 Marcos G. Villalba, Pastoral Juvenil 318-219-7288 • Jeanne Brown, Secretaria 318-219-7257 Decemeber 2013 17


NEWS

Archbishop Kurtz Elected President of U.S. Bishops, Cardinal DiNardo Elected Vice President

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ALTIMORE—Archbishop Joseph E. Youngstown, OH. Archbishop Lucas, who Kurtz of Louisville, KY, was elected has served as interim chair of the committee president of the U.S. Conference since the May 2013 death of Bishop Joseph P. of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the McFadden, began his term at the conclusion bishops’ annual fall General Assembly, of this week’s bishops’ meeting. November 12, in Baltimore. Archbishop The bishops chose chairmen-elect of five Kurtz has served as vice president of the other USCCB committees. The chairmenUSCCB since 2010. Cardinal Daniel N. elect will begin their three-year terms in one DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected year, at the conclusion of the bishops’ fall USCCB vice president. 2014 General Assembly. These were: Archbishop Kurtz and • Coadjutor Archbishop Cardinal DiNardo are elected Bernard A. Hebda of Newark, to three-year terms and succeed NJ, to the Committee on Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan Canonical Affairs and Church of New York and Archbishop Governance in a 167-70 vote Kurtz, respectively. The new over Bishop Joseph N. Perry, president and vice president’s auxiliary bishop of Chicago. terms began at the conclusion • Bishop Mitchell T. of the General Assembly, Rozanski, auxiliary bishop of November 14. Baltimore, to the Committee Archbishop Kurtz was on Ecumenical and elected president on the first Interreligious Affairs in a 130Archbishop Kurtz ballot with 125 votes. Cardinal 105 vote over Bishop Arthur L. DiNardo was elected vice Kennedy, auxiliary bishop of president on the third ballot by Boston. 147-87 in a runoff vote against • Archbishop-designate Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia. CT, to the Committee on The president and vice Evangelization and Catechesis president are elected by a in a 135-98 vote over Bishop simple majority from a slate of John O. Barres of Allentown, 10 nominees. If no president PA. or vice president is chosen after • Bishop Oscar Cantú the second round of voting, a of Las Cruces, NM, to the Cardinal Dinardo third ballot is taken between Committee on International only the top two vote getters Justice and Peace in a 126on the second ballot. 110 vote over Bishop David J. Malloy of Archbishop Kurtz was born August 18, Rockford, IL. 1946, and ordained a priest of Allentown, • Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, PA on March 18, 1972. He previously served AK, to the Committee on Child and Youth as bishop of Knoxville, TN from 1999Protection in a 118-114 vote over Bishop 2007 before being appointed to Louisville. Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse, NY. Cardinal DiNardo was born May 23, 1949, In November 2012, Cardinal DiNardo and ordained a priest of Pittsburgh on June was elected to chair the Committee on 16, 1977. He previously served as bishop Divine Worship for a term beginning the of Sioux City, IA, from 1998-2004 before week of November 11. Since his election as being appointed to coadjutor bishop, then USCCB vice president prevents him from archbishop, of Galveston-Houston. Pope assuming leadership of the committee, the Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in 2007, bishops elected Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of making him the first cardinal from Texas. Paterson, NJ to chair the committee in place The bishops also elected Archbishop of Cardinal DiNardo, which began November George J. Lucus of Omaha chairman of 14. the Committee of Catholic Education in a by United States Conference of Catholic 141-93 vote over George V. Murry, SJ, of Bishops 18 Catholic Connection

Bishops Call for Pastoral Statement on Pornography

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ALTIMORE—The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the drafting of a formal statement on pornography to be issued from the entire body of bishops. Following a presentation by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, NY, chair-elect of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, the bishops, who are gathered in Baltimore for their annual fall General Assembly, voted 226-5 to approve the drafting of the statement. “As pastors, we’re aware that many people are consuming or are exploited by pornography, and many also are struggling with pornography addiction,” Bishop Malone said in his report. “The number of men, women and children who have been harmed by pornography use is not negligible, and we have an opportunity to offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded.” The statement will be pastoral in nature and will emphasize the effects of pornography on marriages and families, while attending to all those harmed by pornography use and addiction. The Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will lead the drafting process, and the statement will come before the body of bishops for approval. The tentative timeline is to have a finalized statement by the end of 2015.

United States Conference of

Catholic Bishops www.usccb.org

www.facebook.com/usccb www.twitter.com/usccb

www.youtube.com/usccb


across the by Vatican Information Services

THE POPE PRAYS FOR THE PHILIPPINES AND RENEWS SOLIDARITY WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE ON KRISTALLNACHT

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atican City – Following November 10�s Angelus prayer, Pope Francis greeted those present in St. Peter�s Square. He spoke of the typhoon in the Philippines which has claimed many victims and caused enormous damage to the country during recent days, and assured his nearness and prayer for the population. He asked for a minute�s silence and prayed a Hail Mary in unison with the faithful. He also mentioned Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the Sisters St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, who was proclaimed blessed that afternoon in Paderborn, Germany. “Today marks 75 years since the so-called ‘Kristallnacht�, the pogrom during the night between 9 and 10 November 1938 against Jews,

synagogues, homes and businesses, which represented a sad step towards the tragedy of the Shoah. We renew our closeness and solidarity with the Jewish people, our elder brothers. And we pray to God that the memory of the past, the memory of past sins, may help us always to be vigilant against any form of hate or intolerance.” Pope Francis concluded by mentioning the Day of Thanksgiving celebrated that day in Italy: “I join with the bishops in expressing my closeness to the world of farming, and especially to the young people who have chosen to work on the land. I encourage all those in the sector to continue in their efforts to ensure that no one lacks healthy and adequate sustenance.”

CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF CARDINALS IN FEBRUARY 2014

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he director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., made the following declaration on October 31: “On the occasion of the meeting of the ‘Council of Cardinals� scheduled for early next October (October 1-3) and the subsequent meeting of the Synod Council (October 7-8), the Pope has informed the participants of his intention to convoke a Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on the occasion of the Feast of the Cathedral of St. Peter, February 22. Pope Francis has decided to communicate his decision to convoke February�s Consistory in advance in order to facilitate the planning of other meetings involving the participation of cardinals from different parts of the world.

“Indeed, it is foreseen that the pope, like his predecessors on other occasions, intends for the Consistory to be preceded by a meeting of the College of Cardinals. “Before this meeting – scheduled for the 17 and 18 February – there will take place the third meeting of the ‘Council of Cardinals� (the so-called ‘Eight Cardinals�), while after the Consistory, on 24 and 25 February, there will be the meeting of the Synod Council.” “The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals for economic and organizational matters of the Holy See (the so-called ‘Council of Fifteen�) is expected to be scheduled as in previous years for the month of February, probably during the preceding week.”

Vatican Information Services

VAtICAN news & notes • The Holy Father has decided on the themes for the next three World Youth Days, which will mark a three-year itinerary of spiritual preparation that will culminate with the international World Youth Day with the Successor of Peter scheduled to be held in Krakow, Poland in July 2016: • Twenty-ninth World Youth Day, 2014 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3); • Thirtieth World Youth Day 2015 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Mt. 5:8); • Thirtyfirst World Youth Day 2016 (Krakow) –“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Mt. 5:7). • On November 4, as is traditional, the Pope celebrated Mass for the cardinals and bishops who passed away during the preceding year in St. Peter's Basilica. “Only man's sin may interrupt his bond with God, but even when this happens, God always seeks him out, He pursues him to re-establish that union that endures even beyond death, a union that culminates in the final encounter with the Father.” •On October 31 during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees: MARTYRDOM - Servant of God Anton Durcovici of Iai, Romania (1888-1951), killed in hatred of the faith in the Sighet prison, Bucarest, Romania in 1993. HEROIC VIRTUES - Servant of God Honoria “Nano” Nagle (Joan of God), Irish foundress of the Union of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1718-1784). - Servant of God Celestina Bottego, foundress of the Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary (1895-1980). - Servant of God Olga della Madre di Dio (nee Olga Maria Fortunata Gugelmo), Italian professed nun of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Church (1910-1943).

Decemeber 2013 19


around the DIOCESE

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In October, Fr. Leon Strider was present in Erie, PA to present Dianne Rachal, Diocese of Shreveport Director of Worship, with documentation making her the first Director of Worship in the nation to become a Certified Director of Worship under the authority of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This honor was earned through one year of concentrated study according to the National Certification Standards and Procedures for Lay Ecclesial Ministers. Congratulations Dianne!

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Fr. Ubald came to the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans for a Mass with Healing prayer on Tuesday, November 5, at 5:30 p.m. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Fr. Ubald lost 80 members of his family and over 45,000 of his parishioners were exterminated. Fr. Ubald has been blessed with a healing ministry and his focus is on healing and evangelization wherever he goes.

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Each year St. Paschal Church celebrates their Senior Parish Members who are 80 and older. Parish members of all ages planned the event and served the delicious meal. After dessert was served each attendee received a gift bag and the honorees shared their memories about the beginning of St. Paschal Parish. Many present were founding parishioners who experienced the building of the first church and attended the first Mass celebrated midnight Christmas Mass in 1940.

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The Our Lady of Fatima youth group, CIA - Catholics In Action, recently served at the Our Lady of Fatima School Fall Festival. The youth had a great time working the various booths. This service project was a great way to help the parish school while spending time with their friends.

5 5 20 Catholic Connection

Loyola College Prep holds four individual class retreats each school year at various locations throughout Shreveport. Students from each grade level get a chance to reflect on their spirituality and hear messages from retreat leaders and classmates. The most recent retreat was held at the Catholic Center and Marcos Villalba, Coordinator for Hispanic Youth and Young Adults, helped lead the retreat.


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PSR students at St. Mary of the Pines Church went A-Souling the Wednesday before Halloween. The students learned about the ancient practice and went from classroom to classroom begging and singing for soul cakes and praying for the departed souls of each “house” (or classroom). All age groups participated with the 7th grade boys dressed in black robes striking a note with their chimes to begin each round of singing, ending in Vandegaer Hall with Fr. Francis and Fr. Mike leading the traditional prayers for the souls of the departed. Then everyone was entertained by the 9th and 10th grades who performed a puppet show depicting St. George slaying the dragon. This was a project to teach the children the origin of trick-or-treating as well as introduce them to praying for the faithful departed.

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Through a grant from the Catholic Extension Society, the diocese is offering a nationally recognized certification program for Lifelong Catechesis or Youth Ministry Studies. Sixteen catechists and youth ministry leaders from across the diocese gather four weekends a year for two years. Pictured: Tom East, instructor and Director of the Center for Ministry Development, leads the course.

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Ron and Marilyn Landry of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Monroe proudly accepted the LSU wreath they won in a recent wreath raffle to benefit the OLF youth group, CIA - Catholics In Action.  Ruth Jones (not pictured) won a Saints wreath.  The wreaths were made and donated by OLF parishioners Juan and Jennifer Duong. Proceeds from the raffle were used to cover costs for the youth group to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference.

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Dr. Edward Hahnenberg, the Breen Chair of Systematic Theology at John Carroll University, was the concluding speaker of the Diocesan Year of Faith Speaker Series on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the Catholic Center. He presented on “The Church in the Making: Keeping Alive the Vision of Vatican II.”

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The Shreveport Fire Department brought “Pluggy” to St. Joseph Catholic School for a demonstration on fire safety. Students in K-5 and 1st grade got the opportunity to interact with “Pluggy” and learn what to do in a fire emergency.

10 Decemeber 2013 21


upcoming EVENTS December 2-4: "The Mystery and Beauty of Advent" at St. Joseph Church in Shreveport St. Joseph Church in Shreveport invites you to “The Mystery and Beauty of Advent.” Fr. Kerry Wakulich from the Diocese of Tulsa will enrich our Advent season with scripture reflection reminding us of the beauty of this holy season. Fr. Kerry was ordained a priest in 2010. After graduating in 1994, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country for six years. After leaving the Air Force he worked in New York as an engineer. All this time Fr. Kerrey was attending daily Mass and listening to the call of the Holy Spirit. He has been referred to as “The Courageous Disciple” for quitting his job, leaving a girlfriend behind and becoming a priest. He is currently the chaplain of the St. Philip Neri Newman Center at the University of Tulsa. Morning sessions: 9:00 a.m. in the Family Life Center. Evening sessions: 6:00 p.m. in the church. For more info contact the church office at 318-865-3581. December 3: Traveling Reliquary "Treasures of the Church" at the Cathedral The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans has scheduled Treasures of the Church: A Travelling Reliquary Exhibit for Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cathedral sanctuary. Treasures of the Church is a Catholic ministry of evangelization run by Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross. Its purpose is to give people an experience of the living God through an encounter with the relics that is scriptural and devotional, leading to a renewal of the Catholic faith for many people. Fr. Martins begins each exposition with a presentation and teaching on relics which provides the catechetical and spiritual basis for the Walk with the Saints that follows the presentation. After the teaching, those in attendance have an opportunity to venerate the relics of some of their favorite saints. This exposition involves some 150 relics, including those of St. Maria Goretti, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Faustina Kowalska. The supreme highlight is one of the largest relics of the Church’s claim to the True Cross in the world and a piece of the Veil that, according to sanctioned tradition, is believed to have belonged to the Blessed Mother.

22 Catholic Connection

W orld Marriage Day World Marriage Day will be celebrated throughout the world on February 9, 2014. Each parish in our diocese is invited to plan a World Marriage Day celebration honoring their married couples. In addition, special certificates signed by Bishop Duca will be presented to all married couples in the diocese celebrating decade and half decade anniversaries (5, 10, 15, etc.), and to all couples celebrating 50 years or more in 2014. This is a great way to honor married couples and their witness to the Sacrament of Marriage. Call your parish church office by December 11 in order to be included in this special recognition! The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans is located at 939 Jordan Street in Shreveport. For more information visit www.sjbcathedral.org. December 4: Immigration Reform Prayer Service at Sacred Heart Church in Oak Grove Why does the Catholic Church support comprehensive immigration reform?  What are myths that shape the understanding of many concerning immigration reform?  As the House of Representatives considers immigration reform, Fr. Mark Watson invites all to come together to learn and pray about this important issue. The service begins at 6:00 p.m. and is located at 201 Purvis Street in Oak Grove. December 13: St. Joseph's Sacred Music Concert Series Presents: Advent Lessons and Carols at St. Joseph Church in Shreveport, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Nursery available for children ages 4 months to 4 years. For more info, contact the church office, 318-865-3581. December 17: Advent Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral Please join Bishop Duca and the Cathedral Music Ministry featuring Nine Advent Lessons and Carols  Tuesday, December, 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cathedral. This service will assist in preparing our hearts and minds for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. Advent Lessons and Carols is a service with a long history that dates to the late 19th century.  Through nine short Bible readings, each accompanied by carols and hymns, the program presents the story of Christ, including the fall of Adam, the promise of a Messiah as told in the Old Testament and ultimately the

birth of Jesus. The music at our service is provided by our own Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Adult and Children’s choirs.   The music is beautiful and guaranteed to stir your soul and get you into the spirit of the season.   January 25, 2014: Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Conference Plan now to attend the first ever Marriage and Family Life Conference hosted by the Diocese of Shreveport at the Catholic Center in Shreveport on Saturday, January 25, 2014. Benefit from fantastic presenters and breakout sessions for couples of all ages. Plan now to join us for this wonderful event. February 20, 2014: Diocese of Shreveport Pro-Life Banquet Each year the Diocese of Shreveport hosts a pro-life banquet to bring awareness to life issues and raise money to support life ministries within the diocese. The next banquet will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at the Bossier Civic Center at 6:00 p.m. This year the speaker will be Shak Hill, a pro-life advocate with a personal story of how he and his family live by faith. Shak is a Bossier City native and a 1983 Loyola College Prep Graduate. He currently lives with his family in Virginia, his wife Robin and six children. He and his wife have been foster parents to 46 children and received the 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award for the State of Virginia. Always a popular event in the diocese, many like to have advanced notice of when the event will be. Tickets are $50 a person, or $400 for a table of eight. Please consider sponsoring a student to attend the event for $50. For more information, contact Bernadette Boyd at 318-458- 5252.


calendar

december 2013

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY

SATURDAY

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 First Sunday of Advent

St. Francis Xavier, priest

St. Nicholas, bishop

St. John Damascene, priest & doctor of the Church

St. Ambrose, bishop & doctor of the church

Advent Begins / Dec 1

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Second Sunday of Advent

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Annual Mass, Cathedral, 11am

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Damasus I, pope

Our Lady of Guadalupe

St. Lucy, virgin and martyr

After the New Testament Class, Catholic Center, 9am St. John of the Cross, priest & doctor of the Church

Immaculate Conception / Dec 9

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Third Sunday of Advent

St. Peter Canisius, priest & doctor of the Church

Seminarian Candidacy / Dec 22

22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Fourth Sunday of Advent Candidacy for seminarians Keith Garvin and Jerry Daigle, Jr., St. Matthew Church, 10:30am

Christmas Break for Catholic Schools (through Jan. 2) St. John of Kanty, priest

The Nativity of the Lord CHRISTMAS

St. Stephen, the first martyr

St. John, apostle & evangelist

The Holy Innocents, martyrs

Christmas / Dec 25

29 30 31 1 2 3 4 The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph

St. Sylvester I, pope

New Year's Day

The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

St. Basil the great and Gregory Nazianzen, bishops

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Solemnity of Mary / JAN 1 Decemeber 2013 23


DIOCESE OF SHREVEPORT 3500 Fairfield Ave.

â&#x20AC;˘

Shreveport, LA 71104

Fairfield

Photo of the month by Blanca Vice

Bishop Michael Duca greets attendees at Theology on Tap at O'Briens Pub in October. Theology on Tap is a program for Catholic young adults to gather in a relaxed setting and learn more about the Catholic faith. 24 Catholic Connection

Catholic Connection December 2013  

The Octave of Christmas

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