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Christmas Features

Bayou

Catholic

Advent:

Preparing for Christ HOUMA, LA ~ DECEMBER 2017 ~ COMPLIMENTARY


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CLEARLY

We have been treating diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration since 1996 and would be honored to care for you.

If you would like to visit SEECA call 853-0900


Special Collection for Diocesan Priests Retirement December 9 and 10, 2017 “On the weekend of December 9 and December 10, I pray that everyone will support the collection for the retired priests of the diocese.� Bishop Shelton J. Fabre


Contents FEATURES

18

18 Advent: preparation for Christmas

By Janet Marcel

20 Two schools to become one

By Janet Marcel

32 “Dr. D” - a walking miracle

By Janet Marcel

COLUMNS

20

13 Questions of Faith

32

By Very Rev. Jay L. Baker

INGREDIENTS: 8 oz. red candied cherries 8 oz. green candied cherries 8 oz. candied pineapple 8 oz. dates 2 cups pecans 1/2 cup plus one heaping tablespoon flour 1 can condensed milk 5 tbsp. eggnog 1 tsp. rum flavoring

By Ryan Abboud

27 Reading with Raymond

By Raymond Saadi

39 Overtime

28

Chop fruit and pecans; then mix all ingredients together. Fill miniature muffin cups which have been sprayed with Pam. Bake at 290 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool and remove from pan. Makes 36 to 42 pieces. Works better if baked in a shiny aluminum pan. If using a dark pan, bake at 275 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Katherine and E.J. have three children, a daughter and two sons. They have experienced many ups and downs in their lifetime. “E.J. had two serious life threatening events, one was cancer. We never had the fear he was going to die. We felt that God was going to help him. We had many, many friends and family members praying for us. I believe in the power of prayer. The power of prayer helped us through the tough times,” she says. Now that the couple is in their golden years, they depend on each other every day. Katherine has difficulty walking and using her muscles. E.J. is almost completely deaf. Together they lean on each other during doctor visits and daily chores around the house. As the years have passed and time has changed situations in life, Katherine is still spending time in the kitchen with someone she loves. Katherine prepares the ingredients for the fruit cakelets and E.J. does the mixing and stirring, which requires the strength she doesn’t have. Together, they create this recipe with love.

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

By Father Glenn LeCompte

26 Thoughts for Millennials

Fruit Cakelets

DIRECTIONS:

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

Pope Francis I

14 Readings Between The Lines

CAKELETS

Forget everything you ever heard about fruitcakes: they make great door stops; no one eats them; they get passed on as re-gifts. Because this month’s heavenly recipe, homemade fruit cakelets, are delicious. Katherine Richardelle and her husband E.J., parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Cut Off, have teamed up for a tasty holiday treat. It’s a recipe Katherine got from a friend she used to play Pokeno with that she tweaked a bit and made it her own. Katherine loves to bake. She thinks she inherited her love for the oven from her father, Hector Curole. “When I was a young girl growing up my father and I would bake cakes every Saturday afternoon. My dad loved to bake red velvet cakes. We would also bake German chocolate, which is my favorite. Everything was made from scratch. We would both look forward to Saturday afternoons in the kitchen baking. We made sure to leave the kitchen as clean as we found it.” “My mom Bernice would cook for the family. She made sure supper was on the table when my dad came home from work. While she cooked every day her passion was keeping her house clean. She took great pride in having a clean house,” says Katherine. E.J. and Katherine met one summer while she was selling vegetables at her grandfather’s vegetable stand in Cut Off. Soon after meeting they would go dancing on the weekends. E.J. was drafted and served in the military for two years. When he came back home Katherine had graduated high school and the couple married. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary this year.

By Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

CHRISTMAS 22

22 Katherine and E.J. Bake:

Comfort For My People

12 Pope Speaks

Katherine and E.J. Richardelle

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41

By Ed Daniels

IN EVERY ISSUE

6

From the Editor

16 Scripture Readings 22 Heavenly Recipes 34 Diocesan Events 36 Youth in Action ANNOUNCEMENTS

24 Pastoral appointments announced 30 Catholic foundation update 38 Vandy girls - volleyball state champs 41 Church parishes’ Christmas schedules


On Our Cover The Advent wreath helps us to spiritually contemplate the great drama that surrounds the birth of Jesus Christ who comes to redeem the human race. Thus, the Advent candles readily demonstrate the strong contrast between darkness and light. Christ is the “Light of the World” contrasted with the darkness of sin. As his Advent or “coming” draws nearer another candle is lit, with each candle dispelling the darkness a little more. Kristen Hernandez, her husband Jordan and their son Joshua, parishioners of St. Mary’s Nativity Church in Raceland, light a candle on an Advent wreath. Photo by Lawrence Chatagnier

Where to find your Bayou Catholic Bayou Catholic magazine can be found at all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, at the three Catholic high schools in Houma, Morgan City and Thibodaux, as well as the 10 elementary schools throughout the diocese. You may also visit the merchants listed in the Advertisers’ Index to pick up your copy. Those wishing to receive the magazine by mail can call Janet Marcel at (985) 850-3132 or write to Bayou Catholic, P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA 70395. Subscription price is $35 annually. For the online edition, go to www.bayoucatholic.com

Bayou Catholic Vol. 38, No. 6 How to reach us: BY PHONE: (985) 850-3132 BY MAIL: P.O. Box 505 Schriever, LA 70395 BY FAX: (985) 850-3232 BY E-MAIL: bayoucatholic@htdiocese.org The Bayou Catholic is published monthly, for the people of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux by the H-T Publishing Co., P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA 70395. Subscription rate is $35 per year. The Bayou Catholic is a member of the Catholic Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and an associate member of the Louisiana Press Association.

Lawrence Chatagnier

Index to Advertisers Academy Place .................................................... 50

Patrick Yancey Law Firm ...................................... 26

Advanced Eye Institute ......................................... 38

Premier Offshore Catering. Inc. ............................. 42

Cardinal Place ...................................................... 17

Priests Retirement Fund Collection .......................... 3

Catholic Charities Collection ................................... 7

Re-Bath ............................................................... 30

Cenac Marine ....................................................... 51

Rod’s Superstore ................................................. 17

Chauvin Funeral Home ......................................... 29 Coastal Commerce Bank ...................................... 29 Daigle Himel Daigle .............................................. 19 Diocesan Outreach Line ....................................... 45 Divinity Home Health Services .............................. 21 Ellendale Country Club ......................................... 31 Falgout Funeral Homes, LLC ................................. 43 God’s Promises, Books & Gifts ...................... 31, 47 Gulf Coast Orthopedics ........................................ 35

Samart Funeral Home .......................................... 50 SEECA ................................................................... 2 Seminarian Education Burses ............................... 37 Southland Mall ..................................................... 52 St. Joseph Manor ................................................. 35 Strategic Planning .................................................. 9 Synergy Bank ....................................................... 49 Terminix ............................................................... 38

Haydel Spine Pain & Wellness .............................. 15

Thibodaux Funeral Home ...................................... 49

Landry’s Funeral Home ........................................ 44

Thibodaux Physical Therapy ................................. 47

LeBlanc & Associates, LLC .................................. 35

Walters & Associates ........................................... 39

Lewis & Company ................................................ 46

Watkins, Walker, Eroche & Hoychick ..................... 46

Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center ................ 34

Wellness Center of Thibodaux Regional ................ 23

editor and general manager

Glenn J. Landry, C.P.A. business manager

Janet Marcel

staff writer/administrative assistant

Brooks Lirette

advertising accounts executive

Lisa Schobel Hebert graphic designer

Meridy Liner

accounts receivable/payable assistant

Like us on Facebook or Find us on the web www.bayoucatholic.org

Awards

CPA First Place General Excellence 2013 - 2014 LPA First Place General Excellence 2015 www.bayoucatholic.com

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Welcome

From the Editor 6

December is upon us, a month of preparation and giving. The season of Advent which this year begins on Sunday, Dec. 3, is a time for us to prepare for the annual celebration of Christ’s birth and his coming again. December also brings us into the Christmas season, a time of giving and sharing special moments with family and friends. As we prepare for the coming of Christ this Advent, we have the opportunity to bring joy to others and make Christmas more meaningful for them, as well as ourselves. We all know someone, whether it be a family member or friend, who is hurting in some way. Spending time, giving words of encouragement and praying with someone who is sick is a great way to spread Christ’s love this season. There is probably someone you know who has fallen on hard times lately because of the downturn of the economy in this

area. This year when sending Christmas cards include a supermarket gift card to someone you know who is unemployed. In south Louisiana families are known to be close knit. However close we are to immediate family members, we all have relatives who are lonely. One might have an elderly aunt or uncle with no children who would love to have a visit from a niece or nephew. Grandparents also enjoy visits from their grandchildren as well as from their own children. As we strive daily to live the Gospel values especially during the time of Advent and Christmas, we should be prayerful and remember those who are less fortunate in our prayers. Perhaps we could use the following excerpt from Pope Francis’ 2016 Christmas message: “Let us pray for peace – not merely the word, but a real and concrete peace – to our abandoned and excluded brothers and sisters, to those who suffer hunger and to all the victims of violence. Peace to exiles, migrants and refugees, to all those who in our day are subject to human trafficking. Peace to the peoples who suffer because of the economic ambitions of the

few, because of the sheer greed and the idolatry of money, which leads to slavery. Peace to those affected by social and economic unrest, and to those who endure the consequences of earthquakes or other natural catastrophes. “Peace to the children, on this special day on which God became a child, above all those deprived of the joys of childhood because of hunger, wars or the selfishness of adults. “Peace on earth to men and women of goodwill, who work quietly and patiently each day, in their families and in society, to build a more humane and just world, sustained by the conviction that only with peace is there the possibility of a more prosperous future for all.” On behalf of the Bayou Catholic staff, have a prayerful, hope-filled Advent season and a very Merry Christmas. Remember, after reading Bayou Catholic, pass it on to a friend or relative who might not be attending Mass. It’s one of the great ways to do your part in spreading the Good News!

Lawrence

Lawrence Chatagnier Editor & General Manager

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017


“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.� - Isaiah 9:6 Come celebrate the joy of the Lord.

In the Spirit of this Holy Season ... please remember the Diocesan Charities Christmas Collection on December 25. Thank You and God Bless


Comment

Rediscovering God’s mercy Comfort For My People

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Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

All of the seven sacraments – baptism, Eucharist, reconciliation, confirmation, matrimony, holy orders, and anointing of the sick – are special encounters with the Lord Jesus Christ that change us forever. The seven sacraments are at the very heart of the church, and at the very heart of our ongoing encounters with Jesus Christ. One of the central actions that Jesus Christ undertook during his ministry was forgiveness of sins. This ministry of forgiveness was entrusted to the apostles, and through the apostles comes to us today in the ministry of bishops and priests. As some of the fruit of our recent strategic planning efforts, over the past few weeks we have been engaged in presentations and sessions entitled “WHY WE BELIEVE: Rediscover Your Faith.” Many people have shared with me what a powerful impact these sessions have had on their faith and on their ability to appreciate, explain and defend their Catholic faith. During this season of Advent, we are going to continue this effort of learning more about our faith and we are going to be reflecting more deeply together on the sacrament of reconciliation in sessions entitled “WHY WE CONFESS: Rediscover Mercy.” While there will be a lot of wonderful information and resources

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

presented to all in the video series that we will utilize together during these weeks, I do want to use this opportunity to share with you a few of my own thoughts about this divine encounter with God’s love that is available to us in this wonderful sacrament of God’s love and mercy. As you may be aware, the sacrament is actually referred to by several names. It is commonly known in many circles simply as “confession.” In some instances it is referred to as the “sacrament of reconciliation,” or the “sacrament of penance.” These names all bring into focus some of the various requirements that are a part of the sacrament. During the sacrament, we “confess” our sins to a priest, which is the origin of the name “confession.” The sacrament “reconciles” us to God and to the church community, so that is the origin of the name “sacrament of reconciliation.” Finally, one of the aspects of the sacrament is the “penance,” or the prayer, “good work” or “sacrifice,” that I am to perform in contrast to my sinful acts, and this is the origin of the name “sacrament of penance.” The official name of the sacrament according to the church is the “sacrament of penance and reconciliation.” However, it is easy to understand how all of the different names that reference this sacrament came about over time. Far more tragic than the confusion sometimes that surrounds the name of the sacrament is the misunderstanding that both Catholics and people of other faith traditions have regarding the very nature of the sacrament. Part of this confusion finds its origin in the fact that none of us likes coming face to face with the reality of our own sins. There can be a lot of embarrassment or

regret that arises within us when we reflect upon our sins – upon how we have rejected the love of God and our call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as his missionary disciples. Many people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, are uncomfortable with this and this tragically prevents them from a full appreciation of this sacrament, which is more about God’s love and mercy and his desire to forgive us than it is about embarrassment on our part. I once heard someone say that with regard to the embarrassment that we feel about our sins, we need to feel that at the time when the sin is committed. When we come to the sacrament of penance and reconciliation, it is more about God’s forgiveness than about any embarrassment we feel. When we approach the sacrament, we undertake the following: we express contrition and sorrow for the sins we have committed; we confess our sins to the priest or bishop who represents Jesus Christ to us; we pray for God’s forgiveness; we pledge in some way through some penance – prayer, sacrifice or good work – to make amends for what we have done; and we promise to the best of our ability to avoid these sins in the future. In this way, we come to know and receive God’s forgiveness and mercy. It is certainly understandable that people often express how “wonderful” and “lighthearted” they feel after this encounter with God’s mercy. So as we prepare for the birth of the Lord this Christmas, why not give the Lord one of the most precious gifts you can give him and return to the sacrament of penance and reconciliation??!! It does not matter how long you have been away from the sacrament. God always rejoices and welcomes us home!!!


FORGIVENESS. HEALING. FREEDOM. REDISCOVER THE MERCY OF GOD. JOIN DR. BRANT PITRE & FR. MARK TOUPS FOR A 3-WEEK STUDY ON THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

LEARN MORE & SIGN UP htdiocese.org/whyweconfess whyweconfess Rediscover Mercy.


Comentario

Redescubriendo la misericordia de Dios

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Todos los siete sacramentosel bautismo, la Eucaristía, la reconciliación, la confirmación, el matrimonio, las órdenes santas y la unción de los enfermosson encuentros especiales con el Señor Jesucristo que nos cambian para siempre. Los siete sacramentos son el corazón de la Iglesia y en el centro de nuestro encuentro continuo con Jesucristo. Uno de los actos centrales que Jesucristo llevó a cabo durante su ministerio fue el de perdonar los pecados. Este ministerio del perdón se delegó a los apóstoles y por medio de ellos el perdón llega a nosotros en la actualidad en el ministerio de los obispos y sacerdotes. Ahora que estamos recibiendo el fruto de nuestros planes estratégicos, en las últimas semanas hemos estado preparando las presentaciones y sesiones tituladas: «POR QUE CREEMOS: Redescubriendo Su Fe.» Muchas personas me han dicho que estas sesiones han tenido un impacto potente en su fe y en su habilidad de apreciar, explicar y defender la fe católica. Durante el Adviento, continuaremos el esfuerzo de aprender más sobre nuestra fe y reflexionaremos más unidos sobre el sacramento de la reconciliación en sesiones tituladas «POR QUE NOS CONFESAMOS: Redescubriendo la Misericordia.» En estas sesiones habrá mucha información y recursos en la serie de videos que utilizaremos durante estas semanas. Quiero aprovechar este momento para compartir con ustedes mis pensamientos sobre este encuentro divino con el amor de Dios por medio de este

maravilloso sacramento del amor de Dios y su misericordia. Este sacramento se conoce por varios nombres. Se conoce en varios lugares como la «confesión.» En otros casos se le llama «el sacramento de la reconciliación,» o «el sacramento de la penitencia.» Estos nombres se enfocan en los actos que son requisitos de este sacramento. Durante el sacramento se confiesan los pecados al sacerdote, uno de los

Redescubriendo la misericordia

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

orígenes del nombre «confesión.» El sacramento nos reconcilia con Dios y con la comunidad eclesiástica y por tanto «el sacramento de la reconciliación.» Por último, una característica del sacramento es la «penitencia» o la oración, «la buena obra» o «el sacrificio», que voy a hacer en oposición a mis pecados y esto es el origen del nombre «el sacramento de la penitencia y la reconciliación.» Sin embargo, es fácil comprender cómo todos estos títulos se originaron con el tiempo. Algo más trágico que la confusión que rodea todos estos títulos dados al sacramento es el malentendido que los católicos y otras religiones tienen sobre la función del sacramento. La confusión se basa

en parte al hecho que a ninguno de nosotros nos gusta encarar la realidad de nuestros propios pecadosporque con estos hemos rechazado el amor de Dios y nuestro llamado a seguir los pasos de Jesucristo ya que somos sus discípulos misioneros. Muchas personas, ambos católicos y no católicos se sienten incómodos y esta incomodidad no les permite apreciar con plenitud este sacramento que se trata más sobre el amor de Dios y su misericordia y su deseo de perdonarnos que sobre la vergüenza que sentimos. Escuché a alguien decir una vez que la vergüenza se debe sentir en el momento que se está cometiendo el pecado. El sacramento de la penitencia y la reconciliación se trata más sobre el perdón de Dios y no la vergüenza que sentimos. Cuando hacemos este sacramento, hacemos los siguiente: expresamos arrepentimiento y tristeza por los pecados cometidos; confesamos nuestros pecados al sacerdote o al obispo que representa a Jesucristo; rogamos por el perdón de Dios; prometemos por medio de la penitencia- oración, sacrificio o buena obra- reparar el daño que se ha cometido y se promete no cometer estos pecados en el futuro. De esta manera, recibimos y llegamos a conocer el perdón de Dios y su misericordia. Es comprensible que después del encuentro con la misericordia de Dios, las personas expresen una sensación de alivio y alegría. Ahora que nos preparamos para celebrar la natividad del Señor esta navidad, ¿Por qué no le damos al Señor uno de los obsequios más valiosos que podemos darle y hacer el sacramento de la penitencia y la reconciliación? No importa cuánto tiempo se ha mantenido alejado de este sacramento. ¡Dios se regocija y nos recibe con amor!


Binh luan bang loi

Tái khám phá lòng thương xót của Chúa

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Tất cả bảy Bí tích - rửa tội, Thánh thể, hoà giải, thêm sức, hôn phối, truyền chức thánh và xức dầu bệnh nhân - là những cuộc gặp gỡ đặc biệt với Chúa Giêsu Kitô để thay đổi chúng ta mãi mãi. Bảy Bí tích nằm trong lòng của Giáo hội, và chính giữa cuộc gặp gỡ tiếp diễn của chúng ta với Chúa Giêsu Kitô. Một trong những hành động then chốt mà Chúa Giêsu Kitô đã đảm nhận trong sứ mạng của ngài là tha tội. Sứ mạng tha thứ này được ủy thác cho các tông đồ, và thông qua các ngài đến với chúng ta hôm nay trong chức vụ của các giám mục và linh mục. Trong vài tuần qua, một số kết quả của những nỗ lực kế hoạch chiến lược, chúng ta đã tham gia vào các bài thuyết trình và các buổi thảo luận có nhan đề: “TẠI SAO CHÚNG TA TIN: Hãy tái khám phá Đức tin của bạn.” Nhiều người đã chia sẻ với tôi về tác động mạnh mẽ những giờ thảo luận đã có trong đức tin của họ và khả năng để cảm tạ, giải thích và bảo vệ đức tin Công giáo của họ. Trong suốt mùa Vọng này, chúng ta sẽ tiếp tục nỗ lực tìm hiểu thêm về đức tin của chúng ta và chúng ta sẽ cùng nhau suy niệm xa hơn về Bí tích Hòa giải trong các buổi học hỏi có tựa đề: “TẠI SAO CHÚNG TA XƯNG TỘI: Hãy tái khám phá Lòng thương xót.” Trong khi có rất nhiều thông tin và dữ liệu tuyệt vời được trình bày cho tất cả mọi người qua loạt bang ảnh video mà chúng ta sẽ sử dụng chung với nhau trong những tuần này, tôi muốn mượn cơ hội này để chia sẻ với Anh Chị Em (ACE) một vài suy nghĩ của riêng tôi về cuộc gặp gỡ thánh thiêng này với tình yêu của Thiên Chúa có sẵn cho chúng ta trong bí tích tuyệt vời này của tình yêu và lòng thương xót của Thiên Chúa.

Như ACE có biết, bí tích thật sự được gọi bằng nhiều tên. Trong nhiều trường hợp, nó thường được gọi là “xưng tội.” Trong một số trường hợp, nó được gọi là “bí tích hoà giải,” hay “bí tích sám hối.” Những tên này đặt trọng tâm vào một số yêu cầu khác nhau, nằm trong một phần của bí tích. Trong lúc cử hành bí tích, chúng ta “xưng tội” của mình với một Linh mục, đó là nguồn gốc của tên gọi: “xưng tội.” Bí tích “hòa giải” chúng ta với Thiên Chúa và với cộng đoàn, vì thế đó là nguồn gốc của tên gọi: “Bí tích hòa giải.” Cuối cùng, một trong những khía cạnh của bí tích này là “sám hối,” hay là lời cầu nguyện, “việc lành” hay “hy sinh,” mà tôi phải thực hiện trái ngược với những hành động tội lỗi của tôi, và đây là nguồn gốc của tên gọi: “bí tích sám hối.” Tên gọi chính thức của bí tích này theo Giáo hội là “bí tích sám hối và hòa giải.” Tuy nhiên, thật dễ hiểu là tất cả những tên khác nhau liên quan đến bí tích này đều đến theo thời gian. Đáng bi thảm hơn sự nhầm lẫn đôi khi bao hàm tên bí tích này là sự hiểu lầm mà cả người Công giáo và những người thuộc các truyền thống đức tin khác có liên quan đến bản chất của bí tích này. Một phần của sự nhầm lẫn này phát hiện ra nguồn gốc của nó trong thực tế rằng không ai trong chúng ta thích đối diện với thực tế của tội lỗi của mình. Có thể có rất nhiều sự xấu hổ hoặc tiếc nuối khi chúng ta suy nghĩ về tội lỗi của mình - bằng cách chúng ta đã chối bỏ tình yêu của Thiên Chúa và lời kêu gọi của chúng ta để bước theo bước chân của Chúa Giêsu Kitô như các môn đệ xưa kia của ngài. Nhiều người, cả người Công giáo lẫn người không Công giáo, đều không thoải mái với điều này và điều bi thảm này sẽ ngăn cản họ nhận thức đầy đủ về bí tích này, đó là về tình yêu thương

và lòng thương xót và ước muốn tha thứ của Thiên Chúa cho chúng ta hơn là về sự xấu hổ của chúng ta. Tôi đã từng nghe có người nói đến sự xấu hổ mà chúng ta cảm nhận về tội lỗi của mình, chúng ta cần phải cảm thấy điều đó vào thời điểm tội lỗi xảy ra. Khi chúng ta đến với bí tích sám hối và hòa giải, đó là chúng ta đến với sự tha thứ của Thiên Chúa hơn là bất kỳ sự xấu hổ nào mà chúng ta cảm nhận. Khi chúng ta đến với bí tích này, chúng ta hãy thực hiện những điều sau đây: chúng ta bày tỏ sự ăn năn và buồn phiền vì những tội lỗi mà mình đã phạm; chúng ta xưng tội của mình với linh mục hoặc giám mục, là người đại diện giữa Chúa Giêsu Kitô với chúng ta; chúng ta cầu xin ơn tha thứ của Thiên Chúa; chúng 11 ta cam kết bằng một số cách thông qua sự sám hối như - cầu nguyện, hy sinh, hay làm việc lành - để sửa chữa những gì chúng ta đã làm; và chúng ta cam kết với hết khả năng của mình để xa tránh những tội lỗi này trong tương lai. Bằng cách này, chúng ta nhận biết và lãnh nhận ơn tha thứ và lòng thương xót của Thiên Chúa. Thật rõ ràng và dễ hiểu khi người ta thường nói: Ôi cảm giác mà họ cảm nhận sau cuộc gặp gỡ này với lòng thương xót của Thiên Chúa thật “tuyệt vời” và “nhẹ nhàng” biết bao! Vì chúng ta đang chuẩn bị cho ngày sinh của Chúa sinh ra, tại sao chúng ta không cho Chúa một trong những món quà quý giá nhất mà ACE có thể cho Ngài là trở lại với bí tích sám hối và hòa giải??!! Cho dù thời gian mà ACE đã đến với bí tích này bao lâu đi nữa cũng không quan trọng. Thiên Chúa luôn vui mừng và chào đón chúng ta trở về nhà! Dịch thuật do Lm. Francis Bui, SDD và Thầy Paul Vu, SDD. Tu Đoàn Tông Đồ Giáo Sĩ Nhà Chúa www.bayoucatholic.com


Comment

Pope Francis: The Mass needs silence not ‘chit-chat’ The Pope Speaks

V 12

Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News) Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord. “When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those in front of us,” the Pope said. However, “it is not a moment for chit-chat.” “It is a moment of silence for preparing ourselves for dialogue, a time for the heart to collect itself in order to prepare for the encounter with Jesus,” he said, adding that “silence is so important.” Continuing his new catechesis on the Eucharist, the Pope recalled his message the week prior, that the Mass is not a show, but a place where we encounter the Lord. In this encounter, he said, silence is what “prepares us and accompanies us.” But to really understand this, first we have to answer a question, he said. And that is: What is prayer? Prayer is, “first and foremost dialogue, personal relationship with God,” he said. And in prayer, just like in any dialogue, it needs moments of silence “together with Jesus.” This, he said, is because

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

it is only in the “mysterious silence of God” that his Word can resound in our heart. Francis explained that to pray is not difficult, and is something that Jesus himself taught us to do first of all by example, when in the Gospels he withdraws to a secluded place to pray. And second, he teaches us again when he tells his disciples that the first word in knowing how to pray is “Father.” This is “so simple,” the Pope said. “So we have to learn, ‘Father.’” Then, we must take on the attitude of a small child before his or her parents. One full of trust and confidence, knowing that God “remembers you and takes care of you,” he said. The second attitude we should take is one of childlike surprise and wonder. The child, he said, “always asks a thousand questions

because he wants to discover the world; in our relationship with the Lord, in prayer, wonder,” he said, telling pilgrims to “open the heart to wonder.” When it comes to prayer, he noted that often we are busy with many different activities or projects and say we don’t have time. “We lose sight of what is fundamental: our life of the heart, our spiritual life, our life of prayer with the Lord.” However, Jesus surprises us in truth by loving us and calling us even in our weaknesses, he said, adding that just as Christ called his disciples, he also calls us to him at each Mass. “This is therefore the greatest grace: to be able to experience the Mass, the Eucharist. It is the privileged moment to be with Jesus, and through Him with God and his brothers.”


Questions of Faith Very Rev. Jay L. Baker

Dealing with change I am an adult Catholic who hasn’t attended Mass for a few years. I would like to start attending but I feel uncomfortable because I know there have been a lot of changes in the Mass. How do I get past this feeling? Your question takes me back 20 years … as if it were yesterday! I was leaving the last parish of an assignment as an associate pastor and was becoming a first-time pastor. After several trips up and down the bayou hauling my things from one rectory to another, I made a final sweep through my office and picked up the last remaining possession I had left behind: a 44 oz. plastic drink cup filled with a crazy collection of quarters, pennies, nickels and dimes. It weighed a veritable ton! And since the cup holder in my car could not accommodate it, I simply wedged it between the gearshift and the console and buckled up. As I pulled out of the parking lot I took one last look into the review mirror, saying goodbye to the place I called home as my car negotiated the embankment up to the highway. And that’s when it happened – the center of gravity shifted and so did the cache’ of coins. An avalanche ensued, pouring forth onto the floor as well as into every nook and cranny of the vehicle. That cavalcade of coinage flowed freely into unknown and long-forgotten and forever-inaccessible spaces where they were destined to spend all eternity. I have often thought that such change is a nuisance. Perhaps it would just be better to round the prices of things up

or down. As I drove along, each bend in the bayou was met with a corresponding curve in the road and fresh pings and clinks from my “now” long-lost cents and I was confirmed in my conviction: ”I HATE CHANGE!” It was not starting out as a very happy day. But I had to push past the disappointment: a new adventure and a crew of young adults were waiting to welcome me and settle me in. Many hands made light work and before the morning was over – despite the heat and humidity – we were done! Sweaty and exhausted, but done. And that’s when I spied it: like an oasis in the dessert, a port in the storm. From the darkened parish hall, the vending machine beckoned … its light piercing the darkness. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get what was in the vending machine into me and my helpers, but my pockets were empty. And that’s when I remembered the disaster from earlier in the day. Happily, I darted back out to the car and partook of the bounty on the floorboard! Handfuls of coins began filling up the cup and before long, refreshments were filling up my helpers. I recounted what had happened along the way and I had to admit: ”I love change. CHANGE is necessary! CHANGE is GOOD!” Unfortunately, I am writing an answer to your question and not talking to you face-to-face in conversation. But if I were, I would be interested to know what changed in your life that made you stop attending Mass. And then I would wonder, what had changed now that you wanted to return? After the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, his followers began gathering and retelling the story of his life. They celebrated agape meals in each other’s homes, remembering the Lord’s promise … “there AM I in your midst.” When the persecutions came to the fore, followers changed their modus operandi and gathered in catacombs and secret places. Then once Christianity was legalized, they changed and came out of hiding. The government even provided them with civil buildings – basilicas – in which to accommodate the growing numbers. As the faith flourished and became more formalized, the Scriptures were

canonized and councils codified our beliefs. Change after change upon change. Just last month, we celebrated with 55th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II which is the date the church – good teacher that she is – chose as Pope St. John XXIII’s feast day! With those reforms (read as “changes”) in the ‘60’s, the priest no longer had his back to the people mumbling words as if to himself in a forgotten language but he boldly faced and embraced the modern world, speaking in the language of the people. This past Mission Sunday, Pope Francis even invited the world to chat with him on his Twitter feed! Change following change preceding change. A few years ago, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called for changes in the Liturgy which followed the Latin texts more precisely. Prior to that, the translations of the collects offered two options: one that was more poetic (or sensitive to the modern use of the English language) and one that was more Roman (or closer to the Latin). It would be hard to imagine Pope 13 Francis – with his big heart open to God – calling for such a change. Instead, at this time, our Supreme Pontiff encourages us, saying: “The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle.” Admittedly, and rather cavalierly, I have glossed through 2,000 years of church history in a nanosecond. Yet my purpose in doing so is simple and hopefully, illustrative: as the church grows in her self-understanding, the way that we express our faith has, can, and does change. But I assure you, the eternal truths of our faith do not change.

Readers are encouraged to send their questions to our local Bayou Catholic columnists by email to bayoucatholic@htdiocese.org. www.bayoucatholic.com


Reflections Readings Between The Lines Father Glenn LeCompte

Shepherds and Magi together not really

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Since the time of St. Francis of Assisi, Christians have been fond of attempting to portray the “Christmas story” by means of Nativity displays. Shepherds, angels, Mary and Joseph, and Magi are depicted huddled around a manger containing the Christ child as animals encircle them in a stable. Although such displays evoke warm feelings and perhaps inspire prayer, there is a problem. They seek to display the “Christmas story,” but a careful reader of chapters 1-2 of Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels and chapter 1 of John’s will notice that such a display creates a scene that none of the evangelists would recognize as his own. This is because our Nativity scenes seek to create a historical memory by harmonizing elements of Matthew’s and Luke’s Infancy Narratives. John’s poetic prologue (1:1-18), although it is read at Mass during the Day on Christmas, never figures into such scenes, probably because of its abstract nature. Although there have been many creative attempts to reconstruct a history of Jesus’ birth, especially by depictions in Nativity displays, we run into several difficulties in doing so. Matthew’s and Luke’s Infancy Narratives have some commonalities, but for the most part they tell the story of Jesus’ birth very differently. Among the

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

commonalities between Matthew’s and Luke’s Infancy Narratives are the following: 1) Mary is betrothed but not married when she conceives Jesus, 2) The child is to be named Jesus, 3) the conception of Jesus is accomplished not by the agency of a human father, but by the Holy Spirit, 4) Jesus was born in Bethlehem near the end of Herod the Great’s reign, 5) The Holy Family ends up in Nazareth. Unique to Matthew’s presentation are the following elements. While the ultimate ancestor of Jesus in Matthew’s genealogy is Abraham (1:1-17), in Luke’s it is Adam, and Luke places the genealogy not in his Infancy Narrative, but in Jesus’ Public Ministry (3:23-38). If the genealogies are meant to be historical records, then what are we to make of the numerous differences in names between the two? One glaring difference is the fact that the child of King David from whom Jesus descends is Solomon in Matthew (1:7) and Nathan in Luke (3:31). Regarding the physical structure where Jesus was born, Luke’s Gospel always has preference in the Nativity scene. Jesus is depicted as being born in a stable, a physical structure which Luke never mentions, but is extrapolated from his statement that Mary lays the child in a manger because there was no place for Joseph and Mary where travelers lodged (1:7). In 1:18-25, while Matthew tells us that Jesus was born after Joseph, prompted by a divine revelation in a dream, solemnized his marriage contract with Mary, he mentions neither the town nor physical structure wherein Jesus was born. Only in chapter 2, when

Matthew tells of a visit by Magi (something Luke never reports), does he identify Jesus’ birthplace as Bethlehem and says the visitors come to the Holy Family in the house (2:11). Matthew and Luke also differ on the residence of Mary and Joseph prior to Jesus’ birth and tell different stories of how the Holy Family ended up in Nazareth afterward. Whereas Luke has Joseph and his pregnant wife journeying from their hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem because of a census decreed by Emperor Augustus (Luke 2:1-4), Matthew (2:1) seems to presume that Joseph and Mary are living in Bethlehem at the time Mary becomes pregnant by divine power. Matthew has no need of a detail such as a census to move them to Bethlehem. Additionally, the census under Quirinius’ legateship occurred ca. 6-7 A.D., which does not fit the chronology of a birth near the end of the reign of Herod the Great (died 4 B.C.). Again, details greatly differ between Matthew and Luke for the move from Bethlehem to Nazareth. Luke reports several experiences of the Holy Family occurring in Jerusalem in a peaceful setting. Jesus is circumcised (2:21), then Joseph and Mary are said to perform the post-natal purification ritual and presentation of Jesus (2:2224). Actually, Luke erroneously asserts that Joseph engages in the purification ritual, when only the woman was required to do so (Leviticus 12:1-8). Afterward, two prophetic figures, Simeon and Anna, prophesy about Jesus (Luke 2:25-38). Finally, Luke tells us that once they had completed the

a


ritual requirements of the Law they returned to Nazareth (2:39). For Matthew, however, the journey back to Nazareth is rather tumultuous. After fleeing to Egypt to escape Herod’s infanticidal tyranny (Matthew 2:16), Joseph decides to take his family to Nazareth, because he has heard that Herod’s son, Archelaus, succeeded his father, Herod the Great, as ruler in Judea (2:22). However, he intends to go to a region that is now ruled by another of Herod’s sons, Antipas, who will execute John the Baptist (14:3-12). Was Joseph any better off taking his family to Galilee rather than Judea? So how, from a historical point of view, do we reconcile Matthew’s and Luke’s very different versions of the Holy Family’s journey to Nazareth from Bethlehem? What, then, are we to make of these divergent presentations of Jesus’ birth and infancy? Perhaps we can learn a lesson from John’s presentation of Jesus’ birth in the form of a poetic reflection on how God’s Eternal Word was made flesh to recreate the world. By providing

Infancy Narratives, Matthew and Luke are not so much interested in giving us historical facts about Jesus’ birth and youth, as that they intend to proclaim to us something about who Jesus is and what the significance of his birth is for our world. For Matthew, Jesus is the fulfillment of Jewish regal Messianic expectation, one like Moses, yet greater, the new, true Israel, who will face both acceptance and rejection, and will bring salvation to the Gentiles. Luke depicts Jesus as the true

savior of the world who establishes universal peace, whose ministry will be to the lowly and outcast of society, who (in the symbolism of the manger) will lead a wayward people back to God, who, wrapped in swaddling clothes, will possess the wisdom of the revered King Solomon, and will be a great prophet wielding divine power. It is important that we hear clearly the unique message of each evangelist as he confesses to us the significance of Jesus’ birth.

estions Reflection Qu

ch hn 1:1-18. Whi ke 1-2 and Jo Lu 2, 1w he Matt hy? peals to you? W n Read carefully s’ birth most ap su Je of s on ti st question is of these presenta oned in the fir ti en m ts un co e birth ac on in view of th n Which of the t reflection up as le e th ne er do ep ve t de the one you ha d consider wha ect upon it an efl R ? ry te ys m to. Christmas as it leads you les about Christm t gh si in l tion that enab ua it ci spir ason of anti pa se a as t en th dv keep A celebrate e n How can we ns necessary to io at ar ep pr l the spiritua us to engage in mes? tery when it co Christmas mys

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ScriptureReadings and a listing of Feast days and saints

Monday

4

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

1 December 2

8

Saturday

First Sunday of Advent Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:33-37

9

10

Advent Weekday Isaiah 2:1-5 Matthew 8:5-11

Advent Weekday Isaiah 11:1-10 Luke 10:21-24

6

Advent Weekday Isaiah 25:6-10a Matthew 15:29-37

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the church Isaiah 26:1-6 Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Genesis 3:9-15, 20 Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 Luke 1:26-38

Advent Weekday Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26 Matthew 9:35— 10:1, 5a, 6-8

11

12

13

14

15

16

22

Advent Weekday Isaiah 35:1-10 Luke 5:17-26

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Zechariah 2:14-17 Luke 1:26-38

Memorial of Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr Isaiah 40:25-31 Matthew 11:28-30

Memorial of Saint Advent Weekday John of the Cross, Isaiah 48:17-19 priest and doctor of Matthew 11:16-19 the church Isaiah 41:13-20 Matthew 11:11-15

Advent Weekday Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11 Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

18

19

20

21

23

Advent Weekday Jeremiah 23:5-8 Matthew 1:18-25

25

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) Isaiah 52:7-10 Hebrews1:1-6 John 1:1-18

Advent Weekday Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a Luke 1:5-25

26

Feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr Acts 6:8-10, 7:5459 Matthew 10:17-22

Advent Weekday Isaiah 7:10-14 Luke 1:26-38

Advent Weekday Song of Songs 2:8-14 Luke 1:39-45

Advent Weekday 1 Samuel 1:24-28 Luke 1:46-56

Advent Weekday Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 Luke 1:57-66

27

28

29

30

Feast of Saint John, apostle and evangelist 1 John 1:1-4 John 20:1a, 2-8

Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs 1 John 1:5—2:2 Matthew 2:13-18

Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord 1 John 2:3-11 Luke 2:22-35

3

Sunday

Weekday Daniel 7:15-27 Luke 21:34-36

5

16

7

Friday

Second Sunday of Advent Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8

17

Third Sunday of Advent Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28

24

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 Romans 16:25-27 Luke 1:26-38

31


December

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Advent:

a spiritual preparation for Christmas Story by Janet Marcel Photo by Lawrence Chatagnier During the season of Advent, which begins 18 on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (Dec. 3, 2017), Catholics everywhere are called to reflect on the second coming of Christ and prepare for the celebration of Christmas, or the commemoration of the first coming of Christ. “Advent gives us an opportunity to delve more deeply into the Christmas mystery, whose significance is so massive that without this preparation period we could not fully understand it,” explains Father Glenn LeCompte, diocesan director of the Office of Worship. According to Father LeCompte, the season of Advent as we know it today developed over the centuries from a number of different spiritual preparations for the celebration of Christmas. In fourth century Spain, the laity was obligated to fast two days a week and attend Mass on a daily basis from Dec. l7 until Jan. 6, a time period that coincided with the cultural celebration, Saturnalia, which is defined as “a time of unrestrained merrymaking.” This obligation was an attempt to refocus the people’s attention away from the secular celebration and toward Christmas. In fifth century Gaul the spiritual preparation period before Christmas took on a penitential character, similar to Lent. Violet colored vestments were used and the Gloria and Alleluia were omitted from the liturgy. In the late sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great witnessed to a Roman liturgical tradition of four Sunday Masses and three Ember day Masses. Ember days are the days at the beginning of the seasons that were ordered by the church as days of fast and abstinence. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

In the seventh century the “O Antiphons,” which articulate seven different Messianic titles: Wisdom, Lord, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of All Nations, and Emmanuel, were composed for the octave preceding Christmas to enable people to reflect upon the significance of Christmas. These antiphons form the lyrics for the popular Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” The influence of Rome’s four week preparation spread to the wider church by the eighth and ninth centuries. The 12th century marked the beginning of the practice of observing four weeks of Advent, and the Alleluia was added back to the Mass.

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There are no fasting or abstinence regulations during Advent today, says Father LeCompte, but there are some liturgical regulations that are meant to capture the anticipatory spirit of the season. One is that the Gloria is omitted from the Mass to create a sense that something is missing or that we’re anticipating something. Another is that Christmas carols are not sung at Mass during Advent, basically because these carols articulate our faith in Christmas itself. Songs during Advent should reflect its anticipatory aspect, says the priest. The Advent wreath, which is used in church parishes throughout the world, is one of the most widely recognized symbols of Advent. One of the most important aspects of the wreath, says Father LeCompte, are the candles. The fact that the candles are lit, and that they are lit progressively, points to one of the central aspects of what Christmas is – a feast of light. “No one really knows what day Jesus was born, but the choice for the day of Christmas coincides with the cultural celebration of “Sol Invictus,” (invincible sun), which is basically just the winter solstice,” explains Father LeCompte. “This is an ancient celebration whereby people in a pagan society recognized that the sun god brought the earth back to life again and that this process began from the solstice.” Father LeCompte says that Christmas is a feast of light because Jesus is the light of the world who comes to dispel the darkness of sin, so by placing Christmas on this particular day, it helped the people

understand the significance of Jesus’ birth. There are four candles on the Advent wreath which are lit on each of the four Sundays in Advent. The three violet candles are a remnant of the penitential aspect of the season. Today they remind us that it is a solemn season of preparation. The rose candle reflects the aspect of the anticipatory joy of the season, or that the end of Advent and the birth of our Lord, a time for great rejoicing, is almost here. The wreath is made with a circle of evergreens. The circle is a symbol of eternity and a reminder that God has no beginning and no end, and the evergreen is a symbol of eternal life. “During the season of Advent, we as Catholics should all be doing something to spiritually prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas,” says Father LeCompte. The priest suggests spending some time studying the daily Scripture readings, focusing prayer on the meaning of Christmas and reflecting on the two comings of Christ – what it means that the Son of God became a human being for our salvation and how we should be preparing ourselves for when he comes again. He adds that another good practice during this season is for people to increase their charitable giving, which signifies our concern for others and our gratitude to God for the blessings he has given each of us. “In the midst of the despair that we may face in our lives, Advent teaches us that there is always a reason to maintain a sense of hope,” says Father LeCompte.

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19


Two schools to become one

Central Catholic High School and Holy Cross Catholic Elementary to merge in 2018-2019 school year Story by Janet Marcel Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier

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Bishop Shelton J. Fabre recently announced that Central Catholic High School and Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School in Morgan City will be merging into one unified diocesan Catholic school, with the transition beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Bishop Fabre explains that at various times in the past, discussions have taken place on how to best address the future of Catholic education in Morgan City. As the result of the culture of planning begun in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux two years ago, the bishop began to reflect upon what might be the longterm vision for the Catholic schools in Morgan City, which led him to form a task force composed of priests, Holy Cross and Central Catholic school administrators, other key stakeholders, and diocesan staff. “After much prayer, reflection and discussion,” says the bishop, “I firmly believe that the future of Catholic education in Morgan City will best be served and achieved by merging Holy Cross Elementary School and Central Catholic High School into one Pre-K–12 unified diocesan Catholic school.” Central Catholic High School currently serves students in the Morgan City and surrounding areas in grades 7—12, with an enrollment of 222, while Holy Cross Catholic Elementary serves 241 students in PreK3—6th grade. Vision 2020: Strength Through Unity, the theme chosen for the future of Catholic education in Morgan City, is a deliberate plan to foster the ongoing formation of each student as a missionary disciple of Jesus Christ. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

Suzanne D. Troxclair, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, says, “This is an exciting time for Catholic education in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and the Morgan City area. Through the collaborative effort of many, Vision 2020: Strength Through Unity will work diligently to foster the growth of Catholic education in the Morgan City area for our children for many years to come.” Deacon Vic Bonnaffee III, principal of Central Catholic High School, says he learned through Vision 2012 that with the unity in the Morgan City area all things are possible and he believes in the unification of the two schools. “Working closely with (Mrs.) Talbot, we will foster the spiritual formation of the youth in our schools and further unify parents in these efforts. The unification will also enhance our efforts for academic excellence with a seamless curriculum. The gifts of the faculties will develop the special gifts of our students in extra and co-curricular activities.” “Catholic education in the Morgan City area is highly valued,” says Amanda Talbot, principal of Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School. “With the unification of the two schools, we will continue to provide a faithfilled learning environment in which Catholic values are seamlessly integrated into the curriculum and work together as a team to strengthen the spiritual formation of Pre-K–12th grade students.” Burt Adams, chairman of the Vision 2020 unification committee, says he is committed to working full time over the next few years to make this new school become as successful as possible. “This is a process that will

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Members of Vision 2020 Strength Through Unity task force pictured from left are Burt Adams, Very Rev. Clyde Mahler, V.F., pastor of Holy Cross Church parish; Amanda Talbot, principal of Holy Cross Elementary School; Suzanne Troxclair, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Deacon Vic Bonnaffee III, principal of Central Catholic High School; Very Rev. Simon Peter Engurait, V.G.; Glenn Landry Jr., diocesan business manager; Very Rev. Jay L. Baker, chancellor. Not pictured is Very Rev. Eric Leyble, J.V.

not happen overnight. Over the next few years, we will work toward the goals outlined by Bishop Fabre and detailed in the communication plan that can be found on the schools’ and church’s websites. Amanda Talbot will be principal of the lower school and Deacon Vic Bonnaffee will be principal of the upper school. They will continue with many of their duties as in the past. Going forward there will be a seamless unified marketing effort to the community targeting student retention and recruitment at every grade level and a seamless unified development effort spreading the

school’s message and encouraging the community to give their support.” Members of Vision 2020 Strength Through Unity task force include Bishop Fabre, Suzanne Troxclair, Deacon Vic Bonnaffee III, Amanda Talbot, Very Rev. Clyde Mahler, V.F., pastor of Holy Cross Church parish; Burt Adams, Very Rev. Jay L. Baker, chancellor; Very Rev. Simon Peter Engurait, V.G.; Glenn Landry Jr., diocesan business manager; and Very Rev. Eric Leyble, J.V.

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21


Katherine and E.J. Richardelle

Katherine and E.J. Bake:

CHRISTMAS CAKELETS

Story and Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier

Fruit Cakelets INGREDIENTS: 8 oz. red candied cherries 8 oz. green candied cherries 8 oz. candied pineapple 8 oz. dates 2 cups pecans 1/2 cup plus one heaping tablespoon flour 1 can condensed milk 5 tbsp. eggnog 1 tsp. rum flavoring

DIRECTIONS: 22

Forget everything you ever heard about fruitcakes: they make great door stops; no one eats them; they get passed on as re-gifts. Because this month’s heavenly recipe, homemade fruit cakelets, are delicious. Katherine Richardelle and her husband E.J., parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Cut Off, have teamed up for a tasty holiday treat. It’s a recipe Katherine got from a friend she used to play Pokeno with that she tweaked a bit and made it her own. Katherine loves to bake. She thinks she inherited her love for the oven from her father, Hector Curole. “When I was a young girl growing up my father and I would bake cakes every Saturday afternoon. My dad loved to bake red velvet cakes. We would also bake German chocolate, which is my favorite. Everything was made from scratch. We would both look forward to Saturday afternoons in the kitchen baking. We made sure to leave the kitchen as clean as we found it.” “My mom Bernice would cook for the family. She made sure supper was on the table when my dad came home from work. While she cooked every day her passion was keeping her house clean. She took great pride in having a clean house,” says Katherine. E.J. and Katherine met one summer while she was selling vegetables at her grandfather’s vegetable stand in Cut Off. Soon after meeting they would go dancing on the weekends. E.J. was drafted and served in the military for two years. When he came back home Katherine had graduated high school and the couple married. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary this year. Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

Chop fruit and pecans; then mix all ingredients together. Fill miniature muffin cups which have been sprayed with Pam. Bake at 290 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool and remove from pan. Makes 36 to 42 pieces. Works better if baked in a shiny aluminum pan. If using a dark pan, bake at 275 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Katherine and E.J. have three children, a daughter and two sons. They have experienced many ups and downs in their lifetime. “E.J. had two serious life threatening events, one was cancer. We never had the fear he was going to die. We felt that God was going to help him. We had many, many friends and family members praying for us. I believe in the power of prayer. The power of prayer helped us through the tough times,” she says. Now that the couple is in their golden years, they depend on each other every day. Katherine has difficulty walking and using her muscles. E.J. is almost completely deaf. Together they lean on each other during doctor visits and daily chores around the house. As the years have passed and time has changed situations in life, Katherine is still spending time in the kitchen with someone she loves. Katherine prepares the ingredients for the fruit cakelets and E.J. does the mixing and stirring, which requires the strength she doesn’t have. Together, they create this recipe with love.


Bishop Fabre announces pastoral appointments In order to provide pastoral care for the people of God of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre has announced the following pastoral appointments. Those effective immediately are: The Rev. Evelio (Toto) Buenaflor Jr., who has been 24 serving as pastor of St. Gregory Church parish in Houma since June 2012, has been granted a sabbatical to study through the East Asian Pastoral Institute until June 30, 2018. Father Buenaflor, a native of M’lang, Cotabato, Philippines, was ordained to the priesthood May 24, 1985. The Rev. Cody Chatagnier, who has been serving as associate pastor of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma, has been appointed associate pastor of St. Hilary of Poitiers Church parish in Mathews and St. Mary’s Nativity Church parish in Raceland. Father Chatagnier, a native of Chauvin, LA, was ordained to the priesthood May 28, 2016. The Rev. Alexis Lazarra, who has been serving as pastor of Holy Family Church parish in Grand Caillou since July 2015, has been appointed pastor of St. Gregory Church parish in Houma for a term of six years. Father Lazarra, a native of Can-Avid, E. Samar, Philippines, was ordained to the priesthood June 5, 2010. The Rev. Jacob Lipari III, who has been serving as associate pastor of St. Hilary of Poitiers

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Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

Very Rev. Jay L. Baker

Rev. Evelio (Toto) Buenaflor Jr.

Rev. Joseph Chacko

Rev. Cody Chatagnier

Rev. Carl Collins

Rev. Vicente Dela Cruz, S.C.L.

Msgr. Cletus Egbi

Rev. Brice Higginbotham

Rev. Alex Lazarra

Rev. Glenn LeCompte

Rev. Jacob Lipari III

Rev. Andre’ Melancon


Rev. Jean-Marie Nsambu

Rev. Mitchel Semar

Rev. Antonio Maria Speedy

Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G.

Church parish in Mathews and St. Mary’s Nativity Church parish in Raceland since July 2017, has been appointed administrator of Holy Family Church parish in Grand Caillou. Father Lipari, a native of New Orleans, LA, was ordained to the priesthood May 30, 2015. The Rev. Jean-Marie Nsambu, who has been serving as associate pastor of Annunziata Church parish in Houma since July 2017, has been appointed associate pastor of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. Father Nsambu, a native of Kampala, Uganda, Africa, was ordained to the priesthood June 3, 2017. The Rev. Antonio Maria Speedy, who has been serving in specialized ministry since December 2014, has been appointed administrator of St. Luke the Evangelist Church parish in Thibodaux and St. Lucy Church parish in Houma through Dec. 31, 2017. Father Speedy, a native of Adelaide, South Australia, was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 6, 2014. Those effective Jan. 1, 2018, are: The Very Rev. Jay L. Baker, who has been serving as rector of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux since July 2004, has been appointed rector of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma for a term of six years. Father Baker, a native of Houma, was ordained to the priesthood June 13, 1992. The Rev. Joseph Chacko, who has been serving as Chaplain to Terrebonne General Medical Center in

Houma since July 2017, has been appointed to assist as needed at St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Father Chacko, a native of Karikulem Kottayam, Kerala, India, was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 22, 1980. The Rev. Carl Collins, who has been serving as pastor of St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma since June 2012, has been appointed pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church parish in the St. Charles Community for a term of six years. Father Collins, a native of Cut Off, was ordained to the priesthood June 8, 1991. The Rev. Vicente DeLa Cruz, J.C.L., who has been serving pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church parish in Bayou Black since June 2012, has been appointed rector of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux for a term of six years. Father DeLa Cruz, a native of Olongapo City, Philippines, was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 8, 1990. Msgr. Cletus Egbi, (not pictured) who last served as pastor of St. Cecilia Church parish in the Diocese of Ho in Ghana, has been appointed administrator of St. Luke the Evangelist Church parish in Thibodaux and St. Lucy Church parish in Houma. Msgr. Egbi, a native of Ghana, was ordained to the priesthood July 26, 1980. The Rev. Brice Higginbotham, who has been serving as associate pastor of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales parish in Houma since July 2017, has been appointed associate pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church parish in Thibodaux. Father Higginbotham, a native of Church Point, LA, was ordained to the 25 priesthood June 3, 2017. The Rev. Glenn LeCompte, who has been serving as associate pastor of St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma since July 2017, has been appointed pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church parish in Bayou Black for a term of six years. Father LeCompte, a native of Houma, LA, was ordained to the priesthood May 24, 1986. The Rev. AndrĂŠ Melancon, who has been serving as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church parish in Thibodaux since June 2013, has been appointed pastor of St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma for a term of six years. Father Melancon, a native of Thibodaux, LA, was ordained to the priesthood June 4, 2011. The Rev. Mitchel Semar, who has been serving as pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church parish in Thibodaux since October 2015, has been appointed pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church parish in Thibodaux for a term of six years. Father Semar, a native of Sulphur, LA, was ordained to the priesthood May 26, 2012. The Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G., who has been serving as vicar general for parish life since April 2017, coordinator of strategic planning since October 2015, and administrator of the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales parish in Houma since July 2017, has been appointed pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church parish in Thibodaux for a term of six years. Father Toups will continue as vicar general for parish life and coordinator of strategic planning. Father Toups, a native of Houma, LA, was ordained to the priesthood May 26, 2001. www.bayoucatholic.com


Thoughts for Millennials Ryan Abboud

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Advent:

The wick and the flame

As 2017 comes to a close, the month of December moves into full swing, meaning that we’re soon to be bombarded with Christmas songs, lights and decorations. For many people, myself included, Christmas truly is “the most wonderful time of the year!” I’m a lover of all things red and green, pinescented or peppermint flavored. Because of my love for the Christmas season, it’s so incredibly easy to skip right into a winter wonderland and right past one of the biggest, and most important liturgical seasons of the year – Advent. Taking place just four weeks before Christmas day, Advent calls us to prepare our minds and hearts for Jesus’ second coming. Soon to be upon us is a child, a Savior, a Messiah. In Advent, the church physically and spiritually strives to keep us focused on our individual preparedness. One large example of this is the Advent Wreath which serves as a physical reminder of acts of prayer, penance, preparatory sacrifices and goods works. Through the weekly lighting of candles on the wreath, we are called to remember that we should be preparing for His second coming. As we light the candles every week, we are also reminded of the love and mercy that the Lord has for us; a love so profound that he will soon

be giving us his only begotten son on Christmas day. We see ourselves as the wick of the Advent candle and his love is the flame. As the flame ignites the wick, so does God, coming down upon us through the form of a baby in a manger to ignite our hearts in order to set the world ablaze. When breaking it down, it’s so easy to see and understand the importance of Advent in our liturgical year. I’m sure we all can agree that it is imperative that we have this time to prepare for the birth of our Savior. However, it’s so easy to overlook Advent when it actually arrives due to the external, commercial aspects of Christmas. Therefore, this Advent, I invite you to take these four weeks leading up to Christmas to prepare for it in more ways than knocking out holiday shopping, hanging lights, and purchasing the perfect “tacky, ugly Christmas” sweater. I invite you to take this time to slow down your spiritual life and organize your mind and heart before the Son of God enters the world for his second coming. As Catholics, we must remain focused to keep our eyes on the true presence of the holidays rather than the holiday presents. (Ryan Abboud is a 2015 graduate of Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma and a junior at LSU in Baton Rouge.)

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Book Reviews

Reading with Raymond Raymond Saadi

In God’s Hands, The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II By Pope Saint John Paul II Harper One $34.99 Now for the first time in English the spiritual diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II revealing the pope’s innermost thoughts, impressions and concerns.

The Usual Santas Foreword by Peter Lovesey $16.95 These 18 holiday capers by bestselling Soho crime authors contain mysteries, murders and plenty puzzlers that will test armchair sleuths for hours.

The Canticle of the Creatures for St. Francis of Assisi Paraclete Press $18.99 A perfect stocking stuffer filled with stories and delightful illustrations about St. Francis of Assisi as told by the birds and animals he loved.

Visions of Mary By Jill K. Geoffrion Mount Tabor $29.99 Art, Devotion and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral A beautiful, hardbound tour through France’s gorgeous Chartres Cathedral, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, whose story is told in a number of splendid short commentaries and magnificent stained glass images.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories By Tom Hanks Knopf $26.95 The irrepressible Hanks debuts his talents and typewriter collection, in spinning 17 delightful tales, whimsical and nostalgic. Although not autobiographical Hank’s voice is remarkably clear. He does, however, narrate the audio version.

In the Time of Joy and Wonder By Paul Schexnayder UL PRESS $20 The fantastical tale of a king, a Trojan horse and a blue monkey and their exploration of a very small island with a mysteriously beached boat. Beautifully written and illustrated by the New Iberia author.

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27


Vandy educator named Louisiana’s Outstanding Earth Science Teacher

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Story by Janet Marcel Photo by Lawrence Chatagnier Ann Robichaux, physical science teacher at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma, was recently named the 2017 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) winner for the State of Louisiana. The OEST awards are given for “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level.” Ten national finalists are selected, one from each NAGT regional section. Some sections also recognize state winners. Individuals may submit an application themselves or nominate a colleague for the award. Robichaux earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. She taught math and science at St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School in Houma for 13 years before going to Vandebilt where she taught Earth science for her first four years there. Robichaux has participated in several continuing education activities sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, 4-H, JASON, NASA, NOAA, Audubon Institute, Nicholls State University (SMART and MSP), Pittcon, SDE, BTNEP and FDA. She also attended LSTA where she was a workshop presenter, NSTA and NSELA conferences. “I consider this award a testimony to all of the wonderful teachers I have learned from and with. Education is collegial,” says Robichaux. “I have gained so much knowledge and experience from other teachers sharing wisdom, strategies and ideas, mentors and instructors in content programs like Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

MSP at NSU, and administrators and department leaders supporting differentiated professional development.” Robichaux is also a 2017 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. This award recognizes teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Since the program’s inception, more than 4,700 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “It is always flattering to be recognized by others, but the PAEMST process was truly reflective. It required me to reflect on my mastery of content, instructional strategies, assessment practices, dedication to lifelong learning, and leadership outside of the classroom. It was a holistic process, and it allowed me to take stock of areas I need to improve upon,” says Robichaux. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Vandebilt Catholic High School, she is the moderator of the Be the Change Team and the AquaBots, the school’s underwater robotics club.


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Catholic Foundation Update

T 30

Charlotte Bollinger

There is nothing like an attitude of gratitude to lift your spirits at any time of the day or night. When the noise of the world keeps you from feeling settled it is so important to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In those quiet moments, it is wondrous to count our many blessings. Maybe that is why so many of us look forward to and celebrate Thanksgiving as a favorite holiday. Like Christ Himself so often did, we gather around a table with family and friends. The Grace before Meals prayer usually gets extended and means even more on that special feast day. A lot has happened within our diocese and our Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana (CFSL) so far this year. Most of you know that under Bishop Shelton J. Fabre’s guidance, there are two important initiatives that have been implemented and are moving forward. First is the strategic plan. Over 800 lay parishioners recognized that we have to do some things differently in order to move from being a maintenance diocese to a mission diocese. Secondly,

SINCE FAST st Intere Free cing Finan

In the season of giving thanks ... a new direction for the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana has a new vision which includes giving to our favorite schools, parishes and social services through the Foundation. The members of the board of directors of the CFSL will be explaining all the ways that the Foundation works for you in forthcoming articles in the Bayou Catholic. It was the goal of Bishop Fabre and Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G., for the implementation of the strategic plan to begin this fall. We want you to understand exactly where we are in the process. Priorities for the plan include the following. n Priestly formation: The priority of the development of leadership, better homilies and fraternity has begun under a program called Good Leaders, Good Shepherds. We have heard from our priests how much they are learning, growing and bonding in the priestly brotherhood. This year-long effort has been underwritten by Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger through the Catholic Leadership Institute. n Adult formation: Most of the focus of the strategic plan is on this important link to a strong Catholic church and vibrant church parishes. Training and engaging lay people in every parish about the mission of our faith is critical to stabilizing and growing

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the church. The video messaging has been hugely successful and is growing every day. Almost all the monies raised from those that have contributed are going to this effort. n Youth formation: This is the program that is directed toward redoing the current CCD studies. We currently do not have the funds to support staff for implementation. n Catholic schools: Our goal is to make our already good Catholic schools great. Funding is needed to implement this program. This is where we are. Since July, we have collected $210,000 out of a budget of $400,000 to implement everything. To all who have been so generous and gotten us this far we are deeply grateful. Amy Ponson, our executive director, has written two grants that we hope we will be awarded to help us to move us ever closer to our goal. If you have not participated in funding the strategic plan and would like to do so, you can direct your funds toward either youth formation or Catholic schools: Good to Great. Don’t hesitate to contact Ponson at aponson@htdiocese.org if you need any information or would like to join in the implementation of the rest of the strategic plan this fall. God bless you and yours, Charlotte Bollinger, Chairman Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana

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3319 Hwy. 311, Houma, LA 70360 ~ 985.876.4392 ~ www.ellendalecountry club.net www.bayoucatholic.com


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‘Dr. D’ - a walking miracle Story by Janet Marcel Photo by Lawrence Chatagnier Arthur J. dela Houssaye, M.D., FACS, medical director of SEECA in Houma, claims that he is living proof of the power of prayer and faith in God, and anyone who hears his story would find it just about impossible to refute his claim. “Dr. D,” as he is affectionately referred to by everyone who knows him, was an avid cyclist in excellent physical shape when five years and three months ago in September 2012 his life changed forever. While training for the upcoming state cycling championships that he was favored to win, the front wheel of his bike came off without warning. He was thrown over the handlebars onto the pavement head first and suffered a broken neck that resulted in him being paralyzed from the neck down, except for Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

some slight movement in his left hand, and he had a major stroke as a result of the accident. He spent the next three months in three different hospitals on a respirator unable to move, speak, eat or drink. Dr. D says he experienced something he termed “soul vision” for the first month or so he was in the hospital. “I was able to look through people and instantly see their souls and know if they had my best interests at heart. It was a little bit spooky and something that once you see you can’t ‘unsee.’ I have actually spoken with other severely injured and very sick individuals who had this ability, also.” After he was extubated, he went through six months of speech therapy before he could speak and is still in physical therapy. It was a year and a half before he

a


could eat, and two and a half years before he could return to work. Because his endurance was so depleted, he could only manage to work half days at first. Besides the physical pain, one component of having such a severe injury is the mental anguish you go through when all of a sudden you can’t do anything for yourself, says Dr. D. “It was such a humbling experience and it taught me just how much we depend on others.” Dr. D says his faith helped him immensely during that extremely difficult time in his life. When he woke up for the first time in ICU there was a priest there administering his last rights and even though he was in such a dire situation, he says he felt so comfortable just knowing that a priest was there if he needed him, and that had such a profound and lasting effect on him and still does to this day. And even though he didn’t know just how many people were praying for him while he was recovering, Dr. D says all of those prayers lifted his spirits. “Two things happen when you have a very serious accident … you either become very close to your God or you blame him for your problems,” explains Dr. D. “I experienced the first. I was already faithful and doing all the things I was supposed to do, but it’s different now. It’s amazing how when you are very sick and times are tough, the prayers that you say have a different meaning. I now carry prayer cards on my person all the time. I can remember lying in bed hearing the doctors telling my mother they had done all they could for me and there was nothing more they could do and now it was time to pray. And my mother said, ‘Well, we’ve got that part.’ At the time I thought ‘poor mom, she doesn’t understand that’s doctor speak for your son’s in a heap of trouble.’ She thought that was a good thing.” His mother had his name added to church parish prayer lists throughout the diocese and organized prayer groups who prayed the rosary constantly outside of his hospital room. As he listened to them pray, he says sometimes he couldn’t help but think that their prayers were a little bit in vain. “A lot of people believe I am a walking miracle … and I am,” says Dr. D. “It is just so unbelievable to think of all the problems I had … and they all got better! I looked it up on Google and could only find one other instance of someone, a priest in Europe, that walked again after they had a broken neck and was paralyzed … it just doesn’t happen. But that’s the power of prayer; that’s why I tell people, ‘look, this is what the medical texts say is supposed to happen, but if you pray to God with an open heart and an open mind, expecting the best, and you truly believe, sometimes he gives you amazing results, and I’m walking proof of that.’ You just have to believe. And if I can inspire even one person to believe and have faith, and have a better outcome because they had that faith, then it was all worth it.” Dr. D says his experience has made him a lot more compassionate toward others and it’s changed his focus a little bit from the business of medicine, which is still important, to taking care of people and giving them the kind of care that he knows God would approve of. “I’m so quick to do services gratis for someone who

can’t afford it now and I do something like that every day. I know what I’m able to do can change people’s lives and I take that very seriously. I have a wonderful opportunity to be able to give someone the gift of vision. I don’t think I appreciated that as much as I do now.” Dr. D expresses his gratitude for his wife, his team at SEECA, the church, the community, and all the doctors who helped keep his practice open while he was recovering. “I am so thankful that everybody pulled together and prayed for me and prayed for the best outcome, because I really do believe that what brought me across the finish line were all of those prayers and all of that support.” Dr. dela Houssaye specializes in premium lens cataract surgery and refractive surgery including LASIK and PRK. He has a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, attended Harvard and graduated with honors from LSU Medical School. He completed a four year ophthalmology residency program at Ochsner in New Orleans where he served as chief resident. He is a board certified surgeon in ophthalmology and earned the Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) designation, one of the highest ethical designations a surgeon can earn. He is a member of numerous medical societies including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and the Louisiana State Medical Society. Dr. D keeps copies of a healing prayer card, which has the following prayer that he prayed every day while he was recovering, on the receptionist’s desk at his office.

Healing Prayer Heavenly Father, I call on you now in a special way. It is through You that I was created. Every breath I take, every morning I wake, Every moment, every hour I live under Your power. Father, I ask You now to touch me with that same power. For, if You created me from nothing, You can certainly recreate me. Fill me with the healing power of Your spirit. Cast out anything that should not be in me. Mend what is broken, root out any unproductive cells. Open all blood vessels and rebuild any damaged areas. Remove all inflammation and cleanse any infection. Let the warmth of Your healing love pass through my body, To make new any unhealthy areas so that my body will function the way You created it to function. Father, please restore me to full health in mind and body so that I may serve You the rest of my life. I ask this through Christ our Lord and I thank You Lord for listening. Amen. www.bayoucatholic.com

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December

n Holy Hour of Adoration for Men, Sunday, Dec. 3, 7-8 p.m., Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. n Food for the Journey, Tuesday, Dec. 5, Ellendale Country Club Restaurant, 3319 Highway 311 in Houma, 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Speaker, Father Alex Gaudet.

Diocesan Events www.bayoucatholic.com

January 2018

n Holy Hour of Adoration for Men, Sunday, Jan. 7, 7-8 p.m., Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. n Food for the Journey, Tuesday, Jan. 9, Ellendale Country Club Restaurant, 3319 Highway 311 in Houma, 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Speaker, TBA. n Jr. High Faith Experience Adult Night of Praise, Friday, Jan. 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., E.D. White Catholic High School, Thibodaux. n Jr. High Faith Experience, Saturday, Jan. 13, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., E.D. White Catholic High School, Thibodaux.

February

n Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana, Lunch and Learn – Key Charitable Giving Techniques, Friday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Speaker, Carole Neff. n Holy Hour of Adoration for Men, Sunday, Feb. 4, 7-8 p.m., Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. n Food for the Journey, Tuesday, Feb. 6, Ellendale Country Club Restaurant, 3319 Highway 311 in Houma, 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Speaker, TBA. n Free income tax preparation and e-filing is available every Tuesday (Feb. 6 – April 10) from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., on the second floor of the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, for individuals/families making up to $60,000.

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Youth

in action

Josie Oliva

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Josie is pictured

ary Youth Band here with the St. Hil

oss.

ing Way of the Cr

at the parish’s Liv

School: Central Lafourche High School Grade: 11th Church parish: St. Hilary of Poitiers, Mathews/St. Mary’s Nativity/Raceland Describe your family unit: I live with my mother Jessica and my father Duane. I have a younger brother named Jude. Favorite Hobby: Performing, whether it’s for marching band, drama plays, or just playing my guitar and singing Favorite Movie: Harry Potter series Favorite T.V. Show: I have too many favorite TV shows to choose only one, but if I had to choose it would be Stranger Things. Favorite Genre of Music: I don’t have a favorite genre of music; I pretty much listen to whatever catches my ear.

Discipleship: Living out God’s will every day, everywhere you go When I think of the word disciple, what comes to mind is someone who walks with Christ in everything that they do. It’s not just about words and actions, it’s about living out God’s will every day, everywhere you go. The first person I think of as a disciple is Mrs. Amy Gervais. She is the kind of person who, no matter how difficult a situation she may be in, will open her heart and home to you. “Momma G,” as her adopted children (myself included) like to call her, is someone who is always willing to share her faith with you and pray for you in your time of need. She has a demeanor that is absolutely radiating with Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

the Holy Spirit. She has a way of drawing you deeper into your faith that I have scarcely seen in anyone else. I find it is easiest to follow Christ’s example when I’m surrounded by the people I care about, in particular my religious friends and family. Though we may have different beliefs, I can always count on my faith as the common ground between us. We pray for each other and walk with each other in our journeys of faith every day. I think it is most difficult to follow Christ’s example when I’m surrounded by my less religious friends. Though I love them with all my heart, they sometimes do

and say things that I don’t agree with. In these situations, although it’s difficult, I try to stand strong in my faith and be the example of Christ. I energize my faith through retreats like Christian Leadership Institute (CLI) and Steubenville on the Bayou. Events like these really get me fired up in my faith and keep it alive. After returning from a retreat my mom says she can feel and almost see the spiritual fire in me, or the “Jesus high” as she sometimes calls it. When I’m in one of those moods, all I do is hunger for a deeper faith and a new way to spread God’s love to everyone I see.


Seminarian Education Burses What is a seminarian burse fund? A seminarian burse fund is an invested sum of money where the interest is used in perpetuity to help fund the education of men to the priesthood in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

How does someone establish a seminarian burse fund? Very simply, a burse may be established and named for anyone you choose, be it family, friend, bishop, priest, deacon, religious, etc.

When is a seminarian burse complete? A seminarian burse fund is complete once it reaches $15,000. If you choose to continue to contribute, a new burse will be created for you.

Who do I contact to contribute to or establish a burse fund? To contribute to or establish a burse, send funds to the Pastoral Center, Attn: Seminarian Burse, P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA 70395 or call Darby Robichaux at the Office of the Bishop at (985) 850-3124 for more information.

Completed Burses of $15,000 each Anonymous Mr. & Mrs. C. Thomas Bienvenu Harry Booker Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux (3)* Mr. Eledier Broussard Rev. Adrian J. Caillouet Rev. James Louis Caillouet Bishop L. Abel Caillouet Judge & Mrs. L.P. Caillouet Msgr. Lucien J. Caillouet Abdon J. & Ada B. Callais Harold & Gloria Callais Family Paul A. Callais Peter W. Callais Vincent & Fannie Cannata Minor Sr. & Lou Ella Cheramie

Oct. 2017 Burse Contributions

Note: Numbers stipulate the amount of completed burses.*

Maude & Edith Daspit Mr. & Mrs. Caliste Duplantis family (3)* Clay Sr. & Evelida Duplantis C. Remie Duplantis Marie Elise Duplantis Warren J. Harang Jr. Msgr. Raphael C. Labit Msgr. Francis J. Legendre Rev. Charles Menard Dr. & Mrs. M.V. Marmande & Family Donald Peltier Sr. (3)* Harvey Peltier (30)* Richard Peltier The Peltier Foundation (5) Orleans & Louella Pitre Msgr. Joseph Wester

Robert R. Wright Jr. Rev. Kermit Trahan St. Bernadette Men’s Club Diocesan Knights of Columbus Leighton Delahaye Mrs. Shirley Conrad Bishop Shelton J. Fabre Elizabeth Hebert Callais Family Fund Rev. Joseph Tu Tran Society of St. Joseph Endowment Fund - $119,136.90 James J. Buquet Jr. Jules & Marie Pauline St. Amant

Jules & Marie Pauline St. Amant .........................$15,000.00 Leo Hebert .................................$862.83 Dean Joseph Chiasson ..........$100.00 Rev. Michael Finnegan ..........$100.00 Edna W. DiSalvo......................... $50.00

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Open Burses with Balance as of October 31, 2017 Sidney J. & Lydie C. Duplantis ..............................$13,000.00 Donald Peltier Sr. No. 4 ............................................$13,000.00 Joseph Strada Memorial .........................................$12,642.63 Msgr. Raphael C. Labit No. 2 ...............................$11,320.00 Harvey Peltier No. 31 .................................................$10,486.91 Joseph Waitz Sr. ...........................................................$10,100.00 Clay Sr. & Evelida Duplantis No. 2 .....................$10,000.00 C. Remie Duplantis No. 2 ........................................$10,000.00 Marie Elise Duplantis No. 2 ....................................$10,000.00 Maude & Edith Daspit No. 2 ................................$10,000.00 Msgr. George A. Landry............................................$10,000.00 Claude & Lucy Mahler Family ..............................$10,000.00 Mr. & Mrs. George C. Fakier ...................................$9,800.00 Elie & Dot Klingman ....................................................$9,140.00 Rev. Victor Toth ..............................................................$7,000.00 Msgr. William Koninkx ................................................$6,800.00 Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity ....................... $6,598.00 Rev. Peter Nies ................................................................$6,000.00 Catholic Daughters .......................................................$5,995.00 Rev. Guy Zeringue .........................................................$5,600.00 Msgr. Francis Amedee ................................................$5,150.00 Rev. Gerard Hayes .........................................................$5,086.00 Mr. & Mrs. Love W. Pellegrin .................................. $5,000.00 Anonymous No. 2 .........................................................$5,000.00 Mr. & Mrs. Caliste Duplantis Family No. 4 ..... $5,000.00 Rev. William M. Fleming ............................................$5,000.00 Mrs. Ayres A. Champagne .......................................$5,000.00 Rev. Kasimir Chmielewski .........................................$4,839.00 Joseph “Jay” Fertitta .....................................................$4,450.00

Rev. Henry Naquin ........................................................$4,311.00 Harry Booker No. 2 .......................................................$4,138.00 Msgr. James Songy ......................................................$4,075.00 Anawin Community .....................................................$3,700.00 Kelly Curole Frazier .......................................................$3,610.96 J. R. Occhipinti ..................................................................$3,400.00 Mr. & Mrs. Galip Jacobs ............................................$3,060.00 St. Jude .................................................................................$3,000.00 Diocesan Knights of Columbus No. 2 ............... $2,894.62 Rev. Peter H. Brewerton .............................................$2,600.00 Mr. & Mrs. John Marmande ...................................$2,500.00 Warren J. Harang Jr. No. 2 ........................................$2,400.00 Willie & Emelda St. Pierre .........................................$2,000.00 Rev. H.C. Paul Daigle ....................................................$1,900.00 Deacon Connely Duplantis ......................................$1,675.00 Alfrances P. Martin ........................................................$1,650.00 Preston & Gladys Webre ..........................................$1,650.00 Msgr. Francis J. Legendre No. 2 ............................$1,645.00 Rev. Robert J. Sevigny .................................................$1,600.00 Rev. John Gallen .............................................................$1,600.00 Rev. Hubert C. Broussard ..........................................$1,550.00 Msgr. Emile J. Fossier ...................................................$1,545.00 Dr. William Barlette Sr. ................................................$1,525.00 Msgr. Stanislaus Manikowski ................................. $1,525.00 Deacon Robert Dusse’ ................................................$1,450.00 Jacob Marcello ................................................................$1,400.00 Msgr. John L. Newfield ...............................................$1,200.00 Rev. Anthony Rousso ..................................................$1,200.00 Rev. Joseph Tu Tran No. 2 ........................................$1,094.00

Judge Louis & Shirley R. Watkins ........................ $1,050.00 Ronnie Haydel .................................................................$1,035.00 Rev. Clemens Schneider ............................................$1,000.00 Bishop Warren L. Boudreaux No. 4 .................... $1,000.00 Msgr. John G. Keller .....................................................$1,000.00 Leo Hebert .............................................................................$862.83 Edna W. DiSalvo .................................................................$850.00 Deacon Willie Orgeron ..................................................$800.00 Ruby Pierce ............................................................................$800.00 Deacon Roland Dufrene ...............................................$750.00 Juliette & Eugene Wallace ...........................................$700.00 Deacon Edward J. Blanchard ......................................$700.00 Bernice Harang ...................................................................$600.00 Deacon Raymond LeBouef .........................................$550.00 Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Cannata .....................................$500.00 Robert Walsh .......................................................................$500.00 Dean Joseph Chiasson ...................................................$500.00 Anne Veron Aguirre .........................................................$380.00 Deacon Harold Kurtz .......................................................$300.00 Richard Peltier No. 2 ........................................................$300.00 Claude Bergeron ................................................................$250.00 Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Naquin ............................................$150.00 Deacon Pedro Pujals .......................................................$100.00 Rev. Michael Finnegan ...................................................$100.00 Deacon Eldon Frazier ........................................................$ 50.00 Deacon Nick Messina .......................................................$ 50.00 Rev. Warren Chassaniol ...................................................$ 50.00

Overall Seminarian Burses Total: $1,691,970.85 www.bayoucatholic.com


Vandy girls are state champs ABBY TABOR/HOUMA COURIER AND DAILY COMET

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The top-seeded Vandebilt Catholic High School Lady Terriers won its first state volleyball title in school history with a victory over No. 2 seeded St. Michael the Archangel in the Division III championship game in the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Volleyball Tournament at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. Team members are Alexandria Galiano, Brittany Theriot, Katelyn Hall, Andrea Buquet, Emily Gauthreaux, Madeline Benoit, Annelise Henry, Bailey Theriot, Myra Berthiaume, Darian Cheramie, Grace Borne, Tiffany Boudreaux, Sarah Castell, Sydney Remont, Meghan Hymel, Angelle Buquet, Lauren Fitch, Brianna Pullaro.

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Sports

Overtime

Y

Ed Daniels

You know the Saints are good. My wife asked the question as the Saints were finishing off a pounding of the Buffalo Bills. “Where’s the Super Bowl this year?” The answer is Minneapolis, MN. The city built a new stadium and won the bidding over New Orleans. It would be ironic if somehow the Saints made their way there, for the first Sunday in February. Saints head coach Sean Payton is doing his best to douse the flames of rampant black and gold enthusiasm. When asked if a rout of the Bills was sending a message, Payton answered quickly. “We are nine games in. No one is sending any messages.” The Saints have all the ingredients of a Super Bowl contender. Their offensive line is opening holes for two outstanding backs. Michael Thomas is a solid number one receiver.

Black and gold enthusiasm is growing And, the defense, radically improved through the draft and free agency, dominated Buffalo without safety Kenny Vaccaro, who missed the game with a groin injury. The Saints are winning big, with modest numbers from quarterback Drew Brees. In games seven through nine, Brees threw three touchdown passes, a total equaled on the ground by Mark Ingram with touchdown runs of one, three and three yards at Buffalo. However, as the games grow in importance in November, December and January, Brees is sure to become a much more central figure. Of the four division leaders in the NFC, Drew Brees is the only quarterback with playoff starts. He has 10 playoff starts with the Saints, winning six. The other three starting quarterbacks of division leaders, Carson Wentz of the Eagles, Jared Goff of the Rams, and Case Keenum of the Vikings, have yet to start a playoff game. A year ago, as the Saints stumbled through a third consecutive seven win season, the consensus was the Saints head coach and his quarterback had lost their collective fastballs.

But, as the Atlanta Falcons learned a year ago, great drafts and free agent acquisitions can change a team’s fortunes in the NFL, almost overnight. The Saints do have some weaknesses. Depth at wide receiver is an issue, and so is (at this point) average play at tight end. But, the Saints have more talented, young players on their roster since the Super Bowl season of 2009. The last time the Saints played a post season game in Minnesota was in January of 2001. The game was played on a Saturday. My news department insisted that their sports director do a live shot for 10 p.m. outside the Metrodome. As I sat in the satellite truck of the local ABC affiliate, I looked out 39 the window at the snow piled up everywhere. I asked the operator a question. “How much colder does it get here?” “Much colder in late January and early February,” said the operator. Seventeen years later, it might be time to start shopping for those super thick boots and gloves.

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www.bayoucatholic.com


Bishop’s Message

Merry Christmas

My dear brother and sisters in Jesus Christ: I pray that the days of Christmas and the New Year will bring us to a renewed hope in Jesus Christ, the child of the promise, who was born of Mary at Bethlehem. Christmas Day and the Christmas season are a joy-filled time to gather with family and friends, but also an opportunity to reflect on the great mystery of love seen in the wonder of the Incarnation. Our God has become one with us, and we are called, blessed and challenged to bear Jesus Christ to all of those whom we meet. May all of the grace of these days be poured out upon you and all those whom you love!

Feliz Navidad

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas en Jesucristo: Ruego que en estos días de navidad y año nuevo seamos colmados de esperanza renovada en Jesucristo, el niño de la alianza, que nació de Maria en Belén. El día de la navidad y las fiestas navideñas son un tiempo lleno de felicidad con su familia y sus amistades. Es además, una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre el gran misterio de amor visto en el misterio de la Encarnación. Nuestro Dios se ha convertido en uno de nosotros y hemos sido llamados, bendecidos y animados a proclamar a Jesucristo a nuestros semejantes. ¡Qué toda la gracia de estos días se derrame sobre ustedes y sobre todos sus seres queridos!

, Giang Sinh Chuc Mung ‘ ‘ ‘

Anh Chị Em thân mến trong Chúa Giêsu Kitô: Tôi cầu nguyện những ngày của Giáng Sinh và Năm Mới sẽ mang lại cho chúng ta niềm hy vọng mới mẻ trong Chúa Giêsu Kitô, người con của lời hứa, Đấng đã được sinh ra bởi Đức Mẹ Maria tại Bêlem. Ngày Lễ Giáng Sinh và mùa Giáng Sinh là thời gian đầy niềm vui để sum họp với gia đình và bạn bè, nhưng cũng là cơ hội để suy niệm về mầu nhiệm cao cả của tình yêu được nhìn thấy trong sự kỳ diệu của việc Nhập thể. Thiên Chúa đã trở nên một với chúng ta, và chúng ta được kêu gọi, được chúc lành và thách đố để mang lấy Chúa Giêsu Kitô đến cho tất cả những người mà chúng ta gặp gỡ. Nguyện xin ân sủng của những ngày này đổ tràn trên Anh Chị Em và tất cả những người mà Anh Chị Em thương mến!

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre


Christmas Mass and confession times throughout the diocese Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales, Houma Christmas Eve: 4, 6:30 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8, 10:30 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Dec. 23, Noon–3:45 p.m. St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 7:30, 9:30, 11:30 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6 p.m. Confession: Dec. 23, 3 p.m. Annunziata, Houma Christmas Eve: 4 p.m.; Spanish Mass, 7 p.m. Midnight Mass: 11 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Confession: 30 minutes before each Mass Christ the Redeemer, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 7, 9 a.m. Confession: Dec. 6, 8-9:30 p.m.; Dec. 13, 8:15-10 p.m.; Dec. 16, 8-9:30 a.m. Community of St. Anthony, Gheens Christmas Eve: 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m.

Holy Cross, Morgan City Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturday, 4:45-5:15 p.m. or by appointment Holy Cross Church and Elementary School Christmas Pageant: Dec. 19, 10 a.m., 6:30 p.m. St. Rosalie Chapel, Morgan City Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Holy Family, Grand Caillou Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Holy Savior, Lockport Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays 3:15-3:45 p.m.; before all weekend Masses during Advent Advent Mission: Dec. 11, 6-7:30 p.m. Speaker, Father John David Matherne Maria Immacolata, Houma Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: 10:30 p.m. Christmas Day: 9:30 a.m. Confession: One hour before Sunday vigil, 1/2 hour before all other Masses, or upon request

a

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Christmas

Mass schedules cont. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Chackbay Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: 11 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Golden Meadow Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. Midnight Mass: 10 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m. Confession: 6–8 p.m. Our Lady of the Isle, Grand Isle Christmas Eve: 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Penance Service: Dec. 12, 6 p.m. Confession: Saturday, 4:15 p.m.; Sunday, 9:15 a.m.

Sacred Heart, Cut Off Christmas Eve: 4 p.m.; children’s Mass, 6:30 p.m.; Spanish Mass, 9 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8, 10 a.m. Penance Service: Dec. 19 after 6 p.m. Mass Confession: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m.; 30 minutes before weekday Masses and Sunday vigil Masses Advent Mission: Dec. 5-7, 7 p.m. Speaker, Dr. Gregory Vall Sacred Heart, Montegut Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: 10 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays, 3:30-4 p.m.; Sundays, 8-8:30 a.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 11, 6:30 p.m., Night of Witness Sacred Heart, Morgan City Christmas Eve: 4:30, 8 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturday, 3:45-4:15 p.m.; Daily, Monday-Friday, 6:15 a.m. St. Andrew, Amelia Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m.; 1 p.m., Spanish Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6 p.m. Confession: 30 minutes before all Masses; anytime by appointment

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Houma Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8, 11 a.m. Our Lady of the Rosary, Larose Christmas Eve: 4, 6:30 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8:30 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: 30 minutes before Mass or by appointment

St. Ann, Bourg Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: 11 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays, 3–3:55 p.m.; Sundays, 9:30-9:55 a.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 18, 7-8:15 p.m., Dec.19, 6-7 p.m. Speaker, Father Alex Gaudet

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St. Anthony of Padua, Bayou Black Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: 30 minutes before each Mass

St. Eloi, Theriot Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Confession: Dec. 13, 6-8 p.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Speaker, Chad Judice

St. Bernadette, Houma Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. in church; 4:05 p.m. in Father Pat O’Brien Center, 6 p.m. in church Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 8, 10 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 4-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays 3-3:45 p.m. or by appointment Advent Mission: Dec. 6, 6:45-8:15 p.m. in church. Speaker, Mike Patin

St. Genevieve, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. in church and at the nursing home; 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: 10 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays 3:15 p.m. until Mass time; Sundays 9:45 a.m. until Mass time and 5:15 p.m. until Mass time; Wednesdays immediately after 7 a.m. Mass

St. Bridget Schriever Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: 11 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6 p.m. until … Confession: Saturdays, 3-3:50 p.m.; Sundays, 8-8:20 a.m., 10-10:20 a.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 13, Mass at 6 p.m., followed by speaker Father John David Matherne

St. Gregory, Houma Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Christmas Day: 8, 10 a.m. St. Hilary of Poitiers, Mathews Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 7, 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 5:30 –7 p.m. St. John the Evangelist, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: 45 minutes before each Mass

St. Charles Borromeo, Pointe-aux-Chenes Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: 10 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Anytime by appointment Advent Mission: “Why We Confess,” Dec. 5, 12, 19, 6-7:30 p.m.

St. Joseph, Chauvin Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Midnight Mass: 11 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., Dec. 12, Mass at 5:30 p.m., followed by Mission and Penance Service. Speaker, Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs

St. Charles Borromeo, St. Charles Community Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 8 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: Saturdays, 3:15 p.m.

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Christmas

Mass schedules cont.

St. Lucy, Houma Christmas Day: 8:15 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6 p.m.-midnight St. Luke the Evangelist, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 8 p.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 21, 6 p.m.-midnight St. Mary’s Nativity, Raceland Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Confession: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 5-7 p.m.

St. Joseph, Galliano Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. in the recreation center Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Confession: 30 minutes before Mass

St. Thomas Aquinas, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 5, 7 p.m. Midnight Mass: Midnight Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 21, 7 p.m. Confession: 30 minutes before each Mass

St. Lawrence, Chacahoula Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day: 9:30 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6-8 p.m. Confession: 3:30–4:15 p.m. every Saturday St. Lawrence the Martyr, Kraemer Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Christmas Day: 9 a.m. Penance Service: “The Light is On for You,” Dec. 20, 6 p.m.

Thanh Gia, Amelia Christmas Eve: 9 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m.

St. James Chapel, Choctaw Christmas Eve: 5:30 p.m. Christmas Day: 7 a.m. St. Louis, Bayou Blue Christmas Eve: 4, 6 p.m. Christmas Day: 10:30 a.m. Penance Service: Dec. 10, 5 p.m. Confession: Dec. 16-17, one hour before all Masses; Dec. 23, 9 a.m., 2-4 p.m. Advent Mission: Dec. 17, 5 p.m., “Preparing for Christmas by seeking the mercy of God”

Vietnamese Community, Houma Christmas Eve: 8 p.m. Christmas Day: 10 a.m. Vietnamese Community, Larose Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. Christmas Day: 12:30 p.m. Vietnamese Community, Thibodaux Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. Christmas Day: 8 a.m.

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Christmas

Adopt-a-Family Bringing happiness to the needy

Doing without the things that most of us take for granted is a way of life for some families in our community. Jennifer Gaudet, associate director for Individual and Family Assistance for Catholic Charities Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, says that some children cannot go to social events, cannot expect certain toys for Christmas or their birthday, or even have a Christmas tree because their families cannot afford these things. At Christmas time, there are organizations such as Catholic Charities Adopt a Family program that strive to help children make their dreams come true. “Since I have an understanding of what it feels like to live in poverty 46 conditions, I am extremely grateful to the businesses and families that call upon us to ‘adopt’ families for Christmas. I am not sure if they fully understand how deeply their gifts reach into the human soul. It is more than just a toy that is being given. A gift helps children’s selfesteem and lessens the financial stress the parents feel as the holiday season approaches,” says Gaudet. Gaudet sees children receive some things that go beyond the joy of receiving a toy. “This program is more than just giving and receiving. It is mainly about sharing one’s love and strength with someone else who feels tired and

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run down. By participating in this type of program, the strength of the loving Christ child becomes present to both parties and joy fills the air,” Gaudet says.

Merry Christmas

How to Adopt a Family for Christmas Businesses and families who wish to interact directly with a family in need may participate in the Adopt a Family program. Once a group knows how much money they have available to assist a family, they need to decide how they wish to help – with food, badly needed items for the home, clothes for the family or toys for the children. Once this decision is made, the group may call Catholic Charities in Houma at (985) 876-0490. Gaudet will help match the group with a needy family. Once a decision is made, the group will deliver the gifts to the family or if they prefer to remain anonymous, they can have Catholic Charities’ staff distribute the gifts to the adopted family. In lieu of purchasing gifts, cash donations may be made to the program by sending checks to Catholic Charities Christmas Drive, 1220 Aycock St., Houma, LA 70360. Any small donations will be combined and used to assist a family (or families depending on the amount received) with gifts when a donor does not wish to adopt an entire family themselves. Gaudet says that Catholic Charities cooperates with the Salvation Army, First United Methodist Church, and Faith Ministries in the area to ensure names of the needy are not duplicated and that children in need are helped.

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Christmas

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Pope Francis: Want to see God this Christmas? Be humble

By ELISE HARRIS (CNA/EWTN News) Pope Francis notes how the coming of Jesus as an infant is paradoxical to the images of grandeur that had accompanied the prophesies on the coming of the Messiah, saying this should challenges us to go beyond the ephemeral and focus on what really counts. “If we want to celebrate Christmas authentically, we need to contemplate this sign: the fragile simplicity of a small newborn, the meekness of where he lies, the tender affection of the swaddling clothes. God is there,” the Pope says. This is the “enduring sign to find Jesus,” he said. “Not just then, but also today.” He notes how the Gospel readings revealed “a paradox,” speaking of the emperor and mighty people of those times, yet God doesn’t Bayou Catholic • Houma, LA • December 2017

manifest himself there. Jesus “does not appear in the grand hall of a royal palace, but in the poverty of a stable; not in pomp and show, but in the simplicity of life; not in power, but in a smallness which surprises,” Francis said. So if we want to find him, “we need to go there, where he is: we need to bow down, humble ourselves, make ourselves small.” The Pope also says the Child Jesus “challenges us” by inviting us “to leave behind fleeting illusions and go to the essence, to renounce our insatiable claims, to abandon our endless dissatisfaction and sadness for something we will never have” and rediscover “peace, joy and the meaning of life.” The infant in the manger is a challenge, but Francis also urged attendees to allow themselves to be challenged by the children of today, “who are not lying in a cot caressed

with the affection of a mother and father, but rather suffer the squalid mangers that devour dignity.” Many children today hide underground to escape bombs or are forced to sleep either on the streets of large cities or at the bottom boats overflowing with immigrants, he said, noting that this reality should also challenge us. “Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one satiates their hunger, by those who have not toys in their hands, but rather weapons.” Christmas is both a mystery of hope and of sadness, he said, noting how the arrival of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem points us to the indifference of many in the face of those who are discarded. The same indifference is

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Wishing you all the Joys and Happiness of the Holiday Season. May you be Blessed with Peace, Love, and Joy!

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Christmas

Pope: Be humble

cont.

present modern society “when Christmas becomes a feast where the protagonists are ourselves, rather than Jesus; when the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows; when we are concerned for gifts but cold towards those who are marginalized,” he said. However, Christmas is also a sign of hope, because despite the darkness in our lives, God’s light “shines out.” His gentle light doesn’t make us fearful, but rather, “God who is in love with us, draws us to himself with his tenderness, born poor and fragile among us, as one of us.” Pope Francis encourages everyone to let themselves be challenged by Jesus, and walk toward him with trust from the part of us in which we ourselves feel marginalized and limited. He says to take time to pause and look at the crib where Jesus was born, imagining the “light, peace, utmost poverty and rejection” that accompanied his birth. “Let us enter into the real Nativity with the shepherds, taking to Jesus all that we are, our alienation, our unhealed wounds. Then, in Jesus we will enjoy the flavor of the true spirit of Christmas: the beauty of being loved by God.”

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Profile for Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Bayou Catholic Magazine December 2017  

Bayou Catholic Magazine December 2017

Bayou Catholic Magazine December 2017  

Bayou Catholic Magazine December 2017

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