Bayou Catholic Magazine May 2021

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Bayou

Catholic

The official magazine of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Month of Mary MAY 2021 ~ VOL. 41 NO. 9 ~ COMPLIMENTARY


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Contents

Features 20 Priest ordination, May 29

By Janet Marcel

21

Transitional diaconate ordination, May 29

36

By Janet Marcel

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-8

By Janet Marcel

40

Brother Ron’s passion for drama

By Janet Marcel

Columns 8 Comfort For My People

By Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

12

Pope Speaks

13

Questions of Faith

14

Readings Between the Lines

Pope Francis I

By Father Joshua Rodrigue. S.T.L. By Father Glenn LeCompte

46 Overtime

By Ed Daniels

In Every Issue 6 From the Editor 16 Scripture Readings 23 Heavenly Recipes 32 Youth In Action 39 Daily Prayer for Priests,

Deacons and Seminarians

Guest Columns 18 ‘Fratelli tutti’: Chapter 5

By Father Patrick Riviere

24

Mary and the rosary

By Father Mike Bergeron

Announcements 34 Deacon Joseph Weigand

42

dies at age 77

Tom Costanza named director of LCCB

43 Amanda Garcia joins Catholic Charities On Our Cover

LAWRENCE CHATAGNIER/BAYOU CATHOLIC

May is the month of Mary. Pictured on our cover is the Our Lady of Lourdes prayer garden at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma. The peaceful setting and beautiful environment lends itself to prayerful meditation on how Mary always points us to Jesus. May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 3


The special collection will be taken at all Masses May 15 and 16, 2021 Thank you for your generous support.


Theresa Dard

Theresa Cooks a:

UNIQUE CRAB DISH 7

23

Bayou Pot Fried C Catholic INGREDIENTS:

1 dozen crab bodies, cleaned wi 3 reach largeus: onions, sliced How to 1/4 cup cooking oil BY PHONE: (985) 850-3132 Salt to taste BY MAIL: P.O. Box 505 Schriever, LA 70395

DIRECTIONS:

BY FAX: (985) Place850-3232 crabs in a large pot. Add sal

BY onE-MAIL: top. Pour oil on top of onions. P bayoucatholic@htdiocese.org and cover pot. Let the crabs be

This month’s heavenly recipe, pot fried crabs, comes from crabs start tomonthly, fry, lower The Bayou Catholic is published for temperat Houma native and member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian stirRoman the crabs and onions well. Cov the people of the Catholic Diocese Houma-Thibodaux by theuntil H-T Publishing cooking onions are cooked Tribe, Theresa Dardar. Theresa, who has been livingofin Co., P.O. Box 505, Schriever, LA often 70395.so as not to b brown, stirring Pointe-aux-Chenes since 1973 with her husband Donald, Subscription rate is $35 per year. 35 to 45 minutes). Serve ov has worked for the diocese for the past 16 years. She began working with disaster assistance for Catholic CharitiesTheofBayou Catholic is a member of the Catholic the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, but has been mostlyPress Association, the National Newspaper working as the diocesan liaison for American Indian Association and an associate member of the Louisiana Press Association. Ministry. Like most women, Theresa learned to cook from Lawrence Chatagnier teaching her mother. “I learned to cook from my mom. editor and general manager Borrome I remember being around eight years old and April LeBouef aux-Che cooking breakfast for my grandfather. My mom business manager first gr was a great cook. I can’t cook the way she used to. Later s No one in my family can make a pot roast like my Janet Marcel DRE an staff writer/administrative assistant mom used to. I learned how to pot fry crabs from many yea my mom.” Lisa Schobel Hebert member of Moving to Pointe-aux-Chenes and marrying a graphic designer Kateri Circ trapper and fisherman was an adjustment for the formed to ga Meridy Liner young woman from Houma. “Life was different when canonization of I moved on the bayou. I learned to cook with my mom butaccounts receivable/payable assistant “Now we get togethe never new how to prepare the seafood before cooking. I didn’t American Indians and traditions, know the work that was involved in trapping and fishing. I Catholic Church and other studies wi helped with cleaning the fur and going on the shrimp boat. She hopes to help with the forming Part of the wife’s job was to help her husband. This was all Golden Meadow community soon. “T new to me.” Like us on Facebook population there. I would like to h Theresa says her mom was the one who instilled the or people there to start the process.” Catholic faith in her and her siblings. “My mom made sure Find us on the web Realizing that life hasn’t always b we went to church on Sundays. My dad worked on the oyster www.bayoucatholic.org boat for weeks at a time, sometimes being away for 28 days people in her community, she says tha at a time. My mom practically raised her nine children by always been her refuge. “My friends a Where Many to find times your Bayou Catholic herself.” we even ask each other w Bayou Catholic magazine can be found Soon after she was married, Theresa became involved in answer is always the same. It has to b at all Catholic churches and Catholic schools

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throughout the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-T To pick up a copy, you may also visit the merchants who advertise in our issue. 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

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 5


From the Editor

Mary points the way to Jesus

The month of May is here and our thoughts turn to Mary our Blessed Mother, for it is a month dedicated to her. I recall a particular homily of Bishop Shelton J. Fabre on the feast of the Assumption where the bishop said that we must remember that Mary is always the one who points the way to Jesus. Bishop Fabre went on to say how through our love for the Blessed Mother some of us may unknowingly think of her as a redeemer. He cautioned that we must remember that Christ is the only redeemer. A few weeks ago I read an article from Catholic News Agency where Pope Francis addressed this topic. While Mary still occupies a privileged place in the lives of Christians, Pope Francis explains her role in the church beautifully. Pope Francis said that Jesus entrusted the Virgin Mary to us as a Mother, “not as co-redeemer.” Speaking at his general audience, the pope said that while Christians had always given Mary beautiful titles, it was important to remember that Christ is the only redeemer. He was addressing a theological debate about whether the church should issue a dogmatic definition declaring Mary “co-redemptrix,” in honor of her role in humanity’s salvation. “Jesus extended Mary’s maternity to the entire church when he entrusted her to his beloved disciple shortly before dying on the cross,” the pope noted. “From that moment on, we have all been gathered under her mantle, as depicted in certain medieval frescoes or paintings. Even the first Latin

antiphon – sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix: The Madonna who ‘covers,’ like a Mother, to whom Jesus entrusted us, all of us; but as a Mother, not as a goddess, not as co-redeemer: as Mother.” He continued: “It is true that Christian piety has always given her beautiful titles, as a child gives his or her mamma: How many beautiful things children say about their mamma whom they love so much! How many beautiful things.” “But we need to be careful: The things the church, the saints, say about her, beautiful things, about Mary, subtract nothing from Christ’s sole redemption. He is the only redeemer. They are expressions of love like a child for his or her mamma – some are exaggerated. But love, as we know, always makes us exaggerate things, but out of love.” Noting that he was speaking on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Annunciation, he said: “Christ is the mediator, Christ is the bridge that we cross to turn to the Father. He is the only redeemer: There are no co-redeemers with Christ. He is the only one. He is the mediator par excellence.” Christ’s “one mediation,” he said, sheds light on the role of Mary. “She occupies a privileged place in the lives of Christians, and therefore, in their prayer as well, because she is the Mother of Jesus,” he said. Referring to a celebrated image of Mary in Bari Cathedral, southern Italy, he emphasized that the Virgin points the way to Jesus. He said: “Her hands, her eyes, her behavior are a living ‘catechism,’ always indicating the hinge, she always points out the center: Jesus. Mary is completely directed toward him to such an extent that we can say she is more disciple than Mother. The directions she gave at the wedding at Cana: ‘Do whatever he will tell you.’ She always refers to Christ. She is the first disciple.” He continued: “This is the role Mary fulfilled throughout her entire earthly life and which she forever retains: To be the humble

6 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

handmaid of the Lord, nothing more. At a certain point in the Gospels, she almost seems to disappear; but then she reappears in the more crucial moments, such as at Cana, when her Son, thanks to her caring intervention, performs his first ‘sign,’ and then on Golgotha at the foot of the cross.” He described how Christians began to pray to Mary, using expressions found in the Gospels, such as “full of grace” and “blessed are you among women.” The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. approved the title “Mother of God,” which was added to the Hail Mary prayer. Reflecting on the line “now and at the hour of our death” in the Hail Mary, he said: “Mary is always present at the bedside of her children when they depart this world. If someone is alone and abandoned, she is Mother, she is there, near, as she was next to her Son when everyone else abandoned him.” “Mary was and is present in these days of the pandemic, near to the people who, unfortunately, have concluded their earthly journey all alone, without the comfort of or the closeness of their loved ones. Mary is always there next to us, with her maternal tenderness.” Concluding his reflection, he said: “She listens as Mother. Just like, and more than, every good mother, Mary defends us from danger; she is concerned about us even when we are concentrated on our own things and lose a sense of the way, and when we put not only our health in danger, but also our salvation.” “Mary is there, praying for us, praying for those who do not pray. To pray with us. Why? Because she is our Mother.” 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. BC

Lawrence

Lawrence Chatagnier Editor & General Manager


Church Life

Chapel blessing Bishop Shelton J. Fabre presided at a special Mass recently in the chapel that was built at Holy Family Church in Grand Caillou to honor St. Kateri Tekakwitha and the American Indian culture, and St. John Marie Vianney to honor the French culture. The Mass was livestreamed via Facebook. Parishioners who were unable to celebrate Mass in the chapel viewed the livestream in Holy Family Church. During the celebration the bishop blessed the altar, and the chapel, which houses relics of St. Kateri and St. John Marie.

Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 7


Comment

‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful’ Comfort For My People Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

During this month of May we continue in the final weeks of the Easter season. Hopefully our rejoicing in the Risen Lord is as robust and joyful as it was on Easter Sunday. Alleluia!! Alleluia!! Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead!! By death, Jesus conquered death, and to those in the grave he granted life!! At the end of the month of May this year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, which concludes the Easter season in the church. Each year on the Solemnity of Pentecost, which is the 50th day after Easter, we are reminded how the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, acts both with us and in us as we face the reality of being true to our faith, missionary disciples of the Lord, each and every day of our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues each day to renew, to recreate, to sustain and to support all people and all things that he has created. The Holy Spirit is our advocate and guide, the one who continually prompts and strengthens us to be faithful in our journey to the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. The Pentecost sequence, prayed on Pentecost Sunday after the second reading and before the Gospel alleluia, is a prayerful request for the power of the Holy Spirit to act in the lives of the faithful. I urge you this year again to pay close attention to the words of the sequence as it is prayed at Masses on Pentecost Sunday. Utilize the month of May to prepare your minds, heart, and faith to receive anew the freshness of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. As I have done before, I urge you during this month in preparation for

Pentecost to pray for the following: For the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith; for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be given to those who mourn; for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to be given to those who govern; for the patience of the Holy Spirit to be given to those who seek God’s action in their lives; for the generosity of the Holy Spirit to be given to those who have an abundance; for the peace of the Holy Spirit to be given to our world and to our lives; for the self-control of the Holy Spirit to be given to those who are addicted to anything; for the gentleness of the Holy Spirit to be given to those

consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.” The special outpouring of the Holy Spirit is also celebrated during the sacrament of confirmation, and I continue in these days to visit parishes to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation with youth and adult candidates. Celebrating the sacrament of confirmation with the candidates brings me great joy. As they open their minds, hearts and very lives to this special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, let us pray that some of them will also hear God’s call to serve the church as priests and vowed religious. I pray that

who care for others; for the love of the Holy Spirit to be given to those in the sacrament of matrimony or engaged to enter this sacrament; and for the joy of the Holy Spirit to be given to all! You may also utilize during this month in preparation for Pentecost the prayer to the Holy Spirit: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His

this outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit will enable more of our youth to hear God’s call to embrace a religious vocation in their lives. The month of May also brings us to the end of the school year. I express my great gratitude to the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, maintenance and custodial staff, students and parents as we come to the end of this most unusual school year. I thank all of you for the extra effort that was put forth this year to keep our school communities safe, and to keep our youth in school. God bless you all! May the Holy Spirit reward you for your great effort! BC

8 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021


Fruits of the Holy Spirit


Comentario

Ven Espíritu Santo, llena los corazones de tus fieles Durante el me de Mayo continuamos en las últimas semanas de tiempo pascual. Con la esperanza de que nuestra alegría en el Señor resucitado este tan robusta y regocijante tanto como en el Domingo de Pascua. ¡Aleluya! ¡Aleluya! ¡Jesucristo resucitó de la muerte! A través de la muerte, Jesús conquistó la muerte, y les di la vida a aquellos que estaban en el sepulcro. Al final del mes de Mayo de este año, celebramos la solemnidad de Pentecostés, con lo cual concluye el tiempo pascual en la Iglesia. Cada año en la Solemnidad de Pentecostés, la cual es 50 días después de la Pascua, se nos recuerda cómo el Espíritu Santo, tercera persona de la Santísima Trinidad, actúa tanto con nosotros como en nosotros cuando nos enfrentamos a la realidad de ser fieles a nuestra fe, discípulos misioneros del Señor, en cada día de nuestras vidas. A través del poder del Espíritu Santo, Dios cada día continúa renovando, recreando, sosteniendo y ayudando a todas las personas y todas las cosas que él ha creado. El Espíritu Santo es nuestro defensor y guía, es quien continuamente nos estimula y fortalece para ser fieles en nuestra jornada hacia el Padre a través de Jesucristo el Hijo. La Secuencia de Pentecostés, rezada el Domingo de Pentecostés después de la segunda lectura y antes del Aleluya del Evangelio, es una petición orante para que el poder del Espíritu Santo actúe en la vida de los fieles. Los animo otra vez este año a prestar atención a las palabras de la Secuencia cuando sea orada en la misa el Domingo de Pentecostés. Tomen el mes de Mayo para preparar sus mentes, corazones y fe para recibir nuevamente la frescura del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés. Así como lo he hecho antes, los invito durante este mes en preparación para Pentecostés a orar por lo siguiente: Para que la fidelidad del Espíritu Santo fortalezca nuestra fe; para que la fortaleza del Espíritu Santo les sea concedido a aquellos que están tristes; para que la sabiduría del Espíritu Santo le sea dada a quienes gobiernan; para que paciencia del Espíritu Santo sea

dada a quienes buscan la acción de Dios en sus vidas; para que la generosidad del Espíritu Santo sea concedida a quienes tienen en abundancia; para que la paz del Espíritu Santo sea concedida a nuestro mundo y a nuestras vidas; para que el auto-control que viene del Espíritu Santo sea concedido a quienes son adictos de alguna cosa; para que amabilidad del Espíritu Santo sea dada a quienes cuidan a otros; para que el amor del Espíritu Santo sea concedido a quienes tienen el sacramento del

Espíritu Santo también es celebrado en el sacramento de la Confirmación, y yo continúo la visita a las parroquias en esos días para celebrar el sacramento de la Confirmación de candidatos jóvenes y adultos. Celebrar el sacramento de la Confirmación con los candidatos me trae mucha alegría. Mientras abren sus mentes, corazones y vidas a este especial derramamiento del Espíritu Santo, oremos para que algunos de ellos escuchen la llamada de Dios para servir en la Iglesia como sacerdotes y religiosas.

matrimonio o están comprometidos a entrar en este sacramento; y para que la alegría del Espíritu Santo les sea dada a todos. También pueden utilizar la oración al Espíritu Santo durante este mes en preparación a Pentecostés: “Ven Espíritu Santo, llena los corazones de tus fieles y enciende en ellos el fuego de tu amor. Envía Señor tu Espíritu y todo será creado. Y renovarás la faz de la tierra. Oh Dios, que instruiste los corazones de tus fieles con la luz de tu Espíritu Santo, concédenos por este mismo Espíritu, saborear las cosas rectas y gozar siempre de sus consuelos, por Cristo nuestro Señor. Amén.” El derramamiento especial del

Rezo para que este derramamiento del Espíritu Santo haga más posible que nuestros jóvenes escuchen la llamada de Dios a abrazar una vocación religiosa en sus vidas. El mes de Mayo también nos lleva al fin del año escolar. Expreso mi gran agradecimiento a los maestros, directores, administradores, personal, personal de mantenimiento y custodia, estudiantes y padres de familia mientras llegamos al final de este inusual año escolar. Les agradezco a todos ustedes por el extra esfuerzo que pusieron este año de mantener una comunidad escolar segura, y mantener a nuestros jóvenes en la escuela. ¡Dios los bendiga a todos! ¡Que el Espíritu Santo recompense sus grandes esfuerzos! BC

10 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021


Binh luan bang loi

Lạy Thánh Thần, xin đến sưởi ấm tâm hồn chúng con Trong tháng năm chúng ta bước vào những tuần cuối Mùa Phục Sinh. Hy vọng rằng sự vui mừng trong Chúa Phục Sinh luôn bộc phát và hân hoan như ngày Chúa sống lại. Alleluia!! Alleluia!! Chúa Giêsu đã sống lại từ cõi chết!! Do cái chết, Chúa Giêsu đã chiến thắng sự chết, và Ngài ban sự sống cho những người đã an nghỉ!! Vào cuối tháng năm này chúng ta cử hành Lễ Hiện Xuống, kết thúc Mùa Phục Sinh trong niên lịch phụng vụ. Hằng năm vào ngày Lễ Trọng Hiện Xuống, là ngày thứ 50 sau Lễ Phục Sinh, chúng ta được lưu ý Ngôi Ba Thiên Chúa, hành động cùng ta và trong ta, giúp chúng ta chung thủy với đức tin, là môn đệ trung thành của Chúa, mỗi ngày trong đời sống Kytô. Qua sức mạnh của Chúa Thánh Thần, Thiên Chúa tiếp tục đổi mới, khởi động lại, bao bọc và nâng đỡ mỗi người và mọi thứ mà Ngài đã tạo dựng. Chúa Thánh Thần là Đấng Bảo Hộ, Hướng Dẫn, là Đấng tiếp tục tác động và thêm sức cho chúng ta trung thành trên con đường về với Chúa Cha qua Chúa Giêsu Con Chúa. Ca Tiếp Liên, được đọc trong Thánh Lễ hôm đó sau bài đọc hai và trước xướng Alleluia, là lời khẩn cầu xin sức mạnh Chúa Thánh Linh hành động trong đời sống đức tin. Tôi mong muốn anh chị em năm nay chú ý vào những lời ca tiếp liên mà chúng ta đọc trong Thánh Lễ Chúa Nhật Hiện Xuống. Hãy dùng tháng năm chuẩn bị tư tưởng, tâm hồn và đức tin chấp nhận sự mới mẻ trong Chúa Thánh Thần trong ngày Lễ Hiện Xuống. Như tôi đã thực hành trước, tôi khuyến khích anh chị em trong tháng này chuẩn bị cho Lễ Hiện Xuống với vài ý chỉ sau đây: sự tận trung của Chúa Thánh Thần thêm đức tin cho chúng ta; sự an ủi của Chúa Thánh Thần sưởi ấm những ai đang ưu phiền; sự khôn ngoan của Chúa Thánh Thần soi sáng những ai thi hành công vụ; sự nhẫn nại của Chúa Thánh Thần ban sức mạnh cho những người tìm kiếm sự tác động của Chúa trong cuộc sống; sự quảng đại của Chúa Thánh Thần giúp những người giàu có thêm lòng trắc ẩn; sự bình an của Chúa Thánh Thần tuôn trào trên thế giới và chúng ta; sự kìm hãm của Chúa Thánh Thần giúp những người nghiện ngập trong mọi khía

cạnh; sự dịu dàng của Chúa Thánh Thần xuống trên những ai săn sóc người khác; tình yêu của Chúa Thánh Thần chan hòa trên những người sống trong bí tích hôn nhân hay chuẩn bị thành hôn; và niềm hân hoan của Chúa Thánh Thần ban cho mọi người! Anh chị em cũng có thể tận dụng tháng này chuẩn bị Ngày Hiện Xuống bằng lời kinh dâng lên Chúa Thánh Thần.

tiếp tục thăm các xứ đạo và cử hành Bí Tích Thêm Sức cho các thiếu niên và người lớn.Cử hành Bí Tích Thêm Sức đem đến cho tôi niềm vui. Để giúp họ cởi mở trí khôn, tâm hồn, và ngay chính đời sống cho ơn đặc biệt của Chúa Thánh Thần, chúng ta cầu xin cho một số trong đó nhận ra tiếng Chúa gọi phục vụ Giáo hội qua thiên chức linh mục và nam nữ tu sĩ. Tôi cầu xin ân sủng dồi dào của

“Lạy Chúa Thánh Thần, xin đổ tràn đầy hồng ân trên các tín hữu và đốt trên tâm hồn họ lửa tình yêu Ngài. Ban thần khí Ngài và mọi thứ được tạo thành. Và Ngài sẽ đổi mới bộ mặt trái đất. Lạy Chúa, do bởi ánh sáng của Chúa Thánh Thần, đã hướng dẫn tâm hồn các tín hữu, qua cùng Chúa Thánh Thần ban cho chúng con thật sự sáng suốt và ủi an của lòng bao dung của Ngài, vì công nghiệp của Chúa Giêsu. Amen.” Ân sủng của Chúa Thánh Thần cũng được đổ tràn trên những người chịu Phép Thêm Sức, và tôi trong những ngày này

Chúa Thánh Thần giúp thêm nhiều giới trẻ nhận biết ơn gọi sống đời tu sĩ nam nữ trong đời họ. Tháng năm cũng đưa chúng ta đến cuối năm học. Tôi bày tỏ lòng tri ân sâu xa đến quý thầy cô, quý hiệu trưởng, ban giam đốc, nhân viên nhà trường, kỹ thuật viên và phụ viên khác, học sinh và cha mẹ, để kết thúc một năm học ngoài cái gọi là bình thường. Tôi ghi ơn tất cả vì sự cố gắng ngoài phạm vi thông thường để giúp cho năm học an toàn, để con em có thể tới lớp. Xin Chúa ban phép lành cho anh chị em!! Xin Chúa Thánh Thần ban tràn đầy hồng ân trên sự cố gắng đó! BC

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 11


Comment

Pope Francis hails St. Teresa of Ávila as exemplar of courage and spiritual motherhood The Pope Speaks

By COURTNEY MARES Rome Newsroom (CNA) Pope Francis has hailed St. Teresa of Ávila as exemplar of courage and spiritual motherhood in a letter marking 50 years since the 16th century Spanish mystic was declared the first female doctor of the church. “Despite the five centuries that separate us from her earthly existence, the flame that Jesus lit within Teresa continues to shine in this world that is always in need of brave witnesses, capable of breaking any barrier, be it physical, existential or cultural,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter. The pope’s letter to Bishop José María Gil Tamayo of Ávila was read aloud at the inaugural Mass for an international congress on St. Teresa that is taking place in Ávila, Spain, and virtually via livestream recently. St. Teresa of Ávila was “‘an exceptional woman,’ as Saint Paul VI defined her,” Pope Francis said. “Her courage, her intelligence, and her tenacity to which she united a sensitivity for the beautiful and a spiritual motherhood toward all those who approached her work, are an exemplary example of the extraordinary role that women have played throughout history in the church and society.” Pope Paul VI declared St. Teresa of Jesus a doctor of the church on Sept.

27, 1970. The title doctor of the church denotes recognition of the importance of a saint’s writings and teachings for Catholic theology. Since St. Teresa, three other female saints have been declared doctors of the church. St. Catherine of Siena was recognized with the title one week after St. Teresa. And St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Hildegard of Bingen were declared church doctors by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI respectively. In his letter, Pope Francis said St. Teresa of Ávila “continues to speak to us today through her writings, and her message is open to all.” “Having her as a friend, companion and guide in our earthly pilgrimage confers security and peace to the soul,” he added. St. Teresa was a Spanish Carmelite reformer and mystic. She was born in the Castilian city of Ávila during the year 1515, the third child in a family descended from Jewish merchants who had converted to Christianity during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. When she was nearly 40, Teresa experienced profound changes within her own soul in contemplative prayer, and remarkable visions that seemed to come from God. Under the direction of her confessors, Teresa wrote about some of these experiences in an autobiography that she completed in 1565. This revolution in her spiritual life enabled Teresa to play a significant role in the renewal of the church that followed the Council of Trent. She proposed a return of the Carmelites to their original rule of life, a simple and austere form of monasticism – founded on silence and solitude – that had received papal approval in the 12th century and was believed to date back

12 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

to the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Together with her close collaborator, the priest and writer later canonized as Saint John of the Cross, she founded what is known today as the Order of Discalced Carmelites – “discalced,” meaning barefoot, symbolizing the simplicity to which they chose to return the order after a period of corruption. The reform met with fierce opposition, but resulted in the founding of 30 monasteries before her death in 1582. St. Teresa of Ávila was canonized on March 22, 1622, along with St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier and St. Philip Neri. In his letter, Pope Francis encouraged the priests, religious, and laity involved in the international congress on St. Teresa to continue spreading her teaching. The international congress is the joint effort of the Catholic University of St. Teresa of Ávila, the Discalced Carmelites, the local diocese, and the “Katholische Universität EichstättIngolstadt” in Germany. Speakers at the conference include Cardinal Aquilino Bocos Merino and Cardinal Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, the archbishop of Valladolid. Pope Francis signed his letter to the congress on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, and noted that St. Teresa of Ávila had a great devotion to St. Joseph. “She took him as a teacher, advocate and intercessor. She entrusted herself to him, having certainty that she would receive the graces that she asked for. From this experience, she encouraged others to do the same,” the pope said. “The saints always go hand in hand, and they sustain us by the trust placed in their intercession. May they intercede for you,” Pope Francis said. BC


Comment

Questions of Faith Father Joshua Rodrigue, S.T.L.

Are we saved by good works? I heard people talking the other day about how we are saved. I always thought we could only be saved by Jesus, but some of them said we could be saved by good works. What’s the right answer? Currently celebrating the 50 days of the Easter season, we are reminded of Christ’s saving action through the great Paschal Mystery—his suffering, death and resurrection—and this alone is sufficient for our reconciliation with the Father, redemption and salvation. On Easter Sunday in the sequence Victimae paschali laudes (“To the Paschal Victim Offer Praise”), which is sung or proclaimed before the Gospel, we hear of the effects of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, “The Lamb has redeemed the sheep: The innocent Christ has reconciled sinners to the Father.” Our salvation was from no merit of ours but from God’s great love for us and the desire to show that love through the gift of mercy. The Catholic Church has never taught a doctrine believing that we could be saved by our good works and, in fact, has constantly condemned the notion that we can earn or merit salvation. In soteriology (the theological study of salvation), sacred Scripture and Catholic tradition declare that salvation is only by God’s grace and unmerited by our own good works. St.

Paul insists, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Sometimes the confusion can come from hearing St. Paul say, “So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). “Working out our salvation” might incline us to believe that the more good works we do, the more reason God has to let us into heaven, which can encourage a false belief in meriting or earning our salvation. Nevertheless, our good works do play a role in our salvation, but are not the cause of our salvation, which again is Christ’s death and resurrection. Our good works are evidence of our faith in Christ lived out, and they go with us before the Lord upon our day of judgement. When blessing the body of a deceased Christian, the priest, tracing the sign of the cross on the forehead, reminds us by using words from the book of Revelation 14:13, “Blessed are those who have died in the Lord; let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them.” St. Paul in his letter to the Romans explains the role our works, our actions, play in God’s judgment upon us. He writes that God “will repay everyone according to his works: Eternal life to those who seek glory, honor and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness” (2:6-8). This is where the gift of salvation and our works come together. St. Paul further explains, “For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” (Philippians 2:13). The work of the Lord is the cause for our salvation, and our disposition or openness, allows us to receive from the Lord the grace, or power, to live out, to “work out” our salvation through the virtue of charity. “The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love,

ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men. The saints have always had a lively awareness that their merits were pure grace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2011). It is God who works in us to allow us to do good works, to continue Christ’s mission, especially in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy—feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, burying the dead, admonishing the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving all injuries, and praying for the living and dead. Actually, the only work we can truly do on our own is sin; everything else is done by God’s grace in us. Through our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been recreated to fulfill our mission doing the good works of Christ. St. Paul declares, “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Through the good works, we take part in fulfilling God’s plan for the salvation of the whole world. It takes our cooperation with God’s grace in doing God’s will, and that is hard work. But when we are justified, when we are in right relationship with God, our hearts are disposed to receive the assistance we need to complete the work involved in living out the Christian life, working out our salvation given to us by Christ. “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6) BC

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

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 13


Reflections

‘Jesus was raised: Can you believe it?’ Readings Between the Lines Father Glenn LeCompte

Although Easter Sunday occurred last month, we continue to celebrate Easter during May. With that in mind, I thought I would focus my article this month on the issue of the “reality” of Jesus’ resurrection. When people have questioned the reality of Jesus’ resurrection they are usually questioning whether or not it was a historical occurrence or even scientifically possible. As I will suggest below, however, while the resurrection is a phenomenon that transcends our usual idea of historicity, that fact does not make it unhistorical. While challenges to the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection have flourished in the scientific age, such challenges were not unknown in the first century. In Matthew 28:11-15, the Jewish religious leaders concoct a false story to explain the emptiness of Jesus’ tomb on the Sunday morning after his crucifixion. They tell the guards at the tomb to report that Jesus’ disciples absconded with his body at night. Between the late 18th and the 20th century, many have offered “naturalistic” explanations of Jesus’ resurrection. The “stealing of the body” hypothesis itself was resurrected after many centuries! Some theorized that Jesus only appeared to be dead and somehow revived in the tomb and departed from it. Some proposed that the disciples’ experiences of the risen Lord alive after he died were hallucinations, even mass hallucinations. Still others maintain that, since the aim of the Gospels is to express belief in who Jesus Christ is, the meaning of his mission and its implications for people, and not to narrate history, the resurrection is a

way of saying that through his death Jesus showed himself to be Lord and Messiah because God accepted his offering. This last group of thinkers would therefore conclude that the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection can be discounted. Even from a historical, scientific, psychological and philosophical perspective each of these theories has weaknesses, and fails to offer a solid explanation of the phenomenon of Jesus’ resurrection. Part of the problem is that in most, if not all, cases, these “naturalistic” theories presuppose that since we do not have experiences of resurrection in our world today it cannot have happened to the human Jesus. That presupposition is not necessarily true. There was a time when the possibility of space travel or landing human beings on the moon was not seen as possible because at the time the technology was not available, but at a point in history it did become available and space travel occurred. Before I explain why we can accept Jesus’ resurrection as “real,” there is something we must understand. It is true that when we speak of resurrection, we are speaking of something that is beyond our current experience. Jesus was not resuscitated as was Lazarus, who would die again. Jesus’ resurrection is a transformation of him into a form of existence like nothing we know in our world. Yet that new form of existence apparently retains properties

14 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

of our existence in this world. For example, in several cases the fact that Jesus possesses a real body in his risen state is emphasized. Jesus appears and eats fish before his disciples huddled behind locked doors (Luke 24:36-43), and invites “doubting Thomas” to touch physically the wounds inflicted by his crucifixion and the spear thrust through his side (John 20:24-29). The bodily aspect of Jesus’ resurrection is the first reason we can accept it as real. In his risen presence we are not speaking of Jesus as a formless, indiscernible spirit. He has a body, although it is somehow different from the bodies we have. A second reason we can accept Jesus’ resurrection as real is that he was seen alive after he had died on the cross by various groups and individuals. The first aspect of the experience of these people is that he was “seen” (John 20:18, 25; 1 Corinthians 15:58). The second aspect is that these sightings were experienced by multiple people, sometimes as individuals and sometimes as groups, which varied in size from two to five hundred. These sightings were experienced on different occasions and in different circumstances. In Luke 24:33-35, the two disciples who encounter the risen Lord on their journey to Emmaus and as they sit down at table with him there run back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples gathered there of their experience. Before the two can

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Reflections

say anything they are greeted with “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” The two disciples from Emmaus had no knowledge of Simon’s experience. Then the two proceed to tell the others of their own experience, about which the others did not know. In other words, neither group knew about the other’s experience so they could not have influenced one another. This fact lends credibility to the claims of both groups. That the disciples stole and hid Jesus’ body then claimed he was raised is not likely because the Gospels indicate in several places that when Jesus predicts his passion, death and resurrection, the disciples do not understand what he means (e.g. Mark 8:31-32), and this lack of understanding persists when the disciples discover Jesus’ body missing from the tomb (e.g. John 20:2, 9, 13-15). The disciples were not expecting to encounter Jesus as risen from death.

Some have suggested that the disciples’ perceived visions of Jesus alive after death resulted from extreme grief. It is clear, however, that the disciples journeying to Emmaus are grieving yet do not even recognize the risen Jesus as he joins the two on their journey. The fact that the Gospels’ aim is to inspire faith and not to recount history does not necessarily discount the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. As the Pontifical Biblical Commission explained in 1964, the Gospels as we have them contain multiple strata of tradition. Those who communicated the tradition about Jesus first orally and later in writing interpreted the meaning of Jesus’ actual words and deeds, which often lie hidden beneath the interpretations. Thus, even if the Gospels do not explain Jesus’ resurrection from either a scientific or historical viewpoint this does not discount its reality. At the end of the day, even if Jesus’

resurrection is something that, at least for now, is beyond the realm of our experience, there is good reason to believe in the reality of it. BC

Reflection Questions v What implications for your life does the following Scripture passage have? “If Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). v How do we proclaim Christ’s resurrection to a world which struggles to acknowledge anything that cannot be experienced by the senses or verified by science? v What is your favorite Gospel story or New Testament passage dealing with Jesus’ resurrection? Why?

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May Scripture Readings and a listing of Feast days and saints

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday 1 Easter Weekday Acts 13:44-52 John 14:7-14

2 Fifth Sunday of Easter Acts 9:26-31 1 John 3:18-24 John 15:1-8

9

3 Feast of Saints Philip and James, apostles 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 John 14:6-14 10

4 Easter Weekday Acts 14:19-28 John 14:27-31a

11

Easter Weekday Easter Weekday Sixth Sunday of Acts 16:22-34 Acts 16:11-15 Easter Acts 10:25-26, 34- John 15:26—16:4a John 16:5-11 35, 44-48 1 John 4:7-10 John 15:9-17 16 Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Acts 1:1-11 Ephesians 1:17-23 Mark 16:15-20 23 Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday Acts 2:1-11 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23

17 Easter Weekday Acts 19:1-8 John 16:29-33

24

18 Easter Weekday Acts 20:17-27 John 17:1-11a

25

Weekday Memorial of the Sirach 35:1-12 Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the Mark 10:28-31 church Acts 1:12-14 John 19:25-34

30

31

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Deuteronomy 4:3234, 39-40 Romans 8:14-17 Matthew 28:16-20

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Zephaniah 3:14-18a Luke 1:39-56

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5 Easter Weekday Acts 15:1-6 John 15:1-8

12 Easter Weekday Acts 17:15, 22—18:1 John 16:12-15

19 Easter Weekday Acts 20:28-38 John 17:11b-19

26 Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest Sirach 36:1, 4-5a, 10-17 Mark 10:32-45

6 Easter Weekday Acts 15:7-21 John 15:9-11

13 Easter Weekday Acts 18:1-8 John 16:16-20

20 Easter Weekday Acts 22:30; 23:611 John 17:20-26

27 Weekday Sirach 42:15-25 Mark 10:46-52

7 Easter Weekday Acts 15:22-31 John 15:12-17

14 Feast of Saint Matthias, apostle Acts 1:15-17, 20-26 John 15:9-17

21 Easter Weekday Acts 25:13b-21 John 21:15-19

28 Weekday Sirach 44:1, 9-13 Mark 11:11-26

8 Easter Weekday Acts 16:1-10 John 15:18-21

15 Easter Weekday Acts 18:23-28 John 16:23b-28

22 Easter Weekday Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 John 21:20-25

29 Weekday Sirach 51:12cd-20 Mark 11:27-33


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Special

‘Fratelli tutti’

Pope Francis issues social encyclical calling people to care for one another as brothers and sisters

Guest Columnist Father Patrick Riviere

It is commonly said that the two things you don’t bring up at dinner are politics and religion. If that’s the case (which I would disagree with), then one might think that Chapter 5 of Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli tutti, entitled “A Better Kind of Politics,” would be the last thing you’d want to discuss around the table. However, Pope Francis offers several important insights that attempt to bring the two worlds together. He aptly summarizes the common view and feeling toward politics when he says, “For many people today, politics is a distasteful word, often due to the mistakes, corruption and inefficiency of some politicians” (176). Politics is increasingly becoming a negative word for many reasons. We hear only about divisions and scandals, the negative effects of what is being done, and one party’s constant criticisms of the other. Pope Francis attempts to move beyond the external divisions to the deeper heart and purpose of politics. Politics comes from the Greek word

polis, which simply means “city.” Its focus is on allowing a group of people living together to truly flourish in society. The goal and purpose of politics is rooted in the people it is meant to serve. All too often in our society, things that are meant to be for the good of the people are twisted and manipulated to actually be self-serving. Pope Francis characterizes these as “popular” and “populist.” Politics is meant to be “popular,” meaning for the common good of the people. It is meant to acknowledge that men and women can have shared goals and values that transcend themselves and their differences. However, he acknowledges that often politics and government become not popular but populist, when “individuals are able to exploit politically a people’s culture, under whatever ideological banner, for their own personal advantage or continuing grip on power” (159). This populist-driven politics focuses only on short-term advantage, and “one meets popular demands for the sake of gaining votes or support, but without advancing in an arduous and constant effort to generate the resources people need” (161). What on the surface seems to be a concern for the other is actually a concern for the self, and instead of pursuing what is actually good for all people, this kind of politics seeks primarily to advance those in power. Pope Francis highlights the interplay

18 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

of welfare projects and employment opportunities as an example of this. He says that the truly popular thing is “to provide everyone with the opportunity to nurture the seeds that God has given (them),” while “welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses” (161-162). He expresses the desire to actually work to equip people to truly succeed instead of short-term solutions. An important key that Pope Francis lifts up in moving from a populist politics to a popular politics is, unsurprisingly, the role of the virtue of charity or love. Charity is consistently lifted up in the Scriptures as the highest of virtues, that which holds everything together, that which God is by his very nature. It makes sense, then, that in a realm that is meant to focus on the common good of all people, the virtue that wills the good of the other person would be integral. He says that charity is not only expressed in close and individual relationships but is also shown in “macro-relationships: Social, economic and political” (181). This so-called “social charity” or “political charity” makes us seek the good of all people in the social dimension that unites them and creates a force capable of inspiring new ways of approaching the problems of today’s world, of profoundly renewing structures, social organizations, and legal systems from within (183). Political charity

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Special

Chapter Five always keeps the goodness of the other person at the forefront, which enables a deeper and more profound unity among all peoples. This is a love that is able to welcome differences and places the greatest priority on the dignity of every human being, even over their ideas, opinions or even sins. Without this virtue, politics tends to become less “personalistic,” where “less and less will people be called by name, less and less will this unique being be treated as a person with his or her own feelings, sufferings, problems, joys and family. Their illnesses will be known only in

order to cure them, their financial needs only to provide for them, their lack of a home only to give them lodging, their desires for recreation and entertainment only to satisfy them” (193). Rather than seeing individual people, we see their problems or ideas, automatically placing them in boxes rather than seeing the depth of who they are. Political charity is what enables a certain openness to others. It is what allows leaders of governments and politicians to make the sacrifices necessary to encounter and seek unity on issues that would otherwise breed division. Rather than focusing on the differences of belief and opinion, political charity encourages one to rather listen to other points of view and even to make room for them. Without charity, politics will never achieve its actual goal because it will lose sight of the actual people it is meant to serve. Pope Francis says that “politics must make room for a tender love of others … a love that draws near and becomes real … that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the hears and the hands” (194). Where this is lacking, politics will forever be, as we said at the beginning of this article, a “distasteful word.”

But a politics that is truly popular, that is imbued with a social charity, is something very different than what we often experience. “Authentic political life, built upon respect for law and frank dialogue between individuals, is constantly renewed whenever there is a realization that every woman and man, and every new generation, brings the promise of new relational, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies” (196). Politics has the capacity to be something “more noble than posturing, marketing and media spin” which only breed division, conflict and a cynicism that will never move people closer to the common good. When I simply recognize the depth of the person in front of me, everything changes – both on an individualrelational level and on a social-political level. Our task in the renewal of politics is as simple (and as difficult) as the command Jesus gave at the Last Supper: I give you a new commandment, love one another (even those we disagree with) as I have loved you. (Father Patrick Riviere is currently serving as liaison and priest specialist for the diocesan Office of Parish Support and as director of the diocesan Office of the Priesthood). BC

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Church Life

Friar Nathaniel Maria Gadalia to be ordained a priest at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral May 29 Story by Janet Marcel Friar Nathaniel Maria Gadalia, a member of the Poor Friars and Poor Nuns of Jesus and Mary, will be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. Bishop Shelton J. Fabre will be the ordaining prelate.

Friar Nathaniel Maria Gadalia Birthdate: March 2, 1984 Home parish: I began the Catechumenate in 2001 at the age of 17, in the St. Laurent Church parish, Diocese of Orléans (France). I was baptized in 2004 at the age of 20, in St. Maurice Church parish, Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon (France). Seminary: The Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, Italy Friar Nathaniel Maria Gadalia is a 37-year-old native of Orléans, which is about 70 miles south of Paris, France, and a graduate of a French High school in Orléans, France. He is the son of Alain Gadalia and Danièle Maurel. He attended a seminary in Sicily for about two years, then a seminary in Burkina Faso, West Africa, for two more years. After that, he attended the Pontifical Lateran University for one year, earning a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology. Some years later, he studied for two more years at a college in Catania, Sicily, where he obtained a Licentiate in Spiritual Theology. As part of his priestly formation he has been involved in the following ministries at Holy Family Church in Grand Caillou: Preaching the homilies every two weeks, organizing eucharistic ministers to visit the homebound every Sunday, while also serving as one of the ministers; funerals and baptisms. He is also translating and researching documents in order to complete the

Favorite field of study? The Bible, history of the church, approved Marian apparitions, the Shroud of Turin Favorite saint? Saint Francis of Assisi Hobbies? Hitchhiking to evangelize people, visiting Sacred Shrines, drawing or painting

English formation program of his religious community. “I am most looking forward to being able to more efficiently help people turn and walk toward the glorious immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53) and everlasting happiness of heaven (John 16:24), especially through the sacraments of confession, communion and anointing of the sick, through preaching and any other pastoral means I could use as priest,” says Friar Nathaniel. “The heart of the charism of our community is to encourage people toward frequent reception of the sacraments, or toward a more intense participation in them. To

20 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

achieve this goal, we assiduously dedicate ourselves both to prayer, and to evangelization,” he says. “In particular, we often go out into the streets in simplicity, poverty and competence: In the imitation of Christ, who explained the meaning of the Scripture to the disciples of Emmaus along the street, leading them back to the eucharistic banquet where their eyes were opened as soon as he broke bread (Luke 24:31-32; LG 48).” Friar Nathaniel says that until the age of 17, he was an unbeliever and a member of a group of anarchists. “I am grateful to God, Mary, the saints, and also to Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Friar Volantino, the founder of our religious community; Sister Veronica, the co-foundress; Father Antonio, the superior of our Formation House in Louisiana; Father Andre’ Melancon, my pastoral director; Father Henry Sebastian, my spiritual director; all of the diocesan staff who contributed toward my ordination, Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs for inviting us to the United States, all my brothers and sisters in our religious community, and many other people who greatly helped me to arrive at this point of my journey with Christ,” adds the friar. Father Gadalia will celebrate his first Mass on Trinity Sunday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m., at Holy Family Church. The Mass is currently scheduled to be outdoors. BC


Church Life

Two to be ordained transitional deacons May 29 at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Story by Janet Marcel The Rev. Mr. Stephen Castille and the Rev. Mr. James P. Rome will be ordained to the transitional diaconate, Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. Bishop Shelton J. Fabre will be the ordaining prelate.

The Rev. Mr. Stephen Castille is a 52-year-old native of Church Point, LA. He is the son of Martha and Wilrey Castille, and has one brother, Tim Castille, and one sister, Catina T. Ortego. He is a graduate of Church Point High School, and attended St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict and currently attends Notre Dame Seminary College in New Orleans. As part of his priestly formation, he was assigned to St. Bernadette Church parish in Houma in 2019 for his first summer assignment. He says St. Bernadette is the parish he chose for his home parish when he joined the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in 2018. His responsibilities were to serve two Masses a day and work with the students at summer camp. He also made hospital visits and helped out with the young disciples group in the parish. The Rev. Mr. Castille explains that his vocation story is a complicated one. He says he entered St. Joseph Seminary College right out of high school and graduated after four years. “I was attracted to the monastic life and joined the monastery there as

a novice. After my novitiate year was complete, I discerned out of the monastery and returned to my home diocese to study theology at Notre Dame Seminary. However, because of my struggle with the requirement of celibacy, I ended up leaving the seminary after completing my first year of theology. I attempted marriage, however it did not work out as I planned. The call to the priesthood had never gone away, so after my marriage was declared invalid, I answered the call again and was able to return where I left off 24 years earlier at Notre Dame Seminary.” He goes on to say that after living the married life for many years and working in corporate America for 18 years, he has a new perspective on the wisdom of the church in requiring celibacy as a part of the ordained priesthood. “I now see this as a great gift in order to completely dedicate my life to serving the church. I am looking forward to finally being able to do what God has been calling me to do for the last 35 years. This time I come with a vast amount of experience for God to use to bring people closer to him.” After being ordained to the transitional diaconate, the Rev. Mr. Castille is most looking forward to actually doing ministry instead of studying about it. “I look forward to using my gifts and talents as well as my experience and education to serve the people of the parish I will be assigned to.” The Rev. Mr. James P. Rome is a 55-year-old native of Golden Meadow, LA. He is the son of Hazel and Ervin Rome (both deceased); and has two sisters, Sandra R. Clement and Mary

Rome; and one brother, Michael Rome. He graduated from South Lafourche High School in 1984. The Rev. Mr. Rome also attended Holy Rosary Catholic School in Larose when Sister Claire Rodrigue, C.I.C., whom he says was the second most influential person in his life, was principal there. He currently attends Notre Dame Seminary College in New Orleans. As part of his priestly formation, he was assigned to Holy Cross Church parish in Morgan City in the summer of 2017, where he was involved with Vacation Bible School, Bible Study on Old Testament timeline, church maintenance, and served as an acolyte for liturgies. Before beginning his journey toward priesthood, the Rev. Mr. Rome, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting with minor in computer science in 1988 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1994, from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. He also earned the designation of certified public accountant in 1990, and worked in the area of accounting and finance for many years. He was the founding father, commander, and captain of

Cont. on pg 22

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 21


Church Life

Transitional deacons to be ordained May 29 at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Cont. from pg 21 of Our Lady of Prompt Succor (in Golden Meadow) when I was a boy. And then again to a parish Lenten mission in 2002 put on by a permanent deacon who felt that there was more to God’s plan for him than the business world,” says the Rev. Mr. Rome. “Getting involved in ministries such as Fraternus and parish youth formation provided the momentum needed to answer my calling to serve the Lord in an ordained capacity. I am convinced, however, that it was my Mom’s prayers from heaven that

Fraternus of South Lafourche and a graduate of Leadership Lafourche. On a more personal level, the Rev. Mr. Rome says he “was married to the former Robin Alario Rome, whom I will forever love and consider a best friend. I have a stepson, Reggie J. Ougel and a granddaughter Alli Rae Ougel, that I love very much and who maintain special places in my heart.” His marriage was declared invalid in 2014. “I attribute much of my vocation to the seeds planted by the community

solidified my courage to step out of the boat onto the water.” After being ordained to the transitional diaconate, he says he is most excited about experiencing the assignments God has planned for him. “By assignments, I mean the individuals and parish communities God has chosen for my vocational path. I know that there will be a special intimacy of family that I am to share with those individuals that will satisfy my sense of providing, along with my own need for belonging.” BC

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Heavenly Recipes

Theresa Dardar

Theresa Cooks a:

UNIQUE CRAB DISH Story and Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier

This month’s heavenly recipe, pot fried crabs, comes from Houma native and member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, Theresa Dardar. Theresa, who has been living in Pointe-aux-Chenes since 1973 with her husband Donald, has worked for the diocese for the past 16 years. She began working with disaster assistance for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, but has been mostly working as the diocesan liaison for American Indian Ministry. Like most women, Theresa learned to cook from her mother. “I learned to cook from my mom. I remember being around eight years old and cooking breakfast for my grandfather. My mom was a great cook. I can’t cook the way she used to. No one in my family can make a pot roast like my mom used to. I learned how to pot fry crabs from my mom.” Moving to Pointe-aux-Chenes and marrying a trapper and fisherman was an adjustment for the young woman from Houma. “Life was different when I moved on the bayou. I learned to cook with my mom but never new how to prepare the seafood before cooking. I didn’t know the work that was involved in trapping and fishing. I helped with cleaning the fur and going on the shrimp boat. Part of the wife’s job was to help her husband. This was all new to me.” Theresa says her mom was the one who instilled the Catholic faith in her and her siblings. “My mom made sure we went to church on Sundays. My dad worked on the oyster boat for weeks at a time, sometimes being away for 28 days at a time. My mom practically raised her nine children by herself.” Soon after she was married, Theresa became involved in teaching CCD at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Pointe-auxChenes where she taught first grade for many years. Later

Pot Fried Crabs INGREDIENTS: 1 dozen crab bodies, cleaned with claws attached 3 large onions, sliced 1/4 cup cooking oil Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS: Place crabs in a large pot. Add salt to taste; put onions on top. Pour oil on top of onions. Put the heat on high and cover pot. Let the crabs begin to cook. When crabs start to fry, lower temperature to medium and stir the crabs and onions well. Cover pot and continue cooking until onions are cooked down and begin to brown, stirring often so as not to burn (approximately 35 to 45 minutes). Serve over cooked rice.

she became the parish DRE and held that position for many years. She was a founding member of the Pointe-auxChenes Kateri Circle, a group that was formed to gather and pray for the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. “Now we get together to learn more about American Indians and traditions, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other studies within the church.” She hopes to help with the forming of a Kateri Circle in the Golden Meadow community soon. “There is a large Indian population there. I would like to have meetings with the people there to start the process.” Realizing that life hasn’t always been easy for the Indian people in her community, she says that her Catholic faith has always been her refuge. “My friends and I talk about it often. Many times we even ask each other why are we Catholic? Our answer is always the same. It has to be the Eucharist.” BC May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 23


Special

During the month of May our thoughts turn to Mary and the rosary Guest Columnist Father Michael Bergeron

May is the month of the Mary. Almost synonymous with Mary is the rosary. The rosary is steeped in mystery and deep in theology. Pinpointing the origin of the rosary is not easy because it is surrounded in both fact and legend. Wading through this material can be a confusing task since every pamphlet seems to differ somewhat in its origin. The most popular legend is that the rosary was given by Mary to St. Dominic of Guzman before the Battle of Muret in 1213 to aid in the overthrow of the Albigenese. But the legend of St. Dominic did not originate during the saint’s lifetime nor during the century in which he lived. In the 18th century a group of scholars set out to rewrite the lives of the saints so as to preserve all the truth and separate it from legend. The group concluded that the tradition of the direct gift to St. Dominic was not based on enough evidence to support it nor was it well authenticated. In truth, the rosary is a combination of many streams of development. In the early days, the liturgical prayer of the church developed around the 150 psalms which Monks sang in the choir. But for laypeople, who could not read, 150 Our Fathers were substituted in place of the psalms. Some used a string of 150 beads to keep count. A parallel development was taking place among people devoted to Mary. They said 150 Ave Marias (Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary), mixed

with verses and psalms, a devotion known as Our Lady’s Psalter. About the turn of the 13th century in England, the Cistercians developed a practice of meditating on the 15 joys of the Blessed Virgin. Between the 14th and 15th century, the 150 Ave Marias were divided into 15 decades, each preceded by the Lord’s Prayer. In the book Rosario della gloriosa Vergine Maria, published in 1521, the author uses the word “mystery” for the first time in association with the rosary. The book introduced the idea of having a mystery introduced by each Our Father. In 1573, a Dominican wrote the book Rosario della Sacratissima Vergine Maria which set the modern 15 mysteries in their typical division of joyful, sorrowful and glorious. This developed into 150 Hail Marys with 15 mysteries. Today, people usually pray five decades – or one set of mysteries – at a time, although strictly speaking, the rosary is all 15 decades (often called the Dominican Rosary). The crucifix and five more beads were added later. The three Hail Marys represent faith, hope and charity. The word “bead” comes from “bede” which in early English meant a “prayer.” The use of beads or some sort of counters to keep track of prayers is very old. Even today we see them among Mohammedans, Buddhists, Brahmins, and generally in India, China and Japan. Christian graves as far back as the third century have produced “abacus-like” devices which were probably used for praying. Beads were found in the tomb of St. Gertrude of Nivelles from the sixth century and St. Norbert from the 11th century. The application of the term rosarium (rose garden or crown of roses) to the prayer beads had its major development in the 14th and 15th century. At that time, the concept of a rose garden and a wreath of roses was

24 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

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firmly established as symbolizing the Mystic Rose of Scripture—the Virgin Mary. Thus, the term “rosary.” The rosary took a prominent role when Europe was in crisis. In 1566, the Ottoman Empire was planning to invade Europe. Pope Pius V called for a crusade against the Turks. Only a handful responded: Don John of Austria, the Spaniards, the Venetians and the small Papal fleet. They were no match for the Turkish fleet, which outnumbered them three to one. Pope Pius V was a Dominican and Dominicans had a great devotion to the rosary. So he called for a rosary crusade in Europe to help the Christian forces. On Oct. 7, 1571, the Christian forces under Don John and Andrea Doria met the Turks off the coast of Greece, the Gulf of Lepanto, and miraculously defeated them. Don John confessed the victory was won, not by fighting arms, but by praying arms. In thanksgiving, Pope Pius V instituted the first Sunday of October as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. (A statue of Our Lady of Victory is located in St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux, although it is mislabeled Our Lady of Peace, and a painting was painted by Billy Ledet for the student union at E.D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux.) In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII,

changed it to Feast of the Most Holy Rosary. Also, to honor the Dominican pope, all succeeding popes wear the white cassock of the Dominicans. Two hundred years later, after a new victory over the Turks by Prince Eugene of Savoy in 1716, at Peterwardein, Hungary, Pope Clement XI extended the celebration of the feast of the rosary to the universal church. Finally, Pope Pius X fixed the feast on Oct. 7. The rosary is not simply a mechanical repetition of the Hail Mary, punctuated by the Our Father and the Glory Be. It is a meditative prayer – meditating on the mysteries of our redemption as it is revealed through Scripture. More importantly, it is not a relic of the past unless we are prepared to discard the Gospels. The Lord’s Prayer and the greater part of the Hail Mary, as well as the “mysteries” come from the Gospels. The remainder of the Hail Mary comes to us from none other than the Council of Ephesus in 431. Ephesus was famous for its definition of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Theotokos, Mother of God, refuting the position of Nestorius and his followers. From here we get “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen.” In the first half of the 16th century, the official

“Catechism of the Council of Trent” approved the wording we have today and strict official adoption of the Hail Mary occurred in 1568 with its publication in the Roman Breviary. In 1569, Pope Pius V officially recommended this prayer of “150 angelic salutations ... with The Lord’s Prayer at each decade ... while meditating on the mysteries which recall the entire life of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Apostle’s Creed makes its first appearance in the rosary as mentioned in the Libellus perutilis published in 1495. It is a summary of the great mysteries of the Catholic faith, which are standard Gospel teachings. “Mystery” does not mean something secret, hidden and not readily discernible. Pauline writings speak of the “mystery” long kept secret by God but not “made manifest to his saints” (Colossians 1:26). It emerges that the mystery is identified with the person of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:4; Colossians 4:3; 1 Timothy 3:16) and, at the same time, is identical with the Gospel: The proclamation of the Gospel is the mystery which was kept secret for long ages (Romans 16:25). In other words, the mystery is revelatory. The mysteries of the rosary reveal Christ to us and lead us into a fuller understanding of him.

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Pope Paul VI proposes a profound harmony between the rosary and the liturgy when the rosary is contemplatively recited outside celebration. In Marialis Cultus (1974), he emphasizes the contemplative aspect of the rosary as effective both as a preparation for the celebration of the mysteries of our redemption in the eucharistic liturgy and as a continuation of its special graces in our lives. The essence of the rosary devotion – its very heart and soul – is to ponder the mysteries of our redemption over and over again, as Mary did when they were actually unfolding before her eyes. Besides being Marian in nature, the rosary is Christocentric (having Christ as its center). Our Lady focuses our attention on her Son. We look at Jesus through the eyes of someone who was closest to him: His Mother. We are also acknowledging Mary’s role in our redemption. We easily find this articulated in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Nov. 21, 1964. Mary is an example of the connection of the Order of Salvation and the Order of Creation (grace and nature; God and people). To the Father, she is the daughter; to the Son, she is his mother; to the Spirit, she is the sanctuary. Mary also has a relationship to us: The

redeemed. She is a human like us, she is “supereminently, uniquely, archetypically” a member of the people of God, and yet her exultation does not diminish her solidarity with us. Mary plays a crucial part in salvation. In her fiat (her “yes, let it be done to me”), she is not only passively engaged, but completely co-operative in our salvation in a receptive sense. She entered into being a cause for salvation, of which humanity is a recipient. She actively gives and receives her “yes.” Mary is the model and mediatrix of the graces that we continually need to become better disposed to grow in love. Through the use of the rosary, we can ponder the mysteries of our redemption just as Mary pondered the mysteries which unfolded before her, so that we may answer the invitation of her Son. As Pope John Paul II says in the encyclical Mother of the Redeemer, the church has from the beginning modeled herself on the earthly journey of the Mother of God. “It is to her as mother and model that the church must look in order to understand in its completeness the meaning of her mission.” What better way to look to the Mother of God than to meditate on her life, to see our Savior through the eyes of his mother, and to ponder our redemption?

Our Lady prayed the rosary with Bernadette at Lourdes. She brought it to Fatima with a promise attached to it. She spoke of “meditating” on the rosary. The rosary teaches us everything we need to know. Its 15 mysteries encompass all the truths of the Christian life, if only we have eyes to see. On one occasion in the Vatican, Pope Paul VI is reported to have held up his rosary and proclaimed: “This is the Bible for those who can neither read nor write.” The whole history of our salvation, the pope went on to explain, is contained in these mysteries which summarize the life of Christ. Pope after pope recalls to the flock the beauty of the rosary. The reason for this is simple: The ultimate foundation of the church’s love for the rosary is her intense love for the Word of God. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, introduced the Luminous Mysteries in October 2002. The five mysteries, the Mysteries of Light (or the Luminous Mysteries), focus on the public ministry of Jesus Christ. The rosary, as Mary told us at Lourdes, Fatima and Banneux, is a lever capable of moving heaven and earth. Her parting words at Fatima were: “My children, go on always saying the rosary.” BC

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How to recite the Holy Rosary

You are encouraged to copy and distribute this sheet. - www.new advent.org May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 27


Chrism Mass

ishop Fabre’s BChrism Mass homily

Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier I am struck by the Responsorial Psalm antiphon that we just sang together: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. On the surface, temptation might cause us to be apprehensive or refuse to proclaim these words after the challenges that we have faced during the past year. You will recall that in the past year, we have had to deal with a prolonged, ongoing pandemic; we have had to continue to address and work to dismantle the attack against life that is racism as it manifests itself today

and to seek a conversion of our hearts in this regard; and we have had to withstand and deal with the increased number of hurricanes that we endured. Along with these concerns, we continue to face a struggling local economy in light of the pandemic and the downturn in oil and gas production. After all these difficulties, after the pain, after the stress, after the struggle, after the social unrest, we might ask the question: How can we forever sing the goodness of the Lord?

28 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

My dear friends in Christ, our answer to this question roots itself in our very presence here today as people of faith, as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Assuredly, the Lord’s continued faithfulness to each of us in spite of trials urges us to sing the goodness of the Lord always and everywhere, and our very presence here indicates our recognition that the Lord is with us, and the Lord never leaves us to face any challenges alone. We have endured much, but the Lord is always

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Chrism Mass

with us, and therefore, Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. As people of faith, as the local church of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, I am delighted that we can gather on this Holy Thursday morning as the Body of Christ, come together as the People of God, and celebrate this Chrism Mass. However, there is an additional particular joy in my heart today as we gather for this Chrism Mass as a presbyterate, as priests who serve the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, because as brother priests we gather all together for the first time in over a year. You will recall that last year the Chrism Mass was celebrated in this cathedral church with only our three vicars forane, our three deans, present along with me. Last year, our prayers echoed in empty space, but nonetheless accomplished the purpose for which they were prayed – for indeed the Eucharist was celebrated, and the holy oils were consecrated and blessed and then later distributed to parishes

during the Easter season. However, this year is joyfully different! This year we come together in person – bishops, priests, deacons, religious, seminarians and laity – and this brings me great joy. I hope you experience this joy as well. Indeed, my dear friends, we can join with the psalmist and proclaim, Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. As you all may know, the Chrism Mass is of particular importance as an outward expression of our union and unity with Jesus Christ, of our union and unity as brother priests, of our union and unity as bishop and priests, and of our union and unity as bishops, priests, deacons, religious, seminarians and lay faithful as a local church and a diocesan family. During this Mass, as a local church we again bless the three Sacred Oils that will be used for sacramental anointing throughout our diocese for the coming year. The sacred Chrism Oil, which takes its name from Jesus Christ, used for

anointing in baptisms, confirmations and ordinations of priests and bishops; the Oil of the Sick, which brings courage, hope, peace and, according to God’s will, healing, to those who are ill in body or mind; and the Oil of the Catechumens, which gives strength to catechumens who are being born again in the sacrament of baptism. At the end of this Mass, as a further sign of our union and unity as a local diocesan church, these sacred oils will be received by members of the laity and immediately transferred to our parish churches for use during sacramental anointings for the coming year. May all who are anointed with these oils know the nearness of Jesus Christ to them in the sacraments that they are receiving, realize the nearness of the Lord Jesus to them in the sacrament they receive, be reminded that they are an important part of our local church family, and also always be able and willing to sing the goodness of the Lord. In addition to blessing the

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May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 29


Chrism Mass

sacred oils, another important aspect of the Chrism Mass is when all priests present renew the priestly promises made on the day of their ordination. Today, my dear brother priests, for the first time in two years, we will together renew these promises that unite us to the Lord as his priests, and unite us to one another as brother priests and bishops. Holy Thursday and the Chrism Mass are times particularly close to the heart of the priesthood, and therefore on this joyous occasion of gathering together for the celebration of this Mass, and begging the indulgence of others gathered, I would like to address my words to you, my dear brother priests. In our Gospel reading, Jesus quotes for us today the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me.” All of us here, bishops, priests, deacons and laity alike, have been anointed by the Lord. At our baptism and confirmation, we were

anointed with sacred Chrism for the proclamation of the Gospel. And each of us, my brother priests, was anointed by the Lord in an additional way. On the day of our ordination as priests, our hands were anointed, palms up, with sacred Chrism for the purpose of setting us apart for a particular reason, a particular mission. On the day of our priestly ordination, we were sent by God himself, in the power of his Spirit, for a particular mission. In our first reading today, the Prophet Isaiah’s words ring especially true to the nature of this priestly mission. Isaiah states that we were “ … sent to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release to prisoners. To comfort all who mourn, to give an oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.” Jesus tells us in our Gospel, quoting Isaiah, that he brings this prophecy to its fulfillment. Jesus is the one who does this definitively, forever and always.

30 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

But my brother priests, we have been anointed in Jesus’ name. We are priests of Jesus Christ. There is great responsibility given to us in the anointing we have received. In our humble service of the Lord, the anointing we have received works a very real grace in the lives of those entrusted to our pastoral care. We see, through our priestly ministry, God healing the brokenhearted and bringing liberty to captives. We see, through our priestly ministry, comfort brought to those who are mourning. We see, through our priestly ministry, those with a listless spirit receiving the glorious mantle from God himself. With particular regard for the difficulties of the last year, we have all seen the ways that God has continued to work in the lives and the hearts of his people in spite of difficult circumstances, circumstances dear brother priests that you did, and continue to, respond to with great innovation, effort, pastoral care and grace. You have done

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Chrism Mass

much for others, and I express to you my great gratitude for your priestly ministry, especially over this past year. However, my brothers, we cannot ignore the reality of what this anointing also offers to each one of us as a priest – personally. We were not anointed only for the sake of mission, for the sake of accomplishing the task that the Lord has entrusted to us – as important and necessary as that mission is. Our first reading from Isaiah goes on to state, “You yourselves shall be named priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. I will give them their recompense faithfully, a lasting covenant I will make with them.” God has promised to give recompense to us faithfully as priests, a lasting covenant he will make with us. Before all else, the anointing that we have received configures us to Jesus Christ in a very particular, covenant relationship. This anointing unites us so closely to the person of Jesus that we act in the person of Jesus Christ in a very real way. In persona Christi – words that I am sure we have all heard before, but whose full weight and importance we will never be able to completely exhaust. My dear brother priests, I invite you to feel the weight of these words. In a powerful and real way, you represent Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has united himself to you so closely that you act in his person. Not just as an abstract theological concept that we learned about in seminary, but as a tangible – lived – experienced reality – in your life. Your words are His words. Your presence conveys His presence. And, yes, while He does do this so that you can bring His presence to those whom you minister, He does it even more importantly for you. He wants you to know just how deeply He desires this union with you. Our union together in persona Christi is a key grace that we must not and cannot miss or overlook because in this grace, we remember who we truly are, and we are able to give ourselves over to the mission that has been entrusted to us as priests of the new covenant, priests in the line of Melchizedek, priests of Jesus Christ. Let us never forget the anointing that the Lord signed and sealed us with on the day of our ordination as a priest, and let us always

strive to live as worthy recipients of such great love and grace given to us by Jesus Christ. Dear brother priests, I sincerely hope and pray that all the grace and peace of this Holy Thursday, this celebration of priesthood, be yours in great abundance. Thank you for your priesthood and priestly ministry. My dear people of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, it is when those who serve you as priests know and remember who they are that we all experience the grace of that same reality. As together here today our priests renew their promises of ordination, I am drawn to the words of the Mass where priests’ literally take Jesus’ words as our own: “This is my body given for you. This is my blood poured out for you.” As I so often say these words, I am usually drawn to think of the congregation – Jesus gives his body and blood for them, and I, too, as a priest of Jesus Christ, through him,

with him, and in him, give my entire self for their sake. My brother priests, as we all pray these words today, I invite you to hear Jesus saying them to you individually as well. Jesus gives his body for you, dear priests. Jesus pours out his blood for you, dear priests. In the areas of weakness, in the times of brokenness, Jesus nonetheless gives it all for you, my brother priests. Jesus chose you to be his priest; he chose you to act in his person, and he chose you to be intimately united to him in the totality of your lives. Acting from a renewed experience of this identity as his priests, we can truly witness the ways the Lord will bring glad tidings to his people, heal the brokenhearted, and set his people free. May this reality penetrate our hearts more deeply as we join together in this Chrism Mass, and understand anew why we can truly proclaim, Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. BC

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 31


Youth

in action

Luke Hue

School: E.D. White Catholic High School, Thibodaux Grade: 12th Church parish: St. Joseph CoCathedral, Thibodaux Describe your family unit: Lori, mother; Clark, father; John and Mark, brothers Favorite Hobby: Riding bikes, hanging out with friends and family Favorite Movie: Cars Favorite T.V. Show: Criminal Minds Favorite Genre of Music: Rock

If you had the opportunity to talk to Bishop Shelton J. Fabre about who the young church is in the diocese, what would you say? In what areas do you see the young church growing? If I had the opportunity to speak to Bishop Fabre, I would say that the young church of the diocese are those teenagers and young adults who share their love of Christ and their love for spreading the message and virtues that we embody as Catholics. In our E.D. White community, we have so many opportunities to grow in our faith and to grow as one church. As I’ve gone through my years here, the growth in spirituality of not only the school itself, but most importantly among the students, is tremendous. The want and need for brotherhood and sisterhood and communion between the young church is amazing. Our Right to Life, Brothers and Sisters of Christ, and Campus Ministry clubs are all thriving with members who have the drive to bring about change in our community through their love for Christ and others. In these clubs,

we learn about many different aspects of our faith through guest speakers, adoration, friendship building and worship. If it was not for these clubs, the faith community would not be as prevalent and accessible. These clubs give the young church a space to be able to freely and fully take part in their faith with other people who want the same things as them. This allows the young church to be able to get that knowledge, faith, and love needed to be the future generation of the church and bring the faith to our future colleges, friends, and ultimately our future families. The continued access to communities like we have at E.D. White are growing at the church parishes in the diocese and also in colleges around the state. These are great ways for the youth of the church to continue to grow in discipleship together, as they face

32 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

similar struggles, hardships, doubts and questions about our faith. Having those people there for us to rely on and to work together to answer those questions is very important in keeping that flame burning in all our hearts for Jesus. I attended March for Life last year with the diocesan group and the amount of young people not only in our diocese, but in our country who all share in the love for Christ and have that yearning to be with him was so amazing. This year has been a real test of our faith and seeing the young church still attend Mass was a great sign of hope. The celebration of Mass is an important part of our faith that cannot be taken for granted anymore. Instead of our faith dying out, the young church is keeping the faith alive and breathing new life into the hearts and souls of many to come. BC


Seminarian eDucation burSeS Seminarian Spotlight Wayne Romero Jr. n What church parish are you from? St. Gregory Barbarigo, Houma n Where are you studying and in what year of your studies are you? St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, LA. I am finishing my second year. n When did you hear your call to the priesthood? It was in 2015 at my first Youth Rally. Going in with the idea that I was going to get married, God told me after an unusual experience over there, ‘’ Wayne, what you want is good; it is good, nothing wrong with it at all … but what I want for you is even better.’’ And, I have been discerning ever since. n If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose? I think it would be actor/singer Hugh Jackman. To just talk about life, music and movies. I think I would have some pretty good conversations with him and his family. n Do you have a secret talent? I can beatbox.

DiD you know? Seminarian eDucation coStS on average $45,000 a year for eight yearS Seminarian enDowmentS can be nameD enDoweD funDS/burSeS. each year intereSt earneD form the enDowmentS are granteD to the DioceSe to cover annual coStS of their eDucation. catholic founDation of South louiSiana manageS Seminarian enDowmentS for the DioceSe.

all completeD Seminarian eDucation burSeS can be vieweD online at www.htDioceSe.org/vocationS For more information contact the Catholic Foundation at 985-850-3116 or aponson@htdiocese.org May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 33


Announcement

Outreach Line Deacon Joseph J. Weigand Jr.

Deacon Joseph J. Weigand dies at age 77 Deacon Joseph J. Weigand Jr., a native of New Orleans and resident of Schriever, passed away Friday, March 26, 2021, at the age of 77. Deacon Weigand was ordained to the permanent diaconate June 8, 2006, and served as a deacon for 12 years at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma, while also serving the Tribunal Office. He retired in April 2018. Deacon Weigand was preceded in death by his wife Tegwyn of 45 years, and one son Joseph J. Weigand. He was survived by one son, Jason Weigand, and one daughter Susan Cullipher. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Bridget Church in Schriever with interment in St. Bridget Cemetery. BC

STAY IN TOUCH INSIDE Marriage

Bayou

Catholic

Do this in remembrance of me MARCH 2018 ~ VOL. 38 NO. 9 ~ COMPLIMENTARY

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In response to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux is offering an Outreach Line (formerly known as the Child Protection Contact Line). The Outreach Line is an effort to continue the diocesan commitment to support healing for people who have been hurt or sexually abused recently or in the past by clergy, religious or other employees of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Outreach Line operates from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A trained mental health professional responds to the line. Individuals are offered additional assistance if requested.

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux Outreach Line Telephone number is (985) 873-0026 or (985) 850-3172

Línea de Comunicación Diocesana

Con el fin de cumplir con las Políticas de Protección de Niños y Jóvenes de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Los Estados Unidos, la Diócesis de Houma-Thibodaux ofrece una Línea de Comunicación (antes Línea de Contacto para la Protección de los Niños). La Línea de Comunicación es parte del esfuerzo diocesano de comprometerse con el mejoramiento de aquéllos que han sido lastimados o abusados sexualmente recientemente o en el pasado por miembros del clero, religiosos u otros empleados de la Diócesis de Houma-Thibodaux. El horario de la Línea de Comunicación de la Diócesis de Houma-Thibodaux es de 8:30 a.m. a 4:30 p.m., de lunes a viernes. El encargado de esta línea es un profesional capacitado en salud mental. Se ofrece asistencia adicional al ser solicitada.

Línea de Comunicación de la Diócesis de Houma-Thibodaux Número de teléfono (985) 873-0026 o (985) 850-3172

Ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi Cöùu giuùp Giaùo phaän Ñeå höôûng öùng Hieán chöông Baûo veä Treû em vaø Giôùi treû töø Hoäi ñoàng Giaùm muïc Hoa kyø, Giaùo phaän Houma-Thibodaux ñang chuaån bò ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi Cöùu giuùp (luùc tröôùc laø ñöôøng daây lieân laïc baûo veä treû em). Ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi Cöùu giuùp laø moät söï coá gaéng cuûa giaùo phaän nhaèm cam keát haøn gaén naâng ñôõ nhöõng ai ñaõ bò toån thöông hoaëc bò laïm duïng tính duïc hoaëc gaàn ñaây hoaëc trong quaù khöù bôûi giaùo só, tu só hoaëc caùc coâng nhaân vieân cuûa Giaùo phaän Houma-Thibodaux. Ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi Cöùu giuùp Giaùo phaän hoaït ñoäng töø 8:30 saùng ñeán 4:30 chieàu, thöù hai ñeán thöù saùu. Moät nhaân vieân chuyeân nghieäp veà söùc khoûe taâm thaàn traû lôøi treân ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi. Nhöõng caù nhaân seõ ñöôïc trôï giuùp naâng ñôõ theâm neáu caàn.

Call

985.850.3136 for more info.

34 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

Ñöôøng daây ñieän thoaïi Cöùu giuùp Giaùo phaän Soá ñieän thoaïi: (985) 873-0026; (985) 850-3172


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Teacher Appreciation

Story by Janet Marcel

“Last spring, government leaders began determining who qualified as an “essential” worker during the lockdowns. Unsung heroes in so many industries surfaced as essential to the continued operation of the nation, state and local community. Educators quickly rose to the top of the list as school communities raced to develop distance learning plans to continue the education process. This was no surprise because our teachers have always been essential to student formation – spiritually, academically and socially. From day one of the pandemic, our teachers have stretched themselves to new limits as they embraced new technology and teaching methods, adjusted to changing phases and protocols, and continued to maintain a sense of “normalcy” in the classrooms so that students could have the best possible experience. The success of this school year is attributed to our unwavering faith in God and the heroic efforts of the entire faculty and staff at E. D. White Catholic.” Michelle Chiasson, principal E.D. White Catholic High School, Thibodaux

National Teacher Appreciation Week, a celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make to education and society, is May 2-8, 2021. Teacher Appreciation Day, which is May 4, 2021, is described by the National Education Association (NEA), which spearheads the weeklong event, as “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” This celebration is held every year to provide an opportunity for students, parents, and school principals to show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do and the long hours many of them put in. Teachers and staff have had to deal with a difficult situation over the past year and certainly deserve extra recognition for their understanding and commitment. It would be an understatement to say that this past year has been particularly challenging on all school personnel, students, parents, and especially teachers. After the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency in March 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation that closed all public K-12 schools. In the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Catholic school

36 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

a

“As I reflect on what our teachers have done during this school year, I find it difficult to find the right words. Looking back on March 13, 2020, when we received word that the school was closing, the teachers immediately began to prepare for the unknown, which was distance learning. I can actually say that at first the teachers worked through fear and uncertainty as this journey began but soon confronted the new challenge with every ounce of energy and dedication they possessed. Collaboration began immediately as teachers were supporting teachers, and teachers were supporting parents and students. Everyone worked together, never complaining and never giving up our goal. Our goal was to master the task of educating in a new way, while assuring the learning gap would be minimal. These teachers are super heroes that will never get the true recognition they deserve.” Lydia Landry, principal St. Bernadette Catholic School, Houma


Teacher Appreciation

administrator-ministers and teacher-ministers immediately begin preparations for distance learning, which continued through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Because of the pandemic, schools were forced to cancel and/or delay their awards ceremonies, kindergarten and 7th/8th grade graduation Masses, school dances, sporting events, high school graduations, and other end of the school year celebrations. In addition to going above and beyond to ensure that students remained academically prepared, Catholic school personnel made concerted efforts to recognize students for various accomplishments, both academic and athletic, in creative and unique ways utilizing social media, delivering personalized yard signs to the houses of graduating seniors, kindergarteners and seventh/eighth graders, and drive by ceremonies. “I express my great gratitude to the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, maintenance and custodial staff, students and parents as we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week,” says Bishop Shelton J. Fabre. “I thank all of you for the extra effort that was put forth this year to keep our school communities safe, and to keep our youth in school. God bless you all! May the Holy Spirit reward you for your great effort!” The origins of National Teacher Day are somewhat murky. Around 1944, Arkansas teacher

a

What do you appreciate most about the teachers at your school?

“St. Genevieve School’s greatest blessing is our teachers. Each one is special and unique, but they have one thing in common. They care that each student succeeds. If one child falls behind, they will catch them back up. We’re taught to be team players and always help a friend in need. Our teachers are our best examples. They are truly amazing.” Layla Politz, fourth grade St. Genevieve Catholic School, Thibodaux

“I am thankful for my teachers at St. Mary’s Nativity year round. I most appreciate their caring personalities and dedication to their faith. I’m grateful for their kindness, and I appreciate the high expectations they set for all students. They make sure we are successful in our academics. Our teachers are doing their best in this pandemic to keep things as normal as possible, while also making sure we are learning in the safest environment.” Cooper Duplantis, seventh grade St. Mary’s Nativity School, Raceland May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 37


Teacher Appreciation

What do you appreciate most about the teachers at your school?

“What I appreciate most about the teachers at Central Catholic is they not only help me learn new things, but also grow as a person. The teachers never let me down and always encourage me to strive to do better. All of my teachers are very friendly and work hard to help me and my classmates. My teachers are a big part of my life because of the impact and influence they have on me.” Franco Saleme, eighth grade Central Catholic School, Morgan City

“The teachers of Vandebilt are shaping our generation to become the best we can be. They guide, educate, inspire and empower us as we navigate the road ahead. I know that the lessons they have taught me have helped to build self-confidence, enabling me to face the challenges of the present and the future. I appreciate my teachers’ patience and understanding, especially during this past year. In light of all that is going on in the world, they are there to restore normalcy to my everyday life. Thank you, my Vandebilt teachers, for the sacrifices you make every day.” Mia Martin, 11th grade Vandebilt Catholic High School, Houma 38 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. The National Education Association (NEA), along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May (https://www.nea.org/resource-library/celebratenational-teacher-day). “During National Teacher Appreciation Week, we honor and pray in an intentional way for all of our teacherministers who work tirelessly to afford our students a high-quality, faith-filled education in our Catholic schools. How blessed we are to have such dedicated men and women who positively impact our school families, each and every day, through their witness and actions!” says Suzanne Troxclair, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools. During challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we truly recognize and appreciate that teachers play such a crucial role in children’s lives and how their influence on students can make a difference in their longterm wellbeing and success. BC


May Daily Prayer for Priests, Deacons and Seminarians

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday 1 Very Rev. Eric Leyble, J.V.

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Rev. Jacob Lipari III

Rev. Joey Lirette

Rev. Aurelio Luzon

Rev. Clyde Mahler

Deacon Michael Cantrelle, retired

Rev. Fernando Anaya

Rev. John David Matherne

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Rev. Andre Melancon

Very Rev. John Nambusseril, V.F.

Rev. Jean-Marie Nsambu

Seminarian Matthew Prosperie

Rev. Joseph Pilola

Rev. Benie Rebosura

Rev. Patrick Riviere

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

Rev. Robert Rogers

Rev. Henry Sebastian

Deacon Davis Doucet, retired

Rev. Mitchel Semar

Rev. Antonio Maria Speedy

Rev. Carlos Talavera

Rev. Joseph Liem Van Than, C.R.M.

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

Rev. James Thien Van Nguyen. C.R.M.

Seminarian James Rome

Very Rev. Mark Toups, V.G.

Very Rev. Mike Tran, V.F.

Rev. Joseph Tregre

Rev. Josekutty Varghese

Rev. Billy Velasco

30

31

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre

Bishop Emeritus Sam G. Jacobs

Daily Prayer for Clergy and Religious Lord Jesus, hear our prayer for the spiritual renewal of bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, lay ministers and seminarians of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We praise You for giving their ministry to the Church. In these days, renew them with the gifts of Your Spirit. You once opened the Holy Scriptures to Your disciples when You walked on this earth. Now renew Your ordained and chosen ones with the truth and power of Your Word. In Eucharist you gave Your disciples renewed life and hope. Nourish Your consecrated ones with Your own Body and Blood. Help them to imitate in their lives the death and resurrection they celebrate around Your altar. Give them enthusiasm for the Gospel, zeal for the salvation of all people, courage in leadership and humility in service. Give them Your love for one another and for all their brothers and sisters in You. For You love them, Lord Jesus, and we love and pray for them in Your Holy Name, today especially for _______________________. Amen. Sponsored by:

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May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 39


Special

Brother Ron Travers’ passion for drama and teaching go hand in hand Brother Ron directs his 63rd play Story by Janet Marcel Photos by Lawrence Chatagnier Brother Ron Travers, S.C., who has been teaching at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma for the past three years, has a passion for drama. He has a long history of directing school plays, 63 total throughout his career. The Brother of the Sacred Heart, who teaches psychology, religion for seniors and dual enrollment college English for seniors, says he came to Houma because he was looking for a change. He spent the first half of his life, up until now, in California and the other half in New York and New Jersey. The California native taught in his home state for 12 years before joining the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, which brought him to the east coast. He became a brother in 1984 and spent the next 22 years teaching in New York and New Jersey. Brother Ron says he thought about becoming a religious brother on and off since he was 12 years old. He attended college where he had Christian brothers as teachers and says they were fantastic and he wanted to be like them. “I thought about it for a long time,” he says. “In those days you had to join by a certain age and I wasn’t getting any younger, so I finally applied. When I was accepted, I had to sell my house and pack up everything I owned. After that, I got in my car, drove across the country and never looked back.” Brother Ron says he was a member of the choir from the fourth grade all the way through college, and was also involved with the drama club while he was in school. When he began teaching, he started helping the teacher who produced the school plays and he never stopped. “I’ve always felt like theater is very much an extension of teaching. It should make you stop, look, and consider all the things that are going on in the world around you and make connections; and that’s what teaching is all about … making connections.” Brother Ron’s latest play was one he directed at Vandebilt this past fall entitled All Kinds of People, which is a narrated musical revue developed especially for schools that addresses the dangers of prejudice, the importance of tolerance and the empowerment of self-esteem, through the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II. He directed the play 20 years ago when he was teaching in New Jersey; it was very successful there and he says it was very well received here. 40 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

“The play is about looking at the various forms of prejudice, which is so timely today. The students here really liked the idea, even though it’s not your traditional type of play,” says Brother Ron. “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s plays are all about dealing with issues that are not usually dealt with on stage.” There is value in young people participating in the performing arts on so many levels, says Brother Ron. “Theater exposes students to a world view; it helps them understand how to look at situations or circumstances from another point of view; it teaches them good communication skills that they can use throughout their lifetime; it enhances their speaking ability; gives them more confidence and enhances their creativity.” Brother Ron says he has always looked at theater as a form of teaching. “My whole idea with drama is that I want to teach and entertain when I put on a play. Theater should not just be entertainment; it’s meant to teach!! Theater has been a great experience for me all these years and that’s why I stay with it.” BC


Special

Brother Ron Travers, S.C., goes over the script for All Kinds of People with cast members in his classroom at Vandebilt Catholic High School in Houma. The Sacred Heart Brother just finished directing the 63rd play of his teaching career.

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Announcements

Tom Costanza named executive director of LCCB

Informational Pastoral Notice A canonical process, authorized by the Vatican and conducted in accordance with the requirements of the motu proprio of Pope St. John Paul II entitled Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, has yielded a final determination that Father Stephen Lefort has been found guilty of disobedience and of improper behavior regarding questions asked to minors in confession resulting in his being perpetually forbidden ministry to minors and ministry in settings in which minors are or may be present, such as conventional parochial worship or school events or youth ministry services. Because of the serious nature of his improper behavior and his continuing refusal even to meet with the bishop, Stephen Lefort will remain unassigned and will possess no faculties for ministry in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. This information is shared in accord with the demands of transparency, out of an abundance of caution, and in the interest of proper pastoral care. BC

Costanza succeeds Rob Tasman who served for 12 years

Tom Costanza

The Catholic bishops of Louisiana have appointed Mr. Tom Costanza the new executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops (LCCB). Costanza succeeds Rob Tasman, who served for 12 years as executive director of the LCCB. Costanza has served in church ministry since 1992 and most recently

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with the Office of Social Apostolate (1996-2002) and with Catholic Charities since 2002 as director of the Office of Justice and Peace. Most recently he served as a division director for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. He has earned advanced degrees in theology, social work and business administration. He was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of New Orleans for three and a half years. The LCCB, which has as its foundation the teachings of the Catholic Church, serves to coordinate education of the people through joint pastoral statements; to promote collaboration in shared projects among Catholic dioceses and other institutions; and to communicate and interact with local, parish, state and federal bodies. For more information about the LCCB and its work, visit http://www.laccb.org/. BC


Announcement

Amanda Garcia joins Catholic Charities Houma-Thibodaux

Amanda Garcia

Amanda Garcia has been named the new associate director of Volunteer Engagement and Disaster Management for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Dr. Nicole Bourgeois, LMFT, executive director, announced recently. “Catholic Charities is happy to welcome Amanda to our ministry. Her energy and passion for the mission is contagious and will help us in our efforts to be our faith at work. We look forward to what she will bring to Catholic Charities,” says Dr. Bourgeois. The Chauvin native graduated from South Terrebonne High School in Bourg. She studied music at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux and attended the University of Holy Cross in New Orleans where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology. Following college graduation, she served as a missionary with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity serving in North Dakota for three years and in Belize, Central America for a year. She began working for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in 2017 as administrative assistant for the Office of Family Ministries until that office was restructured. Garcia coordinated the diocesan March for Life program, which started off as a Respect Life event sponsored by the Office of

Family Ministries. It was moved to the Office of Vocations for the 2019 pilgrimage and will now be a collaboration between Catholic Charities and the diocesan Office of Vocations. For the last three years, she served as administrative assistant for the Office of Vocations. Garcia has been married to Julio Garcia for three years and they have two children, Marbella Guadalupe (Lupe’) and Rita Fatima. They are parishioners of St. Ann Church parish in Bourg. Garcia’s responsibilities as associate director of Volunteer Engagement and Disaster Management will include engaging parishes and volunteers in Catholic Social Teaching and Catholic Charities activities, coordinating the Matthew 25 parish-based disaster preparedness ministry, and coordinating the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services campaigns. “Catholic Charities is the faithful’s opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters. I am hoping to bring a helping hand to those wanting to volunteer, and to coordinate the organization efforts for relief services. I am excited for this opportunity and look forward to serving with the people of Houma-Thibodaux,” says Garcia. BC

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May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 43


Nation

Report: Church membership among Catholics declined nearly 20 percent since 2000 Washington, D.C. (CNA) The percentage of Catholics who say they are a “member” of a church has dropped by nearly 20 points since the year 2000, according to a new report by Gallup released recently. Among respondents who said they were Catholic, only 58 percent actually said they were a member of a church. This figure is down 18 points from the 76 percent of Catholics who said they were a member of the church, in a previous Gallup survey from 1998-2000. In the past decade, Catholics saw a twice-as-steep decline in members than did Protestants, which saw a nine percent decline in professed members of churches from 73 percent to 64 percent. The report, based off a Gallup poll of more than 6,100 U.S. adults from 2018-2020, was published recently. Gallup says it asks Americans about their “religious attitudes and practices” twice per year. In canon law, a baptized Catholic’s membership at a parish is conferred by territorial residence and not strictly by registration. According to the report, overall membership in houses of worship has continued its pre-existing decline in the U.S., reaching a record-low point of 47 percent in the survey conducted from 2018-2020. The figure is the lowest since Gallup began its survey in 1937, when 73 percent of Americans identified with a church or house of worship. “The U.S. remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion,” Gallup stated. “However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship.” While this could be due in part to the ongoing coronavirus

LAWRENCE CHATAGNIER/BAYOU CATHOLIC

pandemic, the report said, “continued decline in future decades seems inevitable.” The report follows pre-existing trends of a rise in the “nones,” – Americans who do not identify with any religion in particular, as well as decades-long declines in weekly church attendance. Membership has declined with each successive generation. While 66 percent of “traditionalists” born before 1946 and 58 percent of baby boomers say they are members of a church, only 36 percent of millennials say they are a

44 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

member of a church. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of millennials say they do not belong to any religion in particular. This decline in membership was even more pronounced among Hispanic Americans, among whom only 37 percent say they are a member of a church. Church membership also declined more steeply among Democrats and residents of the Eastern U.S. than among political Republicans and Independents, and residents of other U.S. regions. BC


International

Three relics of Christ’s Passion housed in Spain By CNA STAFF While the Shroud of Turin – believed to be the burial cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus after his death – may be the most recognizable relic association with Jesus’ Passion, several others exist. Three of these relics are located in Spain, where they have been studied by scientists and venerated by pilgrims for many years. Lignum Crucis: A Relic of the True Cross For more than 1,200 years, the Franciscan monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana in Cantabria houses a relic believed to be a large part of the Cross of Christ. This relic is known by its Latin name “Lignum Crucis” which means “Wood of the Cross,” and is believed to be the left horizontal arm of the Cross. Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, went on a mission to Jerusalem, around 324 A.D., to preserve the relics of the Lord’s Passion. One of them was the True Cross, which made its way in Spain in the 16th century. In 1958, some tests were carried out to verify the relic’s authenticity. “They confirmed that the wood is from a tree that exists in the Holy Land and is older than 2,000 years,” Father Juan Manuel Núñez, superior of the convent of Santo Toribio de Liébana told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner. In addition, the DNA of the relic matches that of other smaller pieces of the cross that are preserved in different parts of the world. The Holy Shroud of Oviedo According to tradition, the shroud that covered the face of Jesus is kept in the Cathedral of Oviedo and is exposed to the public only three times a year: On Good Friday; on Sept. 14, the Feast of the Holy Cross; and on Sept. 21, the feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle, patron of the Spanish city.

Tradition holds that the Apostles venerated the relics of the Passion in Jerusalem, including this shroud, during the early years of Christianity. It was saved from the invading Persians in the seventh century and brought to Spain. Jorge Manuel Rodríguez Almenar, president of the Spanish Center for Sindonology (the study of the shroud), has explained on numerous occasions that studies confirm that all the elements of the face of the Shroud of Oviedo fit those of the Shroud of Turin. The last of these studies was carried out by the Catholic University of Murcia in Spain, which concluded that both fabrics enveloped the same person. The examination also indicated that the man of the Shroud of Turin and the man of the Shroud of Oviedo suffered the same wound to the side. This detail agrees with John’s Gospel which records, “When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” The Holy Chalice of the Last Supper According to tradition, the chalice that Jesus used during the Last Supper

is preserved in the Valencia cathedral. According to Father Jaime Sancho, custodian of the Holy Chalice, the most complete study of this object was made in 1960 and the evidence suggested a very high degree of confidence in the relic’s authenticity. The cup dates back to the time of Jesus and is made of a type of agate stone that was only found in the Holy Land. “No subsequent archaeological study has disproved this research. It is the only chalice that has stood up under criticism and historical research,” said Sancho in a July 2016 interview with ACI Prensa. “When one looks at this relic, one discovers the love of God in the Eucharist and that is what converts people,” the priest said. St. John Paul II venerated the chalice in the Valencia cathedral and used it for the consecration during his visit to Spain in 1982. Pope Benedict XVI used the chalice during the Mass for the Fifth World Meeting of Families held in Valencia in 2006. The Chapel of the Holy Chalice can be visited virtually at https://www. visitvalencia.com/en/santogrial. BC

May 2021 • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • Bayou Catholic • 45


Sports

Drafting the right signal caller is risky at best Overtime Ed Daniels

The right decision at quarterback can make a franchise. It happened here, in 2006, when the Saints took a chance on a young quarterback coming off major shoulder surgery. The wrong decision at quarterback can set a franchise back for years. Just ask the Chicago Bears, who selected North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky with the second pick in the 2017 draft. The Bears, to trade up one spot, swapped picks with the San Francisco 49ers.

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46 • Bayou Catholic • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux • May 2021

Chicago also sent San Francisco two third round picks, and a fourth round selection. To be fair to Trubisky, he did not have a great supporting cast around him. In 2021, he will serve as Josh Allen’s backup in Buffalo. In that 2017 draft, eight picks after Trubisky, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes. Two picks after Mahomes, the Houston Texans selected DeShaun Watson. In the 2018 draft, Cleveland selected Baker Mayfield with the first pick. But, despite Mayfield’s solid play in 2020, if there was a re-draft, Mayfield would be picked third behind Josh Allen of Buffalo and Lamar Jackson of Baltimore. In that draft, the third pick, Sam Darnold, is on his second team, and the 10th pick Josh Rosen, is on his fourth. In 2019, Arizona selected Kyler Murray with the first pick, and struck gold. Murray made the Pro Bowl a year later, throwing 26 touchdown passes, and running for 11 more. But, that draft also included the Giants’ Daniel Jones, picked sixth, who has struggled mightily. The 15th pick in that same draft, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was cut by Washington, and is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2020, Joe Burrow was off to a promising start with Cincinnati (13 TD, five interceptions) before suffering a season ending knee injury in his 10th game. Four picks later, the Dolphins drafted Tua Tagavailoa, who completed 64 percent of his throws with 11 TD’s and five interceptions. But, the star of the quarterback class of 2020, was picked sixth. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Herbert threw for a season high four touchdown passes in an October 12, Monday night game against the Saints. In 2016, the first two picks in the draft were quarterbacks, Jared Goff to the Rams, and Carson Wentz to the Eagles. Both the Rams and Eagles paid heavily in draft picks to move up to the first two spots. This offseason, Goff was traded to the Lions, and Wentz to the Colts. With the 135th pick of that same draft, the Cowboys selected NFL offensive rookie of the year Dak Prescott of Mississippi State. In March, Prescott agreed to a new four-year contract with $126 million in guaranteed money. In the upcoming draft, the Saints could spend a mid-round pick on a quarterback, but if they desire to trade up to the top of the draft, the cost could be exorbitant. And, history tells us getting the right signal caller in the draft is a very mixed bag. BC



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