Page 1

CHURCH Volume XLII, No. 2


INSIDE Revisions to HHS mandate ignore religious liberties Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York said that President Obama's revision to the contraceptive mandate in the health reform law did nothing to change the U.S. bishops' opposition to what they regard as an unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty. See pg. 2-3


Serving the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana Since 1970

February 20, 2012

Ad Limina brings Bishop and Pope together in Rome

Diocese celebrates Catholic Schools Week With special Masses, random acts of kindnesses, and fun commemorative events, schools around the diocese celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29Feb. 4. See pages 16-18 for details and lots of pictures.

Bishop Herzog ordains 15 Permanent Deacons St. Francis Xavier Cathedral was filled to capacity on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 for the diaconal ordination of 15 men from the Diocese of Alexandria. See pages 12-14 for story and pictures.

BISHOP RONALD HERZOG met with Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 23-31 for the periodic ad limina apostolorum in Rome. It was the first ad limina for Bishop Herzog.



FEBRUARY 20, 2012

USCCB responds to false, misleading claims about HHS mandate WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following response to the February 2 post on the White House blog. The Obama administration, to justify its widely criticized mandate for contraception and sterilization coverage in private health plans, has posted a set of false and misleading claims on the White House blog (“Health Reform, Preventive Services, and Religious Institutions,” February 1). In what follows, each White House claim is quoted with a response. Claim: “Churches are exempt from the new rules: Churches and other houses of worship will be exempt from the requirement to offer insurance that covers contraception.” Response: This is not entirely true. To be eligible, even churches and houses of worship must show the government that they hire and serve primarily people of their own faith and have the inculcation of religious values as their purpose. Some churches may have service to the broader community as a major focus, for example, by providing direct service to the poor regardless of faith. Such churches would be denied an exemption precisely because their service to the common good is so great. More importantly, the vast array of other religious organizations – schools, hospitals, universities, charitable institutions – will clearly not be exempt. Claim: “No individual health care provider will be forced to prescribe contraception: The President and this Administration have previously and continue to express strong support for existing conscience protections. For example, no Catholic doctor is forced to write a prescription for contraception.” Response: It is true that these rules directly apply to employers and insurers, not providers, but this is beside the point: The Administration is forcing individuals and institutions, including religious employers, to sponsor and subsidize what

Key points to false claims Claim: Churches are exempt from the new rule: Response: The exemption is too narrow. For a Catholic hospital to qualify, most of its employees and most of its patients would have to be Catholic. Claim: No Catholic doctor will be forced to prescribe contraception. Response: Not forced to prescribe, but forced to PAY for contraception and drugs that induce abortions. Claim: No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception. Response: Not forced to prescribe, but forced to PAY for contraception and drugs that induce abortions. Claim: Drugs that cause abortion are not covered. Response: False. HRP 2000 or "Ella" is just like RU-486 (morning after pill). Claim: 28 states already cover cost of contraceptives. Response: All of these states have religious exemptions or may be avoided by dropping that coverage (by choice) or taking refuge in a federal law that pre-empts any state mandate (which is being banned in this new controversial law) Claim: Contraception is used by most women. Response: Irrelevant and misleading. Regardless, every MAN and woman will be paying for this coverage. Claim: Contraception coverage reduces costs. Response: So many false assumptions -- "The only way to avoid unintended pregnancy is to prescribe contraception." "Increasing access to contraception reduces unintended pregnancies." These are false. Claim: The Obama administration is committed to respecting religious beliefs. Response: False. There is no "balance" in the HHS rule -- one side has prevailed entirely.

they consider immoral. Less directly, the classification of these drugs and procedures as basic “preventive services” will increase pressures on doctors, nurses and pharmacists to provide them in order to participate in private health plans – and no current federal conscience law prevents that from happening. Finally, because the mandate includes abortifacient drugs, it violates one of the “existing conscience protections” (the Weldon amendment) for which the Administration expresses “strong support.”

Claim: “No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception: This rule only applies to what insurance companies cover. Under this policy, women who want contraception will have access to it through their insurance without paying a co-pay or deductible. But no one will be forced to buy or use contraception.” Response: The statement that no one will be forced to buy it is false. Women who want contraception will be able

to obtain it without co-pay or deductible precisely because women who do not want contraception will be forced to help pay for it through their premiums. This mandate passes costs from those who want the service, to those who object to it. Claim: “Drugs that cause abortion are not covered by this policy: Drugs like RU486 are not covered by this policy, and nothing about this policy changes the President’s firm commitment to maintaining strict limitations on Federal funding for abortions.

No Federal tax dollars are used for elective abortions.” Response: False. The policy already requires coverage of Ulipristal (HRP 2000 or “Ella”), a drug that is a close analogue to RU-486 (mifepristone) and has the same effects.[i] RU486 itself is also being tested for possible use as an “emergency contraceptive” – and if the FDA approves it for that purpose, it will automatically be mandated as well. Claim: “Over half of Americans already live in the 28 States that require insurance companies cover contraception: Several of these States like North Carolina, New York, and California have identical religious employer exemptions. Some States like Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemption at all.” Response: This misleads by ignoring important facts, and some of it is simply false. All the state mandates, even those without religious exemptions, may be avoided by self-insuring prescription drug coverage, by dropping that particular coverage altogether, or by taking refuge in a federal law that pre-empts any state mandates (ERISA). None of these havens is available under the federal mandate. It is also false to claim that North Carolina has an identical exemption. It is broader: It does not require a religious organization to serve primarily people of its own faith, or to fulfill the federal rule’s narrow tax code criterion. Moreover, the North Carolina law, unlike the federal mandate, completely excludes abortifacient drugs like Ella and RU-486 as well as “emergency contraceptives” like Preven. See FALSE CLAIMS, pg. 10

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Revisions to HHS mandate ignores religious liberty concerns

By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic bishops across the country have expressed their disapproval of President Barack Obama's newly announced revision to the contraceptive mandate in the health reform law, saying it does nothing to change what they and other religious leaders and organizations consider an intrusion on religious liberty. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Jan. 20 that religious organizations could delay but not opt out of the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge. On Feb. 10, Obama announced a revision that allows religious employers not to offer such services to their employees but would compel insurance companies to do so. The change came after three weeks of intensive criticism that the contraception mandate would require most religious institutions to pay for coverage they find morally objectionable. And now questions have been raised over how that revision will pertain to self-insured parties, like many dioceses and Catholic organizations, and whether it could still force entities morally opposed to contraception to pay for such services. "We can appreciate the efforts of the White House to quiet the furor over the president's HHS mandate that would violate the religious freedom of millions of Catholics and other American citizens," Miami Archbishop

"This is not a question of contraception. It is a question of religious liberty." Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

Go to to send an e-mail to your Congressmen

Thomas G. Wenski said in a Feb. 10 statement. He noted that hundreds of Catholic universities, colleges, hospitals and other entities offered comments to HHS before the mandate was announced but they "were given short shrift by

the administration." "The administration continues to insist that the issue is about contraception; we disagree. It is about the first freedom of our Bill of Rights: the freedom of religion and respect for the rights of conscience," he added. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said he found the president's revision "troubling and frustrating." "Unfortunately, he did not

really respond to the deep moral concerns raised by America's Catholic community," he said in a Feb. 13 statement. The archbishop said the fact the revision requires payment of contraceptive coverage to now be borne by insurance companies, rather than religious employers, "completely misses the point. The issue here is not one of bookkeeping or accounting. It is a matter of moral principle and

religious liberty," he said. He also said the government has "no right to require the Catholic Church or other institutions to pay for -- even indirectly -- products and services that we find to be immoral and unconscionable. Again, this is not a question of contraception. It is a question of religious liberty. This mandate continues to represent a grave government intrusion on Catholic consciences and on the freedom of our Catholic institutions." Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl similarly noted that the federal mandate "remains essentially unchanged" and criticized the president's "fix." "Regardless of how it is characterized, shifting the cost of these drugs and procedures to insurance companies does not make their requirement any less objectionable or lessen the infringement on our religious liberty and rights of conscience," Cardinal Wuerl wrote in a Feb. 13 e-letter sent to Catholics of the Archdiocese of Washington. The cardinal said the "only complete solution to the problem that this mandate poses" would be for Congress to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb. In a three-page letter to senators, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said the legislation -- which now has 37 sponsors in the Senate -might come up for a vote soon, "either as a free-standing bill or an amendment." The amendment was being debated in Congress at presstime.


PAGE 4 Sometimes people in the media refer to a ‘slow news day’ and struggle to fill space or air time. Rarely do we have that problem in the Diocese of Alexandria! In fact, as you can see, this issue of our diocesan paper is filled with many events and activities. Certainly, not a ‘slow news month’. For me personally, these first two months of 2012 are the busiest I have had in my seven years as bishop. The Ad Limina visit was an amazing experience. In addition to the audience with the Holy Father, the bishops of Region V celebrated the Eucharist in the four Major Basilicas, joined Pope Benedict for Vespers at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and made formal visits to many of the Congregations and Commissions of the Holy See. We also sampled quite a few of Rome’s restaurants and I had the opportunity to spend

ONE IN THE LORD Most Rev. Ronald P. Herzog Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria most of a day with Father Luke Melcher, who is doing graduate studies in Rome, and Taylor Reynolds, who is in his second year of theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. This was a marvelous experience of the universal Church and a time to pray for our diocesan family. You can find more details in the article included in this issue. Another milestone for us was the ordination of the fifteen men who have spent the past five years in formation to serve as deacons in various parishes and other minis-

tries. It was providential that we split the class into two groups for their ordination. It made it possible for many more friends and family members to be present. Without question, they will add another dimension to the clergy of the diocese! Thanks to all who supported them on this journey. I am also looking forward to serving as Spiritual Director for the coming pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This will offer all of us a deeper appreciation for the locations so special to us. In addition to the usual events planned for

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

such occasions, we will actually be there for Ash Wednesday which will add another highlight of Lent 2012. It will offer me another special time to pray for the people of our diocese. Thank you in advance for your willingness to offer your gifts to the Annual Diocesan Appeal. As you heard in the letter read on the first Sunday of February, your participation truly makes a difference is so many ways. Two very serious matters are explained in more detail in this issue. One addresses the very serious concern of the attack on our First Amendment right to enjoy religious freedom. The recent mandate, by the Health and Human Services secretary, have placed in jeopardy some of our strongly-held beliefs in the area of medical ethics. As serious as these individual issues are, the potential of other issues is very real. Please

exercise your influence with our national leaders to urge that this be rescinded. The bishops of Louisiana have prepared a statement that should have been released by the time you read this. The other serious concern is the stand taken by the Susan G. Komen Foundation reversing the decision concerning support of Planned Parenthood. This public endorsement now makes it impossible for me to support their efforts. Apparently, they want to be ‘politically correct’ at the expense of other moral values. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement for my two overseas trips. May the days of Lent bring us all closer to our Lord as we make this annual journey to Easter!

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor, The Susan G. Komen Foundation certainly made it clear that its top priority is its bottom line when it abruptly reversed its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. PP, the nation's principle abortion provider, is currently under investigation in several states for numerous violations of the most basic health regulations in its clinics, egregious cases of medical malpractice resulting in the death or maiming of many women, and appalling failures to report cases of statutory rape, incest, and other abuses committed against its underage patients. (These are welldocumented facts, not mere accusations.) The Susan G. Komen Foundation had therefore decided to disassociate itself with PP. But its announcement that it would cut off funding to this abortion 'sacred cow" ignited such a firestorm of criticism through the Internet, Twitter, and other electronic media that it promptly reversed it decision. Not only did it restore funding to PP, but it apologized for any perception that it had reneged on its commitment to 'protecting women's lives."

No doubt many women's lives have been saved by the mammograms for which PP provides referrals and some funding, especially for minority and low-income women (though PP itself does not perform such procedures). But who knows how many women's lives have been lost because of PP's shoddy practices? I know that the Komen Foundation was prounounced "acceptable" for support by Catholics in our diocese, in spite of its connection with PP. The organization claims that funds received from Komen for breast cancer screenings are kept separate from its general funds. But even if this highly doubtful claim is true, such donations free up its other assets for its selfprocliamed main business of abortion. It is a basic moral principle that one cannot do evil (such as supporting an organization that performs abortions) in order to accomplish good (such as helping to prevent breast cancer). In the controversy surrounding this decision, there was a lot of "bleeding hearts" rhetoric about the aid provided to "the most vulnerable segments of the population." Can any

population of grown women, however disadvantaged, be more 'vulnerable' than the unborn children slaughtered daily in PP's clinics? At what magical age does a female become deserving of protection . . . .only when she develops breasts to be tested for cancer? She is, in the womb, the very same person she will be at maturity, only younger. Why is she worthy of protection at, say, 30 years old, if, at 30 weeks, she can be legally killed and thrown away like garbage? Shame, shame on the Komen Foundation for its cowardly reversal of its decision to pull funding from the #1 killer of our most truly vulnerable citizens! I call upon all people of conscience to halt all contributions to Susan G. Komen (including support of their muchpromoted Race for the Cure). There are better ways to combat breast cancer than by financing an organization which helps to kill female (and male) human beings before they have a chance at life. Nettie Chenevert Evergreen, La.



Volume XLII, No. 2 • February 20, 2012 P. O. Box 7417 • Alexandria, LA 71303 318-445-6424 Publisher: Editor: Advertising: Circulation:

Most Rev. Ronald P. Herzog, Bishop of Alexandria Jeannie Petrus, ext. 255; Joan Ferguson, ext. 264; Sandi Tarver, ext. 209;

THE CHURCH TODAY (USPS 393-240) is published by the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria, once a month, free of charge to members of the parishes in the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana. Out of diocese subscriptions are $20 a year. The office is located at 4400 Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria, LA 71303. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, LA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The CHURCH TODAY, P. O. Box 7417, Alexandria, LA 71306 The CHURCH TODAY is a member of the Catholic Press Association. Website:


FEBRUARY 20, 2012


Lent is time to help others spiritually, materially, says pope By Mary Shovlain Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful to be concerned for one another and "not to remain isolated and indifferent" to the fate of others. Materialism and a sense of self-sufficiency are obstacles to a Christian life of charity, the pope said. Instead of looking first to God and then to the well-being of others, people often have an attitude of "indifference and

disinterest born of selfishness and masked as a respect for 'privacy.'" He said that God's commandment to love "demands that we acknowledge our responsibility toward those who, like ourselves, are creatures and children of God." The annual Lenten message was presented during a Vatican news conference Feb. 7 by Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the office which handles the pope's charitable giving. The cardinal highlighted the pope's call for "fraternal correction" and the church's

prophetic mission in denouncing situations of injustice and poverty in the world. To overcome such injustices, one must get to the moral roots of such situations, he said. Corruption, accumulation of wealth, violence, and living off the work of others without contributing are all cancers that weaken a society from within, the cardinal said. But, he said, the true root of the world's injustices stems from ignoring or denying God's existence. By not acknowledging there is a creator and Lord who is greater than man, society

St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church 2211 East Texas Ave. • Alexandria, LA 71301

Ash Wednesday 6:30 a.m. 12:15 p.m. 5:15 p.m. Weekday Masses Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. ~12:15 p.m. ~ 5:15 p.m.

Reconciliation Every Friday, February 24–March 30 4:30 p.m. - 5:05 p.m. Every Saturday 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. April 6, 2012 – Good Friday 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2012 - Holy Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 noon

Exposition and Benediction 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (Wed.’s) 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Friday’s) Way of The Cross Wednesday’s 11:50 a.m. Friday’s – 5:15 p.m. Friday’s Parish Supper 6:00 p.m. February 22nd – Office (Ash Wednesday) February 24th – Sanctuary Society March 2nd – Philippino Community March 9th – School (fundraiser) March 16th – K.C.’s March 23rd – Boy Scouts March 30th – Youth (fundraiser) April 6th – Fr. Jose’s Family

degenerates into a "conflictual individualism" and a struggle of one person against another, Cardinal Sarah said. The theme of the 2012 Lenten message was taken from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works." The pope outlined his message with three points taken from St. Paul's letter: "concern for others, reciprocity and personal holiness." Concern for others, the pope said, means wanting what is good physically, morally and

spiritually for one's neighbor. But he noted that contemporary culture "seems to have lost the sense of good and evil." "There is a real need to reaffirm that good does exist and will prevail," the pope said, defining good as "whatever gives, protects and promotes life, brotherhood and communion." The pope warned against what he called "spiritual anesthesia," which numbs people to the suffering of others. Only a "humbleness of heart and the personal experience of suffering can awaken within us a sense of compassion and empathy."

Penance Services March 7 March 14 March 21 March 27 March 28 April 2

St. Anthony, Natchitoches, 6 pm Nativity of the BVM, Campti, 6 pm Immaculate Conception, Natchiotches, 6 pm St. John the Baptist, Cloutierville, 6:30 pm St. Augustine, Isle Brevelle, 6:30 pm St. Francis of Assisi, Powhatan, 6 pm



FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Bishop Herzog, Father Luke Melcher have private audience with Pope By Jeannie Petrus CT editor Bishop Ronald Herzog had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI during his first 'ad limina apostolorum', held Jan. 23-31 in Rome.

During the audience, he and eight other Louisiana bishops, met privately with the pope, where each gave a 2-3 minute report on his diocese. "I thanked him for granting the status of 'basilica' to Immaculate Conception in

time for our 100th anniversary celebration two years ago," he said. "I also thanked him, on behalf of the Native Americans for approving the recent canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha." Since each bishop is allowed to bring one priest or seminarian

FATHER LUKE MELCHER introduces himself to Pope Benedict XVI.

BISHOP RONALD HERZOG is greeted by Pope Benedict XVI during his first ad limina apostolorum in Rome.

in to meet the pope, Father Luke Melcher, who is working on graduate studies in Rome, was given that opportunity. "Father Melcher and seminarian Taylor Reynolds are both in Rome studying, so I told them to work it out between themselves, to decide who would get to go," said the bishop. Father Melcher shook hands with the Pope while he introduced himself, and spoke briefly, but did not stay for the bishop's private meeting with the Pope. 'Ad limina apostolorum" which is Latin for "to the thresholds of the apostles" is required of all bishops every 5-7 years. The bishops are required to visit each of the four major basilicas in Rome.

"The Ad Limina visit was an amazing experience," said the Bishop. "In addition to the audience with the Holy Father, the bishops of Region V celebrated the Eucharist in the four major basilicas, joined Pope Benedict for vespers at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and made formal visits to many of the congregations and commissions of the Holy See. "I had the opportunity to spend most of a day with Father Melcher and Taylor," he said. "They gave me the VIP tour of Rome and taught me the skills of riding the buses. It was fun being able to spend time with them." "This was a marvelous experience of the universal Church and a time to pray for our diocesan family."

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Bishop Herzog returns from 'ad limina' with Pope in Rome By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Religious freedom and environmental disaster were on the agenda in late January for U.S. Catholic bishops from five southern states making their periodic "ad limina" visits to Rome. In meetings with Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican officials, bishops from Region V -which includes parts of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee -- discussed a wide range of pastoral matters, both local and national. One topic that arose in practically every meeting was the pope's speech to another group of visiting American bishops earlier in the month. "Radical secularism" threatens the core values of American culture, the pope warned at that time, as he called on the church in the U.S., including politicians and other laypeople, to render "public moral witness" on crucial social issues. One day after the pope warned of threats to freedom of religion, and specifically the "right of conscientious objection ... to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices," the Obama administration announced that it would require all private health insurance plans to cover surgical

POPE BENEDICT POSES WITH US BISHOPS ON 'AD LIMINA' VISITS TO VATICAN. Pope Benedict XVI poses for a photo with U.S. bishops on their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican Jan. 26. From left are: Bishop Ronald P. Herzog of Alexandria, La., Auxiliary Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans, Bishop Glen J. Provost of Lake Charles , La., Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, the pope, retired Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, Bishop Michael G. Duca of Shreveport, La., Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux, La., Bishop Robert W. Muench of Baton Rouge, La., and Bishop Michael Jarrell of Lafayette, La. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) sterilization procedures and artificial birth control. The U.S. bishops have forcefully denounced the administration's move, and during their visit to Rome, Region V bishops personally expressed their objections to officials of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, said Archbishop Gregory M.

Aymond of New Orleans. At the Vatican, the bishops also raised more local concerns, including the continuing impact of natural and man-made environmental disasters. "We specifically mentioned to the Holy Father the continued rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill,"

said Archbishop Aymond, who added that Pope Benedict "asked us to express his concern and his solidarity with the people of Louisiana" in their struggle. The bishops' periodic visits are formally called "ad limina apostolorum," which means "to the thresholds of the apostles" Peter and Paul, who were

martyred in Rome. Traditionally, the visits serve as an occasion for leaders of local churches to draw inspiration as well as guidance from the center of Catholicism. Coming as they did less than a year before this October's Vatican Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, the bishops naturally discussed Pope Benedict's call to present Catholicism in ways and terms compelling to contemporary society. "I want to bring that back to the people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans," Archbishop Aymond said. "What can we do in our local church in order to be in solidarity with the Holy Father as he says this is a year of re-evangelization, of new evangelization? What can we do as a city and as a culture of Catholics (as New Orleans and much of Louisiana is, (where) sometimes the church can be taken for granted?" Archbishop Aymond said that he and other Louisiana bishops urged the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes to move forward on two local causes, that of Venerable Henriette Delille and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. The beatification of Mother Delille, in particular, "would be a wonderful celebration, not just for the United States and for our area, but for the African-American community," Archbishop Aymond said.



FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Seminarians Seiler, Meade show off cooking talents at Josephinum

MARCHING FOR LIFE. Alexandria seminarian Brian Seiler (in center with friends) was in Washington DC Jan. 23 for the National March for Life.

Seiler, Meade walk in Life March in Washington DC By Brian Seiler Alexandria Seminarian Dale Meade and I decided to show our support for life by attending the annual March for Life Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. Since it is about an 8 hour drive from where we are at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio to Washington, D.C., we had to leave Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on a chartered bus and arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Arlington, Va. that afternoon around 3:30 p.m. We had just enough time to unload our bags and sleeping bags before departing for the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on the campus of Catholic University of America for the Vigil Mass. Wow, such was an amazing experience. It was great, as a seminarian, to be able to process in and see all the people gathered in the crypt and in the main body of the church. After Mass, I was wonderfully surprised to run into a family of friends I knew from Alexandria (the Mapps). It was great to see them.

On Monday, the day of the March, there were thousands of people on the streets and a few hundred thousand more gathered for the actual March despite the cold, rainy weather. Since this was my first trip to the national March for Life, I was amazed. To see the dedication of the families with small children, the teenagers, and the elderly and their determination to demonstrate their resolve for the cause of life -- despite the cold and the rain -was inspiring. People, at the protest and throughout the Washington D. C. area, responded to us (as seminarians) with gratitude and appreciation. The swarm of seminarians for the Mass at the Basilica and at the March the next day, included the young and the more experienced from dioceses throughout the country. While it may not have gotten much national news coverage, those who attended showed that the Church will continue to stand up and speak for the Truth in a world which no longer believes it exists.

LOUISIANA CHEFS. Alexandria seminarians Brian Seiler and Dale Meade won the Most Complex award at the 2nd annual Clergy Who Cook fundraiser held Jan. 27 at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. More than 300 guests attended the event used to raise money for seminarian scholarships.

They may be just mere seminarians right now, but they sure know how to cook. Seminarians Brian Seiler and Dale Meade, both from Alexandria, were the only seminarians to win an award for their cooking at the annual Clergy Who Cook fundraiser, held Jan. 27 at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets for the event were sold out more than a week before. Nine local clergy -- as well as seminarians and priest-faculty of the Josephinum -- prepared their finest dishes. More than 300 guests laughed and chatted their way through the evening, enjoying samples of each dish and voting for the top chef. Robin Davis, food editor for The Columbus Dispatch, presented the award for Most Complex to Seiler and Meade for their Louisiana Shrimp and Corn Bisque. Most Creative went to priest-faculty member Father John Heisler and Father Walter Oxley for their Rigatoni Norcina, while the People's Choice Award went to Father David Sizemore his Seafood Ceviche with Mango Relish. "I'm not sure what they mean by "most complex" except that they sure ate a lot of what we cooked," said Meade or Seiler. "I think it means they liked it."

334 Acton Road • Marksville, LA Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Available 24-7 Jason Aymond, Manager (318) 240-7188 Affiliated with Kilpatrick Life Insurance Co. since 1932

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



NY professor visits diocesan Archives to research her great grand uncle - Bishop Daniel Desmond Most college students and professors use the time between fall and spring semesters to relax and catch up on projects around the house. Dr. Karen Sullivan, professor of Comparative Literature from Bard College in New York, spent two days of the semester break in January to visit the Diocese of Alexandria Archives to conduct research on her great grand uncle -- Bishop Daniel Desmond, the fifth bishop of the Diocese of WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY. Rev. Scott Chemino, vicar general for the diocese (standing), leads a room of local Christian ministers in prayer Jan. 18 during the nation-wide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Catholic Diocese of Alexandria hosted an ecumenical luncheon at Catering by Yolande and invited local ministers of various faiths including Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. During the luncheon, Bishop Herzog presented to the representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, a copy of the new Third Edition of the Roman Missal now implemented in Catholic liturgies throughout the English-speaking world. Bishop Herzog also offered a tribute to Rev. Bishop David Bruce MacPherson, Episcopal bishop, in anticipation of his retirement later this year. Other Catholic priests who attended the luncheon were Rev. John Pardue, Rev. Dan O'Connor, Rev. Silverino Kwibuzza, and Rev. Chris Nayak.

Dr. Karen Sullivan is the great grand neice of Bishop Daniel Desmond.

Shreveport-Alexandria. “I grew up living next door to my four great aunts in upstate New York, who were the bishop’s nieces,” she said. “In their home above the mantle, hung a huge painting of the bishop. Although I never really knew that much about him, his ‘presence’ was always in the house. He was like a ‘mythic figure’ in our family.” As Sullivan grew older and began teaching literature in college, she developed a love for research and the Louisiana culture. One of the courses she teaches at Bard is a literature course on Louisiana Literature and Culture. “At Bard College, we love Louisiana -- its literature and its culture,” she said. “In 2005, after Katrina, more students from Bard College came to Louisiana to volunteer than any other college or university in the nation.” So it came as no surprise when Sullivan decided to make the quick trip to Central Louisiana to find out more about the man in the painting above her great aunts’ mantle. Father Chad Partain, Archivist, welcomed her to the diocese and gave her access to hundreds of documents, journals, and pic-

tures of Bishop Desmond. One particular resource she found valuable was the diary he kept. “I spent a lot of time reading his book-bound diary, written in his handwriting,” she said. “In it, he writes about his daily thoughts, as well as his thoughts on the issues he faced during his tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport-Alexandria (19331945). It is fascinating.” Bishop Desmond was born in Haverhill, Mass. in 1884; one of seven children. He was ordained a priest in 1911 and served in a few Massachusetts parishes until 1918 when he volunteered as an army chaplain. After a short term in the military, he returned to pastoral work. In 1933, he was assigned to Alexandria and travelled South for the first time in his life. During the 12 years of his administration, Bishop Desmond travelled to the remote areas of the diocese erecting 35 new churches and chapels and establishing 26 new parishes -- many of them for black communities. He died on Sept. 11, 1945. “I’m not sure what I’ll do with the information,” she said. “Maybe I’ll write an article -maybe I’ll write a book, I’m not sure. I think the information on my great grand uncle is fascinating and I’m enjoying getting to know him after all these years.”


15,000 people be seeing an ad about

your business every month? Advertise in The Church Today Contact the Church Today 318-445-6424, ext. 264



False claims Continued from pg. 3 Claim: “Contraception is used by most women: According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, most women, including 98 percent of Catholic women, have used contraception.” Response: This is irrelevant, and it is presented in a misleading way. If a survey found that 98% of people had lied, cheated on their taxes, or had sex outside of marriage, would the government claim it can force everyone to do so? But this claim also mangles the data to create a false impression. The study actually says this is true of 98% of “sexually experienced” women. The more relevant statistic is that the drugs and devices subject to this mandate (sterilization, hormonal prescription contraceptives and IUDs) are used by 69% of those women who are “sexually active” and “do not want to become pregnant.” Surely that is a minority of the general public, yet every man and woman who needs health insurance will have to pay for this coverage. The drugs that the mandate’s supporters say will be most advanced by the new rule, because they have the highest co-pays and deductibles now, are powerful but risky injectable and implantable hormonal contraceptives, now used by perhaps 5% of women. The mandate is intended to change women’s reproductive behavior, not only reflect it. Claim: “Contraception coverage reduces costs: While

the monthly cost of contraception for women ranges from $30 to $50, insurers and experts agree that savings more than offset the cost. The National Business Group on Health estimated that it would cost employers 15 to 17 percent more not to provide contraceptive coverage than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of potentially unintended and unhealthy pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity.” Response: The government is violating our religious freedom to save money? If the claim is true it is hard to say there is a need for a mandate: Secular insurers and employers who don’t object will want to purchase the coverage to save money, and those who object can leave it alone. But this claim also seems to rest on some assumptions: That prescription contraceptives are the only way to avoid “unintended and unhealthy pregnancy,” for example, or that increasing access to contraceptives necessarily produces significant reductions in unintended pregnancies. The latter assumption has been cast into doubt by numerous studies (see http://old.usccb. org/prolife/issues/contraception/ contraception-fact-sheet-3-17-11. pdf). Claim: “The Obama Administration is committed to both respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. And as we move forward, our

strong partnerships with religious organizations will continue.” Response: False. There is no “balance” in the final HHS rule—one side has prevailed entirely, as the mandate and exemption remain entirely unchanged from August 2011, despite many thousands of comments filed since then indicating intense opposition. Indeed, the White House Press Secretary declared on January 31, “I don’t believe there are any constitutional rights issues here,” so little was placed on that side of the scale. The Administration’s stance on religious liberty has also been shown in other ways. Recently it argued before the Supreme Court that religious organizations have no greater right under the First amendment to hire or fire their own ministers than secular organizations have over their leaders– a claim that was unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court as “extreme” and “untenable.” The Administration recently denied a human trafficking grant to a Catholic service provider with high objective scores, and gave part of that grant instead to a provider with not just lower, but failing, objective scores, all because the Catholic provider refused in conscience to compromise the same moral and religious beliefs at issue here. Such action violates not only federal conscience laws, but President Obama’s executive order assuring “faith-based” organizations that they will be able to serve the public in federal programs without compromising their faith.

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

The parable of the Kosher Delicatessens In his Feb. 16 testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., outlined the bishops’ opposition to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate through an extended parable of a country where a new law requires all businesses to serve pork, including kosher delicatessens. When the Orthodox Jewish community expresses its outrage, Bishop Lori said, it’s met with arguments of “But pork is good for you,” “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times,” and “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.” The parable had a happy ending, that people recognized “it is absurd for someone to come into a kosher deli and demand a ham sandwich,” “it is beyond absurd for that private demand to be backed with the coercive power of the state,” and “it is downright surreal to apply this coercive power when the customer can get the same sandwich cheaply, or even free, just a few doors down.” “The question before the United States government—right now—is whether the story of our own Church institutions that serve the public, and that are threatened by the HHS mandate, will end happily too. Will our nation continue to be one committed to religious liberty and diversity? We urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the answer must be yes.”

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Louisiana ranked 'most pro-life' state in the nation by AUL For the second time in three years, Louisiana has been ranked number one as the most pro-life state in the nation. Americans United for Life (AUL) released its seventh annual “Life List” Jan. 19 -- a ranking of all 50 states based on the way each addresses a comprehensive list of life issues -- from abortion to euthanasia. With Louisiana at the top of the list, other states in the top ten are Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Indiana. Washington, California, Hawaii, Vermont and Montana come in as the least life-affirming states, while Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina and Utah rate as the “most improved.”

AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said that the remarkable gains for life at the state level reveal that the many state legislators are using AUL’s blueprint for legislative changes to save lives now and prepare for the day when Roe v. Wade is overturned. 2011 was a watershed year in the defense of life. Forty-seven states considered more than 460 abortion-related measures, ultimately enacting more than 70 of them.   Yoest noted that AUL legislative involvement was significant. During the 2011 state legislative session: • At least 86 bills were introduced in 32 states that were based in whole or in part on AUL’s model language and/or on which

AUL consulted and advised. • AUL’s experts testified 21 times, supporting 20 pro-life bills and opposing legislation in Hawaii that would have compromised healthcare freedom of conscience. • AUL distributed more than 1,600 copies of our model legislation (with accompanying policy guides) to individuals in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and overseas nations. “As the legal arm of the pro-life movement, the AUL legal team has created the legal architecture for reversing Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Yoest. “The states are preparing for the day after Roe. And as the Life List documents, we’re seeing tremendous gains in defending life in law.” 

LOUISIANA LIFE MARCH. An estimated 5,000 marched in the 2nd annual Life March held Jan. 21 in Baton Rouge. Pro-lifers from around the state held signs and marched to protest of the 30th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the U.S. The sign in the back (Pregnant? Scared?) is the sign being carried by members of the Rapides Right to Life group, who all rode together on a chartered bus from Alexandria.

Komen reverses decision; reinstates grants to Planned Parenthood Bishop Herzog withdraws his support of Susan G. Komen Foundation DALLAS (CNS) -- The Feb. 3 decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to reinstate grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates for breast cancer screenings was the result of a "vicious attack" on the organization, said a pro-life leader. Pro-life leaders hailed Komen's announcement Jan. 31 that it would no longer give grants to Planned Parenthood, but it sparked a maelstrom of negative reaction and an online petition asking the group to reverse its decision. "I am troubled that the Komen foundation has come under such heavy fire for their recent decision to tighten and focus their funding guidelines," said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.

"This week we have all been witness to highly partisan attacks from pro-abortion advocates and an ugly and disgraceful shakedown that highlights Planned Parenthood's willingness to pursue a scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda," she said in a statement. Yoest also noted that Komen donors are "now confused about their association with the nation's largest abortion provider." A statement from Komen's founder and CEO Nancy Brinker posted on the Dallas-based website noted that the reaction to the decision to discontinue the funding was "deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. "We have been distressed at the presumption that

"In light of the recent public statements about their support for Planned Parenthood, I can no longer support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I encourage others in the diocese, who value the sanctity of life, to do the same." Bishop Ronald Herzog the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not." She also noted that Komen had planned to stop funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation but that it will "amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political." Planned Parenthood

is currently the focus of an investigation by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., to see whether the organization used federal funds to pay for abortions, which would be illegal. Stearns is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Komen raises millions annually for the detection, treatment and research of breast cancer. One of its signature events is the annual Race for the Cure held in communities around

Alexandria Business Machines

St. Romain Oil

Copiers, Printers, Fascimile and Office Supplies 5527 Coliseum Blvd. Alexandria, LA 71303-3708

Convenient, High-Quality Fuels, Food & More (318) 240-9494

the country. Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions, also offers free breast exams and mammograms, considered key to early detection of breast cancer. The Komen foundation over the years has said that it intended its contributions go toward these exams but could not control how funds were allocated at Planned Parenthood. Leslie Aun, a spokeswoman for Komen, told The Associated Press Feb. 1 that the organization's decision to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood was based on a new policy that says grants cannot be given to organizations that are being investigated by government authorities, whether it is at the state, local or federal level. In the new statement, Brinker said the group's goal in the grant process "is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."


(top left) PRAYER OF ORDINATION. Eight of the candidates kneel before the altar before being ordained. (top right) PROMISE OF THE ELECT. LG. Deloach, Pat McCusker, Bill Shaidnagle and John Whitehead line up in preparation of the Promise of the Elect. (bottom left) LAYING OF HANDS. Bishop Ronald Herzog "lays hands" on Bill Shaidnagle as he is ordained. (bottom right) HANDING ON OF THE BOOK OF GOSPELS. Nearing the completion of the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Herzog 'hands the Book of the Gospels" to Richard Mitchell, while Bill Travis, Ted Moulard, Todd Marye and Benny Broussard, await their turn.


FEBRUARY 20, 2012


FEBRUARY 20, 2012


Bishop Herzog ordains 15 Permanent Deacons at Cathedral By Jeannie Petrus CT editor It is a good thing the decision was made to split the ordination of 15 men to the permanent diaconate. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral was filled to capacity on both weekends (Feb. 4 and Feb. 11) for the diaconal ordination of 15 men from the Diocese of Alexandria. Bishop Ronald Herzog celebrated the Masses along with Rev. Dan O'Connor, director of the diaconate formation program, Rev. Chad Partain, master of ceremonies, and about 30 priests from throughout the diocese. Fourth Degree Knights from the Msgr. Piegay Assembly #328 and from other assemblies around the area led the procession of deacon candidates and their spouses into the church. During the Election of the Candidates, each candidate was called by name, to which each responded with a loud, "Present." During the Promise of

NEWLY ORDAINED DEACONS. Bishop Ronald Herzog stands with the group of 15 newly ordained deacons at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Pictured are (front row) Bill Shaidnagle, Greg LeBlanc, EJ Barre, John Whitehead, Todd Marye, and Richard Mitchell. R2: Gary Shupbach, Patrick McCusker, LG DeLoach, Ray Gibson, and Bill Travis. R3: Benny Broussard, Mike Young, (Bishop Herzog), Kip Pelto, and Ted Moulard. (Photo courtesy of Azar Kayal) the Obedience, each candidate was called to kneel before the Bishop and promise respect and obedience to the bishop and his successors.

During the Litany of Supplication, the congregation knelt and prayed the Litany of the Saints, while the candidates lay prostrate (face-down) as a sign


of their total submission to the Church. The Ordination of Deacons included the "laying of hands," prayer of ordination, vesting, and


Rev. Mr. Ray Gibson

Rev. Mr. L.G. DeLoach, Jr.

on your ordination

on your ordination

from your parish family at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

welcome to your new parish family at Immaculate Heart of Mary!

We will miss you as you leave to begin your new assignment at Sacred Heart of Jesus.

the handing on of the Book of the Gospels. "I am deeply honored to be here to ordain these 15 men to the permanent diaconate ministry," said Bishop Herzog during the Homily. "This is the first time in 26 years for the Diocese of Alexandria to witness this event." At the Concluding Rites, the Bishop announced the assignments where each new deacon would be serving, effective March 1: • Rev. Mr. Rodrick “Benny” Broussard is appointed to parish ministry in St. James Church, Alexandria, and as advisor to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools. • Rev. Mr. Ray D. Gibson is appointed to parish ministry in Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Pineville. • Rev. Mr. Todd J. Marye is appointed to parish ministry in Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church, Alexandria, and as an advocate in the Diocesan Tribunal. • Rev. Mr. Richard Wayne Mitchell is appointed to parish ministry in St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria, and as coordinator of Liturgy for Steubenville South. • Rev. Mr. Ted Anthony Moulard is appointed to parish ministry in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Fifth Ward and as an advocate in the Diocesan See DEACONS, page 14

Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church and School Alexandria

Congratulates our three deacons

and wishes them and their classmates many years of joyful ministry serving God's people!


Rev. Mr. Greg LeBlanc on your ordination as deacon from Sacred Heart of Jesus Pineville

Deacon Benny Broussard

Deacon Todd Marye

Deacon Michael Young


Deacons Continued from page 13 Tribunal. • Rev. Mr. William Edward Shaidnagle is appointed to parish ministry in St. Patrick Church, Ferriday, and as the Eastern Deanery resource person for Faith Formation. • Rev. Mr. William M. Travis is appointed to parish ministry in St. Frances Cabrini Church, Alexandria and as diocesan coordinator of Catholic Scouting. • Rev. Mr. Michael L. Young is appointed to parish ministry in St. John the Baptist Church, Cloutierville, and as a member of the Diocesan Finance Council. • Rev. Mr. Emile John Barre III is appointed to parish ministry in St. Joseph Church, Colfax. • Rev. Mr. L. G. Deloach, Jr.


FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Understanding deacon terms is appointed to parish ministry in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Tioga, and as an advocate in the Diocesan Tribunal. • Rev. Mr. Gregory P. LeBlanc is appointed to parish ministry in Sts. Francis and Anne Church, Kolin, and will assist the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Rita Church, Alexandria. • Rev. Mr. Patrick C. McCusker is appointed to parish ministry in St. Rita Church, Alexandria. • Rev. Mr. Clifford J. Pelto is appointed to parish ministry in St. Martin Church, Lecompte. • Rev. Mr. Gary A. Schupbach is appointed to parish ministry in St. Joseph Church, Marksville. • Rev. Mr. John Louis Whitehead is appointed to parish ministry in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches.

The diocese is indeed blessed to have 15 new deacons working in the parishes and in special ministries, But do you know the proper way to address him in his new ministry?

When written

When corresponding or referring to a deacon in writing, the proper way to address him is: • The Reverend Mr. John Smith • Reverend Mr. John Smith • Rev. Mr. John Smith • Deacon John Smith • Dcn. John Smith If you want to include his wife, simply add the “and Mrs.” just as in “Mr. and Mrs.” In the salutation of a letter use: • Deacon Smith: • Dcn. Smith: • Deacon John:

• Dcn. John: • Dcn. Johnny,

In addressing him verbally, use Deacon and the name of choice. Some things not to say: • “the deacons and the other laity” • “the clergy and the deacons”.

When a deacon is ordained, he receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders and is considered a member of "the clergy." There are only clergy and laity in the Church. With ordination to the diaconate these men become clergy. The category clergy is a generic term and includes all bishops, priests and deacons.

Deacons are "clergy"


When speaking

The Sacrament of Holy Orders includes three orders of ordination: ordination of a bishop, ordination of a priest, and ordination of a deacon.

Deacons by ordination are "incardinated" (belong) to the diocese just as priests do; in fact, priests become incardinated when they are ordained deacons.


Rev. Mr. Gary Shupbach on your ordination as Deacon

= from your Parish family at St. Joseph Church Marksville

Rev. Mr. William Shaidnagle Congratulations on your Ordination to the Diaconate for parish ministry and as the Eastern Deanery Resource Person for Faith Formation. We are SO proud of you! ~St. Patrick of Ferriday ~St. Gerard of Jonesville

Congratulations and

Best wishes

to the Diocese of Alexandria's

new class of Deacons! ~Father Dan O'Connor

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Father Young joins staff of Radio Maria as priest advisor

FATHER ROBERT YOUNG, O.F.M., is the new regional priest advisor for Radio Maria.

Father Robert Young, O.F.M. has been named the new regional priest director (pro tempore) for Radio Maria in the southern region of the U.S. Like Father Duane Stenzel, the former national spiritual director who passed away last January, Father Robert is also a Franciscan priest. He is originally from Orange, Texas, where he attended St. Mary's Catholic school and later the University of Dallas. He has a BA in English Literature and Communications, an MA in English Literature and an M. Div. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He also studied at the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality-- The

Antonianum-- in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1982 and spent the next 20 years serving in parishes as pastor and at retreat houses as retreat master in California, Arizona, Oregon, and New Mexico. He has also served the Franciscan Order as a missionary in the Holy Land for several years and as a formation director for postulants in Rome, Italy. From 2000-2004, he cofounded the St. Clare Hermitage in Santa Rosa, CA and from 20042011, he served in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Spirituality Formation and retreat ministry. It was while he was in this position, that he learned about

Radio Maria and was asked by Father Duane to co-host a new program called The Will of God. That was three years ago, and Father Robert continues to host that program on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. CST. As regional priest director, Father Robert will be responsible primarily for programming in coordination with priest directors from 3 other regions. He will also celebrate Mass in the Radio Maria chapel several days a week. His other responsibilities include pastoral care to the staff and volunteers of Radio Maria in Alexandria and in the five other Radio stations in the southern region as well as promotional work.

In early February, he began a new program titled, "The Catechism Hour," airing on Thursdays at 9 a.m. CST. This program is a weekly series hosted by five different priests each weekday at the same time. "Radio Maria is rapidly expanding as a national network, and with that comes many challenges," he said. "I am honored to be here at Radio Maria to do what I can to help meet those challenges. My family is originally from southern Louisiana, so it feels very much like home." In addition to English, he speaks Spanish, Italian, and French.

Radio Maria volunteers keep KBIO in Natchitoches going for 10 years Every Thursday morning, for the past 10 years, a pair of Radio Maria volunteers arrive early in the morning at the Melrose studio located at St. Augustine Church. There is only a short time to prepare for the live broadcast they will do from 7 - 8 a.m. But when the live feed connecting them to the Radio Maria headquarters in Alexandria is turned on, they clearly go into action. "Good morning Radio Maria listeners. This is Gloria (Jones) and Kathy (Meric) from the Melrose Studio in Natchitoches. Let us begin the Morning Office of Prayers." Within seconds, the voice of these ladies from "little Natchitoches, La." is heard around the world in more than 50 countries.

"I try not to think about the magnitude of how far our voice is heard," said Nazy LaCour of Cloutierville. "If I did I might get nervous." Nazy is one of eight volunteers who take turns praying live once a week for Radio Maria at the Melrose Studio. Gloria Jones, one of the original five who began volunteering in 2001, said it has grown to eight volunteers which works out "perfect." "With eight of us, two of us take a Thursday of every month so we have it covered," said Mrs. Jones. "It doesn't seem like it has been 10 years," said Doris Rogue of Cloutierville. "I look forward to my monthly Thursday to pray the Rosary on the air." "I look forward to it too,

said Diane Riley of Natchez. "It doesn't take very long and it is only once a month. But more than anything, it makes me feel good to know I'm helping to spread Our Blessed Mother's message of evangelization." "Volunteers are always welcome at Radio Maria," said Mrs. Jones. "One of our volunteers may be leaving in the near future, so we may be looking for more people to help us pray." But Jones said there is also volunteer work for young people who can help gather e-mail addresses for the e-newsletter, report news to the Alexandria station, or to help organize fundraisers. If anyone in the Natchitoches /Melrose area is interested in volunteering, please contact Gloria Jones at 318-379-2683.

RADIO MARIA VOLUNTEERS. For 10 years, eight volunteers from the Natchitoches area have prayed the Rosary live on Radio Maria every Thursday at the Melrose Studio. Seated are Elaine Bacon, Gloria Jones, and Kathy Meric. Standing are Doris Roge, Nazy LaCour, Shellie Slocum (Radio Maria Alexandria coordinator) and Diane Riley. Not pictured are Vivian Jacobs and Ginny Tobin.



FEBRUARY 20, 2012

ST.ANTHONY SCHOOL 2nd graders prayed one decade of the Rosary every day during CSW.

SACRED HEART SCHOOL students held a balloon release during Catholic Schools Week.

ST. FRANCIS CABRINI SCHOOL collected new socks for the poor and had a 'silly sock day.'

ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL BETA CLUB attended the Beta Convention in Lafayette, Jan. 19-20.

ST. MARY'S SCHOOL, Natchitoches collected baby items for the Women's Resource Center.

ST. ANTHONY SCHOOL, made Valentines for nursing home residents during CSW.

Natchitoches Parish Businesses

Advertise in The Church Today Contact Church Today 318-445-6424, ext 264

Brigitte Paul Kelso Insurance, LLC Brigitte Kelso Owner/Agent

2918 S. MacArthur Dr. Alexandria, La. 71301 Phone: 318.448.2226 Fax: 318.448.2800

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Catholic education is a true ministry of serving mission of Christ By Tommy Roque Superintendent of Catholic Schools On Jan. 29, Catholic schools throughout the U.S. began a weeklong celebration honoring the triumphs of our Catholic schools. It is a tradition that dates back to 1974. The essence of Catholic School's Week, however, can be traced back through countless lifetimes . . . all rooted within the gospel of Jesus Christ and growing through the faith of our Catholic Church. My journey within the Catholic education system began as a young child at Saint Joseph Elementary School in

Isle Brevelle, and continued in Lafayette at Holy Rosary Institute. I learned early that as disciples of Jesus, we are called to follow his command to serve others, reflect the boundless compassion and love of Jesus Christ, and hold utmost respect for academic excellence and all that it can achieve. I learned these lessons not from a book, but from the many adults in my life . . adults who lived by example. That spirit of the Catholic school system continues today throughout the Diocese of Alexandria. Under the direction of Bishop Ronald Herzog, we are blessed to have a school system where the teachings of Christ resonate in our curriculum. Our

educators and parents work hand in hand to form the whole character of each child, into the image and likeness of God. I am blessed daily to bear witness to the impact this has on our children. During Catholic Schools Week, I visited

classrooms where students began their day in prayer. Their minds are then challenged by a rigorous course of study priming them for academic excellence. Furthermore, students are devoted to their communities volunteering where needed and reaching out to become an example of what's right in our socity. As I continue my personal journey within the Catholic educational system, I recognize that Catholic education is indeed a true ministry serving the mission of Christ. Our schools are committed to this ministry, as well as our parents. I thank you all for providing that example so that it can be mirrored for generations.

Enrolling now for all

Catholic Schools

in the Diocese of Alexandria

A PRINCIPALS' RETREAT was held Feb. 2 at St. Rita Church. Fr. Craig Scott was the speaker.

• Our Lady of Prompt Succor School Alexandria


• St. Frances Cabrini School



• Holy Savior Menard High School



• St. Anthony of Padua School



• St. Mary's Assumption School



• Sacred Heart School



• St. Mary's School



• St. Joseph School



(at right) ST. MARY'S ASSUMPTION SCHOOL, Cottonport, released a balloon Rosary during Catholic Schools Week. (at right below) HOLY SAVIOR MENARD HIGH SCHOOL presented The Living Rosary during Catholic Schools Week.

For Sale Two Burial Plots Alexandria Memorial Gardens Lot # 235-B Spaces 1 and 2 $875 each Joy Williford, 442-7247 Leave message on machine.


OL of PROMPT SUCCOR SCHOOL and the Alexandria Family Playhouse preseted Sleeping Beauty Jan. 14-15 at the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center. OLPS students from kindergarten through 6th grade participated in the production and parents from every grade volunteered their time and talent. Pictured above are: (top left) Fairies (top right) Forest animals (left) Goons (right) Maleficent (Ashlyn Kelso) Not pictured are Aurora and Prince Philip Tina Smith and Catherine Pears, directors; and Amy Juneau, choreographer.


Training Sessions March 1 St. Joseph Church, Marksville, 6 p.m. March 6 St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria, 6 p.m. March 6 St. Mary's School, Natchitoches, 6 p.m. To register, go to WANTED: VIRTUS FACILITATORS. The Diocese of Alexandria is looking for individuals interested in becoming certified training facilitators for the Virtus Safe Environment™ program. Individuals must be Virtus-trained, background-checked, and have good speaking skills. Individuals must also attend a two-day training session April 27-28. If interested, let your parish priest know no later than March 1.


FEBRUARY 20, 2012

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Have you seen the TV ads for Catholic Schools? Louisiana bishops back plan to market Catholic schools statewide in TV ads

By Peter Finney Jr. Clarion Herald

The seed for creating a television advertising campaign to promote Catholic schools throughout the state of Louisiana was planted about a year ago by Marianite Sister Immaculata Paisant, who then was serving as superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. “Sister Mac,” as she is known affectionately, had read a dusty position paper authored by the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops in which the bishops spoke highly of the value of Catholic education and the need to “market” Catholic schools effectively and “pay our teachers just wages.” “I had just left my job (after 24 years as Houma-Thibodaux superintendent), and I was looking for work,” Sister Mac said with a laugh. “I left officially at the end of June to go on a fourmonth sabbatical, and I thought I might go nuts.” Sister Mac used her time of prayer, reflection, exercise and freedom wisely. She approached WLAE-TV to see if the station could offer her guidance on producing an advertising campaign that could be used by the seven Catholic dioceses throughout the state to promote Catholic schools. WLAE pointed Sister Mac in the direction of marketing and advertising executive Greg Buis-

Watch the TV ads for Catholic Schools on KLAX Alexandria KTBS Shreveport -Natchitoches KATC Lafayette-Avoyelles son, who runs Buisson Creative Strategies in Metairie. As a product of Catholic schools – St. Raphael the Archangel Elementary School, Brother Martin High School and Loyola University New Orleans – Buisson never could turn down a nun when she asked for help. “We agreed to do it on a pro bono basis,” Buisson said. After Buisson agreed to offer his expertise, Sister Mac approached the bishops with a plan and a proposed advertising budget. What had thwarted previous statewide efforts to promote education was the inability of each diocese to share the cost of the program. Sister Mac and Buisson presented the bishops with the concept – the theme of the commercials is “Catholic Schools: A Class of Their Own” – and then three price tags – $125,000, $150,000 and $175,000. “To my surprise, they agreed to the $175,000, and I was about

TV ADS FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AIRING THROUGHOUT LOUISIANA. TV ads are being aired throughout the state to promote the value of Catholic Schools. The ads can be seen in several markets in the Diocese of Alexandria. to fall off my chair,” Sister Mac said with a smile. “They agreed to pay for it.” For that amount, Buisson and his media buyer contacted general managers of TV stations in each market and negotiated contracts for airtime in February, March and April. In New Orleans, five distinct 30-second commercials touting some aspect Catholic school success will air on WVUE Fox 8. “We’re only spending $175,000 across the state, but we’ve negotiated with one TV station in every market, and they’ve given us a 3-for-1 match,” Buisson said. “We are going to ultimately have a value of $820,000. We called every general manager

and every sales manager of every station and told them we were trying to rebuild Catholic schools. Ironically, many of the GMs either had a child in Catholic school or were involved in Catholic schools before. They absolutely couldn’t have been more accommodating.” Buisson said it is not unusual for TV stations to offer nonprofit groups a few free spots as an inducement to sign an advertising contract, but such a generous offer “was pretty overwhelming.” Each commercial will focus on an amazing fact or statistic about Catholic schools, including: • 99 percent of Catholic high school graduates go on to college; • Catholic school students in Louisiana were awarded more than $221 million in college

scholarships; • Catholic schools produce graduates who are more engaged citizens, more tolerant of different viewpoints and more committed to service; • With 81,457 students enrolled in Catholic schools across Louisiana, the state saves $410 million in education costs each year. • Catholic schools score consistently higher on the ACT than other students, averaging about 23 against the national average of 21. “I’ve gone through Catholic education my entire life, and I just know from my own experience the environment that is offered inside the Catholic school and the family it builds,” Buisson said. “I still get together with friends I had from my days at St. Raphael. These friendships are everlasting. And Catholic schools are more committed to morals and ethics and values. These are things that are not in the textbooks.” Sister Mac said the commercials will begin airing in early February, coinciding with Catholic Schools Week and also the heaviest recruiting period for new students. “The good news is that it’s a canned program and doesn’t have any dates or times, so we could probably use it again next year,” she said. “We’re trying not to let it look dated. We’ll be showing robotics and Smart Boards.” Sister Mac said she hopes the commercials will be an effective recruiting tool.



FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Holy Savior Menard Theatre Arts to present Nunsense March 15-17 The Holy Savior Menard Theatre Arts department, under the direction of Cherise Rino, will present the award-winning musical Nunsense March 1517 at the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center in Alexandria. Tickets are on sale now for $10 per person at the office of Holy Savior Menard High School, Kirby's Pharmacy, and All About Parties. The plot revolves around a group of nuns who must raise money so they can bury fellow sisters accidently poisoned by the convent cook. They decide the

best way to do raise funds is to put on a show. Finding a love for the spotlight, each sister shows off her hidden talent and the audience is wowed with showstopping tunes, tap-dancing nuns, and surprising, comic turns (some may require the use of a confessional). Leading characters include Reverend Mother Regina, a form ormer, played by ; Sister Mary Hubert, the Novices, played by ; Sister Robert Anne, a streetwise nun from Brooklyn, played by

March 15-17 Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center

; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is a b a, played by and the delightfully innocent Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a cru head, played by . This hysterically, funny musical won four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Musical during its 10-year run in New York. For Rino, this will be the 13th musical production she has directed beginning with Guys and

Dolls in 1999. "Nunsense is one of my favorite productions because of the great Catholic humor," said Rino. "It gives the students the opportunity to not only perform, but to test their comic talent as well. Performances start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16. Two performances are schedule for Saturday, March 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, call the Menard office at (318) 4458233.

Youth orchestra to perform March 25 The Alexandria Youth Orchestra, under the direction of John De Chiaro will be performing on Sunday, March 25, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marksville at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free, but any donations will assist the students in paying for a trip to New York, where they will compete in the National Orchestra Competition in May. Thirty-two of the 50 members plan to make the trip. Comprised of students in grades 7-12, from area junior high and high schools, the Youth Orchestra was first organized in 2010 -- sort of "accidentally." De Chiaro, a professor of classical guitat at LSU-A, began teaching beginning guitar and other string instruments at Alexandria Senior High school. Soon after, he began giving lessons at Brame Middle School and Phoenix Magnet, as well. The interest in learning to play string instruments skyrocketed among the schools and before he knew it, De Chiaro had a small ensemble to make up a chamber orchestra. Interested students from Bolton and Pineville High Schools soon joined the youth orchestra. In April, 2010, the Alexandria Youth Orchestra placed first in the Blues City Classic Competition in Memphis, Tenn. A few months later, the group placed first in the Music City Competition in Nashville. "We are very excited about this competition and we've been preparing for this for months,"

said De Chiaro. The Alexandria Youth Orchestra is open to anyone who has a desire to play

string instruments. For more information, contact De Chiaro at jdechiaro

Creator and host Fr. Robert Barron illuminates what Catholics believe and why, while immersing you in the art, architecture, literature, music, and all the riches of the Catholic tradition.


Don't Miss This Incredible 10-part Video Series Thursdays -- January 12 - March 15 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center Hwy 28 West • Alexandria

FEBRUARY 20, 2012



Big Miracle brings true story of whales in crisis to big screen By Joseph McAleer Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Free Willy," the 1993 whale rescue film, looks like child's play when compared to "Big Miracle" (Universal), in which not one but three giant mammals are trapped in Arctic ice, and it takes a whole lot more than a sleepy Alaskan town to save them. Directed by Ken Kwapis -- and based on the real-life events recounted in Thomas Rose's 1989 book "Freeing the Whales" -- the film is an animal rights activist's dream. Families, neighbors, corporations, and even superpowers set aside their differences for a spell and work together, seeing in the innocent cetaceans a metaphor for peace and understanding. It's 1988, and television reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) is biding his time in Alaska, hoping to land the really big story that will serve as his ticket to a better job in the Lower 48. Knocking about the desolate town of Barrow with local Inupiat boy Nathan (Ahmaogak Sweeney), Carlson stumbles on a hole in the offshore ice. Within it he finds a headline waiting to happen: Peeking out as they surface for air is the cutest family of California gray whales you've ever seen, a clan Carlson eventually names after TV's

'BIG MIRACLE'. John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore star in a scene from the movie "Big Miracle." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (CNS photo/Universal) Flintstones: Fred, Wilma, and Bamm-Bamm (not Pebbles, as the baby is a boy, you see).

Their migration south was halted due to freezing ice. Trapped five miles from open water, they'll

drown unless something is done to free them. Carlson files his story -- and catches the attention of NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw who is -- so Jack Amiel and Michael Begler's script informs us -- "a sucker for these animal stories." Carlson's piece is broadcast nationally, and overnight the world takes notice. The media descend on tiny Barrow, unprepared for the frigid conditions and lack of amenities. Luckily for Carlson, his exgirlfriend, Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), runs the local chapter of Greenpeace. She badgers oil magnate J.W. McGraw (Ted Danson) to finance the release. She jumps into the icy waters to swim with Bamm-Bamm, the better to raise awareness. And she fends off the Inupiats, who want to harvest the whales for food, interpreting the creatures' arrival as a gift from their traditional deity. The rescue takes on an international dimension when the Reagan White House espies an opportunity to burnish its environmental record. The National Guard is called up and, in the spirit of glasnost, the Soviet Union is asked to bring in an icebreaker. Whether President Ronald Reagan (Quinn Redeker) really picked up the phone and opened his conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev by saying, "Gorby?


REVIEW Now Playing at Grand 14 Theatre, Alexandria • Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, A-I (G) • Beauty and the Beast, (G) • Big Miracle (PG) • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG) • Star Wars: Ppisdoe I - The Phantom Menance (PG) • We Bought a Zoo, A-III (PG) • Chronicle (PG-13) • Extremely Loud and Incredible Close (PG-13) • Joyful Noise (PG-13) • Man on a Ledge (PG-13) • One for the Money (PG-13) • Red Tails (PG-13) • The Vow (PG-13) • The Woman in Black (PG-13) • • • • •

Contraband (R) Safe House (R) The Descendants (R) The Grey (R) Underworld Awakening (R)

This is Ronnie!" remains, however, open to question. Chilly relations thaw along with the ice as enemies cooperate, at least for a while: Greenpeace and big oil, Yanks and Russians all join in the effort, and both modern methods and native ways are brought to bear. As it recalls these unifying events, "Big Miracle" emerges as an inspiring and uplifting feature suitable for all but the youngest viewers. The film contains a few mild oaths and one semi-profane expression. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.



S.A.L.T. Retreat The third and final S.A.L.T. Retreat for Spring 2012 will be held March 10-11 at Maryhill Renewal Center. You can download an updated brochure from our website at For more information, call Cathy at 318-445-6424 x 221.



Dr. Brant Pitre to speak in Bunkie Dr. Brant Pitre, professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, will speak at a two-day mission April 20-21 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Bunkie. His talk, titled Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, is based on one of the top-selling CDs of Catholic Lighthouse Media and a top-rated book (Doubleday, 2011) both of the same name. There will be one talk on Friday evening, two on Saturday morning, and one on Saturday afternoon. Exact times and topics TBA. Admission is $10.

Camp Joshua Louisiana Camp Joshua, a jam packed pro-life weekend for high school teens that trains you to be a true supporter of the Pro-Life effort, is being offered at three locations in Louisiana: • Feb. 24-26 in Ruston

Avoyelles Parish Businesses

Advertise in The Church Today Contact Carla Moreau 318-346-7829

or relationship disruption) please join us as we discuss grief and coping in a safe, supportive environment. Come join us Sundays at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Pineville in the Chapel (located in the Community Center next door to the church.) For more information, contact Ingrid Newell at 792-333 or call the church office at 4452496.

Beginning Experience

Young Adult Conference The Young Adult Conference will be held March 1618 at Maryhill Renewal Center in Pineville. The annual event offers an encounter with Jesus Christ through Sacred Scripture, official Church teaching, and fellow believers. The keynote speaker will be Chris Stefanick, with host Paul Hood and worship leader Grae McCullough. Two new tracks will be added: one on relationships (married/engaged couples) and a theological track on love (singles). Only $50 if registered and paid by March 1; $60 through March 16. For more information or to register online, go to or call 445-6424, x 221.

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Hope for a new beginning for divorced, widowed, or separated people. Registering now for a weekend away toward a lifetime of change at Maryhill Renewal Center - Pineville, LA for March 23 – 25, 2012. The program helps grieving single-again persons emerge from the darkness of grief into the light of a new beginning, and move into the future with renewed hope. The cost is $185 which includes two nights' lodging and meals. To register or for more information, call Anna at (318) 452-2678 or Rose at (504) 920-0770. FATHER SKLAR BLESSES HELICOPTER. A brand new helicopter with Air Evac Lifeteam landed in back of St. Patrick Catholic Chruch in Ferriday, and was blessed by Father Louis Sklar. Air Evac is the largest independently owned and operated air ambulance service in the United States, with 106 bases in 15 states. Air Evac has over 25 years experience with over 225,000 safely flown missions. The local base is located on Hwy. 61 South behind Roux 61 Restaurant in Natchez, MS. • Mar. 2-4 in Lake Charles • March 16-18 in Baton Rouge • April 13-15 in Baton Rouge. The cost is $75 and includes meals, t-shirt, program, field trip, and a bunch of fun. To register or for more information, go to or call 1-866463-5433 or look for a short video titled Louisiana Camp Joshua on YouTube.

Living with Loss If you are struggling with any type of loss, (death of a spouse, child, sibling, friend, divorce or another death

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES. St. Rita Church celebrated wedding anniversaries on World Marriage Day, Sunday, February 12 at the 11:00 Mass. Couples who received a blessing from Fr. Scott and a Papal Blessing from the Vatican are Jerry and Diane Robichaux, 25 years; Larry and Elaine Acosta, Rex and Katherine Beard, Joseph and Mary Despino, Paul and Sandra Miletello, and Edgar and Suzanne Medlin, 50 years. Those not in attendance were Jimmie and Mary Sanchez, Patrick and Belinda Guillory, 40 years; and Sam and Shirley Rini, 50 years. Congratulations to all the couples.


FEBRUARY 20, 2012


February -- March Monday








Fish Fry 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. St. Francis Xavier Hall, Alexandria










Catholicism Series 5:15 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria



Celebrate Life Banquet 6:30 p.m. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lafayette






VIRTUS Training • 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Ctr, Alexandria • 6:00 p.m. St. Mary's School, Natchitoches





PENANCE SERVICE 6:00 p.m. St. Anthony of Padua Church, Natchitoches



PENANCE SERVICE 6:00 p.m. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Campti



CHRISTUS Cabrini Foundation Winter Ball 7:00 p.m. Paragon Casino, Marksville

Camp Joshua -- Ruston PRAY FOR FR. R. GARRIONE

MARCH Catholicism Series 5:15 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria





VIRTUS Training 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph Church, Marksville PRAY FOR BISHOP R. HERZOG





Camp Joshua -- Lake Charles








Catholicism Series 5:15 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria



Catholicism Series 5:15 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria




Show Me You Can Sing 9:30 a.m.-12 noon St. Mary's Assumption, Cottonport S.A.L.T. Retreat -- Maryhill Renewal Center DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS PRAY FOR FR. R. MATHEWS






Show Me You Can Sing 9:30 a.m.-12 noon St. Mary's Assumption, Cottonport

Camp Joshua -- Baton Rouge Young Adult Conference -- Maryhill Renewal Center Holy Savior Menard presents Nunsense -- Coughlin Saunders Center

Lenten Mission -- 6:00 p.m. -- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Campti PRAY FOR FR. J. MEDINA-CRUZ






PENANCE SERVICE 6:00 p.m. Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches









Alexandria Youth Orchestra 2:30 p.m. St. Joseph Church, Marksville

Beginning Experience -- Maryhill Renewal Center PRAY FOR FR. C. NAYAK







The Church Today, Feb. 20, 2012  

The Church Today newspaper

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you