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Volume XLIV, No. 3


Serving the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana Since 1970

March 18, 2013





Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio elected 266th pope Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis. The election March 13 came on the first full day of the conclave on the conclave’s fifth ballot. See pages 2-3.

Holy Week begins next week Holy Week is upon us and a long list of services, special Masses, and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation are available in the parishes throughout the Diocese of Alexandria. For more information, go to pages 6-7 or to the diocesan website at

US bishops support new conscience-protection bill introduced in Congress Three House Republicans introduced a bill March 5 to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers, and is supported by the US bishops. Read more about it on page 11.

POPE FRANCIS. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)



MARCH 18, 2013

Pope Francis faces major pastoral challenges Dolan says new pope to face ecclesiological challenges, vocations crisis, religious freedom issues By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A major issue facing today’s U.S. Catholic Church is that many people express “absolutely no problem with faith, but they do have a problem with religion,” said New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. He said this is an issue facing many religions, but noted that for Catholics it is “a particularly pointed challenge because Catholics believe Jesus and his church are one; it’s a package deal.” “To recover that intimacy of a relationship with Jesus and his church is a major pastoral challenge,” he told Catholic News Service several days before the cardinals met in conclave. Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was asked about issues the cardinals would likely consider in their general congregation sessions before the conclave when they discuss a variety of needs facing the universal church. He said he had some ideas on these challenges, just based on what he has seen in U.S. dioceses from recent reports submitted to him by U.S. bishops in preparation for the next synod of bishops. As these reports have been coming in, he said he is “seeing a clear pattern.” He said the U.S. bishops are concerned with what they describe as an “ecclesiological challenge” as more and more people separate religion from faith and also say they “don’t have a prob-

Virtus Tuesday, April 16 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph Cathoic Center Alexandria To register, go to

U.S. CARDINAL TAKE BUS TO LAST GENERAL CONGREGATION MEETING AHEAD OF CONCLAVE. U.S. cardinals take a short bus ride from the Pontifical North American College in Rome to synod hall at the Vatican March 11 for the cardinals’ last general congregation meeting before the conclave. Pictured from left, in front, Cardinals Donald W. W uerl of Washington, Francis E. George of Chicago and Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. Behind them, from left, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston. In back, from left, Cardinal Roge r M. Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles; Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired archbishop of Philadelphia and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York. (CNS photo/George Martell, courtesy of Pilot Media Group) lem with Jesus but they do have questions about the church.” “That’s not just a Catholic problem, every religion seems to be experiencing this,” he added,

but it is still a major challenge Catholic leaders cannot ignore. Another major challenge is the vocations crisis, he said. Cardinal Dolan said he was not just

referring to the vocation to the priesthood and religious life but marriage and family. “The polls are showing that Catholic people are marrying at

(the) same low rate as the rest and are divorcing close to the national rate. That means we have a vocation problem,” he said. He also cited the issue of religious freedom and said there is a strong feeling that the church “needs to be more robust in its defense of religious freedom not only where Christians are subjected to outright persecution and harassment” but also what he described as a “more insidious kind of harassment” when the “ability to give public witness to the faith is curtailed and thought to be inappropriate.” “Something tells me that those three challenges are not exclusive to the United States” and that they would likely be “priorities for the next pope,” he added. When asked what qualities the new pope should have, he said he should be holy, theologically erudite, have an appreciation of the needs of the universal church. He said he should also have linguistic skills, pastoral competency and leadership sense. With that said, he added there is “not a job description for the pope.” He acknowledged that the qualities he is suggesting “nobody can meet up to” but added, “I think that’s what the cardinals are looking for.”

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World joyously welcomes Pope Francis Catholic News Service The tens of thousands of rain-drenched pilgrims who filled St. Peter’s Square March 13 joyously cheered the new leader of the church, Pope Francis. Cheers of “Francesco! Francesco! Francesco!” resounded throughout the square as he greeted the exuberant crowd in Italian and blessed them from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. When the name of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was initially announced, the crowd was momentarily quiet and visibly puzzled about who he was, but they clapped and cheered when they heard the name Francis, even if they still didn’t know much about him. “The choice of the name was beautiful for us. St. Francis is the patron saint of Italy,” said Celsa Negrini of Rome, who was in the crowd. “It was a beautiful evening. We’re so happy to have an

Argentine pope and it was about time we had someone from Latin America.” “He seems very humble; his demeanor seems very positive. He will be a pope who evangelizes people’s consciences,” she added. Although no one who spoke with CNS seemed to know much about the new pope, it did not dissuade their enthusiasm. Father Elievev Israel Sandoval Espinoza of the Archdiocese of Monterrey, Mexico, said it was a “historic day without a doubt for the whole world, not just Latin America.” Father Simon Gras, a priest from Barcelona, Spain, said the announcement of the new pope was “a great joy, an immense joy.” He was pleased that the pope was from Argentina, and a Jesuit, but above all, that he took the name of St. Francis: “a man who has no fear. His name is about humility and poverty.”

IN PRAYER. Newly-elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, prays in front of the “Salus Populi Romani,” (“Salvation of the Roman People”), a Marian icon in a chapel of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, March 14. (CNS photo/L’Osservato re Romano)

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Jesuit Father Gerard Stockhausen, executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference USA, said that when Cardinal Bergoglio’s name was announced from the Vatican balcony, he didn’t realize immediately that it was a fellow member of the Society of Jesus, the religious order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1534. Jesuits generally don’t seek higher offices in the church, Father Stockhausen said. “There are relatively few who are bishops even. We don’t ordinarily take on those posts.” Even the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told reporters: “Personally, I’m a bit shocked to have a Jesuit pope. Jesuits think of themselves as servants, not authorities in church.” “Jesuits resist being named bishop or cardinal. To be named pope -- wow,” Father Lombardi said. “Must have been result of strong call.” In Dajabon, Dominican Republic, Jesuit Father Regino Martinez, said Pope Francis as the first Latin American pope offers “an opportunity to support the work being done in the Latin American church and a show of support for Latin Americans.” Father Stockhausen said that even those Jesuits who do become cardinals “tend not to move in ‘cardinal circles,’ where they get to know each other. That’s not our world.” He acknowledged that Jesuits are generally thought of as highly educated, and “men of the world.” Jesuits have a reputation for being careful decision-makers, particularly if they follow the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, which lead one to make decisions not out of personal interests or attachments, but out of where the Spirit is leading through prayer.

2008 PHOTO. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner greets Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio at the Basilica of Lujan in Argentina in 2008. The 76-year-old Jesuit is the first Latin American pope. (CNS photo/Ezequiel Pontoriero, Reuters)

Who is Pope Francis? • Born Dec. 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina • Is one of five children born of Mario Jose and Regina Bergoglio • Has one lung. Had a lung removed as a teen, due to an infection • Has a master’s degree in chemistry • Fluently speaks Spanish, Latin, Italian, German, and English • Ordained a Jesuit priest on Dec. 13, 1969 • Ordained a Bishop in 1992 • Named a Cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II • In 2005 conclave, was one of top contenders for pope • Extremely humble • While Bishop, lived in small apartment and rode public bus to work • Strongly supports the poor • Strongly opposes same sex marriage • Should not be referred to as Francis I, -- only if and when there is ever a Francis II.

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Habemus Papam! (We have a Pope!) As that ancient declaration rang out over St. Peter’s Square, and in fact over the entire world through the gift of our modern tools of communication, the guidance of the Holy Spirit has once again manifested itself in the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina as the 266th Pope. Our prayers are with Pope Francis I! These days of suspense and anticipation are over. Our joy begins! As I began this column a few

CHURCH TODAY ONE IN THE LORD Most Rev. Ronald P. Herzog Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria

days ago, the Cardinal electors were still gathered in Conclave, fulfilling their awesome responsibility of electing the successor of Peter. Before I could finish, however, news of white smoke was announced! We all waited with anticipation to learn the identity of our new Pontiff. What an exciting day in the life of the Church!

Like most of you, I know relatively little about Pope Francis but I am confident that the guidance of the Holy Spirit has again provided the Church with the one needed at this time in history. I look forward to having the opportunity in the year ahead to meet him. In the meantime, we all can and should pray for him. Begin-

Chair of St. Peter carries powerful grace of the Holy Spirit to lead Church on earth Sitting in the media room of the Sala Stampa where the Vaican’s sporkesperson, Fr. Lombardi and Fr. Rosica flanked Archbishop Juan Arrieta, I listened as His Excellency explained the ‘playbook” of the vacancy of the Holy See and the process of electing a new pope. Universi Dominici Gregis was a document released 17 years ago in 1996 by Blessed John Paul II on the exact day this press conference was delivered, (Feb. 22), which is the liturgical feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The feast of the Chair of St. Peter was originally linked to two feasts which were held in the calendar of the Church until 1960 when Pope John XXIII removed the second feast of Jan. 18. Both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite observe the Chair of St. Peter on Feb. 22, which is strangely often in the context of the season of Lent. Framed occasionally by days of penance in Lent, the feast celebrates the symbol and reality of the Petrine ministry in the seat of Peter, from which the pope proclaims the teaching of the Catholic Church on faith and morals. With Pope Benedict’s announcement of relinquishing the Chair only 11 days before, the

MARCH 18, 2013

ning immediately, we will include his name in the Eucharist Prayer in each Mass. Pope Francis already fulfills some ‘firsts’. No previous Pope has chosen this name; he is the first Pope from the Americas and the first Jesuit to be elected to this office. Undoubtedly, we will learn much more in the days ahead. Our days of Lent are quickly drawing to a close and the great liturgies of Holy Week will soon be with us. As in past years, I encourage all who can to make a special effort to take part in the unique days of the Triduum (Holy Thursday through Easter). One thing to keep in mind as these days unfold is that our Li-


turgical celebrations are not just historical commemorations marking the events in the life of Jesus. They offer us a deeply theological experience of the meaning of his passion. During the Easter Season, I will again have the great pleasure of visiting many parishes and missions to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is one of the most joyous times of the year for many reasons. May you receive great blessings and deepened faith during the days of Holy Week and Easter!


Volume XLIV, No. 3 • March 18, 2013 P. O. Box 7417 • Alexandria, LA 71303 318-445-6424

ROAD REPORT from the VATICAN Rev. Luke Melcher Diocese of Alexandria feast of the Chair of St. Peter had an almost penitential quality, as the Church would forego soon a most beloved pontiff. Brash speculations about the “reasons” for his leaving have made their rounds. I cannot conclude that Pope Benedict is “abandoning the cross,” as it would logically follow from these claims. I take him at his word. To leave this Chair, he does so for the good of the Church, simply. Though he announced his resignation was because of declining health and old age, (which is a very practical reason), this resignation is not a political act, but an act and an exercise of faith by the Servant of the Servants of God. On the back wall of St. Peter’s Basilica, Bernini’s reliquary of the Chair of St. Peter is illuminated by the dove of the Holy Spirit, reminding the faithful who

look upon this symbol that a chair may be filled by a man, but the man is endowed by a powerful grace to lead the pilgrim Church on earth. “We are in the Year of Faith, which I desired in order to strengthen our own faith in God in a context that seems to push faith more and more toward the margins of life. “I would like to invite everyone to renew firm trust in the Lord. “Yes, we are happy for the gift of faith: it is the most precious good, that no one can take from us! (Final General Audience, Feb. 27) Although his last act was to leave the Chair of St. Peter, and with it the seat of authority with the Petrine ministry, Benedict XVI’s last act has challenged us to build up the virtue of faith in Christ, whose next vicar on earth we anticipate.

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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: To receive a free subscription, call 318-445-6424, ext 255 or e-mail

MARCH 18, 2013



SEMINARIAN TAYLOR REYNOLDS DISPLAYS LOUISIANA FLAG IN MIDDLE OF VATICAN SQUARE. Alexandria seminarian Taylor Reynolds, holds up a Louisiana State flag in the middle of Vatican Square while waiting for Pope Benedict’s final general audience Feb. 27. Both Reynolds and Father Luke Melcher have been sending news reports to the Diocese of Alexandria from Rome (where they are both studying) about events as they are unfolding. The picture above and other posts by Reynolds can be found on the diocesan website at A video by Father Melcher, showing Pope Benedict’s helicopter fly away on his last day, can be seen on YouTube.

CARDINALS GATHER IN SISTINE CHAPEL TO ELECT NEW POPE. Cardinals from around the world are seen in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel March 12 as they began the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. At the end of the second day, they elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who has taken the name Pope Francis. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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John Paul II’s Link to Divine Mercy Devotion Feb. 22, 1931

Jesus reveals himself to Sister Faustina and tells her to paint his image.

April 28, 1935

Divine Mercy image is publicly venerated.


Devotion spreads throughout world.

March 6, 1959

Holy Office bans DM devotion due to inaccurate translation of devotion submitted to Rome.

Oct. 21, 1965

Cardinal Karol Wojtyla sends virtues of Sr. Faustina’s life to Rome for beautification process.

Oct 16, 1978

Cardinal Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II.

July 12, 1979

Pope JPII lifts ban on Divine Mercy devotion.

Nov. 30, 1980

Pope JPII issues encyclical on Divine Mercy.

April 18, 1993

Sr. Faustina is beatified in Rome.

April 30, 2000

Blessed Faustina is canonized in Rome on Divine Mercy Sunday by JPII.

May 5, 2000

Decree issued proclaiming the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.

April 22, 2001

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated officially for the first time by the universal Church.

April 2, 2005

Pope JPII dies on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.

May 1, 2011

Pope JPII beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday.

MARCH 18, 2013

JPII said promoting Divine Mercy devotion was his mission in life STEUBENVILLE, OH— When Dr. Valentin Fuster, the American cardiologist representing the postulators of St. Faustina Kowalska’s cause for sainthood, rose to leave the banquet following the canonization on April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II motioned to him. “I just wanted to tell you,” the aging pope said to Fuster, “today is the happiest day of my life.” “Great joy, the deepest joy, comes from fulfilling one’s mission in life, one’s vocation,” said Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, who spoke to an overflow crowd at Franciscan University of Steubenville last month. “And John Paul II, at the beginning of his pontificate, said that promoting the message of Divine Mercy ‘is a special task assigned to me by God.’” Father Gaitley’s talk, “Mary’s Gift of Mercy: John Paul II and the Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” traced the role of the Divine Mercy message in recent salvation history, a story that Father Gaitley considers second only to that of Sacred Scripture itself. The story, he said, began on the eve of World War II when Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina Kowalska, a humble Polish nun, and revealed his message of Divine Mercy, and the image of pale and crimson rays emanating from his heart. “Mercy is a particular form of love when it encounters pov-

Divine Mercy Sunday April 7, 2013 Visit for list of parishes offering DM services

erty, weakness, brokenness, sin,” Father Gaitley said. “Mercy is love when it meets suffering.” The message spread through an agonized, broken Europe after World War II, as people took solace from the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.” However, after a bad translation of the message was sent to Rome, the message was banned. As people asked the Church to reconsider, one bishop in Poland listened to their pleas and sent a better translation of the message to Rome, and the Church lifted the ban. Six months later, Father Gaitley explained, that bishop was elected pope, and took the name John Paul II. After devoting his life to promoting the message of Divine Mercy, Pope John Paul II lay dying on April 2, 2005, the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, the feast that he instated at St. Faustina’s canonization. Archbishop Dziwisz (now Cardinal), the pope’s 40-year personal secretary, felt the unmistakable urge to offer Mass right then. As it was Saturday evening, he prepared for the vigil Mass, which was the Mass See DIVINE MERCY, pg. 9

MARCH 18, 2013



Penance Services Mar. 20 -- OLPS, Alexandria, 6:30 p.m. Mar. 20 -- St. Peter Mission, Elmer, after 6 p.m. Mass Mar. 20 -- St. Michael, Leesville, 6 p.m. Mar. 21 -- St. Joseph, Cheneyville, 5 - 6:30 p.m. Mar. 22 -- St. Louis, Glenmora, after 5 p.m. Mass Mar. 26 -- St. Joseph, St. Joseph, 6 p.m. Mar. 26 -- St. Patrick, Montgomery, after 5 p.m. Mass

Reconciliation Opportunities Every Tuesday • St. Anthony, Bunkie, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. • St. Mary’s, Winnsboro, 4:15p.m. 4:45 p.m. Every Tuesday (6:30 -7:30 p.m.) • Our Lady of Prompt Succor Alexandria • St. Frances Cabrini Church, Alexandria • St. James Memorial, Alexandria • St. Anthony, Natchitoches • Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches • St. John the Baptist, Cloutierville • Sacred Heart, Pineville • St. Louis, Glenmora Every Wednesday • St. Joseph, Colfax, after 5:30 p.m. Mass • St. Peter Mission, Elmer, after 6 p.m. Mass, Stations • St. Joseph, St. Joseph, 5:30 -6:30 p.m. • St. Mary’s, Winnsboro, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Every Friday • St. Louis, Glenmora, after 5 p.m. Mass, Stations

Holy Week filled with special services Palm Sunday March 24

Wednesday March 27

• “The Passion of Our Lord” is the Gospel reading.

• Walk with Jesus, the final night of a six-week Lenten Mission, 6:30 -7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Church in Marksville. Bring your Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

• Blessed Palms are distributed to the faithful. Tuesday March 26

Holy Thursday (The Last Supper) March 28

• Chrism Mass, 11 a.m., at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria. Bishop Ronald Herzog will be the principal celebrant, and the diocesan clergy as concelebrants. • “The Light is On” campaign to encourage participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. See the list of participating churches (at left) or check with your local Catholic Church.

• Special “Washing of the Feet” services offered throughout the diocese. Check your parish bulletin for details. Good Friday (Crucifixion & Death of Jesus) March 29 • Stations of the Cross

• Eucharistic Adoration/Benediction • 3 p.m. Holy Hours • Check your local bulletin for services in your area. Holy Saturday March 30 • Easter Vigil Masses begin no earlier than 8 p.m. • Check your parish bulletin for Vigil Masses in your area. Easter Sunday March 31 • Outdoor Sunrise Mass, Holy Rosary Mission in Emmanuel, 7 a.m., Bring lawn chairs to sit on. In the event of inclement weather, go to www.diocesealex. org for latest decision on whether or not it will be held.

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Saturday, March 23 -- 4:30 p.m. Mass Sunday, March 24 10:00 a.m. Mass, 11:30 a.m. Brunch, 6:15 p.m. Mass



Holy Monday, March 25 -- 6:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. Holy Tuesday, March 26 -- Chrism Mass Cathedral 11:00 a.m. Holy Wednesday, March 27 -- 6:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. Holy Thursday, March 28 -- 6:00 p.m. Good Friday, March 29 -- 5:00 p.m.

• • • • •

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Holy Saturday, March 30 Confessions 11:00-12:30 p.m., Easter Vigil, 8:00 p.m. Easter Sunday, March 31 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 6:15 p.m.

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Pastor put on administrative leave Bishop Ronald Herzog announced March 12 that he has placed Rev. Jamie MedinaCruz on administrative leave from his parish, St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church in Cottonport, following an allegation of misconduct with a minor. Rev. Jacob Thomas has been appointed Administrator Pro Temp to insure that the affairs of the parish can continue. Bishop Herzog said this action was taken after an accusation was made to the Diocese of Alexandria. He emphasized that placing a priest on administrative leave is not a presumption of guilt or innocence. This action is taken in order to allow for

an unimpeded investigation by the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, it follows the guidelines of the Diocesan Policy Concerning Sexual Abuse of Minors and conforms to the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. (Documents are downloadable at safe-environment-documents.) “As difficult as releasing this information is, it is a decision that is unavoidable as we fulfill our commitment to transparency in such matters,” said Bishop Herzog. “I urge you to continue to pray for all who have been affected by this allegation, asking the Lord to bring his peace and healing.”


318.443.8443 95 Bolton Ave. • Alexandria, LA

MARCH 18, 2013

USCCB Home Missions rep visits local ministries Kenneth Ong, a grant specialist from the USCCB Catholic Home Missions staff, visited the Diocese of Alexandria Feb. 2021 for an on-site review of ministries. During his stay he visited the LSU-Alexandria Catholic Student Center and spoke to the students and faculty served by the campus ministry there. He attended a luncheon with representatives of Hispanic missions including Our Lady of Guadalupe in Forest Hill, St. Francis of Assisi at Fort Polk, and St. Michael the Archangel in Leesville. He also visited with various offices and ministries at the St. Joseph Catholic Center. According to Ann Masden, director of Development, the Diocese of Alexandria receives generous grants every year from the Catholic Home Missions to support several areas including Hispanic ministry, campus ministry, seminarian education, and religious education. “We are vert grateful to the Catholic Home Missions Board

USCCB CATHOLIC HOME MISSIONS. Kenneth Ong, (center) a grant specialist from the USCCB Catholic Home Missions staff, visits with students from LSU-A during their regular Wednesday noon lunches at the CSO. for their support in the Diocese of Alexandria,” said Masden. A national collection is held every year in parishes throughout the diocese in support of Catholic Home Missions. This year’s collection will be held the weekend of April 27-28.

Donations to the Catholic Home Missions Appeal support a wide range of pastoral activities, with special emphasis on evangelization; religious education; ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters and lay people; and support of poor parishes.

MARCH 18, 2013



Outdoor Easter Sunrise Mass March 31, Easter Sunday 7 a.m. Sunrise Mass Bring your own lawn chair Holy Rosary Chapel Emmanuel, LA

Weather permitting To find out the latest on whether or not there will be an Easter Sunrise Mass at Holy Rosary Chapel, go to, where the most up-to-date information will be available.

Divine Mercy devotion Continued from pg. 6

for Divine Mercy Sunday, and Pope John Paul II received one droplet of the Precious Blood. “Less than an hour later … John Paul II went to his eternal reward,” Father Gaitley said. “As Pope Benedict XVI himself puts it, he went to the Lord in the arms of mercy.” Father Gaitley said that two messages were integral to Pope John Paul II’s papacy: “Be not afraid,” and “Jesus, I trust in You.” “We’ve got the two sides of the same coin right here,” Father Gaitley said. “‘Be not afraid.’ Why? Because we trust in Jesus, who has revealed himself as infinite love and mercy.” Father Gaitley, author of the Marian consecration book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, said that it is the Blessed Mother who brings us into Divine Mercy by drawing us to its fount, the pierced side of Christ. He emphasized the devotion of Marian consecration, which gives Mary permission to make one’s life into something beautiful for God. “Mary’s whole being is to bring us to the mercy of God,” Father Gaitley said. “I believe the triumph of her Immaculate Heart is the triumph of Divine Mercy, because that’s the spark that will prepare the world for the Lord’s final coming.” This year, the feast of Divine Mercy will be celebrated on Sunday, April 7.

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Arkansas now has toughest anti-abortion laws in nation Bans abortion at 20 weeks, passes Human Heartbeat & Pain-Capable Protection Act

By Malea Hargett Catholic News Service

Six days after passing a ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation, the Arkansas Legislature approved an even stricter ban. The House and Senate voted March 5 and 6 to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto to approve the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, just as they did Feb. 27-28 to override his veto of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. While the fetal pain bill went into effect immediately, the heart-

beat bill banning most abortions at 12 weeks will take effect this summer. Opponents have vowed to file lawsuits to stop the 12week law from taking effect. The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected and the pregnancy is 12 weeks or greater. According to National Right to Life, a fetus’ heartbeat begins at the 22nd day. Exceptions are made for rape, incest, to save the life of the mother or if a “highly lethal fetal disorder” is discovered. It has been called the strictest abortion

law in the country. After the vote, sponsor Sen. Jason Rapert said, “If there’s a heartbeat, there’s life and we’re going to stand up for this law, regardless of who opposes it.” The Diocese of Little Rock’s position on laws that restrict abortion is grounded in the Catholic Church’s teaching that all life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death. “The passage of these two bills provides greater protection for unborn children,” said Marianne Linane, diocesan respect life director. “Legal challenges are to

be expected and if they are filed, we hope the eventual rulings will recognize that an unborn child is a human life and extend the protection of the law to unborn children at an even earlier age than previously provided.” Rose Mimms, director of Arkansas Right to Life and a member of St. Theresa Church in Little Rock, said the heartbeat bill is groundbreaking and will be challenged in court since Arkansas is the first state to pass such a restrictive law. Mimms’ organization was lobbying for the fetal pain bill

since there was precedence in other states and was not actively lobbying for the heartbeat bill. Mimms was familiar with the heartbeat bill because a similar version was introduced in the Legislature in 2011 but didn’t make it out of committee. “We support any kind of prolife legislation, but we didn’t feel the timing was right,” she said. “Our concern is because it does go so far that if it did go all the way to the Supreme Court, it might just be another decision that affirms Roe (v. Wade). That is not what we want.”

Justice Depart. says denial of same-sex benefits is unconstitutional By Catholic News Service The Justice Department, in a brief filed Feb. 22 at the U.S. Supreme Court, said a federal law that defines marriage as between one man and a woman, denying financial benefits to legally wed same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. “Moral opposition to homosexuality, though it may reflect deeply held personal views, is not a legitimate policy objective that can justify unequal treatment of gay and lesbian people” found in the 1986 Defense of Marriage Act, said the “amicus,” or friendof-the-court brief, written by So-

licitor General Donald Verrilli. It was filed in the case of the U.S. v. Windsor, for which the court will hear oral arguments March 27, a day after it hears oral arguments in another case weighing the constitutionality of samesex marriage, Hollingsworth v. Perry. The second case is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2008 to ban same-sex marriage. In the first case, Edith Windsor is suing over the Defense of Marriage Act because her samesex marriage was recognized by the state of New York, but not by

the federal government. Consequently, when her spouse died and she inherited her estate, Windsor had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Had her spouse been male, she would have been exempted from that tax. The Defense of Marriage Act recognizes marriage as only between one man and one woman for the federal government’s purposes, such as for Social Security benefits, family medical leave and other federal programs, and federal estate and income taxes. Last May, President Obama said he now supported same-sex marriage, and ordered the Justice Department not to defend the De-

March 26 March for Marriage Washington D.C.

This event is being planned strategically for the first day when the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the cases that could determine the future of marriage, as the union of one man and one women, in our nation. Although the march is in Washington, organizers ask Catholics nationwide to encourage prayer and some sort of participation in parishes, where possible.

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fense of Marriage Act in court. On Feb. 28, the Justice Department also filed a friend-ofthe-court brief in the Proposition 8 case, urging the high court to strike down that law and laws in other states that have legalized same-sex civil unions, but not same-sex marriage. The USCCB has filed separate briefs in the two challenges facing the high court arguing that there is “no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex” and that civil recognition of same-sex relationships is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition.

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MARCH 18, 2013


Conscience-protection bill for HHS mandate introduced in House By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -Three Republican members of the House of Representatives introduced a bill March 5 to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers in light of the federal mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. One of the sponsors, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said it is possible that the bill, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27. Two Catholic women who run businesses and who appeared at a March 5 news conference on Capitol Hill said they do not want to be forced to choose between their conscience or their business. “Nobody should be asked to make that decision,” said Christine Ketterhagen, a co-owner of Hercules Industries, a heating and air conditioning company her father founded in Denver 50 years ago that now has operations in five states with 320 employees. “We went to Catholic schools. Our children went to Catholic schools. Our grandchildren go to Catholic schools,” Ketterhagen told Catholic News

“Nine nurses at an unnamed hospital lost their jobs for their refusal to participate in abortions.” Story told at the news conference by Rep. John Fleming, R-La. Co-sponsor of the bill

CATHOLIC NURSE, COERCED TO PARTICIPATE IN ABORTION, SPEAKS IN WASHINGTON. Cathy CenzonDeCarlo, a registered nurse, speaks during a March 5 press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington about proposed legislation to address religious freedom concerns about the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate. Cenzon-De Carlo, a Catholic, talked about being coerced into participating in abortion at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital since 2004, even though she said the hospital knows of her religious objections to abortion. (CNS photo /Bob Roller) Service after the news conference. “We’re willing to pay for education,” she added, but not for contraceptives or other mandated health care coverage that goes against their Catholic faith. Sister Jane Marie Klein, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration who is chairperson of the board of Franciscan Alliance, a Midwestern hospital group with 13 hospitals and 3,500 beds that provides an estimated $171.5

million in charity care and community outreach, told CNS, “All I can say is that we will not violate our conscience.” “I don’t want to deal with” the possibility that the chain could be shut or sold, she added, saying she was counting on “good and faithful” people to “uphold our God-given rights.” Sister Jane Marie said, “God is good. He’s still in charge. I think he’s going to see us through

this. We have sisters who are praying 24 hours a day, seven days a week for this -- along with the election of a new people right now.” The Health Care Conscience Rights Act would offer a full exemption from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services’ mandate for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of

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their religious beliefs. The bill had attracted 50 co-sponsors by the time of its introduction. The bill would have given recourse to one Catholic nurse forced to participate in a 2009 abortion. Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo was an operating room nurse in a New York hospital. “They threatened my job and my nursing license” if she did not participate in the abortion, she said. “I still remember the 22-week-old baby,” CenzonDeCarlo said. “I had to account for its twisted arms and legs and feet,” she added. “I’ve had nightmares.” She filed suit in both state and federal courts, but was told that, even if her being forced to participate in the abortion was illegal, she had no standing to sue. Other nurses have been victimized for their beliefs. “Because of my Christian beliefs, I have been laughed at, marginalized and had loss of employment,” said Susan Elliott, director of the nursing department at Biola University in California, at the press conference. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., a co-sponsor of the bill, told the story at the news conference of nine nurses at an unnamed hospital who had lost their jobs for their refusal to participate in abortions. “The nine nurses got their jobs back,” Fleming said, “but only after help from their unions.” “I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law,” said a March 5 statement by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. “While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this act would make such protection truly effective,” Archbishop Lori said. “This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act.” On Feb. 1, HHS issued proposed new rules on the mandate aimed at accommodating objections raised by Catholic institutions. No exemption, however, will be given to “for-profit, secular employers” whose owners have moral objections to providing the coverage.



MARCH 18, 2013

Mardi Gras 2013!

OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR Pre-K MARDI GRAS PARADE was held Thursday, Feb. 7, on the street in front of the school. Fr. Dan O’Connor, Grand Marshall of the parade, and Fr. Charlie Ray throws beads to the crowd of students.


LSU-A STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN CAMPUS MARDI GRAS. Catholic students from the LSU-A CSO participated in the campus Mardi Gras parade Feb. 9. Pictured are (bottom row) Fr. Blake Deshautelle, Johnneka West, Trinity Keller, Yogi Patel, Cory Miller, and Lynn Ray. Middle row: Justin Bolton, Matt Walker, and Nick Lasyone and (top) Matt Scalfano, and Cole Sellars







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• Computer Lab - all grades • iPads - upper grades • Art Classes - upper grades (Private lessons available after school) • French taught in Grades 1-8 • Programs for struggling students • Montessori method of instruction taught in Pre-K and K by Sisters of the Living Word • Early arrival at 7:05 a.m. and after school Homework House until 5 p.m. Martha Coulon, Principal • (318) 346-2739 116 S. Knoll St. • Bunkie, LA 71322

MARCH 18, 2013


PAGE 13 St. Juliana Krewe of St. Peter Claver LeGrand Ball-de Mardi Gras The Knights and Ladies of St. Juliana Krewe of St. Peter Claver Council and Court number 268 are all decked out for their annual LeGrand Ball--de Mardi Gras. The Ball was held at the Alexandria Convention Hall Feb. 2. The theme for this year’s Ball was Mardi Gras in Louisiana. Leroy and Delores Landry were crowned King and Queen of the event.

ST. JOSEPH CHURCH, Colfax, FISH FRY FUNDRAISER. CCD teachers Rachel Bruce, Shannon Johnson and Theresa Dubois volunteered at St. Joseph Church to host a fish fry and bingo Feb. 2. More than $3,800 was raised to send interested youth to Steubenville South.

ST. FRANCES CABRINI SCHOOL ON ASH WEDNESDAY. Deacon William Travis places ashes on the forehead of St. Frances Cabrini kindergartner on Ash Wednesday. Students in grades K-8 attended the noon Mass on Feb. 13.

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MARCH 18, 2013

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CATHEDRAL, Alexandria. Candidates: Sarah Jolly, Shannon Atkinson, and Gage Trahan.

ST. FRANCES CABRINI CHURCH, Alexandria. Catechumens: Madelina Trevino, Amelia Cortello, Austin Cortelllo, Mandy Trevino. Candidates: Kiley Squyres, Kara Murphy, Gary Squyres, Don Squyres, Sue Squyres, Michael Dalme, and Vincent Chicola.

IMMACULATE HEARTOF MARY, Tioga. Catechumens Jeana Marks, Eric Thompson, Noah Strother, and Karina Galvan.

BASILICA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, Natchitoches. Catechumens: Henry Frye, Jr., Morgan Cedars, Ronald Miley, Joseph Rhodes, Destin Cedars. Candidates: Melissa Frye, James Close.

STS. FRANCIS & ANNE, Kolin. Catechumens: John Andrews and Laura Bailey.

MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS, Woodworth. Candidate: Victoria Young

Candidate: Jonathon Despino.

OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR, Alexandria. Catechumens: Richard Emberly, Jolene Miller, Christion Miller. Candidates: Kayla Coutee, Jennifer Kinberger, Emma Kinberger, Troy West, Crystal Pennington, Christine Descant.

MARCH 18, 2013



Rite of Election February 24, 2013

SACRED HEART OF JESUS, Pineville. Catechumens: Astred Lemmons, Kaydence Tate, Kylie Wolford, Bailee Walker, Joseph Layssard, Trista Pearson, Sara Rachal, Kelsey Layssard, Timmy Getz, Kenneth Paul, Jana Karisny, Samantha Dauzat. Candidates: Gavin Basco and Luanne Trahant.

ST. JAMES CHURCH, Alexandria. Candidate: Alice Maria Williams

OUR LADY OF LOURDES, Winnfield. Catechumen: Deborah LeBourgeois. Candidate: Lisa Daughtry.

ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, Leesville. Catechumen: Josh Mason. Candidates: Sarah Norton, Heidi Walker, Melody Carson, Michelle Anderson, Jenna Mason.

HOLY CROSS, Natchitoches. Catechumens: Andrew Barnes. Candidates: Kelsey Beaudion, Deanna Bourgeois, Russell Danzy.

ST. RITA, Alexandria. Catechumens: Rocky Bonnette, Christopher Swanson, Justin Pellerin. Candidates: Tommy McBeth, Sean Riley, Michael Stephenson.

ST. MARY, Jena. Catechumens: James Humphries and Andrew Dunn. ST. EDWARD, Pollock. Catechumens: Larry Irons and Bobby Shirley.

PAGE 16 CDA #968 (St. Anthony, Bunkie) EDUCATION CONTEST WINNERS. Poster winners: (front row) , 1st; , 2nd; , 3rd. (Row 2) Essay winners: , 1st; , 2nd; , 3rd. (Back row) Poetry winners: , 1st; , 2nd; and , 3rd. The CDA held the annual education contest in February. The themes for this years competition was “My life is a reflecton of good”  or “Jesus is reflected in me”.  The first place winners in each division will be entered in the state competition.  KC COUNCIL #1199 (St. Mary’s Assumption, Cottonport) WINNERS OF THE FREETHROW COMPETITION held Feb. 1 are (front row) ,& . Row 2: Father Jamie Cruz-Medina, pastor; Danny Clark Grand Knight; Mark Tigner KC member Council #1199. KC COUNCIL #1199 (St. Mary’s Assumption, Cottonport) LENTEN FISH FRY. The Knights of Columbus Council #1199 held its annual Lenten Fish Fry Feb. 1. The KC Council #1199 would like to thank all of those who were involved in making this another successful event. The members present in the picture are (l-r) Jonathon Normand, Mark Tigner, Luke Welch, Danny Clark Grand Knight; Mike Ducote, and Glenn Normand. KC COUNCIL #12103 (St. Martin, Lecompte) grilled hamburgers for the LSU-A students Feb. 27 for the weekly Wednesday meal. Pictured are Theresa Dunn, Johnnie Hart, Gary Dunn, Stanley Basco, Connie Rachal, and Frank Rachal.

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MARCH 18, 2013 Catholic Daughters Court Notre Dame Education Contest Winners

Winners of the Education Contest, sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of Court Notre Dame #1452 have been announced. COMPUTER Division I, Grades 4 & 5 1st Kelsey Parker 2nd Rachel Williamson 3rd Halson Bowman HM Travis Deal Division II, Grades 6-8 1st Noah Saldiar 2nd Frankie Aymond 3rd Kennedy Perry HM Laiken Deal ESSAY CONTEST Division I, Grades 4-5 1st Addison Hebert 2nd Kendall Davis 3rd Emma Babin HM Mia Bordelon Division II, Grades 6-8 1st Cameron Christian 2nd Camille Karam 3rd tie Sayer Ryder 3rd tie Aza DeKeyzer Division III, Grades 9-11 1st Gabrielle Lessen 2nd Gabrielle Crockett 3rd Mallory Bartow HM Lana Beard PHOTOGRAPHY Division II, Grade 7 only 1st Sonni Tarver 2nd Lucille Stehr 3rd Nicholas Saccaro HM Maddie Brinkman

5th grade 5th grader 4th grader 4th grader

St. Frances Cabrini OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor St. Francis Cabrini

6th grader 6th grader 6th grader 6th grader

St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini

4th grader 4th grader 4th grader 4th grader

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8th grader 6th grader 8th grader 8th grader

Holy Savior Menard OL Prompt Succor Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard

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7th grader 7th grader 7th grader 7th grader

Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard

POETRY Division I, Grades 4-5 1st Andrew Armstrong 5th grader 2nd Victoria Vaughan 5th grader 3rd Olivia Johnson 5th grader HM John Seeling 5th grader Division II, Grades 6-8 1st Cailey Vidrine 7th grader 2nd Courtney Lair 6th grader 3rd Abby Everett 6th grader HM Mathew Dufrene 6th grader Division III, Grades 9-12 (10th graders only) 1st John Miller 10th grader 2nd Abbey Slaughter 10th grader 3rd Lance McCarthey 10th grader HM Grant Dobard 10th grader ART Division I, Grades 4-5 1st Hannah Ruth Crooks 4th grader 2nd Tierra Brumfield 4th grader 3rd Dwane Jones 4th grader HM Sydney Bandy 4th grader Division II, Grades 6-8 (only 6th entered) 1st Frankie Aymond 6th grader 2nd Camie Ardoin 6th grader 3rd Thomas Johnson 6th grader HM Alexandra Smith 6th grader

OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor Holy Savior Menard OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor OL Prompt Succor Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard Holy Savior Menard

St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini St. Francis Cabrini

MARCH 18, 2013



John Paul II Columbian Squires Circle #5592 New Columbian Squires Circle at St. Michael’s is eager to serve parish, community By Jeannie Petrus CT editor After only one year since it was organized, the new John Paul II Columbian Squires Circle 5592 from St. Michael’s Church in Leesville, is making a name for itself in the western part of the diocese. From cooking and serving parish dinners, to participating in community projects, this group of young men, ages 10 - 18, is doing a great job of following the example of their sponsoring group -- the Knights of Columbus Council 4156. “We are very proud of the entire group,” said Paul Rindahl, Chief Counselor and Louie Johnson, Deputy Chief Counselor. “We are very encouraged to see such a fine group of young men who want to help out in the parish and the civic community.” According to Rindahl, the Squires Circle was organized after his son, Michael, approached him and asked if he and his friends could start a group similar to the local Knights of Columbus. After making some phone calls, Rindahl found out a Columbian Squires Circle could be formed with a minimum of 10 interested boys. “I told my son he would have to find at least 10 interested guys

NEW JOHN PAUL II COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLE 5592, St. Michael the Archangel Church, Leesville. Members of the newly-organized Columbian Squires Circle at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Leesville are (front row) Julian Cecil, Nickolas Alphonso, Clayton Kerlin, Parker Shuck, Damien “TJ” Gill, Joseph Andrade, Bryce Bordelon. Middle row: Michael Renz, Jeremy Hunt, Sabian Matuu, Devin Toups, Jesse “Jebbo” Buck, Ryne Navarro, Bryce Veillon. Top row: Luke Alphonso, Parker Woods-Wilson, Keith Hull, Michael Rindahl, Joshua Cecil, Fr. Anthony Catella, Cole Broussard, Schuyler Shuck, Patrick Ramke. to have one,” he said. “At the first organizational meeting, 18 guys showed up!” Since then the interest and the enthusiasm has been uphill. The group didn’t waste time getting involved in projects. Their first project was operating and chaperoning the slippery

slide at St. Michael’s day. That same day, their first fundraiser was cooking and serving 200 plates at a spaghetti dinner. Another day, they helped the elderly in the community with odd jobs such as cleaning out a garage, burning brush, and weed-eating. For Veteran’s Day, they cooked

a gumbo dinner at the church. And, another day, they cleaned up around the church. “They are doing great work around the parish and the community and setting a good example for others,” said Rindahl. “Now we have a group of girls who want to start a group under

the Ladies Auxiliary, called the Squire Roses.” Columbian Squires are open to any Catholic boy, between the ages of 10-18, in good standing with the Church. At the age of 18, a Squire automatically can become a member of the Knights of Columbus. In March, 2012, 18 members were invested into the Squires Circle. Officers of the Squires Circle at St. Michael’s Church are Michael Rindahl, Chief Squire; Bryce Bordelon, Deputy Chief Squire; Michael Renz, Bursar; Keith Hull, Notary; Bryce Veillon, Sentry; and Sabian Matuu, Marshall. Other members are Luke Alphonso, Parker Woods-Wilson, Joshua Cecil, Cole Broussard, Schuyler Shuck, Patrick Ramke, Jeremy Hunt, Devin Toups, Jesse Buck, Ryne Navarro, Julian Cecil, Nickolas Alphonso, Clayton Kerlin, Parker Shuck, TJ Gill, and Joseph Andrade. For more information about forming a Columbian Squires group in your area, call (or contact) LA State Squires Chairman George Martin 337-552-5769.



MARCH 18, 2013

The forgery case of Clementine’s art FBI special agent speaks to Menard art class about massive forgery scam of Clementine Hunter’s valuable paintings

ST. MARY’S DISTRICT 1A CHAMPS. The Lady Tigers defeated LaSalle 3919 Feb. 8 to become District 1A Champs. Pictured are (front row)

Rachel Cunningham and Coach Johnny Cox

Back row: Coach

MENARD YEARBOOK WINS AWARD. The 2013 Talon Yearbook staff received two awards from the American Scholastic Press Association including one for outstanding theme and 2nd place for overall excellence in their division. The Talon staff competed against junior high and high school yearbook staffs from across the nation. Pictured are .

In honor of Black History Month, Fine Art Survey students at Holy Savior Menard Central High School held a special class on Louisiana folk artist, Clementine Hunter. FBI Special Agent Randy Deaton visited the classroom and shared his story of Clementine Hunter and the FBI’s investigation of what became a massive Hunter art scam recently between a Louisiana artist, art dealer and what could be hundreds of unsuspecting buyers. Menard art teacher, Barbara Clover says this was a great lesson for her students, not only because they were able to learn so much about a Louisiana artist, but also how Hunter’s work and the forgeries have elevated folk artistry to a more elite level. To prepare for Deaton’s visit, students visited the Alexandria Museum of Art to view the exhibit of Hunter paintings, originals and forgeries.   Then, to further familiarize themselves with the artist and her works, students met with Art Shiver and Tom Whitehead, authors of the newly released biography of the artist, Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art. “I’m glad our students were able to experience this and learn the significance of this FBI investigation and the subsequent indictment,” says Clover. “Early on, the forgers painted and sold

MENARD STUDENTS STUDY CLEMENTINE HUNTER FORGERY CASE. Menard Fine Arts students hold up a framed copy of a Clementine Hunter painting. FBI Special Agent Randy Deaton visited the class to share his story of Clementine Hunter and the FBI’s investigation into a massive forgery scheme centered around the artist’s works. fake artworks of master artists: Matisse, Degas, Homer, O’Keeffe and others.  Ultimately, they found a greater market and value in the simple paintings of Clementine Hunter. That is what is so significant about this.  The FBI investigation and subsequent indictment legitimized folk art and gave it a value just as important and just as sacred as the Monet’s and Van Gogh’s—a monumental state-

ment impacting the world of art.”  Hunter was a self-taught African American folk artist from the Cane River region of Central Louisiana.  Her paintings were primitive pieces depicting plantation life of the early 20th century. While Hunter sold her first painting for only 25 cents, by the end of her life in 1988, her works were being displayed in art galleries nationwide and sold by dealers for thousands of dollars.

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Students of the Year honored at reception Three students were honored Feb. 21 at the Diocese of Alexandria St. Joseph Center as this year’s ‘Students of the Year in Non.” , a senior from Holy Savior Menard High School, won SO 12th grade division. n 8th grader, and , a 5th grader, both from Alexandria Country Day School, won SOTY in their respective grade divisions. The students were selected by a panel of educators who read and evaluated extensive portfolios presented by the student applications. The students were judged on the contents of the portfolio, which included academic achievements, school and community involvement, and the quality of their essay about themselves and their family, their interests, achievements, and ambitions. Twelve student portfolios were submitted for the competition, as winners of each school’s grade division. School winners in each grade division are as follows: 5th grade winners: Ivy Beard, Family Community Christian School, Winnsboro; Macie Bernard, Sacred Heart, Moreau-

ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL (Plaucheville) SOTY WINNERS are . STUDENTS OF THE YEAR. Three Students of the Year from non-public schools (private and paraochial) were recently honored at a reception at the St. Joseph Catholic Center. Pictured are , (Alexandria Country Day School) winner in the 8th grade division; (Alexandria Country Day) winner in the 5th grade division; and , (Holy Savior Menard) winner in the 12th grade division. Back row: Holly Carbo, admissions counselor at Menard, Nancy Rials, principal of Country Day; Thomas Roque, superintendent of Catholic schools, and Bishop Ronald Herzog. ville; Hayden Longino, St. Mary Assumption, Cottonport; Rowdy Michaud, Jr., Old Bethel Christian Academy, Clarks; Sophie Miller, St. Joseph, Plaucheville; Bianco Redmon-Munoz, St. Anthony, Bunkie; and Mary Scruggs, St. Mary’s, Natchitoches. 8th grade winners: Alvia Burke, Sacred Heart, Moreau-

ST. FRANCES CABRINI SPELLING BEE St. Frances Cabrini School held its annual Spelling Bee Feb. 26 in the Activity Bldg. for students in grades 1-6. The winners are 1st -(6th grade) 2nd (5th grade) 3rd (5th) (1st grader) stands up in the line of finalists, to await the next word to spell.

ville; Ian Carney, Holy Savior Menard, Alexandria; Hannah Cobb, Family Community Christian School, Winnsboro; Ragan Daigrepont, St. Mary Assumption, Cottonport; Mary Hendrix, St. Mary’s, Natchitoches; Emily Link, St. Joseph, Plaucheville;

M’Lee Newton, St. Anthony, Bunkie; and Tyler Roberts, Old Bethel Christian Academy, Winnsboro. 12th Grade Winners: Kaitlynn Bedgood, St. Mary’s, Natchitoches; and Abigael Ducote, St. Joseph, Plaucheville.



MARCH 18, 2013

After 28 years, The Dameans reunite for concert Notre Dame seminarians wrote, composed, sang 18 original recordings in the 70s By Jeannie Petrus CT editor It has been almost 28 years since Darryl Ducote, Mike Balhoff, Paul Ceasar, and Gary Ault sang together as a group called the “Dameans.” But as the guys, now almost 70 years old, got up on stage Jan. 3 at the Hofinger Conference in New Orleans, it was the first time since 1985 that the four original

seminarians from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans were together again and singing as a group. “It was great,” said Paul “Buddy” Ceasar, one of its members and a native of Alexandria. “ It was like we picked up where we left off 28 years ago. The response from the crowd was awesome. I’m still on a high from it.” More than 700 people attended the concert, that was open

IN 1978, THE DAMEANS consisted of Gary Daigle, Darryl Ducote, Mike Balhoff, Gary Ault, Paul “Buddy” Ceasar,

not only to the conference participants, but to the general public as well, in the New Orleans area. What was originally scheduled as night-time entertainment for the conference, quickly became referred to as the Damean Reunion Concert. “Listening to the music of the Dameans brought back so many memories of my life from back then,” said one participant from the Hofinger Conference who attended the concert. “It was the music of a different era, and an era of different music.” It was 1968 -- only a few years after Vatican II and the Church had only begun to celebrate Mass in English. It was also the age of folk music when artists like Peter, Paul, and Mary told stories of Puff the Magic Dragon and I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane. In the basement of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, five young men who were studying to be priests, gathered often to make music. They sought to fill a void in their own seminary liturgies and began to write liturgical music in the popular contemporary folk idiom. Paul “Buddy” Ceasar was from Alexandria, La, where he attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary and graduated in 1962 from Menard Memorial High School. His first two years of college were spent at Maryhill Seminary College in Pineville and then at St. John Seminary in Little Rock, Ark. When that seminary closed in 1967, all of the Alexan-

IN 1969, THE DAMEANS released their first alum, Tell the World. dria seminarians were transferred to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. There, Ceasar as before, was active in Schola, a Gregorian Chant choir. Darryl Ducote and Mike Balhoff, both from Baton Rouge, La. and Gary Ault, from New Orleans were active in the seminarian choral group called the Notre Dameans. They enjoyed writing and composing their own music and lyrics. Dave Baker, from Madison, Wisconsin played the tambourine. With three guitars, one bass guitar and one tambourine, the five friends began writing and composing new songs for the Mass that blended Sacred Scripture into an informal folk music tempo. In January of 1970, they officially began calling themselves, simply “The Dameans.” “We were all friends and we worked together great,” said Ceasar. “But you have to remem-

ber that at that time, guitars were new in the Mass. Not everyone liked guitars at Mass or our new folk approach of Church music in song. “ But the young people in the Church -- especially in the New Orleans area -- loved the new sound of the Dameans. It was not long before the group began to receive numerous invitations to provide music for parish liturgies as well as conferences across the country. The Dameans recorded their first album of original compositions, Tell the World, in 1969, which included hits like All that We Have, Look Beyond, and Service, which was written by Ceasar for a friend who was a seminarian at the time. Within the next two years, each of the seminarians graduated from Notre Dame Seminary and returned to their respective dioceses to be ordained. Ceasar

MARCH 18, 2013



Original Songs by The Dameans was ordained in June of 1970 by Bishop Charles Greco at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Despite the distances between them, the group continued to compose, sing, and perform. “Bishop Greco allowed me to use our music and workshops as a part-time ministry, in addition to being assigned to parish work,” said Ceasar. “I’m not so sure he loved our music that much -- I think he tolerated it -but he recognized the value of our music ministry.” For the next 15 years, the group continued to write, compose and sing their music and released 18 original music, prayer, and instrumental recordings. They performed all across the United States at parishes and conferences, and spoke at workshops on how to use music liturgy. In 1972, Dave Baker left the group due to the distance of his residence, but the group continued performing. In 1973, they were invited by the United States Army to do a month-long tour for the servicemen in Germany. It was during preparation for their album, Remember Your Love, that the group enlisted the help of a young talented parish musician, Gary Daigle. Gary helped compose and record songs for that recording as well as every album since then, and in 1978, he became an official member of The Dameans. By the early 1980s, along with such groups as the St. Louis Jesuits, their music dominated the publications scene in contempo-

Beatitudes Mike Balhoff, Darryl Ducote Look Beyond

Darryl Ducote

All That We Have Gary Ault My Soul Rejoices Gary Ault, Mike Balhoff, Buddy Ceasar, Darryl Ducote Remember Your Love Darryl Ducote, Gary Daigle 2013: THE DAMEANS REUNION CONCERT was unofficially held Jan. 3 during the Hofinger Conference in New Orleans. They were just suppose to sing a song or two, but from the enthusiastic response of the 700-plus people in the audience, The Dameans performed for almost 45 minutes. Members of the group are Gary Daigle, Darryl Ducote, Mike Balhoff, Paul “Buddy” Ceasar, and Gary Ault.

rary Catholic liturgical music. As part of the second phase of the post-conciliar Catholic folk music, the Dameans’ songs reflected attention to liturgical and Biblical texts, and several were represented in the original Glory and Praise hymnal of 1977 as well as in several current hymnals. Recordings, including two volumes of The Best of the Dameans are distributed by GIA Publications. By 1985, all five members of the Dameans had left active ministry and took different directions in their lives. Dr. Ceasar is currently an associate professor at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, where he teaches on the graduate level in the counseling program. He and his wife

are active members of St. Albert Church on the SLU campus, and he serves on the New Orleans Archdiocesan Board of Catholic Counseling. Like Ceasar, all members of the Dameans are professional community leaders who have continued to serve and to be active in their Church and in their faith. Gary Daigle continues to be active in composing, recording and producing with many different artists. In fact, it was through the persistent urging of Gary, who serves as the music and liturgy coordinator of the Hofinger Conference, that the Dameans reunited for the Jan. 3 concert. The Dameans are considered pioneers in the early days of

composing music for Masses in English. Through their extensive travels and training workshops both in music and religious education, they have been recognized with the Joseph Collins Award for contributions to religious education, as well as a medal from the Louisiana Council for the Arts. “It was a great time in my life, but I recognize now, that there was a greater power at work,” said Ceasar. “We knew that we were making a contribution through our music and were having fun doing it, but I realize now the Holy Spirit brought us together at that particular time to create and to introduce this new type of music to the Church and to inspire people spiritually.”

Service Buddy Ceasar I am the Resurrection Mike Balhoff, Darryl Duocte, Gary Daigle Emmanuel Buddy Ceasar We Praise You Darryl Ducote, Gary Daigle



Radio Maria Spring Maria-thon Radio Maria will host its Spring Mariathon Tuesday - Saturday, March 19-23. Tune in to Radio Maria at 580 AM: • 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. -- Tues, Wednes, Thursday • 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. -- Friday • 9 a.m - 4 p.m. -- Saturday On Tuesday, March 19, Jambalaya dinners for $7 will be sold at the station from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Call ahead to order. Radio Maria is funded entirely by listeners and receives no support from the diocese or other organization. It started in 2000 in Alexandria and can be heard throughout the world on the Internet. To make a pledge, call 318-5616145 or toll-free 1-888-408-0201.



Terry Mathews Day The Menard baseball team invites everyone to join them on March 23 to celebrate “Terry Mathews Day.” Alumni and friends will gather to commemorate the life of the Menard graduate and former Major League baseball pitcher (who passed away Feb. 24, 2012), and to help support the game he loved so much by registering for the Alumni Games. Participants will enjoy a fun afternoon on the diamond starting at 1 p.m., then wrap up the evening with a special memorial ceremony in honor of Terry. To register, call Menard at 445-8233.

Chrism Mass Bishop Ronald Herzog and all priests of the diocese will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass on Tuesday, March 26 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. During the Mass, the bishop will bless the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism. The first is used for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars.

March for Marriage Several organizations have come together to sponsor a March for Marriage on March 26 in Washington, D.C. This event is being planned strategically for the first day when the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the cases that could determine the future of marriage, as the union of one man and one women, in our nation. The organizers realize that the march is in Washington, and will occur during the solemn days of Holy Week, but they ask that you consider promoting this event in your parishes and encourage prayer and some sort of participation where possible.

ARC-USA MEETING. Bishop Ronald Herzog attended the annual meeting of ARC-USA March 5 in Nashville.

Charismatic Renewal Conference The annual Southern Regional Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal will be held April 5-7 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. Conference speakers include Fr. Dave Pivonka, Peter Herbeck, and Dr. Carol Razza. Anyone is welcome to attend a single session or the entire weekend. For more information call 504-828-1368, e-mail, or go to

Menard to present Godspell Holy Savior Menard Theatre Arts will present Godspell April 18-20 at the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center, under the direction of Cherise Rino. The performance begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, April 20, there will be two performances: at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more info, call 318445-8233.

Marriage Prep Workshop Strong Foundations: A Marriage Preparation Program for Catholic Couples will host a one-day workshop on Sunday, May 26 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Pineville from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The presenters for this workshop are Mandi Chapman and Holly Carbo. To register or for more information, visit www.compre-

MARCH 18, 2013 or call 318.445.1651. Additional 2013 dates for the Marriage Prep workshop are July 21 & Oct. 20.

Kramer Trust makes donation The Hope Farrar Kramer Endowment Trust of the Catholic Foundation of North Central Louisiana has made a contribution to the Healing Hearts Fund of the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut (RHWC). Following the slaughter of 20 children and six adults the Shady Hook School, the Kramer family decided to make a donation to the grief recovery program in memory of Hope Farrar Kramer. The funds will be used for counseling of children and parents of Shady Hook School during their recovery from the events at the school in December, 2012. In a letter to the Graham Kramer, Cynthia Squitieri, President of the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, stated, “The magnitude of the Newtown tragedy has left an unprecedented number of bereaved in our communities. Our Healing Hearts staff has been assisting with the crisis intervention efforts in Newtown, and we will continue to work closely with other community agencies to ensure the availability of comprehensive services for all of those in need. Your gift is invaluable as we embrace the challenge of expanding our programs to meet the needs of our grieving communities – thank you.”

John Paul II Exhibit An exhibit of Blessed John Paul II, titled “Portrait of Faith: John Paul II in Life and Art” is open now through Sunday, June 16. The exhibit is housed at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in City Park in New Orleans. The exhibit, which will include personal items of Blessed John Paul II, never-before-seen photographs of his historic 1987 visit to New Orleans and sacred artwork from three contemporary artists, has been designed to reach people of all faiths on many different levels. The exhibit is open six days a week (closed Mondays). and tickets are between $5 and $15. Additional information can be found at or by calling toll free 1-866-608-4799.

St. Rita offers trip to JPII Exhibit St. Rita parish in Alexandria is sponsoring a one-day trip to New Orleans June 8 to visit the John Paul II Exhibit. $50 per person includes admission to the exhibit and the bus ride (all meals on your own). Bus will leave St. Rita Church at 7 a.m., exhibit at 11 a.m.; 1-5 p.m. on your own in the French Quarter, and 5 p.m. a Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. The deadline to register is May 15. Non-refundable fee is due upon registration. For more information, call Etta Ohrt at 445-7141, ext 10.

Divine Mercy Sunday

April 7

4.7 miles to St. Philomena Shrine


MARCH 18, 2013


March - April Monday





Confessions 6:00-7:00 pm “The Light is On for You” (Check your local parish)


Mission: Walk with Jesus 6:30-7:30 p.m. St. Joseph Church, Marksville




Stations of the Cross



(Check your local parish)

Penance Service 5:30 p.m. St. Louis, Glenmora 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph, St. Joseph

Penance Service 6:30 p.m. OLPS, Alexandria 6:30 p.m. St. Peter, Elmer



Terry Mathews Day 1:00 p.m. Holy Savior Menard High School, Alexandria

The Bible--TV Series 7:00-9:00 p.m. History Channel

Radio Maria Maria-Thon PRAY FOR FR. J. XAVIER




Chrism Mass 11:00 a.m. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria

Confessions 6:00-7:00 pm “The Light is On for You” (Check your local parish) PRAY FOR FR. D. BRAQUET





St. Joseph Catholic Center CLOSED



Mission: Walk with Jesus 6:30-7:30 p.m. St. Joseph Church, Marksville






Stations of the Cross (Check your local parish)


Rehearsal for Diocesan Choir 7:00 p.m. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Alexandria






Outdoor Sunrise Easter Mass 7:00 a.m. Holy Rosary Mission, Emmanuel

St. Joseph Catholic Center -- CLOSED PRAY FOR FR. A. CATELLA














Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference -- Kenner, LA EASTER MONDAY









VIRTUS Training 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria






















Holy Savior Menard Presents “Godspell” -- Coughlin Saunders, Alexandria PRAY FOR FR. R. HUMPHRIES







The Church Today, March 18, 2013  
The Church Today, March 18, 2013  

The Church Today Newspaper