Easter season a ‘beautiful’ time

Posted April 13, 2018 at 12:00 am

The Catholic Commentator 

Easter Sunday is the beginning of a huge 50-day celebration in which the faithful can fully give themselves to understanding Jesus’ resurrection and what it means for them – which is heaven – because that is their destiny, according to Dina Dow, director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 

“During the Easter season, the resurrected Lord comes to earth in his glorified body and teaches the disciples, so for them, it’s just the beginning of their fortification of walking with the resurrected Lord,” said Dow. “Can you imagine that? 

“When Easter happens, it’s just the beginning of a new life for them, which is what he promised. He promised new life

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    The Good Shepherd

    Fidelity in the Holy Name of Jesus: To This We Are Witnesses

    Happy Easter! As the joyful journey of this glorious season continues, the daily and Sunday Mass readings share accounts of Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection. Also given are inspiring testimonies of the disciples in the name of Jesus, as well as the power in them to continue the ministry of the Lord.

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    Divine Mercy Sunday

    While still rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection, the following Sunday Mass continues the theme of redemption when Divine Mercy is celebrated. 

    The day is originally based on St. Faustina Kowalska’s devotion to the Divine Mercy. It was reported that part of her encounter with Jesus included special promises from Christ and indulgences issued by the church. 

    The Divine Mercy message is that God loves us all, and that he wants us to understand there exists no sins greater than his mercy. He encourages all to

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    Richness of the Spirit

    Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name. – Phil 2:8-9 

    The Mass readings of the fifth Sunday of Lent prepare the faithful for the following Sunday, known as Passion (Palm) Sunday. There are great riches and depths in these readings, too plentiful for this space. For now, the focus

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    Christ will give you light

    “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph 5:14).

    (Note: There are two choices of readings in the Liturgy of the Word for Lent Week Three and Lent Week Four. This reflection will focus on Year A Readings, which are those selected for the Scrutiny of Catechumens, those seeking the sacrament of baptism this Easter.) 

    Lent offers an opportunity for

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    Receiving the grace

    Repent, and believe in the Gospel. – Mk 1:15  

    The season of Lent is an invitation to slow down, pray, sacrifice, offer-up and repent. It is also a time of renewal; a turning away from that which darkens the heart to that which illuminates it. The path that leads to Easter shimmers with signs of promise, lessons of hope and glimpses of the divine.  

    A series of covenants 

    More than a contract, a

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    Jesus’ healing power

    “I turn to you, Lord, in times of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.” Ps 32

    It is interesting the liturgical readings for the fifth and sixth Sundays in Ordinary Time are actually preparing us for the season of Lent, which happens to immediately follow these. The themes resonating from the Scriptures speak to the realities of challenges faced by many, including restlessness and rejection.

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    A season of hope

    “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men” – (Mk 1:17)

    The liturgical season has moved into what the Catholic Church refers to as Ordinary Time. The readings for Mass are anything but ordinary. In fact, extraordinary moments resonate with clear messages of faith, hope and love. Starting the new season is an invitation to act.

    Answering the call

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    Seek the truth

    We have found the Messiah: Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace. – John 1:41

    The world rings in the New Year with fireworks bursting high in the sky. Shouts of joy are heard as each time-zone strikes midnight and people toast to a new dawn filled with well-intended promises and resolutions. The liturgical year is also illuminated with joy, as the

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    The real reason for the season: A reminder for all

    “… let the earth be open and bring forth a Savior.”

    The early weeks of the new liturgical year correlate with the end of the calendar year, as we celebrate incredible feasts back-to-back: the Fourth Sunday of Advent, within hours of Christmas vigil Mass, then the following Sunday’s Feast of the Holy Family, within hours of the Solemnity of Mary, the mother of God on New Year’s Day. We have

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    Congregation of St. Joseph’s service day aids community

    The Catholic Commentator 

    During a visit to the Holy Land a year ago Cherry Riggs was exposed to how people in other parts of the world are forced to live and how they often leave everything in their native country to immigrate to the United States. 

    Associates of the Congregation of St. Joseph, as well as St. Joseph women religious and St.

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    Preserving the past

    The Archives Department was created by Bishop Robert E. Tracy within six months of his installation and the newly formed Diocese of Baton Rouge. The diocesan history was just beginning in 1962, but the history of the churches and the people within the diocese began with the arrival of the settlers and the missionaries who ministered to them. Sacraments recorded their lives in the Catholic Church beginning in 1728. Bishop Tracy initiated a “call in” of all

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    Testify to the light

    I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul … (Isaiah 61:10)

    The liturgical season of Advent is upon us. Churches, adorned in purple, signify the “posture” by which the faithful are to journey through this season. As the nation hopes for an economic boost in retail sales, a Christian’s “economic” boost is realized by investing in preparation, prayer and joy!

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    Prepare, wait and watch

    The season of fall has finally debuted as the leaves fade into rustic hues of orange, brown, yellow and burgundy. Similarly, the colors adorning the sanctuaries around the world will shift from green to white to purple, as we enter into the last week of the Liturgical Year and begin anew with Advent. We end the old year with jubilant celebration and begin a new year with a clear resolution following three principles: prepare, wait and watch.

    Prepare

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    Advent opportunity to hit reset button on spiritual life

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Given the natural and manmade chaos that appears to be running rampant in the world, like the people of Jesus’ time, Catholics may be looking for “the big wrap up” when God cleans out evil and brings his faithful to heaven. But as the new liturgical year begins with Advent on Dec. 3, the church teaches Catholics that their long awaited savior entered the world in a manger in

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    Catholic Charities

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is a network of agencies which has evolved from a number of different programs, all of which stem from a shared mission: to help those in need. Catholic Charities has its roots in the Catholic Family Life Bureau (est. 1962), Catholic Social Services (est. 1964), and the Office of Social Responsibility (est. 1968). 

    Originally, the primary focus was on maternity and adoption counseling, emergency

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    St. Teresa of Calcutta

    Baton Rouge was visited by Mother Teresa several times from 1985-1987 when she sought to establish her order, the Missionaries of Charity, in our city. Bishop Stanley J. Ott had written to Mother Teresa to request she open a House of Ministry to serve unwed mothers and their babies in Baton Rouge. She responded by sending four of her sisters to live in the convent at St. Agnes Church and minister to the “poorest of the poor with

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    Awake for Christ

    “Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” – Mt. 24:42  

    The final weeks in Ordinary Time are upon us. The readings for the 32nd and 33rd Sundays indicate two very important aspects of Christianity: wisdom and watchfulness. 

    Wisdom

    True wisdom is from God. Simply put, it guides the faithful into determining whether something is good

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    Living in the Spirit

    Disciples of Jesus are a people who allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate their heart, calling them out from the idolatry that is the root of all sin. Sin is that which leads us away from the communion with God and one another, that we were created for. It isolates us from the love of God. Isolated from the love of God, we lack an experience of the depths of love we are called to for one

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    The Catholic Life Center

    The Catholic Life Center is the official headquarters of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Bishop Robert E. Tracy attended all of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council which convened shortly after his installation. One of the many innovative ideas he brought back was the construction of a building created in the spirit of Vatican II.  

    His vision for the building was to become the focal point of

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    New program in Brusly offers relief for moms

    By Debbie Shelley 

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Shouts of glee come from a classroom in the activity center of St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly as young children paint like little Picassos. Later, they glue paper cut outs of a crown, cross and dove on popsicle sticks through a craft project reinforcing a lesson on the Trinity. Meanwhile, their moms run errands, focus on the work they do from home, or pamper themselves during a break from mom duty provided by a

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    Diocese of Baton Rouge established

    The first half of the 20th century saw unprecedented growth in Baton Rouge. In the metropolitan area alone, the Catholic Church grew from one church parish in 1900 to nine by 1950 and to 15 by 1960. In the more rural areas, outside of city limits, church parishes gradually evolved from mission chapels as congregations grew and resident priests became available. 

    In a Papal Bull entitled “Peramplum Novae Aurelia,” Blessed Pope John XXIII established

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    Preparing for heaven

     I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  

    Life-giving faith directs us to God’s “dwelling place.” The 28th and 29th Ordinary Time Sunday Mass Scriptures prepare our hearts and minds for a final destiny. In fact, we are called to prepare today for tomorrow. 

    Earthly banquet and heavenly feast: You are invited 

    Celebrations are directly proportional to the amount of food and

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    Catholicism on campus

    In 1929, when Louisiana State University moved its campus from downtown to its current location, the administration offered temporary space for its Catholic students to congregate. Chaplain, Father Maurice Schexnayder, celebrated Mass at the Dodson Auditorium on Sundays for one-third of the student population.  

    In 1935, he established the Newman Club, a Catholic student organization named for John Henry Cardinal Newman. It was Cardinal Newman’s belief that a university education without God was an incomplete education. The Newman Club movement was

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    Vineyard moments

    I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, to go and bear fruit that will remain. – John 15:16 </span id=”2″>

    The Scriptures for the 26th and 27th Sundays in Ordinary Time lead us into the vineyard. The reality of working in a vineyard is challenging. Planted in alignment within areas completely clear of stone, vineyards must be protected from predators by erecting thick hedges. Once established, the vineyard is to be meticulously tendered by weeding, pruning and trimming.

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    Our Lady of the Lake opens

    Baton Rouge was a growing town with a population of more than 22,000 when Msgr. Francis Leon Gassler arrived as the new pastor of St. Joseph Church on Feb. 11, 1921. Shortly after his arrival, he was approached by two physicians, Drs. Trahan and Chamberlin, imploring his aid in finding a religious order of women to take over the administration of St. Mary’s Infirmary, the only hospital in Baton Rouge.  

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    Working in the vineyard

    I give you a new commandment, says the Lord; love one another as I have loved you (Jn 13:34). 

    The 24th and 25th Sundays in Ordinary Time begin the final ten weeks of the liturgical year. The readings of the liturgies signify two realities: forgiveness and compassion. Mercy is seen two-fold: God’s gift of mercy and the faithful’s call to mercy. Compassion is a necessity, enabling one to grow in Christ-like holiness.  

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    Living missionary disciple

    May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call (Eph 1:17-18). 

    The faithful are immersed into the life of Christ through baptism. This life includes the call to be living missionary disciples, which happens to be the theme of the 2017 Catechetical Sunday celebration taking place in a couple of weeks (Sunday, Sept. 17). The Mass readings from the 22nd and 23rd Sundays in Ordinary Time present basic characteristics of how to be

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    Catholic lay groups

    As the Catholic Church continued to grow in the 1800s, Baton Rouge parishioners wanted to become more involved with their faith and community. A number of benevolent lay groups were established at the turn of the 19th century.  

    One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, was founded in Paris in 1833 by Blessed John Frederick Ozanam. This organization was brought to Louisiana when William Blair Lancaster (godson of Ozanam) presented Father Cyril Delacroix a manual of the society. In 1865, Father Delacroix

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    The Civil War

    By Ann Boltin

    The period leading up to the Civil War in Baton Rouge saw great changes to the church. The Jesuit order had been ministering to St. Joseph since their arrival in 1849. Their time in Baton Rouge had ushered in progress with Catholic education by soliciting assistance from religious sisters to teach the children in the city. With the growth of the population it was determined that a new church be built to accommodate the needs of the congregation. Father John Cambias SJ

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