Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Testify to the light

Posted December 8, 2017 at 12:00 am

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!

Prepare the way of the Lord

A chant is sung during Taize’ Advent Prayer with the words, “Prepare the way of the Lord. Prepare the way of the Lord, and all people will see the salvation of our God.”

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    In Jesus we trust

    “Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God…” (Mt 16:16)

    Ordinary Time is filled with extraordinary faith-filled followers who acknowledge Jesus as the Christ through their actions and words. The 20th and 21st Sundays bring to mind three areas of reflection which will further open our minds and hearts to receiving the Christ. We see these perfectly manifested in the actions of the Canaanite woman, a Gentile, who graciously approached Jesus with trust, persistence and humility. This

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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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    Catholic Education in Baton Rouge

    Father August Martin, pastor of St. Joseph Church from 1846-1849, exhibited great zeal and enthusiasm for the spiritual welfare of his parish and its missions. It was during his tenure that the first Catholic school in the city of Baton Rouge was established in 1847.

    The Daughters of Charity sent six sisters from Baltimore to Louisiana in January 1847. Three sisters were assigned to

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    Mountaintop minutes

    By Dina Dow

    “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” – Mt 17:5

    We celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time filled with awe and wonder. The unveiling of Jesus’ divinity of empowers his disciples to become witnesses of truth. Herein are three realities of faith: to understand God’s glory, to have confidence in Jesus, and to remain attentive to the Holy Spirit

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    Hearing God’s words

    By Dina Dow

    “The kingdom of Heaven: Whoever has ears ought to hear”

    The Gospel readings of the upcoming 16th and 17th Sundays in Ordinary Time are parables for the purpose of revealing and veiling the mysteries of the “kingdom of God.” They are meant to resonate with those who are humble in heart, the childlike in faith. Conversely, those who are proud lose their ability to see the real meaning behind Jesus’ message. What does the phrase “kingdom of God” mean for us? And how can we grasp

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    First mission

    In January of 1826, St. Joseph welcomed its seventh pastor to Baton Rouge. Father Antoine Blanc, a French cleric, had been recruited by Bishop Dubourg to serve as a missionary priest in Louisiana. Prior to his time in the Capital City, Father Blanc served the Indiana and Mississippi territories and had been appointed pastor to St. Francis Catholic Church of Pointe Coupee.

    Steady growth continued in Baton Rouge, and the

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    Reaping the harvest

    The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower. All who come to him will have life forever.

    The 14th and 15th Sundays in Ordinary Time kindle the desire to live as faithful disciples of Jesus. We are called to deeper awareness of the characteristics of God as our king, our life guided by Jesus and our receptivity of the word.

    Meekness

    The

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    Charismatic ministry chance to deepen spirituality

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Larry Hebert is ready.

    The Catholic Charismatic Renewal ministry allows individuals to strengthen their relationship with Jesus and enjoy Christ-centered friendships. Charismatic prayer meetings begin with praise and worship and are followed by a speaker or brief message. Photos by Rachele Smith | The Catholic Commentator

    As one of the leaders of the newly reinstated Catholic charismatic prayer ministry at St. Mark Church in

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    Discipleship: Living the call of Jesus

    “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord” – Psalm 89

    The journey through Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Year continues with the unveiling of the call to discipleship. Jesus’ extraordinary life is a path for baptized Christians to grow as life-giving disciples. It is through the example of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that disciples are strengthened, encouraged and made holy.

    Be strong

    How are we strengthened as disciples? Initially, we

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    Extraordinary ministers of Eucharist allow Catholics to experience the Lord

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Since 1246, Catholics have celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi, which takes place this year on June 15, in order to make the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist known to the world in a public way.

    Reverence and a sense of joy are important when extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist distribute the body and blood of Christ. Photo by Staci Brimer

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    Faith’s powerful lessons

    Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to God who is, who was, and who is to come.

    The liturgical celebration moves from Pentecost into two powerful solemnities: The Most Holy Trinity and The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). In these are revealed three powerful lessons in life-giving faith: source, revelation

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    Trust in the Spirit

    “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations …” – Matthew 28:19

    We are nearing the end of our Easter journey. Hopefully the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection has resonated in your heart and renewed your spirit. Just when you think the “party is over” our father saves the best of the season for last. These next two weeks will actually shed light on the power of new life in the resurrection, mainly the life of Jesus ascended, the life of the Holy Spirit and the life of the mission of the Church.

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    Marian Servants assist searching souls to find comfort through faith

    This is the final article in a series on secular religious institutes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Pictured at a Commitment Day of the Marian Servants of the Eucharist are, from left, Theresa Hagen, Tonia Okpalobi, Ron Lindsey; middle row: Lisette Borné, Glen Landry, Susan Gros, Melinda Sanford, Janet Lindsey; bottom row: Lisa Landry, Shirley Sherman, Joyce Dietrick,

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    The way, the truth and the life

    Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. – Psalm 33

    The celebration of Easter continues as we hear more extraordinary readings these next two Sundays. The events described are filled with the work of the Trinity, as the father is known by the son; the son is the face of the father; and the Holy Spirit is the giver of life.

    I Am the Way

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    Weathering the storm

    The most dreaded words in south Louisiana lexicon is rapidly approaching: hurricane season is near.

    From June 1 through the end of November residents never stray far from mobile devices, apps or the television, wary of any breaking weather developments. And who can blame them, especially after an unnamed storm this past summer inflicted the worst damage in Baton Rouge in its long history.

    As with most events that affect our lives, there is

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