Life_Giving Faith.pdf

All eyes on God

Posted August 16, 2019 at 12:00 am

Have you ever been walking and taken your eyes off the path because of some distraction, obstacle or detour? The 20th and 21st Sunday Mass readings in Ordinary Time (Cycle C) call to mind the importance of focusing our gaze on God in the midst of persecution, obstacles, and trials. As a result, we experience a sense of peace and endurance, as we strive for holiness each day. 

Sank into the mud (Jer 38:6)  

A major prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures with eyes fixed on God, Jeremiah experienced tremendous hardship as he persisted in proclaiming messages from God to the reigning king and princes of Judah. Rather than respond to his warning of the impending conquer of Judah by the Babylonians, the princes of that time had

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    Inexhaustible treasure

    The Mass readings for the 18th and 19th Sundays in Ordinary Time invite us to examine what we treasure most in life and if this steers us toward eternity. The Old Testament Scripture readings from Wisdom, together with the epistles and the Gospel of St. Luke, offer inspiration for those seeking the inexhaustible treasure of life. 

    Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I doing this?” The author of Ecclesiastes would say, “What you are doing may not matter after you are

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    Holy hospitality, hope & prayer

    Holy hospitality, hope & prayer

    Simple life lessons arise from the 16th and 17th Weeks in Ordinary Time Mass readings. These lessons are tangible for us. They serve as foundations for a life filled by Christ within; a life filled with hope that not only glorifies the Lord but also shares the hope of the glory of God.  

    Hospitality 101  

    Think of a time you had unexpected company. Recently at home my

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    With all your heart

    By Dina Dow

    The joy of Ordinary Time continues as we celebrate the 14th and 15th Sundays. The Gospel Acclamation grasps the themes for both liturgies, “Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:15-16).

    Control the heart

    What controls your heart? Uniquely, our bodily heart contains a natural pacemaker, which controls the sparks of wave-like impulses causing contraction resulting in a heart rate and life-giving movement of blood.  St. Paul suggests allowing the “peace of Christ to control our hearts “ (Col 3:15).

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    Faith knows no age

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator  

    As the transport bus pulled up to the church, the 12 passengers on board readied themselves to disembark, tightening their grips on purses, canes and rosaries. The ladies, all residents of Williamsburg Senior Living Community in Baton Rouge, gingerly made their way down the steps and walked right into church. Beautifully dressed with smiles and bright eyes, the women, supporting each other both physically and spiritually, made their way to their

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    Spirituality center ‘concluding but ministry continues’

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    After more than three decades, the St. Joseph Spirituality Center located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Academy is shuttering its Baton Rouge location June 30, or as  outgoing executive director Dianne Hanley said, the center “is concluding but the ministry is continuing.”

    Spiritual direction, which has become the greater focus of the center during the past several years, will be administered through churches and will include not only the four remaining lay spiritual directors from St. Joseph but spiritual directors scattered throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

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    God’s shining light

    This the truth each Christian learns, Bread into his flesh he turns, To his precious blood the wine … (Excerpt Sequence Lauda Sion) 

    As the sun shines brightly in these summer months, so too does the son of man shine his love upon our lives. We liturgically conclude the month of June celebrating the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (aka Corpus Christi) and the return to Ordinary Time, the 13th Sunday. These weeks draw us nearer to God

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    The Lord, the giver of life

    As we near the completion of Easter Season the Sunday liturgies enlighten the path to our triune God. Pentecost Sunday followed by the solemnity of the Holy Trinity offers infinite reflection with father, son and Holy Spirit: One God, three persons, blessed Trinity. Take this moment to focus on the essence of life in the Spirit. 

    Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit! 

    Pentecost Sunday opens with a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. 

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    ‘Historian’ Father Uter celebrates golden jubilee

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Digging into history is more than a favorite pastime for Father Frank Uter, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs.  

    Father Frank Uter is pictured at the Canterbury Cathedral next to the tomb of a brother of an ancestor, Hubert Walter, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1193-1205.  Archbishop Walter was buried near the tomb of St. Thomas Becket, who had previously served

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    Holy Spirit, Promise of Hope

    Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!  

    Alleluia, alleluia!  

    We continue to celebrate the joy of Easter as we draw near to summer. The sacramental life of the church is booming with extraordinary events: ordination of priests and transitional deacons, weddings, baptisms, first Communions and confirmations! The Sixth Sunday of Easter, together with the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord prepare us for the coming of “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit” (Jn 14: 26-27), who will enlighten our faith, invigorate our love and fill us

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    FAITH IN BLOOM

    Volunteer  creates beauty  at St. Anthony  

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    A typical Monday morning at Sts. Anthony of Padua and Le Van Phung Church in Baton Rouge finds a bevy of activity, as volunteers scurry about to remove elaborate floral altar arrangements that were used during the weekend Masses.  

    A flower arrangement created

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    STEPPING OUT

    Chef Folse experiences healing  

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator  

    When meeting Louisiana chef John Folse, one immediately learns he is a man who believes in his Catholic faith.  

    Folse, seen in the basement kitchen of Sts. Francisco and Jacinto Marto’s home, says he felt the presence of both his mother and the Blessed Mother during his visit to Fatima, especially

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    All things new

    Happy Easter, still! 

    We continue celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as the Sunday liturgy enters the Fourth and Fifth Weeks of Easter. The sprinkling of the waters of baptism are a reminder of new life in the resurrected Lord. The power of the Holy Spirit springs forth from the life-giving waters of baptism and thus the church to make all things new through Jesus Christ. 

    Light to the Gentiles 

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    Grandparents raising grandchildren

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Isaac Jones and wife, Norma, displaced from New Orleans to Houston for a period following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, suffered numerous health and financial issues. The couple put aside their own struggles to raise their grandchildren, Eymine, a student at Woodlawn Middle School, and JC, 3. They are raising their grandchildren with a dream they will have a better life.  

    Grandparents, some accompanied by their grandchildren,

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    ‘Second chance’

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Troubled teens receive a “second chance” by pushing themselves physically, academically and socially as part of the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program, which includes a 5 ½-month residential alternative military-like school at the Gillis W. Long Center on the old Indian Plantation grounds in Carville.  

    Pictured with youth at the Louisiana Youth Challenge at Gillis Long Center in Carville are, Father

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    El camino de la cruz su historia y significado hoy

    Padre: Donnell Kirchner, CSSR.

    Casi todos los cristianos que han visitado Jerusalén caminaron por VIA DOLOROSA, el camino tradicional por el que Cristo viaja desde el Palacio de Pilato hasta el Monte Calvario. Los grupos organizados oran constantemente por este camino y se detienen en los lugares tradicionales que conforman la historia del viaje de Cristo a su muerte para salvarnos.   

    Pero como muchas personas nunca podrán viajar allí, e incluso hubo un momento en que los gobernantes musulmanes no permitieron que los cristianos rezaran en las calles. Hace más de 500 años en

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    Christ is risen: believe it

    Happy Easter! 

    It’s indeed the most wonderful time of the year and the holiest. The Second and Third Sunday Mass readings of the Easter Season invite us to revisit the earliest days of our faith, rooted in the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is the same as breathing in air: both are necessary to live. Air is for life on earth. The resurrection is for life in eternity. For one to call oneself a Christian, one

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    Self-examination a good practice during Lent

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    “Could you not stay awake one hour?”

    As Lent quickly comes to a close, some may find themselves in the same perplexing situation as the disciples, when Jesus invites them to watch and pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane and admonishes them when he returns from prayer to find them asleep. People may find they have been on autopilot during Lent and are now receiving a startling “wake up” call, according to clergy of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

    One of the reasons people may not

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    Holy Week preparation

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he was greeted by cries of joy and praise –  “ …  they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel (Jn 12:13).’ ”

    Palm Sunday, with its procession of faithful holding palms outside of the church and the reading of the Passion of Christ during Mass, kicks off a Holy Week that includes both a beginning and an end, but not in

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    Journey to Calvary

    Holy Week is here. The journey to Calvary begins with the fall in Eden and ends with the last breath of Jesus on the cross. The head of the snake will be crushed by the one promised by God and foretold by the prophets. The number of Scripture readings for Palm Sunday, the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) and Easter Sunday total 33. The Pascal Mystery unfolds right before our eyes as we walk with Jesus from the glory of his entrance into Jerusalem,

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    Come to our senses

    As the Lenten journey is nearing the end, the walk becomes more deliberate. Each step deeply plants upon the path an impression of prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving. Lent offers a challenge to come to our senses. While we strive for firmer faith, deeper prayer and peace, we are called to a life of repentance and reconciliation. 

    Each liturgy for Sunday Mass during Week Four and Week Five of Lent offers two sets of readings: Year A and Year C. Although the stories

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    Harden not your hearts

    The early weeks of Lent are upon us. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving provide a sturdy foundation for the path upon which we trod. We celebrate the Second and Third Sundays of this holy season with an overall focus on repentance. The Sunday Mass readings illuminate the fruitfulness of faith, the glory of God’s presence, a thirsting for something more and the promise of hope. 

    Stargazing With God  

    The relationship between God and Abraham is fascinating. Scripture says,

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    Catholic men called to pick up daily crosses

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    A sold out crowd of 1,200 is expected to fill St. George Church in Baton Rouge for the third annual A Call to Battle: Catholic Men’s Conference presented by the Men of the Immaculata scheduled March 9.

    The theme of this year’s conference is “A Call to Battle: Consecration.”

    Among the large turnout are expected to be nearly 100 priests and deacons, with 20 priests committed to hearing confessions throughout the day.

    For the second consecutive year, the conference will be held at St. George. A year

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    Heart to mouth

     

    By Dina Dow

    The Liturgical Season changes from Ordinary Time to Lent. The next Sunday Mass Readings over the next two week offer a challenge to the faithful to “hold on to the word of life.” [Phil 2:16]

     

    The Heart at Work

    What is in your heart? What does your heart tell you? If what is in one’s heart comes out of their mouth, then what does one need to fill their heart so to speak words which gives life? Our words disclose our minds. What we fill our minds with will come out in our

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    Bringing mercy to Guatemala

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Looking into the grinning, giggling faces of Guatemalan orphans wrapped in their outstretched arms, four area missionaries experienced the tangible rewards Christ promises in Matthew 25:40 … “Amen I say to you, whatever you do for these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  

    Singing and dancing was a favorite activity of the girls in an orphanage in Jalapa Guatemala served by area missionaries as part

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    Religious celebrate anniversaries

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    As the church grapples with many challenges, candles flickered in St. Joseph Chapel in the Catholic Life Center, testifying to the faithfulness of the present honored religious holding them, who have weathered the storms in the church’s history and light the path for Catholics to “keep going.” These men and women were honored at a Jubliee and Consecrated Life Mass Feb. 1. 

    A Mass honoring men

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    Stand firm on the word of God

    Remarkable events in the life of Jesus resound in the Mass Readings of the Fourth and Fifth Sundays in Ordinary Time. Most significant is the word of God, of which we are to know, live and proclaim. Many are hesitant for feelings of unworthiness because of sin. Others proclaim, yet receive rejection. Fear holds many from the mission. How can we understand the call and live out the mission given to us by the word of God?  

    The call  

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    Spirit and life

    The joy of this past Christmas resonates as we begin in Ordinary Time of the liturgical season. Even though the decorations are stored away for another year consider finding a space to display at least one sign of Jesus’ Nativity as a reminder of the joy of His humble birth. The celebration of the Second and Third Sunday Masses of Ordinary Time empower us to recognize the joy of God, the movement of the Holy Spirit and the mission of Jesus Christ. 

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    Starlight shines bright

    The universe is vast, precise and infinite. The more we seek to find the endpoint, the more we realize the magnitude of space and time is something to behold. We know who created the universe. As Catholic Christians, we begin the Creed with these words, “I believe in one God, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth … ” Thus, it makes sense to look to the sky as a compass for travel and time. Therefore, we begin the new calendar year (the Gregorian calendar year,

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    LIGHT OF FAITH

    Advent provides  starlit path to spiritual peace 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    (Third in a series)

     

    Pictured above is the Nativity from Sts. Anthony of Padua and Le Van Phung Church in Baton

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