Exhibit postponed

Posted April 8, 2020 at 1:16 pm

By Debbie Shelley 

The Catholic Commentator 

The exhibit “Michelangelo – A Different View” has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19 – Sunday, Jan. 3 at Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, according to Alysia DesCoteaux, the facility’s marketing manager. 

Rome will come to Baton Rouge through the use of technology as the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been replicated, providing an up-close view for visitors. 

The exhibit includes the entire display of the works and licensed by the Vatican, including the 20 x 20 painting of “The Last Judgment.” Instead of having to look up at the ceiling, however, the masterpieces will be on the ground, allowing viewers a unique view of the collection. 

“This display is rich in Catholic history,” said DesCoteaux, who is Catholic, noting that the display will provide a unique experience for everyone through a closer,

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    EDITORIAL: God is present

    The numbers are staggering and showing no signs of receding.

    Coronavirus, a modern-day plague more reminiscent of biblical times, has been relentless in its march across the globe, potentially claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, stretching the health care industry beyond its limits and pillaging the global economy.

    Perhaps even more disheartening is that as a planet teeters on the cliff of a medical abyss, there is seemingly no end to the nightmare.

    Despite a rising death toll, despite images that will likely forever sully our conscious, inexplicably the country appears to be divided on what is truly a

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    Bishop extends Mass suspension

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Bishop Michael G. Duca has extended the suspension of Masses in addition to other liturgies and devotionals through April 30.

    Bishop Duca followed Gov. John Bel Edwards’ extension of the state’s stay-at-home order until April 30. The bishop had earlier suspended public liturgical celebrations through April 13 to coincide with Edwards’ proclamation to limit public gatherings.

    The bishop made the announcement of the extended suspensions April 3, the same day he issued a detailed guidance to priests and deacons with respect to celebrating Holy Week, the triduum

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    FranU donates needed supplies to OLOL 

    Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University donated 150 boxes of exam gloves, 200 procedure masks and several procedure gowns to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Hospital on March 24 to help bolster supplies, which are low because of COVID-19.

    Donations came from the School of Nursing skills lab, School of Arts and Sciences Biology Department and Chemistry Department and School of Health Professions Medical Lab Science Program.

    “This is a clear example of how each member of the Franciscan family steps up to advance the mission,” FranU president. Dr. Tina Holland said. “We

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    Students making transition from classroom to homes

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    From textbooks to Chromebooks, iPads and laptops, education in the Diocese of Baton Rouge has shifted easily from campus to home for the majority of Catholic school students during the COVID-19 health crisis.

    Kelly Broussard, a middle school teacher at Sacred Heart School in Baton Rouge, is one of many teachers with children at home and said there is much shifting between roles with distance learning. With a master’s degree in educational technology, Broussard is also providing technical support to fellow teachers, adding even more dimensions to an already full day.

    “I think

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    Rosaryville Spirit-Life Center closes

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Rosaryville Spirit-Life Center located in Ponchatoula recently shuttered its doors and intends to sell the property, but will place the wetlands of the tree-lined property in conservation.

    An email sent to The Catholic Commentator April 4 by Rosaryville director Suzette Callais and  the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, said a decision had been made to close the center Dec. 31. But upon Callais’ recommendation, the team decided to end all programs immediately.

    “This is in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the health and well-being of all those who were planning to

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    Virtual confessions not allowed by church doctrine

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    An Italian priest recently created a buzz when he said that because of the coronavirus temporarily shuttering Catholic churches in countries worldwide, including the United States, Pope Francis has the authority to allow confession to be heard via the Internet or even the telephone.

    Father Giorgio Giovanelli, a professor of canon law at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University and pastor at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Fano, about 180 miles outside of Rome, said in a March interview that he should be able to hear confessions and grant sacramental

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    Easter in a time of isolation

    A picture is worth 1,000 words. 

    This old saying from the field of photo-journalism was certainly true on the evening of Friday, March 27 when Pope Francis gave an Urbi et Orbi blessing (to Rome and the world) from a totally empty St. Peter’s Square in the midst of the world-wide coronavirus pandemic. Aldo Grasso, Italy’s best-known historian and critic of television, described the moment: “One day we’ll remember these sad times we’re living with many other images: the daily count of the

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    Risen Lord offers light in darkness 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Easter this year provides a special opportunity to connect our own circumstances with the events of that first Easter – the darkness of Jesus’ walk to Calvary, his death on a tree and disappointment and fear as we ask, “Where is he?” 

    Bishop Michael G. Duca blesses palms during Palm Sunday Mass

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    Love in the time of COVID-19

    In 1985, Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, published a novel entitled, “Love in the Time of Cholera.” It tells a colorful story of how life can still be generative, despite an epidemic.  

    What’s besetting our world right now is not cholera but the coronavirus, COVID-19.  Nothing in my lifetime has ever affected the whole world as radically as this virus. Whole countries have shut down, virtually all schools and colleges have sent their students home and are offering classes online, we’re discouraged from going out

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    Bishop’s Easter message

    “Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!” I always begin my Easter Saturday homily with this traditional Easter greeting among Christians in the Eastern Rite Christian Churches. Unlike the greeting “Have a blessed Easter,” (the religious equivalent of “Have a Nice Day,”) “Christ is Risen!” is a PROCLAMATION of our faith that expresses a heartfelt Easter joy that cannot be contained. “Christ is Risen!” (exclamation point required) invites a response of the other person who is greeted to share the common faith, “He is Risen indeed.” In that moment we are the Body of

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    St. Gerard students, parishioners face struggles

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    On a recent afternoon, with the streets eerily quiet as residents nested in the safety of their homes, Father Tat Hoang CSsR was sweeping near St. Gerard Majella Church in Baton Rouge when he was approached by a family of six.  

    The parents and four children were in the church yard of where Father Hoang is pastor and asked if he had any food to

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    CCDBR seeking donations to continue Care Card program

    A fuel card program for health-care workers launched by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge was a tremendous success and now the agency is seeking donations to distribute additional assistance to those professionals working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

    CCDBR on April 4 launched its “Catholic Charities Care Cards” initiative, releasing $10,000 worth of gasoline cards to health care workers who are selflessly serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. 

    The agency had distributed all of the cards by April 6.

    “These workers are putting themselves at risk to protect the rest

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    CCDBR active providing assistance

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge has fielded more than 2,000 phone calls from people seeking assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, executive director David Aguillard said.

    He said the primary assistance needs have come in the forms of rent, food, utilities, tax preparation and food stamps application assistance. He said the underlying reasons for those needs are people who have lost their jobs or have had a reduction in hours with no emergency funds on hand.

    CCDBR has distributed $7,000 worth of finance cards through debit cards, with half of that amount coming from the Catholic Schools Office of

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    Catholic Charities Care Cards: Fuel for health care workers

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge on April 4launched its “Catholic Charities Care Cards” initiative, releasing $10,000 of gasoline cards to health care workers who are selflessly serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. 

    “These workers are putting themselves at risk to protect the rest of us.  We hope this action not only helps financially, but shows our thanksgiving for their tireless work,” said David C. Aguillard, executive director of CCDBER.


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    President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops releases message for Holy Week

    WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement for Holy Week.

    Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:

    “Future generations will look back on this as the long Lent of 2020, a time when disease and death suddenly darkened the whole earth. As we enter into Holy Week, these most sacred days of the year, Catholics across the United States and the world are living under quarantine, our societies shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. “But we know that our Redeemer lives. Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment,

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    Holy Thursday:

    • Chrism Mass in Rome with Pope Francis: Airs 3:30 a.m. ET and 8 a.m. ET
    • Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper From Rome: 11 a.m. ET
    • Choral Meditations and Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 5:30 p.m. ET, live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
    • Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 10:30 p.m. ET, live from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA.

    Good Friday:

    • Walk the Way of the Cross: San Giovanni Rotondo: 10 a.m. ET
    • Faustina’s Way of the Cross at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy: 2 p.m. ET
    • Choral Meditations and

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    Bishop Michael Duca Issues Guidance on Holy Week and Easter Services

    Bishop Michael G. Duca of the Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued detailed guidance to priests and deacons with respect tocelebrating Holy Week, the Triduum and Easter Sunday services. His directives are being widely distributed by the parishes of the diocese.

    All services will be private in nature, that is restricted to a priest celebrant, a deacon, and a minimum number of assisting ministers, such as a lector and

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    Pope Francis holds the monstrance as he delivers his extraordinary blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) during a prayer service in the portico of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 27. The service was livestreamed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. CNS photo

    Edwards ask citizens to join in lunch-fasting on Tuesdays

    Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking Louisiana citizens to join with him, state chaplain Rev. Dr. Rodney Wood, legislators and other leaders in “Lunch-fasting before God on Tuesdays” beginning March 31.

    On each Tuesday at noonf or the next four weeks, and possibly longer, men, women and young people throughout Louisiana are being asked to unite in a fast from their midday meal and in earnest, private prayer in the presence of Christ, the savior of the world. Residents are also being encouraged to reach out to others and ask them to join in this united engagement

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    A message from Julia Scarnato, executive director of the Hispanic Apostolate:

    The Hispanic Apostolate as part of the diocesan department is working remotely as well,  and we created a hotline for counseling from the Spanish speaking priests. We also created a YouTube channel to send the Gospel, prayers, reflections and other devotions. Our office number is: 225-927-8700. We are answering simultaneously from two cellphone lines and the hotline number 225-412-8600.

    We distributed 140 baskets of food last week. We are taking the bishop’s recommendations seriously. The faithful are responding very well to all the precautions.

    We’re silently helping as much as we can for our brothers and sisters,

    Julie Scarnato


    Diocese of Baton Rouge Statement on Suspension of Child Nutrition Program “Grab & Go Meal Service” 24 March 2020

    The “Grab & Go Meal Service,” operated by the Child Nutrition Program of the Diocesan Catholic schools office, has with deep regret been suspended effective today, 24 March 2020.

    We want to thank the school lunchroom employees and volunteers who helped serve over 6,000 combined breakfasts and lunches to school children, regardless of their faith, in the mere three days the program was in operation.

    The suspension by the Catholic school district follows the discontinuance of the same program at several public school districts around the state.

    Not one, but a number of factors contributed to the action by the Catholic schools. New,

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    Evangelization class schedule updates

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused several changes to the Ministry and Theology classes offered by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

    All previously scheduled online MAT classes for the spring are proceeding as usual, with no cancellations, evangelization officials said.

    However, some MAT I and MAT II courses for the spring have been postponed, including the MAT I Sacred Liturgy class originally scheduled for March 10, 17, 24 and 31 at St. Jude School in Baton Rouge. New dates will be determined at a later

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    Al Clero, Religiosos y Laicos Creyentes de la Diócesis de Baton Rouge

     Como ya es evidente de los continuos cierres por todo nuestro país y el estado, el Coronavirus continúa propagándose con extrema rapidez por muchas de nuestras comunidades. Varios obispos de los Estados Unidos y de la Ciudad de Nueva Orleans han dado el difícil paso para ofrecer a los fieles una dispensa de su obligación de asistir a la misa dominical. 

     Los líderes locales, incluido el Gobernador Edwards, siguen anunciando medidas agresivas para prevenir la propagación del virus. Estas incluyen limitar el tamaño de las reuniones públicas y el cierre de lugares, como restaurantes y teatros, para ampliar significativamente los esfuerzos de mitigación

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    Sunday is coming!

    It’s Friday but Sunday is Coming! 

    These are extraordinary times!  Each day brings another change in our routine that shakes our security whether financially, psychologically, medically or maybe all three.  And if that is not already too much, now our Sunday Mass, the one place each week we might go to hear the hopeful proclamation of the Gospel and to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, has been suspended.  These are more than extraordinary times; these are times that cause us to look deep into our hearts to find spiritual solid ground that will give us the firm footing to meet the immediate challenges before us

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    Praying Act of Spiritual Communion unites Catholics with Christ in absence of Eucharist

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    As the coronavirus continues to bring a country to its knees, the physical and mental affects are immeasurable.  

    But what about the spiritual effect, as the cancellation of Masses has left Catholics without the opportunity to receive the Eucharist, or even attend eucharastic adoration?  

    With Mass no longer an option and an increasing number of people quarantined, self-quarantining or

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    Diocese copes with the impact of the coronavirus

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Cancellation of Masses, fairs and other church events are just a few of the many ways the Diocese of Baton Rouge is adjusting to the threat posed by the coronavirus.  


    Newlyweds Diego Fernandes and Deni Salgado kiss through protective face masks during their wedding ceremony with only witnesses and no guests in Naples, Italy, March 20. Public gatherings are banned as part of Italy’s lockdown

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