GOBBLE UP!

Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:26 pm

Thanksgiving tradition continues

By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

A pair of long-standing Thanksgiving Day traditions in Baton Rouge will continue although with a decidedly different look as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless at its men’s homeless shelter and also host the Holiday Helpers lunch at the Raising Cane’s River Center, which is open to the general public. 

However, because of the pandemic, no indoor seating will be available. Rather, meals at the homeless shelter will be distributed through a to-go window and drive through will be available at the River Center, according to St. Vincent President and CEO Michael Acaldo.

St. Vincent has been serving hot meals on Thanksgiving Day since 1982 and Holiday Helpers was established in 1987.

“At St. Vincent de

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    Voters send signal recognizing dignity of life

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Louisiana voters’ overwhelming endorsement of the Love Life Amendment was a statement that the majority of residents recognize the value of human life, according to the leading pro-life official in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

    The amendment, which  ensures that state judges cannot use the state constitution to hold sacred a right to abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in Louisiana and keeps the issue of abortion in the hands of the people through  elected legislators rather than the courts, garnered more than 60 percent of

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    PRESENTATION OF CHURCH KEY

    Bishop Michael G. Duca presents Father Babu Vareeth IMS a key to St. Ann Church in Morganza during a pastor installation service Nov. 8. Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator  

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    KEY TO THE CHURCH

    Bishop Michael G. Duca, right, presents the key of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Donaldsonville to Father Raphael Asika MSP during his installation as pastor on November 7. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

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    TROOP BLESSING

    Bishop Michael G. Duca speaks with members of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Brigade Combat Team during a prayer service at Baton Rouge Airport on Nov. 12. Bishop Duca blessed the Tiger Brigade, which deployed almost 2,000 soldiers to the Middle East. Photo provided by Father Jamin David | Episcopal Vicar for Strategic Planning, Diocese of Baton Rouge

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    CHS dedicates student center, celebrates award

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    With temperatures plummeting under gray skies, spirits were soaring and everyone was proud to be a Bear at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge during a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating two historical occasions, the school’s record-setting sixth National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award and the opening of a stunning new student center.  

    The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Brother Donnan Berry SC Student

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    International adoption offers hope to forgotten youth

    International adoption offers hope to forgotten youth 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Paula Davis’ office at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is filled with pictures and letters telling of the tears, fears, struggles and snuggles of families she’s worked with as they open their arms over thousands of miles to welcome children from other countries through international adoptions.  

    Ken

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    Our only hope

    The liturgical year, Cycle A, concludes with the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, as the new liturgical year, Cycle B, begins with the First Sunday of Advent. The Sunday Mass readings fill us with the light of the kerygma (pronounced ke-rig-ma), the first proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, namely “that in Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died and rose, salvation is offered to all people as a gift of God’s grace and mercy” (“Mission of the

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    Retirement Fund for Religious scheduled Dec. 12-13

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    In a trend that mirrors society, religious communities face tremendous challenges in elder care and retirement that have been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The National Retirement Fund for Religious collection, Dec. 12 – Dec. 13, will help replenish diminished funds available for retired religious.  Photo provided by the National Religious Retirement Office 

     

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    BLESSING OF THE GRAVES

    Father Charlie Landry, pastor at St. Gabriel Church in St. Gabriel, blesses the graves following Mass on Nov. 1. Clergy members throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge blessed graves on All Saints Day.  Photo provided by Rozalyn Duplantis | Catholic Life Television 

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    Prayer service has special meaning for Deacon Adams

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Emotion tugged at Deacon Alfred Adams as he cast a forlorn eye at the rich St. James civil parish soil upon which he was standing, an area that was once plantation fields sprawling with slaves and the same site where corporate giant Formosa is hoping to build a mammoth $9.4 million plastics plant.  

    Father Joshua Johnson, pastor at Holy Rosary Church

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    CLERGY PRAYER SERVICE

    Priests gathered at St. George Church on Nov. 6 for a Morning Prayer of the Church led by Bishop Michael G. Duca. Bishop Duca blessed the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick and consecrated the Chrism. Clergy members also renewed their priestly promises. Photo provided by Father Chris Decker  

    Barrett’s confirmation ‘a gain for the entire country’

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court received enthusiastic responses from throughout the Catholic community, including at the diocesan and state levels.

    Barrett, a native of New Orleans who was raised in Metairie and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, was confirmed Oct. 26 in a Senate vote that mostly divided along party lines.

    Barrett is the sixth practicing Catholic justice at the Supreme Court, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh. In addition, Barrett will join Sotomayor as the

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    COVID-19 patient finds much to be thankful for

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    In the same way people pull out their recipe cards to make that pumpkin pie or other favorite family dish for Thanksgiving, Jody Landry has a written list of things to be thankful for.  

    Jody Landry, a member of St. Patrick Church in Baton Rouge, found much to be thankful for in the midst of suffering from COVID-19.  

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    St. Gerard School celebrates 75 years

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    More than four decades ago, on a summer afternoon bookended by her sophomore and junior years in high school, Jeannine Cockerham joined a friend as they walked into the St. Gerard Majella Elementary School gym in Baton Rouge.  

    On a cold and rainy winter day, St. Gerard stepped off on its annual Mardi Gras parade. 

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    VIRTUAL FUNDRAISING

    Raising money via the internet

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Fundraising in the traditional sense has been challenging for church parishes as well as other religious organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. 

     

    Virtual fundraising has proven to be a viable alternative for churches and schools during the coronavirus pandemic. St. Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge recently live streamed its silent and live auction, with bids coming in via

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    Traveling silver rose shines on the Blessed Mother

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    When roses fell to the ground from Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak) imprinted with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in front of Bishop Juan de Zumaraga in 1531, the Blessed Mother declared herself to be the mother of all.  

    Presenting the silver rose in the Mass processional at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge on Oct. 25 are, front, holding rose, Mike Moss, grand knight

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    Celebrating Advent with a twist in unusual year

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    The coronavirus pandemic will likely impact the way people observe the Advent season as they turn more to online resources and virtual events. 

    Technology tends to have a reputation of creating “busyness” and “distractions” but priests and lay leaders in the Diocese of Baton Rouge say technology can be an asset in preparing meaningfully for the Christmas season.  

    “Technology really is a

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    Bishop Duca announces reorganization changes

    Bishop Michael G. Duca has made additional appointments as part of the ongoing reorganization of the Diocesan Curia.  

     The College of Consultors  

    The College of Consultors assists Bishop Duca in certain areas of administration as determined by canon law.  It also provides for the governance of the diocese if the see is vacant or impeded. The law establishes that the bishop freely establishes the council from members of the Presbyteral Council.  There must be six to 12 consultors, and the body is appointed for a term of five years.  

    Effective Oct. 7, the new College of

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    Gero at FranU answering needs of ‘Silver Tsunami’

    Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    As people live longer and young families having fewer number of children, the need to provide resources and education to better health among the older generation is increasing.

    Recognizing the “Silver Tsunami” of people 55 years of age and older, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is answering the need through Gerontology at FranU program, a university initiative dedicated to providing Baton Rouge with relevant, up-to-date information regarding healthy aging practices and activities.

    According to Dr. Lindsay Mullins, chair of the Sister Agnes Marie Fitzsimmons Endowed Chair of Gerontology, the Geno

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    Love Life Amendment on ballot

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Along with electing a president Louisiana voters will also  go to the polls Nov. 3 to decide on a pro-life amendment to the state constitution that would protect unborn babies in the event the Supreme Court eventually overturns Roe vs. Wade, the court case legalizing abortion in 1973.

    If Roe is indeed overturned, the legal question of the right to an abortion will be decided state by state. The Love Life Amendment, according to Danielle Van Haute, pro-life coordinator for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, would put into

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    Cathedral vandalism statement

    A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus outside of St. Joseph Cathedral’s Parish Office was defaced with vulgar graffiti overnight Sept. 24.

    This has now been removed. Persons of every religion should pray that all seeking respect also seek respectful ways to achieve their wishes.

     

    Los servicios de salud mental de CCDBR adquieren un nuevo perfil

    Por Ricardo Meek

    El comentarista católico

    Durante un cuarto de siglo, Caridades Católicas de la Diócesis de Baton Rouge, han proporcionado servicios de salud mental en toda la región, pero tal vez nunca ha sido tan complejo, como hoy en día, el satisfacer las necesidades de todos lo clientes. 

    Los servicios han continuado ininterrumpidos durante toda la pandemia gracias a la creatividad e ingenio de CCDBR, superando los diferentes desafíos técnicos. En lugar de las tradicionales reuniones cara a cara, la inmensa mayoría de las sesiones se llevan a cabo a través de la telemedicina,

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    PSR classes adjusting to changes during pandemic

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Parish schools of religion are using various formats to catechize their children and youth in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

    St. Isidore Church in Baker kicked off its PSR program with a traditional in-person format on Sept. 16, according to Monice Oliphant, director of religious formation at St. Isidore. The church is also providing the same resources online for students who will not be coming to campus for classes because of safety concerns.

    “We were very fortunate that our publisher also has an online curriculum,” Oliphant said.

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    Bishop announces new pastoral appointments

    In consultation with and upon the recommendation of the Priest Personnel Board, Bishop Michael Duca appoints Father P. Brent Maher to a six-year term as Pastor of St Agnes Parish in Baton Rouge effective Sept.  12, 2020. His office as Pastor of St Ann Church in Morganza and St Vincent de Paul Chapel in Innis will cease  Oct. 12, 2020.

    In consultation with and upon the recommendation of the Priest Personnel Board, Bishop Michael G. Duca appoints Father Babu Nalkara Vareeth I.M. H. to a six-year term as Pastor of St Ann Church  and St. Vincent de Paul Chapel effective

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    Diocese raising funds for disaster relief

    I am grateful to God that the people of our diocese were mostly spared the ravages of Hurricane Laura. However, Hurricane Laura inflicted devastating and long-lasting damage to the people of the southwest and northwest areas of Louisiana, particularly those living in the Diocese of Lake Charles. In response, the Diocese of Baton Rouge will be joining other dioceses, groups and individuals to offer assistance in this time of need in the following ways:    

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    Mary’s Mantle helps parishioners draw closer to God

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    With ongoing crisis in the world from medical, social and political standpoints, a group from St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary is seeking the Blessed Mother’s intercession through Mary’s Mantle consecration.  

    Jennifer Johnson, organizer at St. John, pointed out that the 46-day consecration is based upon an ancient tradition called “El Manto de Maria” that started in barrios in Mexico.  

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    Red Stick Fest goes virtual; youth find ‘belonging’ in faith

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Teens took a deep look at what it means to belong to the modern world, within the church and ultimately to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at this year’s Red Stick Catholic Fest on Aug. 29. The event, themed “Belong,” was hosted by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.  

    Father Mathew Dunn, parochial vicar at

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    PATH TO SAINTHOOD

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Long before his ordination Father Joshua Johnson would cringe walking through the atrium of the Catholic Life Center, being greeted by a reminder of a sordid chapter of American history.  

    The Path to Sainthood display in the atrium of the Catholic Life Center features portraits of six African Americans in various steps of the sainthood process. They surround the Black Madonna holding the

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    Columbarium to offer peace

    By Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

    The Catholic Commentator  

    When completed, the Garden of Peace and Memorial Columbarium under construction at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge will become an extension of the church’s vibrant prayer life in the center of bustling activity.  

    Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge is currently constructing its Garden of Peace Memorial and Columbarium to provide a sacred place

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