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Social options expanding for young adults

Posted May 30, 2014 at 12:00 am

The Catholic Commentator

Young Catholic adults are making choices and navigating through life transitions as well as trying to find their niche in the church. Because of their transient lifestyle, they often fall “between the cracks” when it comes to church ministry offerings, they say.

Visiting during a Theology on Tap get together are, from left, Katie Willenborg, Dawn Jason, Emily Guidry, Katie Roettger and Lindsey Johnson. Photo provided by Sister Ileana Fernandez CSJ

 

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and its individual church parishes are helping Catholic youth connect, serve the community and grow spiritually as they work to build a home tangibly and spiritually.

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    Just4Service provides teens with more than service hours

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is the place where many Catholic school students come when looking to fulfill service hour requirements for their school.

    Making an inventory of items for the needy are Just4Service members, from left, Daniel Crifasi, St. Michael High School; Duffy Duncan, Catholic High School; and Brett Vidrine, Catholic High School. Photo provided by Katie Richard |

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    Loving tender pharmacist jitterbugging to heaven

    The Catholic Commentator

    At 86, Joe Cronan says he can “still move like Elvis.”

    Retired pharmacist Joe Cronan volunteers three days a week at the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy. Cronan said he loves to joke and have fun while doing the work that he hopes will bring him eternal life in heaven. Photo by Barbara Chenevert | The Catholic Commentator

     

    He loves to jitterbug, flirt with

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    First deaf priest assigned to diocese

    The Catholic Commentator

    The deaf community of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is hearing loud and clear the message from one of their own, Father Ghislain Cheret Bazikila: I am here to serve you.

    Father Ghislain Bazikila converses with Rita Hankel, left, and Ann Gremillion. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

     

    Many hearing impaired people throughout the diocese met

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    Giving alms during Lent fills the heart and soul

    Assistant Editor

    Third in a series

    Lent is a season for Catholics to focus on the poor through almsgiving. According to church leaders, almsgiving is more than an opportunity for people to empty their wallets and purses, but to lighten their hearts and souls as they help lift the burdens of the less fortunate.

    Scripture has many passages referring

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    Fasting nourishes the spirit

    Second in a series

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catholics can become lethargic in their spiritual lives, running on autopilot in their relationship with God. Lent is a time to wake up the spirit, and an effective way to do that is through fasting, according to religious from the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

    Father Bob Stine, pastor of Christ the King Church and Catholic Center at LSU, said fasting includes any source of self denial. He referred to Plato’s comparison of the soul

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    ROAD OF PASSION

    Lent: a season of renewal

    The Catholic Commentator

    Ash Wednesday was the first day of Lent, a time when Catholics are called to sacrifice and renew their commitment to God. Easter Sunday is April 20. Staff photo | The Catholic Commentator

     

    In his anguish before his passion and death, Jesus dropped to his knees in the Garden

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    Crafters create Mardi Gras bead icon mural for ICC

    The Catholic Commentator

    As Mardi Gras season rolls along with its parades, balls and other revelry, women in the St. Martha’s Circle at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs asked the members of their church parish to throw them some beads so they could put together a holy, catechetical mosaic art piece.

    Working on a Mardi Gras icon mural are St. Martha’s Circle members, from left,

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    Youth find abortion another Holocaust at museum

    The Catholic Commentator

    Youth from the Diocese of Baton Rouge attending March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22 saw what the power of evil can do. Then they faced the question, “What is your responsibility, now that you’ve seen, now that you know?” during a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    The Hall of Remembrance at the United States Holocaust

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    Prayer most effective remedy for ‘spiritual flu’

    The Catholic Commentator

    In the midst of flu season, viruses and germs can invade the body and cause sickness. Similarly, sins and vices can infect people with “spiritual flu.” How can people bolster their spiritual immune system to fight these invaders?

    The first way is to offer God the day, said Sister Cynthia Sabathier CSJ, spiritual director at the St. Joseph Spirituality Center.

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    Those in crisis find spiritual companion through program

    The Catholic Commentator

    Beginning in February, people facing a life crisis will be able to receive one-on-one support at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge through Stephen Ministry.

    Stephen Ministers receive training at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge. Photo provided by Mary Morain 

     

    The program is based on the Scripture passage, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will

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    Penance is a way to lift the weight of sin

    The Catholic Commentator

    (Third in a Series)

    During the sacrament of reconciliation, one expresses sorrow for his or her sins and receives a penance. Far from being a sentence imposed on the condemned, penance is an opportunity for one to complete the sacrament and restore his or her relationship with God, according to priests from the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

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    God’s love eases pain of confessing sins

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    (Second in a Series)

    Bless me Father, for I have sinned.

    Some sins have weighed on your conscience and you’ve decided to go to confession and reconcile with God. As you waited in the confessional line, you became increasingly nervous, and the longer you waited, the more sins you added to your list. When you enter the confessional booth

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    Confessions prepares soul for Advent

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    (First in a Series)

    “Prepare the way for the Lord” was the cry of St. John the Baptist from the desert to people of his time as well as today. During Advent, Catholics can heed St. John’s call for people to ready themselves for the Lord’s coming at Christmas with the sacrament of penance or reconciliation.

    Several church parishes in the diocese are providing special opportunities

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    Consecration to Mary scheduled Dec. 8 in diocese

    The Catholic Commentator

    On Sunday, Dec. 8, Catholics throughout the Baton Rouge Diocese will mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception by making their own personal and parishwide consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Francis rekindled interest in Marian consecration when he invited people to join him in consecrating the world to Jesus through Mary on Oct. 13, the Feast of Our Lady

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    GOD ANSWERS

    God gives people gifts, unconditional love, author says

    The Catholic Commentator

    To receive an answer to a prayer, allow the process of God working in your life to unfold, and he will give the gifts and blessings that he had intended all along, said author, speaker and life coach Jaqueline von Zwehl, who recently visited the Diocese of Baton Rouge to speak about her book, “The Prayer, a Love Story: Unlock a Life of Miracles, Unconditional Love and Answered Prayers.”

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    Father Matt Linn speaks words of peace to anxious world

    The Catholic Commentator

    As increasingly turbulent circumstances threaten people’s homes, communities and world, Father Matt Linn SJ, spiritual director and author, delivered a message of hope to allay people’s fear and anxiety: God loves you more than the person who loves you the most. The Sept. 27-28 presentation was sponsored by the St. Joseph Spirituality Center.

    Father Matt Linn leads attendees at a retreat hosted

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    Many still ask, ‘Does God always answer prayer?’

     

    The Catholic Commentator

    Does God always answer prayers? Yes, say many people, who believe the bigger question is “How does God answer prayer?” because it’s a journey.

    Jim and Tessie DiFulco pray the rosary in their prayer garden. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

     

    “To God be the power, honor and glory. Now and

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    Symphony of prayer

    Debbie Shelley

    Assistant Editor

    Engaging in contemplative prayer is like attending a symphony concert. Before it begins the musicians make discordant sounds as they tune up their instruments. Then the conductor, who is God, steps onto the podium and taps a baton on the music stand to quiet everyone and then directs the orchestra in harmonized music, according to Dianne Hanley, director of the St. Joseph Spirituality Center.

    Many people prefer

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    Meditative prayer uses imagination, calls for conversion

    The Catholic Commentator

    “Scripture has the potential to be an agent of healing if I practice abiding in the sacred words, as opposed to simply reading them.” Author and spiritual guide Sister Macrina Wiederkehr OSB

    In meditative prayer, people read the Scriptures like a love letter from God. As the beloved, they seek to be in God’s presence and ask him to enlighten them about

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    Vocal prayer touches all senses

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The topic of prayer raises questions about what it means to pray. Through a series of articles, The Catholic Commentator looks at the three expressions of prayer listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: vocal, meditative and contemplative. This first article looks at vocal prayer.

    One of the Catholic Church’s core beliefs is that God calls people to gather in community to express their feelings out loud through vocal prayer, according to Father Tom Ranzino, director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

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    Muslims share their faith with Christians during Ramadan dinner

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The sky was filled with striking colors at July 19 as Muslims taught Christians about their holiest month of the year, Ramadan, by sharing an Iftar dinner with them as they broke their daily fast at sunset July 19 at St. George Church in Baton Rouge.

    Christians and Muslims talk about their faith at an Iftar dinner at St. George Church in Baton Rouge. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

     

    The

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    St. Isidore provides Mass buddies to people inquiring about the faith

    After the Easter Vigil at St. Isidore Church in Baker, there is a “lull period” in which people who inquire about becoming Catholic or who have been away from the church for a while wait for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) to begin.

    The church’s newly formed evangelization committee brainstormed on how it could meet the needs of seekers in the interim,

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    Churches form an ecumenical bond to help those in need

    The Catholic Commentator

    During the fall of 2010, Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs felt the weight of poverty in the Livingston Civil Parish area, as many people came to the church parish asking for assistance, according to Kay Keen, who serves on the Outreach Commission and Pastoral Council at Immaculate Conception.

    Community Hands recently received a grant through the Bishop Stanley Joseph Ott Works of Mercy Trust Fund. At the presentation

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    Groves providing healing ministry through Father Seelos play

    Audience members are invited to take a metaphysical train ride from Chicago to New Orleans with Blessed Father Francis Xavier Seelos CSsR in Casey Groves’ play “Seelos: Doctor of Souls.” As the priest sees something taking place outside the window and says, “That reminds me of the time,” attendees are invited to journey with him through the seven sacraments and stages of his life and become his

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    The new evangelization involves everyone, according to Hahn

    By Debbie Shelley

    Assistant Editor

    The new evangelization is about “falling in love, growing in love and staying in love” with Jesus, according to Dr. Scott Hahn, professor of theology and scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville and founder and director of the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. The former Protestant minister presented a two-part program, “The Scriptures, Mass and the New Evangelization,” and “First Comes Love: The Family and Trinitarian Love,” May 30, at Our Lady of Mercy Church in

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    As St. Gerard ministers to children, community is evangelized

    Operating by the principle of Proverbs 22:6: “Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it,” St. Gerald Majella Church in Baton Rouge is reaching out to youth and children, and, in turn, evangelizing its surrounding community.

    Father Marcel Okwara CSsR, pastor of St. Gerard Church in Baton Rouge, blesses the children participating in

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    Blessed Mother serves as commander-in-chief of Legion of Mary

    During May, many Catholics recognize Mary as the Mother of God by presenting her with and crowning her with flowers. The Legion of Mary (LOM) also salutes the Blessed Mother as the commander-in-chief or general of an army of the faithful bringing people to God, according to “Zoom” Anh-Dũng Joseph Nguyen, president of the LOM Baton Rouge Curia.

    Students in the religion education classes at

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    Healing Masses on first Fridays at OLOLRMC

    They come asking for the restoration of their health or the health of a family member or friend. They receive prayers from others and are reassured of God’s restorative power through the personal testimony of others.

    Father Peter Dang, parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge, anoints the sick at a healing Mass at the Our Lady of the Lake Regional

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    Bean has four-legged companion on journey into the Church

    Now that Marine veteran Mathew Bean has served his country, his dog, Gunny, has stood by him as he prepares to enter the Catholic Church on April 27 at St. George Church in Baton Rouge.

    Mathew Bean, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said his dog, Gunny, is that familiar face he needs when facing stressful situations. Gunny has been trained to help

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