Diocese of Alexandria The Church Today P.O.

Box 7417 Alexandria, LA 71306-0417

Volume XI, No. 12 December 13, 2010

On the Inside
Pope’s new book, Light of the World, is released
Pope Benedict’s new book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times, is a candid interview with Peter Seewald. The Pope answers questions about every issue facing the Church today. See pg. 2.


A Savior is Born!

Cardinal Raymond Burke visits Alexandria
Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was in Alexandria Nov. 30-Dec. 2 to address the Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials of the Provinces of New Orleans and Mobile (CCTO). See pg. 11.

Louisiana’s first March for Life to be held Jan. 22
Louisiana’s first Life March will be held Jan. 22, 2011 in Baton Rouge on the 38th anniversary of Roe vs Wade from 10 a.m. –noon. Go to page 19 for details.

‘NATIVITY’ BY PHILIPPE DE CHAMPAIGNE. Mary, Joseph and a choir of angels adore the infant Jesus in the painting “Nativity” by Philippe de Champaigne. The Christmas season begins with the Dec. 24 evening vigil commemorating the birth of Christ and ends with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord Jan. 9. (CNS photo/Philipp Bernard, Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource)

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December 13, 2010

Pope’s new book released: Light of the World
What did the Pope really say about using condoms?
By John Thavis Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -When Pope Benedict XVI commented in a new book that using condoms to reduce the risk of disease could, in some circumstances, be a step toward moral responsibility, he used the example of a male prostitute. That raised the question: Was the pope deliberately limiting his observations to this particular group? The answer is no, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, who presented the pope’s book Nov. 23 at the Vatican press office. Father Lombardi acknowledged confusion over the gender question. So Father Lombardi took the question to the pope. “I asked the pope personally if there was a serious or important problem in the choice of the masculine gender rather than the feminine, and he said no, that is, the main point -- and this is why I didn’t refer to masculine or feminine in (my earlier) communique -- is the first step of responsibility in taking into account the risk to the life of another person with whom one has relations,” Father Lombardi said. “Whether a man or a woman or a transsexual does this, we’re at the same point. The point is the first step toward responsibility, to avoid posing a grave risk to another person,” Father Lombardi said. For his part, Peter Seewald, the German journalist who posed the questions in the book, said at the news conference today that “there is no difference between male prostitute and female prostitute” in the pope’s remarks, despite all the controversy over the translations. He added: “The pope indicates that, in addition to the case he cited, there may be other cases in which one may imagine that use of a condom could be a step toward responsible sexuality in this area and to prevent further infection.” Here once again is the key passage on the subject in the book, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, when Seewald asks the pope whether it was “madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.” Pope Benedict replied: “As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: AbstinenceBe Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward discovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.” Seewald: “Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?” Pope Benedict: “She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.

December 13, 2010

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USCCB to Congress: Dream Act is ‘right thing to do’
WASHINGTON—In a letter to Congress December 2, Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, called on Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM), calling it “the right thing to do. “With the passage of the DREAM Act, we can welcome a new generation of Americans who will one day become leaders of our nation,” wrote Archbishop Gomez. The DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for thousands of young persons without legal status who were brought to the United States as children by their parents. Under the legislation, young people who complete two years of higher education or two years of military service would be eligible for legal permanent residence and eventual citizenship. “It is important to note that these young persons entered the

What is the

Dream Act?
Under the DREAM Act, deserving immigrant youth can adjust to permanent resident status provided that they • entered the United States before age sixteen, • have been physically present in the United States for not less than five years, • demonstrated good moral character, • have no criminal record and do not threaten national security, and •have earned their high school diploma. This bill also offers students a fair opportunity to earn U.S. citizenship if they commit to and complete at least • two years of college or • two years of honorable service in the military. In addition, this legislation will apply to students in both public and private education, including those attending Catholic schools.

YOUTH GROUP DISPLAYS DREAM ACT BANNER IN LOS ANGELES. The youth group at Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa Church in Los Angeles displays a special banner Dec. 2 they created in support of students who would be helped by the DREAM Act and all immigrants affected by the lack of congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform. The group of high school and college age students designed their banner around the theme of this year’s Our Lady of Guadalupe procession and Mass. (CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Vida Nueva) United States with their parents at a young age, and therefore did not enter without inspection on their own volition. We would all do the same thing in a similar situation,” Archbishop Gomez said. “They have incredible talent and energy and are awaiting a chance to fully contribute their talents to our nation. We would be foolhardy to deny them that chance.” The USCCB has long supported the DREAM Act, as well as comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigration system. “There are times when a proposal should be enacted because, simply put, it is the right thing

to do. This is one of them,” the Archbishop said. “The DREAM Act represents a practical, fair, and compassionate solution for thousands of young persons who simply want to reach their Godgiven potential and contribute to the well-being of our nation.”

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The days of Advent are gradually transforming into Christmas. What began as a glimpse into the non-defined future of the return of the Lord in glory has now receded through the ministry of John the Baptist and will lead us to the celebration of the historic birth of Jesus. The richness of our many cultures and traditions again opens for us, allowing us to again enter into the mystery of God-with-us. We have now completed the very richly busy year of our anniversary and the blessings have been extraordinary. Our many events were possible only because so many people spent their time and energy. My personal thanks to all of you who helped in any way. My hopes and expectations as we began the planning ebrated our national patron feast, the Immaculate Conception, on Dec. 8. I have been invited by the Superior General of the Congregation of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy in Nigeria to ordain eighteen deacons in midDecember. Father Remi and Father Ignatius are members of this Congregation that is marking its 40th anniversary this year. I will most likely be in Nigeria as you read this. It is a great opportunity and I am delighted to strengthen our ties to the Church in another

December 13, 2010
part of our world. We are truly a ‘catholic’ Church. I will return in time for Christmas. I pray that the remaining days of our Advent Season will give us the time to celebrate the Lord’s presence with us, not just in history or at the end of time, but this year! May the new year of 2011 bring you and your families the richest of blessings!

two years ago have been exceeded beyond anything I could have hoped for! Throughout the year we have captured many of the moments on video and during the months ahead we plan to create a commemorative DVD enabling us to relive this centennial year. The last few weeks have been marked by significant feasts and celebrations. The formal opening of our new Immigration Center led us into the Thanksgiv-

ing holiday. We then hosted the annual Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials with Raymond Cardinal Burke as our guest speaker. This was his first visit to the United States since receiving the ‘red hat’ as a newly designated Cardinal. Dec. 3, the feast of our patron, St. Francis Xavier, marked the formal closing of our Jubilee year even though the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe would add a final event to close the year. Of course, we also cel-

Christmas celebrates more than just a baby in a manger
Sister Margie Lavonis, CSC Freelance Writer Sisters of the Holy Cross About a month ago our choir started practicing a new hymn for Christmas titled, From the Cradle to the Cross. To me the words express the real meaning of the Feast of the Incarnation or Christmas as we call it. So often during this season we focus on a sweet, helpless little baby and often forget his great mission, the reason he became a human being. This little child in swaddling clothes changed the world forever. The Word (of God) became flesh and dwelt among us. He came to bring justice and love to the world and commissioned us to do likewise. We don’t merely celebrate a child. We celebrate a savior who fed the hungry, healed the sick, set captives free, and so on. This is the true meaning of Christmas. When the parties are over, cards sent, gifts given and Santa goes back to the North Pole, we continue to celebrate “Emmanuel, God with us.” The babe in the cradle began his journey to the cross and in doing so showed us how much God loves us. He rose from the dead and calls us to reveal this love to all. In a sense we are called to give birth to Jesus in the world, to “incarnate” him. As we celebrate this mystery of the Incarnation, take some quality time to reflect on how we have or have not given birth to our God, who is love, during this past year. One of our great saints, Teresa of Avila, was to have said that Christ has no hands and feet but ours, etc. Jesus tells us over and over that he came to reveal his father’s love. During his earthly life he commissioned his followers to do the same. It is the central theme of his ministry. During this season of Christmas, and remember it does not end after Dec. 25, the daily Scripture readings from the letters of Saint John remind us that God is love. He tells us that it is only when we abide in love that we abide in God! When we love others, God loves. He goes on to say that if we claim to love God but hate our neighbor, we are liars. These are strong words to ponder, especially in light of all the war and violence we see and experience around us. Note that he did not say to love only the neighbors we like or are easy to be around. This love must extend to all. God’s word challenges us incarnating God in the world must become a habit for we who call ourselves Christian. It is not reserved for special times of the year. The poor always need food and clothes. Homeless centers always need people to help with meals. Nursing homes are filled with people who appreciate visits, not just at Christmas. Friends like to hear from us at other times of the year too. The spirit of kindness and generosity must flow from our baptismal call to love. God waits every day to be given birth in our world. We are God’s body. God becomes flesh in us and in our daily actions. During this beautiful season, let us reflect on how we will continue to give birth to the God of peace and love throughout the New Year. The only New Year’s resolution a Christian needs to make is to be a more loving and hope-filled person in a world that is in need of much healing. Try to make every day a little Christmas.

December 13, 2010

Vol. XL, No. 12

December 13, 2010

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10 simple ways to keep Christmas meaningful
I say it every year: “This year I will make Christmas special and not get sucked into the hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, parties, and traveling.” But like every other year, I eventually fill up my calendar with events and obligations that pull me farther and farther away from ‘the reason for the season.” It all comes to a head on Christmas Eve, when the whole family gets together and attends Mass. To others in church, it may look like a unified family attending Mass together, but do they really know all the stress and commotion it took to get everyone dressed, out the door and into the car, in time for us to drive to Mass and find a seat in the unusually once-a-year, crowded pews? On Christmas morning, my focus turns to making sure all of the gifts I hid over the past few months are re-discovered and still wrapped (in case one of the kids found it already and tried to secretly unwrap it). By the time the kids are all up, and we’ve savagely opened all the presents that took me months to shop for and hours to wrap, it’s all over. I see how quickly I can pick up the ripped paper, the empty boxes and plastic wrappings, and

God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby-- defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. -- Pope Benedict XVI, 2006
stuff them into one over-sized plastic bag ready for one trip out to the curb. For years, I’ve thought that at this point, Christmas was over. Not exactly. Christmas actually starts on December 25 and is celebrated the next 12 days (that’s right the 12 days of Christmas are not just about a partridge in a pear tree). So, I discovered, it’s not too late to celebrate Christmas! With no baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, or other obligations to divert my attention, I can enjoy the peacefulnesss of the season and satisfy my spiritual hunger. You can too. The Christmas season includes the following feast days: • Feast of the Holy Family. This feast is celebrated on the Sunday in the Christmas “octave” - an 8-day period after Christmas. It is a fitting day to thank God for our own families and pray for a deepening of mutual love, in imitation of the Holy Family. • Feast of the Holy Innocents, Dec. 28. On this day, we remember the children killed by Herod in his determination to end the life the Messiah. This can be a day of prayer for the innocents of today who are explited and abused -- may people now pray on this day for the victims of abortion -- and an opportunity to think about bringing the compassion f Christ to those in need. • New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. This is a day that almost instinctively lends itself to prayer. Many churches have prayer vigils, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Benediction during this evening, watching for the New Year. • Feast of Mary, the Mother of God, Jan. 1. The octave day of Christmas is both a feast honoring Mary, the Mother of God, and a day of Prayer for World Peace. Our celebration of the New Year can be deepened by prayer that our world will be open to the peace Jesus offers. • Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 6. Epiphany means “manifestation,” and so this feast is the celebration of God’s glory being manifested to all nations, symbolically through the Magi. This is a good day to set the Magi in the nativity scene and share their story from the Gospel of Matthew. Epiphany is also a traditional day to bless homes. This blessing incorporates inscribing the year, bracketing the initials of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) above the door, usually in chalk, like this: 20+C+M+B+11. (Another tradition claims the intials stand for Christus manisionem benediacat, meaning “May Christ bless this home.”) • Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This is the final “Christmas” feast, celebrated on the first Sunday after Epiphany, and commemorates God’s revelation of the divinity of Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan River. It’s a good day to celebrate our own baptism, our “new birth” in Christ and our entrance into his Church. Excerpts from “How to Celebrate Christmas as a Catholic,” a publication of Our Sunday Visitor, 200 Noll Plaza Huntington, IN

• Dec. 14 – St. Patrick’s, Montgomery, 6 pm • Dec. 14 – St. Joseph, Marksville, 6:30 pm • Dec. 15 – OL of Lourdes, Vidalia, 5 pm • Dec. 15 – Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches, 6 pm • Dec. 15 – St. Mary’s, Cottonport, 6 pm • Dec. 15 – St. Joseph’s, Colfax, 6 pm • Dec. 15 – OLPS, Alexandria, 6:30 pm • Dec. 15 – Sacred Heart, Pineville, 6:10 pm • Dec. 16 – OL of Sorrows, Moreauville, 5:30 • Dec. 17 – OL of Lourdes, Winnfield, 6 p.m. • Dec. 19 – St. Joseph, St. Joseph, 5 pm • Dec. 20 – St. Louis, Glenmora, 5 pm • Dec. 20 – Mary, Mother of Jesus, Woodworth, 6 pm • Dec. 20 – St. Francis of Assisi, Powhatan, 6 pm

What do you get for the person who has everything?
A set of 2010

Anniversary Books
$56 for set $30 for 11.5 X 11.5 book $10 for 8 X 8 books $10 for ornament

Available at the St. Joseph Catholic Center, Hours: Mon-Thur. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m. - noon or call 318-445-6424, ext 255

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December 13, 2010

Dominican Sisters are thriving; average age is 28
While the last 40 years have seen an overall drop in the number of women entering religious life, at least two Dominican Orders of Sisters and a handful of other U.S. orders are thriving. This fall, for example, the Dominican Sisters at St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tenn. has 27 postulants entering the convent, and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich., has 22 postulants. Other orders, like the Carmelites in Los Angeles and the Sisters of Life in New York are close behind with 15 postulants each. So, why then, are these two and other thriving U.S orders attracting more, and typically younger women? For one reason, these orders emphasize traditional practices, like wearing long, flowing black and white habits and because of its emphasis on following a career in education. It’s not so much a fashion statement (sister’s habit) as much as a desire for a radical simplicity or saying ‘I am about the work of God. I want to witness to that,’” said Sister Catherine Marie, executive director of St Cecilia’s campus in Nashville. “Young people want to help others understand some of the deeper aspects of the life and that’s beautifully done in the classroom,” said Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, vocation director for the Dominican Sisters Likewise, a discernment group at Boston University provides young women with the opportunity to discuss religious life, visit nearby communities and participate in retreats at the end of each semester. Sister Olga Yaqob, an Iraqi who is a member of the Missionaries of the Virgin Mary who leads the group, said the overall purpose is to help the girls become familiar with the will of God and prepare them to respond with a “yes” to whichever vocation they are called by God. Other contributing factors to the increase, according to those interviewed, include: -- Web sites making information on discernment and religious communities easily accessible. -- Dioceses working with religious communities to promote vocations. -- More general interest in spirituality among a growing number of young adults. It’s uncertain still whether the current increase in interest will lead to a significant increase in the number of those entering, according to Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference, an organization in Chicago serving vocation directors. “It’s still too soon to say; however, this is very good news,” he said.

YOUNG DOMINICAN SISTERS. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich., has 22 postulants entering the convent and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia in Nashville, Tenn. has 27. The Dominicans are the fastest growing religious order in the world.

of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The late Pope John Paul II plays a large role in the new trend, according to several vocation directors and campus ministers. At World Youth Days, the pope challenged young people to live their Catholic faith in a radical way and to not be afraid to seek out God’s will for their lives. Many of the postulants and young sisters have said that they first started thinking about vocations at a World Youth Day.

Another reason for the increase in the interest in religious life, according to vocation directors and young sisters, is more campus ministries nurturing and promoting vocations. Not long ago it was a “rarity and oddity” to be a college student discerning a vocation. But now girls are coming from campus ministries, particularly at public schools, that have Eucharistic adoration, Scripture study and daily Mass.

“If you put these together, it’s a recipe for falling in love with the Lord,” she said. At the University of Illinois, campus minister Sister Sarah Roy, a young Sister of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception, said religious vocations weren’t talked about much when she attended the university. Now the campus ministry makes the option more visible, and she sees how the students themselves are more willing to consider it.


December 13, 2010

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Fr. Raj named Provencial Superior of MSFS
Rev. Anthony Dharmaraj, MSFS, pastor of St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Cottonport, has been named the Provincial Superior of the South-East Province of India, by the Superior General of his congregation (Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales). The new appointment means that “Father Raj” will be leaving the Diocese of Alexandria and moving back to India, where he will be installed as the new Provincial Superior on Jan. 24. Father Raj said he received word of the promotion Nov. 25, first in a phone call from his superior, followed by a note that read: “The General Council has decided to appoint you as the Provincial of South-East Province. I know you enjoy the confidence of confreres and of the General Council. In accepting this decision you will be called to guide and lead a province that needs you. Above all it is God who needs you for his Congregation. May God give you his wisdom and courage to say yes to Him.” As Provincial Superior, Father Raj will be responsible for making appointments for 140 priests, and for giving them guidance and direction in their vocation. The position is a three-year term. “I have mixed feelings about this appointment,” said Father Raj. “I am happy that my superior has this confidence in me and that I will be able to serve the Lord on a different level. But with this position, comes a lot of responsibility and a lot of work. I know that everything happens nine years and it has been a wonderful, wonderful experience. The people have been very good to me. They have always been willing to help and are so supportive of the Church. I will miss them tremendously.” At the same time, Father Raj will happy to return to India where his aged parents are living. “I will be approximately five hours (driving) away from my parents, which is good,” he said. “Now I will be able to visit them more often and be more involved in their lives again.” Father Raj came to the diocese in 1996 and served at St. Patrick Church in Ferriday for five years, followed by his appointment at St. Mary’s for the past nine years.

Father Luke Melcher

Father Anthony Dharmaraj
for a reason, so I will continue to trust God and serve where he wants me to serve.” “I am sad to leave my parish of St. Mary’s Assumption, too,” he said. “I have been in this parish

Fr. Melcher to pursue doctorate
Rev. Luke Melcher, chaplain for the Louisiana College and LSU-Alexandria Catholic Student Organization, has been given permission by Bishop Ronald Herzog to pursue a licentiate (license) in Sacred Liturgy (SL.L), and a doctorate in Sacred Liturgy (SL.D) through the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at the Pontifical University of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome. After completing the 3-5 year license and doctoral program, Father Melcher will be qualified to teach Liturgy as a professor of Liturgy at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio. Effective May, 2011, Father Melcher will leave the diocese and move to Europe, where he will prepare for his studies in Rome by becoming proficient in French, Italian, Koine Greek, and Latin. Italian is necessary for his academic classes and the language he will have to use to write and defend his dissertation. The other languages are necessary for research. In October, he will begin the academic degree program and live at the North American house of studies for priests, the Casa Santa Maria in Rome. Father Melcher said he has always felt the desire to pray and study more deply and to help men become priests. He has felt a calling to do this for several year; but only recently did he act upon it. “I talked to the Bishop (Herzog) about this and he recognized it as a ‘calling within a calling,’” said Father Melcher. “The bishop’s awareness of the teaching needs of the Josephinum and his awareness of my openess to serve, has led to this opportunity.

Donations in November Knights of Columbus #9217 ........................................................... $10.00 Msgr. Molenschot Burse Roderick Broussard ........................................................................ $50.00 Msgr. Milburn Broussard Burse Hope Sansing................................................................................... $50.00 Father Peter Norek Burse Dr. Joseph Landreneau................................................................. $100.00 Msgr. Henry Beckers Burse Mrs. Kathleen Voltz ....................................................................... $100.00 Gus Voltz Burse Mr & Mrs. Matthew Schupbach .................................................... $200.00 Msgr. Steve Testa Burse Harold Beridon Family .................................................................. $210.00 Msgr. Timmermans Burse Total this month............................................................................. $720.00

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ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH - ISLE BREVELLE, BLESSING OF MAUSOLEUM & SIDEWALKS. Invited guests and dignitaries who came for the Oct. 31 Blessing of the Mausoleum & Sidewalks are representatives of the Sisters of the Divine Providence, Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, Superior General and Sisters of the Divine Providence Congregation; Sisters of the Holy Family, Sr. Greta Jupiter, SSF, Assistant Congregation Leader and Sister of Holy Family Congregation; Holy Ghost Father, Father John Skaj, C.S.Sp. and Brother Michael Suazo, C.S.Sp. from Pennsylvania.; Father Jacob Thomas, Pastor representating Diocesan Priests; Thomas Roque, Sr., Chris Sylvia and Anita Evans, Organizers; and Dee Hawthorne, Music Director. The various sidewalks named are St. Augustine, St. Joseph, Henriette Delille, Holy Ghost Fathers, Diocesan Priest, Sisters of Divine Providence and St. Isadore (the Patron Saint of Farmers).

December 13, 2010

St. Patrick Church hosts its first 12-hour First Friday Adoration
The congregation, along with Father Harold Imamshah of St. Patrick Church in Montgomery hosted its first 12-hour First Friday Adoration Nov. 5. The evening began at 6 p.m. with the Rosary, along with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, followed by Mass at 9 p.m. After Mass, the Holy Hours of Adoration began and included Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. At midnite, Fr. Harold and the congregation shared an hour of fellowship in the church hall. Knowing that some of the congregation had been fasting throughout the day, a light meal was provided during the fellowship. At 1 a.m., Fr. Harold led a procession with the Blessed Sacrament outdoors and the remaining hours were spent in Eucharistic Adoration. Participating in the 12-hour Adoration hours were the Third Order of The Alliance of the Holy Family from San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston.

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION. Father Harold Imamshah, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Montgomergy leads the congration in its first 12-hour First Friday Adoration Nov. 5. Parishioners from the church spent 12 hours in the church participating in the Rosary, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Mass, and Eucharistic Adoration.

ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA CHURCH, NATCHITOCHES. St. Anthony of Padua Church’s Altar Rosary Christian Mother’s Society welcomed four new members Oct. 2. From left are Candi Dupree, Sandra Roque, Father John O’Brien, Kanika Revels and Rebecca Jones.

The 12-hour Adoration came to an end with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at a 5 a.m. Mass on Saturday.

St. Patrick plans to co-host another First Friday Adoration soon with its sister church, St. Joseph in Colfax.

December 13, 2010

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THE NEW IMMIGRATION CENTER, located at 4210 South MacArthur Drive in Alexandria, was dedicated Nov. 23. The center, open by appointment only, offers a wide variety of services to immigrants in the area.

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY. Bishop Ronald Herzog, Father Pedro Sierra-Posada, Bishop Bruce MacPherson of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, and Rev. Ellen Alston, superintendent of the Alexandria District of the United Methodist Church, Peter Fears and Lady Carlson (partially hidden), representing the Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith Cluster, participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Immigration Center.

Local faiths unite to establish immigration center
By Jeannie Petrus CT Editor The grand opening of the new Immigration Center, located at the Newman Methodist Church Outreach Center, 4210 South MacArthur Drive in Alexandria, was held Nov. 23. Participating in the ceremony, representing all of the entities that collaborated in the community-wide project, was Bishop Ronald Herzog, of the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria; Bishop Bruce MacPherson, of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana; Rev. Ellen Alston, superintendent of the Alexandria District of the United Methodist Church; and Lady Carlson and Peter Fears, representing the Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith Cluster. The new Central Louisiana Interfaith Immigration Center became a reality June 22 when the Federal Board of Immigration Appeals, an agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, granted it recognition as an agency legally authorized to handle immigration-related petitions under present laws. In addition, it granted José Colls, executive director of the Center, partial accreditation as a representative. In those instances where an agency does not have an attorney, it grants recognition to non-lawyers who posses the training and knowledge in immigration law to counsel immigration clients, complete immigration forms, and represent clients before the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS). The partially accredited representative can fill out CIS forms and accompany clients to CIS interviews. “All of us in the Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith Cluster and the collaborative institutions and organizations are thrilled to bring this much-needed service to the people of Central Louisiana,” said José Colls. “We are proud that the efforts of so many people involved in this project for the past three to four years, has now come to full fruition.” The center will provide the following immigration-related services: •Family Petitions – Processing of request from US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who desire to bring their blood relatives and spouses to the United States. •Adjustment of Status – Processing of paperwork for alien nationals who, after having been granted lawful conditional residence, want to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. •sNaturalization – Processing of paperwork for Lawful Permanent Residents, who after having accrued five years as such are eligible to become American Citizens .•Processing of nonimmigrant employment visas petitions – A service to individuals and employers who require foreign workers for seasonal work in the US. •Translations of documents from Spanish to English and conversely. •Instruction of English as a second language for those seeking citizenship. The services outlined above will be available to all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, or ethnicity.

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December 13, 2010

$500,000 Challenge Grant issued to Catholic Extension Service donors
A $500,000 Challenge Grant to Catholic Extension donors has been issued again this year by Richard Driehaus, well-known Chicago philanthropist and founder of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The Challenge Grant is designed to help build support for the Catholic Extension’s faith building initiatives to strengthen the ministries of Catholic communities across the country. As with his 2010 Challenge, Mr. Driehaus will match the contributions of the first 500 people to give $1,000 to become 2011 members of Socius Circle. Last year’s challenge attracted almost 1,000 new donors and raised $3.75 million. These contributions enabled the organization to increase its support by early 20 percent - from $14.9 million in grants in 2009 to $17.7 million in 2010 Since 2000, Catholic Extension has awarded $1,678,212 to the Diocese of Alexandria. According to Ann Masden, the diocese receives several grants from the Catholic Extension service each year, including one that partially funds the Church Today. “We are very grateful to the Catholic Extension service for the generous funds that we receive from them,” she said. “With their support, many of our ministries are strengthened.” Especially in light of the national decline in charitable giving, it is inspiring that so many Catholics in 2010 rose to Mr. Dreihaus’ challenge! The announcement came during Catholic Extension’s annual Thanksgiving reception at the Drake Hotel. Mr. Driehaus explained that his challenge grant is meant to encourage new donors to give while also motivating current donors to increase their level of giving.

CARDINAL RAYMOND L. BURKE & BISHOP RONALD HERZOG. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, newly elevated Cardinal and Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was in Alexandria Nov. 30-Dec. 2 to address the Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials. He celebrated Holy Mass Dec. 1 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and then greeted the congregation outside after Mass. It was his only public appearance in Alexandria during the conference. Bishop Herzog concelebrated the Mass with the Cardinal. (Photo by Jeannie Petrus, Church Today)

December 13, 2010

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Cardinal Raymond Burke visits Alexandria
Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was in Alexandria Nov. 30-Dec. 2 to address the Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials of the Provinces of New Orleans and Mobile (CCTO). It was his first public appearance as a cardinal after being elevated to the College of Cardinals Nov. 20 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. Cardinal Burke’s position as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is comparable to that of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Cardinal’s education background, which makes him one of the world’s leading authorities on Canon Law, includes a Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD) with specialization in jurisprudence, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1984; Diploma in Latin Letters, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1983; Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL), Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1982; Master of Arts in Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1975; Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB), Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1974; Master of Arts in Philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 1971; and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 1970. Cardinal Burke grew up in Wisconsin and was the son of a dairy farmer. He said all he ever wanted to do was become a parish priest. He was ordained a priest in 1975 at St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Paul VI, ordained a bishop in 1995 at St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope John Paul II, and in 2004 installed as the eighth archbishop of St. Louis. Cardinal Burke is the fifth person who served as Archbishop of St. Louis to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, after John Joseph Cardinal Glennon (1946), Joseph Elmer Cardinal Ritter (1961), John Joseph Cardinal Carberry (1969), and Justin Francis Cardinal Rigali (2003). “(Being named a cardinal) was a very emotional moment for me,” he said. “It is a great expression of confidence in me by the Holy Father and a new and much greater responsibility. It has taken time for me to gain the confidence in myself.” During the three-day conference in Alexandria, he addressed four issues in canon or church law: new grounds being used in marriage nullity cases, the proper administration of temporal goods (finances), the bishop’s role in overseeing his tribunal and the relationship among the tribunal of the local diocese and the appellate tribunals. He also travelled to Lake Charles one evening and addressed the New Life Counseling Center, a group that offers alternatives to abortion; but also gives the mothers the support they need when they choose life, both during the pregnancy and after birth. In his talk, the Cardinal noted, “We are presently experiencing in our nation a period of intense struggle in the advancement of the culture of life over the culture of death, which would destroy our nation. Sadly, our culture has robbed from the work of education its very first lessons, the lessons without which nothing else which the culture can teach us makes any sense.” The Cardinal also celebrated Mass Dec. 1 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral with Bishop Ronald Herzog concelebrating.

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE sits in the Office of the Vicar General Dec. 1 for an interview by the Church Today. Cardinal Burke, who was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI on Nov. 2, was in Alexandria Nov. 30-Dec. 2 for the Conference of Chancery and Tribunal Officials of the Provinces of New Orleans and Mobile (CCTO).

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December 13, 2010

Diocesan School Events

ST. MARY’S - NATCHITOCHES, D.A.R.E. WINNERS. Saint Mary’s students graduated from the D.A.R.E. Program recently. The students learned many important facts about drug and acohol abuse throughout the past few weeks and participated in a very special ceremony to celebrate their success. Winners of the D.A.R.E. contests are essay winner; workbook winner; workbook winner; and essay winner. Standing with the students is Sheriff Victor Jones. OLPS BOOKMARK CONTEST WINNERS. OLPS students who won on the school level of the Rapides Parish Bookmark contest are 1st grade2nd grade– (Grand Prize Winner), 3rd grade4th grade(Grand Prize Winner), 5th grade6th grade(Grand Prize Winner), Those who placed on the parish level are (Grand Prize winners) and (2nd Place winners).

ST. FRANCES CABRINI BOOKMARK WINNERS. Art teacher Violet Kiesewetter, stands with the winners from St. Frances Cabrini School who placed in the Rapides Parish Bookmark Contest. (front) won 1st place in the 1st grade category and (middle) won 2nd place in the 5th grade category. (not pictured) won 1st place in the kindergarten category. The preliminary stages of the contest included 3,000 entrants with 18 overall winners.

OLPS COLORING CONTEST WINNERS. Congratulations to the following winners of the Gene Hymel OLPS Coloring Book Contest: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place & 4th place. Hymel is a former student of the diocese and a transplant from New Orleans after Katrina. He gave several coloring books that honored OLPS and sponsored a coloring contest for the 4th graders.

KC POSTER CONTEST WINNERS. from St. Mary’s School (Natchitoches) won first place for their artwork in promoting Substance Abuse Awareness. Natchitoches KC Council 1357 sponsors the poster contest each fall and this year has awarded $50 for first in each category. Pictured (from left to right) is Grand Knight Ken Gardner, and

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MENARD NAMES MALL AREA AFTER BOBBY DISTEFANO. Holy Savior Menard High School honored Bobby Distefano (center) Nov. 10 by dedicating the mall area of the school in his name. Distefano and his family were present for a celebration of the Mass, followed by a dedication ceremony. Distefano retired last year after serving in several teaching and administrative capacities at Menard for 41 years.

MENARD STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR WENDY’S HIGH SCHOOL HEISMAN AWARD. Holy Savior Menard High School’s Chance Ortego and Samantha Lessen have been honored with a nomination for the prestigious Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. The program, awarded in conjunction with the collegiate Heisman, celebrates the achievements of the nation’s top high school seniors both in and out of the classroom. Nominees are chosen for this award based on their GPA, civic involvement, sports, awards, clubs, and positions held. SCOOT TO SCHOOL. Menard held a “Scoot to School Day” recently, where students were allowed to ride their bikes or a scooter to school. MENARD’S COCA-COLA SCHOLARS SEMIFINALISTS. HSM seniors Sarah Peterman and Samantha Lessen have been named semifinalists for the 2011 Class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Peterman and Lessen will compete with 2,100 high school seniors who are in the running for $3 million in college scholarships that Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will award in the Spring. EXCHANGE CLUB’S STUDENT OF THE MONTH. Martin Masden of the The Exchange Club, presents Emilie Harmeyer of Menard High School, a plaque and scholarship check for being selected Youth of the Month. The Exchange Club, an all-volunteer service organization, helps develop and maintain community-based child abuse prevention programs, support’s Youth Programs, Americanism, and Community Service.

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December 13, 2010

Sacred Heart School
Phone: 318-985-2772
1. iPads (15 @ $550)

St. Mary’s School
Phone: 318-352-8394
1. 20 laptops @ $800 =$16,000 2. Books for the library: High school, $1,000 Middle school, $1,000 Elementary, $1,000 Pre-school, $1,000 3. Science equipment, $1,000

Phone: 318-448-3333

St. Frances Cabrini School

2. Set of 30 classroom dry erase boards (2@ $200) 3. 4 drawer letter size filing cabinet (4 @ $300) 4. CD players (4 @ $50) 5. DVD/VCR/TV combos (2 @ $350)

1. 6 Bathroom remodels ($600 each) 2. Replacement of the roof on the main school building ($40,000) 3. Six Smartboards/Promethean Boards ($3,500 each) 4. Venetian Blinds for 10 classrooms 5. Playground Equipment for 6-12 year olds 6. Document Cameras 7. Copy Machine for the Office 8. New Sound System for Drama Club 9. Drop ceilings in classrooms 10. Lego Tables

6. Mobile Workstation (1 @ $375) 7. iPod Touch (5 @ $230) 8. Updated pull down map of the US ($150) 9. Subscriptions to Math Gym (4 @ $20 ea.) 10. Musical classroom instruments: Rhythm instruments $100 Hand bells $30 Tone blocks $20 Jingle jingles $15.00 Rhythm sticks $20 Jingle taps $15

Holy Savior Menard High
Phone: 318-445-8233
1. 45 Laptops @$1,000 each ($45,000) 2. 10 Smart Boards @ $3,500 ($35,000) 3. Bleachers of Gym $25,000 4. Computer Books 30 @ $50.00 ($1,500) 5. Journalism Books 30 @ $60.00 ($1,800) 6. Glass Doors for the Gym $10,000 7. Adobe Creative Suite Computer Software for Art and Journalism Labs $9,000 8. Laminating Machine $1,000

Radio Maria
Phone: 318-561-6145
1. 15 microphones @ $100 ea. 2. 3 headphones @ $89 ea. 3. 5 wireless lavaliers @ $600 ea. 4. 5 wireless microphones @ $600 ea. 5. 6 compact mixers @ $100 ea. 6. 1 boom mic stand @ $95 ea. 7. 5 mic stand cases @ $20 ea. 8. 15 desktop mic stands @ $15 ea. 9. 55 male mic connectors @ $2 ea. 10. 55 female mic connectors @ $2 ea.

St. Mary’s Assumption School
Phone: 318-876-3651
1. Portable Building for a Computer Lab 2. 12 computers for lab 3. 12 computer tables for lab 4. 6 Printers for lab 5. 1 Smart Board for Lab

9. Chapel Ceiling Repairs $5,000 10. Lab Tables 15 @ $100.00 ($1500.00)

St. Mary’s Training Center
Phone: 318-445-6443
1. Children’s tables & chairs ($30/chair; $60/table) 2. Funding for materials to build 125 beds for children ($150/bed) 3. Equipment for Day Program; any donation

6. Electronic outdoor Message Board 4. 2 refrigerators ($400 each) 7. Portable Stage for Gymnasium 5. Floor mats for the main kitchen area ($800) 8. 250 Folding Chairs for Gymnasium 9. Playground equipment 10. Tuition Scholarship fund 6. Repainting and new wallboard for the main dining area ($2,000) 7. Dental chair for the dental clinic ($9,000)

Natchitoches Parish

Advertise in The Church Today
Contact Joan Ferguson 318-445-6421 x264

St. Romain Oil Co., Inc.
Wholesale Fuels & Lubricants (318) 964-2424

December 13, 2010

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Making a list and checking it twice!
St. Joseph School
Phone: 318-922-3401
1. Early Childhood Science Exploration Kit (3 @ $200 ea.) 2. Smart Boards (3 @ $3,500 ea.) 3. Printers for Computer Lab (10 @ $300) 4. Repairs/improvement to High School Library new fire escape ($60,000) 5. Donations towards activity bus 6. Microscope (5 @ $130) 7. Videos for Religion department ($300) 8. Elmo projector (2 @ $700) 9. Primary student desk (20 @ $100) 10. CD player ($100) Did you know you can receive tax credit on your Louisiana income tax return by donating technology to a school? Here is how it works--if you make a technology donation to a school, you are allowed a credit on your Louisiana Income Tax return valued at 40% of the total donated. Please take a look at the wish lists here...perhaps you can put a little joy in a classroom, help provide a hot meal at Manna House or help spread the Word this Christmas!

Catholic schools, charities have wish lists too!

Bishop’s Wish List Manna House
Phone: 318-445-9053
1. 10 100-lbs of food from Food Bank ($18 ea) 2. 7 cases a month of styrofoam cups ($15 ea.) 3. 10 cases/mo. of 600 disposable forks ($11 ea.)

Phone: 318-445-2401
1. Maryhill Renewal Center Endowment Fund 2. Tuition Assistance Endowment Fund 3. Burses (Seminary Education)

OL of Prompt Succor School
Phone: 318-487-1862
1. Promethean Board (6 @ $3,700) 2. DELL Wireless laptop (8 @ $1,200) 3. DELL Desktop PC (15 @ $800.00) 4. Promethean ActiView (3 @ $585) 5. Promethean ActiVotes (1 set @ $1,200) 6. Promethean ActivExpressions (1 set @ $1,800) 7. Promethean ActivWand (7 @ $68) 8. Class set of calculators (3 @ $100) 9. Flip Video camera (1 @ $200) 10. Microscope (2 @ $130)

4. 2 cases a month of 4,500 paper napkins ($20 ea.) 5. 3 cases/mo. of 80 55-gal. garbage bags ($19 ea) 6. Gas & maintenance for delivery truck ($35 per week) 7. Maintenance of commercial dishwasher ($125 per month) 8. 1 commercial meat slicer ($700) 9. New kitchen flooring ($1,500) 10. Purchase & prepare 2 acres of land for new Manna House facility ($250,000)

St. Anthony School
Phone: 318-346-2739
1. New catwalk ($9,000) 2. New air conditioner / heater ($5,000) 3. Ceiling fans ($1,500) 4. Color laser jet cp3525n printer 5. 2 smartboards ($2,500) 6. Computers (10 at $600) 7. Tuition assistance ($10,000) 8. New TV with VCR-CD 9. 2 Elmo cameras @$400 each

Avoyelles Parish

Advertise in The Church Today
Contact Carla Moreau 318-346-7829

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December 13, 2010

LC/LSUA students visit nuns at cloistered monastery
By Fr. Luke Melcher Chaplain, LSU-A CSO “Road TRIP!” After a Hail Mary, an Our Father, and a Glory Be, 12 students from LSUA and Louisiana College piled in cars on an early Saturday morning (Oct. 23) and caravanned to Lafayette for an impromtu road trip. Now, what would make a group of students give up their Saturday morning? We had the rare opportunity of having a parlor visit with a contemplative and cloistered group of Discalced Carmelite nuns at the Carmelite Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace in Lafayettte. When I initially approached the students about going to visit a group of nuns, I did not have many who were interested at first. At some point, the idea of visiting nuns went over like me inviting them to get their teeth drilled. But as time went on and the trip came nearer and nearer, the inevitable happened. Names began to appear on the sign-up sheet. Perhaps they became naturally curious about meeting women who have renounced everything in the world to become brides of Christ. Or maybe it was the coolfactor that they lived behind walls and grills, wore sandals and habits and veils, and were organic vegetarians long before the Whole Foods movement came around. Long before we ever stepped foot on the monastery, the prayers of the nuns carried each one of us there. Mrs. Chris Riche, staff sponsor of Jacobs Society at Louisiana College, helped bring Latin, Greek, and Vietnamese. I was privileged to be the celebrant and homilist of this Holy Mass, especially for these nuns who prayed for my vocation to the priesthood ever since I was an undergraduate in Lafayette almost 12 years ago. If there is any doubt, women are still responding to the call of the Divine Lord to be His alone. New religious vocations to the contemplative, cloistered life is a most remarkable sign of hope and indicate the vitality of the Church. As I distributed Holy Communion to the nuns through the window in the enclosure, I noticed two young ladies no more than 18 years old. They are postulants, in their first stage of becoming a nun. Because being incorporated into such an austere and prayerfilled community takes time and serious thought, these young ladies from South Louisiana will look forward to at least six more years of formation before they may be solemnly professed as Carmelite nuns. Daily, they take part in the Sacred Liturgy of the Church. Central is the Holy Mass. “The Catholic Church saw fit to name prayer as an apostolate, and She gave this to Carmel,” as Mother Regina informed us in the parlor visit after the Holy Mass. The Carmelite vocation is prayer, but it is most aptly described by St. Therese of Li-

ROAD TRIP TO MONASTERY. Father Luke Melcher, chaplain at LC and LSUA, and students from Louisiana College and LSUA took a road trip Oct. 23 to visit the cloistered sisters at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace in Lafayette.

the students, as well as a new bride and graduate of Louisiana College, Mrs. Jessica Thompson Bertrand. Coming to the doors of the monastery chapel, everyone huddled together, smiling and restraining a joy yet to find voice as I gave a few final instructions before we entered. One could have mistaken the scene for the admission to a rock concert. One of the nuns who works outside of the enclosure, known as an “extern sister,” greeted us in the vestibule with a warm smile and the Carmelite salutation, “Praised be Jesus Christ.” The response is “Now and Forever!” The sister ushered us into the chapel, where, one by one the students genuflected, entered a pew, and knelt for a period of prayer before the Holy Mass. Occasionally peeking, their dropped-jaw

reactions to the beauty of the mural of Christ Crucified on the back wall of the chapel, indicated to me this was already a hit. The Holy Mass began with the chanting of the nuns, who commemorated the Saturday memorial of Our Lady. The sacred music sung by the nuns was celestial and immediately struck me. “Father, even though I didn’t understand every word, I just knew it was about God. I thought I was in heaven,” commented one of the students. The nuns chanted the ordinary of the Holy Mass with hymnody in 4 languages: English,

Celebrate 100 years and growing!

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Cloistered monastery
seux as “love in the heart of the Church.” It is a love, a prayer beyond the scope of words. Most particularly, they pray for priests and often adopt a seminarian and a priest as a prayerpartner throughout their lives. Their prayer life also includes two hours in silent, mental prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, penances, and devotions like the rosary and novenas for certain feasts and solemnities. Once we sat down in the parlor with the entire community of nuns on one side of a large wooden grill and the students on the other side, we experienced real fellowship. The nuns are very gracious and also very, very funny. We laughed and laughed. During our visit, Jordan Delaney, a freshman at LSUA, gave the nuns a funny card from all us and bag of clementine oranges. Mrs. Leanne Bonnette, UL student, gave the nuns a chocolate cake because she had heard that the nuns love chocolate! There eyes got so big, and I knew then the students were a hit. They passed these items in a drawer below the grill because direct contact with the nuns is restricted. Each student shared a little bit about themselves and introduced themselves to the nuns. The nuns were genuinely interested in the students and their futures. David and Bubba Om, brothers at LSUA, shared about their recent baptism and conversion to Catholicism and their family’s trials in Cambodia. Two of the nuns were from communist oppressed Vietnam, and they shared their experiences about the persecution of the Church. The nuns’ interests were sisterly and motherly, quite ecclesial and feminine characteristics. So encouraging! Even Mother Regina corrected me a few times as only a loving mother can. We concluded our parlor visit with the chanting of the Salve Regina, a blessing, and the investiture of the Brown Scapular given by the nuns. Travis Vanlangendonck, an LC student, couldn’t help himself from wanting to shake a nun’s hand in gratitude. In fact, we all had a good chuckle as Mother Regina allowed each of the nuns to shake his hand, one by one. He was so happy. As we consider the new evangelization of western culture typified in this meeting of post-modern college students and contemplative nuns, we can see the forging of something entirely new. The newness is found in the rediscovery of ancient wisdom and Christian devotion which does not ignore the vicissitudes of history and generational particularities but definitely transcends them.

Teen/Young Adult Events
HOLY SPIRIT RETREAT FOR TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS, JAN. 7-9 The annual Holy Spirit Retreat for Teens and Young Adults will be held Jan. 7-9, 2011 at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie. Speakers include Fr. Steve Bruno, vocation director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans; Br. Guy Lafranz, CFR, (the former Matt Bourgeois of Academy of Our Lady), Timmy McCaffery (Jesuit High), Lindsay Hymel Binder (St. Mary’s Academy), Nathan Halloran (Jesuit High), Casey Sprehe (Augustine Institute and CCRNO) and Liz Mansfield. Music will be provided by the St. Margaret Mary Praise Band led by Pat Duffey and Mike Walden. Online registration at www.ccrno.org until Dec. 6. $160 includes meals and t-shirt. For questions email Casey Sprehe at youth@ccrno. org or call the CCRNO Office at 504-828-1368. JAN. 8-9 S.A.L.T. RETREAT The Office of Religious Formation and Training will offer S.A.L.T. retreats at Maryhill Renewal Center for all students in grades 9-12. The weekend retreat is filled with fun, music, talks on the faith, adoration, reconciliation and Mass. The retreat dates are Jan. 8-9, Feb. 12-13 and March 5-6. The deadline to register for the January retreat is Dec. 15. For more information, visit www.diocesealex.org and click on “Youth Ministry” or call our office at 318-445-6424 ext. 221.

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December 13, 2010

St. Joseph Seminary to sponsor Abbey Youth Festival
Alexandria seminarian encourages youth from diocese to attend
By Ryan Thompson Alexandria Seminarian St. Joseph Seminary To the Catholic Youth in Diocese of Alexandria: Peace be with you and greetings from St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, La.! My name is Ryan Thompson; I am a seminarian from our diocese, and it is a joy to share w i t h you a bit about my formaRyan Thompson tion to the priesthood and extend to you an invitation to Abbey Youth Fest, a youth rally coordinated by my seminary. I am currently in my freshman year of undergraduate formation here at St. Joseph’s, and I could not be happier that our Lord has called me to study here. The experience of seminary thus far has been amazing, and I am continuing to grow in love and knowledge of our Catholic faith and our God. Along with 74 other seminarians studying for dioceses spreading from Texas to Florida, I am tucked away in the beautiful piney woods of Southeast Louisiana on the 1,200 acre grounds of a Benedictine monastery. The beautiful charism, traditions, and liturgies of the Benedictines have contributed greatly to my experience in seminary, and on behalf of St. Joseph’s, I invite you, the youth of our diocese, to spend a day with us worshipping the Lord, discerning your vocation, and experiencing the richness of the Benedictine life. On March 26, 2011, St. Joseph Abbey will host its eleventh Abbey Youth Fest, which is a full day of contemporary Catholic music, inspiring keynote speakers, and the celebration of the Mass. As the sun sets, we unite with the Benedictines in the Evening Prayer of the Church, Vespers, and the night ends with candlelit Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament underneath the stars. Throughout the festival, you will have the opportunity for personal prayer in an outdoor chapel, confession with visiting priests, a tour of St. Joseph Abbey, and exposure to several religious orders and various ministries who set up information booths to share their charisms with the thousands of Catholic youths in attendance. I personally have never attended Abby Youth Fest, but from all the wonderful things I seph’s Abbey, several priests and religious from all over the country, and thousands of Catholic youths in worshipping our Lord and searching for the vocation to which He call us. As I bring my letter to a close, I’d like to share with you some fun facts about the seminary, the Abbey, and Abbey Youth Fest. • The first Benedictine monastery dates to around 530 AD • Saint Joseph Abbey was founded in 1889 • Saint Joseph Seminary College has 75 seminarians representing 19 different dioceses • The Benedictine monks at St. Joseph Abbey raise peacocks as a hobby • In Abbey Youth Fest’s 10 year history, 529 groups have attended • In 2006, Abbey Youth Fest hosted over 4,000 youths • Abbey Youth Fest is held outdoors and has never been cancelled due to rain • Past speakers and performers have included Jason Evert, Jim Caviezel, and Matt Smith For more information and pictures from previous festivals, check out our website at www. AbbeyYouthFest.com and find us on Facebook. You are in my prayers; may our hearts, like St. Augustine’s, find eternal rest in the heart of God.

ABBEY YOUTH FESTIVAL. This year’s Abbey Youth Festival will be held March 26 in St. Benedict, La. Early registration is already in progress until Jan. 24. The Abbey Youth Festival, an apostolic service of Saint Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, is a day of evangelization and vocational discernment by means of Liturgy, prayer, worship, music and education appropriate for Catholic young people. For more information, go to www.abbeyyouthfest.com have heard about the previous years of the event and with all the planning we have begun to do for this one, I believe that all of us youth should make it! It will be an event that will allow us to experience our Lord in the most intimate way and to really grow in our own individual vocations. The seminarians here at St. Joseph are working hard to make Abbey Youth Fest a great event, and I would like to personally ask anyone out there that is looking for an amazing experience with wonderful people and our awesome Lord to come out and join us at Abby Youth Fest. The theme for Abbey Youth Fest 2011 is, “Ever Ancient, Ever New,” which is taken from St. Augustine’s, Confessions. With youth speaker, Paul George, and Catholic musician, Matt Maher, the event will provide reflections upon and an experience of the beauty of God. So ask your youth minister to get a group together and make the trip to South Louisiana! I hope that you will be able to join me, 74 other seminarians, the Benedictine monks of St. Jo-

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December 13, 2010

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CatholicQuiz.com offers games, quizzes for youth, families, teachers
Saint Mary’s Press and CatholicQuiz.com are partnering to build co-branded online, interactive games and quizzes for Catholic youth, families, and religious education teachers in parishes and schools. CatholicQuiz.com is an interactive Web site with games and quizzes that build religious understanding, curiosity, and confidence in learning the Catholic faith. The Web site presents content appropriate for Catholic parishes or schools seeking to respond to the needs of its young people and families in a medium where students are already comfortable and savvy. Games explore God, Church, Scripture, morality, prayer, saints, Sacraments (preparation for First Communion and Confirmation), etc. “Partnering with Saint Mary’s Press creates a wonderful opportunity to develop digital CatholicQuiz.com are currently partnering to offer a weekly Sunday readings quiz and cross-promotion of the parish subscription program. A dynamic new tool to help teachers implement the U.S. Bishops’ Framework for High School Religion Curriculum is in development and will provide young people with cutting-edge technology to get them excited to learn about their faith. Saint Mary’s Press is an international Catholic publisher dedicated to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to young people through Catholic parishes, schools, and families. CatholicQuiz.com is a worldwide Internet community engaged in teaching and learning the Catholic faith through interactive online games and quizzes. For more information, visit www.smp.org and www.CatholicQuiz.com.

media resources linked to curriculum and designed to advance the evangelizing and catechetical mission of the Church,” said Michael J. McKay, STD, cofounder and principal author.John Vitek, president and CEO of Saint Mary’s Press, adds, “CatholicQuiz.com’s innovative and contemporary spirit matches up well with the long-standing commitment of Saint Mary’s Press to constantly pursue innovation and creativity in pedagogy and tools that help young people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through the Church.” Saint Mary’s Press and

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December 13, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Christmas books always a hit
Christmas Cheer
Stories about the Love, Inspiration, and Joy of Christmas Everyone loves Christmas and the holiday season. We reunite scattered family members, watch the wonder in a child’s eyes, and feel the joy of giving gifts. A Chicken Soup for the Soul, Christmas Cheer, brings about the love, inspiration and joy of Christmas. The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our lives, as we gather with family, with our communities at church, at school, and even at the mall, to share the special spirit of the season, brightening those long winter days. mas through the gifts we give, the love we share, and the magic we create for others. A Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas brings back the memories of childhood through the eyes of children on Christmas day and inspires good deeds by reminding us how the smallest gesture can truly change a life.

Christmas Magic

101 Holiday Tales of Inspiration, Love, and Wonder Christmas is a magical time of year — a time of family, friends, and traditions. And all the joys, blessings, and excitement of the season are captured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic with its 101 new holiday stories covering everything from finding the perfect Christmas tree,


Stories to Rekindle the Spirit Children experience Christmas through magic, anticipation, and learning about the baby Jesus. As we mature, we experience Christ-

being with family, and seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes to goodwill, love, and the true meaning of Christmas. This book will delight every reader, from the young to the young at heart, and bring back the magic of the holiday season. “Santa-safe” for kids! ----Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

December 13, 2010

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Tangled gives new twist to classic tale Rapunzel
By John P. McCarthy Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- After “Shrek,” it’s easy to forget that filmmakers once played fairy tales straight. Walt Disney, the studio synonymous with such traditional interpretations, offers another enjoyable example in its 50th full-length animated release. Largely irony-free and lacking the snarky quality of many movies aimed at kids, “Tangled” (Disney) is a throwback Uncle Walt would recognize and applaud. So will families. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s static or staid. Enough contemporary touches, in addition to computer-generated animation (projected in your choice of 3-D or 2-D), ensure “Tangled” is an equally dynamic and wholesome vehicle for its “love conquers all” theme. Following the outlines of the German folk tale Rapunzel, popularized by the Brothers Grimm, the plot is a melange of elements recognizable from “Snow White,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty.” The influence of the “Shrek” franchise is also discernible, without any adverse effects. A child born to a king and

‘TANGLED’. A child born to a king and queen possesses golden locks with healing properties, magic for which the infant is kidnapped by the evil crone Mother Gothel (voice of Donna Murphy). In a secluded tower, Gothel raises Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore) as her daughter, using her captive’s hair to restore her own youth while never letting the girl step outside her prison. (CNS photo Disney) queen possesses golden locks with healing properties, magic for which the infant is kidnapped by the evil crone Mother Gothel (voice of Donna Murphy). In a secluded tower, Gothel raises Rapunzel (voice of Mandy Moore) as her daughter, using her captive’s hair to restore her own youth while never letting the girl step outside her prison. On the eve of her 18th birthday, Rapunzel, though unaware of her true identity, is desperate to escape so she might experience a display of floating lanterns that her parents stage every year to commemorate their lost princess. Adopting the guise of an overprotective parent, Gothel refuses. But then a boastful young thief, Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi), chances upon the tower after robbing the palace. With the help of her versatile mane, Rapunzel persuades him to accompany her into the world she’s never known and has been taught to fear. Accompanied by Rapunzel’s pet chameleon, Pascal, they’re chased by Maximus, a zealous horse of the Imperial Guard, as well as Gothel and two

of Flynn’s roughneck accomplices whom he double-crossed. After a slow start, directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard blend lighthearted romance, vigorous action sequences, and a few rather tepid songs by veteran composer Alan Menken into a pleasant whole. The film’s merely serviceable voice work and visuals may keep it from the ranks of animated classics, but the overall package is a good introduction to the Disney formula. Keeping up with the times, the filmmakers tweak the damsel-in-distress motif by having Rapunzel save Flynn more often than the reverse. Still, they remain true to the most vital, enduring values by equating romantic love with self-sacrifice, free of any tawdry distractions. Rapunzel and Flynn don’t kiss until they’re married and the movie’s edgiest bit involves a drunken, superannuated cherub winking at Mother Gothel. But, along with mild swashbuckling violence, the film does include many slapstick pratfalls and cartoon ouches courtesy of our frying-pan- and hair-wielding heroine. Since sun worship seems to be the prevailing cult in Rapunzel’s fictional realm, moreover, there’s a distinct but inoffensive pagan undertone to the proceedings. Finally, those shepherding preschoolers should anticipate a few tears during a potentially upsetting climactic scene. Rest assured, however, that a happily-ever-after wrap-up is quickly forthcoming. The potential of that earlier brief interlude to elicit such strong emotional reactions is proof of the degree to which “Tangled” succeeds. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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Red River Chorale will present two Christmas concerts titled, Christmas Through the Ages. The first one will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria. The second concert will be held on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Magale Recital Hall in Natchitoches. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call 318-484-4463.

December 13, 2010
6th annual autism conference in Shreveport on Jan. 28. This year four distinguished speakers will present on many new topics, including the treatment of feeding problems typically associated with autism, early identification of autism, and improving family ties, as well as treating self-injury. The speakers include Gina Green, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Henry Roane, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and Shahla Ala’i-Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA, as well as Heather Kadey, M.S., BCBA. The conference will last 1 day, and is divided into general track tutorials in the morning that are open to all attendees and a choice of one workshop in the afternoon. If you register by Dec. 31, the registration fee is $75 per person or $60 for university students with proof of enrollment. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the registration fee will be $100 per person and $75 per student. For more information please visit St. Mary’s website at www. stmarys-rts.org, or call Bo Vets at (318) 445-6443 ext: 2149.

A tour of five homes will be featured Dec. 19 by St. Rita Church. The first four homes you are invited to visit from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (at your own leisure). From 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., all tourists are asked to make the Rectory their final stop, where we will have refreshments and entertainment! Tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for children under 12 and can be purchased Nov. 29 at the Parish Office, or at any of the homes the day of the tour. For more information, contact Debbie Brown at 445-7141 ext 10.

St. Rita Church will sponsor its annual New Year’s Eve dance on Friday, Dec. 31 at St. Rita Church’s Holy Family Center. Doors open at 8 p.m.; music starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple and may be purchased at the church office. Music will be provided by The Neighborhood Stars R & B Band from New Roads, La. For more information, call Courtney at 880-8665 or Nicole at 542-8006.

KC COUNCIL 9217 , BELLEDEAU, cooked a gumbo dinner Nov. 3 for the weekly free lunch for LSUA students at the LSUA Catholic Student Center. The council fed about 110 people. Pictured are Amos Lacombe, Kermit Laborde, Tom Washer, Leonard Assmann, Joe Gremillion, Jessie Laborde, and Joe Arno.


Hosted by the John Paul II Knights of Columbus Council #14657, the Sacred Heart (Pineville) New Year’s Eve Dance will be held Dec. 31 in the Activities Building from 8 p.m. to midnight. Doors open at 7 p.m. There will be music, hors d’oeuvres, favors and FUN! All proceeds help the KCs support our church! Call Ray Paul at 2019022 for more information.

KC COUNCIL 1134. Council members and their wives cooked a ham dinner Dec. 1 for the weekly free lunch for LSUA students at the LSUA Catholic Student Center. The council fed about 100 people.

The Spring Series of Natural Family Planning classes (NFP) will be held on the Saturdays of Jan. 8, Feb. 5, and March 5. All classes will be held from 9:30 a.m. – noon. Location TBA. You must attend all 3 classes to complete the course. There is a one time fee of $135 for the Student Kit. NFP is a 100% natural, safe, and moral way to space or achieve pregnancy. To register, call Michael or Leah Pelto at 318-640-8678 or email: michaelandleah@ suddenlink.net.

The 49th annual Amicus Club Rodeo will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, 2011 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. The rodeo will be held at 7:30 p.m. on both nights, and also at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10. All proceeds from the PRCA Rodeo will benefit St. Mary’s Residential Training School.

Jim and Christy Gootee and the Two Hearts Team will be offering a weekend on “Wholeness and Holiness Through Christian Dream Therapy” at Maryhill Renewal Center, Jan. 29-30 from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to grow spiritually by finding out how to pay attention to God’s symbolic language communicated in our dreams. The retreat will look at the importance of dreams in both the Old and the New Testament as well as in the lives of some of the early saints. We will examine guidelines to identify which of our dreams are significant and cautious against misuse of dreams. The retreat will combine teaching and workshop, allowing you time to work on and share your own dreams. Bring a Bible and a dream notebook in which you have written one or two of your dreams. We will privde you with a variety of tools and approaches to help you analayze your dreams. The $115 retreat cost includes a reference book and retreat manual. No meals are provided but many restaurants are nearby. $35 additional cost per night for room at Maryhill. Mail name, address, phone and $35 non-refundable registration to: Two Hearts, P. O. Box 7206, Alexandria, LA 71306. Write yes or no for room Friday and Saturday. Web address: www.jimand christygootee.com


St. Mary’s Residential Training School is hosting its

Don’t miss the worship, discernment and fun on Mar. 26 for the Abbey Youth Festival in St. Benedict, La. Festival speakers include Matt Maher, Paul George, Judy McDonald, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, and the monks and seminarians of St. Joseph Abbey+Seminary College. Early registration is now through Jan. 24. For more info, go to www.abbeyyouthfest.com

Avoyelles Parish

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Contact Carla Moreau 318-346-7829

December 13, 2010

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December - January
Monday Tuesday
Penance Services: 6:10 p.m. St. Patrick, Montgomery 6:30 p.m. St. Joseph, Marksville


Penance Service 5:30 p.m. OL Sorrows, Moreauville Advent Series: 6:00 p.m. KC Hall, Natchitoches Red River Chorale Concert 7:30 p.m. Magale Hall, Natchitoches



St. Rita Church Christmas Tour of Homes, 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. Alexandria Penance Service: 5:00 p.m. St. Joseph, St. Joseph


Penance Services: 5:00 p.m. OL Lourdes, Vidalia 6:00 p.m. St. Joseph, Colfax 6:00 p.m. St. Mary’s Assumption, Cottonport Advent Series: 6:00 p.m. Immac. Conception, 5:30 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Natchitoches Center, Alexandria 6:00 p.m. St. Patrick Hall, Ferriday 6:10 p.m. Sacred Heart Pineville 6:30 p.m. St. Mary’s, Cottonport 6:30 p.m. OLPS, Alexandria Red River Chorale Concert 7:30 p.m. Cathedral, Alex.




Catholic Schools begin Christmas break - close of day


Christmas Youth Musical 6:30 p.m. St. Joseph, Marksville





Penance Services: 5:00 p.m. St. Louis, Glenmora 6:00 p.m. Mary, Mother of Jesus, Woodworth 6:00 p.m. St. Francis of Assisi, Powhatan


Advent Series: 5:30 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria 6:00 p.m. St. Patrick Hall, Ferriday 6:30 p.m. St. Mary’s, Cottonport



Advent Series: 6:00 p.m. KC Hall, Natchitoches














St. Rita New Year’s Eve Dance 8:00 p.m. Sacred Heart Pineville New Year’s Eve Dance 7:00 p.m.







Catholic Schools back in session






Natural Family Planning Classes 9:30 a.m.-12 noon



Holy Spirit Retreat for Teens/Young Adults - Metairie S.A.L.T. Retreat - Maryhill Renewal Center






PDS Training for PDS Church Office users 8:30 a.m. St. Joseph Catholic Center, Alexandria












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