January 9 - The Catholic Commentator



January 9 - The Catholic Commentator
January 9, 2013 Vol. 51, No. 24
S E R V I N G T H E D I O C E S E O F B AT O N R O U G E S I N C E 19 6 3
Group hopes to restore
Bayou Goula church
PAGES 10-11
spirituality in
the cane field
By Barbara Chenevert
The Catholic Commentator
The Mississippi River overpowered it, forcing it to move. Hurricane Gustav was too much
for its 140-year-old steeple. Age and a lack of
use have taken a toll on its paint and its foundation.
Yet, unused, without a steeple and in need of
renovation, the historic St. Paul Church in Bayou Goula stands as a monument to the people
of this once flourishing community.
“The church brought us through Reconstruction, through World War I and II, and I
think this church has a lot more help to give,”
said Travis Campesi, one of a group of Bayou
Goula area residents who are determined to
restore the church to its 1871 beauty.
“This church has gotten the community
through a lot of problems. When you think of
all the people who have come and gone, I don’t
see how we can lose it now,” she said.
“It was built just six years after the Civil
War, when the south was very poor. There
was a lot of sacrifice by the people to build this
church,” said Mike Guillot, another member of
The historic St. Paul Church in Bayou Goula is being restored by the non-profit group, Friends of St. Paul, Inc. Built in 1871,
the church retains much of its original structure and furnishings including the cypress pews and altar fixtures. Statues,
the tabernacle and the stations of the cross are also intact. Photo by Barbara Chenevert | The Catholic Commentator
Diocese announces partnership with OLOL for deacon program
By Barbara Chenevert
The Catholic Commentator
The Diocese of Baton Rouge is entering into a partnership with Our Lady of
the Lake College to provide academic
formation for candidates for the permanent diaconate, beginning in August.
The new partnership replaces academic formation previously offered
through St. Joseph Seminary College,
both for diaconate formation and for
lay ministers in the Religious Studies
Institute. Both programs were discontinued when changes in accreditation
standards required RSI courses to be
held on the campus of St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington.
“The new program will integrate
both academic programs of study into a
holistic academic program that will last
five years,” said Father Jamin David,
coordinator of diaconate formation for
the diocese.
Under the new partnership, candidates for the diaconate will take two
courses every fall and spring for a total
of 60 hours of college level coursework,
beginning in August.
“It is the goal of the diocese and
Our Lady of the Lake College to work
toward the creation of a bachelor’s degree in theology in the future. These
course credits will be applicable to this
degree,” Father David said. Our Lady
of the Lake College is the only Catholic
college in the diocese.
Father David said he, Rhonda Paren-
ton, head of the diocesan office of Evangelization and Catechesis, and other diocesan leaders constructed the course
of study in consultation with the leadership of OLOL.
“Courses range from Scripture to
church history to systematic theology to
homiletics and everything in between,”
Father David said, adding the program
was designed to provide a suitable foundation of theological knowledge, practical application and theological praxis.
Although RSI offered formation for
lay leaders in the diocese, Father David
said the structure of the new program
was designed so that a curricula for
lay leaders could be developed in the
future. “The need for trained lay leaders remains evident,” he said. Dr. Tina
Holland, president of OLOL College,
“has repeatedly expressed her interest
in entering into a similar partnership
to provide academic formation for lay
leaders as well,” he said.
Because some of the courses are already offered at the Catholic college,
some lay students may be enrolled
along with the diaconate candidates.
Anyone who meets the standard of admission for OLOL can take the courses,
Father David said.
Holland said OLOL College is “excited to serve the Diocese of Baton Rouge
by partnering in the intellectual formation of deacons and other lay people in
the Catholic tradition. We can think of
no better way to fulfill our mission as
The Catholic Commentator
The ighter ide of
January 9, 2015
Scapulars have various meanings
There are brown
ones, blue ones, red
ones, black ones, green
ones and white ones.
They might honor
the passion of Jesus,
the Blessed Mother under various names, the
blessed Trinity or St.
They may help you pray for the conversion of sinners, a happy death or healing.
Scapulars are religious pendants made
of two pieces of cloth connected by a
string that are worn over the neck and can
carry indulgences or graces when certain
criteria are met.
Originally a sign of monastic life, scapulars are derived from the apron-like part
of the monastic habit that consists of a
long rectangular piece of material with
holes for the head. Over time these aprons
became known as the yoke of Christ, and
receiving the scapular took on solemn
In the middle ages,
laity frequently affiliated with religious
orders. They did not
take full vows nor wear
the habit, but would
be granted a “reduced
scapular” that consisted of two pieces of
wool, about two inches
by three inches in size and held together
by a cord and worn over the shoulder.
Soon there developed “personal” scapulars, still smaller in size yet symbolic
of the apron, that indicated the wearer’s
willingness to serve. Scapulars are generally associated with a religious order or
confraternity and bear the colors or symbols of that confraternity. For example,
the Brown Scapular, the scapular of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel, is one of the most
widely known scapulars and is associated
with the Carmelite Order.
Today scapulars may also be made of
metal or wood.
Stained glass windows provide a backdrop for daily Mass and the tabernacle at Christ the
King Chapel and Student Center on the LSU campus. Created by artist Sam Corso, based on
a concept of Paul Dufour, the windows depict the movements of students who come to
school and church at LSU and then move on. The windows also celebrate flowing water, not
only from the nearby Mississippi River but also from the church’s baptismal font.
A photo caption about the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s delivery of
books to Dalton Elementary School through Project BRANT in the Dec. 12 issue
of The Catholic Commentator incorrectly stated that current donor Carmel Mask
donated to Project BRANT in memory of her deceased son. The person who had
made donations to the project in memory of her deceased son was a previous
donor, Gladys Ryan.
Lent 2015
Issue date: February 6
Ad Space Deadline: January 28
Lent 2015 will feature: • A Collection of Seafood and Lenten
Recipes by our readers and advertising restaurants. • Fasting & Abstinence
Regulations in the Baton Rouge Diocese, Lenten Retreats, Opportunities for
Spiritual Renewal, Fund Raisers sponsored by churches, schools and Catholic
organizations, and a listing of St. Joseph Altars.
For advertising information call 225-387-0983
thecatholiccommentator.org | Facebook.com/TheCatholicCommentator
Bishop Robert E. Tracy met with Pope Paul VI in Rome in December 1974. Bishop Tracy,
chairman of the United States Ad Hoc Committee on Migration and Tourist at the time,
was in Rome to attend the International Catholic Air Congress, which studied the impact
of the Holy Year on the world of civil aviation and the services to be rendered to pilgrims
flying to Rome in 1975, and the airport chaplaincy as it relates to the airport community,
aircrew personnel and passengers. Bishop Tracy also attended the Opening of the Holy
Door at St. Peter’s Basilica. Photo courtesy of Archives Department Diocese of Baton Rouge
Bishop Robert W. Muench Publisher
Father Than Vu Associate Publisher
Richard Meek Editor
Debbie Shelley Assistant Editor
Wanda L. Koch Advertising Manager
Penny G. Saia Production Manager
Lisa Disney Secretary/Circulation
Barbara Chenevert Staff Writer
The Catholic Commentator (ISSN 07460511; USPS 093-680)
Published bi-weekly (every other week) by the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge,1800 South Acadian
Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70808; 225-387-0983 or 225-387-0561. Periodical Postage Paid at Baton
Rouge, LA. Copy must reach the above address by Wednesday for use in the next week’s paper. Subscription rate: $14.00 per year. POSTMASTER, send address changes to The Catholic Commentator,
P.O. Box 14746, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-4746.
January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
From page 1
the only Catholic college in Baton Rouge
than by helping prepare these men to serve
all the people of the Baton Rouge area.”
Dr. David Whidden, who is an assistant professor of theology at OLOL college, added, “Good theology is a ministry
to the church, and we are thrilled to help
prepare these deacon candidates for fruitful lives of ministry shaped by the best the
Catholic tradition has to offer.”
The diocese has also negotiated a tuition break to make the program feasible
for all parties involved – the candidate, the
diocese and the college, Father David said.
“Candidates will be asked to bear the
burden of approximately half of the cost
of the discounted rate,” he said. If a candidate is unable to afford his portion, he
may ask his home parish for sponsorship
or a subsidy, he said. Scholarship money
may also be available. The diocese will
put up the other half of the tuition costs.
Seven men are now in formation to
become permanent deacons and could be
ordained in 2017. The next “class” of deacons will begin in 2015 but because of the
requirements of the new program, they
would not be ordained until 2020.
“It is the goal of the diocese to begin a
class of ordinations annually,” Father David said adding the classes are likely to
be much smaller under the new requirements.
Courses will be taught by professors at
OLOL, but priests, deacons and lay leaders of the diocese expert in their specific
field of study may also be employed as adjunct faculty members, Father David said.
Future deacons for the Diocese of Baton Rouge will go through five years of academic formation in a new program that partners the
diocese with Our Lady of the Lake College. File photo
Deacon candidates taking the courses
will be subject to the academic standards
required by OLOL, including requirements for grading, registration and withdrawal. The standards outlined for academic integrity in the course catalogue
of Our Lady of the Lake College will be
adopted as the diocesan standards for the
candidates engaged in formation, he said.
Men seeking to become permanent
deacons must be formed academically,
spiritually and pastorally, so enrollment
in the OLOL courses is only one aspect of
their training.
After a lengthy application and screening process which includes psychological examination, review by the Diocesan
Deacon Advisory Board and acceptance
by the bishop, a candidate will enroll in
the OLOL courses. For his spiritual formation, he must select a spiritual director whom he will meet with monthly. The
deacon candidate and his wife are also encouraged to make an annual retreat and
attend workshops and seminars.
For pastoral formation, the candidates
will be given an opportunity for practical application of what they learned in
the classroom in a ministry setting. One
summer the candidates will be assigned
to work in a specialized ministry such as
prison or nursing homes and a second
summer he will teach in a parish school
of religion, RCIA or other adult formation
program. The candidates will also be required to write papers about their experience.
Candidates will also meet with the
Deacon Advisory Board annually to reflect upon their goals and their growth.
Father Vu to take leave from
St. Aloysius
By Richard Meek
The Catholic Commentator
Father Than Vu, vicar general for the
Diocese of Baton Rouge and pastor at
St. Aloysius Church, announced to his
parishioners that he has been granted a
leave from his day-to-day responsibilities
as pastor. Father Gerald Burns, who was
the previous pastor, will be temporary administrator.
In an email sent to St. Aloysius parishioners Jan. 5, Father Vu said he has “been
struggling with several hospital stays”
and remains “weak.” He said after much
“prayer and reflection and for the good of
the parish,” he requested the leave from
Bishop Robert W. Muench so he can “concentrate on my treatments and discern
what God calls me to do.
“Our lives are in God’s hands and we
can only trust in the promise of our faithful God.”
Canonically, Father Vu remains pastor
Father Tan Vu
of St. Aloysius.
He asked parishioners to remember
him in their prayers and added that he
prays the new year “will be one of grace
and abundant blessings for all of you. I
will miss you very much, especially the
children who are so dear to my heart.”
Please give generously in the collection
January 24 & 25.
The Catholic Commentator
New Year’s Eve is
time for examination
of conscience,
pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) The end of one
calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how
well people have used the time and gifts
God has given them– especially how well
people have helped the poor, Pope Francis
While God is eternal, time is important even to him, Pope Francis said during
a prayer service New Year’s Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica. “He wanted to reveal himself and save us in history,” becoming human to demonstrate “his concrete love.”
As a strong winter wind blew outside,
Pope Francis ended 2014 celebrating evening prayer with eucharistic adoration
and Benediction, and the solemn singing
of the “Te Deum,” a hymn of praise for
God’s blessings.
At the end of a year, like at the end of
life, he said, the church teaches its members to make an examination of conscience, “remembering all that happened,
thanking the Lord for all the good we
received and were able to do and, at the
same time, remembering where we were
lacking and our sins. Give thanks and ask
Speaking specifically as bishop of
Rome to others who have the honor of
living in the city and the responsibility of
participating in its civic life, Pope Francis
said Christians must have “the courage to
proclaim in our city that the poor must
January 9, 2015
7:00 PM St. John the Baptist
7:00 PM Immaculate Conception
Denham Springs
6:30 PM St. Michael & Sacred Heart
6:30 PM St. Joseph
10:00 AM St. James & St. Philip
7:00 PM St. Mark
7:00 PM St. Theresa of Avila
7:00 PM St. Mary of False River & St. Augustine
New Roads
7:00 PM St. John the Evangelist
7:00 PM St. Joseph, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini & Im. Heart of Mary
7:00 PM Our Lady of Mercy
Baton Rouge
7:00 PM St. Anne & St. Anthony
7:00 PM Our Lady of Peace
7:00 PM Most Blessed Sacrament
Baton Rouge
7:00 PM Immaculate Conception
4:00 PM St. Francis of Assisi & Ascension of Our Lord
Donaldsonville (Ascension)
REDEMPTORIST – Bishop Robert Muench, School Chaplains Rev. Marcel Okwara CSsR, and Father Matthew Bonk CSsR, and other priests
Thursday & Friday, Feb. 5-6
ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL – Bishop Robert Muench, School Chaplain Father Matthew McCaughey and other priests
Monday & Tuesday, Feb. 9-10
ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY – Bishop Robert Muench, School Chaplains Father Jack Nutter and Father Cleo Milano, and other priests
Wednesday & Thursday, Feb. 11-12
CATHOLIC HIGH – Bishop Robert Muench, School Chaplains Father Matthew Dupre, Father Miles Walsh and Brother Ray Hebert SC, and other priests
Schools outside of Baton Rouge have their chaplains oversee Reconciliation Services. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL VISITS Tuesday, Jan. 20
St. Theresa of Avila
Monday, Mar. 2
Holy Family
Port Allen
Tuesday, Mar. 10
St. Thomas More
Baton Rouge
Thursday, Jan. 15
Friday, Jan. 16
Wednesday, Jan. 21
Thursday, Jan. 22
Sunday, Jan. 25
Tuesday, Jan. 27
Thursday, Jan. 29
Monday, Feb. 2
Tuesday, Feb. 3
Wednesday, Feb. 4
Thursday, Feb. 5
Monday, Feb. 9
Tuesday, Feb. 10
Wednesday, Feb. 11
Thursday, Feb. 12
Saturday, Feb. 14
be defended and that we do not need to
defend ourselves from the poor, that the
weak must be served and not used.”
While God created humanity to be his
children, he said, original sin and its remnants continue to distance people from
God, often making them slaves who follow “the voice of the Evil One.”
Look for
CaThoLiC CommenTaTor
aT your LoCaL ouTLeTs inCLuding:
✔ Affinity Nursing Home, Baton Rouge
✔ Albertsons, Baton Rouge
✔ Alexander’s Highland Market,
Baton Rouge
✔ Ascension Books & Gifts, Gonzales
✔ Baton Rouge General Hospital,
Baton Rouge
✔ Baton Rouge Healthcare, Baker
✔ Benedetto’s Market, Addis
✔ Bohning Supermarket, Ponchatoula
✔ Calandro’s Supermarkets,
Baton Rouge
✔ Catholic Art and Gifts, Baton Rouge
✔ Daigle’s Supermarket, White Castle
✔ Grace Healthcare, Slaughter
✔ Hi Nabor Supermarkets, Baton Rouge
✔ Hubbins Grocery, Port Allen
✔ Lane Regional Hospital, Zachary
✔ LeBlanc’s Food Stores, Gonzales,
Donaldsonville, Hammond, Plaquemine,
Prairieville and Zachary
✔ Louisiana Vet Home, Jackson
✔ Matherne’s Supermarkets,
Baton Rouge
✔ Magnuson Hotel, St. Francisville
✔ Murray’s, St. Amant
✔ North Ridgely Healthcare, Baker
✔ Oak Point Supermarket, Central
✔ Oak Wood Nursing Home, Zachary
✔ Old Jefferson Community Care,
Baton Rouge
✔ Our Lady of the Lake College,
Baton Rouge
✔ Our Lady of the Lake Regional
Medical Center, Baton Rouge and
✔ Our Lady of the Lake Physician
Group, offices with locations
throughout the Diocese
✔ Reeve’s Supermarket, Baton Rouge
✔ St. Mary’s Books & Gifts,
Baton Rouge
✔ St. Vincent dePaul Stores throughout
the diocese
✔ Schexnayer Supermarket, Vacherie
✔ Southside Produce, Baton Rouge
✔ Tony’s Seafood, Baton Rouge
✔ UPS Store, Coursey Blvd., Baton
✔ Whole Foods Market, Baton Rouge
✔ Winn Dixie in Baton Rouge, Hammond,
New Roads and Ponchatoula
as well as your local church parish
S E R V I N G T H E D I O C E S E O F B AT O N R O U G E S I N C E 19 6 2
January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
Zydeco music soothing for the body and spirit
By Debbie Shelley
The Catholic Commentator
instructor Gloria Berry directed her students as she taught them how to Zydeco
dance at Immaculate Conception Church
in Baton Rouge on Dec. 13. After a few tentative first steps, her students danced with
the beat of the music, expressing their joy
that they can now get off the sidelines and
join in the dance. Their first opportunity
came a week later at a Zydeco dance at the
Zydeco, which comes from the French
phrase “Les harticots ne sont pas sales,”
meaning, “The snap beans aren’t salty,” is a
“Black Creole” cousin of Cajun music. The
word Zydeco, however, has expanded to refer to both the dancing social event and the
music that accompanies it, say those who
teach this distinct type of art form. It originated in the Acadiana area. It integrates
the waltz, shuffle, two-step and traditional
Cajun music, rhythm and blues and rock
and roll.
The featured instruments of Zydeco
music are the accordion and the washboard, which the musicians rub with
Berry said she was “born and raised” on
Zydeco in Opelousas. Her father played the
washboard and brother played accordion.
One of 13 children, she said there was
an “ebb and flow” of Zydeco among the
church parish, home and the bayous.
Special events at the church parish were
often celebrated with Zydeco dances.
“We would take it from there to the
house,” stated Berry.
She said chuckling, “When nighttime
came, we were in the front room dancing,
sometimes with pajama parties.”
Zydeco dancing, Berry said, “is along
the line of a waltz. We call it a fast waltz.”
The dancing is good for the body and
the spirit, according to Berry.
“It’s a natural expression of faith, it
clears your mind … you sweat,” she said.
Linda Chavis, like Berry, said she “had
been doing Zydeco since she was a baby.”
Many of her family members, including
Melvin Chavis, or “Zydeco Man,” who pro-
People taking a Zydeco dance lesson at Immaculate Conception Church in Baton Rouge
enjoy themselves as they prepare to “show their new moves” the next week at a Zydeco
dance at the church. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator
vided music along with the Millenia Band
at a dance Dec. 20 at Immaculate Conception, are involved with playing Zydeco
Linda Chavis stated she likes Zydeco
music because it is “real.” When musicians
play the accordion, they play “the sound”
that is distinctly Zydeco, she explained.
“If you didn’t hear ‘the sound’ you didn’t
get the beat,” explained Chavis.
She noted that priests and nuns would
often join them at the dances at the church.
Melvin Chavis said he’s been playing
Zydeco music since he was 7 years old. He
plays the accordion and the bass guitar.
“We had la las (house parties/dances).
They’d roll up the rug so we wouldn’t damage it and all the family members in the
area came and danced. They would dance
all evening. We were just chipmunks then.
That was our family’s way of letting loose,”
Chavis said.
He explained that Zydeco music uses the
“double clutch” fast drumbeats that have a
“pick up and go” beat for the dancers.
Eloise Johnson, who was learning how
to Zydeco, agreed about the lively nature of
the music.
“The music is fun. It makes you tap your
feet. The rhythm makes you want to get up
and dance,” she said.
Temporary administrator at St. Agnes announced
Bishop Robert W. Muench
From September 2009
announced the appointment
through October 2010 he
of Father P. Charbel Jamlived in Baton Rouge in an athoury as temporary administempt to establish a mission
trator at St. Agnes Church in
for the Lebanese community,
Baton Rouge, effective Jan. 5.
but that goal was not realized
Father Jamhoury, a native
because of financial difficulof Beirut, Lebanon, has preties.
viously served in the Diocese
Father Jamhoury, born
of Baton Rouge, most recentSept. 9, 1968, was ordained
ly in December 2013 for sevto the Lebanese Maronite
Father Jamhoury
eral weeks assisting at Our
Order on July 14, 2001, at
Lady of Mercy Church in Baton
Monasteryos Holy Spirit in Kaslik, Lebanon.
Although Johnson is from north Louisiana, her husband’s family is from south
Louisiana, and all know how to Zydeco
dance – some who are still dancing in old
age. She said the music is different from
what she grew up with. “We did the swing
dance and we did the waltz. It (Zydeco) is a
different beat. It’s faster.”
“I wanted to learn today so I can get up
and dance like the rest of them,” Johnson
Bryan Berteaux, who is originally from
New Orleans and settled in Baton Rouge
last year after moving around since Hurricane Katrina, said the Zydeco lessons
and dances at the church hall are part of
the things at Immaculate Conception that
remind him of his former home church
He said bringing Zydeco to the churches is very much in touch with their mission
of communicating to people through a cultural experience.
He said church dances help young
people, who express dissatisfaction with
not having family to lean on after moving
around a lot to “move up in the world,” find
a church family.
He said Zydeco is growing in popularity
with the young people, with the Zydeco belt
extending from New Orleans to Houston.
Berteaux said while Zydeco is generally
uptempo, it is still relaxing and romantic.
“The dances are romantic – the way you
put your arms around each other, the way
you dance. It creates a romantic mood ….
It’s not really about upbeat music, it’s about
the romanticism that exists in the dance
and the culture and the people,” Berteaux
Respect Life Rally
Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center
1800 S. Acadian Thruway Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Keynote Speaker: BoBBy Schindler
The Terri Schiavo caSe
Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri
Schiavo, will share the powerful, firsthand
account of Terri’s story and the effect the
case has had across America.
LISTEN: Presentations by Catholic Charities Maternity, Adoption &
Behavioral Health on Project Rachel Ministry & the 2014 Pro-Life
Oratory contest winner
CONNECT: Respect Life groups will share information on their ministries.
Get involved!
PRAY: Living Rosary led by the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard
PLAY: Cafts & activities for children aged 7 & under
Sponsored by the Office of Marriage & Family Life
Christian Formation Secretariat – Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge
Contact Danielle Van Haute 225-242-0164 or [email protected]
The Catholic Commentator
January 9, 2015
Pope Francis and atheists/Deacons allowed to remarry?
I am on Facebook, and I find it a
good way to connect with family
and friends. I know that some of
what I read on Facebook is reliable, but
some is not.
Recently I read that Pope Francis
said the following: “It is not necessary
to believe in God to be a good person. In
a way, the traditional notion of God is
outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church
... for many, nature can be a church.
Some of the best people in history did not
believe in God, while some of the worst
deeds were done in his name.”
That strikes me as a strange quote
to be coming from the pope. Can you
confirm for me whether he actually said
it? (Philadelphia)
I have never seen the quote that
your Facebook friend attributes to
Pope Francis and I cannot believe,
in particular, he would say that “the traditional notion of God is outdated” or that
“it is not necessary to go to church.”
I imagine this Facebook quote is a
“gloss,” a fanciful expansion of two things
that Pope Francis actually did say. In a
homily in May 2013, Pope Francis told
morning worshippers at the Vatican that
“the Lord has redeemed
all of us, all of us, with the
blood of Christ: all of us,
not just Catholics. Everyone.” To which he added:
“Even the atheists.”
Following that, in
September 2013, in a letter
published in the Italian
newspaper La Repubblica, as to whether the God
of Christians can forgive
unbelievers, Pope Francis
wrote: “Given that ... God’s
mercy has no limits if he
who asks for mercy does
so in contrition and with
a sincere heart, the issue
for those who do not believe in God is in
obeying their own conscience.”
Note that the pope did not say salvation
is automatic: The opportunity for salvation (for anyone, including atheists) comes
through the redemptive work of Jesus
Christ – but to achieve that salvation,
effort and sincerity of heart are required.
Although these two papal quotes were
sensationalized by some in the secular media as breaking new theological
ground, they were simply restatements of
what is solid Catholic belief.
Question Corner
Father Kenneth Doyle
David Oyelowo gives a graceful, majestic
lead performance and Ava DuVernay
directs ‘Selma’ with startling immediacy,
dramatic force and filmmaking verve.
The Catechism of the
Catholic Church (No.
847), quoting the Second
Vatican Council document
“Lumen Gentium,” states:
“Those who, through no
fault of their own, do not
know the Gospel of Christ
or his church, but who nevertheless seek God with a
sincere heart and, moved
by his grace, try in their
actions to do his will as
they know it through the
dictates of their conscience
– those too may attain
eternal salvation.”
I was ordained as a permanent
deacon in the Catholic Church
more than 40 years ago. Now I
am a retired deacon, although not by my
own choice. (In our diocese, deacons must
retire at 80.)
About two years ago, my wife died after
63 years of marriage. I am wondering
what you think of the requirement in canon law that a deacon whose wife passes
away is not permitted to marry again.
At the moment, I have no strong desire
to remarry, but I would like to have that
option. (Venice, Florida)
The church’s Code of Canon Law
(No. 1087) states that “those in
sacred orders invalidly attempt
marriage.” In other words, there is a
canonical impediment to marriage for
bishops, priests and deacons.
However, a separate provision in the
Code (No. 1078) allows the Vatican to
dispense from such an impediment.
According to current church guidelines, the pope may allow remarriage for
a permanent deacon whose wife has died
when the following two circumstances
are present: the deacon’s usefulness to the
diocese is considerable and he has young
children still to be raised.
Since the Vatican sets the conditions
for such a dispensation, the permissible circumstances could conceivably be
broadened in the future.
And since you asked me directly for
my own opinion, here it is: Young children need the nurture that comes from
a mother, and so that dispensation has
typically been granted; but a man who has
enjoyed the care and companionship of a
loving wife for 63 years has certain needs,
too. So I would prefer to see the guidelines
January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
Diocese offering packages to attend papal visit
By Debbie Shelley
The Catholic Commentator
The Diocese of Baton Rouge is
offering a way for people to support the church in its mission of
love and revitalizing families by
attending the World Meeting of
Families (WMOF), which Pope
Francis will attend, Sept. 22-27
in Philadelphia.
All the dioceses of Louisiana
will be participating in the World
Meeting of Families. The Marriage and Family Life and Stewardship offices of the Diocese of
Baton Rouge are working with
Peter’s Way Tours Inc., to provide people with an opportunity
to attend the event. Information
on trip packages and registration can be obtained by calling 225-242-0323 or emailing
[email protected] St. Pope John Paul II conceived the idea of the World
Meeting of Families in 1992 in order to help strengthen the sacred
bonds of the family unit across
the world. Held every three years,
the first event took place in Rome
in 1994, the International Year of
the Family. Other past host cities
of the event, hosted by the Holy
See’s Pontifical Council for the
Family, have been Rio de Janeiro, Manila, Valencia, Mexico City
and Milan, Italy.
Attendees of the conference
will hear from speakers, participate in multiple breakout ses-
nity in necessary things,
freedom in doubtful
things and charity in all
things.” This is a time-honored
principle of moral theology that
will help you to understand the
thinking of Pope Francis, who
is wise.
A relatively small number of
Catholics have taken issue with
Pope Francis in his attempt to
bring more compassion and less
legalism to the church and its
members. Most Catholics find
him refreshing and in perfect
harmony with the Gospel of
Jesus. There are always those
who claim to be more Catholic
than the pope; they instinctively
conclude that mercy is a sign of
weakness and not something to
be practiced. They live by a moral
rigidity that borders on self-righteousness, which Pope Francis
says leads to “hostile inflexibil-
sions and meet families from
around the world.
The highlight of the event will
be a papal Mass on Sept. 27.
This will mark the Holy Father’s first visit to the United
States, and he will be the fourth
pontiff to visit the U.S.
Shannon Baldridge, administrative assistant for the Marriage
and Family Life office, conveyed
the excitement that Pope Francis’
coming to Philadelphia and celebrating Mass is generating.
“I had already been looking
forward to this gathering, but
became especially excited when
I learned that Pope Francis was
coming. I am genuinely inspired
by this pope and look forward to
seeing him in person,” Baldridge
Darryl Ducote, director of the
Marriage and Family Life office,
noted that different areas of the
world experience different challenges to family life. He pointed
out that the church in the United
States has been thrust into the
headlines in recent years in reaction to several issues that impact families, such as abortion,
gay marriage, stem cell research,
co-habitation, religious liberty
and contraception.
Ducote said he believes that
WMOF will help the church
broaden its focus to proclaim
the full Gospel message regarding the beauty and sacredness of
family life as God intended.
“It is my hope that this gathering will inspire renewed hope
and dedication in parents, who
might be struggling in the midst
of life’s demands, to see the importance of the role that they play
in God’s plan for the world,” said
Danielle Van Haute, respect
life coordinator for the Office of
Marriage and Family Life, said
the event will bring a fresh look at
the teachings of the Catholic faith
on the family.
“It’s a blessing to have the
2015 World Meeting of Families
taking place here in the United
States. This is an opportunity to
share and explore the richness
and beauty of the church’s teach-
ing on human purpose, marriage
and family in an exciting way,”
she said.
Our Sunday Visitor has published a preparatory catechesis
for the event, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
Copies can be obtained by visiting osv.com.
“We believe that love is our
mission, and that this mission is
the only way we can be fully alive
and be who we were created to
be,” states the introductory of the
catechesis. “We believe that this
love should be taught, shared and
communicated in and through
the family, the domestic church.
We believe that the family shares
in the mission of the whole
church, and we devote this catechesis to explaining this vision
of love in more detail.”
Topics of the book include:
“Created for Joy;” The Mission of
Love;” “The Meaning of Human
Sexuality;” “Two Become One;”
“Creating the Future;” “All Love
Bears Fruit;” “Light in a Dark
World;” “A Home for the Wounded Heart;” “Mother, Teacher,
Family: The Nature and Role of
the Church;” and “Choosing Life.”
After reading the catechesis,
people are encouraged to discuss
it with others, particularly in
their church parishes, and pray
about how the church can serve
families and how families can
serve the church.
The wisdom of Pope Francis
For Today
Father John Catoir
ity.” Their opinions are inspired
more by shortsightedness than
the mercy the Gospel calls us to.
God’s love is his mercy.
Legalism was the sin of the
Pharisees; they applied the letter of the law, not the spirit. The
teachings of Jesus Christ are
filled with the spirit of compassion. Jesus called the Pharisees
hypocrites because of their
insensitivity and rigidity.
Stop and think about this:
Did Jesus come to save only the
morally upright? Or, as in the
parable of the lost sheep, did he
leave the 99 to find the one lost
sheep? I hesitate to call all of the
lost sheep sinners because some
of them are holy, living in good
Yet some of our brothers
and sisters who are “lost sheep”
feel rejected by the church and
its people and are negatively
affected by the snap judgment
of others who may not know the
particular circumstances of the
position they find themselves in.
Only God knows who the real
sinners are. We do not.
Yet have we, at one time or
another, been in a rush to judgment that often does others more
harm than good?
Pope Francis is a true Christ
figure among us. At the end of
the recent synod on the family, he warned that a few of the
cardinals who were opposed
to some of what he proposed
should be careful not succumb
to “inflexibility.”
Dorothy Day, co-founder of
the Catholic Worker movement
and known for her lifelong
service to the poor, once said
that what she loved about the
Catholic Church is the freedom
it allows the people of God.
FATHER CATOIR writes on issues of
spirituality for today’s Catholic
for Catholic News Service.
Honor Those We Love.
11817 Jefferson Highway
w w w. R e s t h av e n B a t o n R o u g e . c o m
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The Catholic Commentator
January 9, 2015
Two events planned to highlight Respect Life Month
By Richard Meek
The Catholic Commentator
An outdoor rosary and a presentation
by the brother of Terry Schiavo are expected to highlight the Diocese of Baton
Rouge’s Respect Life Rally scheduled Jan.
11 at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center.
On Jan. 24, the Louisiana Life March
South, sponsored by the Louisiana Right
to Life Federation, is scheduled to march
through the LSU campus. Both events coincide with other celebrations during January, traditionally regarded as Respect
Life Month.
Danielle Van Haute, director of the respect life program for the diocesan Marriage and Family Life Department, said
the Respect Life Rally is scheduled Sunday, Jan. 11 from 2-4 p.m. She said the
living rosary is scheduled to begin at 2
p.m., and weather permitting, supporters
will pray while walking around the Christ
Court outside of the main auditorium at
the Tracy Center, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge.
Following the rosary, Bobby Schindler,
Schiavo’s brother, is scheduled to speak
about his sister, whose life became the
target of a 15-year struggle that pitted her
family against her husband. Schiavo col-
lapsed and went into full cardiac arrest
“It’s confidential, free help,” she said.
Feb. 25, 1990, and her husband eventual- “There are counselors trained to provide
ly clashed with her family over removal of counseling but not every woman needs
feeding tubes.
that. (Some) may just need a referral to a
Schiavo’s parents waged several legal priest.
battles to keep their daughter alive, but
“It helps to connect women or men to
eventually they lost, and on March 31, meet them where they are in their jour2005, two weeks afneys of forgiveness.”
ter the feeding tubes
St. Michael High
were removed, SchiaSchool senior Stephvo died.
anie Verdin, who won
“A lot of people
the diocesan pro-life
will find a lot of what
oratory contest, will
also deliver her winsurprising because
ning speech.
the case was so misThroughout the
construed and misrerally,
representaported by the maintives from a number
stream media,” Van
of pro-life agencies
Haute said. “It’s realwill be available to
ly a powerful, tragic
offer information to
message that he has
anyone who may be
to share. To have him
interested in volunDanielle Van Haute
in Baton Rouge is a
Respect Life Program, Diocese of Baton Rouge
huge opportunity.”
“It’s not just about
Also scheduled is a
coming together for
presentation on Project Rachel by officials this one day but going forward, ‘What am
of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton I doing to do to get involved?’ ” Van Haute
Rouge. Van Haute said Project Rachel is said. “What am I being called to do?”
a national ministry for anyone who has
The respect life march is scheduled
been touched by abortion.
from 10 a.m.-noon and will begin at
the outdoor Greek Theatre on the LSU
campus and end at the Pete Maravich
Assembly Center, at which point it will
merge with The Response, a prayer rally
featuring Gov. Bobby Jindal. The prayer
“I think it’s important
to whoever is coming
there to keep in mind
why we’re there. It’s not
about confrontation. It’s
about being a peaceful
Coming January 23, 2015
rally has become a center of controversy
since the American Family Association, a
conservative organization vocal in its anti-gay stance, is picking up the tab.
Protesters are expected to be at the
prayer rally, Van Haute said.
“There are sometimes people protesting just the life march itself so if there
are more people this year I don’t think it
would be a surprise to anyone,” she said.
“I think it’s important to whoever is coming there to keep in mind why we’re there.
It’s not about confrontation. It’s about being a peaceful witness.”
Van Haute said the two events are perhaps even more significant this year since
they come shortly before a scheduled
March 30 trial regarding HB 388, an anti-abortion law that passed with little opposition from the state legislature earlier
this year and that Jindal signed into law
June 12.
“We’re beginning a new calendar year
and it’s a great time to reflect on the blessings of the past year, also looking forward.
It’s a time to come together, kind of get energized for everything that lies ahead of
us and all of the work that is still left to be
done, she said.”
“I think it’s important to focus on individuals and focusing on reaching individuals’ hearts,” she added. “It’s never an issue that walks through the door. It’s never
an issue that decides to have an abortion.
“It’s an individual. It’s a women, it’s a
CatholiC SChoolS Week
Of special interest to parents, The Catholic Schools Week
section will feature information about the Catholic schools in
the Diocese of Baton Rouge, current registration for the next
school year, distinguished graduates and more.
Deadline for advertising is January 13, 2015.
Call Wanda at 225-387-0983.
GIVING BACK – Dr. Holly Raggio Guidry, right, and her staff with Barczyk Chiropractic Group in Baton Rouge donated four pack-and-play cribs and sheet sets to benefit four expectant mothers currently residing at Sanctuary for Life. Sanctuary for
Life, managed by Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, is one of the ministries
supported by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. Guidry said she was inspired to make
this gift because of her genuine concern for others and desire to give back to the
community, especially during this Christmas season. Photo courtesy of Office of Stewardship,
Diocese of Baron Rouge January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
Plaquemine, LA 70764.
Exactly what the church will
be used for once it is completely
restored is still up in the air but
the group hopes it can be used
for weddings and other church
appropriate functions.
“St. Paul holds a special place
in the hearts and minds of the
Bayou Goula area and its surrounding communities. It is
cherished for its significance in
From page 1
the non-profit group, Friends of
St. Paul Church Inc., that is diligently raising funds and overseeing renovations.
St. Paul Church can trace its
roots to 1699 when French explorers, Iberville and Bienville,
arrived at the main village of
the Bayou Goula Indians. Jesuit
missionary, Father Paul du Roc,
who accompanied the explorers, erected a small church and
celebrated Mass with the Bayou
Goula, Mogalusha and Houma Indians on March 28, 1700.
Though that church was eventually destroyed, it is important
that Bayou Goula is considered
to be the site of the first Catholic
Church in the entire Louisiana
Purchase, Campesi said.
The present church was built
in 1871 across the levee from
where Father Du Roc said the
first Mass. It has been moved
several times to accommodate
a changing Mississippi River –
the latest after the great flood
of 1927 took most of the original town of Bayou Goula, a once
thriving port second only to New
Orleans. When the Corps of Engineers built the present levee
system in 1929, the church was
moved to its present location,
across River Road from the river
and atop what once was the cemetery. There were actually advertisements for people to come get
their loved ones, Campesi said.
Guillot said as foundation work
was being done and concrete
steps demolished, pieces of grave
markers and gates were located,
printed with the names of some
of the deceased. Guillot lovingly
holds one up, wondering about
the man whose epithet indicates
he died in 1905.
St. Paul Church is the only existing non-resident building affected by the shifting levees that
has been saved from the original
town of Bayou Goula, the representatives of the Friends group
said. The town once had a population of 9,000 and was home
to shops, theaters and hotels.
Statues from the 1871 church sit in the sanctuary awaiting restoration.
Friends of St. Paul hope to complete renovation of the church building
by the end of the year. Photo by Barbara Chenevert | The Catholic Commentator
The people are also proud that
the church has never been segregated welcoming the significant population of Italians who
settled there, African Americans
and Caucasians.
During Hurricane Gustav
in 2009, the steeple was blown
from the historic church, landing on the roof and puncturing
a hole which caused heavy damage. There were some calls for
demolition of the structure, but
a group of Bayou Goula area residents, many who attended the
church there as children, was
determined to save the church
and initiated the non-profit
group to raise funds to stabilize,
restore and preserve the building. The group purchased the
building from the diocese and
said Bishop Robert W. Muench
has been supportive as has Father Joey Angeles, who is pastor
of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in
White Castle. St. Paul was once
a mission church of Our Lady of
Prompt Succor although Campesi said St. Paul was the original
church and Our Lady of Prompt
Succor was the mission. St. Paul
has also been a mission of the St.
Gabriel Church, across the river
in St. Gabriel.
Although unused for almost
15 years, remarkably the church
still holds many of the sacred
items once used for worship.
“When we came in, it was
just as if someone had just left.
The priest’s robes were in the
closet, there were chalices and
the organ and all the statues,”
Campesi said. Some of the items
– the tabernacle and the stations
of the cross, for example – have
been removed for safekeeping
or for restoration, Campesi and
Guillot said.
The first job of the Friends
was to stabilize the building and
its foundation which has been
completed. Next it will undertake raising the once towering
100 foot steeple and bell tower.
Pieces of the steeples have been
saved so that it can be duplicated
After the bell tower is in place,
the group will work to restore the
interior to its original mustard
color and light blue ceiling and
to revitalize the cypress pews
and floors and restore the statues, tabernacle and other church
items. It hopes the restoration
can be complete by December.
The Foundation for Historical
Louisiana has recognized the efforts of the group and awarded it
the Phoenix Award in 2011 for its
preservation efforts. The Friends
have also received help from the
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
as well as many individuals interested in preserving the building. Anyone interested in helping to preserve the church may
send donations to P.O. Box 1481
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regard to Louisiana history, the
development of the Catholic religion in the Louisiana Purchase,
its architectural style and as an
example of the effect of erosion
on river communities,” according to the Friends group.
“This church is such a good
example of what has happened
to us over the years,” Campesi said, to which Guillot added,
“This has been a project of love.”
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The Catholic Commentator | January 9, 2015January 9, 2015 | The Catholic Commentator
Farmer finds spirituality among cane
By Richard Meek
The Catholic Commentator
rigid-like temperatures accompanied a gray, threatening sky deep in the heart of sugarcane country.
Recent rains had more than adequately quenched
the thirst of parched fields, the overflow creating puddles
and mud-caked machinery that lumbered in the thickness
of the soil.
For many, the weather offered the sinful temptation to
spend a lazy morning under warm covers.
For Joey Robichaux, however, the vista he overlooked
from the toasty confines of his truck was his office, with
Mother Nature controlling the building’s thermostat.
During harvest time, Robichaux often arrives at work at
4 a.m., long before the sun’s first rays, and does not arrive
home until 10 p.m. It is a ritual he will follow seven days
a week, but he is not one to complain, embracing a way of
life he learned from cane
veterans whose leathery
faces and worn hands are
their only resumes.
Robichaux earned his
bachelor’s degree from
Nicholls State but admitted his classrooms were the
fields of southeast Louisiana.
“Everything I learned
about farming, I learned it
here,” said Robichaux, who
helps manage a familyowned business that cultivates and harvests thousands of acres of sugarcane
and bean fields for area
property owners stretching
along a wide swath in the
River Parishes.
“It’s nice to have those
people to work with and
have the opportunity to
work with,” added RobiJoey Robichaux looks over the sugarcane fields he has been helping farm since he was a young boy. “Every- chaux, who also assists in
thing I learned about farming, I learned it here,” he said. Photos by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator
working a smaller familyowned farm. “I don’t take it
for granted. It’s been a blessing.”
With a grin, he sheepishly admitted the job today is far
less physically demanding than in years past, when workers would spend more than 12 hours daily in the field,
cutting the cane by hand and even loading the wagons by
hand. It was backbreaking work, and Robichaux recalls
the first tractor he learned to drive at an early age had no
But those days have given way to the comforts of
climate-controlled combines and tractors.
“I don’t know many farmers that
are not close to God and don’t have
a strong faith because it seems like
all I’m ever doing is praying for
something and thanking God for
what we just came out of.”
“Those (older) guys, if they would see what we have
today they would want to slap us in the head,” Robichaux
said with a chuckle. “What we are doing now, this harvest
has changed drastically.
“You would think farm work is physically demand­ing.
It’s not anymore.
Robichaux spends much of his day either in the relative
comfort of a tractor cab, in his truck or communicating
with field workers and truck drivers who haul the raw
cane to sugar refineries in Raceland and Thibodaux. His
only companion is his cell phone, which not only allows
him to monitor the activities of the farm but is also his
link to a spiritual life he passionately pursues. A lifelong
parishioner and former altar server at St. Philomena
Church in Labadieville, Robichaux maintains his spiritual balance by listening to Catholic radio shows, past and
present, throughout the day, as well as praying the rosary
via an app on his cell phone. A rosary ring sits among his
family of keys, its beads worn through years of prayer.
“I don’t know many farmers that are not close to God
and don’t have a strong faith because it seems like all I’m
ever doing is praying for something and thanking God for
what we just came out of,” he said. “I’m either praying for Tractors hauling sugarcane unload their loads into a waiting truck. The raw cane is then transported to sugarcane refineries in either Raceland or Thibodaux.
rain or praying for the rain to stop.”
Praying the rosary parallels his Marian devotion, admitting through heartfelt tears, “why not ask the mother
(when in need)?”
is operating smoothly in the fields, he can slip away for
He also makes weekly visits to the adoration chapel
Mass, usually at St. Philomena.
at St. Philomena, calling Eucharistic adoration one of
Robichaux’s faith also helps him as he monitors a sugar
the great secrets of the Catholic faith. He says he cannot
market that is constantly in the state of flux. He also
remember the last time he missed a week, normally going takes umbrage to those who continue to demonize sugar,
on his way to the fields.
especially when those same people encourage the use of
“It’s a time for me to ask for forgiveness for all of the
artificial sweeteners.
whining I do throughout the week,” he said. “Really, to
“It’s a little disheartening to hear people target sugar,”
sit there and thank him for all of the blessings I’ve been
Robichaux said, admitting declining prices, fueled by a
given. The more I go, the more I enjoy it.”
drop in consumer demand, has driven down the profit
Robichaux added that adoration has given him a greatmargin in sugarcane. “(The right people) can explain that
er appreciation for the Eucharist, knowledge he hopes to
sugar is all natural and something the body is designed to
be able to pass on to his three young daughters, who range take care of versus these chemically engineered sweetenin age from 10 years old to 11 months.
ers that are supposed to be good in these diet drinks. I
“I know I was probably taught at a young age exactly
don’t think the body is able to break it down.”
what Communion was but it was way over my head,” he
But as much as he loves farming, his heart lies with his
said. “Over the last few years I’m really starting to underfaith. When St. Philomena pastor Father Michael Alello
stand what we have.”
issued a call for volunteers to help with the renovation of
He said adoration has also been a gateway to a far
the historic church, Robichaux and a work crew eagerly
greater appreciation of the Catholic faith and all that it
responded, helping dig trenches for a conduit and cleanhas to offer.
ing up trash.
“I know the thing we have as Catholics is confession,”
“I was happy to be a part of it,” he said. “And a lot of my
he said. “I don’t go nearly enough, but it’s nice to know
guys looked like they enjoyed being able to go to church
that it’s real and it’s a another gift. “It’s a cleansing. I don’t and help.
Modern technology has replaced the majority of the work in sugarcane harvesting that was previously done
know where I would be without it.”
“I’m proud of our community for what it’s done.”
by hand. A view from the combine shows the cane being harvested as a tractor-hauling container remains at
“The more I learn about our faith, the more I appreciate
A buzz on his cell phone interrupts his thoughts, a
its side.
it,” he added. “I was blessed to be born a Catholic.”
harsh yank back to the reality of work. But never far away,
Robichaux always makes time to take a break from
somewhere out there on a soggy sugarcane field, lays Rowork to attend Mass on Sunday, most frequently with his
bichaux’s love of God, and his love of the Catholic Church.
wife and children. He says once he is confident everything It’s his private spiritual harvesting.
The Catholic Commentator
January 9, 2015
Students crack the code of computer lingo
By Debbie Shelley
The Catholic Commentator
St. Joseph’s Academy senior
Lena Le programed her own version of a Pokemon inspired video
game Dec. 12 as she learned basic terms used in computer cod-
ing. She, and many of the SJA
student body and faculty, and
students and faculty throughout
the Diocese of Baton Rouge, said
they learned how fun it is to develop skills that will help them
succeed in a technology-driven
world as part of an International
Hour of Code.
There were 42,857 Hour of
Code sessions to pique students’
interest in computer coding
and demystify how hard it is
that took place worldwide during Computer Science Week.
Through the aid of a one-hour
tutorial geared toward their age
level, students developed mobile games apps, solved puzzles,
designed animated Christmas
cards, created interactive comics and other activities that kept
their interest.
Le said, “Filling out the skeleton of the code helped (me) to
understand the structure needed
for the computer to execute the
game. Though lines of code are
self-explanatory, I never knew the
correct terms or when to make a
new line. I’m very glad kids can
see the code behind the programs
they use and try it out to see if they
have an interest in it.”
SJA senior Sarah Christian
saw the Hour of Code as an opportunity to take a peek at career
“During the Hour of Code, I
learned about the programming
language SQL, which is used for
database programming,” said
Christian. “This language and
application was exciting to learn
about because it applies to my
future career area, bioinformatics. This is what I enjoyed most
about the Hour of Code: seeing
how computer programming will
apply to me as a professional.”
With more than 730 students
at St. Thomas More School, it
took several days for all the students to get to the computer lab
in the library to participate in
their Hour of Code, according to
school administrators.
Fourth- through eighth-graders completed a lesson based
on “Frozen” and third-graders
based on “Angry Birds,” according to STM’s computer teacher,
Annaclaire Acosta helps classmates during an Hour of Code session at
St. Joseph’s Academy Dec. 12. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator
Lizzie Canady, and technology
coordinator, Leslie DeJohn. The
students watched an introductory video together, and then
the instructors worked with the
students as a group on a few
puzzles. After the concept was
understood, students worked individually or in groups of two to
complete the individual puzzles.
“It was so cool. I didn’t know
you could make a computer repeat itself. I thought you had to
do each movement on its own,”
said fourth-grade STM student
Jackson Landry.
Katelyn Pham, STM fifthgrader said, “It was like making
an app. I loved it and I hope one
day you guys can make an app or
website that people love.”
STM kindergarten and firstgraders did the “unplugged” version of the Happy Maps lesson,
which taught them the meaning
of algorithm. They were given
arrow symbols and a worksheet
with a map and had to plan a
short route from a beginning to
end place. The students had to
cut out the arrow symbols and
glue the correct direction on
their worksheet.
At St. Aloysius School computer and robotics instructor
Patience Moreno’s fifth- and
sixth-grade classes participated
in the Hour of Code in 2013.
Moreno discovered that a school
in Austin, Texas, had introduced
it to their third- through fifthgrade students through lightbot.
com. With support from SAS
principal John Bennett, Moreno
invited the entire school to participate this year. She noted the
students enjoyed the challenges
as the activities got increasingly
difficult. She asks teachers in the
upper grades to pick students
from their classes to help the
younger ones.
“The comments are usually,
‘How do you do it, Mrs. Moreno’
or ‘This was really fun,’ ” Moreno
“I am an advocate for science,
technology, engineering and
math (STEM) education, which
includes computer science education,” said Moreno. “It builds
crucial thinking, teamwork and
problem solving skills just to
name a few. Of all the STEM jobs
being offered, 60 percent are
computer science. The supply
does not meet the demand, and
all who work in STEM jobs have
to be trained in ethics,” Moreno
GLAZING OVER ADVENT – Patrick Balisteri, a
first-grader at Holy Ghost Catholic School in
Hammond, shows off his advent wreath made
from a donut. His teacher, Alissa Dunn, read
“Pippin, The Christmas Pig,” to her students
prior to the activity. This story is told by animals reminiscing about what important jobs
their ancestors had to do at the manger when
Jesus was born. Students were then given a
donut and colored icing to use to decorate the
donut as an advent wreath, including the use
of pretzel sticks for candlesticks. Photo submitted
by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School
January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
New beginnings at the world’s end
ow that the old year has ended
and the new year begun, many
people have started their New
Year’s resolutions. People desire a new
beginning, an opportunity for a clean
slate. This desire is common to all
humans. We all have situations we wish
we could do over. We want to escape our
prior mistakes and the misfortunes that
haunt us. The cultural movement of the
New Year’s resolution is not unlike our
Lenten commitments. Lent should not
merely be a self-improvement experiment, but a radical openness and preparation to receive more of God’s grace and
love. Yet even within the secular phenomenon of the New Year’s resolution,
something deeper is revealed.
Within this desire for a new beginning is a hope that inspires people to
seek a better way of life through trying
to improve marriages, finances, relationships, health, attitudes, job, etc. We know
that to really escape the past there must
be a change, we must become different.
But this is difficult and many, if not most,
people fail in their New Year’s resolution. Unfortunately, just because we
hope to abandon the drama in our life,
this doesn’t mean the drama automatically goes away. Just because we decide
to leave our vices doesn’t mean our vices
will leave us. So how will we become
different and put to death our old ways?
For a new beginning, there must first be
an ending.
Much attention in film and literature
has centered on the end of the world.
Within these stories is the hope for a new
beginning despite all odds. For example,
the recent movie “Interstellar” portrays a
future earth weakened
by drought and famine
forcing humanity to face
the threat of extinction.
They turn their attention towards space in
the hope of finding a
solution. This is a common pattern: the world
is about to end, but there
is hope. The protagonist
often deals with the past
making sacrifices that
help bring about a new
beginning. Of course,
in more cynical renditions, like the “Hunger
Games,” even the hope
of a new beginning is tainted because the
cycle of violence continues. Such narratives reflect a deeply imbedded human
anxiety and express a hope that only
Christ can fulfill.
There’s no shortage of anxiety in the
real world about the world’s end from
climate changes, war, the break down of
social values, to supernatural causes. In
every age there seems to be those who,
for a variety of reasons, predict the nearness of the world’s end. In 2011, I remember driving in Baton Rouge seeing a van
entirely decorated with signs proclaiming
May 21, 2011 as the final day of the world.
Regarding the last day Scripture says,
“of that day and hour no one knows,”
but this doesn’t stop some Christian
group from claiming this knowledge
(Mt 24:36). That same year I also recall
the popular speculation that the ancient
Mayan calendar somehow suggested the
world would end in 2012 which inspired
a cataclysmic movie
bearing the very original
title, “2012.”
What should we make
of these many predications regarding the end
of the world? Or perhaps
more practically how do
we even deal with all the
actual problems around
us that seem to suggest
a society going in a bad
direction? First off, don’t
be so anxious. “Can any
of you by worrying add
a single moment to your
life-span?” (Mt 6:27) We
must strive to be faithful and love God, family and neighbor.
We must fight for justice and speak out
against evil. However, even though we
should fight the good fight, we entrust
the victory to the Lord, regardless how
dire the situation seems. We are people
of hope for Christ has definitively conquered death and will bring to fruition
the salvation he has gained not only in
us, but also throughout creation.
The human desire for a new beginning is the desire for eternal life, which
Sign of the Times
Seminarian Ryan Hallford
God has placed in every heart. Something within us naturally desires a new
beginning and transformation. We want
the imperfections of this world to end.
We don’t want to live in a fallen world,
but only through a transformation can
we enter into the new creation. This is
the deeper truth that lays at the heart
of the New Year’s resolution and every
desire for a better self and a better world.
Celebrating the World Day of Peace, Pope
Francis welcomed the new year “as God’s
gracious gift to all” and prayed “for an
end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by the
epidemics past and present and by the
devastation wrought by natural disasters.”
The end will come. This is a part of
Christian hope in the God of love who
will bring creation to its completion in a
“new heaven and a new earth” in which
Christ makes “all things new” because
God “will wipe every tear from their
eyes, and there shall be no more death
or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old
order has passed away” (Mt 21:1,4,5).
While we don’t know when the end will
come, our end can come at any moment,
therefore we should always be ready.
WINTER CONCERT – Holy Ghost School’s band, youth choir and third-grade classes
shared their musical talent in a winter concert on Dec. 11 at Holy Ghost Church.
Holy Ghost School youth choir members singing “Shout Joy to the World” are, from
left, front row, Rebecca Pisciotta, Allison Lucas, Olivia Brouillette, Mckenzie Gerarve, Madison Sedberry, Ragan Hoover; back row, Juliette LeRay, Coyt Bailey, Georgie Rigney, Landon Goings, Amelia Pham, Marie-Claire Honoree and Claudia Olah.
Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School
Have a topic you’d like addressed in “Words with Christ?”
Email Richard Meek at [email protected]
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.
The Catholic Commentator
USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting
A-I – General patronage
A-II – Adults and adolescents
A-III – Adults
A-IV – Adults, with reservations
L – Limited adult audience
O – Morally offensive
The Imitation Game
Director Morten Tyldum’s fact-based
profile of famed mathematician Alan
Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who led
Britain’s successful effort to break the
German military’s Enigma code during
World War II jumps between Turing’s
boarding-school days, his behind-thescenes service and his 1952 prosecution
for “gross indecency.” Though much
historical nuance is simply pared away
to keep this drama afloat, screenwriter
Graham Moore’s script treats its subject’s sexual orientation obliquely. Thus,
grown viewers need not buy into a contemporary agenda contrary to JudeoChristian morality in order to recognize
the tragedy that resulted from the appli-
Motion Picture Association of America
G – General audiences; all ages admitted
PG – Parental guidance suggested; some
material may not be suitable for children
PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned
to give special guidance for attendance
of children under 13; some material may
be inappropriate for young children
R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted
January 9, 2015
Harper’s follow-up to the 2012 original
tones down the earlier film’s theme of
children lured to suicide, and Jon Croker’s screenplay excludes all objectionable language. Yet, while their mostly
decorous follow-up provides the occasional start, it fails to excite much interest. Fleeting gore, imperiled children,
some potentially disturbing images,
references to out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
A-II; PG-13
The Gambler
cation of an unwise law. Mature themes,
including homosexuality, brief coarse
language. A-III; PG-13
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Dull haunted house tale in which one
of the caretakers (Phoebe Fox) of a group
of children (most prominently Oaklee
Pendergast) evacuated from World War
II London during the Blitz is troubled
by strange events in the lonely, decrepit country mansion that serves as the
refugees’ temporary dwelling. With the
help of her newfound sweetheart (Jeremy Irvine), an RAF pilot based nearby,
she researches the estate’s past for clues
about the supernatural persona currently threatening her charges. Director Tom
Bleak drama in which a cynical college
professor (Mark Wahlberg) struggles
with the consequences of his gambling
addiction. As he fends off the competing
claims of an underground casino operator (Alvin Ing) and a loan shark (Michael
Kenneth Williams), to both of whom he
owes large sums, he puts the squeeze on
his wealthy mother (Jessica Lange) and
woos his most promising student (Brie
Larson). Director Rupert Wyatt’s remake
of Karel Reisz’s 1974 film which also features John Goodman as yet another underworld figure veers between materialistic pessimism and naive romanticism.
The fact that the egotistical, irresponsible main character has no one to blame
but himself for the fix he’s in, moreover,
makes it difficult to expend much sympathy on him. Occasional violence, upper female nudity in a strip club scene,
a handful of profanities, pervasive rough
and crude language. L; R
Though inspirational, this screen version of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling account of one U.S. airman’s (Jack
O’Connell) experiences during World
War II emphasizes its subject’s sufferings at the expense of the remarkable
attitude of forgiveness he was eventually able to adopt toward those who had
abused him. A former Olympic runnerturned-bombardier, he and two crewmates (Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock) survived a crash landing at sea,
only to face nearly seven weeks adrift on
the open ocean. Eventually taken prisoner by the Japanese, he was singled
out for mistreatment by the unbalanced
commander (Miyavi) of his POW camp.
In response, he drew on the same determination that had enabled him to rise to
the top as an athlete to endure through
a marathon of cruelty. Director Angelina
Jolie vividly re-creates the brutality to
which Allied captives in the Pacific Theater were all too often subjected. But she
relegates her main character’s unusual, if
not unique, spiritual achievement which
seems to have been inspired, at least indirectly, by his Catholic upbringing to a
written epilogue. Combat and other violence, including torturous beatings, rear
male nudity in a non-sexual context, a
couple of uses of profanity and of crude
language, a few crass terms, a bit of mild
sexual humor. A-III; PG-13
New books offer
valuable guidance in
understanding the Mass
CNS – If it has been a long time
since you read a book about the Mass,
“Behold the Mystery: A Deeper Understanding of the Catholic Mass” by
Mark Hart is a good one to read.
Hart is a young adult, husband
and father of four who is also executive vice president of Life Teen International, a “Catholic youth ministry
leading teens closer to Christ.” His
book is a fine one for older teens, to
be sure, but it will make ideal reading
for anyone who wants to refresh his
or her understanding of and appreciation for the Mass.
You’re the rare Catholic if you have
never grown at least a little weary of
Mass, or if you have never nodded off
during a homily that didn’t capture
your attention. Hart suggests that
the problem isn’t with the Mass, the
problem is with your understanding
of the Mass. Also, he asks, when was
the last time you prayed for the priest
or priests who preside at your parish’s
Masses? Are we laity doing our part
to make the Mass all that it can be for
everyone concerned?
The heart of “Behold the Mystery”
may be the section in which the author
discusses the meaning of each part of
the Mass. Perhaps the one weak point
of the book is Hart’s decision to simply repeat the traditional language
about the bread and wine becoming
“the very body and blood of Our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
“Mass 101: Liturgy and Life” by
Emily Strand is a first-rate book on
the Mass, one written in language
that is both theological and accessible
to most adult readers. Strand is a former campus minister and teacher at
the University of Dayton who is now
a full-time mother and member of the
Worship Commission for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
In her Introduction, Strand declares: “Perhaps the most valuable notion about the Mass to take away from
this volume is an idea of its profundity
its endless wealth of significance that
no one book has or will ever capture.”
Strand offers gripping discussions of
the history of the Mass and what Vatican II taught about the Mass.
In a section titled “The Paschal
Mystery and the Ministers of the
Mass,” Strand makes it clear that while
the priest “has the principal role” in
the Mass, he isn’t the only “minister.”
She explains the roles of others including the ministers of music, lectors,
extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, servers, ushers and others.
The remaining four chapters examine the parts of the Mass, “unpacking”
the meaning and purpose of each.
January 9, 2015
We Gotta Pray
What the hell going on
Do you know who you are?
Do you know who we are?
Come on
You know
We gotta pray
We gotta pray
We gotta pray
Pray for the world tonight
We gotta save
Somebody save somebody tonight
Fire in the air
What the hell going on
Sirens everywhere
Singing that street song
Violence everywhere
Barely holding on
We, we’re extraordinary people
Living an ordinary life
One extraordinary question
Are we gonna run or fight?
So we gotta pray
Pray for the love tonight
Another day
Pray for another try
Smoke is in the sky
What the hell going on
Bullets gonna fly
Ah, right from the gun
Trying not to cry
Barely holding on
What the hell going on
Do you know who you are?
Do you know who we are?
We, we’re extraordinary people
Living an ordinary life
One extraordinary question
Are we gonna live or die?
So we gotta pray
We gotta pray
We gotta pray
We gotta pray
We gotta pray
Sung by Alicia Keys
Response to violence begins with prayer
licia Keys’ latest
release, “We Gotta
Pray,” is a compelling statement about the
need for healing in our
world. The song also offers
us valuable reflection as
the United States pauses
Jan. 19 to honor the life
and work of Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.
I highly encourage
you to watch the song’s
video, filled with images
of King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and
of the struggle for civil
rights within God’s global
family (youtube.com/
In an interview with The New York Times,
Keys said she recorded the song “in a room one
night, all alone” as she reflected on the deaths
of Eric Garner in her own New York City and
Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
She reflects as a black woman in our predominantly white society and states that blacks “feel
absolutely disregarded as human beings.” As
today’s disciples of Jesus, we cannot accept people
feeling disregarded no matter what their race or
culture. Neither can we accept a situation where
violence kills unarmed human beings.
In her song, Keys offers us this question: “We,
we’re extraordinary people, living an ordinary
life,” facing “one extraordinary question, are we
gonna run or fight?”
The tone of her song clarifies that what she
means here is how we can nonviolently stand up
for justice and the dignity of every human being.
Clearly, she believes when so much violence fills
our world, “we gotta pray.”
And indeed we do! First, we need God’s help
to see and face any elements of violence within
ourselves. We need God’s help to see how the
power of racism has no place in any of our lives,
in any society, in any place in our world. We need
God’s help to know how to act beyond Martin
Luther King Day’s remembrance of one man’s
prophetic stance for justice for all God’s people.
Yes, Keys is right, “we gotta pray.”
While the right response often begins
with prayer, this response then flows into
action. And this is when I want to leave
a challenge for everyone who reads this
column: What is your own action plan for
addressing violence in our world?
We need not possess the personal stature
or recognition of King or Gandhi to make a
difference in our world.
You need not look far either. What about
right in your school or church? How many
friends do you have who are of another race
or culture? What type of class discussion
can you suggest to explore the factors that
have led to the deaths of Michael Brown and
Eric Garner?
I invite you to share with me what your
response looks like. I especially encourage
the summary of discussions in your religious
education class, parish youth group or theology
class if you attend Catholic school, as you dialogue about my question.
My contact information is given below. In
turn, I will share your response with other readers in future columns.
In the same interview mentioned above, Keys
also stated: “The most important thing is that we
look at each other and see these magnificent beings that can create the changes and movements
that we dream of.”
As we remember the power of one dreamer,
Dr. King, we should remember that our most
profound dreams, our deepest hopes, were first
articulated by a journeyman carpenter and itinerant preacher born in Bethlehem.
Yes, Jesus taught that all of us are “magnificent” as God’s children, whether we live in Gaza,
Ukraine, the Central African Republic, Ferguson,
New York or anywhere where violence harms
human beings. Now is the time to make sure that
all of God’s people feel regarded and valued.
On The Record
Charlie Martin
The Catholic Commentator
MARTIN is an Indiana pastoral counselor who
reviews current music for Catholic News Service.
Write to: [email protected]; or 7125 West CR
200 South, Rockport, IN 47635; on Facebook at
“Charlie Martin’s Today’s Music Columns” and
post a comment or suggestion.
15 Dern of “Rambling Rose”
17 ___ and kisses
18 Fed the kitty
20 Classroom subj.
21 “You are the ___ of the world.”
(Mt 5:14)
22 Passover meal
25 “___ Holy Queen”
27 A Hail Mary
28 “…my brother, co-worker, and
comrade in ___.” (Phil 2:25)
29 Stadium sight
32 Tehran tongue
35 Pope during Attila’s time
37 Musical composition for two
38 Mob men
40 What this is
41 Chemical suffix
42 He took the animals two by two
43 Father-in-law of Jacob
44 Spanish hero
45 ___ Seltzer
46 Second Person of the Trinity
47 Nav. officer
48 One of the prophets
52 Friend of St. Francis of Assisi
55 “Let us make man in our ___”
(Gen 1:26)
58 Cell “messenger”
60 Saintly convert executed in
61 Coffin stand
63 Shoelace tip
64 Shipwreck site
65 Looked at
66 Hammer heads
67 Those folks
1 Lent markers
Mr. D’s
2 ___ Carmel
3 Hanging loosely
5 Saint for sore throats
6 Second of a New Year song title
7 True (abbr.)
9 Acronym for “winter blues”
10 Bit of biblical “writing on the
11 Roman poet
12 Editor’s comment
13 ___ about
21 Tribe of Israel
22 Enthusiastic okay, in Seville
24 “…the ___ will be first…” (Mt
28 Diocese of Honolulu greeting
29 Incandescent lamp
30 Element of Baptism, to Pedro
31 At that time
32 Bank letters
33 A8 manufacturer
38 A gift of the wise men
39 Atomic research center
40 Biblical city
42 “In the ___ of the Father…”
43 “Look to yourselves, that you
may not ___ what you have
worked for” (2 Jn 1:8)
46 Tourist attractions
47 Statement of belief
49 Notre Dame nickname, “The
Fighting ___”
50 Administer extreme unction
52 Catholic Oscar-winning actor of
“Leaving Las Vegas” fame
53 ___ of the Mohawks
54 Together, musically
56 Unit of distance
57 Ancient Egyptian life-giving
force (var.)
60 “The Tell-Tale Heart” monogram
61 Mouthpiece of a bridle
Solution on page 18
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The Catholic Commentator
Respect all life
The future of unborn babies in Louisiana may
not lie with doctors but rather with attorneys who
this spring will be arguing the merits of an antiabortion bill that sailed through the Louisiana
Legislature this past year.
HB 388, which places restrictions on operating procedures at abortion clinics, was signed into
law by Gov. Bobby Jindal in June. There remains
much work to be done, and that is why Respect Life
Month is so crucial.
Equally as abhorrent as abortion is the continued practice of capital punishment. As we go
through January, it is important to remember we
are called to respect life from the time of conception through natural death. As tempting as it may
be, there can be no separation from those two
scourges. Neither abortion nor capital punishment
should ever be considered political pawns; rather
each involves real people going through real suffering. And they all deserve our prayer.
Thanks Father Carville
I especially enjoyed Father John Carville’s article
entitled Artists of the Good News.
His retreat experiences gave me a joy of the Gospels, too. It also gave me a new resolution – act on
a “near occasion of grace” so I won’t act on a “near
occasion of sin.”
I pray for many “near occasions of grace.”
Zoe Schluter
Baton Rouge
Crying wolf
As one of my sons noted (Dec. 19) following the
bishop’s announcement about closing Redemptorist
High School, “It’s a tough day to be a Wolf!”
I recommend this is an opportunity for RHS supporters to look at a new vision, that of the church’s
mission. When a young student was asked what a
mission was, she responded that is something done
in foreign countries that many people don’t want to
do here.
RHS supporters and all of the diocese should
seize this opportunity and establish a mission presence in North Baton Rouge. How about establishing a fund and provide “Catholic School Vouchers”
to help anyone without tuition to attend RHS. One
challenge is to see this as a mission of the Body of
Christ and is for those outside of North Baton Rouge
to avoid thinking the cause only benefits RHS present and past students, staff and so on.
There are plenty of successful RHS alumni that
are active in the church and may be willing to provide seed money for this cause. At the same time
seek missionary priests, religious and lay groups to
missionary visits throughout North Baton Rouge.
May God bless all and Mother of Perpetual Help
along with St. Gerard Majella help those desiring to
help RHS and the church’s mission.
Frank E. Jeanmard
Baton Rouge
January 9, 2015
Give them some food yourselves
t is that time of year when we are
present, but frail and certainly old enough
making New Year’s resolutions, and
to receive the sacrament of the sick. After
may have broken some already. I
she was anointed, we gave her a “dispenwould suggest making positive resolusas.” This is a package of flour, beans,
tions that we can fulfill throughout the
rice and oil that the missionaries give to
year. They are easier to keep. Of many
the truly poor. Elvirita grabbed my hand
possible, I will offer only one – feed the
saying, “Come and see” as she led me into
poor. In the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and
her little kitchen and took a cold pot off
Luke record the loaves and fishes given
the stove. In it was a thin layer of beans
to the 5,000, and Matthew adds a second
and rice. “That and two tortillas is all I
account of Jesus feeding 4,000 because
had left,” she said, “but I prayed and you
he did “not want to send then away
came.” I think I truly felt what fear of the
hungry for fear that they may collapse on
Lord is – the Spirit of God was just too
the way.”
close. A widow for many years, Elvirita
We have just finished celebrating the
has lived on prayers and hope well into
feast of Christmas, the coming of the Son
her 90s. God’s kingdom comes when she
of God, our Savior, to share our human
prays, “Give me this day my daily bread
existence as proof of God’s love for us.
Father John Carville (tortilla).”
It is a beautiful feast, a beautiful story,
Food and drink became the great
because it includes us all, excluding no
symbols of God’s loving care for all of
one. In fact, St. Paul writes that for our sake, to show his
humankind in Jesus’ teaching. We can see that in the
love for all of us, Jesus “became poor” (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus
Our Father, the multiplication of the loaves and fish, and
experienced hunger and thirst – on the cross he cried
the consecration of bread and wine at the Last Supper.
out, “I thirst.” He asked the Samaritan woman at the
In his description of the last judgment, Jesus identifies
well in Nablus for water. He cursed a fig tree that had no
with the poor by saying, “I was hungry, and you fed me;
fruit on it for him to eat when he was hungry (Mt 21, 18).
I was thirsty, and you gave me drink ....” As he was poor,
As an itinerant preacher, Jesus had “no place to lay his
he challenges us his followers to follow his example and
head,” no home. He and his apostles depended on some
feed the poor.
women and others who followed him to feed them and
The first Christians understood Jesus’ teaching quite
shelter them. He died with no posessions.
well. In the Acts of the Apostles we read that “they would
There was a purpose for Jesus’ chosen poverty. He
sell their property and possessions and divide them
was born poor and identified with the poor throughout
among themselves according to each one’s need” (Acts
his life. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus called the
2:45). Feeding the poor has always been part of our faith.
poor “blessed” for they understood their dependence on
St. James insists, “If a brother or sister has nothing to
God, their Father in heaven. God knew their hunger and
wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to
would give them food (the second beatitude in Luke),
them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do
food not only for their stomachs but also for their souls.
not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?
Over this past Thanksgiving, which I spent in General So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Cepeda, Mexico with lay missionaries of Family Missions
The food and drink that we consume is God’s gift for
Company from Abbeville , I got a powerful glimpse of
our daily need and his invitation to share this gift with
what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are you who are others. We can do that easily enough through donations
now hungry, for you will be satisfied” (Lk 6: 21). One day
to organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul Society,
I was asked to go out and anoint several people who were Mother Teresa’s Nuns (The Missionaries of Charity) and
ill or very advanced in age. A missionary who had lived
the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. So make this a
and worked in the town a few years ago, Sidney Savoie,
resolution for the New Year. If we are true disciples of Jecame with me. He said, “Let’s start with a little lady I
sus, then he is saying to us just as he did to his apostles,
really love, who is named Elvirita (little Elvira), who is
“Give them some food yourselves.”
always happy. She is in her 90s, and she lives alone most
FATHER CARVILLE is a retired priest in the Diocese of Baton
of the time, except for when her two nephews visit. They
Rouge and writes on current topics for The Catholic
work and live out on the ranchos in the desert.”
Commentator. He can be reached at j[email protected]
Elvirita came to the door with a big smile, and she
was small, about four foot ten inches. She wasn’t ill at
Please pray for the priests, deacons and religious women and men in the Baton Rouge Diocese.
Jan. 13 Rev. J. Cary Bani
Dcn. Stephen Paul Ourso
Br. Ramon Daunis SC
Jan. 14 Rev. Frank B. Bass
Dcn. Ricky A. Patterson
Sr. Joan Manuel CSJ
Jan. 15 Rev. M. Jeffery Bayhi
Dcn. Curles P. Reeson Jr.
Br. Alan Drain SC
Jan. 16 Rev. Mark B. Beard
Dcn. Frank W. Rhodes Jr.
Sr. Ancilla Marie MC
Jan. 17 Rev. Gary Belsome
Dcn. Alfred J. Ricard Jr.
Br. Clement Furno CSsR
Jan. 18 Rev. Robert J. Berggreen
Dcn. Thomas M. Robin-
Sr. N. Vida Marija MC
Jan. 19 Rev. Rafael P. Bevia OP
Dcn. Mauricio Salazar OP
Br. Henry Gaither SC
Jan. 20 Rev. Donald V. Blanchard
Dcn. Eliazar Salinas Jr.
Sr. Ancilla Mathew CMC
Jan. 21 Rev. Matthew S. Bonk CSsR
Dcn. Mario (Sam) Sam-
Br. Harold Harris SC
Jan 22 Rev. Jules A. Brunet
Dcn. Milton J. Schanzbach
Sr. Evelyn Mee CSJ
Jan 23 Rev. Gerald H. Burns
Dcn. Peter Schlette
Br. Ray Hebert SC
Jan. 24 Rev. John J. Callahan SJ
Dcn. Joseph M Scimeca
Sr. Anne Meridier CSJ
Jan. 25 Rev. Peter J. Callery SJ
Dcn. Rudolph W. Stahl
Br. Ronald Hingle SC
Jan. 26 Rev. Joseph M. Camilleri
Dcn. Michael F. Thomp-
Sr. Dolores Munez HMSS
January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
Bishop Muench states change in clergy Spring Formation days
eginning 2015, the Continuing Formation of the
Clergy Committee decided
to change the annual Spring Formation (Continuing Education)
days, previously held in May of
each year, to the Annual Priests’
Formation Days, to be held in
the second full week in January.
These formation days are one of
the important ways in which the
priests of our diocese are formed
for ministry. They offer the
priests opportunities for growth
in intellectual and spiritual formation, emotional maturity and
physical well-being. Since these
days are offered once a year, and
is a commitment by the diocese
for their on-going formation,
participation by the priests is
mandatory. However, on occa-
sion, ministry needs arise at the
same time preventing the priests
from participating in these Annual Formation days.
With the guidance of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, the
Continuing Formation for Clergy
Committee has secured a site for
this year’s Annual Formation,
Jan. 12-15, in Natchez, Miss. The
committee and I are aware that
the distance from Natchez to
many of our diocesan parishes
would be significant and that
pastoral ministry can and will
occur during these days. Nonetheless at the express request
of the Continuing Formation
Committee and the Presbyteral
Council, I am expecting priests
to attend the entire formation
days’ schedule. I know this may
he pressures of work and ministry, unfortunately, limit the time I
have available to read as widely as I
would like. Still, addicted as I am to books
and knowing that without the insight and
stimulation that I draw from them I would
forever stagnate spiritually and creatively,
I scrupulously carve out some time most
days to read. As well, given my ministry
and personality, I like to read various
genres of books: novels, biography, critical
essays, and, not least, books on Scripture,
theology and spirituality.
Here’s my bias apposite reading: In
my freshman year (in college), I was
introduced to good novels. I realized then
how impoverished I’d been without good
literature in my life. Since that time, more
than 40 years ago, I’ve never been without
a novel lying open somewhere within my
reach. Good novelists often have insights
that psychologists and spiritual writers
can only envy, firing the imagination and
the emotional intelligence in a way that
academic books often cannot. As well,
always lying open somewhere within
reach will be a good biography or a book
of essays. These serve to stretch my horizons, as these perennially constrict both
my imagination and my heart. Finally,
there are theological and spirituality
books which, given both my temperament
and my vocation, I read with passion, but
which also serve as a source of professional development for me.
So given these particular appetites,
what are the best 10 books that I read in
Among novels, I particularly recommend these four:
Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We
Cannot See.” This isn’t just one of the
top books that I read this past year, it is,
making an exception for the great classics
From The Bishop
Bishop Robert W. Muench
affect certain regular ministries,
such as daily Mass and funerals. The daily Mass schedule in
your parish can be adjusted as
determined by your parish priest
to meet the needs of your parish
during Annual Formation. While
this is a sacrifice, I consider
this sacrifice worth making.
Regarding funerals, I would
ask that funerals be scheduled
either before Annual Formation
begins or after, but not during,
the scheduled Annual Formation days. If this is completely
impossible, one of the Dcn.s
from the diocese can provide the
needed funeral rites, namely the
vigil wake, funeral without Mass
and rite of committal. If the local
parish staff is unable to secure
a Dcn. for this special funeral
need, the parish staff may call
the Office of the Vicar General
at (225) 387-0561 for further
Over the years, attendance
at our Annual Formation and
Priest Retreat has been remarkably consistent. Pressing
ministry could compromise and
jeopardize our commitment to
these special opportunities. I
hope this letter helps you understand and support our priests
with their commitment to their
formation for ministry. I ask that
you pray for our priests and our
diocese during these days.
In summary, every priest of
the diocese is expected to be
present and take part in Annual
Formation days in Natchez. I
appreciate your affirmation and
encouragement of our clergy
who give so much of their lives
for our diocese. May God be
generous in leading us into the
future with hope.
My top 10 books for 2014
of English
for me, one
of the best
novels that
I’ve ever
read. This
is simply a
great book;
not quite
the Diary of
Anne Frank,
but a story
which moves
the heart
in a similar
Marilynne Robinson, “Lila.” Robinson picks
up some of her characters from Gilead,
inserts a lost, young woman named Lila
and, through her voice, gives us a near
poetry of loneliness and faith. Aside from
her emotional depth and perfect prose,
Robinson also offers an apologia for the
compassion and mercy of God that can
help make faith more credible to many of
its skeptics today.
Sue Monk Kidd, “The Invention of
Wings.” This is a powerful historical
novel about both the evil of slavery and
of sexism. Mirroring the Christian story
of redemption, good ultimately triumphs,
but not before someone has to sweat some
blood in martyrdom. Sue Monk Kidd is always worth reading, but this book stands
out, even for a novelist of her caliber.
Jhumpa Lahire, “The Lowland.” Like
many of Lahire’s novels this story also
sets itself within the particular trials of
emigrating from India to America, but
the flashlight that it shines into human
relationships helps lay bare some very
universal struggles.
In Exile
Father Ron Rolheiser
Among biographical essays, two books
stood out for me this past year.
Trevor Herriot, “The Road is How, A
Prairie Pilgrimage through Nature, Desire
and Soul.” The flow of the book follows its
title. Herriot does a walking pilgrimage
across part of Saskatchewan’s prairies, a
land roamed for centuries by the buffalo,
and lets nature and desire speak to his
soul. The result is a remarkable chronicle,
a deeply moral book about nature, human
nature, sexuality, faith and desire.
Nancy Rappaport, “In Her Wake, A
Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery
of Her Mother’s Suicide.” In this book,
Nancy Rappaport does what all of us
should do if we have lost a loved one to
suicide, namely, work through that person’s story and find the threads to cleanse
and redeem his or her memory.
Among theological and spirituality
books, I recommend:
James Martin, “A Pilgrimage.” This is
Jim Martin at his best, offering a good,
balanced, healthy Christology, presented
in a reader-friendly way. Scholarship accessible to everyone.
Barbara Brown Taylor, “Learning to
Walk in the Dark.” She made the cover
of TIME magazine for this book, deservedly. Taylor offers an insight into the
dark night of the soul for those who can’t,
or won’t, read more technical theological
Gerhard Lohfink, “Jesus of Nazareth,
What He Wanted, Who He Was.” This
is more of a scholarly book, though still
pretty accessible to the non-professional.
It combines solid scholarship, creative
insight, good balance and committed
Christian faith.
Christian Salenson, “Christian de
Cherge, A Theology of Hope.” Christian de
Cherge was the abbott of the community
of Trappist monks who were martyred
in Algeria in 1996. This book collects his
key writings, particularly as they pertain
to the question of the relationship of
Christianity to other religions, especially
to Islam. Faith, it is said, is built upon the
blood of martyrs. Future interreligious
dialogue can be built on both the blood
and the writings of this martyr. An exceptional book, though hardly surprising,
given the exceptional faith and character
of Christian de Cherge.
May many good books find you in 2015.
OBLATE FATHER ROLHEISER, theologian, teacher
and award-winning author, is president
of the Oblate School of Theology in San
Antonio, TX. He can be contacted at
ronrolheiser.com. Now on Facebook at
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The Catholic Commentator
Pro-Life Mass – A monthly pro-life Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, Jan. 13, 5:30 p.m., at St. Agnes Church,
749 East Blvd., Baton Rouge. For information, call 225383-4127.
January 9, 2015
perabundant Marriage,” Thursday, Jan. 22 – Wednesday,
March 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. For more information, call 225926-1883 or email [email protected]
mittee on Scouting is offering training for religious emblem counselors Sunday, Jan. 18, 1-5 p.m., at the Our
Lady of Mercy Parish Activity Center, 445 Marquette St.,
Baton Rouge. Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Girl Scout units
that offer Catholic religious emblems must have a trained
counselor to facilitate the program. Counselors who have
been trained more than three years ago are invited to be
retrained. For information, visit info.ccosbr.net or call
Women’s Morning of Reflection – The Catholic
Daughters of the Americas – Court Regina Coeli #2063
will host a women’s morning of reflection Saturday, Jan.
24, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., at St. Jude the Apostle Church,
9150 Highland Road, Baton Rouge. Father David Allen,
pastor of Holy Family Church in Port Allen, will speak
about “The Spirituality of You.” Registration begins at
8:30 a.m. in the St. Jude Parish Hall. The retreat will begin at 9 a.m. The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP
no later than Tuesday, Jan. 20, by calling 225-769-5763
or 225-448-3299.
Marriage Enhancement Program – Our Lady of
Mercy Church, 445 Marquette St., Baton Rouge, will present a program which gives married couples the opportunity to re-focus and re-commit to their marriages, each
other and God, “The Choice Wine: Seven Steps to a Su-
Louisiana Life March South – The Louisiana Life
March South will be held at the LSU Greek Theater, next
to the College of Music and Dramatic Arts Building on the
LSU campus, Saturday, Jan. 24. Activities begin at 8:30
a.m. The Rally for Life will begin at 10 a.m., and at 11 a.m.
Religious Emblem Training – The Catholic Com-
the March for Life will begin, concluding at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Participants will then march into
the Maravich Center and join in the program “The Response Louisiana: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis”
and will begin a 15-minute prayer for life. For information,
visit prolifelouisiana.org.
Young Married Couples Retreat – A retreat for
married couples who are in 20s and 30s, “Is Christ Alive
in Your Marriage?” sponsored by the Diocese of Baton
Rouge Young Adult Ministry Program, will be held Saturday, Feb. 7, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the St. George Kleinpeter
Parish Activity Center, 7808 St. George Dr., Baton Rouge.
Cost is $40 per couple. Registration deadline is Monday,
Feb. 2. For information, call 225-456-5421 or emailily
[email protected]
Diocesan Youth Conference – “One Child of the
True King” will be the theme of the Diocesan Youth
Conference, Saturday, Feb. 28, 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., at
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Child Nutrition Program
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(225) 387-6421
Proposal Opening for the 2015-2016 School Year will
be held on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 for 10:00 am
(Proposals will not be accepted after 10:00 am):
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lect. Call for your free estimate.
St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of a
Peaceful Death. St. Joseph Hospice is
available to support families as they face
end-of-life decisions. Peace, comfort,
dignity and support can make every day
"a good day." Call 225-368-3100 for more
The owner reserves the right to reject any or all
proposals and waive informalities.
The public is invited to attend.
Donnie’s Furniture Repair & Upholstery. We do refinishing, repairs, caning,
painting of furniture and upholstery.
In business 43 yrs. Pick up and delivery.
10876 Greenwell Springs Rd. 225-2722577. See our showroom.
Kitchen counter tops. Call for free estimates. John O'Neill 225-938-6141 or
Accounting and taxes for businesses,
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services. 30 years experience; professional, prompt and personal attention.
Interior and exterior painting. Experienced and reliable. Free estimates. Call
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Paint your own chalice. A special keepsake for a special event. $12 includes
chalice, all materials needed to paint
it and firing in a kiln. Schedule your
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January 9, 2015
The Catholic Commentator
Cuomo, politician with complicated relationship with church, dies
From page 18
the Catholic Life Center, 1800 S. Acadian
Thwy., Baton Rouge. Father Joseph Espaillat, director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York, will
be the keynote speaker and Cooper Ray will
lead the music. For information, visit diobry
outh.org, or email [email protected] or
[email protected]
Spiritual Book Reading – Sister Mary
Noel OP will host a spiritual book reading
based on Father Henri Nowen’s book “The
Return of the Prodigal Son” Tuesdays, Jan.
13, 27, Feb. 10 and 24, 10 a.m., at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center, 39003 Rosaryville
Road, Ponchatoula. Cost of the program is
$40. For information and to register email
[email protected] or call 225-294-5039.
WASHINGTON (CNS) – While many
tributes to former New York Gov. Mario
Cuomo reference the impact of his 1984
keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, for many Catholics,
it was a different speech the same year
that defined his political legacy.
Cuomo, who died Jan. 1 at age 82,
served three terms as governor and
was sought after as a possible candidate for president, though he never
took the plunge.
Those two 1984 speeches may well
have helped define both why he was
sought after and why he chose not to
The son of Italian immigrants who
spoke no English when they arrived,
Cuomo was raised in a multicultural
area of Queens, New York. He never
shied away from being proudly Catholic and proudly a Democrat. His position that he could personally accept the
church’s teaching about abortion being sinful, while politically supporting
keeping abortion legal in a secular society where it was protected by the Constitution still is the model cited by many
Catholic politicians and still is derided
by some church leaders.
Cuomo clashed with then-Archbishop John J. O’Connor of New York over
the governor’s support for state funding
of abortions for the poor and his explanations of why he thought that was not a
conflict for a Catholic politician.
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Cuomo’s 1984 speech at the University of Notre Dame provided the basis for
Catholic politicians since then who have
described themselves as “pro-choice”
and distinguish their personal acceptance of church teaching
However, on another life issue important to the Catholic Church – the
death penalty – Cuomo was something
of a political trailblazer on the side of
doing away with capital punishment.
As governor, he blocked multiple attempts to resume capital punishment in
New York. His successor, Gov. George
Pataki, a Republican, reinstated the
death penalty. Once out of office, Cuomo
participated in debates on the topic and
in campaigns to do away with it.
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General Statement of Duties
2015-16 Faculty Openings
Faculty Positions (Grades 7-12):
English, French, Spanish, Math, Science
Social Studies, Religion
Various Faculty Positions (Grades PreK3-6)
Certification and/or experience preferred.
Schools of the Sacred Heart is a college preparatory school educating young women and men in single-gender environments. As
a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, the school’s
educational philosophy is articulated in the Goals and Criteria for
Sacred Heart Schools. The school is accredited by the Independent
Schools Association of the Southwest and approved by the State of
Schools of the Sacred Heart is seeking faculty who are willing to
embrace the school’s mission of educating students intellectually,
spiritually, morally, socially, and physically.
All inquiries will be confidential and should be sent or emailed to:
Sr. Lynne Lieux, RSCJ, Headmistress
P.O. Box 310
Grand Coteau, LA 70541
[email protected]
This person seeks out, writes about, and photographs interesting and
newsworthy events to keep Catholics in the diocese informed of the
Church's work, to highlight the ministries of people and organizations as
well as record the events of the local diocese and the global church.
Information is presented and events photographed in a clear, concise and
accurate manner in this bi-weekly publication, on the website and through
social media.
Education and Experience Requirements
• Bachelor’s degree in mass communications or journalism or equivalent
with a minimum of three years’ of reporting experience required;
• Strong knowledge of the Catholic faith required;
• Technically proficient in photography, writing, editing, proof reading,
website and social media;
• Computer skills required, experience with Mac preferred;
• Familiarity with the Diocese of Baton Rouge strongly preferred;
practicing Catholic preferred.
Other Requirements
• Strong interpersonal skills essential with the ability to work and
communicate with people of all levels and backgrounds;
• Excellent verbal/written communication skills, interviewing skills/
techniques, and presentation skills;
• Customer service oriented, and ability to accurately meet deadlines and
maintain schedules;
• Valid, current driver’s license and own reliable transportation;
• Due to the nature of this job, employee must be willing to work outside
regular office hours, including late afternoons, evenings, and/or weekends
due to event coverage and deadline requirements.
This is a full-time position with excellent pay and benefits. Please submit
resume, letter of interest and three to five writing samples to [email protected],
or Human Resources, Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, P.O. Box 2028 Baton
Rouge, LA 70821-2028.
Deadline to apply is January 30, 2015.
The Catholic Commentator
January 9, 2015
Assurance Financial donates $10,000 to St. Vincent de Paul Society
Assurance Financial donated Fund” in which its team members
$10,000 to the Society of St. Vin- contribute money throughout the
cent de Paul of Baton Rouge on year in exchange for the opporDec. 22 at the Bishop Ott Shelter tunity to wear jeans or a casual
for Women and Children. Prior dress attire to work each day. The
to the check presentation, vol- Jean Fund contribution, along
unteers from Assurance Finan- with a corporate match, is made
cial arrived to meet and work on to a charity each year, with St.
Christmas crafts
Vincent de Paul
being this year’s
currently in the
“We are very
“With Christpleased that we
mas here, this docan provide asnation is so upliftsistance to those
ing,” said Michael
individuals within
presithe local commudent and CEO
Michael Acaldo
nity who need a
of St. Vincent de
CEO St. Vincent de Paul
hand,” said Steve
Paul. “This gift
Ward, Chief Opwill help St. Vincent de Paul give erating Officer of Assurance Fia hand-up of hope to homeless nancial. “We chose St. Vincent
mothers and children at the Bish- de Paul for the variety of services
op Ott Sweet Dreams Shelter. As- they provide to our community
surance Financial’s community while treating those less fortunate
leadership shares the Christmas with dignity and respect. At Asspirit with those who truly need surance Financial, the Greater Bait the most.”
ton Rouge area is where our team
The Assurance Financial do- members live, work and play. We
nation was funded in part by are proud to give back to the comproceeds from an annual “Jean munity that is so good to us.”
“With Christmas
here, this
donation is so
uplifting ....”
Officials from Assurance Financial recently presented a check for $10,000 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Pictured, left to right, Assurance Financial Warehouse Line Manager Abby Widmer, Society of St. Vincent de
Paul CEO Michael J. Acaldo, Assurance Financial Compliance Officer Renee Griffon, Assurance Financial COO
Steve Ward, Assurance Financial Operations Manager Scott Alexander, Assurance Financial Servicing Coordinator Lindsay Anders and Assurance Financial Processor Susan Hsu. Photo submitted by Al McDuff