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					                      VOL. 20, NO.9   APRIL 2011

Catholic Conversion
   and R.C.I.A
                                                            From the Chancellor by Christine Rivers, Chancellor
                                                            EASTER VIGIL: Sunset on Holy Saturday, April 23, 2011, is at 7:50 p.m.
  Publisher Bishop Michael G. Duca
       Editor Jessica Rinaudo                               2011 Diocesan Stewardship Appeal Off to
              Regular Contributors                          Strong Start by John Mark Willcox, Director of Development

Bishop Michael Duca               Jessica Rinaudo                     any thanks to those among
      Kim Long                   Christine Rivers                     our diocesan faithful who have
    Lucy Medvec                     Katie Sciba                       provided a pledge to our 2011
  Fr. Rothell Price                 Roxie Tabor             Annual Diocesan Stewardship Appeal.
   Rosalba Quiroz               Mike Van Vranken            Your strong support of our Appeal
   Dianne Rachal                John Mark Willcox
                                                            process has enabled this year’s campaign
                                                            to begin on a very positive note as we
              Featured Contributors                         proceed through the Lenten Season
      Sara Angle                      Jerry Rowe            toward Easter Sunday.
      Anita Crafts                Fr. David Richter            Please know that if you have yet to
   Lindsay Gallman               Sr. Martinette Rivers      participate with a gift to our 2011 Appeal,
     Wendy Gayle                      Rose Serio            now is the time to get involved. You can
    Lori Mainiero                    Roxie Tabor            make your gift using Appeal materials
  Deacon Clary Nash                  John Thavis            found at your place of worship, or use the
     Kevin Nolten                   Cindy Wooden            2011 Appeal Pledge Card located in this
  Kelly Phelan Powell                                       issue of your Catholic Connection on the
               Editorial Board                              bottom of page 22. You can also give via
      Cathy Cobb           Dianne Rachal                    the web by visiting the home page of The
 Rev. Charles Glorioso    Christine Rivers                  Diocese of Shreveport at
       Kim Long          John Mark Willcox
                                                               Remember you have the remainder of this year to honor your pledge using
 Kelly Phelan Powell
                                                            your Appeal’s easy monthly payment reminders. Please be generous to the
The Catholic Connection is a monthly publication funded     many programs and ministries available to our people only through the Appeal
by your Diocesan Service Appeal; mailed to every known
Catholic household in the Diocese of Shreveport. Our        and may God bless you for your generosity!
Mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of
our Catholic Faith among the faithful. We seek to foster
the application of Christ’s teachings and our Church’s       2011 Confirmation Schedule
mission in our daily lives and to encourage our sense of
Catholic identity within our family, parish, and diocesan
                                                            • Wednesday, April 27th – 6:00 p.m. –    • Sunday, May 15th – 11:00 a.m. –
faith community.                                              St. John the Baptist Church, Many         St. Paul Church, Minden

   For a free subscription, address changes                 • Saturday, April 30th – 4:00 p.m. –     • Sunday, May 15th – 3:00 p.m. –
   or article submissions:                                     St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church,          Christ the King Church,
   EMAIL:                          Shreveport                               Bossier City
   WRITE:        Catholic Connection
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                 3500 Fairfield Avenue                         St. Mary of the Pines Church,            St. Paschal Church, West Monroe
                 Shreveport, LA 71104                          Shreveport
   CALL:          318-868-4441                                                                       • Sunday, May 22nd – 11:00 a.m.
                 OR 800-256-1542                            • Wednesday, May 4th – 6:00 p.m. –          – Church of Jesus the Good
   FAX:           318-868-4609
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                                                            • Tuesday, May 10th – 6:00 p.m. –        • Sunday, June 5th – 11:00 a.m. –
                                                               Mary, Queen of Peace Church,             St. Joseph Church, Mansfield
Our Diocese is recognized by the Board of Im-                  Bossier City
migration Appeals as a Non-Profit Organization                                                       • Friday, July 1st – 5:30 p.m. –
capable of giving Immigration Legal Advice. We              • Saturday, May 14th – 1:00 p.m. –          Sacred Heart Church, Rayville
offer Immigration Professional Services to Low-
Income Families. To find out if you or someone                 St. Joseph Church, Shreveport
you know qualifies for an Immigration benefit,
please contact Mrs. Rosalba Quiroz at 1-800-                ON THE COVER: A catechumen presents Bishop Michael Duca with a
256-1542, ext. 265 or 318-219-7265 or email                                         Book of the Elect during Rite of Election on March 13, 2011.
April 2011                 Contents

2011 Diocesan Stewardship Appeal Off to Strong Start
                                                                                    8                                                   9
                                                                                                  Fr. Thomas Elavunkal Arrives at St. Joseph Church
    by John Mark Willcox .......................................................... 2                  in Shreveport by Kevin Nolten................................................. 14
2011 Confirmation Schedule ...................................................... 2               Aging is Extraordinary ‘Spiritual Material’ by Sr. Martinette Rivers .... 15
Bishop Michael Duca’s April 2011 Schedule.............................. 3                         Catholic Charities Helps Community by Anita Crafts ........................ 15
Bishop’s Reflection by Most Reverend Michael G. Duca ........... 4-5                              The Altar Society: A Holy, Silent Ministry by Katie Sciba ................... 16
Lent Fasting, Almsgiving, Prayer Bring Strength, Pope Says                                        Pro-Life Update: 40 Adoration Hours for Life by Roxie Tabor ........... 16
    by Cindy Wooden ................................................................ 6            Fuller Center Preps for “Catholic Work Day” by Jerry Rowe ............. 17
Pope Benedict Calls for Prayer for Victims of Disaster                                            Because “It’s the Right Thing to Do” by Wendy C. Gayle .................. 17
   in Japan, Sends Aid by Sara Angle ........................................ 7
                                                                                                  Hispanic Corner by Rosalba Quiroz ............................................ 18
Second Collections by Fr. Rothell Price ..................................... 7
                                                                                                  In Book, Pope Presents Jesus as Reconciler, Not Political
Liturgy Lines: Who We Are at Mass by Dianne Rachal............... 8                                    Revolutionary by John Thavis ....................................................19
How Do You View the Empty Tomb? by Mike Van Vranken........ 8                                     Catholic Campus Ministry Thriving Support Network at
Annual “Way of the Cross” Raises Awareness of Social Justice                                          LA Tech by Rose Serio ........................................................... 20
   by Kelly Phelan Powell ........................................................9               St. Joseph Youth Plan Jamaican Mission
How Do You Know When God Calls? by Fr. David Richter ........10                                        by Kevin Nolten and Lindsay Gallmann............................... 20
Diaconate Formation Finishes Year One by Clary Nash .............10                               Around the Diocese .................................................................... 21
School News ...............................................................................11     Upcoming Events .......................................................................22
Finding Faith: Two Stories of Catholic Conversion                                                 April 2011 Calendar .....................................................................23
    by Kim Long and Lori Mainiero .......................................12-13                    Lenten Reconciliation Services ...................................................23
What is the R.C.I.A.?....................................................................... 14   Rite of Election ............................................................................... 24
                                                                   APRIL 12 Right to Life Oratory                                  APRIL 22 Good Friday Service;
     Bishop Michael Duca’s                                         Contest; Catholic Center; 7:00 p.m.                             Cathedral of St. John Berchmans;
         april scheDule                                                                                                            3:00 p.m.
                                                                   APRIL 15 Lenten Ecumenical
                                                                   Luncheon; St. Patrick Church, Lake                              APRIL 23 Easter Vigil; Cathedral of
                                                                   Providence; 12:00 p.m.                                          St. John Berchmans; 8:00 p.m.

                                                                   APRIL 15 Mass followed by Lenten                                APRIL 27 St. Francis Medical Center
                                                                   Reflection; St. Patrick Church, Lake                            Board of Directors’ Meeting; St.
                                                                   Providence; 5:00 p.m.                                           Francis Conference Center, Monroe;
                                                                                                                                   11:30 a.m.
                                                                   APRIL 17 Palm Sunday Mass;
                                                                   Cathedral of St. John Berchmans;                                APRIL 27 Confirmation; St. John the
                                                                   11:00 a.m.                                                      Baptist Church, Many; 6:00 p.m.

  APRIL 3 Mass; Cathedral of St. John                              APRIL 19 Chrism Mass; Cathedral of                              APRIL 29 St. Joseph Seminary
  Berchmans; 5:30 p.m.                                             St. John Berchmans; 5:30 p.m.                                   Alumni Homecoming; St. Joseph
                                                                                                                                   Seminary, Covington, LA
  APRIL 6 Mass; LSUS Student Union                                 APRIL 21 Mass of the Lord’s Supper;
  Center; 11:00 a.m.                                               Cathedral of St. John Berchmans;                                APRIL 30 Confirmation; St. Elizabeth
                                                                   5:30 p.m.                                                       Ann Seton Church, Shreveport;
  APRIL 8 Grandparents’ Day                                                                                                        4:00 p.m.
  Celebration; St. Joseph School,                                  APRIL 22 Ecumenical Way of the Cross;
  Shreveport; 8:00 a.m.                                            Forsythe Park, Monroe; 10:00 a.m.
                                           incitará a un tiempo de reflexión en
La Reflexión                               cada parroquia para considerar como
del Obispo                                 creceremos en el futuro. Después de
                                           lunch tendremos una Conferencia               ¡Anota la fecha!
por Obispo                                 para los de Jóvenes con Chris Padtett
Michael G. Duca                            como el presentador, el Grupo Huellas            11 junio 2011
                                           de Orlando traerá inspiración para la

E                                                                                        25th Anniversary
        l próximo mes de junio la          Conferencia para los Hispanos también
        Diócesis de Shreveport va          con sesiones en diferentes salones y con
        a celebrar sus 25 años y eso       diferentes temas para escoger en cuales                     el
merece más que una celebración.            queremos participar. Estas sesiones
Desde el día de mi ordenación e            tratarán de temas fundamentales como           25 Aniversario
instalación considero una bendición
el que Dios me llamó a ser el segundo
                                           Evangelización, Identidad Católica,
                                           Transmitiendo la Fe, Pastoral Juvenil,        de la Diócesis de
obispo de la Diócesis de Shreveport.
Agradezco todo lo que se ha hecho
                                           Vocaciones en la Iglesia y otros temas
                                           que necesitamos explorar al ver hacia
en los pasados 25 años y lo vibrante       el futuro.                                                en el
que es la iglesia en muchas maneras.           Terminaremos el día en la tarde con
Este es un momento importante              Misa en el Centro de Convenciones                  Centro de
                                           parecida a la Misa de mi ordenación
para nuestra iglesia; un momento de
celebrar nuestro pasado y honrar los       e instalación; seguida por una                  Convenciones de
sacrificios y servicio de aquellos que
construyeron nuestra diócesis. Pero
                                           recepción. No hay mejor manera de
                                           celebrar quienes somos que reunidos
también es momento para hacer algo         alrededor de la Eucaristía en la fiesta de   Preparaciones para la tarde:
más. Mientras viajo en la diócesis,        Pentecostés con nuestros hermanos y
también veo que no somos los mismos        hermanas de todas partes de la diócesis.
que éramos hace 25 años. El mundo              Para que todos puedan participar,
                                                                                           Conferencia Juvenil
a nuestro alrededor ha cambiado y          estoy planeando cancelar las Misas                 con Chris Padgett
sigue cambiando. Deberíamos también        de Anticipación del Sábado en la
sentirnos atraídos por los cambios         diócesis el 11 de Junio del 2011. Esto        Conferencia en Español
en nuestra diócesis a reconocer las        permitirá que los sacerdotes de la
                                           diócesis puedan asistir a esta Misa, y       y Música con el Grupo Huellas
realidades del presente y prepararnos
a nosotros mismos y a nuestras             los que normalmente van a Misa en
parroquias para enfrentar los desafíos     sus parroquias los sábados, podrán           Pláticas en grupos pequeños
del futuro.                                unirse con nosotros en el Centro de            con temas fundamentales como:
   Para marcar este momento:               Convenciones.
                                               El tema para nuestro aniversario es
Están todos invitados al Centro de
Convenciones de Shreveport el 11           “Cristo Ayer, Hoy y Siempre” (Heb.                 Identidad Católica
de Junio del 2011 a celebrar nuestro       13:8) para recordarnos que Cristo nos                 Pasar la Fe
25 aniversario como Diócesis de            ha ayudado a formar nuestro pasado,                 Pastoral Juvenil
Shreveport y a comenzar un año             está presente en las realidades de hoy y
                                           nos dirige a proclamar Su mensaje en
de reflexión en nuestro futuro.
Comenzaremos con un recuento de            el futuro.
nuestra historia como diócesis, seguido        Marca esta fecha y planea asistir.              Misa Solemne
por mi presentación oficial como           Cada parroquia enviara representantes           con nuestro Obispo y los
obispo sobre el comienzo de una visión     pero nuestra esperanza es que todos             sacerdotes de la Diócesis
para el futuro de nuestra diócesis. Esto   puedan participar de este día.

4 Catholic Connection April 2011
Bishop’s Reflection
                                           of a beginning vision for the future
                                           mission of our diocese. This will begin
                                                                                        Save the Date!
                   Bishop                  a time of reflection in each parish to          June 11, 2011
                                           consider how we will grow into the
                   Michael G.              future. After lunch there will be a Youth
                   Duca                    Rally with Chris Padgett as the lead         25th Anniversary
                                           presenter, the Group Huellas from
                                           Orlando will provide inspiration for                      of the
                                           a Hispanic Rally along with breakout
                                           sessions for all of us to attend. These
T                                                                                          of Shreveport
       his June the Diocese of             sessions will consider the big issues
       Shreveport will be 25-years-old     like Evangelization, Church Identity,
       and that calls for a celebration    Handing on the Faith, Youth Ministry,                     at the
and more. From the day of my               Vocations in the Church and other
ordination and installation I have         topics that we need to discuss as we            Shreveport
considered it a blessing that God
called me to be the second bishop
                                           look to the future.
                                              We will end the day in the
                                                                                        Convention Center
of the Diocese of Shreveport. Daily        late afternoon with a Mass at the
I appreciate how much has been             Convention Center similar to the Mass           Event Highlights:
accomplished in the past 25 years and      of my ordination and installation,
how vibrant the Church is in many          followed by a reception. There is no                 Youth Rally
ways. This is an important moment          better way to celebrate who we are than           with Chris Padgett
for our church; a moment to celebrate      by our gathering for the Eucharist on
our past and honor the sacrifices and      the Feast of Pentecost with our brothers
service of those who built our diocese.    and sisters from all parts of the diocese.        Hispanic Rally
But this is also a time for something         So everyone can attend, I plan to           with the Group Huellas
more. As I travel the diocese, I also      cancel the Saturday evening anticipated
see we are not the same as we were 25      Masses in the diocese for June 11, 2011.
years ago. The world around us has         This will allow the priests of the diocese      Breakout Sessions
changed and is changing. We should         to attend this Mass, and those who           discussing big diocesan issues like
also feel compelled by the changes in      normally attend Mass at their parishes            Evangelization
our diocese to acknowledge the realities   will be able to join us at the Convention
of the present and to prepare ourselves
                                                                                             Church Identity
and our churches to meet the challenges       We will gather under the theme               Handing on the Faith
of the future.                             “Christ Yesterday, Today and Forever”             Youth Ministry
   So to mark this moment: You             (Heb. 13:8) to remind us of how Christ           Church Vocations
are all invited to the Shreveport          has helped to form our past, is present
Convention Center on June 11, 2011         in the realities of today and leads us to
to celebrate our 25 year anniversary       proclaim His message into the future.               Special Mass
as the Diocese of Shreveport and              Mark this date and make plans to               with Bishop Duca
to begin a year of reflection on our       attend. Each parish will be asked to             and the priests of the
future. We will start with a recounting    send representatives, but our hope is
of our history as a diocese, followed                                                       Diocese of Shreveport
                                           that all who can attend will be a part of
by my official presentation as Bishop      this day.
Lent Fasting,
Almsgiving, Prayer
Bring Strength, Pope
Says by Cindy Wooden, CNS

       ATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Wishing
       all Christians a “happy Lenten
       journey,” Pope Benedict XVI
said fasting, almsgiving and prayer are
traditionally suggested for Lent because
they have proven to be effective tools for
   Lent is a time “to accept Christ’s
invitation to renew our baptismal
commitments” in order to arrive at
Easter in a new and stronger state, the
pope said at his weekly general audience
                                                              Tomko sprinkles ashes on Pope Benedict XVI during
March 9, Ash Wednesday and the start of Cardinal Josef Santa Sabina in Rome March 9. (CNS photo/pool via Ash Wednesday 10, 2010)
                                              the Basilica of                                                     Reuters) (March
                                                                                                                                   Mass at
Lent for Latin-rite Catholics.
   “This Lenten journey that we are
invited to follow is characterized in the      to Christians to help them prepare to             Especially during Lent, Christians
church’s tradition by certain practices:       truly celebrate Easter, Pope Benedict said. should be “a living message” of the joy and
fasting, almsgiving and prayer,” he told          “In order to reach the light and joy of     beauty of being saved by Christ because
the estimated 7,000 people gathered in         the resurrection, the victory of life, love    “in many cases we are the only Gospel that
the Vatican audience hall.                     and goodness, we, too, must take up our people today” will know, he said.
   “Fasting means abstaining from food, cross each day,” he said.                                “Here is another reason for living Lent
but includes other forms of self-denial           Celebrating an evening Mass during          well: to offer the witness of faith lived to a
to promote a more sober lifestyle. But         which he received ashes from retired           world in difficulty that needs to return to
that still isn’t the full meaning of fasting, Cardinal Jozef Tomko and distributed            God, that needs conversion,” he said.
which is the external sign of the internal ashes to cardinals and others present for             Also March 9, the Vatican released
reality of our commitment to abstain           the liturgy, Pope Benedict said, “Let us       Pope Benedict’s message for Brazilian
from evil with the help of God                                                                         Catholics’ Lenten solidarity
and to live the Gospel,” Pope                                                                          campaign; the 2011 campaign
Benedict said.                        “In order to reach the light                                     focused on the relationship
   In the church’s tradition,
he said, “fasting is tied closely
                                    and joy of the resurrection,                                       between environmental
                                                                                                       destruction and human
to almsgiving” and is the
sign that after having given
                                     the victory of life, love and                                     selfishness.
                                                                                                          “The first step toward a correct
up an attachment to things         goodness, we, too, must take up                                     relationship with the world
and to sin, the Christian has                                                                          around us,” the pope said, is to
embraced good works.                      our cross each day.”                                         recognize that human beings are
   “Lent is also a privileged                                                                          creatures made by God.
time for prayer,” the pope said.          - Pope Benedict, XVI                                            “Man is not God, but His
He quoted St. Augustine, who                                                                           image, so he should try to be
described fasting and almsgiving as “the begin the Lenten journey trusting and                more sensitive to the presence of God in
two wings of prayer,” because they are         joyful.”                                       what surrounds him: in all creatures and
signs of humility and charity.                    In his homily during the Mass at            especially in other human beings,” the
   Pope Benedict said, “The church             Rome’s Basilica of Santa Sabina, the pope papal message said.
knows that because of our weakness it is said there is a risk that Lent is seen as a             Respect for the environment will
difficult to be silent and sit before God,”    time of “sadness, of drabness,” when it        never be complete without respect for
even though we are “sinners who need           really is “a precious gift of God, a time rich and “a clear defense of human life from
His love.”                                     and full of meaning” for the church and its conception to natural death, without a
   “For this reason, during Lent, the          members.                                       defense of the family based on marriage
church invites us to be more faithful and         In fact, he said, Jesus admonished his      between a man and a woman, without a
intense in our prayer and to meditate at       disciples not to moan and groan in public real defense of those who are excluded
length on the word of God,” the pope           as they practiced their penance, because       and marginalized by society” and
said.                                          then the admiration they received would        without concrete care of those impacted
   The Lenten period is the church’s gift      be their reward.                               by natural disasters, he said.

6 Catholic Connection April 2011
Pope Benedict Calls for Prayer for      Second Collections by Fr. Rothell Price, VG
Victims of Disaster in Japan, Sends Aid COLLECTION DATES: Good Friday, Holy Land: April 8
by Sara Angle, Catholic News Service                                     Diocese of Shreveport Church Vocations: Apr. 9 & 10

A family climbs over debris while evacuating the town of Minamisanriku
in northern Japan March 14. (CNS photo/Adrees Latif, Reuters)            Jerry Daigle, Jr. and John Bosco are two of the Diocese of Shreveport's

                                                                         seminarians who receive educational funding through your donations.
        aying he was horrified by the images of the death and

        destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami in                  t is my sincere prayer that the glory of these 40 days of Lent
        Japan, Pope Benedict XVI asked people to join him                    is driving you toward the brilliance of the 50 days of Easter
in praying for the victims. “May the bereaved and injured be                 joy. The average person may not see “glory” in discipline,
comforted and may the rescue workers be strengthened in their            particularly the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, yet
efforts to assist the courageous Japanese people,” the pope said         these are spiritual tools in the hands of every Christian person.
March 13 after reciting the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.           The Good Friday Holy Land Collection: As we prepare
   Government officials estimated that perhaps 10,000 people             to “Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior
lost their lives after the earthquake March 11 and the tsunami it        of the World,” the Good Friday Holy Land collection helps us
triggered.                                                               “lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaimed, til’ all the
   After the Angelus, the pope said, “The images of the tragic           world proclaims His glorious name.” This collection gives us the
earthquake and the consequent tsunami in Japan have left us              opportunity to actively participate in the preservation of the holy
deeply horrified. I want to renew my spiritual closeness to that         sites of our redemption. Through this collection we can, from the
country’s dear people, who with dignity and courage are dealing          comfort of our homes and parish churches, visit the Holy Land in
with the consequences of the calamity. I pray for the victims            the spirit of love, devotion and sacrifice. Our generosity enables
and their families and for all who are suffering because of these        us to cherish, preserve and uphold our most sacred sites and
terrible events. I encourage all those who, with laudable speed,         foster new and renewed faith in those who visit the Holy Land in
are working to bring help. Let us remain united in prayer.”              person, via internet, or books and pictures.
   The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican's charity                   The Diocese of Shreveport Church Vocations Collection:
promotion and coordinating office, announced March 14 that               We all want priests who have the heart and mind of Jesus Christ.
the pope donated $100,000 to the relief efforts of the Japanese          We pray for such vocations. We encourage men and women,
bishops’ conference. “Obviously, material, concrete aid is               young and mature to follow Christ more intimately in life in the
necessary" to help the thousands who are suffering, Msgr.                vocations of priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life. Vocations
Anthony Figueiredo, a Cor Unum official, told Vatican Radio.             Director Fr. David Richter continues to nurture vocations
"Also, the bishops are the first responsible for charity in the          throughout our diocese. You may have seen the pictures of our
diocese and they know the needs of the people.”                          current seminarians on the vocations posters in your parishes.
   Bishop Marcellino Daiji Tani of Saitama, one of the dioceses          You do not get to see the more than dozen or so people Fr. Richter
hit hardest by the disaster, told the Catholic missionary news           is currently working with before they get to the application stage.
agency Fides that the catastrophe is a reminder that “life is in the     We are praying and men and women are responding. Please
hands of God and that life is a gift from God,” and he described         give generously to the Special Collection for Church Vocations.
the tragedy as a challenge for Christians during Lent “to practice       This is our collection and support we give to foster vocations in
and witness to the commandment of love and brotherly love.”              the Diocese of Shreveport. Your generosity not only makes it
   In a message March 13 to members of the Orthodox Church,              possible for us to educate and spiritually form men for priestly
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said                  and diaconal ministry; it also makes it possible for Fr. David and
the Japanese tragedy demonstrates the threat posed by nuclear            the Office of Vocations to recruit, seek out and bring home all
power plants and it calls for serious reflection. “With all due          the vocations the Church needs in order to pastorally care for the
respect to the science and technology of nuclear energy and for          people of God.
the sake of the survival of the human race, we counter-propose              I have no doubt that you will give generously; you always do.
the safer green forms of energy,” the patriarch said.                    But this year do something a little extra; give us some “lagniappe!”
   Meanwhile, the director of Caritas Japan told Fides, “This            YOU, personally, encourage a man or woman, young or mature,
painful event may be an opportunity to spread the values of the          to give serious consideration to serving Jesus and His people in
Gospel, that is, the fraternity of all men and women, the building       the great religious vocations in your local parish. Who knows,
of common good, the recognition that every person has the                perhaps the next priest, deacon, bishop or even pope might be the
dignity of a child of God and is important in the eyes of God.”          very someone you encouraged to respond to God’s call!
Liturgy Lines: Who We Are at Mass                                    How Do You View the Empty Tomb?
by Dianne Rachal, Director, Office of Worship                        by Mike Van Vranken, Greco Instructor

(CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

        he General Instruction of the Roman Missal no. 20            A 15th-century fresco depicts Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene
                                                                     after his resurrection. (CNS photo/DeA Picture Library/Art Resource)

           “At Mass, that is, the Lord’s Supper, the People of God          he Christian life is full of moments of joy and similar
is called together, with a priest presiding and acting in the               periods of sorrow. We encounter trials one minute and
person of Christ, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord, the                peace the next. Yet there is some spirit of hope that we
Eucharistic Sacrifice. For this reason Christ’s promise applies      cling to, some knowledge of the presence of Christ that allows us
in an outstanding way to such a local gathering of the holy          to approach it all knowing that the joy will always return.
Church: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there               Mary Magdalene entered the tomb and found it empty. Can
am I in their midst” (Mt 18:20).”                                    we try to understand the grief she must have felt? Her dear
   God always initiates by calling us to be his people. Once we      friend, the friend she also new as her Lord, had been unjustly
were no people, but now we are His: “A chosen race, a royal          crucified and murdered. In an act of kindness and love, she
priesthood, a holy nation, a people claimed by God as His            approached the burial place to give his body a final anointing.
own” (1 Pt 2:9). We respond to God’s call and gift of grace          But to her horror, amidst her anguish, she finds that the
by gathering together into an assembly. Through Baptism              body is gone – the tomb is empty. What could be worse? The
we joined Christ’s Church, his ekklesia, and it is Christ who        final respects she desired to convey could not be shown. The
gathers his people into the Body of Christ.                          opportunity for the closure she probably needed was no longer
   Our participation in the Mass is of the greatest importance       available. What despair she must have felt. The gloom, misery
to the Church and to each one of us. We participate in the           and sorrow were surely overwhelming. The empty tomb to Mary
Liturgy by virtue of our baptismal dignity, as members of the        signified the end of a relationship that had seemed so promising.
common priesthood. We are made for the worship of God.                   Fortunately, a man appeared to Mary as she was sobbing. She
In the Mass, joining our hearts and minds to the rites, words,       eventually recognized him as the risen Jesus. The empty tomb no
and songs of the gathered assembly, we are drawn ever more           longer meant despair. The uninhabited grave no longer was the
deeply into Christ’s perfect sacrifice of praise. Our external       source of pain and sorrow. The vacant tomb became the sign of
participation in the actions, gestures, postures, prayers and        her new hope. It was the proof that Jesus really was Lord. God
acclamations both expresses and reinforces our internal unity        had raised him, and with him, raised us all to a new life. Like
with Christ and with his Church.                                     Mary, we too experience the hope of the message of the risen
   The community of the baptized forms one body at                   savior. Like Mary, we also participate in the true joy that only the
Mass. This unity is most clearly seen in common postures             presence of Jesus can bring.
of standing, sitting, kneeling and processing together. We               As we celebrate this Easter season and beyond, whether we are
outwardly manifest a deep internal unity by our common               walking lightheartedly with the Lord, or we are in a time when
posture. By this external sign of our unity, we strengthen the       nothing makes sense, let’s peek into that empty tomb and realize
internal will to die to ourselves and be one gathered people of      its meaning. The risen Lord created us with a purpose in mind.
God.                                                                 And whatever that purpose is, nothing, not even death itself,
   At Mass we focus only on giving thanks to God and offering        can defeat that purpose. Let the picture of that empty tomb be
the spotless Victim “not only through the hands of the priest        your joy. Allow that understanding of the vacant grave to be
but also together with him, so that we may learn to offer            your hope. We do not have to look at his barren sepulcher and
ourselves,” Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, December 18, 2005.           weep as Mary did. Through the eyes of our faith, we are afforded
   From: Msgr. James P. Moroney, The Mass Explained, Catholic        the true meaning of the empty tomb. Jesus is risen and his Holy
Book Publishing, New Jersey, 2008.                                   Spirit is dwelling within us. Alleluia!

8 Catholic Connection April 2011
Annual “Way of the Cross” Event Raises Awareness of Social Justice
by Kelly Phelan Powell

Last year's Way of the Cross participants walk in downtown Shreveport, carrying the cross to different stations to pray for social justice issues.

         otye Sue Stanford, Diocesan President of the Society             the parking lot of First United Methodist Church. There the
         of St. Vincent de Paul, characterizes the Good Friday            opening prayer will be said. Then the crowd progresses to the
         march known as the “Way of the Cross” this way: “It              first station, which stands for refugees and migration, at the
is to bring attention to what’s going on, where we need social            Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The second station, Right to
justice in the city of Shreveport.” And with a crowd of around            Life, is VITA – Right to Life/Pro Life; the third is Substandard
500 Christians from all walks of life taking to the downtown              Housing at the Fuller Center for Housing; the fourth is Poverty
streets singing and carrying a large wooden cross, it is sure to          at the Christian Service Program; the fifth is Healthcare for
do just that.                                                             Those in Need at the Martin Luther King Health Center/
    Sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, this                 Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy; the sixth is AIDS
ecumenical event that takes place annually on Good Friday                 at the Mercy Center; the seventh is Homelessness at Hope
(which falls this year on April 22, 2011) began in 1999. It               House; the eighth is Bread for Life at Episcopal Church of
consists of a service of 14 prayers at 14 sites or stations in            the Holy Cross; the ninth is Broken Families at Providence
downtown Shreveport in order to represent the Passion of                  House; the 10th is Renewing Dignity at the Shreveport-Bossier
Christ. As it has since its inception, it will begin this year in the     Rescue Mission; the 11th is the Death Penalty at the Louisiana
parking lot of First United Methodist Church at the head of               Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; the 12th is The
Texas Street.                                                             Alienated at Centerpoint of Northwest Louisiana; the 13th is
    Stanford, who is the Director of Family Life Ministries at St.        Illiteracy at Volunteers of America – The Lighthouse; and the
Joseph Church in Shreveport and represents the diocese with               14th is Spiritual Poverty at First United Methodist Church of
the Catholic Bishops Committee for Family Life Ministries                 Shreveport.
and Life and Justice, has been involved with St. Vincent de                   Longtime participant Tom Gleason, a parishioner of Christ
Paul since 1988, when she became a Catholic, and the Way of               the King Church in Bossier City, said, “It’s what’s happening
the Cross since 2000. “We’re doing what Christ told us to do              to humanity in our community and in the world.” Throughout
in Matthew 25,” she explained. “We go out two by two, as the              the Way of the Cross, participants pray, sing and help carry the
disciples did, and do home visits. That way, we can see what the          cross. Stanford said one of the most moving aspects of the day
people really need. Christ had the disciples go out and see the           is how many join in the walk along the way; while they often
people, instead of having the people come to them.”                       start with around 200 people, they usually have 500 or more
    The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a spiritually-based lay         marchers by the time they finish. Stanford has heard them say,
organization that provides for the needs of the less fortunate            “If you can pray for us, then we can walk with you.”
in many areas, including rent or housing expenses, utilities,                 Gleason and Stanford encourage all Catholics to become
medical supplies, food and transportation expenses (e.g., bus             involved with the Way of the Cross and the Society of
tickets for impoverished patients who live outside the area) as           St. Vincent de Paul. Gleason said, “It’s a reminder of our
well as legal assistance for the immigrant population. They also          relationship not only to God, but to one another…and what
involve themselves in all right-to-life-oriented social justice           people have had taken away from them: their dignity. It’s for all
issues, such as abortion, assisted suicide and the death penalty.         Christians, not just Catholics.” Those who wish to participate
Simply put, said Stanford, “We help where we’re needed.”                  this Good Friday should meet in the parking lot of First United
    As the diocesan President of the Society, Stanford is in              Methodist Church at the head of Texas Street in downtown
charge of planning the Way of the Cross, which she said is an             Shreveport at 8:30 a.m. The 1.4-mile walk begins at 9:00 a.m.
incredibly moving experience for faithful people of all ages.             and takes about an hour. For more information, call Dotye Sue
The walk, which covers approximately 1.4 miles, begins in                 Stanford at (318) 865-3581 or Randy Tiller at (318) 868-4441.

How Do You Know                                                                              A discernment group meets to assist
When God Calls?                                                                           young men and women to sort through all
                                                                                          that is moving through their minds and
by Fr. David Richter, Director of
                                                                                          hearts. The group uses the principles laid
Church Vocations                                                                          down by St. Ignatius, and other spiritual

         ave you ever seen “The Thinker,”                                                 men and women, to come to an answer to
         the statue of the man with his                                                   our questions. Our topics vary monthly.
         forearm on his knee and his fist on                                                 Our Shreveport discernment group
his chin, obviously greatly concentrating?                                                meets on the third Sunday of the month
Our decisions may not cause us to work         accept this great gift and mystery.        from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Fairview
ourselves into such a shape, but we often         St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder     House, 1000 Fairview Street in Shreveport,
go through a mental (and affective)            of the Jesuit order, is known for having   very near the Catholic Center. I invite
process by which we decide on a course of      drawn up principles for a “discernment     you to come and join us for a brief
action. It may be whether to take this or      of spirits.” While the Lord may at times   presentation, discussion and reflection
that elective in high school. It may be who    call someone strongly and insistently,     on a possible vocation, all in the informal
to ask to the prom. It may be whether to       most men and women will say that He        atmosphere of shared interest and
stay where we now live, or to relocate for     proposes a vocation to us gently, working camaraderie. Attending our discernment
some future advantage.                         gradually through the events in our lives, group sessions, with an optional meal out
   You may be one of those men or              and bringing people into contact with us   afterwards, will help you understand how
women among the minority of people             who, knowingly or unknowingly, nudge us God is working in your life, and whether
who is being called to become a priest,        toward a serious pondering of a vocation. He is indeed calling you. One thing is
sister, brother or deacon in the Church.          We shouldn’t presume our interior       clear—Jesus Christ continues to call men
To be considering such a life, and             movements – our feelings, thoughts, and    and women to priesthood, sisterhood, and
wondering if Jesus is calling you, is to       desires – to be all from God, because      brotherhood. He may be calling you.
begin a process of discernment.                many of them come from ourselves, from        We next meet on Sunday, April 17.
   The reason we go through a process of       the world around us, or even from the      If you would like to have any questions
discernment is to ensure that, considering     devil. Our task is to distinguish which    answered or would like to come to our
how important a life-choice is, we learn       thoughts, feelings and desires come from   sessions, please contact me at 868-4441 or
whether God is truly inviting you to           God, and which do not.           

Diaconate Formation                           Liturgy of the Hours
                                              and other forms of
Finishes Year One                             prayer. The first year
by Deacon Clary Nash, Director of             included classes in
the Permanent Diaconate                       philosophy, sacred

       he Diocese of Shreveport Diaconate scripture, ministries
       Formation will complete the            in the Church,
       Diaconate Aspirancy year on            Vatican II, theology,
April 10, 2011. This first year has been      Church history and
an intense period of discernment and          morality. In addition,
formation for those considering life as a     the aspirants
deacon. The aspirants will receive four       received spiritual
years of personal, spiritual, theological and formation regarding Diaconate aspirants and Dallas School of Ministry students in class.
ministerial formation prior to ordination. liturgical prayer,
The formation began September 11, 2010, meditative prayer,                                 August 2011 in the Cathedral. There will
and will end on April 13, 2014. Upon          spiritual prayers and devotions, history of be a reception following Mass to meet,
successful completion, these men will be      spirituality, world religions and popular    encourage and support our diaconate
ordained permanent deacons.                   spirituality.                                candidates.
   The first of the four years spent in          The next step for those who complete         Aspirants are: Orlando Batongbakal,
formation for the permanent diaconate         the Aspirancy year is the Rite of            David Boyter, Scott Brandle, Tom Deal,
is a propædeutic period. While there has      Candidacy. Since entrance into the           Christopher Domingue, Bill Goss, Bill
been some initial theological formation       clerical state is deferred until ordination  Kleinpeter, Danny LeMoine, Steve Lehr,
during this period, the principal emphasis to the diaconate, the Rite of Admission         John Lynch, David Nagem, Robert
has been on discernment of the aspirant’s to Candidacy is to be celebrated after           Ransom, Bob Rorie, Ricardo Rivera,
call. Each aspirant has a mentor, a spiritual the aspirant has completed the first year    Charles Thomas, Randy Tiller, Jerry
director and a priest or deacon to assist     and is admitted into the program. In this    Wayne Trichel, Marc Vereen, Mike
them in formation. The aspirants were         rite, the one who aspires to ordination      Whitehead, Prentiss Wilks and Mike Wise.
also encouraged to be a community of          publicly manifests his will to offer himself    As the people of God you are invited
support for each other. During this period to God and to the Church. In this way, he       to submit letters of recommendations or
the aspirants began regular spiritual         is admitted into the ranks of candidate for concerns to Deacon Nash at 3500 Fairfield
direction and mentoring, praying the          the diaconate. This Rite will take place in  Avenue, Shreveport, LA. 71104.

10 Catholic Connection April 2011
School News

   1                                                                    2


                                 3               4
1. Our Lady of Fatima School                  3. St. Frederick’s Soccer Team               lasted about 60 minutes.
Celebrated Black History Month                Placed 10th in Division 3                       St. Joseph Middle School science
                                                                                           teacher Lori Bertrand coordinated the
O    ur Lady of Fatima Catholic School
     celebrated Black History Month with
the kindergarteners and the 6th graders
                                              T   he final year-end LaPrep Poll places
                                                  St. Frederick High School at #10 in
                                              Division 3. Out of the 50 or so teams in
                                                                                           exhibit along with the assistance of
                                                                                           physical education teachers Stefani Harvill
                                                                                           and Lindsay Way.
collaborating on a presentation honoring      the state for 1A-3A, we can compete with
historically significant African-Americans.   any of these teams. We’re very competitive
Students from both grades dressed up and      statewide and we are in the company of
                                                                                           5. Loyola College Prep Held
gave brief speeches about the life of the     nine other very good teams!
                                                                                           Career Day
person they were assigned.
                                              4. St. Joseph School
                                                                                           L    oyola College Prep hosted a Career
                                                                                                Fair on March 11. Two of the
                                                                                           presenters were Shreveport Catholic
2. Our Lady of the Blessed                    Participates in Louisiana                    school alums: Niven Morgan, an alumni of
Sacrament Academy Students                    Body Walk                                    LCP, and Susan Apple Graass, an alumni
Step Into Spring

S    tudents at Our Lady of the Blessed
     Sacrament Academy are “Stepping
                                              S     tudents from St. Joseph School
                                                    recently learned about healthy
                                                                                           of St. Vincent Academy, were among the
                                                                                           30 presenters in a wide variety of career
                                              lifestyles by participating in the Louisiana fields at the event.
into Spring!” To celebrate National           Body Walk. Over 200 students walked             Also participating in Career Day 2011
Gardening Month we will be learning all       through the traveling exhibit which          were: Jim Henderson, Chancellor of
about the gardening process. Everything       teaches children how to make healthy         BPCC; Andrea Master Everson (pictured),
from how to properly till the soil to         choices and remain healthy throughout        a veterinarian at Robinson’s Rescue in
why we need to water our plants. We           their lives.                                 Shreveport; and Dr. Jamie Catanese, a
are also creating a garden to see exactly         The Louisiana Body Walk is a 35-by       medical researcher at Baylor College of
how plants grow and provide the foods         45-foot interactive exhibit representing     Medicine in Houston.
we eat. At the end of the month we will       the human body. St. Joseph students took        Other featured fields at Career Day
be hosting a Tasting Party of all of our      a nine-stop tour of the body through the     2011 included a variety of those in
freshly grown snacks. We will be growing      brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine,      the medical profession, the arts, small
beans, tomatoes, greens and more! Happy       heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin at     business and sales, and information
Gardening from the students at OLBSA!         five-minute intervals. Their entire journey technology.

Pictured: Rite of Election at
St. Joseph Church on March 13,
2011. During the annual event,
catechumens who wish to enter the
Catholic Church publicaly affirm
their desire to join.

                                                                          Two Stories of Catholic Conversion
                                                                                   by Kim Long and Lori Mainiero

          im Long, RCIA class of 1988, and Lori Mainiero,               very much a part of who I am. I get almost giddy when we sing
         RCIA class of 1995, live and work in Shreveport, LA.           “Amazing Grace,” “Holy, Holy, Holy” or “How Great Thou Art”
           Both raised Baptist, they found the Catholic faith           during Mass. These songs from my childhood remind me of
in adulthood. Guided by the Holy Spirit on their individual             the modest sanctuary where we would gather to worship on
journeys, each found her own way to Catholicism. They met               Sundays and Wednesdays. And I have to admit, I am partial to
in 2007 at St. Mary of the Pines Church and immediately                 adult baptisms at the Easter Vigil because they remind me of
recognized in one another their Baptist foundations. Together           my own baptism as I was ‘lowered by baptism unto death, and
they collaborate in Parish School of Religion activities and            raised to walk in the newness of Christ!’”
co-author a blog where the challenges and joys of conversion                Growing up, Kim too knew few Catholics. “I grew up
are often a lively topic. Both are employed in the Church,              Southern Baptist like almost everyone else I knew. We went
Lori at the diocesan level and Kim at the parish level. At St.          to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday
Mary of the Pines Church Lori prepares children for their first         evenings and revivals when the pastor felt we needed them. It
Eucharist and Kim is on the RCIA team.                                  was its own kind of rhythm,” said Kim.
    Both Lori and Kim were raised in the Baptist church and                 “My mother played the piano for our church, my
credit the denomination with having a positive effect on their          grandmother was president of the Women’s Missionary Union.
upbringings.                                                                                             My sister and I were members
    “I grew up in the                                                                                    in good standing of the Girl’s
Baptist faith. Our weeks                                                                                 Auxiliary and I was pretty
included Sunday school,                                                                                  happy. I was baptized at an early
Sunday morning church                                                                                    age in the Baptist tradition, but
service, Sunday evening                                                                                  I knew what I wanted, thanks
church service, and                                                                                      to a Hallmark Hall of Fame
Wednesday evening                                                                                        presentation of the life of St.
service,” said Lori. “That                                                                               Joan of Arc; I wanted to be one
was our routine, and                                                                                     with God and I didn’t want to
it suited me just fine. I                                                                                wait, I wanted it now! So I was
knew only two Catholics                                                                                  baptized, dunked three times
during my adolescence,                                                                                   and things have never been the
and while I was curious                                                                                  same since.”
about their religion, my                                                                                    Despite enjoying their Baptist
own religion seemed to                                                                                   upbringings, both Lori and
forbid my investigation.” Lori Mainiero (top right) with 2010’s First Communion class at St. Mary of     Kim felt a calling for something
    Lori continued, “My       the Pines Catholic Church. Lori teaches Parish School of Religion at the   different, something more.
Baptist roots are still       church and works in the diocesan business office.                             “I often make the mistake of
12 Catholic Connection April 2011
saying that I ‘chose’ to become                                                                                      happy with their decisions
Catholic, as if no other power                                                                                       to convert and still look
outside of myself had any                                                                                            back upon their Baptist
impact on the decision. The                                                                                          roots as happy, formative
truth is that instead of my                                                                                          moments.
conversion being the result of                                                                                          For Lori, her family and
my own choosing, it was more                                                                                         past Baptist connections
of a calling,” said Lori.                                                                                            also serve as a teaching
    “As I entered college I                                                                                          tool for her children. “My
met many more people who                                                                                             children find it fascinating
practiced the Catholic faith.                                                                                        that my Baptist church
The devotion of these new                                                                                            only had communion
friends, while often not at                                                                                          services about four times
the forefront of the college                                                                                         a year. They laugh when
experience, was evident                                                                                              I tell them that as a
enough to impress me,” she                                                                                           child I would search the
added. “I believe God spoke                                                                                          communion plate for the
to me through my desire for           Kim Long (right) is the Director of Religious Education as St. Mary of the
                                                                                                                     biggest oyster-cracker I
routine and tradition, calling        Pines Catholic Church. Here she works with children in PSR.                    could find, and was always
me to the Catholic Church so                                                                                         willing to consume any
that He could better speak to                      man in a Catholic church, and would                               left-over grape juice!” said
me, and so my heart would be prepared to henceforth be Catholic myself and raise                      Lori. “This experience also allows me to
hear Him.”                                         Catholic children, my father was fit to            explain to my children with sensitivity
    Kim, on the other hand, was quite              be tied. ‘I’ll go to the wedding, but I’m          and accuracy the primary difference
literally “driven” to the Catholic Church.         not bowing to any statues and I’m not              between our Catholic faith and the
“I moved to Shreveport knowing only a              kissing anybody’s ring!’ he emphatically           Baptist tradition, emphasizing our
handful of people, none of whom were               declared. He has since softened up a bit           Catholic adoration and respect of the
Catholic. I drove past St. Mary of the             about my religious choices.”                       Holy Eucharist.”
Pines a lot, and one day my van, under                Lori felt that the transition from one             And while Kim continues on in her
the steam of the Holy Spirit, drove into           faith tradition to another has made                Catholic faith, she still reflects back
the parking lot,” said Kim. “I entered the         her more open and understanding of                 regularly to her moment of conversion.
Church, dark and smelling like only a              others’ choices. “I suppose coming                    “I reconnect with that initial
Catholic church can. I lit a candle, knelt in from another faith tradition makes me                   experience of conversion in unexpected
prayer and before I knew it was enrolled           more accepting of others’ traditions               ways. I reconnect when a parent with
in RCIA. I have never looked back.”                and more understanding when a fellow               whom I met with for a baptism seminar
    There were several elements about the          pilgrim journeys between faiths. I’ve              emails me photos of the blessed event.
Catholic faith Kim felt spoke to her needs. seen both sides. I know how it feels to                   I reconnect when I am present for the
“I came looking for a family, tradition            be questioned, even doubted, about the             First Holy Communion class’s big day
and history that was at once ancient and           security of my soul by those I love the            and realize I can remember the day
mine. I found it in Catholicism,” said             most,” said Lori. “And I know how it               several of these children were born and
Kim. “One of the definitions from which            feels to grow and develop deeper roots in baptized. I reconnect with it every year
I draw much comfort is that conversion             a new tradition that nourishes my soul             during Holy Week, especially on Holy
is a continual turning toward God. It was          in new ways, providing me with learning Thursday during the washing of the feet
a relief when I heard it for the first time        opportunities and recognition of my                and on Good Friday when I kneel before
and a relief when I think of it now. Relief        blessings…all because God led me out of the wood of the cross and begin to
because, like life, it is ongoing, a process,      my comfort zone.”                                  accept my part in the plan,” said Kim.
something I could grow into.”                         Kim too feels that converting from                 “I came looking for family and found
    And while Lori too felt that she was           the Baptist faith to Catholicism helps             so much more; a God who feeds me and
answering God’s call by joining the                her relate better to other people, “I love         satisfies all my hunger, a family who
Catholic Church, it wasn’t always smooth           my Baptist roots, and feel as though this          is present week after week, a liturgical
sailing.                                           experience is laid over all that foundation. year whose rhythm gently propels me
    “Conversion is not an easy process.            I can speak in Baptist-ease and frequently forward, and a paschal mystery that is at
A person considering a change in faith             laugh with Lori about channeling my                once personal, communal and universal.
tradition is often faced with opposition           inner Baptist. But the Catholic Church is          I was given the charge to go out and
from friends and family. There is always           home. This is where the Lord led me and            become the hands and feet of Christ
fear of the unknown. And there was                 this is where I am happy.”                         in my family, parish, community and
certainly no shortage of opposition when              Now though, both Kim and Lori are               world. We find what we seek. Thanks be
I decided to join the Catholic Church,”            fulfilled and happy to call themselves             to God!”
said Lori. “When I told my Baptist                 Catholic. Their spirituality has immersed             Both Lori and Kim are mothers and
parents that I was marrying a Catholic             itself in their lives in every way. Both are       daughters, “saved” and “catechized.” •

What is the R.C.I.A.?                                                  Fr. Thomas Elavunkal Arrives at
                                                                       St. Joseph Church in Shreveport
                                                                       by Kevin Nolton

Those preparing to enter the church through RCIA participate in the
annual Rite of Election. (CNS photo/Andy Telli, Tennessee Register)

        he Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the
        process by which adults prepare to join the Catholic
        Church. The process is patterned on the practices from the
earliest centuries of the Church. The ritual text, promulgated in
                                                                       Fr. Thomas answers a question from Ross Elston at St. Joseph School.
1972, describes how the Church is to bring new members into

its communal life. For unbaptized adults, this journey of faith                 t. Joseph Church in Shreveport was blessed with the
unfolds in a four step process, marked with suitable liturgical                 arrival of our new Parochial Vicar, Fr. Thomas Elavunkal.
rites. The first step is the Pre-catechumenate, a time for asking               Fr. Thomas was assigned to St. Joseph in November from
questions and receiving answers. Inquirers get to know us and          his native country of India. His home city is Kottangal in the
we get to know them. With the help of God, the inquirer feels          District of Pathanamthitta in the state of Kerala. He was born on
called away from sin and drawn into the mystery of God’s love.         February 23, 1968, as the fifth child of seven.
    When inquirers are ready to proceed, they enter into the              Being an ordained priest for 13 years, Fr. Thomas arrived at
second step, called the Catechumenate. This step indicates a           St. Joseph, a parish so large and diverse, with eyes wide open.
deeper level of commitment in which the inquirer, now known            He did not waste any time getting involved. An elevated level
as a catechumen, becomes more fully engaged in the life of             of excitement came upon him when he discovered St. Joseph
the Christian community. The catechumenate period includes             School and the numerous activities going in academia as well
instruction in Scripture and doctrine, immersion in prayer and         as athletics. This opened an immediate comfort and connection
the moral life of the community, liturgical worship and apostolic      with home. Before his arrival in the states he was the principal
witness. The goal of these activities is to achieve conversion of      of an English school in India. He says, “I miss my family and
heart and mind and to nurture a life with the spirit of Christ.        the children with whom I was working with for the last 10
    A period of Purification and Enlightenment, which                  years. However, I like the people of this parish very much. They
customarily coincides with Lent, is the third step. This period is     are friendly, cooperative, loving, caring, open and frank. I feel
a time for spiritual recollection in preparation for the celebration   as if I am at home. The people here are highly spiritual and
of the paschal mystery. In addition, this period is intended to        hold Christian values important.”
enlighten the minds and hearts of catechumen, now called the              Since his arrival he has participated in many church and
elect, with a deeper knowledge of Christ the Savior.                   school activities with eagerness and enthusiasm, including
    At the high point of the Triduum celebration, the Easter           judging the St. Joseph School Spelling Bee, participating in SJS
Vigil, the elect are admitted into the people of God through           Pep Rallies, PSR classes, meeting with many ministries and
the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and         participating in social events with parishioners.
eucharist. The elect are graced with adoption as children of God          One of the most memorable moments with Fr. Thomas was
and are led by the Holy Spirit into the promised fullness of time      at a celebration on campus with live music and dancing. Susan
and, as they share in the Eucharistic sacrifice and meal, even to a    Belanger, St. Joseph School Principal, along with some of the
foretaste of the kingdom of God.                                       parish staff, brought Fr. Thomas to the dance floor and taught
    The final period is the period of postbaptismal catechesis or      him a great American dance… The Cupid Shuffle!
mystagogy. This is a time for the community and the elect, now            Fr. Thomas is very active and enjoys shooting hoops on the
called neophytes, to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal      hardwood. However, don’t think you can challenge him to a
mystery and in making it part of their lives through meditation        one-on-one because he will run circles around you – trust me,
on the Gospel, sharing in the eucharist, and works of charity.         I know! He has developed a great love for hamburgers and
    Previously baptized candidates who wish to be received into        Olive Garden, but still enjoys taking friends to the area Indian
full communion of the Catholic Church may enter into a process         restaurants to “spice” up their appetites.
modeled on the catechumenate. All baptized Christians are                 When asked about the climate of Louisiana, he is quick to
to receive both doctrinal and spiritual preparation adapted to         tell you he enjoyed experiencing his first snow, not only in the
individual pastoral requirements.                                      U.S., but in his life. “I like the cool climate and the salubrious
    Each one of us has the responsibility and the privilege to serve   surroundings here. It’s very neat and clean, calm and quiet”,
as evangelizers, faithfully and constantly proclaiming the living      Fr. Thomas says. We haven’t quite told him about the July and
God and Jesus Christ who he has sent for the salvation of all.         August weather – he might be in for a surprise…
    *Information from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults          Welcome Father Thomas, we are so glad to have you with us!

14 Catholic Connection April 2011
Aging is Extraordinary ‘Spiritual Material’                                                 Catholic Charities Helps
by Sr. Martinette Rivers, ols                                                               Community by Anita Crafts,
                                                                                            Catholic Charities of Shreveport

                                                                                            Adam Smith, right, an employee of the Catholic
                                                                                            Charities in Washington, helps an unemployed

         ging is the most extraordinary                                                     man search for a job. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
                                              with the creative spirituality going on

         ‘spiritual material’ we have in      this very moment because aging is a                   ough economic times can be even
         our grasp at the moment. God         force ordained by God to teach us to                  tougher for non-profit organizations,
uses many different devices, tools so         be our authentic selves and help us to                with more people needing help and
to speak, and even our aging as new           feel spiritually exhilarated by all the       fewer who can give. Catholic Charities would
‘spiritual material,’ so listen to what       changes taking place in our lives.            like you to “meet” a few of our clients and see
your heart says. “You will find me                There is no doubt about it, aging is      how your generosity has helped.
there,” says God, “and I shall make all       a spiritual process. God is the solution         Most had managed to make ends meet until
things new.”                                  to all our problems as we age. Let’s          unexpected circumstances disrupted their
   Some of the greatest gifts of our          become spiritual mentors of aging for         lives. For Mary and Tanya, it was a medical
aging can be found as we take a walk          others and leave our aging heartprints        crisis. Mary* was a teacher who suddenly
down memory lane and refresh our              as our legacy.                                had to undergo surgery, twice. Her disability
aging minds.                                      Try saying this prayer I wrote for        check was less than her regular pay, plus she
   Perhaps my heart remained open to          you, as prayer can move away all the          had additional medical expenses. Tanya* was
the beauty of aging as I aged gracefully,     mountains we have to climb as we grow         a single mother struggling to raise her three
and thereby I was able to gift others         older.                                        children with the wages from her job at a fast-
with that beauty. What an incredible          Prayer of an Ager                             food restaurant.When her mother became ill,
gift! Another gift is your special                As I age, dear Lord, ever so quietly,     Tanya had to take time off work to help her.
connectedness with God and others.            in the middle of the night so it seems...     Fortunately, Catholic Charities was able to
The gift of a smile when others were          When everything is so still... Only You       help with some of their utility bills and prevent
sad. Comforting someone on a difficult        are here beside me.                           their services from being disconnected.
day. Giving preference to Church, God             In my heart I pray...                        The economy has negatively impacted
and others rather than thinking always            Ageless Spirit of God, I adore You.       some of our clients, such as Carlos* and his
of yourself. One does not sit still all the       Ageless Heart of God, I adore You.        family. It took both his and his wife’s salaries
time, but tries to unfold a new blessing          Ageless Mind of God, I worship You.       to raise their daughter, but then Carlos was
each season of their lives. If you fold           Ageless Love of God, I love You.          laid off work. As with Mary and Tanya,
your chair and put it away, you are no            Ageless Compassion of God, I praise       Catholic Charities was able to help keep
longer being a blessing and the gift God      You.                                          their electricity on during one of the coldest
wants you to be. You are hiding behind            Enfold me, Gentle Wonder whom I           months of the year.
a veil of self-absorption and that is not     adore, in your divine embrace. Hold me           Sometimes we can work with other
good. We can consume ourselves in             close to your heart, for it is there we can   agencies, as we did for Janine.* Janine was
this way.                                     become one.                                   in an abusive relationship and feared for the
   Most people I know who behave                  Be my comfort Lord as I try to sort       safety of her two young children as well as
in this manner as they age, over use          out all this “aging mess.” Awesome One        herself. She wanted to return to her family in
medication, keeping the medical               of my life, give me the strength and          the Northwest where relatives could provide a
system more alive than they keep              courage to remain open to your gentle         safe environment for them. However, she had
themselves. Their ‘organ recitals’ about      whisperings in the stillness of the night,    no way to afford such a trip. Catholic Charities
their illnesses continue and they need        so as I awaken tomorrow the new day           worked with the Society of St. Vincent de
an attitude adjustment immediately,           will bring me into your presence again. It    Paul and Centerpoint Community Services to
not more medication.                          is in your presence, moment by moment,        get bus tickets for Janine and her children to
   Let’s allow our personality to be          that my aging life will find new courage      return to her home state.
transformed so we can see beyond              and hope to carry me through another             Thank you for enabling us to help people
the physical way of life by looking           day and into the future you have              such as Mary, Tanya, Carlos and Janine.
into our spiritual life. Be in touch          planned for me. Amen.                            *Names have been changed.
 The Altar Society: A                             excitement lies at Easter. I
                                                  contacted Mrs. Conchita
 Holy, Silent Ministry                            Mueller, who is a prominent
by Katie Sciba                                    part of the Cathedral’s

   t’s second-nature for most Catholics:          Altar Society. When I asked
   you step into the church and dip your          what the group will do in
   fingers in the Holy Water that seems           preparation for the greatest
to never run out. Glancing over heads             Christian feast, she laughed
and shoulders to find a seat, you pass by         and said, “Oh we will be
statues of saints that never have dust on         doing a lot!” and then
them. The altar is resplendent – adorned          enumerated the tasks that
with shining candlesticks and brilliant           they will take on: preparing
white linens, pressed and perfect. Off to         the Holy Oils and ensuring Members of the Cathedral of St. John Berchman’s altar society.
the side, the paten and chalice look brand        the vessels are clean, and
new from being recently polished, ready           stripping the church of all                   there is God calls us to prepare [the Mass]
to be vessels for the Body and Blood of           decoration to prepare for the Good Friday and I feel blessed that it is He who called
Christ. Coming here every week, you               service; “After Holy Thursday [Mass],         us. It makes you feel pleased – God gives
never hear the silent prayers of the Altar        when everybody leaves, we undress             you an opportunity to serve Him in a way
Society, but you can certainly see them.          everything and it gives you that sense of     not everybody does.” She also commented
   At many parish churches, the Altar             emptiness. No candlesticks. No linens. No that participating in the Altar Society very
Society is an invisible presence, working         holy water. We put everything away. Even much enhances her experience of the
in between Sundays and other feasts,              the Host goes to the Chapel.” The Altar       Mass, “It just makes you conscious of how
attending to the details that lay below the       Society is also responsible for preparing     holy everything is that Christ touches.”
radar of most of the congregation. The            and setting up over 500 candles for the          Altar Societies are found at most
entire focus of their ministry is reverence       Easter Vigil Mass. All of this in addition to parishes; consider offering yourself to
for the Body and Blood of Christ in the           the regular to-dos on their list.             their holy service or at least thanking
form of bread and wine, and they take                 Linens are washed and ironed in a         them and God for serving. Mueller closed
care that not a sacred crumb or drop of           special way and the vessels are purified      by reflecting, “As long as you serve with
either is lost.                                   carefully; the significance of these details  devotion and with faith and with joy,
    While the Altar Society is busy the           lies in the ministry behind them. Mueller when you do things great or small with so
whole liturgical year, the time of most           happily told me, “The reason that we are      much love, it pleases God.”

Pro-Life News: 40                                                                                  APRIL INTERCESSIONS FOR LIFE
                                                                                                           from the USCCB
Adoration Hours for Life
by Roxie Tabor                                                                                      April 3, Fourth Sunday of Lent: For all
                                                                                                  persons with serious disabilities and for their

        ent offers an important opportunity                                                        families: that our parish and all Christians
        to reflect in awe at God’s Gift of Life                                                     throughout the world will be generous in
        to all of us. As Catholics we cherish                                                            helping to care for their needs;
that gift in all its forms from birth until                                                                    We pray to the Lord.
natural death. We recognize the beauty of
God’s ongoing presence in a special way:                                                             April 10, Fifth Sunday of Lent: For all
Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist.          weekend Masses.                                 persons with serious disabilities and for their
Many of us will spend an adoration hour              Pope John Paul II’s call to all of us was:    families: that our parish and all Christians
or hours in front of the Holy Eucharist as        “A great prayer for life is urgently needed,      throughout the world will be generous in
part of our Lenten observance.                    a prayer which will rise up throughout the             helping to care for their needs;
   St. Joseph Church in Shreveport is             world. Through special initiatives and in                    We pray to the Lord.
offering a special “40 Hours of Adoration”        daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise
dedicated to “Life Issues” during the             to God, the Creator and lover of life, from      April 17, Palm Sunday: For the innocent
week of our Lord’s passion for all who are        every Christian community, from every             children tortured and killed in abortion
interested. The 40 Hours will begin in the        group and association, from every family         clinics: that their suffering may be joined
Church on Tuesday, April 19 at 8:30 p.m.          and from the heart of every believer.” Pope       to that of Our Lord’s on the cross for the
with a Benediction Service and procession         John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no.10            forgiveness and salvation of their parents;
to the Adoration Chapel. The chapel will             How very appropriate for us to give                       We pray to the Lord.
accommodate up to nine adorers for each           an Hour in Eucharistic Adoration for the
of the hours. A closing prayer service            Gift of Life in this the year of Pope John      April 24, Easter Sunday: The Solemnity of
will held on Holy Thursday at 12:00 p.m.          Paul II’s beatification! If you would like      the Resurrection of the Lord: For the elderly
Special sign-ups for the hours will be held       to participate in any of the hours please        members of our parish family: that the joy
on the weekends of April 2 and 3, and 9           contact the St. Joseph Church Office, 318-      of the Resurrection will fill their sunset years
and 10 at St. Joseph Church following the         865-3581, or Roxie Tabor 318-773-1027.           with hope and peace; We pray to the Lord.
 16 Catholic Connection April 2011
Fuller Center Preps for “Catholic Work Day”                                                 Because “It’s The Right
by Jerry Rowe                                                                               Thing to Do” by Wendy C. Gayle,
                                                                                            Counselor, St. John Berchmans School

                                                                                            Student Hannah Pham is confined to a wheelchair.

Fuller Center volunteers work on a house for a family who cannot qualify for a mortgage.            he motto at St. John Berchmans School

           arch 26 marked another             whose actions are an expression of God’s              is “Kindness is Practiced Here.” That
           milestone in the faith-driven      love and compassion, bring blessings                  declaration is being taken seriously. We
           and Christ-centered mission        to those in need using charitable tools       have an urgent need and our students and
of The Fuller Center for Housing of           and giving of their own time and/or           community are leading the way to meet it.
NWLA. On this day the organization            money, surely complete the definition of         Last winter Hannah Pham was an
began construction on their 43rd              “ministry.”                                   active kindergartner. Suddenly Hannah
home in the Allendale Subdivision of             You can get involved by completing         was hospitalized, unable to move from the
Shreveport.                                   three PDF forms that may be                   waist down. Hannah had contracted a rare
   To support the construction of this        downloaded from the Fuller Center             neurological disorder, transverse myelitis, that
home, the Fuller Center has set aside a       website (         left her paralyzed. Confined to a wheelchair,
special Saturday, April 30, as a “Catholic    volunteer) and bringing them with you         she remains a happy, hard-working, bright
Work Day.” ALL Catholic faithful are          on the “Catholic Work Day.” Or you may        student. She is truly a joyful child and a
invited to become partners of hope            arrive early and complete this series of      member of our “family” at St. John’s.
for the 43rd family selected for home         forms on site. The home site is located          Hannah’s first grade classroom is located
ownership.                                    at 1937 Alston Street in Shreveport.          on the first floor of the school. However, the
   As a Catholic community of faith we        Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. and      library and computer lab are located on the
can be a part of the effort to provide a      work should begin around 8:30 a.m. The        second floor, and St. John’s does not have an
home to a family who currently has four       work day is planned to be four hours          elevator. Hannah’s uncle comes to St. John’s
generations living in the same space.         and if you need any help completing this      several times a week to carry her upstairs
Some of the family members suffer             process, you can contact Jerry Rowe at        for these classes. Our second through eighth
from medical conditions that inhibit          318-752-9491 for assistance.                  grade classrooms are also located upstairs. For
their ability to qualify for conventional        The contributions and labor of             Hannah to remain at St. John’s, an elevator
methods of home ownership. Their              tremendous partners, supporters and           must be installed at the cost of $154,000.
unified hope is that their qualification      volunteers over the past six years have          St. John’s has been actively seeking funds
and selection for a no interest, non-profit   enabled the Fuller Center of NWLA to          for the elevator. Through many generous
mortgage and new home ownership,              provide the blessing of restoring faith       donations and ambitious fundraising efforts,
provided through the Fuller Center,           and hope to others. They have enabled 42      our students and others have collected over
will provide them with a foundation for       families to have a “home of their own.”       $50,000. I have been personally touched by
breaking their personal cycle of poverty.     Bishop Duca has recognized the mission        the outpouring of support from our own
   The real impact of The Fuller Center       of this organization in correspondence:       students. “Because it’s the right thing to do,”
of NWLA is felt when you realize that         “There are so many good works done            one fifth grader emptied his bank account
the organization is a “ministry of the        for those in the community from which         and gave over $400. His brother was saving
faithful.” To date the Fuller Center of       we do not see visible results. Building a     for “retirement” and gave his “life savings” of
NWLA has completed 42 new homes,              home for someone who needs it and has         $550. Many other students were also inspired
43 rehabbed homes, four handicapped           personally dedicated countless hours          to give their own money and have given over
ramps and is currently working on the         does show visible results; it enables us to   $2500. The Boy Scouts had a bake sale and
renovation of a building that will open       see the work of our hands. We know that       raised over $900. Loyola College Prep has
as a community grocery store. This is         we assisted a particular family not for a     raised over $1100. No one at Minden High
an investment of over 3 million dollars!      day, but for many years to come.”             School knows Hannah personally, but they
I think all of us would agree that these         Please come and join the group of          have organized a “Hands for Hannah” drive
numbers are huge. But these are just          faithful on April 30 and see your work        and rummage sale to help fund the elevator.
numbers, for as written in Psalm 127:1        bring forth Millard Fuller’s “Economics          St. John’s family is overwhelmed by the
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they       of Jesus.” Skilled and unskilled volunteers   generosity of friends and strangers. We are a
labor in vain who build”. Faith builders,     are needed for many tasks.                    third of the way to our goal of $154,000!
Hispanic Corner                                                                                Misas
por Rosalba Quiroz                                                                             Bossier City: Christ the King Church
                                                                                               425 McCormick St.
Pascua, tiempo de Fe,                                                                          Bossier City
Esperanza y Caridad.                                                                           Sábado 7:00 p.m.

        roclamamos, “Cristo es nuestra                                                         Domingo 3:00 p.m.
        Luz”. Con esta simple acción                                                           Lunes 7:00 p.m.
        proclamamos la verdad de que en                                                        Confesiones 45 minutos antes
un mundo oscuro con el pecado, la luz                                                           de Misa
de Cristo estalla con su Resurrección. En                                                      Marilú Rodriguez Tel: 318-286-1492
este momento histórico la Luz vence a la
                                                                                               Farmerville: Our Lady of
oscuridad del pecado, se llevó a cabo la
                                                                                               Perpetual Help Church
redención, la eternidad de nuestras vidas se
                                                                                               600 E. Water Street
reveló y la esperanza se restableció.           fáciles o racionalizar en nuestra integridad   Farmerville
   En cada era existen causas que nos           moral. Así es que robamos un poquito,          Sábado 7:00 p.m.
hacen sentir la oscuridad alrededor y hoy,      hacemos trampa y hasta mentimos por            Rev. Al Jost Tel: 318-243-0115
con los recientes problemas económicos,         temor y porque creemos que esa es la única
con los desastres naturales y tantos            manera de pasar por los tiempos difíciles.     Mansfield: St. Joseph Church
problemas de nuestros tiempos, nos              ¡NO! En los momentos de crisis y tiempos       305 Jefferson Street
sentimos en la oscuridad. Parece tan oscura     difíciles es cuando más necesitamos            Mansfield
que se siente imposible sobrepasarla. Pero      confiar en el camino del Señor. Escuchen       2do Domingo 2:00 p.m.
el poder maravilloso de la luz es que no        las enseñanzas de la Iglesia y actúen con      y 3er Martes 6:30 p.m.
importa que tan oscuro esté, el sirio por       fe – que Jesus es el Camino, La Verdad y la    Juanita Ibarra Tel: 318-872-5390
muy pequeño que sea tiene el poder de           Vida.                                          Minden: St. Paul Church
vencer esa oscuridad. Nosotros somos               La resurrección también nos llama a         410 Fincher Road
gente de la Pascua. Somos hijos de la Luz.      ser gente Caritativa. Una de las mejores       Minden
Llenémonos de la Luz de Cristo y ella           sanaciones de la caridad es salir de nuestro   2do y 4to Viernes 7:00 p.m.
dispersará la oscuridad de nuestras vidas y     pequeño mundo de preocupaciones y              Margarita Bratton Tel: 318-377-9684
nos liberará para que vivamos como gente        ayudar a otros. Nuestro amor crea una luz
de esperanza, fe y caridad.                     que disipa la oscuridad en nuestras vidas y    Oak Grove: Sacred Heart Church
   Como gente de Esperanza podemos              en las vidas de otros.                         201 Purvis St
enfrentar la oscuridad de la crucifixión           La madre Teresa de Calcuta nos              Oak Grove
sabiendo que la esperanza de la                 recuerda que, “Nunca dejemos llenar            Domingo 5:00 p.m.
resurrección es aún más grande. En efecto,      nuestro corazón de tristeza al punto que       Feliciano y Rosa Alviso Martinez
es todavía más grande que la cruz de Jesus,     olvidemos el poder de la Resurrección          Tel: 318-428-2137
por eso es que su muerte es ahora una señal     de Jesucristo.” Así que no te llenes de
de esperanza. Nuestra esperanza en Cristo       oscuridad. La luz ha vencido la oscuridad.     Ruston: St. Thomas Aquinas Church
no es que todo va a salir como nosotros         ¡Ten Esperanza en el Señor!                    810 Carey Ave.
queremos, sino que enfrentando cualquier           ¡Alégrate creación toda!                    Ruston
dificultad, inclusive la muerte, el Señor nos      ¡Jesucristo, nuestro Rey ha Resucitado!     2do y 4to Domingo 2:30 p.m.
mostrará Su amor redentor.                         ¡Suenen las campanas de la Salvación!       Soledad Broyles Tel: 318-243-1958
   Como gente de Fe pasamos nuestras               ¡Cristo ha vencido!                         Shreveport: St. Mary of the Pines
vidas a veces con retos de ética y                 ¡Reine la Gloria!                           Church
de moral por nuestras creencias.                   ¡La oscuridad se desaparece por siempre!    1050 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop
Desafortunadamente en tiempos difíciles            (Oración de la proclamación de la           Shreveport
tenemos la tentación de buscar salidas          Pascua)                                        Domingo 1:00 p.m.
 Calendario de Abril del 2011                                                                  Carmen Bradford Tel: 318-455-2300

 9-10 Escuela de Ministerios: Liturgia y Sacramentos Sábado de 9a.m. a 8p.m. y                 West Monroe: St. Paschal Church
      domingo de 9a.m. a 2p.m. Centro Católico, 3500 Fairfield Avenue,                         711 N 7th Street
      Shreveport. Esta clase es fundamental y muy necesaria para conocer                       West Monroe
      más sobre nuestra iglesia y sus enseñanzas. Llamarnos para registrarte.                  Domingo 2:30 p.m.
                                                                                               Lorena Chaparro Tel: 318-651-9136
 19     Misa del Santo Crisma, Catedral de St. John Berchmans, Shreveport,
        5:30 p.m.
                                                                                                  Rosalba QuiRoz, DiRectoRa Del
                                                                                                 MinisteRio Hispano 318-219-7265 •
 21-23 Triduo Pascual (Última Cena, Muerte de Jesús y sábado en el Sepulcro)                     Rev. al Jost, cooRDinaDoR De la
                                                                                                  vicaRía Del este • 318-243-0115
 24     Domingo de Resurrección. Comienzo del Tiempo Pascual.

18 Catholic Connection April 2011
In Book, Pope Presents Jesus as
Reconciler, Not Political Revolutionary
by John Thavis, Catholic News Service

        ATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his new volume on Jesus of
        Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI presents the passion and
        resurrection of Christ as history-changing events that
answer humanity’s unceasing need to be reconciled with God.
    The 384-page book, titled Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week -- From
the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, was officially
released March 10. The pope had worked for several years on the
text, the second in his series exploring the main events of Jesus’
public ministry.
    In a foreword, the pope said he did not set out to write another
chronological “Life of Jesus,” but instead to present the figure and
message of “the real Jesus” -- not a political revolutionary and not
a mere moralist, but the son of God who inaugurated a new path
of salvation based on the power of love.
    Through his sacrifice on the cross and his institution of the
church, Jesus carried out a universal mission: “leading the world
away from the condition of man’s alienation from God and from
himself.” It’s a mission that continues today, the pope wrote.
    The book analyzes the key events of Jesus final days, including
the cleansing of the temple, the Last Supper, his betrayal,
                                                                        A nun reads the just released volume of Jesus of Nazareth by Pope
his interrogations before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate,             Benedict XVI in a book store in Rome. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)
his crucifixion and his appearances to the disciples after his
resurrection.                                                           the pope said, Jesus would be merely “a failed religious leader.”
    Throughout the text, Pope Benedict examines the scriptural             The pope said some of the strongest evidence for the
interpretation of early church fathers and contemporary scholars,       authenticity of the resurrection was to be found in the Scripture
rejecting some arguments and affirming or elaborating on others.        accounts of the disciples’ encounters with the risen Christ. Jesus
Prominently cited was Rudolf Bultmann, the late 20th-century            is presented as being present physically, yet not bound by physical
German Protestant scholar of the New Testament.                         laws, and is not immediately recognized. All of this is presented
    The pope said it was important to understand that the events        “clumsily” in the Gospel narratives, which make them all the more
recounted in the Scriptures are historically grounded and actually      credible, reflecting the disciples’ genuine amazement, he said.
occurred and are not simply stories or ideas. For example, he said,        After his resurrection, Jesus was not a “ghost” or a mere
if Jesus did not actually give his disciples bread and wine as his      “resuscitated corpse,” but one who has entered a new life in the
body and blood at the Last Supper, then “the church’s eucharistic       power of God, the pope said. This comes through clearly in the
celebration is empty -- a pious fiction.”                               Gospel accounts, he said.
    Likewise, he said, Christ’s actual resurrection from the dead is       In fact, he said, the resurrection does not contradict science but
foundational for the church. Without it, he said, “Christian faith      speaks of something outside our world of experience, a further
itself would be dead.”                                                  dimension. He then posed a series of questions to underline that a
    At the same time, he acknowledged that the historical record        “new dimension of reality” should not be rejected out of hand by
about Jesus is not always complete and said that “if the certainty of   modern thinking.
faith were dependent upon scientific-historical verification alone,        “Is not creation actually waiting for this last and highest
it would always remain open to revision.” He took issue with the        ‘evolutionary leap,’ for the union of the finite with the infinite, for
“historical Jesus” movement in scriptural scholarship, saying it has    the union of man and God, for the conquest of death?” he said.
“focused too much on the past for it to make possible a personal           In essence, he said, Jesus’ resurrection made that leap, ‘creating
relationship with Jesus.”                                               for all of us a new space of life, a new space of being in union with
    The pope took critical aim at scholars who have interpreted         God.’ As such, the Resurrection was an event that broke out of
Christ’s passion in political terms and sought to portray Jesus         history yet “left a footprint within history,” he said.
as a “political agitator.” On the contrary, the pope wrote, Jesus          In a brief epilogue, the pope looked at the ascension of
inaugurated a “nonpolitical Messianic kingdom” in a world where         Christ into heaven, a concept that may be difficult for people to
the political and the religious had been inseparable.                   understand, he said. With the ascension, Jesus’ presence with God
    The book generally steered clear of commentary on                   is not “spatial” but divine.
contemporary issues, but on the issue of nonviolence, the pope             Christians believe that Christ will return and restore justice in a
added that “the cruel consequences of religiously motivated             final triumph of love, he said. In the meantime, what is required of
violence are only too evident to us all.”                               Christians is vigilance -- which means, first of all, “openness to the
    The book’s final chapter examines the resurrection from the         good, to the truth, to God, in the midst of an often meaningless
dead as “the crucial point” of Jesus’ life. Without the resurrection,   world and in the midst of the power of evil,” he said.

Catholic Campus Ministry a Thriving St. Joseph Youth Plan Jamaican
Support Network at LA Tech by Rose Serio Mission by Kevin Nolten & Lindsay Gallmann

                                                                       Bailey Monsour, Grace Ann McCurdy, Luke Matschek, Zach Dubiel
                                                                       and Natalie Rech draw Mardi Gras Parade goers in to park on St.
                                                                       Joseph Campus.

The 2010-2011 campus ministry leadership team gets down to business.
                                                                                 ne simple word, “love” can be the fruit of all blessings

       here is rarely a quiet moment at the Catholic Student                     in our relationship with Christ, and especially in the
       Center in Ruston. Occasionally the video games are                        relationship with others. This theme of “love”, though
       interrupted when ‘Idol’ fans take over the television.          on the surface sounds a little wishy-washy for a group of teens,
When the ping pong and pool tables are quiet, small crowds of          is in fact an inspiration to do work with others and for others,
engineering students are heard struggling through complicated          all for the greater mission.
math problems. Forty to 50 students pass through the lounge,               This theme of love has impacted the “mission” of the High
library, and great room each day looking to relax, get a snack,        School Mission Trip. The youth of our parish, along with
study and catch up with their friends.                                 the CORE Team of adults have heard the call to discern an
   Yes, the Catholic Student Center is an active place, but it’s not   opportunity to work in the poverty stricken areas of Eastern
just about fun and games. The students who come here form a            Jamaica. Thirty youth and adults, including Fr. Karl Daigle,
supportive, inclusive community where new people are invited           have answered the call and will be spending the last week of
in and old friends are remembered fondly. They help each other         June building homes, working in orphanages and bringing
with challenging homework, choosing teachers, and especially           Christ to impoverished areas near St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. We
with their walk with God.                                              will be joining Catholic Heart Work Camp, whose mission is to
   After a bad day, one can always find a sympathetic ear or a         “share the love of Jesus and serve the neglected, broken hearted
partner in prayer. On Sundays and Wednesdays, the students go          and marginalized in any way needed.
to Mass together and encourage those who are hesitant. When                “God does not call the equipped and qualified; he equips
they can’t make it to Mass, they create other opportunities to         and qualifies the called.” This calling comes with great
pray together, like the rosary and eucharistic adoration.              challenges and obstacles – planning itineraries, organizing
   But why do they do this? Who is behind it all? Ultimately,          paperwork and balancing the spiritual throughout the
the Holy Spirit is behind it. Humanly speaking though, it is the       busywork. But the CORE team has chosen to focus on the
students. Many gifted people support the students’ efforts, but        heart of the matter. To prepare spiritually for this mission, the
the driving force behind everything at the Catholic Student            CORE team has arranged a very deep and thought provoking
Center is the students themselves. The newest leadership team          spiritual enhancement which challenges the youth to step out
was elected last month and will serve for one year. At their           of their comfort zones. And by incorporating these lessons
retreat before taking office, one leader said what the organization    into their American lives today, the high schoolers are arming
needs most is to love each other, and they are ready to live that      themselves with the strength and love they will need while
challenge. They set a goal to encourage more communal prayer           sharing Christ in Jamaica this summer.
and study of the Faith while maintaining the atmosphere that has           Another challenge is raising the funds to transform the
made so many new students welcome here.                                vision of this mission into a reality. This area of uncertainty
   While most people in their early 20’s are eager to redefine         is where faith in God’s will becomes a stronghold. And the
themselves and reshape the world around them, these young              youth of St. Joseph believe in God’s will and that He will
people are turning to the Church, not away from it. They find          “equip and qualify” them with the means to make this mission
here a safe haven where they know they will always be accepted         a reality. The youth have put on many fundraisers including
regardless of how they define themselves. Here, they find hands        letter-writing campaigns and selling holiday pastries, Lenten
and hearts ready to help them re-shape the world into something        devotional booklets and Mardi Gras Parade parking spots. The
beautiful. This place, this Church where they have found a home,       biggest fundraiser will be the Garage Sale Extravaganza on
is one that shows them the love of Christ. And they come not           Saturday, April 9 in the St. Joseph Activity Center.
only to receive that love but to participate in it and share it.           The work ethic, attitude and passion these high schoolers
   While their peers in other parts of the world have bonded           possess is beyond shocking. More impressively, the love and
together to combat injustice, the young adults at the Catholic         compassion they have for Christ and others has destined them
Student Center have bonded together under the name of Christ.          to do great things for our community and other nations. It
And they too are accomplishing great things.                           truly is exciting to see this all unfold! Amen, Alleluia, Glory!
20 Catholic Connection April 2011
Around the Diocese

   1                                                             2

   3                                                                        4                                          5

1. St. Jude Music Makers Join             students for their hard work in taking        4. Calling Catholics Home
in During Mass                            this step in their spiritual journey.         Began at the Cathedral
                                             Confirmands were: Anna Brocato,
S    t. Jude “Music Makers” and “Music
     Masters” joined the Adult Choir
at 11:00 a.m. Mass. The youth group is
                                          Patrick Davis, Erin Ducote, Chris
                                          Fenton, Tamerick Gilyard, Sera Hedrick,
                                                                                        O    n March 2, the Calling Catholics
                                                                                             Home program started at the
                                                                                        Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. The
                                          Joseph Ligon, Christopher Maples, Amy
made up of 4- to 10-year-old children                                                   program aims to assist “fallen away”
                                          Nguyen, Sarah Pousson, Anya Stawasz,
who sing, play the bells and recorders to Michaela Stawasz, Audrey Stephenson,          Catholics who are interested in coming
praise the Lord. The group is led by Anne Trevor Stevens, Ricky Urbanowski and          back to the Church. Talks are presented
Wise, Tamara Dant, Patsy Remedies and Caroline Vanchiere.                               each week and participants engage in
Victoria Sloan.                                                                         group discussions. Pictured: Kathy
                                          3. St. Mary of the Pines PSR                  Snelling talks to Calling Catholics Home
2. Cathedral of St. John                  Celebrated Mardi Gras                         participants at the first weekly meeting
Berchmans Celebrated                                                                    on March 2.
Confirmation                              S    tudents of the PSR program at St.
                                               Mary’s celebrated Mardi Gras in style

C    ongratulations to the St. John
     Berchmans eighth grade students
who received the sacrament of
                                          during the last class before Lent. Kings
                                          and Queens from each grade level paraded
                                                                                        5. Youth Rally Given Donation

                                                                                        M     r. Ed McGowan presented
                                                                                              Diocesan Director of Youth and
                                          through the parish hall led by Chris
Confirmation on Sunday, February          Ebarb. As an additional treat, Mrs. Ebarb     Young Adult Ministries, John Vining,
27 at the Cathedral of St. John           entertained the students by playing some      with a helpful donation in support of
Berchman. Bishop Duca and Fr. Peter       Cajun tunes on her fiddle. At the end of      the Diocesan Teen Rally “Be Renewed”
Mangum presided over the Mass and         the evening students sang the Alleluia        which was held in Shreveport on March
Confirmation. We are very proud of the    before “burying” it for the season of Lent.   12th.

Upcoming Events                            April 10, after the 9:00 a.m. Mass. The
                                           holy hours are part of our ongoing attempt             Lenten Reconciliation
ONGOING THROUGH APRIL 6:                   to answer the Lord’s challenge to us: “The              Services: Western
COMMUNITY GRIEF GROUP St. Jude harvest is great but the laborers are few;                               Deanery

Church in Bossier City has a community     pray to the harvest Master to send laborers
                                           for his harvest.”                                          ent is a 40-day liturgical
grief support group for adults and teens                                                              season of fasting, prayer, and
experiencing the loss of a loved one. The  MAY 3: “LIFE HAPPENS ALONG                                 almsgiving in preparation
group will continue to meet Wednesday      THE JOURNEY” Community Grief                         for Easter. Let us also approach the
evenings from 6:30- 8:00 p.m. in the       Support Group will host its 2nd Annual               Sacrament of Reconciliation this year
Church Rectory dining room. Free meal.     Community Memorial Service (non-
Daycare is available. For more information denominational) on May 3, at St. Jude                in a way in which our attention to
contact Laurie Nussbaum at 318-549-1082 Church. Guest Speaker: Dr. Quinn                        Christ and His World may be broader
or St. Jude Church at 318-746-2508.                                                             and deeper. If your parish is not listed
                                           Nyman, 6:30 p.m., followed by a potluck              on the schedule please call for date
                                              dinner in Kilpatrick Hall. Attendees are          and time.
APRIL 8 & 12: PRO-LIFE ORATORY                encouraged to bring pictures and other
DEADLINE AND CONTEST National                 items commemorating their loved ones
Right to Life is sponsoring its annual Pro-                                                     April 4: Cathedral of St. John
                                              to put on the altar, as well as a potluck of      Berchmans, 5:30 p.m.
Life Oratory Contest. The competition is      their choice. Call 318-549-1082 or email
open to all high school juniors and seniors   Laurie at:           April 6: St. Mary of the Pines
who will address the issues of abortion,                                                        Church, 6:00 p.m.
infanticide, euthanasia or fetal stem cell    3rd SUNDAYS: VOCATIONS
research in a 5-7 minute presentation,        DISCERNMENT GROUP A Vocations                     April 7: St. Pius X Church, 6:30 p.m.
which does not have to be memorized.          Discernment Group continues to meet               April 9: Christ the King Church,
Deadline for entering is April 8. The local   on the third Sunday of the month, 5:00            10:00 a.m.
contest will be held on April 12 at 7:00      to 6:00 p.m., at 1000 Fairview Street in
p.m. at the Catholic Center. The contest      Shreveport. It is open to both men and            April 11: Holy Trinity Church, 5:00
is open to the public at no charge. For       women. If you are interested, please              p.m.
additional information and entry blanks,      contact Fr. David Richter, Vocations              April 12: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
please contact Susan Flanagan at 944          Director, at 868-4441, ext. 261.                  Church, 6:30 p.m.
Unadilla St., Shreveport, LA 71106, or call
318-861-6879.                                 1st SATURDAYS: PRO-LIFE                           April 13: Sacred Heart Church,
                                              ROSARY Pro-Life rosaries, led by                  Shreveport, 6:00 p.m.
APRIL 10: HOLY HOUR FOR                       the Vita group at St. Joseph Church in            April 14: St. Joseph Church,
VOCATIONS A Eucharistic Holy Hour             Shreveport, are held the first Saturdays of       Shreveport, 6:30 p.m.
for Vocations is next scheduled for Sacred    each month. For more info contact Roxie
Heart Church in Shreveport on Sunday,         Tabor at 318-865-3581.

                                      2 0 11 D i o C E s a n s t E wa R D s h i P a P P E a l
                                  I / We would like to contribute to the Diocesan Stewardship Appeal with a yearly pledge of:

                                    $10,000                $2,500                 $800                    $400                   $200
                                    $7,500                 $2,000                 $750                    $350                   $150
                                    $5,000                 $1,500                 $650                    $300                   $100
                                    $3,500                 $1,000                 $500                    $250                   $_______

                                                                                  At this time I / we are enclosing:   $_____________
                                  Please send monthly reminders to:
                                  Print Name _______________________________________________________________________________

                                  Address __________________________________________________________________________________

 diocEsE of shrEvEport            City _____________________________________________________State_________Zip Code____________
 thE catholic cEntEr              My / Our Church Parish _____________________________________________________________________
 3500 fairfiEld avEnuE
                                  Signature _________________________________________________________________________________
 shrEvEport, la 71104                You may make a credit card payment online at: (Click on Stewardship)

22 Catholic Connection April 2011
APRIL 2011                                                                                         Priests hold candles during the Easter Vigil Mass
                                                                                                   in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem
                                                                                                                     in 2010. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

  SUNDAY               MONDAY                 TUESDAY                  WEDNESDAY THURSDAY                             FRIDAY            SATURDAY
             27                     28                       29                     30                     31                     1                       2
Third Sunday of                                                                                                                        2nd Collection:
Lent                                                                                                                                   Operation Rice
                                                                                                                                       Bowl and CRS
                                                                                                                                       Pro-Life Rosary,
                                                                                                                                       Contact Roxie
                                                                                                                                       Saint Francis of
                                                                                                                                       Paola, hermit

               3                        4                       5                     6                       7                  8                        9
2nd Collection:       Lent Reconciliation Saint Vincent Ferrer,        Lent Reconciliation   Lent Reconciliation Deadline for          Lent Reconciliation
Operation Rice        Service: Cathedral priest                        Service: St. Mary     Service: St. Pius X May Catholic          Service: Christ
Bowl and CRS          of St. John                                      of the Pines          Church, 6:30pm Connection                 the King Church,
Fourth Sunday of      Berchmans,                                       Church, 6pm           Saint John Baptist                        10am
Lent                  5:30pm                                                                 de la Salle, priest
                      Saint Isidore, bishop
                      and doctor of the

             10                     11                       12                     13                     14                  15                     16
Holy Hour for         Lent Reconciliation     Lent Reconciliation      Lent Reconciliation  Religious Advisory
Vocations, Sacred     Service: Holy           Service: St. Elizabeth   Service: Sacred      Board Meeting,
Heart Church,         Trinity Church,         Ann Seton, 6:30pm        Heart Church,        Catholic Center
Shreveport, 10am      5pm                     Pro-Life Oratory
                                              Contest, Catholic        Shreveport, 6pm      Lent Reconciliation
Fifth Sunday of       Saint Stanislaus,
                                              Center, 7pm              Saint Martin I, pope Service: St.
Lent                  bishop and martyr       Liturgical Meeting,      and martyr           Joseph Church,
                                              Catholic Center,                              Shreveport,
                                              12:30pm                                       6:30pm

             17                     18                       19                     20                     21                  22                     23
Palm Sunday of                                Clergy Day                                     Holy Thursday         Good Friday         Holy Saturday
the Lord's Passion                            of Reflection,                                 Catholic Schools      Catholic Center &   2nd Collection:
Vocations                                     Catholic Center                                Closed                Schools Closed      Church Vocations
Discernment                                   Chrism Mass,                                   Mass of the           Walk for Justice,   Easter VIgil
Group Meeting,                                Cathedral, 5:30pm                              Lord's Supper         Downtown            Masses: Sunset
Fairview House,                                                                              with Bishop Duca,     Shreveport, 9am     at 7:50pm
5pm                                                                                          Cathedral, 5:30pm     2nd Collection:
                                                                                                                   Holy Land

             24                     25                       26                    27                     28                   29                    30
EASTER SUNDAY                                                          Confirmation, St.                                               Confirmation, St.
of the Resurrection                                                    John the Baptist                                                Elizabeth Ann
of the Lord                                                            Church, Many,                                                   Seton Church,
2nd Collection:                                                        6pm                                                             Shreveport, 4pm
Church Vocations

             3500 Fairfield Ave.       •      Shreveport, LA 71104


                                                      Rite of Election Prepares
                                                      Candidates to Enter the
                                                      Catholic Church

                                                                he annual Rite of Election is
                                                                held for those seeking to join the
                                                                Catholic Church. During this
                                                         event, catechumens and candidates
                                                         reaffirm their desire for reception into
                                                         the Church. Their sponsors, godparents
                                                         and the community affirm that they
                                                         are ready to continue on this journey.                                                      t
                                                                                                                                  and g o dp a re n
                                                         During this time catechumens also                      A  cate ch umen                      ct.
                                                                                                                                  o o k o f th e Ele
                                                         presented the “Book of the Elect” to
                                                                                                                st and w it h a B
                                announce d               Bishop Michael Duca.
    Father  Pe te r Mangum               ek ing
                           te chumens se
  the pa rishe s w it h ca
              to join the Ch

                                  ts st and       Bish op Duca addres                                                                                s it
                 and go dp a re n                                       se s th e cate ch umen                                      e ir sp o ns ors
Cate ch umens
                     th e Ch urch w
                                      hile                                                       s
                                                                                                     Th e c and idate s and t h                     s s.
    t th e fron t of
                                                                                                                                  u r ing t h e M a
  a                                                     du ri ng th e Ri te of El
                                                                                    ec tion .
        th ei r n ames
                       a re ca lle d.
                                                                                                      w it h t h e ir p a r ish d
24 Catholic Connection April 2011