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Confession is Good for the Soul

by Father Matthew Long “Confession is good for the soul,” all of us have heard this statement many times. I used to hear it before I became Catholic and did not understand More »

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Catholic Teen Summer Camps

Healthy bodies, minds and souls—that’s what our summer camps are all about! Experience an unforgettable, life-changing camp packed with awesome activities and authentic Catholic spirituality. Two camps, one for girls and one More »

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Deacon Nash Celebrates 30 Years of Ordination

After turning his back on atheism, Nash answered God’s call wholeheartedly This month Deacon Clary Nash marks the 30th anniversary of his ordination into the permanent diaconate. We sat down with him More »

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Catholic Campus Ministry at Tech Recognized Nationally

According to Best College Reviews, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish’s E. Donn Piatt (EDP) Catholic Student Center, the home of the Association of Catholic Tech Students (ACTS), is one of the top 50 More »

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Mercy in Action: St. Frances of Rome Circle Feeds During Times of Need

It was over 30 years ago when St. Mary of the Pines parishioner Mildred Ruttle opened her heart to a need in her church. The mothers of young children in the parish More »

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Catholic Charities Director Bids Farewell

by Jean Dresley As my time at Catholic Charities of North Louisiana comes to a close, I want to reflect on my work in the Diocese of Shreveport. When I was a More »

Diocese of Shreveport seminarians stand together at the St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary's annual bonfire.

Vocations View: Seminary – The First Year

My first year at St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College has been an incredible experience. When I arrived on campus last fall, I had no idea what to expect. Having spent the More »

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Domestic Church: Dads, Imitate the Father in Heaven

After last month’s piece on how the Blessed Virgin Mary handled motherhood, I thought it fitting to write up a corresponding article for dads as Father’s Day approaches. The entire text of More »

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Bishop’s Reflection: Silence is Essential to Communication

by Bishop Michael G. Duca As I write this article in May, I am already thinking about my summer vacation retreat in Red River, New Mexico.  I make a yearly pilgrimage to More »

USCCB President Calls for Prayers, Reflection, Civility and Dialogue

WASHINGTON—Following the deadly attacks on police officers in Dallas, during a protest rally stemmed by the killings of two men in Louisiana and Minnesota, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops extended a call to prayer, reflection, civility and peaceful dialogue.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, issued the following statement July 8.

Let Us Gather at the Cross
A statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil. To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus. Our Savior suffered at the hands of humanity’s worst impulses, but he did not lose hope in us or in his heavenly father. Love overcomes evil.

The police are not a faceless enemy. They are sons and daughters offering their lives to protect their brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us, “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (JN 15:13). So too, the suspects in crimes or routine traffic stops are not just a faceless threat. They are members of our family in need of assistance, protection and fairness. When compassion does not drive our response to the suffering of either, we have failed one another.

The need to place ever greater value on the life and dignity of all persons, regardless of their station in life, calls us to a moment of national reflection. In the days ahead, we will look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence.

Let us pray for the comfort of everyone affected and that our national conversation will bear the good fruit of healing and peace.

USCCB President Calls for Dialogue, Peace in the Midst of Violence

from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in relation to the July 17 fatal shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Full statement follows.

“Stop, no more of this!” (LK 22:51)
A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

I offer my prayers for the officers and families affected by the horrible shooting in Baton Rouge. We find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament as we join to console the grieving and support the suffering.  People are suffering because their uniform is blue, suffering because their skin is black and suffering simply because of their station in life.

The temptation to respond to violence with violence is strong.  Even St. Peter himself lashed out upon the arrest of our beloved Savior.  Jesus’ response was clear.  “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (MT 26:52).  As followers of Christ, let us always embrace love and ask ourselves how we can best invite all people of good will to live with us in peace.

The reasons for so much suffering are complex and varied.  As a society, we must come together to address the lingering evil of racism, the need to safeguard our citizens from the present danger of extremism and the overall breakdown of civility.  As a Church, we will seek out ways to foster this life-saving dialogue.  Answers will not come easily nor as quickly as we need.  We must continue searching and listening until they do.
As we seek a dialogue that cultivates a true respect for every human being, we should also seek ways, large and small, to be a sign of hope in the everyday routines of life. The next time you are pulled over by a police officer or walk past one on the street, thank him or her for their service. For those in law enforcement, the next time you make a traffic stop, thank the person for their time.  The task of building a society upon the strong foundation of love begins with each one of us every day.

American Greg Burke Named Director of the Holy See Press Office

from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulated Greg Burke, the new director of the Holy See Press Office, and Paloma García Ovejero, the new vice director. He also extended his gratitude to Fr. Federico Lombardi who is retiring from the post after 10 years of service.

The appointment was publicized July 11. Full statement follows.

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

On this the 10th anniversary of Father Federico Lombardi’s appointment as director of the Holy See Press Office, I am filled with gratitude for his loyal and effective service to the Holy Father. Father Lombardi helped spread the Gospel throughout the world across two pontificates. I was especially grateful to have learned not only from his media expertise, but also his deep love for the Church during the six days we spent together as Pope Francis visited the United States.

I learned of Greg Burke’s appointment as the next director of the Holy See Press Office with tremendous gratitude. He is long known to us in the United States as a devoted man of the Church and an unparalleled communicator. From the Vatican’s Secretariat of State to the Holy See Press Office, Greg has proven himself in service to the universal Church.

I also congratulate Paloma García Ovejero on her appointment as the new Vice Director, the position previously held by Greg. She is an accomplished journalist from Madrid and will be the first woman to hold the position of Vice Director.

Please join me in offering prayers for Fr. Lombardi, Greg, Paloma, and their calling to share the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with all in need of hearing the Good News.

St. Fred’s Students Participated in AHEC

The Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program, which focuses on primary care in underserved areas of the U.S., is a program for high school students interested in a possible medical career. St. Frederick students (from left to right) Adam Whipple, Anna Eichorn, Isabella McJunkins, Amanda Bryant, Madison Mascagni and Scott Bulloch participated this summer.

SJB Mathematicians Take 4th Place

SJB Algebra students placed 4th out of 18 teams at the 16th annual Mathematics Competition at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts in Natchitoches. The competition consisted of both an individual written test and a team competition.

Fresh Look at St. Joseph School

St. Joseph Catholic School will start its 65th school year by welcoming nearly 400 students back to school on Friday, August 12. Many events are planned for the 65th Anniversary of Catholic education and the school underwent various upgrades over the summer in preparation for this milestone year! One of the most notable upgrades is the brightly repainted and redesigned library, funded through a memorial for the Geneux family. Librarian Nancy Jane Karam chose a combination of orange and green on the walls with bright white shelves, along with new carpet to give the library a fun, warm and inviting feeling.

“I wanted to create a space that is fun, vibrant, and full of energy”, said Karam. “The library should be a place where kids love to be – to read, of course, but also to gather, to collaborate, to relax, to be creative. I am so excited about how it is coming together; it’s even better than I pictured it. I can’t wait for the students to see their library!”

OLF Staff Attended LEI

Dr. Wiggins and Stephanie Haney attended the LEI (Latino Enrollment Institute) conference at Notre Dame.  This conference focused on increasing Latino enrollment in Catholic schools.

Legacy of Educators at JGS

For over 50 years, Jesus the Good Shepherd School has provided quality Catholic education to many in Ouachita Parish, including many of the teachers and their families. Several of their educators, including assistant principal Aimee Anthony, 3rd grade teacher Charlynn Leehy, Kindergarten teachers Karen McDuffie and Alex-Anne Ebert, as well as PK3 teacher Katherine Gilbert, 6th grade teacher Carrie Rocconi and teacher’s aide Debbie Wilmore, have a long standing family lineage at JGS. Founding members of the parish and parish school have been parents and grandparents of our educators. JGS is proud to acknowledge such long standing family traditions at the school and the commitment of their families and our educators.

Just5Days in Monroe

Fifty youth from across north Louisiana and Arkansas attended Just5Days in Monroe, a five-day experience of service, hands-on learning activities, prayer and liturgy, and community building designed for groups  of middle school youth and their adult leaders from Catholic parishes and schools.

Marriage Renewal at St. Pius X

A marriage renewal ceremony was held at St. Pius X Parish on Father’s Day during morning Mass. The event was organized and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus based at St. Pius X, and was open to all married couples. Over 50 couples were in attendance to reaffirm their vows, and receive a blessing from Fr. Joe Kallookalam. Each couple received a commemorative certificate, signed by Fr. Joe and Grand Knight Larry Beaubouef. The Knights chose Father’s Day to emphasize the importance of marriage and family within the Church. As part of the ceremony, the couples recited the ‘Prayer to the Holy Family’ by Pope Francis. Parishioners invited families from other parishes to attend the ceremony; and in several cases, two and three generations were represented.