Category Archives: Events

Movie Showings of Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima for 100th Anniversary

May 13, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima.

In our continuing efforts of evangelization through media, the 1952 Warner Brothers production of the true story of the apparition, Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, will be shown at the Catholic Center in Shreveport on Tuesday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m., and on Wednesday, May 24, at 2:00 p.m., as well as at the Monroe Civic Center on Thursday, May 25, at 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

This movie gives a moving and accurate account of the 1917 events in full color and in true Hollywood fashion on the big movie screen, starring, among others, Gilbert Roland.

This movie is based upon the Marian apparitions reported in 1917 by three shepherd children living in Fatima, Portugal. The three children were Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The reported apparitions at Fatima were accepted to be believed by the Catholic Church, which commemorates the event on the same date.

This event is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted. For more information, visit www.dioshpt.org, or call 318-868-4441.

Shreveport’s Cathedral to be Featured on EWTN

“Within the Orb of Glories Wearing”

Music by Kermit Poling Performed by the Shreveport Festival String Quartet Narrated by Father Peter Mangum

The Shreveport Festival String Quartet performed Kermit Poling’s original music reflecting on the lives of seven saints – Within the Orb of Glories Wearing!  It will air on EWTN in the United States on May 21, at 12:30 p.m.!

The musical reflection celebrates the lives of seven saints through a seven-movement piece for string quartet by composer Kermit Poling.  The saints’ lives featured are St. Paul, St. Cecelia, St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Br. Joseph Thamby, and St. John Berchmans.

Shreveport’s Red Mass Celebrates 25 Years

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by John Mark Willcox

The year was 1992, only six years had passed since the creation of our diocese and several Catholics in the law field, joined by another group of supportive lawyers and judges from other faith traditions, sought to renew the age old tradition of the Red Mass to invoke God’s blessing and guidance in the administration of justice.  Red is chosen for the Mass to invoke the Holy Spirit and the first Friday in May was selected to coincide with the nation’s Law Week.

Holy Trinity Church was chosen as the home of the Red Mass and the late Msgr. William O’Hanlon joined with a group of law professionals including Larry and Janey Pettiette, the late Don Miller (a non-Catholic), along with Trudy Daniel and others and they began the planning for the first Red Mass presided over by our late Bishop William B. Friend.  That first Friday in May of 1992 saw every Louisiana Supreme Court Justice seated at Holy Trinity to witness a unique and meaningful ecumenical gathering of those connected to the administration of law which included a real and heart-felt blessing placed upon those with the awesome responsibility of carrying out this task in our nation of freedom.

In the 25 years since, the Red Mass of Shreveport has seen a host of visiting bishops, prelates, one cardinal and the Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court as special guests for this time-honored tradition.  “We have been beyond blessed by the success of our Red Mass,” commented Shreveport attorney Larry Pettiette.  “The people of our shared field of law have really bought into the Red Mass, and participation among our associates has just been fantastic.”  Special honorees are also chosen each year for recognition of their ministry of the people of the region.  “We like to honor organizations that provide for people and our Red Mass provides that opportunity,” commented Pettiette.

Bishop WIlliam B. Friend at the 2004 Red Mass.

Current Holy Trinity Pastor Msgr. Earl V. Provenza remains amazed at how the Red Mass has been able to attract interest from across the nation.  “We wanted Cardinal Egan to join us in 2008, so Bishop Friend offered him an invitation and he accepted,” said Provenza.  “We continued to dream big so Judge Henry A. Politz sent an invitation to Anton Scalia in 2005, and low and behold, he joined us as well.”  Msgr. Provenza will serve as Master of Ceremonies and our own Bishop Michael Duca will be the principal celebrant and homilist for this special 25th year of the Red Mass.

All are invited to be a part of the ongoing tradition of this year’s Red Mass which will take place on Friday, May 5th, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in downtown Shreveport beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Holy Angels Residential Facility will be the special honoree for 2017.  A reception at the Petroleum Club will follow.

Good Friday Way of the Cross

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19th Walk for Justice

by Brian Burgess

As Americans we are called to stand with justice, yet it is not often that we have the opportunity as an individual to make a clear and decisive public statement in support of this essential virtue.  This Good Friday, April 14, you have such an opportunity!  We invite you to join others throughout Shreveport in proclaiming justice and mercy in a very public forum by a special “Way of the Cross” that seeks to unite the suffering of Christ with the suffering that exists in the world today.

This Good Friday remembrance will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport.  Local social justice and service organizations will offer prayers, hymns and reflections at each of the 14 stations. Participants will walk a little more than a mile through downtown Shreveport while stopping at various sites (stations).  This annual devotion focuses on the passion of Christ as reflected in the eyes of those who suffer abandonment, abuse, illness and poverty – those in need we are called to serve.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the sponsoring group. Those interested in attending this ecumenical service should gather by 9:00 a.m. on Good Friday in the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church. The service will last approximately an hour and 40 minutes and ample parking is available at the church.

Divine Mercy Sunday Activies

by Julia Doolin

The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Divine Mercy.  This year, that date falls on April 23.  The devotion to the Divine Mercy began spreading throughout the world in the 1930’s and is based upon private revelations to a young Polish nun, now known as St. Faustina.  The message is not a new one, but is instead a reminder of what the Church has always taught through Scripture and tradition:  That God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness.  But the message of the Divine Mercy devotion calls people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone – especially the greatest sinners.   In a decree dated May 23, 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.”  Taking the declaration of the feast day a step further, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced on August 3, 2002, that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe Divine Mercy Sunday with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.”

With regard to the plenary indulgence associated with Divine Mercy Sunday, the usual conditions apply: sacramental confession (typically several days before or after the indulgenced act), Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff. The faithful are asked to gather in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”)

This year, two parishes in the Diocese of Shreveport are providing an entire weekend of Divine Mercy events. On Saturday, April 22, 2017, Fr. Michael Gaitley of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, will present a Divine Mercy Retreat at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. Register for the retreat at www.marian.org.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered at the end of the retreat.  In preparation for the retreat, it is recommended that participants read the book 33 Days to Merciful Love by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.

On Sunday, April 23, St. Joseph Church, located at 211 Atlantic Avenue in Shreveport, will host a holy hour in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday.  The holy hour will begin promptly at 2:30 p.m. and will include the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as well as veneration of the Divine Mercy image.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available immediately following the holy hour.  •

Jo Cazes Retires, Leaves Legacy at SJB School

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by Kelly Phelan Powell

After 44 years spent changing the lives of students, Jo Cazes’ own life will take a happy turn when, at the end of the school year, she retires from her distinguished career as an educator and school administrator. The Principal of St. John Berchmans Catholic School in Shreveport for the last 12 years, Cazes will leave SJB a much better place than when she found it. The school’s many lofty achievements during her tenure (just one example: SJB has won the Science Olympiad State Championship for eight years running) are due to many factors and tremendous effort on the part of teachers and staff, but one of the most profound and lasting changes Cazes made was asking students to step up and take ownership in every aspect of their school. The results have been consistent academic excellence, improved facilities and a better organized place to learn, teach and work.

When Cazes’ career began at Alexandria Senior High School in Rapides Parish, she never imagined that she would spend the majority of her career in Catholic schools. The Lord, however, decided that Catholic schools were exactly where she needed to be. Looking back, she marvels at how perfectly all the pieces fit together that led her to St. John Berchmans. “I’ve often thought of writing a book,” she said, “and I’d call it, Connect the Dots.” The past Louisiana Environmental Science Teacher of the Year and Regional Teacher of the Year moved from Alexandria to New Orleans with her husband Geoffrey’s career, and the family landed in Birmingham, AL in 1984. Throughout each move, she made a point to continue her education with graduate courses and professional development. “Every time we moved, I went to school,” she said.

During her time in Birmingham, Cazes was Principal of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School. It was at OLV that she first became involved with Science Olympiad, the organization that would become one of her finest legacies at St. John Berchmans. In 1995, she became Assistant Principal of Curriculum at John Carroll Catholic High School, a position she accepted on one condition: she wanted to teach a class. She remained at John Carroll for a decade. After her son settled in Shreveport, she and her husband decided to keep the family close and moved.

Upon arriving in Shreveport, she met with Frank Israel, former Principal of Loyola College Prep, who connected her with Sister Carol Shively, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Shreveport. Shively hired her as a consultant for St. John Berchmans, doing professional development and teacher observations. “I fell in love with the teachers,” she said. She accepted the Principal position in 2005, and she’s been leading the school forward ever since.

One of Cazes’ greatest accomplishments for the school has been its total physical renovation. Together with Fr. Peter Mangum, Rector of the Cathedral, the school has had a major facelift with summer projects every year since 2006. Some of those projects include new floors, walls and lighting in the multi-room and cafeteria, a renovated office area and computer lab, a new playground, an elevator and, most recently, a brand new parish hall and library and technology center.

Assistant Principal Jennifer Deason, will succeed Cazes, and Trey Woodham, recently awarded Regional Coach of the Year, will be the new Assistant Principal.  Together they will continue to build a lasting legacy and quality education at St. John Berchmans.

In retirement, Cazes hopes to spend more time with her three grandchildren, and there’s no doubt she’ll continue her lifelong love of learning. “I continue learning from everyone I meet,” she said.

There will be a retirement reception in her honor after the 11:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 30 in the Parish Hall at St. John Berchmans. All are invited to attend and say farewell to the Principal whom the school will miss nearly as much as she will miss it. “I love this school,” she said, and it shows.

7 Reasons for Laypeople to Explore the UD Catholic Formation Program in Our Diocese

from the University of Dallas

A moment of silence can be a rare thing in this day and age — and a few minutes to catch your breath even rarer. Our days are full of buzzing phones, pinging social notifications, meetings and surprises — not to mention those hectic Sunday mornings tumbling into the pew just as the entrance chant begins. What if you had the opportunity to slow down? To take in that moment of silence while growing in faith, service and community?

Now, there’s a new way to do just that through a new Catholic formation program in the Diocese of Shreveport from University of Dallas for both laypeople and aspiring deacons. Here are seven reasons to explore the new program:

1) Journeying in faith with a community is always more transformational than we think. If you’re looking for a “boost” in your spiritual life, this program brings believers together to learn more about the Lord and His church. You will experience a unique level of communication among faculty and peers who support, challenge and illuminate one another at every turn.

2) You get to learn from the University of Dallas’ nationally recognized theology faculty. The professors have served on the “front lines” of ministry in leadership positions and bring their experience into their teaching, like Professor Jim McGill, an expert in applied ministry who also has 40-plus years’ experience directing adult religious education programs in parish settings.

3) If you haven’t yet undertaken a comprehensive study of your Catholic faith, now is the time. The four-year program covers a broad scope of topics, including Christian spirituality, sacred Scripture, the Catholic Church in America, the history of liturgy and bioethics.

4) Don’t worry if four years sounds like a big commitment. Aspiring deacons take all four years of formation in sequence, but laypeople can participate at their own pace. Take a course for a 10-week session and see how it goes; then, when you’re ready for more, go for it!

5) Courses are offered through an educational partnership with the University of Dallas, which brings its intellectual resources to the life of the local Church. The university consistently enjoys a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top 10 Catholic colleges in the West and is recommended by the Cardinal Newman Guide. The university also organizes the annual Dallas Ministry Conference, which draws nearly 5,000 attendees.

6) The more you grow in knowledge of the faith, the more you’ll grow in your life of service, both personally and professionally. As Pope Francis shared in one general audience, “You may know the whole Bible, you may know all the liturgical rubrics, you may know all theology, but from this knowledge love is not automatic: loving has another path, it requires intelligence, but also something more. … There is no true worship if it is not translated into service to neighbor.”

7) Earn a Certificate of Theological Studies upon completion of the program. This continuing education certificate from the University of Dallas recognizes that you’ve worked hard and grown intellectually, spiritually and professionally —  and you’re ready for mission. Now we go together to “make disciples for all the world” (Mt. 28:19).

Interested in learning more about the Diaconate Intellectual Formation Program? Contact Deacon Clary Nash, director of the Permanent Deacon Formation Program, at 318-219-7303, or cnash@dioshpt.org. The program is open to both lay ministers and aspiring deacons. Classes start fall 2017.

Ignatius of Loyola Movie Coming to Diocese of Shreveport

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by Randy Tiller

Ignatius Press announced the new theatrical release of Ignatius of Loyola, Solider, Sinner, Saint on December 1, 2016. Due to the past relationship our diocese has with Ignatius Press, the Diocese of Shreveport was one of the first to be offered the opportunity to book a showing for this film.

Not since the release of Mary of Nazareth and Restless Heart has there been such an epic Catholic film of this scope, quality and grandeur. The last full-length feature film on St. Ignatius of Loyola was produced over 70 years ago.

Filmed on location in Spain with an extremely talented cast of Spanish actors, the story of Ignatius, his tumultuous life, passions, sinfulness, conversion and ultimately virtuous life bursts onto the screen and into the minds and hearts of the viewers, illuminating the life of St. Ignatius like never before.

The story of St. Ignatius is as relevant today as it was more than 500 years ago. And now, our diocese is able to offer an opportunity to view this powerful story in the Holoubek Theatre at the Catholic Center, located at 3500 Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport.

This outstanding Catholic film is being brought to our diocese for the purpose of evangelization and entertainment.

The diocese is offering this film on three different days and times so that everyone will have an opportunity to view it. Although there is no admission charge, donations are accepted. Your generosity makes it possible to continue bringing such events to our theatre.

Showings will be as follows:
• Wednesday March 22, at 2:00 p.m.
• Thursday, March 23, at 6:00 p.m.
• Friday, March 24, at 8:30 a.m. for middle and high school students. (The producers advise the film is not suited for under 13 years of age).

Souvenir bookmarks will be handed out at each showing as a memento of the screening. Patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase DVDs for sale at the theatre after the screening. They will only be available at the theatre, not online or at other locations until its general release after April 2017.
Some interesting facts:

In 1521, Ignatius was struck by a cannonball in the legs. One leg was merely broken, but the other was badly mangled. After suffering for a month, his doctors warned him to prepare for death. Ignatius began to improve and part of one leg was amputated. During his healing, Ignatius began to read De Vita Christi (The Life of Christ). The book would inspire Ignatius’ own spiritual exercises.

Other men joined his exercises and became followers of Ignatius. The group began to refer to themselves as “Friends in the Lord.” Pope Paul III received the group and approved them as an official religious order in 1540. They called themselves the Society of Jesus. Some people who did not appreciate their efforts dubbed them “Jesuits” in an attempt to disparage them.  Before Ignatius died in 1556, his order established 35 schools and boasted 1,000 members.
For more information about the movie, contact Randy Tiller, 318-868-4441, or rtiller@dioshpt.org.

Catholic Youth Day Coming March 11!

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by Nicky Prevou

Middle school and high school youth and their adult leaders are eagerly looking forward to Saturday, March 11. Catholic Youth Day (CYD) 2017 will be held at St. Paschal Parish, located at 711 North 7th Street in West Monroe.

The schedule will include opportunities for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Reconciliation, dynamic praise and worship experiences, interactive workshops, fellowship and a Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Duca. Hundreds of Catholic youth from  across the diocese are planning to attend the event.

Selah Storm and Nikki Tinnerello, who serve as volunteer youth ministry leaders at St. Paschal Parish, said that they are “thrilled” that their parish will be hosting this year’s fun-filled event.

“We at St. Paschal’s often get together with several of the small area parishes for retreats and other events, so we’re especially excited to have other parishes from other parts of the diocese join us for Catholic Youth Day. We are so happy that we are able to invite everyone to share in the strong foundation of faith that we offer to our Catholic youth,” said Selah.

“It’s always valuable for our young people to gather and share their Catholic faith, to enjoy the camaraderie, the prayerfulness and the excitement of the day,” added Nikki.

Both the youth leaders and their own teenage sons are especially looking forward to hearing this year’s keynote presenter, the internationally recognized Catholic liturgical musician and speaker Jesse Manibusan, whom they have previously seen in concert.

“Jesse will most definitely bring so much to our diocese,” Selah reflected. “He is very high-energy and engaging, but he is also so soulful, tender, and multi-faceted in his ability to share his faith with people of all ages.”

Kevin Prevou, Diocesan Director of  Youth and Young Adult Ministry, said all youth, grades six through 12, and their adult leaders are encouraged to register for the all-day event.

“Our team has been prayerfully preparing for March 11, and we have several hoped-for outcomes, based on the theme for the day, ‘iBelieve’,” said Kevin. “We want our young people to grow in their own sense of Catholic identity and belonging to their Catholic parish and diocesan family. We want them to connect their call to discipleship with the challenge to truly live out their faith, and we are offering an opportunity to grow in their sense of excitement and energy around their relationship with Christ.”

Christian recording artist Dave Fitzgerald will lead participants in praise and worship, and ministry leaders will offer break-out sessions on topics such as “Using Social Networks to Evangelize Others: Do’s and Dont’s”; “Catholic Teachings Every Teen Needs to Know by Heart”; and “Diving Into the Catholic Catechism: Be Not Afraid!”

Other sessions will offer opportunities to make rosaries and to create “Blessing Bags.” Dianne Rachal, diocesan Director of Worship, will lead a session on youth leadership in parishes as lectors, greeters, ushers and altar servers.

Kevin noted that members of the Diocesan Youth Council have helped to prepare the plans for the day, which will include “Interactive Faith Games,” the “My Catholic Faith Contest” and “Stump the Bishop!”

Jean Rains, who serves as the Director of Religious Education for St. John the Baptist Parish in Many, said that participation in CYD is “very important” to the youth of her parish.

“We live in an area that is predominantly non-Catholic,” Jean explained. “Our children find themselves in the position of trying to defend their faith, and that can be uncomfortable. I like for them to see that they are not alone, that they can enjoy learning with other youth of their own faith and develop friendships with kids from other parishes.”

Early registration for CYD 2017 is $30 a person through February 24. Regular registration is $35 per person February 25-March 7, and all registrations after March 7, including at-the-door, are $40. Registration includes entry into all CYD events, breakfast, snacks, lunch and a commemorative t-shirt. For more information or to register, go to www.dioshpt.org/ministries/youth-young-adult-ministry/ and click on the Catholic Youth Day icon, or contact Kevin Prevou at 318-219-7258, or kprevou@dioshpt.org, or Gabby Willis at 318-219-7257, or gwillis@dioshpt.org.

Calling Catholics Home

During the 2017 Lenten season, parishes throughout the diocese are taking the opportunity to welcome back those who were “once Catholic” through the program “Calling Catholics Home.” If you are a Catholic who has been away from the Church for a while, this invitation is for you. Our faith community misses you and is incomplete without you. No matter how long you have been away, and for whatever reason, we invite you to consider renewing your relationship with the Catholic Church.

Please join us for informal sessions and an update of the Catholic faith. The sessions are conducted in a support-group format with speakers including local lay people, priests, deacons and Bishop Michael Duca. Everyone is welcome.

Please keep this program in mind while visiting with friends and family who might be fallen away Catholics.

This six week program will take place at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Parish Hall, located at 939 Jordan Street in Shreveport, on Tuesdays, beginning February 21, 2017, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. For more information, contact Kathy Snelling at 318-423-0112, or go to www.callingcatholicshome.com.  •