Category Archives: Events

New Christian Service Facility to Have September Grand Opening

0917christianservice1

by Jane Snyder

The new Christian Service facility on Levy Street will have its grand opening on Wednesday, September 27, at 1:00 p.m. Please join Bishop Michael Duca and Mayor Ollie Tyler for this long awaited event.

In 1970, Fr. Murray Clayton brought Sr. Margaret McCaffrey to Shreveport. She rented an apartment in “The Bottoms” behind First United Methodist Church and realized that children were going to school hungry. Her mission to feed these children was the beginning of Christian Service.

Sr. Margaret grew the ministry through the 70s, 80s and 90s to serve those in our community who were living on the margins of our society, needing many different services. She fed thousands at the Hospitality House, provided clothing and emergency assistance, housed people recently released from prison, and housed women with children, repaired toys to give to children at Christmas, served volunteers at the Poor Man’s Supper and initiated the Christian Service Telethon.

Many think that Christian Service died when Sr. Margaret died in 1998, but that is not true. Fr. Andre McGrath, OFM, with the help of the Friars of St. John the Baptist, brought Brother Giovanni Reid to Shreveport in 1999, and since then the ministry has continued to serve 200 meals a day and provide clothing to many each month.

In 2013, Hope Connections, a collaboration of non-profits on Levy Street, whose goal is to end homelessness, asked Christian Service to become the food and clothing part of this amazing partnership. They offered to give Christian Service a 10,000 square foot building on their campus.

The Christian Service Board spent a year evaluating their ministry and chose to move forward taking the food, clothing and emergency assistance services to the new location.

In May of 2013, Christian Service hired Al Moore to be the new executive director and to take them through the process of fundraising and building the new facility.

The core mission of feeding the hungry has not changed, but the location to carry out the mission is changing. There is a need to address greater and greater numbers of people who are not only hungry, but homeless or on the brink of being homeless. Christian Service is moving to meet those needs.

Following 18 months of fundraising to renovate the 10,000 square foot warehouse, through the generous donations of many foundations and individuals, the groundbreaking for the new facility was held in September 2016.

The board of Christian Service looks forward to serving more clients at their new location.

They also hope to provide opportunities for more volunteers to be a part of the food and clothing ministries.

The board hopes that you will join them on September 27 at the new home of Christian Service at 2350 Levy Street in Shreveport at 1:00 p.m. to introduce this exciting new facility to the community.

Christian Service aims to help fulfill the request in Matthew 25 35:40, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Encounter Jesus 3: Diocesan Youth Event Coming to Loyola

by Jessica Rinaudo

Encounter Jesus 3, the annual diocesan-wide youth event, will be held on Saturday, September 16 at Loyola College Prep in Shreveport! This annual gathering of high school and middle school youth and their adult leaders aims to kick off the school year the right way: with time to encounter Jesus and celebrate the gifts that young people are to the Church and the world.

This year’s event headliner is Doug Tooke, a national speaker who combines stories, humor and small group discussions to engage young Catholics in their faith. Encounter Jesus 3 will be an experience rich environment! Youth will encounter Jesus through a variety of means and opportunities on this day including scripture, prayer, sacraments, taking their faith into extracurricular activities, talking about family, relationships and evangelizing, as well as through games and time to talk and interact with Bishop Michael Duca.

“As our young Catholics begin their school year and their minds become occupied with school work, their friends and all the extracurricular activities that fill their lives, it is important to take time to refocus on Jesus and his place in our lives,” said Bishop Michael Duca. “Encounter Jesus 3 will help our young people to see Jesus’ work in their lives and give them the tools they need to overcome the challenges and obstacles they will face as they continue to grow and interact with the people in the world around them.”

Some of the breakout sessions for this year’s event include: “Taking Our Faith into Our Extracurricular Activities” with Father Rothell Price; “Relationships” with separate meetings for girls and boys with Roxanne and Matthew Chumley; Father Matthew Long’s conversion story and “Bonding with Bishop.” There will also be group games, time to see Loyola College Prep and meet the students who attend the school.

“Encounter Jesus is an opportunity for Catholics to come together and be with other Catholics their age,” said Interim Youth Director, Randy Tiller. “In a mission diocese, our youth can sometimes find it hard to connect with other Catholics. Coming together in this way not only gives our youth the opportunity to share in faith together, but it bolsters their confidence in living their Catholic faith.”

There will be separate tracks for high school and middle school youth appropriate to their age and development levels.  Both age groups will share in opening prayer, keynote talks, music and Mass with Bishop Duca together.

Here’s What You Need to Know

WHO?
Middle School Students
High School Students
Youth Leaders
(Separate Breakouts for Each Age Group)

WHERE & WHEN?
Loyola College Prep, Shreveport
September 16
Registration starts at 8:30AM

REGISTER?
Contact your church’s youth minister, visit
www.dioshpt.org, or email Erin LeBrocq stpiusX_youthgroup@yahoo.com

Catechetical Fairs: Family, The Missing Piece of Catechesis

0817catfair

by Shelly Bole, Director of Catechesis

Saturday August 26, 9am-1pm, Catholic Center, Shreveport
Sunday August 27, 1:30pm-5:30pm  St. Paschal, West Monroe
Register Online at: www.dioshpt.org/ministries/catechesis

The 2017 Catechetical Fairs this year will focus on engaging families and parents in the faith formation of their children. Dr. Joseph White, sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor, will be the keynote speaker.  Dr. White will discuss some of the obstacles families face today as well as five ways in which catechists can involve parents in the formation of their child. Pope Francis reminds us that “families are not a problem; they are first and foremost an opportunity.”  (Amoris Laetitia #7)

This event is not only for catechists/parents of school-aged children, but for those who work with adults as well. When we think of “family,” our minds tend to go immediately to the picture of parents and children. Family is so much bigger than that. Family includes those non-biological children and adults in our lives who hold very special places, and our church family.

Remember the saying, “It takes a village?”  The Catholic Church believes the parish/church is that village and that we all share responsibility in encouraging the faith in our young as well as each other.  Please join us as we embark on this important conversation.
Books from specific publishers will be available for purchase and/or preview.

For more information, visit http://www.dioshpt.org/ministries/catechesis/  

Catechetical Fair Includes Session for Parents/Catechists for Persons with Special Needs

Recently, I was visiting with some parents who have children with special needs which either limited or prohibited their participation in traditional PSR/Faith Formation and sometimes the Sacraments.  I shared with them some of the initiatives publishers have taken to assist catechists and parents in forming persons with special needs or disabilities. They had no idea these resources were available, and I had no idea that they weren’t aware of them!  These two moms, Renita Scott and Wendy McDearmont, decided the three of us were going to do something about this huge void in our church ministries.

Our first initiative is to invite parents of and catechists for special needs children/teens to the Catechetical Fairs.  Following the theme of the Fairs: “Families, the Missing Piece in Catechesis,” we will be offering a special breakout session for parents and catechists, presenting the different resources/initiatives that are now available and how to use them both in faith formation settings and at home.

If you are a parent of a special needs child/teen or know someone who desires their special child to know Jesus, please join us at the Catechetical Fairs.  You may register at  http://www.dioshpt.org/ministries/catechesis/  or contact Shelly Bole at 318-219-7302, sbole@dioshpt.org.  All are welcome: grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, spiritual companions, Catholic and non-Catholic. Pre-registration is required.  $15 registration fee.

Fidel Mondragon’s Ordination

0617fidel

by Jessica Rinaudo

Before Fidel Mondragon landed in the Diocese of Shreveport, he spent many years in various seminaries, countries and a religious order, discerning the vocation God had planned for his life. After being a seminarian for the Diocese of Dallas, which downsized their foreign vocations, Fidel returned to Mexico before becoming a seminarian for the Diocese of Shreveport. That was two years ago.

And Fidel has made the most out of his two years as a seminarian for our diocese. He first went to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans where he took review classes on the sacraments and history of the Church, as well as English as a Second Language. He relished this time both for improving his English and for getting to know his brother seminarians of our diocese. Of them Fidel said,  “I got to know them, because once a month we would have dinner together – we would talk about how things were going.”

After finishing his seminary classes in May of last year, Fidel moved to Mansfield, where he assisted Fr. Matthew Long in parish life.
“When I arrived in Mansfield, I got involved with the community,” said Fidel. “I helped the Hispanic and Anglo communities… I started a new program – Christian Formation for Adults and Bible classes with Hispanics on Tuesdays. I visited people, I prayed the rosary with them. I helped Fr. Matthew with the Masses.”

During this time he also taught adult formation classes and assisted with retreats at St. Mary of the Pines in Shreveport, and Christ the King in Bossier City. His formation classes expanded to St. Thomas Aquinas in Ruston and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Farmerville, allowing Fidel to become acquainted with people across the diocese.

It was during this time that Fidel organized a Year of Mercy event for the Hispanic community.

“Rosalba Quiroz [Hispanic Ministry Director] asked me to organize the visit to the Holy Door with the Hispanic Community because it was the Year of Mercy. We invited all of the diocese. … We organized a Stations of the Cross and did them in the Cathedral. After that, we explained the Year of Mercy, the meaning of mercy and why Pope Francis convoked the Year of Mercy. Then we had a holy hour with Fr. Rigo Betancurt, Fr. Al Jost and Fr. Blane O’Neill.  Bishop Duca was there, too,” said Fidel.

On December 10, 2016, Fidel was ordained to the transitional diaconate at St. Mary of the Pines, and a month later Bishop Duca assigned him to the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, also serving St. Mary of the Pines two days a week. He still continues in this assignment.

“In the Cathedral I help with the everyday Mass and I have helped two times with the homily in English,” said Fidel “I help with the funerals, with the school Masses.”

After two years, Fidel has adjusted from life in Mexico to life in north Louisiana, and embraces his vocation here with open arms. The people and clergy, in turn, have welcomed him warmly.

“I am so grateful for Bishop Duca and all the priests here. They are very kind to me and welcome me. They tell me, ‘Fidel you are welcome. We are very glad to have you.’ They encourage me,” said Fidel.

“I feel comfortable here, I feel welcome in both communities. The Spanish community, ok they love you, but the Anglo community is very warm and they receive me,” added Fidel.

“I want to be part of this diocese, to consecrate my life as a priest,” he said.

And after so many years of discerning and traveling, Fidel is excited to finally be approaching his ordination to the priesthood and his ministry as a Catholic priest.

“I look forward to helping the people. I want to be the person who can manifest this mercy of God, this love of God and help the people be close to Christ. Because I talk with the people… they need somebody to hear them. I know my priest ordination is close, but this is when my work will begin,” said Fidel.
He added, “I remember my instructors in the seminary said, ‘This is not your goal to be a priest. The goal is first, your salvation.’ Following this vocation, I want to be with God, but I want many people, through me to be saved, too. They will hear the Word of God. I can give the Body of Christ. I can forgive sins, it is not me, but I can be this instrument. … This is what I want most for the people: to be this instrument to manifest the mercy of God, the love of God and drive them to Christ.”

As he reflected back on his long journey to the priesthood, Fidel shared stories of his time in seminary. One in particular reflected his vocational path.
“Sometimes when I was walking in the seminary, I would say, ‘I have this class and it is very difficult. And I will have a presentation tomorrow and the priest, he is tough.’ But I did my presentation, and when I finished I felt very good. I said, ‘This is not me on my own. Many people are praying for me, for my vocation. My family, my friends, the people around the world are praying for the seminarians, for the priests. … And after this difficult presentation I went to the chapel and I said, ‘Thank you God. For you are behind me, you sustain me. And I want to continue – because if you continue calling me, I want to continue answering you.’”

Fidel’s ordination to the priesthood will be Saturday, June 10, at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. Bishop Michael Duca will ordain Fidel as a priest for the Diocese of Shreveport. All members of the faithful are encouraged to attend.

“As a diocese, we are fortunate that Fidel’s journey has brought him to us so that he can serve the wonderful people of our region,” said Bishop Duca.  “I am anxious for our local Church to benefit from his ministry as an ordained priest and I believe he has so much to offer to our entire faith community.”

Catholic Charities Presents Bingo on the Bayou

by Lucy Medvec

Catholic Charities’ popular fundraiser, “Bingo on the Bayou,” is returning this year on Saturday, August 19th.  After selling out last year’s event, “Bingo on the Bayou” will move to East Ridge Country Club in order to accommodate more people.  In addition to seven games of bingo, the fundraiser will include dinner and a silent auction.

Local priests from around the diocese will once again serve as bingo callers for the event with prizes being gift certificates to upscale local restaurants.
All proceeds from “Bingo on the Bayou” will benefit the programs of Catholic Charities of North Louisiana including financial education, emergency assistance, healthy eating classes, parenting programs and assistance for low-income mothers, and immigration services.

Individual tickets are $50 each with table sponsor levels of $750, $1000, and $1500.  Dress is casual and the event is open to guests 21 years and older.
If you are interested in serving on the event committee, please contact Lucy Medvec at lmedvec@ccnla.org.  For sponsorship information or to order tickets, please contact the Catholic Charities office at 318-865-0200 ext. 101.

Plans for SVdP Banquet Underway

Presentation at the 2016 St. Vincent de Paul Banquet, "Not Too Far From Here."

by Jim Beadles, Vice President of Diocesan Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Blessings come in many diverse packages. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is no exception.  As a mission, more than 275 local Vincentians provide services such as rent and utility assistance, furniture, food and pharmacy services. The entire organization consists of volunteers.  There is no paid staff or overhead, and virtually every dollar raised goes to help those in need.  In 2016, local Vincentians conducted more than 2,400 in-home visits, and helped more than 12,000 of our neighbors.

All of our resources come from the generosity of the community, and we are grateful for the gifts that sustain our ministry.  Our primary fundraiser each year is the St. Vincent de Paul Annual Banquet, which will be held this year on September 12 at the Bossier Civic Center.

To say we were blessed by being a part of the 2016 banquet would be a gross understatement.  The theme of last year was based on the song, “Not Too Far From Here.” That song has a strong message that regardless of where you are, you do not have to look very far to find someone waiting for you to be the face of Christ in their life.

We had two incredible speakers:  Bishop Lawrence Brandon from Praise Temple, and Dr. Pat Day from First United Methodist  And, if that was not enough, the Centenary Choir performed several songs, including the theme song, leaving most of us speechless and inspired.

The success of the 2016 Banquet set the bar high for 2017.  We heard from so many people about how much they enjoyed the program, as well as from many who were unable to attend but heard about it, that we decided to present the “Not Too Far From Here…Encore” for the 2017 St. Vincent de Paul Banquet.
This year, we have as speakers Andrew Randall from Abounding Faith Temple, and Dr. Brad Jurkovich from First Bossier.  Having speakers from other faiths is important, as we understand that no one faith or group can create the systemic change needed to truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
The Centenary Choir will also make a return appearance!  Please join us on September 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bossier Civic Center.  Tickets will go on sale soon. Look for more information in your bulletins and online at our website www.svdpshreveport.org, or on Facebook at St. Vincent de Paul Shreveport.
On behalf of all Vincentians, I want to thank Bishop Duca for the continued blessing of his support.  It is sincerely appreciated.  See you in September! •

Join Us for Summer Catholic Camps for Teens!

0617camps

Dear Parents,

As parents of teenagers, you want the very best for your children. As faithful Catholics, you want them to grow closer to the Church in their teen years, not drift away from it. You want them to discover their true vocations in life, whatever they may be. Most of all, you want your child to be happy – to be well educated, well rounded and well loved.

I want those things for your children, too. And not just for your kids, but for every teenager in our diocese. That’s essentially why we created the Mission Possible and Beloved summer camps. Over the past six years, I’ve seen firsthand what these camps do for our Catholic teens. Time and again, I’ve seen the proverbial “light bulb” go off, not just in their heads, but in their hearts.

In a very real way, our annual Summer Camps help “launch” teens into life. The camps are a springboard for becoming strong men and women who love Jesus and the Church, and are open to God’s will in their lives.

As I look back on my young adulthood, I can pinpoint key moments when I made choices for good – choices for God. For me, these moments began in my teens and continued in my twenties. I can say with sincerity that I wish I would have attended a camp like the ones offered by our diocese.

So I want to encourage you in the strongest possible language: please seriously consider registering your child for Beloved (July 13-16) or Mission Possible (July 16-19). Yes, the campers are going to have a blast. Yes, they are going to come home tired and happy. But most all, they are going to return home with a renewed love for Jesus. That, of course, is what matters most in life.

May the Lord bless you and your family in this Easter Season!

In Christ through Mary Immaculate,
Fr. Matthew Long

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

0517redmass1

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.