Category Archives: Events

God & Sex Series April Event

This months speaker, Dr. Christopher Manion, will speak about, “Too Many People? The Myth of Overpopulation” in the God & Sex Speaker Series.
Dr. Manion served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for several years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion and international relations at Boston University, The Catholic University of America and Christendom College, and is the director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae.

This talk will be held at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, located at 939 Jordan Street in Shreveport, on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Nursery available. Please make nursery reservations by calling 318-221-5296.

Shreveport-Bossier Pro-Life Oratory Contest

The National Right to Life is sponsoring its annual Pro-Life Oratory Contest. The competition is open to all high school juniors and seniors, who will address the issues of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research in five to seven minute oral presentations.

The Shreveport-Bossier contest, now in its thirtieth year, is sponsored locally by the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport and will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Catholic Center, located at 3500 Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport. The contest is open to the public at no charge. The local first place winner will receive a $500 cash prize and will represent Shreveport at the state contest.

The state contest will be held in Baton Rouge on May 5 at the Louisiana Knights of Columbus Convention. The state winner will receive $500 cash, plus expenses paid (up to $1,000) to go to Nationals.

The national contest will be held in Kansas City, KS at the National Right to Life Convention, June 28-30. The national prize is $1,000 cash.
All high school juniors and seniors are eligible, and there may be more than one student entered from each school.

For additional information and entry blanks, please contact Anthony Fabio, 1908 Carol Street, Bossier City, LA 71112, awfabio2@hotmail.com, or call 318-402-6663.

 www.facebook.com/SBProLifeOratoryCommittee/

26th Annual Red Mass Set for May 4 at Holy Trinity

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by Jessica Rinaudo & Richard Hiller

The Red Mass, which takes place annually at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in May of each year, has become a fixture in the Diocese of Shreveport. Now in its 26th year, the Mass, which invokes God’s blessing and guidance in the administration of justice, is well attended by local judges, lawyers and government officials. The Mass always takes place the first Friday in May in conjunction with the nationally recognized Law Week.

The Red Mass has a rich history originating centuries ago in Rome, Paris and London. Its traditional name is derived from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants of the Mass. Over the centuries, the Red Mass has officially opened the judicial year of the Sacred Roman Rota, the Tribunal of the Holy See. During the reign of Louis IX, Saint Louis of France, La Sainte Chapelle was designated as the Chapel for the Mass and is now used only once a year solely for the Red Mass. In England, the tradition began in the Middle Ages and continued even during World War II when judges and lawyers attended the Red Mass annually at the Westminster Cathedral. The tradition was inaugurated in the United States in 1928 at old St. Andrew’s Church in New York City. Since then, the Red Mass has been celebrated annually there and in many cities in the United States.

Locally, the Red Mass Society of Shreveport has been sponsoring the Mass since 1993. Their primary mission is to organize the annual Red Mass, which includes selecting a homilist and honoree.

Richard Hiller is a local attorney and Chairman of the Red Mass Society. He is excited about this year’s event. Fr. Matthew Long, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shreveport and former attorney, will give the homily, and local non-profits Christian Service and Hope Connections, two organizations that serve the hungry and homeless in our community, will be the honorees.

“What’s also great about the Red Mass is that the music is quite extraordinary. Zion Baptist Church provides the music before Mass. They start at about 8:30 a.m. The Mass begins at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 4, at Holy Trinity Church. The judges and officials gather across the street at the Second Circuit, [then] they walk across,” said Hiller.  “During the service the St. Cecilia Choir provides the music.”

The Red Mass is an ecumenical event with pastors of different faiths coming together to bestow their blessings and prayers on legal professionals. People of all faiths are welcome to join the Red Mass Society and the Diocese of Shreveport at this annual event.  •

St. Vincent Alumni Tag Day Legacy Continues with St. Patrick’s Day Event

St. Vincent Academy Alumni gather at the Catholic Center for the annual Tag Day scholarship fundraiser.

by Bernadette Cordaro Boyd, (SVA 1977)

If you have lived in Shreveport since the 1930s, you probably remember on or around St. Patrick’s Day seeing high school students dressed in blue uniforms offering shamrocks for a donation. For most St. Vincent’s graduates, this is a special time to reflect on this unique tradition that was such an instrumental part of our SVA life. The St. Vincent’s Tag Day Tradition was sponsored by the Mother’s Club in the mid 1930s, and records report that the first chair was the late Mrs. Kate Wolcott. Over the years, the funds collected have been used for child welfare work, school activities and educational programs. Back in the day, the shamrocks were pinned on, and later were offered as stickers. At Tag Day’s peak, over 25,000 shamrocks were distributed in the Shreveport Bossier area in just one day. The prime spots were usually downtown and were picked first by the seniors. I remember enthusiastically picking our coveted spots we wanted each year and looking forward to Tag Day. It was nice to have a day off of studies to share some Irish spirit with the community.

Some years Tag Day “Queens” were named and those were usually elected from the previous year’s top class donations. With the closing of St. Vincent’s Academy in 1988, Tag Day seemed to become a distant memory for many of us. My classmates just celebrated our 40th Reunion and many of us reminisced about our Tag Day memories… who we tagged with, where we ate lunch, our selected spots, holding our decorated shamrock cans, and, of course, having a day off from school. Many of us from SVA want to not only keep these memories alive, but also make a positive impact in our community, and in particular support Catholic education in our diocese.

A SVA Scholarship program started in 1995 when Loyola had the idea to create a scholarship fund and approached some of the St. Vincent’s alumnae to spearhead the project.  Loyola assisted in soliciting donations and invested them in the
St. Vincent’s Scholarship Fund, with the purpose to fund tuition expenses at Loyola for a child of a St. Vincent graduates, in order to perpetuate the memory of St. Vincent’s and to help keep Catholic education alive in Shreveport. A major fundraising effort was needed, so my sister, Rosie Cordaro Woodley (SVA 1979), had a great idea to start the popular “Tag Day” event to raise money for scholarships. The first Tag Day Scholarship Fundraiser was held on March 17, 2009, and 10 years later the history of Tag Day still lives on. Many SVA Alumnae have tirelessly worked over the years in making the the Tag Day event successful, and the great support from Bishop Duca and the Catholic Center has given us the right “home” for our alumnae, family and friends to come together. With the efforts of many, this event has provided funds to award hundreds of students assistance with their tuition needs at Loyola.

Camille Meehan (SVA 1967) and a faculty member at Loyola, has been the catalyst in making sure the funds are allocated as set forth by the scholarship guidelines. Along with wanting to increase the amount of money available for scholarships, a goal of the Tag Day event was to “help even more students” and to strive to “keep the spirit of our school alive in this new generation.” Scholarships are awarded to students who exhibit all-round good character in scholarship, citizenship and involvement with their church. Each recipient is recognized at the honors assembly at the end of the school year and is given a certificate. The top tier St. Vincent’s Scholars also have their names engraved on a plaque that hangs in the main office at Loyola.  By publicly recognizing these students, we are fulfilling the stated purpose of the scholarship program to perpetuate the memory of St. Vincent’s and to help keep Catholic education alive in Shreveport.

This year’s Silent Auction and Tag Day Celebration will be held on Thursday, March 15, at the Catholic Center at 3500 Fairfield Avenue, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Come renew old friendships, make new ones, and go home with a great auction item! Anyone 21 years and older is welcome to attend. Tickets are $25 per person and include great food, door prizes and lots of Irish fun. The Craig/Powers Duo will also provide wonderful music. Some auction items include LSU tickets, Strand tickets, your favorite restaurants, golf outings, beautiful painted furniture, unique paintings, jewelry and the popular “Make Italian Sausage with Bishop Duca!” Help support SVA make a difference in our diocese. Hope to see you there!  •

Catholic Charities “Bingo” Heads to Eastern Deanery

by Lucy Medvec

Get ready to yell “BINGO” for Catholic Charities!  Catholic Charities of North Louisiana’s popular Bingo fundraiser is heading to Northeast Louisiana. Bingo on the Delta will be held on Saturday, April 7th, at 6:00 p.m. at the West Monroe Convention Center.

After having two straight years of sold-out Bingo events in Shreveport, CCNLA’s Executive Director Meg Goorley felt it was time to bring bingo to the Monroe/West Monroe area. “Bingo on the Bayou has been an extremely popular fundraiser for Catholic Charities,” said Goorley. “Our guests always have fun at this event and they especially love seeing their priests in a more casual setting. The Monroe office is serving more and more people every month, so this event will raise much-needed funds for our programs and clients.”

Bishop Michael Duca and priests from parishes in the Eastern Deanery will serve as bingo callers, with John Mark Willcox, Development Director for the Diocese of Shreveport, serving as Master of Ceremonies.

Tickets to Bingo on the Delta are $50 each (includes dinner and two bingo cards) and can be purchased online at www.ccnla.org or by calling 318-865-0200. Table sponsorships are also available for $750, $1,000 and $1,500. Bingo on the Delta will feature dinner and prize raffle, and is for guests 21 years and older. There will also be a raffle drawing that evening for a framed George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” print. Raffle tickets are $10 each and the winner need not be present to win.

All event proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities’ programs and clients served by the Monroe office. For more information, to purchase tickets or become a table sponsor, contact Lucy Medvec at 318-865-0200 ext. 101 or lmedvec@ccnla.org.  •

God, Sex and the Church Series Launches to Great Enthusiasm

by Fr. Matthew Long

Bishop Duca kicked off the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae on January 25th, delivering a rousing call to courage to a packed house at

St. Joseph Parish, Shreveport. The laity were not the only ones to fill the pews, as priests from across the diocese also chose to participate in the opening of this most momentous year of Human Life. Drawing on the wisdom of the beatified Pope Paul VI, Bishop testified to the prophetic truth of his writings and presented a compelling vision of what it means to be a Catholic in light of human sexuality.

Bishop Duca’s use of the story of Moses’ encounter with the burning bush as an analogy for God’s love spoke most to my own heart. God’s love is a fire that gives life and light without consuming and eating up its host! We can have that same fire of God’s love if we give over our sexuality to Him, let Him temper, guard, and guide our passions for His ends and allow Him to instruct us in its uses. Ultimately, this obedience allows us to love in a way that will never leave us feeling empty, used and disabused, but fully alive. Our human sexuality is not a burden, a pleasure trap, or simply a biological fact. It is a flicker of the Eternal Flame, an energy that finds its full meaning within the light of its Maker, the one who wishes to set the world ablaze!

I exhort you, my brothers and sisters, to keep this fire burning and continue to participate in the God and Sex series as it continues on the 25th of each month. February saw the great success of Dr. David Parker speaking on the medical aspect of human sexuality with his talk on fertility, Natural Family Planning and the Church. This month, Dumb Ox Ministries will be offering a parish mission at St. Joseph Parish, continuing in the same vein of the Bishop and Pope Paul VI, bringing to light the truth of human sexuality in light of the Gospel. I leave you with the words of St. Paul: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”

Click to view Bishop Duca’s talk online!

Pro-Life Reception for Mary’s House with Abby Johnson on March 20

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On Tuesday, March 20, at the Bossier Civic Center, Mary’s House will host the Shreveport/Bossier Pro-Life Reception featuring Abby Johnson, former clinic director for Planned Parenthood, now pro-life advocate, as keynote speaker.

Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement. During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director.

She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease. Still, Abby loved the women that entered her clinic and her fellow workers. Despite a growing unrest within her, she stayed on and strove to serve women in crisis.

All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13-week baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist. At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.

Planned Parenthood did not take Abby’s exodus sitting down. They are fully aware that the workers who leave are their greatest threat. Instantly, they took action to silence Abby with a gag order and took her to court. The lawsuit was quickly seen as the sham it was and thrown out of court.

The media was, and continues to be, intensely interested in Abby’s story as well as her continued efforts to advocate for the unborn and help clinic workers escape the abortion industry. She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.

Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 419 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and seven precious children. •

 

Event Information

Tickets

General Admission, $50 • VIP Sponsorships $500, $1000, $1500 and $2000. • For more information and Tickets/Sponsorships, visit www.MarysHouseofLAFoundation.org, or email Lanne@maryshouseofla.org

EVENT TIMELINE:

5:30 p.m.: Doors Open

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.:  Pre-Reception, hors d’oeuvres* in the Main Hall

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.:  VIP Pre-Reception* in the Bodcau Room for sponsors and their guests

6:45 p.m.: Reception seating in the Main Hall

7:00 p.m.: Reception begins

7:30 p.m.: Keynote address by Abby Johnson

*Hors d’oeuvres by Silver Star

All proceeds benefit Mary’s House.

2018 Lenten Reconciliation Services

St. John Berchmans School Wednesday, February 28 8:15 a.m.

Loyola College Prep Wednesday, February 28 9:30 a.m.

Mary, Queen of Peace Parish Wednesday, February 28 6:00 p.m.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Thursday, March 1 6:30 p.m.

Christ the King Parish Saturday, March 3 10:00 a.m.

Holy Trinity Parish Monday, March 5 5:00 p.m.

Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Monday, March 12 6:00 p.m.

St. Jude Parish Tuesday, March 13 6:30 p.m.

St. Joseph Parish Monday, March 14 6:00 p.m.

Our Lady of the Blessed Thursday, March 15 6:00 p.m.

Sacrament Parish

St. Joseph School Friday, March 16 9:15 a.m.

St. Mary of the Pines Parish Tuesday, March 20 6:30 p.m.

St. Pius X Parish Wednesday, March 21 6:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Thursday, March 22 6:30 p.m.

Pro-Life Events Evolving in 2018: An Interview with Bishop Michael G. Duca

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by Jessica Rinaudo

As the Diocese of Shreveport continues to support and champion pro-life efforts in 2018, Bishop Duca is planning to keep awareness of the issue at the forefront but now plans to host two events: one in support of our local pro-life ministry and one to witness to the broader issues that challenge the dignity of the human person in the world today. Our first event this spring will be a reception in support of Mary’s House – the Diocese of Shreveport’s pregnancy center, which will be held on March 20th at the Bossier Civic Center.  Another parish-centered pro-life event will be held in October to highlight all the life ministries in the diocese.

I sat down with Bishop Duca to talk about the changes in pro-life events.

Q: The Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Banquet has been a huge success in the community. Why are things changing this year?

At last year’s Pro-Life Banquet, I mentioned that I would likely begin to change the focus of our yearly gathering event in order to not only witness to our efforts to protect human life, our stance against abortion and our desire to make it illegal, but also I wanted to affirm the many other life ministries in the diocese that support the dignity of the human person. To accomplish this I decided we needed two events: the first will be the Mary’s House reception this March.

Q: What will this spring reception that will support Mary’s House be like?

It’s going to be held at the Bossier Civic Center. It will be a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres – a ticketed event. We have a powerhouse speaker, Abby Johnson, who is the former clinic director of Planned Parenthood and who now famously speaks out against abortion. She will be there to inspire and update us on the issues surrounding life – particularly issues of the status of abortion and the status of the Church’s ministry to the unborn.

Q: What would you say to others who attended the pro-life banquet in the past but are unsure about this new Reception?

I support this event and I will be present because our spring pro-life dinner has always been a source of support for our pro-life ministries, and in particular, for the past few years, for Mary’s House. This event is something that I support and I hope you will too. Mary’s House is presently our premier ministry to the unborn and to pregnant mothers considering abortion in the diocese. Mary’s House has always been a beneficiary of our banquet, but now we’re going to highlight the importance of their ministry in a more focused way. Mary’s House needs our support for their ongoing ministry to pregnant women and the unborn. They are expanding their ministries as well. In addition to their work with counseling pregnant women and encouraging them to have their babies, they now have a program called Embrace Grace which provides pregnant mothers with community support from our churches, with baby showers and ongoing support after the baby is born. And as they expand, of course, they need more support to keep that ministry going.

Q: So if there is a reception with food in the spring, what can we expect in the fall?

We’ll have another event that will be a celebration of the dignity of human person. It will likely be held in a parish setting with prayer, a speaker and possibly include a youth component, as well. This event in the fall will allow us to explore and witness all our diocesan ministries that work to protect the dignity of the human person from the womb to death. This will be a free event. We will highlight our family life ministries as well. These two events are still components of the original, but they are being separated so that we can focus on two aspects of the need in our diocese for pro-life ministry and assist in realizing our desire to be a witness to all aspects of the pro-life ministry of the Church.

Embrace Grace: A Pro-LOVE Movement for Single and Pregnant Women

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by Kelly Phelan Powell

Amy Ford grew up in a happy, loving, church-going, Christian home. She knew abortion was wrong; she had even prayed with other believers outside abortion clinics. But when she found herself pregnant and unmarried at the age of 19, it suddenly became a very real and tempting possibility. “I know it was the enemy,” she says now. Too ashamed and afraid to face their families, she and her boyfriend decided the best way out of the trouble they were in was an abortion.

At the abortion facility, a nurse performed a sonogram in which Ford discovered she was farther along in her pregnancy than she thought she was. Having hoped she could simply “take a pill” and “make everything go away,” she was horrified to learn that a surgical abortion would be her only option. Hysterical and hyperventilating, she fainted. When she came to, she was surrounded by nurses. In a miraculous moment, something occurred that any woman who has ever visited an abortion facility will attest is not at all typical: One of the nurses told her she was clearly too distraught to make a decision that day and to go home and reschedule her appointment for an abortion. “She was an angel of a nurse,” Ford says. She and her boyfriend finally worked up the courage to tell their parents, who were understandably disappointed but supportive. The two married and now have four children. The baby who was almost aborted is now a 19-year-old young man, the same age his mother was when she nearly made a deathly tragic mistake. “I really feel like all of our kids are called to an amazing destiny in life,” she says.

Ford certainly is. Her experiences with unplanned pregnancy led her to co-found Embrace Grace, a national program for single and pregnant women. Their mission is “to inspire and equip the church to love on single and pregnant young women and their families.” With Bishop Michael Duca’s permission, Embrace Grace came to the Diocese of Shreveport in 2015. Director L’Anne Sciba explained that Mary’s House Pregnancy Care Center at 906 Margaret Place in Shreveport (a block away from the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans) holds the program twice per year. Each program is 12 weeks long, or a “semester,” with the first 10 weeks focusing on basic Christian principles and encouraging the women to share life-giving fellowship through prayer, activities and crafts. In the 11th week, volunteers celebrate the mothers-to-be with a baby shower where they can invite family and friends. Week 12 includes a Special Event Day. Currently, there are three women enrolled in Embrace Grace, which is in its third semester.

This year’s Embrace Grace baby shower is taking place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 22, at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Parish Hall. Like all showers, it hopes to furnish the new mothers with the items they will need to care for a newborn, but more importantly, it demonstrates to the women that the Body of Christ accepts them, loves them and celebrates them and their babies. “We would like as many ladies as possible to attend the shower,” Sciba said. “Gifts are really nice, but when complete strangers show up to attend a shower for your baby, it changes hearts and fills them up with God’s love.” If anyone is interested in bringing a gift or participating in upcoming showers, email L’Anne Sciba at maryshouse.sport@gmail.com or call (318) 220-8009.

Expectant mothers generally learn about Embrace Grace and Mary’s House online or through church members reaching out to women who are single and pregnant. Mary’s House invites every woman who visits to join an Embrace Grace group either there or at one of the other three groups in the Shreveport-Bossier area. In addition to addressing women’s spiritual needs, Mary’s House also offers free and confidential pregnancy testing (including Pregnancy Verification in order to receive medical care and other social services), ultrasounds and counseling services. Ford said, “The most common response from the girls who try Embrace Grace for the first time is, ‘I thought I was coming here to learn about where I screwed up and go over everything I’ve done wrong.’ But the good news is that they quickly find out how wrong they were. They are quickly overcome by the love and grace of Jesus…the pro-life movement saves babies, but the pro-love movement saves the babies and the mommies.”

Saving love can’t come too soon for Shreveport and the world. An abortion facility in Bossier City closed in April, but there is still one operating in Shreveport (in addition to one in Baton Rouge and one in New Orleans, for a total of three in the State of Louisiana). Louisiana Right to Life Federation (prolifelouisiana.org) reports, “There were 8,972 abortions performed in Louisiana in 2016, down from 9,362 abortions reported in 2015 and 10,211 abortions reported in 2014. The number of abortions performed in the state had increased steadily from 2008-2014 as population numbers returned to pre-Katrina levels… Even with numbers going down, on average, 25 abortions per day were performed in Louisiana.” The website notes that these statistics are from the Louisiana Department of Health and do not factor in the number of women who sought abortions outside the state. On the positive side, these same statistics indicate that the number of abortions performed fell by 14 percent from 2014-2016, meaning that more than three babies were saved per day last year. Pro-life efforts are clearly making an impact, but they must continue stronger than ever.


“I heard today that Mother Teresa picked up 90,000 poor people herself, one person at a time,” said Sciba. “That doesn’t count her 4,000 Sisters of Charity across the world. Mary’s House and Embrace Grace are impacting North Louisiana one woman and baby – unless it’s twins! – at a time. It makes a big difference to that woman and child!” Anyone who wishes to make a difference through Embrace Grace and Mary’s House should email maryshouse.sport@gmail.com. “[We] always welcome donations of money and time,” Sciba said. Women in the diocese are welcome and encouraged to attend the Oct. 22 baby shower as well.

“We believe that the church should be the first place girls should run to during an unplanned pregnancy instead of the last because of shame and guilt,” said Ford. That’s exactly what Sciba and her fellow volunteers aim to do. She said, “In time, with God’s grace and by His providence, Mary’s House and Embrace Grace will have made a positive impact on North Louisiana.”