Category Archives: Events

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

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

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

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.”

Celebrating the100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

Crowd looks at "the Miracle of the Sun" during the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions on October 13, 1917.

by Nancy Pierron

Three children, Lucia Ferreira, and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, first saw the vision of a beautiful lady on May 13, 1917. The lady told them to do penance and make sacrifices, to say the rosary every day and this would help save sinners. Mary also asked Lucia to learn to read and write so she could tell the world about Mary and her Immaculate Heart.
The people of the surrounding area, and even Lucia’s mother, were not happy about the stories the children were telling about the lady. They did not believe the children. Lucia was ridiculed and beaten because of her stories about Mary.

In July 1917, the lady revealed three secrets to the children. Lucia revealed two of the secrets in 1938. They concerned Mary asking for reparation, first Saturday devotions and the consecration of Russia. In January of that year, a huge aurora borealis appeared over Europe and a very bright beam of light was seen. The third secret was revealed in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. It was a vision of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.

As many as 70,000 people were present for the sixth and last apparition. On October 13, 1917, the sun appeared to rotate and change its coloration, then fall to the earth. This was called the miracle of the sun – a miracle that Lucia had promised would happen on the day of the apparition. At that time, the lady identified herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary.”
Lucia became a Discalced Carmelite nun in 1949. She returned to Fatima during all four papal pilgrimages. In February 2017, Sr. Lucia was granted the title “servant of God,” the first step toward canonization.

In February 1952, a fundraiser was started to establish Our Lady of Fatima Church in Monroe. Bishop Charles P. Greco donated the property for the church and school. Many came together to raise funds and work to complete the school building and gymnasium. A rectory and convent were prepared from two barracks buildings to house Fr. George Martinez and three Franciscan sisters.

The school began in 1953 with about 60 students in grades one through four. Later, a new wing was added to house fifth through eighth grades. The new church was completed in February 1959. A new rectory and convent were later built. Fr. Martinez and a determined group of parishioners were responsible for the success of the fledgling parish. Now, nearly 60 years later, the parish is still fueled by devoted parishioners.

Our Lady of Fatima Parish invites you to attend the celebration Mass of the 100th anniversary of the sixth and final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. It will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, located at 3205 Concordia Street, Monroe on October 11. There will be a meal following Mass. All are welcome! 

Knights of Columbus Silver Rose Coming to Bossier City

Prayer Service for Our Lady of Guadalupe Silver Rose

Christ the King Parish
October 28
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
between Masses

For 57 years, the Knights of Columbus have honored Our Lady of Guadalupe by carrying silver roses across all of North America. In each location the rose stops, the culture of life is promoted, thus the program is called  “One Life, One Rose.” Every stop along the route of the Silver Rose Pilgrimage is an occasion for prayer and spiritual renewal centered on the rosary. This year, the rose will stop in Bossier City. Knights of Columbus and members of the community will escort the rose to Christ the King Parish for a prayer service on October 28. Please join them for this special occasion.

St. Vincent de Paul’s Friends of the Poor Walk

• The FOP® Walk/Run began in 2008 to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the oldest and most effective charitable organizations in the world.

• Funds raised are applied to a wide range of assistance for the needy and those living in poverty, including: housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine.

• Each community’s Walk is organized and run by its own SVdP Conference or Council.

• Last year, our local Shreveport-Bossier Walk raised over $1,000 which was used to help those in need in Shreveport/Bossier City. Since the Walk began in 2008, more than $17 million has been raised.

• Walkers are encouraged to make a personal monetary donation and collect pledges from supporters.

• The website (www.fopwalk.org) offers more details, including all of the participating Walk locations that are currently registered across the United States.

Date: October 21, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Walk Location: Arthur Ray Teague Parkway (Bossier City) Main pavillion right next to the boat launch, just south of the Shreveport-Barksdale bridge.

Contact Brian Burgess
Phone: 318-746-1299
Mobile: 318-780-7755
E-mail: baburgess@gmail.com

World Mission Sunday Collection

by Fr. Rothell Price

Collection Dates: October 21 & 22
Announcement Dates: October 8 & 15

Mercy Changes the World / La Misericordia Cambia al Mundo!

This is the chosen theme for World Mission Sunday this year. This theme reminds me of a popular movement and slogan from the 1960’s and early 70’s: “Love makes the world go round.”  World Mission Sunday celebrates the mercy of God as we extend His loving heart to our neighbors half a world away, through our prayers and sacrifices. World Mission Sunday is celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of October. As I write this article, we have reached out to our brothers and sisters affected by Hurricane Harvey and will continue to serve them throughout their recovery. We are poised to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters who are experiencing the ravaging effects of Hurricane Irma. We are often told, and it’s worth remembering, that God does not put on our shoulders more than we can stand.

Our dear universal pastor, Pope Francis reminds us that “World Mission Day gathers us around the person of Jesus, ‘the very first and greatest evangelizer’ (Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 7), who continually sends us forth to proclaim the Gospel of the love of God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church is missionary by nature; otherwise, she would no longer be the Church of Christ, but one group among many others that soon end up serving their purpose and passing away.” Our Holy Father invites our participation in this collection.  It is our tangible way of gathering around Jesus and uniting ourselves to His mission. Our offering, our donation, our sacrifice, unites us to the Lord, and through Him to our brothers and sisters in their time of need. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4: 18 & 19)

Pope Francis reminds us that we are continually sent forth to proclaim the Gospel. Our response to God and His children in need is never “once and done.” Jesus tells us, “The poor you will have with you always.” Every day, every week, every month, every year, we will have golden opportunities to minister to the Lord in the least of His brothers and sisters. How good it is to know that whatever we do for people in need, we are in all actuality doing for Jesus. Mercy changes the world. La misericordia cambia al mundo.  His love and mercy changed our world. Our love and mercy, united to His, will do the same and more. That is His assurance to us, His disciples today.

Thank you for supporting this year’s World Mission Sunday Collection. Here is what the Holy Father will do with your donation: grow crops; educate catechists; feed, house and protect children; construct churches, schools, clinics and orphanages; educate children and women; feed the hungry; provide healthcare to the most vulnerable; advance human rights; support vocations to the religious life and priesthood; provide water; empower women; and above all, proclaim Jesus Christ to all the nations. That’s a lot of bang for your dollar, or two, or more. Help our Lord Jesus Christ and his vicar, Pope Francis, change the world with your divinely inspired mercy. Please give generously to the World Mission Sunday Collection.

4th Annual Multicultural Rosary

St. Joseph Parish, Shreveport
204 Patton Ave., Shreveport  • 318-865-3581
Sunday, October 8 •  2:00pm

One decade of the Rosary will be prayed in each of the following languages: Italian (Sr. AnnaMaria Iannetti), Gaeilige (Kim Long), Tagalog (Emee Reynier), French (Normand Roy) and Malayalam (Sr. Suny Augustine).  The first half of each prayer will be said in foreign languages and all responses will be in English.

We invite all our Christian brothers and sisters to participate. Please join us for this glorious event!