Monthly Archives: July 2013

Little Flower Parishioner Recognized for Service

Mr. Leon Lewis II was recognized at Little Flower of Jesus Church in Monroe for his 50 years of service as Organist and Minister of Music.

Holy Trinity Honored Grads

Holy Trinity Church is very proud of their graduating parishioners, honoring each graduate for their educational accomplishments with a gift from the parish.

SEAS Hosted Chamber Music Clinic

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church hosted the 13th annual Shreveport Chamber Music Clinic June 5-7 under the direction of Dan Santelices. Over 25 young string musicians gathered daily to learn the art of chamber music skills. Santelices was assisted by Elaine Webb, Zackery Grant, Ginger Neff, Janis Adams Teague, Elizabeth Grondin, Dr. Todd Gabriel, Ruth Drummond, Carole Moon and Leonard Kacenjar. The last evening of the clinic a recital was presented.

Fundraiser for Local Deacon Candidate

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Shreveport hosted a Philippine food fund raiser on May 19. The Philippine community prepared special dishes and provided entertainment with young girls demonstrating some of their cultural dances. Proceeds went to assist diaconate candidate Orlando Batongbakal with his studies. Orlando has completed three of the four years of diaconate formation.

Cathedral Participated in Corpus Christi Procession

The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans led a Corpus Christi Procession on June 2. Fr. Peter Mangum led over 100 parishioners in the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament around the surrounding campuses of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans Parish and School and Loyola College Prep. The procession was a response to Pope Francis’ call for a worldwide Solemn Eucharistic Adoration on Corpus Christi Sunday. The Holy Father asked that this time of Eucharistic Adoration be offered as a sign of unity throughout the Church.

Certification of Advanced Catechesis

The Diocese of Shreveport presented a “Certification of Advanced Catechesis” to nine members of the Hispanic Catholic Ministry. In addition to serving as liaisons with the Anglo community, Eucharistic Ministers, lectors and catechesis teachers, these women gathered a weekend every other month for four years to learn more about the teachings of the Catholic Church. On June 1, they were formally honored by Bishop Duca. Along with the certification from the diocese, these volunteers received a certificate for completing “School of Ministries” from the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) based in Miami, FL. Fifteen more received a certificate for participating in many of the classes offered.

Pope Francis’ First Encyclical Emphasizes Life-Changing Faith

by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—“Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), the first encyclical of Pope Francis, says that faith is like a light illuminating all of human existence.

The encyclical, begun by Pope Benedict XVI, his successor Pope Francis said, was released by the Vatican July 5.
Dated June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, “Lumen Fidei,” considers the role of faith from the days of Abraham until modern times.

“The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence,” the pope said. “A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God.” Faith heralds the transforming power of belief in Jesus, said Pope Francis. “Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing,” the pope said.

Pope Francis offered his signature down-to-earth comparison. “We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court,” he said. “We also need somebody trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is concerned. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who makes God known to us.”
Pope Francis noted faith’s impact on the family, especially young people.“Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives,” Pope Francis said. “It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation of love. It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness.”

The pope also pointed out that faith provides perspective in the search for truth, so that believers do not fall prey to great totalitarian movements on one side and relativism on the other. He warned of “a massive amnesia in our contemporary world.”

“The question of truth is really a question of memory, deep memory, for it deals with something prior to ourselves and can succeed in uniting us in a way that transcends our petty and limited individual consciousness. It is a question about the origin of all that is, in whose light we can glimpse the goal and thus the meaning of our common path,” he said.

Pope Francis addressed several contemporary concerns, including the environment and development of people. “Faith,” he said, “by revealing the love of God the Creator, enables us to respect nature all the more, and to discern in it a grammar written by the hand of God and a dwelling place entrusted to our protection and care.

“Faith also helps us to devise models of development which are based not simply on utility and profit, but consider creation as a gift for which we are all indebted; it teaches us to create just forms of government, in the realization that authority comes from God and is meant for the service of the common good.”

He cited faith as a way to unity among peoples. “Faith likewise offers the possibility of forgiveness, which so often demands time and effort, patience and commitment. Forgiveness is possible once we discover that goodness is always prior to and more powerful than evil, and that the word with which God affirms our life is deeper than our every denial. From a purely anthropological standpoint, unity is superior to conflict; rather than avoiding conflict, we need to confront it in an effort to resolve and move beyond it, to make it a link in a chain, as part of a progress toward unity.”

“The Light of Faith” (“Lumen Fidei”) is available from USCCB in print and e-book editions in English and Spanish: or at l-800-235-8722.

John Paul II’s & John XXIII’s Paths Cleared for Canonization

Pope Francis has now put his signature on a decree that has cleared a final hurdle to sainthood for Blessed John Paul II. He also asked the cardinals to vote on the canonization of John XXIII, because he still lacks a miracle.

Many have called Blessed Pope John XXIII the bravest man who ever held Peter’s Chair for his institution of the Second Vatican Council and the man who authored some of the most telling documents of that council. Blessed Pope John Paul II will be remembered as the greatest evangelical pope in history and the man who brought the Vatican to the people of the world.

Following the signed decree recognizing the final miracle, popes have traditionally called for a consistory, where available cardinals gather and show support for the new saint. This gathering took place on July 2, 2013 and those present endorsed the canonization of Blessed John Paul II.  During this time, the Vatican recognized the healing of a Costa Rican woman who recovered from a brain aneurysm due to prayers through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, which was the second miracle Blessed John Paul needed to fulfill the requirements of canonization.

During this same session, the cardinals reviewed John XXIII’s cause and asked Pope Francis to canonize him without the required miracle and the pope agreed.

Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi confirmed and endorsed this decision, “As we all know very well, John XXIII is a person beloved in the church. We are in the 50th anniversary year of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, which he convoked. And I think none of us has any doubts about John XXIII’s virtues. So, the Holy Father is looking toward his canonization.”

Both men have been chosen for entrance into the family of saints with current speculation resting on a canonization ceremony to be held in Rome at the end of this year.

Controversy at this decision should be muted as both of these men of God are truly held in the highest of esteem by both the ordained leadership of the Church and many millions of the faithful around the world. What a blessed event this will be when these two giants of Christianity are named saints in a dual ceremony broadcast around the world.

by John Mark Willcox, Director of Communications

Catholic Charities Expands & Bids Farewell to Sr. Pat

Catholic Charities of Shreveport will reach its third anniversary this August. We’re also happy to report that we’ve just opened an office in Lake Providence and are working closely with Fr. Mark Watson and Sr. Bernadette “Bernie” Barrett, who clearly see the need for our services in East Carroll parish. The poverty rate in that area is one of the highest in Louisiana, with high unemployment and few prospects for those who struggle to make a life there. Sr. Bernie, Fr. Watson and a small group of volunteers are working hard to establish our satellite office in Lake Providence and have already been trained in our financial education and emergency assistance programs. Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Jean Dresley, and Financial Education Coordinator, Carl Piehl, are excited about the participation and engagement by those who want to make a difference in northeast Louisiana. We are well on our way with this great team of caring Christians. The team continues to recruit volunteers to assist in a variety of duties and hopes to hear from more who understand the importance of having a thriving Catholic Charities in Lake Providence.

Catholic Charities is also facing another big change at the Shreveport office. Sr. Patricia “Pat” Cairns, CSJ has been administrator, mentor and working friend to us since she began the investigative work that helped Bishop Michael Duca decide to establish Catholic Charities of Shreveport in August 2010 and served as President of the Board of Directors.
Sr. Pat brought years of experience to the job from her work as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh, as well as Executive Director of Catholic Services of Lafayette, just two of the many positions she has held through the years, working for the betterment of the poor. Her wealth of hands-on knowledge was just what we needed locally to become the thriving agency we are today after only three years of operation.

She was honored with a reception at the home of Nona Daily. Fr. Rothell Price and Bishop Michael Duca awarded a special honorarium to Sr. Pat – a gift of Founding Member status. In accepting this very special honor, Sr. Pat exclaimed that there is nothing that makes her happier or means more to her than a gift that goes directly toward helping the poor. We miss her dedication, hard work and counsel but are happy for her as she begins retirement in Albany, NY.

by Theresa Mormino, Catholic Charities of Shreveport

Catholic Connection Wins National Award

Photo: Jessica Rinaudo, Catholic Connection editor, and Katie Sciba, family life columnist, with Catholic Press Award.

The Catholic Press Awards are handed out each year for journalistic excellence in many categories. Judged this year by the journalism departments at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL, the awards were given out to Catholic publications in the United States and Canada.

Most award categories are divided up into publication type. So while most diocesan publications can enter under “Diocesan Newspaper, Distribution 1-17,000,” the Catholic Connection often has to enter under the general “Magazine” category, going up against some large national, well-staffed magazines like One, Columbia and America magazines, making it difficult for our small mission magazine to even get on the radar.

This year was the exception though as the Catholic Connection proudly took home a third place win in the Magazine Family Life Column category, finishing behind two national magazines (and ahead of many more).

Our monthly family column, “Domestic Church,” is penned by local writer Katie Sciba. Each month Katie and I consult on potential topics for the column. She then takes those ideas, runs with them and produces quality advice and stories for Catholic families to apply to their every day lives. Her “tools and tips” are then “pinned” each month by the Catholic Connection on Pinterest, a popular social media website, and they continue to be our most popular and re-pinned items.
After the award was announced, Katie and I both were in a bit of proud shock and awe.

“It’s extremely humbling to be recognized on such a broad scale,” said Katie.

“I am so proud of our magazine and the work that all of our writers put into it each month,” added Jessica. “Katie works hard and writes from the heart. We are honored to have her write for us. This award is well deserved.”

We look forward to working even harder over the course of this year to bring you quality Catholic news and information.

by Jessica Rinaudo, Editor