Monthly Archives: June 2018

Bishop’s Reflection: Make Your Daily Routine Positive

by Bishop Michael G. Duca

We finally made it to ORDINARY TIME. We all track our lives in many ways, but for me as a bishop, I track my life by the liturgical seasons. From February 14th of this year, we have been “church-wise,” in special seasons beginning with Lent, the Easter season, the Feast of the Ascension, ending with Pentecost and then followed the past two Sundays with the Feast of Corpus Christi and last week, June 4th, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. This Sunday, as I write this article, June 10, 2018, we are finally back to Ordinary Time.

Ordinary Time is noted with green vestments and will mark our liturgical prayer life until the first Sunday of Advent in November. I suppose it is surprising to be looking forward to the “ordinary,” especially in a culture that is always trying to entice with the new and exciting, putting down the old-fashioned, ordinary and boring stuff of our lives.

As I get older, I work hard to preserve a certain routine because my everyday life as a bishop is so different. I need some parts of the day that are predictable and regular so I can make time for prayer, Mass and some spiritual reading and study. An intentional, ordinary daily routine or schedule, when built around spiritual and eternal values, is life-giving and helps us to reflect on our lives and what is most important to us and to our families.

Growing up in Dallas, some of our ordinary family routines were: family meals together every night, going to Sunday Mass as a family without exception, chores around the house and always pasta for lunch on Sundays. My family life growing up was built around these solid routines that supported our family life. They were intentional routines that keep us connected with God and supported us in meeting the demands of love to help build a life-giving stability in our lives. Family routines also teach children the important parts of family life and help them to develop good habits for their future family.  Routine is important to creating a fruitful prayer life because we make the intentional decision to set aside a time to be quiet and create a space for a faithful conversation with God each day. This idea that during the day I can say, “This is my prayer time,” is a way to incorporate in a real way a good routine that can be transformative to the whole day.

But, routines if they are not intentional, can be a burden or even a bad influence in our lives.

We should reflect on the unconscious routines of our lives. These are all the things we do everyday without thinking, but are like the white noise of activity around us. The radio we turn on in the morning, the TV always running in the background, regularly checking our phone and surfing the internet, may all be unconscious actions that are part of our very regular but unconscious routine. While it may not be obvious, our routines in life can be choosing positive things, or we can choose activities that distract us from things we want to avoid, but would be good for us. We might, without thinking, routinely turn on a television when there is a quiet space because we are uncomfortable with quiet or with prayer.

Ordinary Time and routines are good for us, but we must from time to time examine our routines to be sure they are forming a holy and virtuous framework for our lives. Spend a day becoming aware of your own daily routine and see if you can find some activities to subtract from your schedule so you can add a new, good activity that will help you make your routine more life-giving.

Here are a few new routines you may wish to consider adding to your life to nurture your Catholic faith:

1) Learn and begin each day with the Morning Offering. Set a spiritual goal for the day.

2) Make time to pray the rosary each day.

3) Make time to go to daily Mass or make a visit to your church or adoration chapel.

4) Find a spiritual book or pick up your Bible and read a little every day.

5) Commit and schedule at least 15 minutes each day for a time of prayer.

6) Learn and pray the Angelus at 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. each day.

7) Make a brief examination of conscience each evening, acknowledging faults and being thankful for the graces received. Then, make a small spiritual goal for the next day to be reaffirmed with your morning offering.

Ordination of Father Duane Trombetta to the Priesthood

by Jessica Rinaudo

An ordination to the priesthood is the crowning moment of years of hard work, study and discernment by the seminarian. And on June 9, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, Bishop Michael Duca laid his hands on the head of Duane Trombetta, ordaining and welcoming him into the long awaited sacrament of the Catholic priesthood.

Born and raised in Shreveport, Fr. Trombetta attended the former Christ the King School in Bossier City, before graduating from Caddo Magnet High School and then LSU-Shreveport with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He went on to a successful career in the insurance and surety industry, working and living in many cities across the United States. He always remained close to God and stayed involved in the Catholic Church.

In 2008 though, Trombetta began to pursue God’s call to discernment of a religious vocation in his life that led him to be accepted into the Congregation of the Mission – the Vincentians – in 2011. During this time of living a religious life, he attended the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he excelled in the spiritual, pastoral and academic, but still felt called to another vocation.

This eventually led Trombetta home to visit family in Shreveport. There, with the help of Msgr. Earl V. Provenza, he began to seriously discern a vocation to the diocesan priesthood. Trombetta began assisting Msgr. Provenza in his work at Holy Trinity Parish in downtown Shreveport.

In 2012, Trombetta began the application process to become a diocesan seminarian, and was soon accepted. He attended Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. During his time in seminary, he had the opportunity to witness and engage in many types of ministry, all of which were instrumental in leading him to follow God’s will for his life.

In 2016, he served in a chaplain internship program at a hospital in Orlando, FL, and it was while he was stationed there that the deadly nightclub shooting happened. In a 2016 Catholic Connection story, Trombetta relayed, “Sadly, just after I arrived in Orlando, a terrible shooting was perpetrated at a nightclub located across town from my hospital assignment. It was the deadliest mass killing and worst terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11. The unspeakable violence inflicted spiritual and emotional suffering upon not just those present, but upon all the people of Orlando. The victims of that shooting were taken to a trauma hospital downtown, but many ripple effects were felt at my hospital in the northern suburb of Altamonte Springs. That brought about some of the most difficult challenges I faced as a chaplain serving the sick and suffering of Orlando.”

He continued, “I encountered many diverse people with varied reasons for hospitalization. Some expressed gratitude, others grief, and still others just needed a sympathetic ear. I prayed with many. I experienced celebrations of the joys of new life and love, and I learned how to minister to families at moments of dying and death. One thing remained consistent: every time I entered a patient’s room, I received an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ in a fellow human being. My work with patients proved to be a most fulfilling, rewarding and prayerful supplement to my seminary studies and formation.”

In June of 2017, Trombetta was ordained a transitional deacon and appointed to serve his diaconate internship at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. In a 2017 interview, Trombetta said, “I think, ironically, some of the most normal and average days [of my work at the Cathedral] give the best sense of what priesthood is going to be like. For example, just an average day is difficult to plan on a calendar because there are many contingencies that arrive, such as funerals and pop in visits from parishioners in need.”

He added, “Getting to know the people of the parishes is going to be a real blessing for me. I look forward to participating with them in the high points of their lives – baptisms and marriages – and also working with them in the most difficult times of their lives, such as funerals and other struggles,” said Trombetta.

In the final months, as Trombetta prepared to be ordained to the priesthood, he was able to visit the Holy Land with his fellow deacon seminarians.

“I give my assurance that I included you all in my prayers at the holy sites of Israel. It is because of your witness and generosity that I seek more eagerly now to carry out the Great Commission set forth by Christ himself. My journey has been challenging but joyful. And now as my final semester at Notre Dame Seminary draws to a close, I look forward with great anticipation to receipt of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to priestly ordination in June, and to serving the faithful people of Christ in our diocese.”

And the people of the Diocese responded, in turn, by filling up the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans on June 9, for Deacon Duane Trombetta’s ordination to the priesthood.

“The sacrament of Holy Orders, like all sacraments, carries with it a wonderful blessing of God’s closeness to us. It draws us in to the very life of God,” said Bishop Michael Duca during the ordination Mass.

He continued, “You receive that sacrament today. You become a priest today – a priest of Jesus Christ. But it is a sacrament that you live now for the rest of your life, those graces of the sacrament pouring in to help you be faithful, and be that true witness of Christ in the world. … God is ordaining you, Duane, you as a unique individual in the Body of Christ, and those unique talents and gifts – God will use those.”

After Father Duane was ordained, Bishop Duca announced that Fr. Trombetta will serve as Parochial Vicar for St. Joseph Parish in Zwolle for two years. •

Priest Assignments

Roaming Catholic: Mass and Vacation

by Stephanie Feducia Stanley

I am a roaming Catholic. Most people think of “roaming Catholics” with a smirk, meaning someone who is Catholic and attends Mass regularly, but who does not belong to a parish. I am not one of those.

That being said, I do LOVE to travel. For pilgrimage, or for pleasure, memories made together on the road are dear to my heart. We often go to Orlando, FL and have frequented Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other adventures that have made their way into the area. We leave on the Friday before our week away and arrive in Kissimmee, FL, on Saturday afternoon. After check in, we leave again. The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe is our destination.

Many people who are traveling do not always attend Mass. Their missed obligation is confessed or shrugged away, “We’re out of town, God doesn’t mind…” Or does He?

On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body. 1. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day. (Canon 1247-1248)

Anyone who knows my dad understands that missing Mass on a Sunday is out of the question. It simply isn’t done. He searched for a church in the yellow pages to fulfill our family’s obligation. And what a church we found in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, It is simply breathtaking and its history is amazing, answering the needs of those who flock to Orlando for entertainment and needing their Sunday Obligation met. The place was built with donations from the faithful and is growing to this day. With gorgeous grounds, including a Rosary garden, the place is a destination for Catholics.

Each Mass begins with a greeting and the priest always asks where everyone is from. The Catholic Church is truly universal! We’ve seen worshippers from all walks of life attend Mass at this sacred place. We’ve seen people come in dressed in their Sunday best and some in their theme park attire, complete with fanny packs and Mickey ears. We attend the Saturday Vigil Mass, thanking God for a safe journey and with gratitude for the fun we are about to have.

Speaking of gratitude, there was one family trip that I will never forget. My cousin and I found a European cruise when she was beginning college and planned to save up for four years to go. We were to go to Barcelona, Capri, Naples, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Nice and Avignon. Such a trip was highly anticipated and even though my husband and I had gotten married and had a delightful honeymoon, he happily joined the plans. Our godmother came with us and, as a surprise for my cousin, upgraded their two tickets to first class.

Trouble struck the minute we arrived at the airport. Our arrival in Barcelona was to be a day before the ship set sail from its port, and we felt that this was a clever way for us to try and shake off the jet lag. What we didn’t know was that the plane that was to carry us to Atlanta’s International airport was late. If we were very lucky, we would get to Atlanta JUST in time to run through the airport and reach our flight to Barcelona.

The flight from Shreveport to Atlanta was excruciating. We eagerly awaited our arrival with cold sweat on our palms. Upon our arrival, we had to run to the OPPOSITE end of the airport. In the confusion two of our party were separated and went to the wrong terminal. Our frantic calls to their cell phones went unanswered. We actually boarded the plane without them.

Saying as many Hail Marys under our breath as one can in the allowed time, we were relieved to see their faces. It seemed that the plane couldn’t leave because there was some first class luggage that was to be loaded onto the plane. My aunt’s and cousin’s luggage as it turns out, and because they were first class, our luggage was loaded as well. Whew!

When we toured Barcelona the next morning, we visited the Cathedral. It was amazing, and there was a Vigil Mass that afternoon. Because the Church is truly universal, we could follow the order of the Mass. It was amazing to hear it in another language, and it was in Catalonian, not Spanish. We could still worship as we knew all the times to respond. We were eternally grateful for arriving safely and praised God for His help on our journey. •

World Youth Day and Mission Trip

by Jamie Jett 

I would like to invite you to join a once in a lifetime mission trip sponsored by St. Jude Parish. The mission team will be going to Boquete, Panama to do mission work and Panama City to attend World Youth Day. The team will travel by air to Costa Rica, then by private bus to Boquete, Panama. This is where the team will stay for four days to do mission work. Two days will be spent at a rural orphanage with children ages infant to 18-years-old, painting, playing with the children, cooking and praying. After that, the team will spend two days on the Comarca, where the indigenous Ngobe Indians live and are the poorest people in Panama. The Comarca is two hours away from Boquete, on a beautiful mountain that in contrast has thatched houses. Here the team will paint two small cinderblock buildings, hang shower curtains and provide linens for sleeping areas. These small buildings house 32 to 40 children for the week because they have to walk four hours one way to school, many months in very heavy rain.

During time in Boquete, the team will stay in comfortable accommodations and meals will be provided. Boquete is a beautiful, quaint, small town where many Americans retire. It is a wonderful place to stay while doing mission work. It is quite a contrast to where the team will work. After the mission work is done in Boquete, the team will travel to Panama City for World Youth Day and stay in a hotel close to World Youth Day activities. During these three days, the team will go to the Youth Day Festival, Stations of the Cross, Walking Pilgrimage and Mass with the pope. On return to Costa Rica, the team will attend Mass at a historical Catholic Cathedral and visit the central market.

This mission trip is for high school students age 15 and older and adults. Team size is limited to 16, please make your $500 non-refundable deposit as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Cost for the trip is $2500. If you would like a flyer, please e-mail Brenda Lites at, or Jamie Jett at •

Christian Service: Feeding the Hungry

by Jane Snyder

You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” – Pope Francis, 4-18.

Nine months ago, September 27, 2017, was an exciting day in the lives of Shreveport and Christian Service. On that day, the community gathered to cut the ribbon and open the doors to the new facility of one of the oldest and most faith-filled non-profits in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

The excitement was palpable as Christian Service became the food and clothing piece of the collaboration of non-profits on Levy Street at Hope Connections.

Since then, over 200 hungry men, women and children have come there each day to eat hot meals in an atmosphere of “Dignity, Love and Hope.”

Christian Service serves a hot breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and a hot lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 364 days a year. They also serve over 500 clients a month in their free clothing facility.

Fr. Murray Clayton brought Sr. Margaret McCaffrey to Shreveport in 1970. She began serving hungry children breakfast and that was the beginning of the Christian Service ministry. Since then they have served over three million meals and have welcomed those who are struggling in our community.

There are many opportunities to share your “time, talent and treasure” at Christian Service. Volunteers are needed every day to help prepare and serve the meals. There are also opportunities on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to help organize the clothing facility. Donations of food, clothing, and, of course money, are always needed.

If you are interested in helping, please go to the Christian Service website at, or contact Al Moore, the executive director at

And remember Matthew 25, where Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me.” •

Semmes Memorial Burse

by John Mark Willcox

Peggy and Bob Semmes established a seminarian burse in their will to support the ministry of priests.

The late Bob and Peggy Semmes were a faithful Catholic couple who spent their worship lives both at St. Joseph Parish in Monroe and St. Paschal Parish in West Monroe. They were most generous to include plans in their will to establish a special burse to support vocations and seminarians. Their son, Our Lady of Fatima parishioner, John G. Semmes, read to me directly from their legal will stating that these funds would be used “to help any young men who are seeking the priesthood, but might not have the funds to do so.”

Now, as part of the Diocesan Seminarian Burse program we have added another burse to this overall effort, as the newly created Bob and Peggy Semmes Memorial Burse stands ready to complete the final wishes of this giving Catholic couple.

Supporting the ministry of providing for our future priests remains vitally important to Catholics across our diocese. How can you help? Thanks to the generous people of our diocese, there are now a group of burses created to assist in this critical ministry. Contact the Diocesan Office of Church Vocations to learn more about our various burses and choose the ones you would like to contribute to. No gift is too small and every donation is tax deductible.

Help grow the dreams of people like Bob and Peggy Semmes, an active Catholic couple dedicated to serving the Church, both during and after their time here on earth. May our Lord bless them and all of our burse donors. •


Diocese of Shreveport Welcomes New Chancellor

Randy Tiller was appointed the Director of Mission Effectiveness for the Diocese in Shreveport in 2006. Effective April 1, 2018, Tiller was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Shreveport, by Bishop Michael G. Duca.

Chancellor duties as liaison for Prison Ministry and Family Life Ministry are now under the direction of Dianne Rachal, Director of Worship. John Mark Willcox, Director of Development, has taken over the work associated with national grants.

Duties and responsibilities Tiller will take on as Chancellor include serving as an Ecclesiastical Notary for official documents and reports that are submitted to the Vatican each year. Tiller will also on the Diocesan Corporate Board and the Diocesan Finance Council. He is a member of the Editorial Board for The Catholic Connection. He will also fulfill numerous other tasks, duties and responsibilities involving diocesan archives, the Slattery Library and working with other directors and departments at the Catholic Center.

Tiller continues in his capacity as Director of Mission Effectiveness including the property management aspects of that position, working with the priests and parishes directly and in conjunction with the various Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils. He will continue to be involved with special events at the Catholic Center and will continue to supervise the following departments: Facilities, the Office of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries and the Office of Hispanic Ministry, as well as oversight of the Slattery Library and responsibility for St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.  •

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul

by Jim Beadles, President, Shreveport Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets.” – Pope Francis

Meeting our neighbors in need, on the streets and where they live, is not only the goal of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, but it is also what Jesus commands us to do.

This Commandment speaks directly to the heart of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Our efforts are directed to bringing both the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy to the streets in our own local communities.

Founded in 1833 by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has grown to be an international Catholic lay-organization dedicated to not only serving the poor in our local communities, but also providing many other acts of kindness. In fact, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul motto is “no work of charity is foreign to the Society.”

But let’s back up a minute and understand how the Society came into being. Historically, it was the time of the post French Revolution, of Victor Hugo and the setting for Les Miserables. While attending law school at the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, Frederic joined a student group that would meet to discuss religion and social issues of the day.

During one of these meetings, a friend named Jean Broet, confronted Frederic with a challenge. In a heated argument, he told Frederic that the Church was once a great Church, but asked, “What is your Church doing now? What is it doing for the poor?”

Frederic accepted the challenge. And with that, the Society was born. He reached out to others for guidance, and he adopted St. Vincent de Paul, known as the Father of the Poor, as its patron.

Frederic once said, “We are not blessed with two separate lives – one for seeking the truth, and the other for putting it into practice.”

Internationally, there are 700,000 Vincentians in 150 countries. Catholic Digest listed it at number 1 of the Top Five Charities You Should Know About.

In the Diocese of Shreveport, there are 23 conferences and 300 Vincentians. Last year, we served over 21,000 neighbors in need, and made 3,100 home visits. Without exception, every Vincentian will tell you that the blessings and growth we receive in our own spirituality from the people we serve is much greater than anything we can hope to do for them. •

Next Month: Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Ignatian Spirituality and Spiritual Direction

by Sister Martinette Rivers, OLS, Spiritual Director

As Spiritual Directors in the Diocese of Shreveport, how do we reveal the “Jesuit DNA” to our directees? Would St. Ignatius approve of the way we approach the Spiritual Exercises? Like him we promote self-awareness, a joyful sense of freedom and a willingness to take risks. The chief guide and mover of souls is the Holy Spirit and our directees are led by Him. Are we attentive to the way He is moving their souls? You bet we are!

The role of the human director is very important, but is only instrumental. Our role as directors is to work along with the Holy Spirit. This frees the Divine Director to do the rest. Everyone, including us, needs a faithful other who can serve both as a prod and a source of light.

Those interested in spiritual direction should not be afraid to approach any of us. We are here to help you grow closer to God. In preparing ourselves to help you, we have studied Ignatian Spirituality intensely with the Jesuits in Grand Coteau, New Orleans and other universities. We grew in the process in sanctity, holiness and experience as we learned.

St. Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of The Society of Jesus. He was one of 13 children born into a noble family in Spain. He loved the “good life,” his knighthood and life as a soldier, until he was gravely wounded in a battle with the French. His heart was set on fire as he spent his recuperation period reading about the lives of Jesus and the saints, writing in a small notebook his thoughts, exercises and prayers which he found helpful as his injured leg healed. He experienced a real conversion during those months he suffered with his wounded leg and reflected upon his life. As time went on and the years passed, Ignatius became an expert in the art of Spiritual Direction. These notes make up the heart of what we now call “The Spiritual Exercises.”

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius became one of the most influential books on spiritual life ever written. Thousands of people have been touched in some way by The Spiritual Exercises, and many more will come to see their value as time goes on. The most appealing thing about Ignatius to me is his insight that you could find God in all things. Also to do everything for the greater honor and glory of God, “Ad majorem Dei Gloriam.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than words.”

Moderation in all things was his sacred tool. The life of St. Ignatius is a fascinating one and gives me hope because he assures us that God can make anything out of anyone. May you be blessed as you walk the Ignation Way with us! God’s divine plan is a story, a love story, our story. May St. Ignatius ignite a new fire in our hearts! •


Spiritual Direction is help given to one person by a trained director to assist that person in becoming aware of God’s presence in their life, and then guiding that person in growing a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. It is not counseling, teaching or companionship. Instead, the person, with the aid of the director, discerns the presence and movement of God in their life and then learns to engage in prayerful conversations with God about those movements.

For more information, please contact one of these trained spiritual directors in our area:


Joe & Katherine Bernal

Monroe & West Monroe Area


Brenda Lites 

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


Fr. Jim Moran, CO

Mansfield Area


Dianne Rachal

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


Marie Rinaudo

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


Susan Rothwell

Shreveport & Bossier City Area


Mike Van Vranken

Shreveport & Bossier City Area