0518vocations

Preparing for June Ordinations: Q&A with the Candidates

KEVIN MUES What are you most looking forward to about being ordained to the Transitional Diaconate? The transitional diaconate is a period of about a year. A man is ordained to the More »

0518charities1

Grant Brings Money School to Rural Community

by Lucy Medvec Catholic Charities of North Louisiana (CCNLA) recently took its financial education class, The Money School, on the road to Ringgold and it was all made possible by a grant More »

0518SJB

St. John Berchmans School Reigns as 10 Time Science Olympiad State Champions!

by Mary Simpson The St. John Berchmans Science Olympiad team won the State Science Olympiad competition held in Hammond, LA in March of this year – in fact, they have won it More »

0518vocations1

St. Joseph Seminary Youth Events

by Kelby Tingle, Diocese of Shreveport Seminarian Throughout the course of the academic year, there are many exciting events that take place within the seminary community at St. Joseph Seminary College. The More »

0518mary

Navigating the Faith: Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church New Feast Day

by Dianne Rachal, Director of Worship The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree signed by Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect, on March 3, 2018, announcing that More »

0518katie

Domestic Church: Finding the Divine Plan in Grief

by Katie Sciba I lost my dad in the fall of 2013. After dodging more adventurous deaths in his youth, he met his match in cancer. He fought for two-and-a-half years before More »

0518kim

Faithful Food: Summer Recipes for Life

by Kim Long Birthdays when I was a child were a Real. Big. Deal. What exactly do I mean when I say that? My birthday, which falls in the later part of More »

0418charities1

Catholic Charities: North Louisiana’s Good Samaritan

by Lucy Medvec Who will you help today? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are called by Jesus to go forth and treat our neighbors with mercy, even those we More »

0418bishop

Bishop’s Reflection: Live in a Way That Embraces Eternal Life

by Bishop Michael G. Duca For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the More »

St. John Berchmans Basketball Wins Championship

The St. John Berchmans School 5th grade basketball team defeated St. Mark’s Cathedral School for the 2013 Private School League City Championship. The Cardinals, coached by SJB parents Clay Cook and Glen Grimble, finished the season undefeated as they won the championship game with a score of 18-13.

St. Joseph Students Adopted Cardinal

Following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the St. Joseph School students adopted a Cardinal to pray for during the week leading up to and throughout the Conclave. The students prayed for the Cardinals to be open and to be lead by the Holy Spirit in selecting the next leader of the Catholic Church.

New Coach at Loyola

A familiar face will be taking over the Loyola College Prep football program with the hiring of Alan Carter to lead the Flyers beginning with the 2013 season. Carter began his coaching career at Jesuit (now Loyola) as an assistant in ‘77 and was head coach in the ‘82 and ‘83 seasons. He has also served as head coach at Parkway and Byrd and comes back to Loyola after serving as Athletic Director for Caddo Parish Schools.

Argentina’s Cardinal Bergoglio elected Pope, Chooses Francis

Pope Francis greets people after celebrating Mass at St. Anne's Parish within Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Photo:Pope Francis greets people after celebrating Mass at St. Anne’s Parish within Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Francis X. Rocca and Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the leader of a large urban archdiocese in Latin America, was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.

He is the first pope in history to come from the Western Hemisphere and the first non-European to be elected in almost 1,300 years. The Jesuit was also the first member of his order to be elected pope, and the first member of any religious order to be elected in nearly two centuries.

The election March 13 came on the second day of the conclave, on the conclave’s fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.
The new pope was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel.

His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, to a massive crowd under the rain in the square below and millions watching around the world.

White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:05 p.m., signaling that the cardinals had chosen a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI. Two minutes later, the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica began pealing continuously to confirm the election.

At 8:12, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of deacons, appeared at the basilica balcony and read out in Latin: “I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope! The most eminent and most reverend lord, Lord Jorge Mario, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bergoglio, who has taken for himself the name Francis.”

The crowd in the square responded with cheers, applause and the waving of rain-soaked national flags.
Ten minutes the later the new pope appeared. He sought prayers for Pope Benedict and spoke of the journey the church was about to begin.

“Now I would like to give my blessing. But first, I will ask a favor. Before the bishop blesses his people, he asks that you pray to the Lord to bless me, the prayer of the people for the blessing of their bishop. Let’s pray for me in silence,” he said.

Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio washes feet of shelter residents in 2008 in Buenos Aires. (Enrique Garcia Medina, Reuters)

Celsa Negrini, an older woman from Rome, said the new pope’s choice of name was “beautiful. Francis is the patron of Italy. It’s a humble choice, a choice of one who will reach out to the poor.”

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told reporters it was “beautiful that a Latin American was chosen.”

“I don’t know him well, even though we are part of same religious family,” he said “I greeted him the other day, but didn’t expect to see him again dressed in white.”

A respected Italian journal said Pope Francis I had the second-highest number of votes on each of the four ballots in the 2005 conclave.

Pope Francis has had a growing reputation as a very spiritual man with a talent for pastoral leadership serving in a region with the largest number of the world’s Catholics.

Since 1998, he has been archbishop of Buenos Aires, where his style is low-key and close to the people.

He rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as “Father Jorge.”

He also has created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, led pro-life initiatives and started new pastoral programs, such as a commission for divorcees. He co-presided over the 2001 Synod of Bishops and was elected to the synod council, so he is well-known to the world’s bishops.

The pope has also written books on spirituality and meditation and has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriages.

In 2010, when Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, Pope Francis encouraged clergy across the country to tell Catholics to protest against the legislation because, if enacted, it could “seriously injure the family.”

He also said adoption by same-sex couples would result in “depriving (children) of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.”

In 2006, he criticized an Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform. He accused the government of lacking respect for the values held by the majority of Argentines and of trying to convince the Catholic Church “to waver in our defense of the dignity of the person.”

His role often forced him to speak publicly about the economic, social and political problems facing his country. His homilies and speeches are filled with references to the fact that all people are brothers and sisters and that the church and the country need to do what they can to make sure that everyone feels welcome, respected and cared for.

While not overtly political, Pope Francis has not tried to hide the political and social impact of the Gospel message, particularly in a country still recovering from a serious economic crisis.

After becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, he created new parishes, restructured the administrative offices, taken personal care of the seminary and started new pastoral projects, such as the commission for divorcees. He mediated in almost all social or political conflicts in the city; recently ordained priests have been described as “the Bergoglio generation”; and no political or social figure missed requesting a private encounter with him.

Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, Dec. 17, 1936.

He studied and received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, but later decided to become a Jesuit priest and studied at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto. The last pope to have belonged to a religious order was Pope Gregory XVI, a Benedictine elected in 1831.

He studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Between 1964 and 1965 he was a teacher of literature and psychology at Inmaculada high school in the province of Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the prestigious Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

In 1967, he returned to his theological studies and was ordained a priest Dec. 13, 1969. After his perpetual profession as a Jesuit in 1973, he became master of novices at the Seminary of Villa Barilari in San Miguel. Later that same year, he was elected superior of the Jesuit province of Argentina.

In 1980, he returned to San Miguel as a teacher at the Jesuit school, a job rarely taken by a former provincial superior. In May 1992 he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. He was one of three auxiliaries and he kept a low profile, spending most of his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions.

On June 3, 1997, he was named coadjutor archbishop. He was installed as the new archbishop of Buenos Aires Feb. 28, 1998.

Some controversy had arisen over the position taken by Pope Francis during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, which cracked down brutally on political opponents. Estimates of the number of people killed and forcibly disappeared during those years range from about 13,000 to more than 30,000.

Citing a case in which two young priests were detained by the military regime, critics say that the cardinal, who was Jesuit provincial at the time, did not do enough to support church workers against the military dictatorship.

Others, however, have said that he attempted to negotiate behind the scenes for the priests’ release, and a spokesman for the cardinal, quoted in the daily newspaper La Nacion, called the accusation “old slander.”

Immaculee and Fr. Ubald Led Forgiveness Event

Prayer was led by Immaculee Ilibagiza with Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga, survivors of the Rwandan genocide, during an event February 22-24 at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. The event, entitled “Extreme Forgiveness,” brought together people from across the diocese and nation to the Cathedral to hear the stories of these inspiring people and learn more about healing through forgiveness.

St. Francis Medical Center Welcomes Sr. Arceneaux

St. Francis Medical Center held a reception on January 10 to welcome Sr. Barbara Arceneaux, OSF, back to St. Francis from Baton Rouge. Sr. Barbara is a graduate of the nursing program at ULM and previously worked in nursing services at St. Francis. She has a Master’s degree in administration from Notre Dame University and is certified in Pastoral Care Teaching with a special interest in working with the elderly. She most recently served as Assistant Administrator in charge of Mission and Pastoral Services in the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System Senior Service Division at St. Clare Manor in Baton Rouge. Pictured: front row Sr. Barbara Arceneaux, Sr. Mary Ann Sepulvado, Sr. Mazgiya Ageto; (back row) Sr. Kathleen Cain.

Sacred Heart Children Visited Nursing Home

Students from the PSR program at Sacred Heart Church in Oak Grove visited and gave cards to residents of Carroll Nursing Home in December.

First Confession at St. Jude

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned, this is my first confession.” Forty-four of Jesus Christ’s beautiful children received the “GIFT” of Reconciliation at St. Jude Church in Bossier City. Our First Communion Reconciliation Retreat was blessed by Fr. Pike Thomas, Fr. John Bosco, Fr. Michael Thang’wa and Catechist Debra Leon.

Black History Celebration at Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Shreveport held a Black History Month Celebration on February 22. This Black History Month Celebration honored Sr. Thea Bowman, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Our guest speaker was Fr. Maurice J. Nutt from Chicago, IL (third from left).  He shared with all how he came to know Sr. Thea, his teacher and dear friend. She fought for the Black Catholic identity in the Catholic churches and also justice for everyone.

Barksdale Chapel Confirmed Seven

Most Reverend Neal Buckon, the Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of the Military Services, was at Holy Family Community at Barksdale Air Force Chapel on February 7 to confirm five candidates: Annika Tichenor, Isabella Calderon, Maria Mazaniegoes, Brandon Rayburn and Guillermo Gonzales, III. The forth degree Knights of Columbus acted as honor guards during the service. Joining in the celebration of Mass with  Bishop Neil Buckon, was Fr. Van Dinh, Msgr. Gerald McManus and Deacon Burton Ainsworth. Over 90 attended this special Mass and dinner reception following at the Chapel Annex. William Straessley and the Barksdale Catholic Choir provided the music for the service.