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ACTS-ME: Catholic Students at Louisiana Tech Minister to the Eldery

by Jessica Rinaudo When leaving for college, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of independent living, classes and new friends, but often students find the distance from their families More »

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Diocesan Seminary Burses

Bishop Duca and the Office of Church Vocations are pleased to announce the establishment of a Diocesan Seminary Burse program to provide all the faithful of North Louisiana the opportunity to invest More »

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Vocations View: What Does it Mean to be a Candidate for Holy Orders?

by Kevin Mues, Diocese of Shreveport Seminarian Five years ago when I first told friends and acquaintances that I was going to begin my seminary formation, I was met with laughs, puzzled More »

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Domestic Church: Overcoming Self-Comparison

by Katie Sciba Christmas is around the corner. We’re about to experience the birth of Jesus, who wants to be born into our hearts. Let’s pray for the grace to work through More »

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Mike’s Meditations: Experience God in the Ordinariness of Life

God chose to be in union with you and me. It was His decision. “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something More »

1217bishop

Bishop’s Reflection: Uniting Home and Church During Advent

by Bishop Michael G. Duca The month of December is a wondrous month in the life of the Church as we enter into the season of ADVENT with the hopeful readings at More »

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Walking with Philippians: Reflecting on Paul’s Words in Our Daily Lives

by Kim Long Okay, I admit it, I was never really a big fan of the “apostle Paul.” Chalk it up to that often quoted verse reminding wives to obey their husbands More »

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Evangelists Remind Us of Our Precious Gift of Faith

by Deacon Mike Whitehead Bunny Austin, Gerald Govin, Bobbie Harlan, John Munger, Terry Byrnes, Josephine Pupillo, Norma Lenard, Joycelyn Majeste, James Tuma, Sam DeFatta, Cambize Schardar, Maria Steele, Judy Landry, Maudie Baranowski, More »

1117deacons

A Call to Diaconate Service

by Deacon Mike Whitehead It’s not too late to respond to a continuing call of service in the Diocese of Shreveport, but the clock is ticking. Bishop Michael Duca is looking for More »

A Deeper Commitment to Christ

During the Year of Faith, Bishop Michael Duca will visit each of the diocesan churches to share the Liturgy of the Word and an evening of prayer.

Pictured: During the Year of Faith, Bishop Michael Duca will visit each of the diocesan churches to share the Liturgy of the Word and an evening of prayer.

by Bishop Michael G. Duca

By the month of October we are deep into the routine of fall. School is well underway and the restarting of organizations and responsibilities is now in our past and the summer is a distant memory. When I was the rector of a seminary I actually looked forward to the routine of the school year. Routine gives us a structure to order a busy life, ensures our basic vocational responsibilities are fulfilled and our values of faith shape our lives in a real way with every daily task.  Even our prayer life in the Church is ordered with the Liturgical seasons and our weekly Sunday Mass reconfirms our connection with the Body of Christ and gives witness to the centrality of our faith in our daily lives.

But our daily routine, and especially our spiritual routine, can become stale or burdened by its difficulty or our own self-centered wants. From time to time the saints remind us to break our routine, through a retreat for example, in order to examine the routine and choices of our lives so we can clear out what is sinful and recommit ourselves to the Gospel message of Jesus and the teachings of His Church.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has proclaimed that the Year of Faith begin on October 11, 2012 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II Council and the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the New Catechism. I will open the Year of Faith for the Diocese of Shreveport with a Mass on October 11, 2012, at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans at 6:00 p.m. This is to be a year of retreat for the Church. During this Year of Faith we should all consider some action or choice that breaks our daily routine in a way that challenges us to a deeper commitment to Christ and to reflect our faith as Catholics in the choices and actions of our daily lives.

My commitment this year will be to visit every parish in the diocese and have an evening of prayer with each Church community. We will gather for the Liturgy of the Word. It will be a time of prayer and reflection on our faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. I encourage you to invite your non-Catholic friends to join us. This will also be an opportunity for me to consider, in my fifth year as your Bishop, how I might be a better servant and consider how we might grow together in faith and faith’s response, charity.

In his letter Porta Fidei, translated “door of faith,” (Acts 14:27) the Holy Father gives a wonderful reflection, a kind of litany,  on how the faith we treasure has shaped and continues to shape the Church and ensure the proclamation of the Gospel.

“By faith, Mary accepted the Angel’s word and believed the message that she was to become the Mother of God in the obedience of her devotion (cf. Lk 1:38).”

By faith, the Apostles left everything to follow their Master (cf. Mk 10:28).

By faith, the disciples formed the first community, gathered around the teaching of the Apostles, in prayer, in celebration of the Eucharist, holding their possessions in common so as to meet the needs of the brethren (cf. Acts 2:42-47).

By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors.

By faith, men and women have consecrated their lives to Christ, leaving all things behind so as to live obedience, poverty and chastity with Gospel simplicity, concrete signs of waiting for the Lord who comes without delay.

By faith, countless Christians have promoted action for justice so as to put into practice the word of the Lord, who came to proclaim deliverance from oppression and a year of favor for all (cf. Lk 4:18-19).

By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, whose names are written in the Book of Life (cf. Rev 7:9, 13:8), have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus wherever they were called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which they were called.”  Porta Fidei #13, Benedict XVI

During this Year of Faith I pray our hearts will be set on fire and we will more deeply believe and willingly “confess the beauty of following the Lord Jesus.”  I pray we will bear witness to this faith in the family, in the workplace, in public life and in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which we have been called.

There is an article on by Dianne Rachal with more information about this Year of Faith and some of the ongoing celebrations in our diocese during this year.

JGS Students Kick Off First Religion Class

Jesus the Good Shepherd School Pre-K4 students in Miss Christine Stokes and Mrs. Breanne Ingram’s class are really enjoying their first Religion unit. They started off the unit by making a class prayer cloth. The students painted their hand prints all over the cloth. The cloth helps remind them that even though everyone is different, everyone can still be friends. During prayer time, the students hold on to the prayer cloth and thank Jesus for all their blessings.

Bishop Duca Helped Kick Off New Year at St. Fred’s

St. Frederick High School is off to a great start with a record number of enrolled students, some new faculty members and a dynamic new principal, Guy Farber, taking the reins!  To help kick off the school year, Bishop Duca celebrated Mass with the students, faculty, staff and families of St. Fred’s. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having Bishop Duca visit SFHS!

SJB Names Students of the Year

St. John Berchmans School has chosen two outstanding students as the 2012-13 Cardinal Students of the Year. Fifth grader Peter Vanchiere and eighth grader Marie Marcalus were selected based on their years of academic excellence, leadership, extracurricular involvement and community service. Marie and Peter will compete later this year against other area students for regional and state Student of the Year.

Classrooms Blessed for Opening of Year

St. Joseph School At the beginning of each new school year, Fr. Karl visits classrooms to offer a blessing to the children, teachers and classroom as well as spend some time visiting with the students. He visited and blessed every classroom on the St. Joseph Campus. Pictured: Fr. Karl visits the Amy Kubat and Jenny McGuirk’s class, the K3B Wise Owls.

Loyola College Prep Prepares for Exciting Changes

Loyola College Prep opened its doors to a record enrollment as the school’s 111th year began in August. But that’s not the only big news going on at LCP. In addition to having an enrollment of 455, the new school year is bringing out more exciting changes to the Jordan Street campus. After the renovation of the gym and the construction of the cafeteria/community center in 2011-12, Loyola will open a new library/technology center along with three renovated classrooms on the ground floor of the main building during the 2012-13 school year. Pictured: Senior William Windham checks in a freshman on Orientation Day.

St. Pius Church Dedicated 10 Commandment Monunment

On August 19 Bishop Michael Duca dedicated a Ten Commandments Monument donated by the Knights of Columbus, Council 1108 of St. Pius X Catholic Church. The monument is two-sided with the Beatitudes on the reverse side. Pastor Fr. Joseph Kallookalam and Deacon Jeff Chapman assisted in the ceremony.

Sacred Duty: Saints Show Church is Holy

A statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholic devotion to the saints appears to be alive and well, and Pope Benedict XVI continues to proclaim new saints at a regular pace. The official calendar of saints’ feast days will grow in October when the pope canonizes seven men and women, including Mother Marianne Cope of Molokai and three laypeople: the Native American Kateri Tekakwitha, the Filipino Peter Calungsod and the German Anna Schaffer. The canonization Mass Oct. 21 will be one of the first big events of Pope Benedict’s Year of Faith, which is designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and to launch a strengthened commitment to the new evangelization. According to Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the appeal of the saints and their concrete examples of holiness give them “an undeniably positive role to play in this time of new evangelization,” since they are living proof that the church is holy. In a new book, currently available only in Italian, Cardinal Amato writes that it’s easy to understand how people can question the church’s holiness when they see the sinful behavior of some of its members. But the good, loving and charitable activities of other members are the best evidence that the church truly is the holy body of Christ, he says.

Majority of Catholics Share Religious Liberty Concerns

by Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A majority of Catholics say they share the U.S. bishops’ concerns about the federal contraceptive mandate and other government restrictions on religious liberty, and the percentage of Catholics who say they are satisfied with the bishops’ leadership has increased sharply in the past 10 years. Catholics who attend Mass more frequently are more likely to agree with bishops’ concerns on social issues, and those who attend less frequently show less support for their views on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Those opinions, made public Aug. 1, were among the results in a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The survey showed that 64 percent of Catholics have heard about the bishops’ objections to the HHS contraceptive mandate. Among Catholics who are aware of the bishops’ concerns on this issue, 56 percent agree with the bishops and 36 percent disagree. In the American population at large, 41 percent agree with the bishops and 47 percent disagree. The survey results also gave high marks to Catholic leadership. Eighty-three percent of Catholics expressed satisfaction with women religious; 82 percent, with their own parish priests, 74 percent, with their diocesan bishop and the pope; and 70 percent, with U.S. bishops in general.

Pope prays for disaster victims in Philippines, China, Iran

Rescuers search for victims in the earthquake-stricken village of Varzaqan, near Ahar, Iran, Aug. 12. (CNS photo/Arash Khamooshi, ISNA via Reuters )

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI asked Catholics around the world to pray and offer material assistance to flood victims in the Philippines and China and to people affected by an earthquake in northwestern Iran. The natural disasters have caused death and injury and left thousands of people homeless, the pope said Aug. 12 after reciting the Angelus in the courtyard of the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. “I ask you to join me in prayer for those who lost their lives and for all the people so harshly tried by such devastating calamities. May these brothers and sisters of ours not lack our solidarity and support,” the pope said. Flooding caused by days of torrential rains forced more than a quarter million people from their homes in parts of Manila and provinces surrounding the Philippine capital. The government said Aug. 7 that at least 50 percent of metropolitan Manila was under water, displacing an estimated 270,000 people. News reports Aug. 13 said more than 90 people had lost their lives and more rain was expected. In China, Typhoon Haikui brought heavy rains and flooding to Jiangxi province in the eastern part of the country. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. In Iran, two strong earthquakes struck Aug. 11, leaving at least 300 people dead and 2,000 injured. The quakes destroyed entire villages in the northwest. In his main Angelus address, Pope Benedict spoke about the Sunday Gospel reading in which Jesus tells the people, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”