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Moving Forward in Sede Vacante

by Jessica Rinaudo Bishop Duca’s appointment to Baton Rouge earlier this year made our diocese, Sede Vacante or a “vacant see:” a diocese without a bishop, overseen by a diocesan administrator, who More »

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Praise Academy: Building Faith, Education and Community in Lakeside

by Jessica Rinaudo Every city has them – areas rampant with crime, populated by the poor, the hungry, those surviving day to day. Shreveport, Louisiana is no exception. I found myself driving More »

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U.S. Bishops Approved “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter Against Racism”

from the USCCB BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved during its November General Assembly, the formal statement, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter More »

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LaCaze Lagniappe Gala: Celebrating the Life of Monsignor J. Carson LaCaze

by Randy Tiller Msgr. Carson LaCaze was a force of nature in the Diocese of Shreveport, but in sharp contrast to that dynamic personality, he was also well known to collect various More »

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Vocations View: Why I Want to Become a Priest

by Seminarian Nicholas Duncan I am going to let you all in on a little secret: I never wanted to become a priest. When I was a kid, I didn’t dream about More »

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Vulnerability is a Gift from God

by Katie Sciba Deep breath, I told myself. Play it cool. I lifted my chin, squared my shoulders, and feigned confidence walking into Sportspectrum. In the few months prior, I took up More »

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Administering in a Climate of Transition and Church Crisis

by Very Rev. Peter B. Mangum, Diocesan Administrator I was standing at the corner of Peacock Lane and Southgates in Leicester, UK, having just visited the recently excavated burial site of King More »

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O Antiphons

by Kim Long After 18 years of working for the Church, I have deemed Advent the season of quiet desperation. Our Church tells us to be reflective and prepare, while secular society More »

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Find Harmony This Holiday Season

by Kelly Phelan Powell Since I was a young girl, I’ve dreamt of the perfect family Christmas morning. My handsome husband and I would spring, totally refreshed, from bed when our beautiful More »

Catholic Schools Week: Following Christ’s Lead in Valuing Our Children

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During Catholic Schools Week we celebrate one of the most important ministries of the Church. For centuries the Church has viewed the education of children as one of its primary missions. We find in scripture that this mission of the Church to educate children comes from the will of Christ. “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ After he placed his hands on them, he went away.”

Over the past decades we have watched as Catholic Schools have closed one by one. As a result, God has been relegated to Sundays only in the lives of many children. His presence has been removed from most publicly funded venues. This makes the importance of our Catholic schools shine more brightly in a world darkened by sin. In the hallowed halls of these schools God is as present today as he was when their doors first opened. The important role this plays in our lives, in the lives of our communities, in the lives of our churches and in the lives of our alumni and current students cannot be underestimated. Having the presence of God in the classrooms, on the football field and in the cafeteria has changed all of those educated in our schools and made them better people.

A different type of young men and women tread these hallways and have always walked down these corridors. Everyone who calls one of our Catholic schools their Alma Mater makes a positive impact upon the world. They are men and women of ethics, with a strong moral code, they have a sense of honor and respect, they show the world what Christian virtue is and they are people who are committed to their families, their country and their God.

Jesus recognized that formation of good consciences, of moral codes and of ethics must begin at an early age and that is why he reprimanded the apostles for hindering children from coming to him.  He wanted each succeeding generation of Christians to understand how important children were in his kingdom, how important they were to him. In his time this was a radical move, it was completely counter cultural to place any value upon a child, but that is exactly what he did. He also said children were to be the greatest in his kingdom. There is no way that we can escape this teaching of Christ. Children are important and no one must hinder them in coming to know Jesus Christ.

Today in the cities of Monroe and Shreveport, Jesus Christ is represented in six places that directly affect children: the Cathedral School, Jesus the Good Shepherd School, St. Joseph School, Our Lady of Fatima School, Loyola College Prep and St. Frederick Catholic High School. They are havens in a crazy world where values continue to be instilled and where God and knowledge of him are still welcomed.

One of these schools’ important functions is enabling our children to come to Christ; to come to know him in an intimate and special way. They allow Christ to be an important aspect of our children’s daily lives.

They also teach our children about sacrifice. Catholic schools are a living testimony to the sacrifices made by countless generations of men and women who make it possible to keep the doors open and God present in our children’s lives. These sacrifices reveal Christ not only to our children, but to all those around us as well. Sacrifice is how Christ revealed himself to his people. Christ was revealed to us as the Messiah in the great sacrifice of Calvary.  He was revealed to us as love in that first Eucharistic assembly at the Last Supper. He was revealed to countless generations of Catholic school children by their parents’ willingness to make sacrifices to send them to a Catholic School. I urge you to consider supporting your local Catholic school, helping to fulfill one of the most important missions of Jesus Christ and his Church in the Diocese of Shreveport.

by Fr. Matthew Long

Mary, Queen of Peace Church Help Others During Advent

The youth group at Mary, Queen of Peace Church dedicated the first week of Christmas break to serving lunch to the homeless at the Shreveport Rescue Mission. This was a very eye opening experience for all involved. They ended Advent by bringing gifts and playing Bingo with the people at the Bossier Council on Aging.

Confirmation at Sacred Heart in Oak Grove

Confirmation was held at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Oak Grove. Pictured left to right: Allison Ward, Michelle Couriville, Bishop Duca, Ben McNeil, Fr. Mark Watson.

Confirmands Help Underprivileged

The Confirmation class at Christ the King Church in Bossier City provided for the underprivileged of the local area. Their catechists, Joanna Huckabee and her sister Janette Buckley, inspired their class to assist in collecting canned goods as a Christmas project. Also, names of local needy children were collected and placed on an Angel Tree in the foyer of the church. Parishioners chose a name and provided Christmas gifts for them. The Confirmation class made up food baskets and arranged the children’s toys. Delivery, with the help of adults, was accomplished prior to Christmas. As a result 105 children found toys at their homes on Christmas and 45 families received food baskets.

Council of Catholic Women Recognized

Fr. Tim Hurd and Fr. Kenneth Williams received Christmas donations of appreciation from the Council of Catholic Women at St. Joseph Church in Zwolle during the Appreciation Dinner held Dec. 4, 2012. Pictured with Fr. Tim is council president- Melinda Malmay.

Parishioners Buy New Vestments for Priests

The members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Shreveport wanted to show their appreciation and love for their priests, Fr. Francis Kamau, Fr. Thomas John and Fr. Michael Thang’wa by buying them two sets of Chasubles, a total of eight vestments. Pictured: Fr. Michael stands with church members as he shows off his new vestments.

St. Thomas Raises Money for Pregnancy Center

The Women’s Guild of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ruston recently raised almost $1,500 for Life Choices, Ruston’s local crisis pregnancy center. The Women’s Guild members passed out baby bottle banks for parishioners to donate their spare change. Pictured are representatives of the St. Thomas Women’s Guild and staff members of Life Choices. Project Chairman was Sandi Adams.

St. John Students Wins at Greenhill Invitational

The St. John Berchmans School Science Olympiad team recently traveled to Dallas for the Greenhill Invitational where they competed against 25 other middle school teams from Oklahoma and Texas.  The SJB Cardinals took second place overall winning a total of 13 medals, including four 1st place medals.  They also won the Spirit Award for the sixth year in a row.

Science Olympiad team members for 2012-13 are: Andrew Benner, Anthony Benner, Blaise Chagnard, Maggie Chreene, Brady Deason, Mark Dupaquier, Nick Henderson, Kelsey Hightower, Catherine Marcalus, Marie Marcalus, Cameron Mitchell, Alex Siharath, Sarah Siharath, Isabella Silvia, Sophia Silvia, Arianne Soriano, Benjamin Tuttle, William Tuttle and Matthew Vitacca.

Loyola Students Lead Coat Drive

Loyola College Prep’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes had another successful Coat Drive with more than 350 coats being donated and delivered to a local school. Parents and students dropped off coats at the entrance to Loyola every morning during the week before Christmas. This year’s drive exceeded the total collected from a year ago.

Our Lady of Fatima Names Student of the Year

We would like to congratulate Gabe Haney on being named Our Lady of Fatima School’s Student of the Year. Gabe has attended Our Lady of Fatima School since Pre-K and is very involved in our school. He plays on the basketball team, is a member of 4-H and is a model student. Congratulations Gabe!