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Shroud of Turin: Shroud Experts & Original STURP Team Members Gather at Shreveport’s Cathedral of St. John Berchmans for Special Panel

by Jessica Rinaudo On the second weekend in October, the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans will host an event that’s drawing international attention. Two members of the original 1978 Shroud of Turin More »

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Bishop Duca Installed in Baton Rouge Shreveport Bids Him Farewell

by Jessica Rinaudo photos by Marie Constantin & Bonny Van August 24 was a bittersweet day for the people of the Diocese of Shreveport, especially members of the clergy, diocesan staff and More »

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Catholic Charities Employee Assists Clients in Sharing the Journey

by Lucy Medvec, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana Since 2012, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana (CCNLA) has provided assistance and guidance to immigrants as they seek to become legal residents or naturalized More »

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St. John Berchmans Catholic School Celebrates Landmark Year

by Lisa Cooper This year marks two special occasions for the St. John Berchmans community as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of the school, as well as the 40th anniversary of their More »

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Bidding Farewell to Father Andre McGrath, OFM

by John Mark Willcox Our faith community lost a dear friend on September 8 as Fr. Andre McGrath, OFM, passed into the Lord’s hands at the friary of St. Mary of the More »

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Diocese Welcomes Fr. Mangum as Administrator

by Jessica Rinaudo On Monday, August 27, following the installation of Bishop Michael Duca as the 6th Bishop of Baton Rouge, the Diocese of Shreveport’s College of Consultors, a group of 11 More »

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Domestic Church: Help Us, Lord! We’re Sinking!

by Katie Sciba My friend texted me, “Pleading for prayers for my husband,” she began, “All these scandals in the Church have shaken him up and he’s got one foot out the More »

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Ruston Catholic Received French Legion of Honor

by John Mark Willcox There is always a first time for everything when you work for the Church and I had a first time experience recently when I conducted my first interview More »

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From Atheism to Seminary: Meet the Diocese’s Newest Seminarian

by Jessica Rinaudo When you think of candidates for the Catholic priesthood, the word “atheist” likely never crosses your mind, but the Diocese of Shreveport’s newest seminarian, Francis Genusa, used that term More »

ACTS Teams Up to Say “Welcome”

Louisiana Tech opened it doors on Labor Day. Each year, United Campus Ministries (UCM) serves up hamburgers in the Quad at Tech to welcome students. UCM includes ACTS (Association of Catholic Tech Students), BCM (Baptist College Ministries, ABS (Association of Baptist Students), The Wesley Foundation (United Methodist Church), Bridges International and Chi Apha (both non-denominational groups). This year ACTS, along with UCM, grilled nearly 1,000 burgers.

Sacred Heart Hosts Students

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Shreveport, assisted the Catholic School of McGill-Toolen from Mobile, AL. They were invited to play West Monroe High School in the Battle on the Border and needed a place for meals, practice, planning and Mass. Sacred Heart opened their classrooms, grounds and church for their game preparations. Fr. John Paul Crispin, FMH, celebrated Mass for the team, coaches and family. There were about 144 present.

50 Years a Knight of Peter Claver

Andrew Jones received a certificate and pin for 50 years of service in the Knights of Peter Claver. Presenting the certificate is Area Deputy Tim Ford. Grand Knight Stanley D. Roque presented his pin.


Fr. Kamau Blesses Pumpkins

It’s time for fall and pumpkins! Fr. Francis Kamau, FMH, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, recently visited and blessed Pat Gandy’s Pumpkin Farm in Many. Pat graciously undertook the project of planting pumpkins to help supply the church’s October Pumpkin Patch fundraiser.

St. Jude Members Recognized

Long time members of St. Jude Parish, Sharon Barrett and Lynn Mills, were each presented with the 2018 Servus Servorum Award at St Jude’s Annual Meeting on August 29, 2018.

Youth from Many Attended Steubenville South

Youth from St. John the Baptist Parish in Many attended the Steubenville South Conference in Alexandria, LA the weekend of June 22-24. The conference was sponsored by the Diocese of Alexandria. Shown with the group is Father Michael Thang’wa.

Celebrating Back to School at St. Paschal

St. Paschal Parish Youth (SPY) posed at the photo booth area with the prizes that they won at their back-to-school “Meet and Greet.” The theme for this year’s SPY is “Adventure Awaits” All games, decorations and prizes were focused around ADVENTURE!


Are People Seeking Your Help?

by Mike Van Vranken

Has anyone asked for your opinion or advice about his or her prayer life? Do people approach you to talk about their relationship with God? Have others sought you to help them with a major decision? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these, God may be calling you to the ministry of spiritual direction. All across our diocese, people are hungry for someone to discuss these matters with. Are you one of those who people seek out? The Archdiocese of New Orleans provides an Internship to help people discern if spiritual direction is a ministry they are being called by God to pursue.

From the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center’s brochure: In spiritual direction, a trained and certified “director walks with the directee in order to deepen awareness of God’s Presence. This desire for intimacy with the Lord creates the situation of spiritual direction. The Internship prepares the Intern to assist the directee discern the presence and movement of God in the life of the directee.

The ASC Internship incorporates a broad reflection on the ministry of spiritual direction within the context of today’s Church. Following the theology and methodology of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Internship prepares the Intern to guide others in on-going spiritual direction and directed retreats.

The honing of skills is part of the formation of a spiritual director; essential formation comes from God’s gifts, the Church’s formation, and the spiritual hunger of the Intern. When God has gifted a person with faith and discernment a training program can help that person recognize, strengthen and purify their gift of discernment.

The two-year Internship closes with a process of individual and group discernment that assists the participants to discern if they are called to the ministry of spiritual direction or to another form of faith ministry. This discernment also considers the areas of Spiritual Direction to which each intern feels called.”

Spiritual Direction Informational Meetings:

Informational meetings with more information about this Internship in Spiritual Direction will be held in our diocese on the following days and times:

Thursday, September 27, 10:00 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The Catholic Center • 3500 Fairfield Ave, Shreveport
Thursday, October 11, 6:30 p.m.

St. Paschal Church • 711 North 7th Street, West Monroe
For more information, call or email Mike Van Vranken

318-423-4617, or mikevanvranken@comcast.net

Ruston Catholic Received French Legion of Honor

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by John Mark Willcox

There is always a first time for everything when you work for the Church and I had a first time experience recently when I conducted my first interview with an centenarian. Robert “Bob” Hurtig is now awaiting his 101st birthday and he has less grey hair than I do within my mere 59 years of life!

There are many amazing things about the life Bob has led since he was born in Cincinnati, OH, in 1917. He grew up an active Catholic and served as a eucharistic minister prior to joining the armed forces in January of 1941 before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He spent time at several bases in the south and was scheduled to board the famous French passenger liner Normandie for passage to Europe. Before that could happen, the Normandie was resting on the bottom of the Hudson River in New York due to what was reported at the time as a severe fire that broke out on deck. “That is not really what happened,” offers Bob. “The truth is that a German U-boat snuck up the Hudson River and torpedoed that ship before the United States could use it. The officials didn’t want that story to get out so they created the fire story.”

Bob ended up being part of the Army Air Corps and became a bombardier navigator assigned to the famous “flying fortress” which was of course the B-17. “We made bombing runs in France, Germany, Austria and Norway,” recalls Bob, as his still sharp mind recounts his years in combat. “I was quick then, and I’m quick today!” he proclaims with a broad and infectious smile.

Bob Hurtig was part of the Army Air Corps and became a bombardier navigator assigned to a B-17 during WWII.

Some of his bombing targets included chemical plants, factories, a buzz bomb launching platform and submarine pens housing deadly U-Boats. All of these missions resulted in a literal shirt full of medals and commendations for Bob, including the French Legion of Honor medal. “After one successful mission I was told that I was to be promoted from Lieutenant to Captain and slated to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. I was never promoted to Captain and I am still waiting on that medal!”

Bob flew his last mission in April of 1945 and looks back with a large degree of sadness on his involvement with the war. “I lost approximately 87 good friends during World War II. When we were flying in formation on bombing runs you would many times see our planes going down in flames. With a B-17, that’s 10 good men you lost with each plane shot down.”

I asked about his prayer life during the war and Bob offered “If you weren’t good at praying when you arrived in the European Theatre, you sure learned how to pray real quick.”

Returning to America, Bob had a successful career in New Orleans working in the wine, liquor and beer industry before moving to Ruston to be close to his only child, Dr. Dolliann Hurtig who is a professor at Louisiana Tech University. He has been a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ruston since 1993.

When asked about the secret to living one hundred years, Bob’s advice is straightforward and simple, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and don’t let politics or people ever convince you that the Lord God is not the most important thing in your life!”

Sock Collection for Prison Ministry

by Mary Morgan

Seeds of caring were planted last year and we all became real life gardeners as we harvested over 1,600 pairs of socks.

In the store of life, Jesus wants people to find the seeds that best suit them so they might live and make the Kingdom grow. His seeds might go wild and even get trampled, but He knows they can open hearts and make hands become loving and helpful toward others.

When the sock drive of 2017 ended, the small gift of a pair of socks had grown into a beautiful surprise for about 1,600 inmates in the Bossier and DeSoto parish facilities, a Christmas gift from the people of the Diocese of Shreveport. The great green thumb of Jesus is planning the Christmas of 2018 event, the 2nd Annual Sock Drive. The seeds are flying already and falling everywhere. If any of them land near your heart’s garden, plant them and let them grow.

All that is needed before December 2018 are men’s white socks (note: women are included and will receive the men’s socks). Help make this collection happen and we will again warm the feet and hearts of those in prison.

For more information contact Mary Morgan at 318-742-3774.

Sock Collection Detail:

Must be men’s white socks, crew or up the calf type only. Please keep them in the original packages. No used socks please.

Delivery will be two weeks before Christmas.