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Faithful Step Up in Wake of Tornado Devastation

by Walter Johnson On April 25, the city of Ruston found itself reeling from an EF3 tornado that blew into the area in the early hours of Thursday morning. The vicious storm More »

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Fr. Kevin Mues Ordination to the Priesthood

A Q& A with the Diocese of Shreveport’s Newest Ordained Priest During your time in seminary, what are some of the moments that have encouraged your vocation? The things that have been More »

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Reflection on Minor Seminary

by Seminarian Kelby Tingle Four years ago I graduated from Loyola College Prep in Shreveport and, feeling a call to discern a vocation to the priesthood, I made the prayerful decision to More »

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CCNLA and SVdP: Side by Side and Hand in Hand

by Tiffany Olah, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana At first glance, it may appear that there is a duplication of services in what the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) does More »

Pro-Life Oratory Contest Winners Announced

T he Shreveport-Bossier Pro-Life Oratory Committee has announced the local winners of its high school oratory contest. Kaiden Odell, a senior at Word of God Academy in Shreveport, won first place with More »

Vatican Media/CNA

Pope Exhorts Young People to Be Courageous; Encounter Christ on the 56th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations

from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops The 56th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations was celebrated by the Catholic Church on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 12, a More »

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One Last Time: Rinaudo Bids Farewell After More Than a Decade as Connection Editor

by Jessica Rinaudo As I began to work on this, my final issue of The Catholic Connection, I looked back and counted the number of issues I’ve put together over the past More »

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The Beauty of Parish Life

by Kim Long Recently I began to reflect on what God used to get my attention over 30 years ago when “becoming Catholic” began to go from a wild exotic notion to More »

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On the Trail of History: France and the Priest-Martyrs of 1873

by Fr. Peter B. Mangum As many are aware, I have been working on a project over the last two years to explore and raise awareness of the lives of five remarkable More »

The Catholic Cemetery Tradition & Revitalizing St. Joseph Cemetery

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from The Catholic Parish Cemetery & Randy Tiller

Catholic cemeteries trace their roots back to the Jewish practice of providing separate burial grounds for community members. The early Christians continued this practice, both because it was a familiar tradition, and also because it was a statement of faith about the dignity of the human body in death and the reality of Jesus’ resurrection.

At death we focus on Baptism and the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, nourished at the Eucharistic table. Rooted in that recognition, we remember our beloved and give thanks for the life we shared. When we visit the burial sites of our loved ones, we experience the same Eucharistic dynamic. Oftentimes we recognize the need for reconciliation with our beloved dead and prayer

at the cemetery is an effective approach toward healing.

Catholic cemeteries manifest the “now/not yet” status of the Kingdom of God. We are now a people of history, a people redeemed but still in pain and sorrow. This is why we pray as Jesus did, “Thy Kingdom come … ”

We are a people who visit our cemeteries to be reminded of our history, our Catholic beliefs and practices, and our parish community/ family. We, as a community, profess our beliefs and value system … even in the silence of the grave.

In the Catholic parish cemetery, our deceased relatives and friends are laid to rest among members of the same faith community who preceded them into eternal life, and professed the same sure conviction that one day the body will be reunited with the soul in glory to be with the Risen Lord. Then the kingdom of God will be fully realized.

Painful as it might be, family and friends are encouraged to return to the burial places to find there, in the presence of those mortal remains, people joined with the Communion of Saints. The church invites you to unite in prayer for their eternal rest. In the stillness of the cemetery, may you connect with that great prayer of the early Church, “Marana tha!”

“Lord Jesus, come!” •

Article originally published in The Catholic Parish Cemetery,
Vol. 1, Issue 3. Reprinted with permission.

 

Revitalizing St. Joseph Cemetery

by Randy Tiller

Having celebrated Lent and the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I cannot help but reflect on my life and turn my thoughts to my death, salvation and resurrection. Burials and cemeteries are an inherent part of our passing through this life. Thus we are all called upon to not only consider our days in the tomb, but those loved ones, those faithful and those communion of saints who have gone before us.

There is a commitment to revitalizing St. Joseph Cemetery and we need your help. Whether or not you one day will be laid to rest there, whether you have laid to rest family members, or friends; or whether you are just one of those people that find peace and consolation at the cemetery as I do, it is our responsibility to care for the dead, to respect the dead and to pray for the repose of their souls.

Please help us continue the work with your prayers, your talents and your treasure.

Msgr. Earl V. Provenza will be offering Mass at St. Joseph Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, at 10:30 am. If there is inclement weather, we will have Mass in the chapel Mausoleum. We look forward to celebrating with you.  •

From the Pope: Forgive Us Our Trespasses

from the Vatican Press Office

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

After asking God for our daily bread, the Lord’s Prayer enters into the field of our relations with others. Jesus teaches us to ask the Father, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Mt 6: 12). Just as we need bread, we need forgiveness. Every day.

The Christian who prays asks first and foremost that God forgive our trespasses. This is the first truth of every prayer: even if we were perfect people, even if we were also crystalline saints who never deflect from a life of good, we always remain children who owe everything to the Father. The most dangerous attitude of every Christian life is pride. It is the attitude of those who place themselves before God, thinking that they always have their accounts in order with Him. Like that Pharisee in the parable, who thinks he prays in the temple but in reality praises himself before God. On the contrary the publican, a sinner despised by all, stops at the threshold of the temple, as he does not feel he is worthy of entering, and entrusts himself to God’s mercy. And Jesus comments, “This man, rather than the other, went home justified before God” (Lk 18: 14), and is therefore forgiven, saved.

There are sins that are seen and sins that are not seen. There are egregious sins that make a noise, but there are also sly sins that lurk in the heart without us even realizing. The worst of these is pride, which can even affect people who live an intense religious life. It is the sin that divides fraternity, that makes us presume we are better than others, that makes us believe we are similar to God.

And instead before God we are all sinners, and have a reason to beat our breast, like the publican at the temple. Saint John, in his first Letter, writes: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1: 8).

We are trespassers, debtors, first and foremost because in this life we have received so much: our existence, a father and a mother, friendship, the wonders of creation. Even if all of us have difficult days, we must always remember that life is a grace, it is the miracle that God extracted from nothing.

Secondly, we are debtors because, even if we succeed in loving, none of us is able to do so with his own strength. None of us shines with his own light. There is a “mysterium lunae,” not only in the identity of the Church, but also in the history of each one of us. If you love, it is because someone, external to you, smiled at you when you were a child, teaching you to respond with a smile. If you love it is because someone next to you reawakened you to love, making you understand that in it there resides the meaning of existence.

Let us try to listen to the story of someone who has made a mistake: a prison inmate, a convict, a drug addict. Without prejudice to responsibility, which is always personal, you ask yourself sometimes who should be blamed for his mistakes, if only his conscience, or the history of hatred and abandonment that some carry with them.

It is the mysterium lunae: we love first and foremost because we have been loved; we forgive because we have been forgiven. And if someone has not been illuminated by the sunlight, he becomes frozen like the ground in winter.

How can we not recognize, in the chain of love that precedes us, also the provident presence of God’s love? None of us loves God as much as He has loved us. It is enough to stand before a crucifix to grasp the disproportion. He has loved us and always loves us first.

So, let us pray. Lord, even the most holy among us never ceases to be in debt to You. O Father, have pity on us all!  •

Navigating the Faith: Titles of Our Lady

May is the month of Mary, a time when we bring the Rosary to the forefront, have May crownings and make special time to pray through the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Mary is represented under a number of different titles. Here are a few you may not be as familiar with.

 Click to download and view this graphic!

Second Collections for May & June

by Father Rothell Price

 DIOCESAN RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUNDCollection Dates: May 4th & 5th 

As we move toward the climax of the Easter Season, I wish you every spiritual blessing from Heaven. I especially wish you a new and transforming encounter with the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. May the grace of Christ’s resurrection from among the dead lead you to a heartfelt and generous support of our Diocesan Retired Priests’ Fund. Make a simple and dignified life possible for our retired diocesan priests who have given all to Jesus Christ and his mission of salvation. These are priestly men you know and love. You can personally vouch for their good name and character. You can truthfully testify to their inspired labor among the people of God. So again, I thank you for opening your heart and your resources to the men who have faithfully served the Risen Lord Jesus and the People of God in north Louisiana with heart and soul.

Our Diocese of Shreveport Retired Priests’ Fund supports good and faithful priests you know and love. One hundred percent of this collection remains in our diocese to cover the care of your loving shepherds in their retirement years: Fathers Kenneth Williams, Pike Thomas, Patrick Scully, Joseph Puthuppally, Phil Michiels, Patrick Madden, James McLelland, John Kennedy and Msgr. Earl Provenza. You know them, love them and can bear witness to their good work. Our active priests, who are such a spiritual help and joy to you, will one day reach the reward of retirement age. I thank you for helping us take care of our current and future retirees. Please give generously to our Diocesan Retired Priests Fund collection.  •

 

CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN

Announcement Dates: June 1st & 2nd 

Collection Dates: May 19th & 26th  

My father, Robert, was the strong silent type. He wasn’t shy and retiring, nor was he a wall flower. He said little, but did much. He reminds me so much of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father and guardian of our Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Joseph and my father, Robert, communicated profound wisdom in his sparsity of words and largess of action. Their fatherly examples express something of essence and power of our second collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign. This second collection gives our nationwide Catholic family the opportunity to receive and spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Jesus communicated to us what he heard and learned from his Father. The Apostles communicated what they heard and learned from Jesus. We, the Church today, communicate to each other and the society around us what we have heard and come to believe. Our words and actions continue those of Jesus and the Apostles through the Catholic Communication Campaign.

I hope this “communication” campaign comes to mind each time you profess your faith in “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Half the funds collected in the Catholic Communication Campaign remain in our diocese so that we can reach souls through the internet, television, radio, print and social media. The various departments at the Catholic Center share the Good News with you in many forms. Be part of this “campaign” to spread the Gospel message. Please generously support the Catholic Communication Campaign.  •

Domestic Church: The Take-Aways

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by Katie Sciba

How do you begin a conclusion? When I started writing for The Catholic Connection over eight years ago, I had a two-year-old marriage and a one-year old son. My lofty theories on how the domestic church – the family – should function had yet to be tested in the School of Experience, but I was eager. Sitting here in Nebraska, hundreds of miles away from where I penned my first column, my babies aged 9 down to 2 sleep while their youngest sibling waits for us in Heaven. Andrew, my husband of nearly 11 years, and I have had our share of storms both together and even against one another. We’ve been blessed by friendships with other married couples living their lives for Christ. I’ve been humbled and honored to win six Catholic Press Awards in as many years, and my writing became a springboard for my work as a national speaker. I’m so incredibly grateful, but, my friends, the Lord is calling me away from The Catholic Connection, so I’m writing this last time to bid farewell and offer my prayers for your families.

To wrap up, here are the take-aways – the hopes I have for our families and some lessons I’ve learned in my time as a wife, mother and writer. I pray they will bring our hearts closer to Jesus, so we can see with more clarity that He is actually with us and calling us to eternal life.

1. Go to Mass – The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith; there is no greater way to pray than to participate in the Mass, to receive the God of the universe in the form of a simple host, and to reflect Jesus’ love to others.

2. Be real with Jesus - Once I told Bishop Duca that, in the wake of my father’s passing, I was too angry to pray. “Why don’t you tell God?” Bishop asked me, “He can take it. He’s big enough.” In showing Jesus just how angry I was, I consequently opened my heart and let him in. Following Bishop Duca’s advice saved my faith.

3.  Keeping in touch with God is ESSENTIAL – We are made in the image of God, which means that we’re called to imitate Him. Have you ever tried to imitate someone you hardly know? It doesn’t work out too well. When we are in touch with the Lord through prayer – Mass, Confession, reading scripture, etc, the more spot-on our imitation will be.

4.  Mom and Dad are a kid’s first teachers - Our kids do what we do, say what we say (sometimes to our horror and humiliation), and they will consider Jesus and their Catholic faith as important as we do. Whether we like it or not, kids are the ultimate copycats. So parents, take hold of your faith, pray with each other and keep Catholic families among your friends.

5.  Pornography destroys family - I wrote a column series on pornography’s effect in 2017. Pornography consumption easily leads to addiction in a short period of time, causing anxiety, depression, isolation and shame for the consumer. Spouses of pornography users often develop a deep sense of rejection, as well as Betrayal Trauma or PTSD. The average age of exposure to pornography is 8-years-old, and because children don’t have the cognitive ability to process it, pornography effects unusual behaviors in children, including isolation and depression. For help, go to addorecovery.com and bloomforcatholicwomen.com.

6.  Minimalism is a way to imitate Christ - The idea of minimalism involves cutting distractions in favor of what deserves our full attention. It’s clearing physical clutter to reveal hidden beauty; it’s freeing a calendar of activities not conducive to the life God desires for us, the life we hope to have. It’s finally seeing possessions as just things and recognizing people as more deserving of our time and attention. Giving our best to Jesus and others becomes easier and more joyful.

7.  There’s more than one way to be a faithful Catholic - I know good, holy parents who pray the Rosary with their kids every night and I know good, holy parents who haul their rambunctious kids to Mass only to leave early because of a temper tantrum. The Lord asks for our love and our best; offer Him that and give others the benefit of the doubt.

8.  We have an audience of One – The point of all of the above? To please God; to become fully aware that He is with us and encouraging us to Heaven.

Thank you Jessica Rinaudo, my dear friend and editor, for your confidence in me; and thank you to you, dear readers, for your support and encouragement over my time here at the Domestic Church column. Please pray that I do what the Holy Spirit wills, and know that your families are in my prayers. God bless you. •

Faithful Food: Power in a Word

by Kim Long

Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies. Proverbs 20:15

There is an old story in which a penitent seeks forgiveness for gossip (read here words that hurt or offend whether intentional or not). The priest forgoes a traditional penance of prayer instead charging the penitent with these instructions: cut open a feather pillow and shake it out and gather all the feathers to refill it. This lesson can be applied anytime speech goes awry.

Recently, this happened to me with my daughter-in-law. No malice aforethought, no anger, just one person trying to be helpful and the help – which was offered in kindness – was not received as intended. The path from brain to mouth to ear is not always straightforward, often the route is fraught with nuances, tone and points of reference to which the involved parties are not always privy. This can run the best of intentions afoul. God speaks creation into being and with His help, repair can occur.

Once my offer of help was uttered it took a moment to see that it wasn’t helpful at all. I saw my daughter-in-law struggle, become upset and then suddenly she was very busy, too busy, and brightly cheerful. Always a bad sign. I was ready to throw my bags in the car and leave, my rode home paved with cowardice, escape my sole aim, good intentions all but forgotten.

Thankfully, I abandoned my first instinct. Speaking a second time I allowed God’s loving kindness to guide me, reminding me of the love I feel for her, gratitude for the happiness she brings my son, and her goodness to my grandchildren. Those feelings come from a deep reservoir of Divine Love, available and waiting for us when we are ready. Understanding between the two of us was spoken into being that late Friday night with much help from God.

You would think as a writer awareness of the power of words would be second nature for me, but not always.

Beginning with a blank page, a sentence, or a scrap of memory, we as writers weave something around these fragments in an effort to make them whole and complete and, by extension, ourselves. That text holds us accountable. With spoken words carelessness is almost second nature, and calling those words back to us is impossible. Words have the power to build up and tear down sometimes in the space of a few moments; take care with them.

Like most of us, whether intentional or not, I have feathers I am chasing, but when kind or cheerful words lead me to respond rather than react, I believe I am refilling my pillow that way, too. With God’s help, I pray that I think before I speak and that when I must give chase He will guide my steps.

With 66 references in both testaments enjoining the wise use of speech, and 56 references about honey and its benefits, this offering combines the two. Here is a little prayer before you begin: “Lord guide my hands as I create this dish both for your glory and the nourishment of those who will eat it. May we always be mindful of what is offered and how we receive it. AMEN.”

Psalm 119:103 “How sweet are your words, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

Milk and Honey Kugel

Ingredients:

• 16 oz package of egg noodles

• ½ cup butter

• ½ cup honey

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

•  ½ cup cream

• 5 large eggs

• ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Boil and drain noodles and return to pot.

3) Add butter, honey, salt and vanilla sugar.

4) Mix well and add eggs and cream.

5) Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake for about an hour, or until kugel is golden brown and firm to touch. Serves 8-10.

This unusual dessert should make for some good conversation since your words are already sweetened! Enjoy!

 (from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner, published by Skyhorse Publishing copyright 2013)


Bidding Farewell to Longtime Connection Columnist

by Jessica Rinaudo

While every issue of The Catholic Connection is dear to me, this one, in particular, will always hold a special place in my heart. After more than eight years of column and feature writing, longtime columnist Katie Sciba has penned her last Domestic Church column in this May issue.

I’ll never forget when Katie first tentatively contacted me about writing for The Catholic Connection. Unbeknownst to her, she reached out to me at just the right time. I was in the middle of completely overhauling the format of The Catholic Connection, working to give it more of a “feature magazine” feel. Part of this reimagining meant that I would need regular columnists. Through conversations with my editorial board and while chatting with friends in the local Catholic community, I learned that there was an overwhelming desire for information on how to better bring the Catholic faith into the home, especially to children. And, fortunately, as a newly minted wife and mother, Katie was up to the challenge. Thus, the Domestic Church column was born.

Working in print media, readers often reach out to tell me what we did wrong, or how we infuriated them. I’ve discovered that we only really hear when we’re doing a good job through secondary sources, or, on occasion, people will joyfully call or email if a piece really knocks it out of the park. To this day, however, I still regularly hear from people who enjoy Katie’s column on family life. I know a mom who pulls out her Domestic Church column each month, laminates it, and places it on her fridge as a spiritual reminder!

I’ve always known Katie’s writing was special – partly because as a young mother myself I found her writing so encouraging – but also, because her column brought home a Catholic Press Award to our magazine for the first time in many, many years. And that was only the beginning. Katie’s column, feature writing as well as her in depth series on the harm of pornography, continued to rake in the awards in the years that followed.

I watched her grow from a tentative budding writer to a confident author, willing and able to share her own vulnerabilities to help others with the pains and struggles in their own lives.

I am so grateful Katie reached out to me that day more than eight years ago. Not only did she play an essential role in raising the quality of The Catholic Connection, but she became a dear friend and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with the people of the Diocese of Shreveport, Katie. May God bless your future endeavors.

Ministry of Presence: St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Feeds Students at Louisiana Tech

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by Jessica Rinaudo

The words “Ruston” and “Louisiana Tech” go hand in hand. And with only one Catholic Church in the city, St. Thomas Aquinas parishioners have taken up the task of bridging a relationship between the church and university.

In the early 90s, Father Paul Gallagher, OFM, began a “dollar lunch” program to feed any student who dropped by their student center every Wednesday. What began as a small group of 10 to 15 students has evolved into a weekly program that regularly feeds more than 100 students and faculty members.

Spearheaded by a group of volunteer parishioners including Coordinator, Pat Crawford, long time member Sandi Adams, and Brother Mike Ward, OFM, each week the parish offers a safe space, fellowship and a warm meal to students.

As the students walk through the doors of the St. Thomas Aquinas student center, their faces light up as the smell of homecooked shepherd’s pie wafts through the room. The meal and the volunteers are blessed, then students quickly seek out friends, grab a meal and a seat and enjoy fellowship with one another. Faculty members also stop by, visiting with one another and students. Other regular fixtures at the weekly meal are Louisiana Tech Campus Minister Brother Mike Ward, OFM, and St. Thomas Aquinas pastor, Fr. Tony Posadas, OFM.

“My favorite part of this program is that the students have a place to come where they can be with each other. And we provide that and provide a meal for them,” said coordinator Pat Crawford. “But we get as much out of it as they do, all of us. Most everybody has been involved with this for many years: our groups of people who cook. It’s kind of a scary thing to cook for this many people and stay within a budget. We are serving more now than ever. This year, we’ve offered 2,111 meals since September.”

Students echo Crawford’s sentiments, “We come every week that they have “Wednesday lunch.” I like the people and the community. It’s a way that the parish connects with the students, where the parishioners cook the meal and serve it and the students get to come in and get to enjoy a good home cooked meal away from home. I like interacting with the parishioners as well,” said student and Association of Catholic Tech Students member André Aguillard.

“I love being able to sit down at any table and have a great conversation and then enjoy the food and know you’re with like minded people with similar values,” added student Abby Morgan.
To make all of this happen every week takes a village both on and offsite. Pat Crawford manages the complete meal schedule for the year, calendaring meal assignments for different St. Thomas Aquinas ministry groups. Some people volunteer to bring desserts each week; some cook, but can’t serve; others show up on site to serve the students; still others are needed to take donations and keep track of how many students come through.

The result of all of this is a full meal for students including a protein, vegetable, side item, dessert and a drink – all for a minimal donation of $1. It takes a combination of budgeting, discounts and donations to make it work, but the results are undeniable.

“It’s a good witness. A good number of people who come to “Wednesday lunch” are not Catholic. So it kind of de-mystifies some of the thoughts other people have about Catholics,” said Fr. Tony Posadas, OFM, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

“It’s a safe place to eat. It helps students feel at home, especially when they are feeling lonely. We’ve been here since the beginning, and this is the best I’ve seen it,” said cooking volunteer, Sandi Adams. She added, “The students are so appreciative. They’ll come by, some of them, and thank us.”  Adams also said that students regularly volunteer to help with setup and clean up.
The “Wednesday lunch” program has quickly become St. Thomas’ largest outreach ministry, and one that parishioners and students alike take great pride in. No one is ever denied a meal for not having money, and often people will come through and pay for others.

“My hope is always that the students see other people doing something for them, so that when they graduate, marry, whatever they do out in the world in their jobs and communities, they’re more likely to volunteer their time,” said Crawford.

Theirs is truly a mission of presence and kindness, following the command of Jesus to love thy neighbor.

Updating St. Joseph Cemetery

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by Randy Tiller

In 2023 we will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. This is not only significant for our diocese, but of importance to St. Joseph Cemetery. Never during the epidemic was Shreveport left without a priest to administer the sacraments and the last rites to approximately 25% of the population that was wiped out by the fever. Before a priest fell ill and succumbed to the fever, another priest was there to care for the people.

Since November, The Catholic Connection has been printing articles and a comic strip story about these five priests who ministered to those who succumbed to Yellow Fever in Shreveport (see page 17 in this issue). Additionally, our own Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Peter Mangum, recently traveled to France to conduct more research on these five men and has continued to share their stories.

You may not know though, that some of these priests were originally buried in the basement of Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport. Fr. Isidore Quemerais, Fr. Jean Pierre and Fr. Francois LeVezouet were originally buried at Holy Trinity Church and moved in 1884 to St. Joseph Cemetery. Fr. Jean Marie Biler was originally buried in the Daughters of the Cross cemetery on Fairfield Ave., and exhumed and moved to Forest Park in the 1960s. Fr. Louis Gergaud was buried at St. Matthew’s Cemetery in Monroe.

With the approaching 150th anniversary, it affords us a fantastic opportunity to reconsider and restate the corporal work of mercy to bury and care for the dead. St. Joseph Cemetery is the only Catholic cemetery in the Shreveport/Bossier area. In conjunction with this anniversary, we will also complete necessary updating, uplifting, renovating, landscaping and beautification.
Some of our updates will include new registers for the tops of the graves of the three priests who died in the Yellow Fever epidemic, as well as pouring a concrete form around the crypts to seal them and keep water from seeping in. The calvary monument will also be restored. This includes cleaning and correcting the plaque, as well as reworking the steps and the landings. We will also be installing a new flag pole in front of the mausoleums, continuing the task of cleaning and straightening various monuments, replacing the fence at the back of the cemetery, widening streets, investigating stained glass windows in the chapel mausoleum, landscaping and adding statuary. Adding restrooms to the grounds is also a possibility.

All of these updates and changes will prepare the cemetery for visitors who will travel there from across the globe in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic. In order to do this important work, we will happily accept donations to the Cemetery Fund. If your family has monuments and tombstones that need renovation or crypts that need to be painted and cleaned, we have professionals available to handle those repairs and renovations for the family. We can facilitate having the work done if families notify us and are willing to pay for the renovations. If you know of families with historical ties to the cemetery, please share this with them. There are still plots available for purchase.

Keep looking for more updates as we continue refurbishing the cemetery. We will also be establishing a Cemetery Board to look into long range plans to build an additional mausoleum and columbarium.

Our Immediate Projects:

New granite tops on the crypts of the three priests who gave their lives in the Yellow Fever epidemic
$5,000 each installed

Wrapping the crypt walls with wire mesh and a concrete formto stop water seepage
$7,500

Repairing the steps and landings of the Calvary monument
$ 5,000

Re-fencing the back of the cemetery with 6’ black vinyl fencing
$12,000

Landscaping
$15,000

Future projects include stained glass in the chapel mausoleum, extending the irrigation system and establishing a priests’ section at the cemetery to encourage our diocesan priests to be interred in our historic Catholic cemetery.

Other projects will include building an additional mausoleum with 200+ crypts and adding several small columbarium around the cemetery. We are also looking into securing additional contiguous property. Donations can be made to Diocese of Shreveport St. Joseph Cemetery Fund and are tax deductible.

Prior to Lent, St. Ann Church in Ebarb had a Mardi Gras Celebration. Pictured are Fr. Richard Norsworthy, King and Queen Benjie and Carol Rivers, and parish children.