Exploring the History of St. Matthew Church

By John Mark Willcox Exiting I-20 in downtown Monroe on Jackson Street you are met with a beautiful sight….the majestic spire of St. Matthew Church which has stood in downtown Monroe for More »

Discerning a Vocation in Elementary and Middle School

by Seminarian Raney Johnson It might seem too early to begin discerning a vocation in elementary and middle school. Yet, whenever I give a talk about vocations to young Catholics, I remind More »

Rite of Candidacy

A Q&A About the Rite of Candidacy with Seminarian Jeb Key Q: What is the Rite of Candidacy?  Candidacy is a rite in the Church that all people aspiring to receive the More »

Fr. Peter B. Mangum Addresses Thoughts on June USCCB Meeting and the Future of the Diocese

By: Fr. Peter B. Mangum   Dear People of Shreveport, I begin this article on Pentecost Sunday, preparing for the gathering of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore. More »

El padre Peter informa sobre la reunión del USCCB en junio y el futuro de la Diócesis

Querida Gente de la Diócesis de Shreveport Comienzo este artículo en Domingo de Pentecostés mientras me preparo para la reunión de la Conferencia Episcopal de los Obispos Católicos de Los Estados Unidos, More »

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

by Kim Long On the 15th day of August, we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Body and Soul into heaven. The feast, which has a long More »

Holistic Catholic Education

By: Mike Van Vranken Almost forty years ago, I heard someone respond to the question “what do Catholics believe” with the confident answer: “We believe it all!”  Over the years, and often More »

The Life of Sister Maria Smith, D.C.

by Patti Underwood On Holy Thursday, we in the Diocese of Shreveport and beyond lost a rare treasure, Sister Maria Smith, D.C.  Sister Maria was Mother Superior of the Daughters of the More »

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 »

Ordination to the Priesthood

With Praise and Thanksgiving to Almighty God, the Diocese of Shreveport Announces with Great Joy the Ordination of

Deacon Kevin Joseph Mues

to the Sacred Order of Presbyter Through the Imposition of Hands and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by His Excellency

Most Reverend Michael G. Duca, Bishop of Baton Rouge

On Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10:00 in the Morning

at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans

939 Jordan Street, Shreveport, Louisiana

First Priestly Blessing and a Reception to follow at St. John Berchmans Multi Room

A “Slime” Sensation at St. Frederick High School

by Melissa Shepard

St. Frederick High School Junior, Giselle Fakhre, has become a social media sensation. The 16-year-old entrepreneur and member of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish in Monroe, spends her time working as somewhat of a celebrity in the world of slime. The 16-year-old entrepreneur has 920,000 followers on her SlimeSlime101 Instagram account.

Giselle is a creator of slime, which for those who are unaware is a gooey, sticky substance that is all the rage with children today. Slime lovers enjoy the gooiness of the stuff which they say relieves stress. Followers also love all the different slime designs Giselle makes. Slime is becoming an art form for this generation of youngsters. Slime lovers manipulate the sticky substance and all the different things that are mixed into it to make it both fun and attractive. Giselle mixes a variety of items into her slime creations including plastic balls, colors, sparkles, balloons and anything else she can think of to include.

Giselle’s business has grown so much that she is now sought after by toy companies such as ORB Toys and Compound Kings from Wecool Toys. Additionally, she is on the PR list for big name companies such as Elmer’s and Karina Garcia. This month she and her mother will attend Slime Bash, a slime convention in Chicago, IL, where she will be a VIP guest and will sell her slime add-in kits, which are of course packaged and decorated.

Giselle is a life-long member of Jesus Good Shepherd Parish. She attributes the start of her love of art to her elementary school art classes at Jesus Good Shepherd School. At St. Frederick High School, her civics class studied economic systems which inspired her to expand her small business. Giselle’s faith sustains her on days when she is extremely busy with school work, cheerleading, yearbook, social media accounts and business commitments. Her favorite Bible verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Giselle is the daughter of Dr. Saidi Sowma-Fakhre and Dr. Fakhre Fakhre who are both extremely proud of her initiative and success. Upon graduation from St. Frederick High School she would like to attend an out of state university where she can study business and draw upon her entrepreneurial experiences.

Our Lady of Fatima Students Leap Into Testing

Our Lady of Fatima School is leaping into testing! Students are taking the LEAP test from April 24 to May 3.

St. Joseph Kindergartners Join In Stations of the Cross

St. Joseph School kindergarteners now attend the Stations of the Cross. Last year, Fr. Long decided to offer Stations to three groups of students, rather than have the whole school attended at once, providing each group with a more intimate, age-appropriate set of reflections and meditations. The kindergartners attend with first and second graders and listened to shorter, simpler meditations at each Station. In Religion class, they learned about the Stations, as well as the response, “…because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.”  •

JGS Students Embrace Lent

Jesus the Good Shepherd School participated in the Stations of the Cross at JGS Parish with Deacon Tom Deal officiating the event. Students in grades 1st through 6th were present. It was a wonderful addition to the school’s Lenten activities, which also included a service project arranged by the JGS Student Council to help stock the shelves of Catholic Charities of Monroe with goods and supplies needed by those in our local area. Additionally, JGS 5th and 6th grade students held their annual “Living Stations of the Cross” on April 17 and 18. JGS School is grateful to be able to help students live out their Lenten responsibilities of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  •

SJB Wins Multiple Science Olympiad Awards at State

Congratulations St. John Berchmans Middle School Science Olympiad Team for winning 2nd place in the state tournament in Hammond, LA on April 13. Every team member placed in an event!

Loyola’s Dean Selected for Spain Academic Program

Iron June of this year, Junior Chloe Dean will experience classroom instruction with cultural activities and excursions throughout Spain.The National Spanish Examinations Junior Study Abroad Scholarship requires applicants to:

•  have received medal placement by scoring above the 75th percentile on the 2018 National Spanish Examination in Level II or above

•  be registered to take the 2019 National Spanish Examination in Level III or above

• agree to continue studying Spanish during senior year

Dean met the criteria with flying colors, and the award will not only include education and experience in Spain, but will include tuition for classes, lodging and meals.

Christus Vivit, Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, of Newark, chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, have issued the following joint statement on the release of Christus Vivit.  Full statement follows:

“The Church of the United States welcomes this teaching from Pope Francis as the fruit of the synodal journey in which we walked with and listened to young people. This exhortation is a wonderful summons to the whole Church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those who are disconnected from the Church.

We encourage all Catholic leaders to read and study this exhortation and the pertinent documents of the Synod. They provide for us a framework from which we can build upon in our dioceses, parishes, and communities.

Now more than ever, we must turn our attention to our young people and engage them as ‘protagonists’ of the Church’s mission. Their insights can help us grow as a Church and guide us as we all learn to become better missionary disciples in an intercultural and intergenerational context. We look forward to what comes next, in collaboration with Catholic ministry leaders already working alongside young people. We look forward to the journey ahead, and pray with St. John Paul II, a patron of young people whose passing we remember today, for the Church’s ongoing mission to all generations.

The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit, is a significant milestone of the synodal process begun by Pope Francis in 2016. After two years of consultation by episcopal conferences, movements, and Catholic organizations, along with a worldwide online survey and a Pre-Synod Meeting with young adults in March 2018, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops met in October 2018 on the theme ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.’ Bishops, clergy, religious and lay people, including a number of young people, together with Pope Francis, addressed the challenges facing younger generations today and ways in which the Church can best respond. Now the work of the Holy Spirit, manifest in the sessions of the Synod, will bear fruit in the dioceses of the United States.”  •

Your Appeal Helps Care for God’s People Subsidies for Retried and Infirm Priests

by John Mark Willcox, Director of Development

This past year our diocese has witnessed the passing of two of our most beloved retired priests with the death of Msgr. Carson LaCaze and Fr. Richard Lombard. Both of these men continued to serve the Church well past their official retirement and their impact on our faith community will be long-lasting. Even though our diocese continues to lose retired priests to advanced age and death, the number of our retired diocesan priests still stands at nine men.

Some of our priests claim retirement but remain an active part of our Church family. You may see Fr. Phil Michiels, Msgr. Earl V. Provenza or Fr. James McLelland celebrating a Mass at your parish while your pastor is on leave. Fr. Patrick Madden was famous for counting down the days to his official retirement, yet he still enthralls his faithful students each Thursday at the Catholic Center as scripture and Church teachings are examined in his class. These men are just some of the retired priests who remain committed to the people of our diocese and count on our Annual Diocesan Stewardship Appeal to provide them with financial support in their later years.

Your Appeal generosity also helps to provide high-quality medical care for our aging retirees, while trying to anticipate the annual rise in health care costs every year. In some instances, retired priests require hospitalization, after care and rehab, which can be very costly.  In 2019, a significant portion of Appeal funding is dedicated to offering our retired priests a well-deserved quality of life in their later years as they continue to depend on the Church they served so well.

If you have yet to make your gift to our 2019 Appeal campaign, please use the pledge card found below. If you have already supported our 2019 Appeal effort, may God bless you for helping provide for the needs of our retired priests.  •

Kids’ Connection: Celebrating Mary in May

Click to download and print this month’s Kids’ Connection on Mary.