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Celebrating Senior Month and Aging Beauty

by Sr. Martinette Rivers

As the world celebrates an “Ode to Elders” during this month dedicated to us, I think this lovely song is a great beginning. In the song, “Get It Together” by India Aire, she says “You’ll never be happy and you’ll never be whole until you find the beauty in growing old.”

Aging is a universal condition. But the way we try to hide it, you would think it was a plague. Everyone knows that we are growing older. I don’t ever remember being afraid of “oldness.”

In a youth-oriented society, we do not see the old as models of success. Rabbi A. Heschel, in his book, The Insecurity of Freedom, calls aging people the true “gold mines of a culture.” Most societies struggle with how they are to treat their elders. What do we do with those declining in years? With age comes maturity and wisdom. As we read in Leviticus 19:32, “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old.” As we treat another may we be treated as well.

Researchers find that the effect of a person’s attitude about aging has a lasting impact on how long they live. Attitude can be a problem if we think that we get worse as we become older and that we have less pep and feel less useful. Those oldsters need an attitudinal change before it’s too late. Getting older is not a negative experience for me, but it’s difficult to escape negative stereotypes about aging in our society. The more I read, and even at times experience this as I grow older, I reflect on The Seven Wonders of Aging that I wrote when I was in my sixties. They are still my suggestions for people to age gracefully, with an open mind, heart and spirit. They have helped me to create a stage where I feel comfortable aging with God, as the producer and we as the actors and actresses. It is on that stage that we will learn the mystery, the unseen beauty and the joy in aging. They are the motivating forces for me as I grow older, day by day.

Finding the beauty in growing old not only helps us, but rejuvenates the spirit of others in some way. My plan was and is to help others to savor and enjoy the best of their years. It can be a period of new vision. The blessings we have received we must also share with others. Without a spiritual purpose we can easily slip into ageist attitudes which can rob us of our joy and purpose in life as we age.

There is no one way, right or wrong, to grow older. Why should growing older be such a big deal? “Grey hair, wrinkles and smile lines are beautiful accessories,” according to Naomi Wolf. I tend to agree with her. She reminds us oldsters how futile it is to try to remain ageless and focus all our attention on our exterior looks.

Regardless of our outward appearance as we grow older, we are beautiful at our very core. We can’t stop our inner beauty from glowing forth. Beauty is found in respecting the needs of others, as well as in our response to their needs. Beauty is found in humor, the honor of giving and goodness in compassion. These are found more often than not in nursing homes.
Consider this during the Senior Month of May, an older person you know who is attractive and beautiful because of their age. “Beauty is certainly in the eyes of the beholder, and therefore beauty comes in many, many forms.” Psychiatrist Gerald May in Additions and Grace.

The moment an aging person begins to delight in beauty, their mind, body and spirit are beginning to see with the heart. As we each spend time reflecting on our age, we might ask ourselves this question: What kind of badges of aging do we have? Wrinkles, thinning grey hair, gnarled knuckles, shaky hands, smiles on our faces, wobbly knees – all genuine tales of our lives, work, joys and struggles which become more beautiful each passing day. What shape and form our future will take on, only God knows. Truly aging is a great art! When will God’s masterpiece of us be finished? Let’s go out dancing, laughing and smiling. In spite of the mystery in our aging, our beauty will live on in the hearts of others.

St. Joseph Wins 2nd Overall at Regional Science Fair

Eleven St. Joseph School students competed at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair on March 2, tying for second place overall in the middle school team division. At the Regional Science Fair, which includes public and private school students from Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, Red River and Webster parishes, each student competes individually, but also as part of their school team.

After placing individually in their categories at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, four students from St. Joseph School will compete in the Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair in Baton Rouge.

Sixth grader Brooke Tuminello won second place in Material Sciences for her project testing whether temperature affects the strength of a magnet. Eve Burcz, seventh grade, examined the effect that both lunging and flat work have on a horse’s heart rate, earning second place in the Animal Sciences category. Tuminello and Burcz will represent SJS in their categories at the State competition.

Seventh graders Colin Lirette and Nico Sangster won first and second place, respectively, in the Plant Science category at the regional competition. Sangster presented the results to his question of whether a plant grows faster if it has earthworms in its soil. Lirette’s project, “Which type of wood makes the hottest fire?,” scored in the top 10% of all participants, qualifying him for Broadcom MASTERS which is the nations most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.

Shreveport-Bossier Pro-Life Oratory Contest

The National Right to Life is sponsoring its annual Pro-Life Oratory Contest. The competition is open to all high school juniors and seniors, who will address the issues of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research in five to seven minute oral presentations.

The Shreveport-Bossier contest, now in its thirtieth year, is sponsored locally by the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport and will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Catholic Center, located at 3500 Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport. The contest is open to the public at no charge. The local first place winner will receive a $500 cash prize and will represent Shreveport at the state contest.

The state contest will be held in Baton Rouge on May 5 at the Louisiana Knights of Columbus Convention. The state winner will receive $500 cash, plus expenses paid (up to $1,000) to go to Nationals.

The national contest will be held in Kansas City, KS at the National Right to Life Convention, June 28-30. The national prize is $1,000 cash.
All high school juniors and seniors are eligible, and there may be more than one student entered from each school.

For additional information and entry blanks, please contact Anthony Fabio, 1908 Carol Street, Bossier City, LA 71112, awfabio2@hotmail.com, or call 318-402-6663.

 www.facebook.com/SBProLifeOratoryCommittee/

Domestic Church: Facing Fear and Difficulty

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by Katie Sciba

I had over 20 tabs open online, all of them for rentals within a 50 mile radius. We needed a three-bedroom house for the seven of us, that would accept a dog and our single, modest, self-employed income – hardly a desirable situation for any landlord. House after house we were turned down, not because of finances or even our four-legged family member, but because of the number of children we had. “Five kids? Sorry, they’ll tear up the property.” At one point our options were whittled down to neighborhoods that were shady at best, places that fit our income but squashed our need for safety. I had spent three months exhaustively combing local real estate to find a home for our odd-shaped family. After coming up empty over and over, I was tired and afraid. Our clock was ticking and our finances were limited.

It was just months before when, expecting our fifth child, Eamon, I was diagnosed with a rare pregnancy disease that had a strong chance of claiming our son’s life without notice. There was no cure and no treatment; the only option we had was to deliver Eamon by C-section at 37 weeks gestation, and not a moment sooner. The symptoms were difficult enough to cope with, but the real agony was the helplessness we felt waiting for our baby’s birth, praying he would survive in my body until we could get him out.

The circumstances were our own, but how many of us can claim similar feelings of hopelessness and fear? In desperate situations, faith feels like a gamble to see if God will pull through or leave us high and dry. Sometimes it seemed as though Heaven had turned a deaf ear and we were left to fend for ourselves. Panic-stricken, sometimes the only prayer I could offer was a tearful “Do you see us?” I was terrified of what would become of our family and whether my husband’s new business would sustain us. I was afraid of life without our fifth child and the profound pain losing him would bring.

One of my favorite verses for times of fear comes from Psalm 143. “I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that thou hast done; I muse on what thy hands have wrought.” Right there in verse 5 is the hope for our present distress. When we recall past trauma, pain or trials, we can see how God pulled us through it and how He carried us when we had no strength. In the face of difficulty, it’s easier to worry than it is to remember God’s past faithfulness, but the fact is hope comes with knowing He has seen us through every adversity leading up to now. My husband told me hundreds of times in those months, “God has never abandoned us and He’s not going to start now,” his own version of the Psalmist’s sentiment.

We’re almost a year past these events and I’m sitting in the living room of our wonderful home with my healthy baby boy asleep down the hall. The Lord provided as He always has and always will. Life turns out problems and pain that to human eyes would seem impossible, yet to God who knows our fears, they are calls to trust in His mercy. •

Daughters of the Cross: Mothers of the Church in North Louisiana

The 10 original Daughts of the Cross sisters, inclusing Mother Hyacinthe

by Patti Underwood

When Fr. Auguste Marie Aloysius Martin was made bishop of the newly created Diocese of Natchitoches in 1853, he faced a daunting challenge. In a mostly rural, mostly Protestant area of 22,212 square miles, there were 25,000 Catholics and just four priests, seven parishes, and one Catholic school. In dire need of priests, Bishop Martin journeyed to his native France in 1854 to recruit priests for his mission.

Bishop Martin’s trip was a success. In addition to finding several priests and seminarians, he netted an offer from an order of nuns to establish schools in Louisiana. The Daughters of the Cross learned of the Louisiana mission from a young seminarian, Jean Pierre (future founder of Holy Trinity in Shreveport), who came to them to request boarding and education for his niece while he was away in America. Mother Marie Hyacinthe le Conniat, the convent’s superior, sent word to Bishop Martin that she would gladly send teaching Sisters for his mission.

Bishop Martin began correspondence to make the arrangements, which took over a year. The Sisters crossed the ocean by steamer, arriving earlier than expected. After a grueling 43-day journey, Mother Hyacinthe arrived in New Orleans with nine Sisters on November 21, 1855, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a beautiful moonlit night when they arrived, five days later, at their new home in Cocoville, between Marksville and Mansura. Unfortunately, the property the bishop had proposed for them was sold before he could make the deal, and he had to settle for the former residence of a butcher. Although the local people had started to clean it up, the place was in terrible condition, still littered with evidence of the butcher’s trade; not the lovely place they were expecting to find. But they were determined to make their mission a success, and they rolled up their sleeves and got to work cleaning and repairing the premises (and studying English). Two more buildings were added, and Presentation Academy, named for the day of their arrival in New Orleans, opened on February 2, 1856. By March 13, they had 15 day pupils and four boarders.

Bishop Auguste Marie Aloysius Martin, made first bishop of the Diocese of Natchitoches in 1853.

Under Mother Hyacinthe’s able leadership, the American Foundation survived when others did not; and it not only survived, it prospered. In a letter to her parents dated August 19, 1857, she reported that Presentation Academy* had 30 boarders and 14 day pupils. Furthermore, there were 115 First Communions and Confirmations, mostly parents and other local families of all stations—in addition to the students who had received the sacraments earlier. Bishop Martin was so pleased that he established a second school at Ile Breville that same year. By 1870, the Daughters of the Cross had six schools, extending their range to Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe.

Over the years, the Sisters established 21 schools across North Louisiana, in addition to conducting summer classes in communities where there was no Catholic school. They overcame many difficulties: lack of funds, arduous labors and travels, privation, war, fires, tornadoes, illness and epidemic.

Today, only two Daughters of the Cross remain, Sr. Maria Smith and Sr. Lucy Scallan. With Sr. Maria’s retirement in 1997, the era of the Daughters of the Cross teaching in Louisiana schools came to a close. However, their influence permeates North Louisiana. A 1955 Centennial booklet lists 44 priests/seminarians and 103 sisters who were students of the Daughters of the Cross, and others have followed. Schools they founded which are still in operation include St. Frederick and Jesus the Good Shepherd in Monroe, Sacred Heart in Moreauville, and St. John Berchmans in Shreveport.

Mother Hyacinthe and her Daughters of the Cross are surely the mothers of the Church in north Louisiana, and Bishop Martin is surely the father. Bishop Martin’s tomb is in the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches. Mother Hyacinthe is buried in Treguier, France. Most of the other Daughters of the Cross are interred at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport, although a few are in Monroe, Marksville and France. As the beneficiaries of their labors, we should strive to remember to pray for the repose of their souls, for their intercession in our needs, and for the grace to honor their sacrifices and extend their legacies in our lives.

The Daughters of the Cross:

• Founded in 1640 in Paris, France, by Mother Marie l’Huillier de Villeneuve

• Rule written by St. Francis de Sales

• Advised by St. Jane Frances de Chantal

• Guided through early trials by St. Vincent de Paul

• Came to Cocoville, Louisiana from Treguier, France in 1855

• Motherhouse moved to St. Vincent’s in Shreveport in 1869. •

Pro-Life Reception for Mary’s House with Abby Johnson on March 20

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On Tuesday, March 20, at the Bossier Civic Center, Mary’s House will host the Shreveport/Bossier Pro-Life Reception featuring Abby Johnson, former clinic director for Planned Parenthood, now pro-life advocate, as keynote speaker.

Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement. During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director.

She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease. Still, Abby loved the women that entered her clinic and her fellow workers. Despite a growing unrest within her, she stayed on and strove to serve women in crisis.

All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13-week baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist. At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.

Planned Parenthood did not take Abby’s exodus sitting down. They are fully aware that the workers who leave are their greatest threat. Instantly, they took action to silence Abby with a gag order and took her to court. The lawsuit was quickly seen as the sham it was and thrown out of court.

The media was, and continues to be, intensely interested in Abby’s story as well as her continued efforts to advocate for the unborn and help clinic workers escape the abortion industry. She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.

Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 419 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and seven precious children. •

 

Event Information

Tickets

General Admission, $50 • VIP Sponsorships $500, $1000, $1500 and $2000. • For more information and Tickets/Sponsorships, visit www.MarysHouseofLAFoundation.org, or email Lanne@maryshouseofla.org

EVENT TIMELINE:

5:30 p.m.: Doors Open

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.:  Pre-Reception, hors d’oeuvres* in the Main Hall

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.:  VIP Pre-Reception* in the Bodcau Room for sponsors and their guests

6:45 p.m.: Reception seating in the Main Hall

7:00 p.m.: Reception begins

7:30 p.m.: Keynote address by Abby Johnson

*Hors d’oeuvres by Silver Star

All proceeds benefit Mary’s House.

Mike’s Meditations: Be Vulnerable with Your Forgiveness

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by Mike Van Vranken

If you are like most of us, there has been a time in your life when you had trouble forgiving someone. The words forgive and forgiveness are used throughout the Bible, and Jesus gives it a prioritized place of honor when he tells Peter to forgive seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:22). In other words, the benchmark is unlimited forgiveness. At other times, he declares: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7); and “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We know these words of Jesus explain how we are to treat others, but they are much easier to say than do.

That’s true for us, anyway. But for Jesus – the Christ – mercy and forgiveness were his nature, his essence. It’s who he was and is. Let’s look at an example.

Luke’s account of the crucifixion begins: “When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ They divided his garments by casting lots” (Luke 23:33-34).

They all get to the place of Christ’s crucifixion, they nail Jesus and the two criminals to crosses, and Luke tells us that Jesus immediately asked his Father to forgive them. Forgive whom? If taken in the strictest context within the crucifixion story itself, Jesus has to be asking the Father to forgive the two criminals, right?

Yes, I do believe Jesus is asking for forgiveness for the church leaders who turned him over to Pilate and Herod. And yes, I also believe he wants mercy for those in the crowd who yelled and demanded his execution. Further, I believe he was begging his Father to forgive the Roman soldiers who were carrying out this “capital punishment.” But, the way Luke has written this, I also believe that he wanted us to be equally sure that Jesus was forgiving the two criminals as well. He mentions the criminals and immediately says Jesus prays for their forgiveness. Luke waits another five full verses before describing how the one criminal taunts Jesus and the other asks for mercy. But here in verses 33 and 34, Jesus says: “forgive them.” He doesn’t seem to exclude anyone. It appears to me that he’s forgiving the entire bunch. And there is absolutely no indication, at this point, that anyone has asked for forgiveness or mercy.

I’m fully convinced that part of Jesus’ mission was to show us how to live, not only spiritually, but also as human beings. He told us to forgive, but on the cross, he shows us how to do it. In other words: he demonstrates we are to forgive everyone. This is where we usually say: “Yeah, but Jesus was God!” While true, we also believe he was fully human. And in his full humanity, Luke sees Jesus as forgiving everyone in sight. There is just no end to his mercy (Lamentations 3:22).

If all of this makes you feel uncomfortable; if it seems impossible, then this is good subject matter for your next prayer period. Take Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness and tell God how it makes you feel. Do you find it makes you sad because it’s difficult? Or a little depressed because there is that one person you don’t want to forgive? Have a very frank and honest conversation with God about it. It’s ok; He’s heard it all before. In fact, like any loving parent, God cherishes those moments when we come to Him vulnerable, with our guard down, spilling our heart out onto His loving lap. Then, after you’ve exhausted all that you have within you and laid it out before Him, just sit in His grace-filled silence and allow Him to heal you; to love you; to transform you.

It may take a while. It may even take several prayer sessions with Him. But be assured, the Holy Trinity is moving and even dancing within you, allowing the unique, divine person that is you to rise to the top and be manifested as your new self. Of course, it’s really not a new you – it’s the real you – in all of your humanity – shining as the light of Christ – for all the world to see. •

Bishop’s Reflection: Live Your Life with Trust and Hope in God’s Call

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by Bishop Michael G. Duca

We are in the middle of Lent and usually I would write this article to inspire and encourage all of us on our spiritual journey toward Easter. But the Church is a busy family, and while Lent is guiding us on to Easter there are other thoughts and concerns on my mind as well. In particular, my upcoming 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood in April and my 10th anniversary as Bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport in May. These important milestones caused me to take time to consider all that the Lord has done in my life as a priest and remind me how much bigger is God’s will for me than any future I can imagine. Vocations are also on my mind because this is the time of the year that many young men are deciding to enter the seminary to discern their vocation, to discover God’s will in their lives.

My call to the priesthood came as a small voice within me one day in church when I thought, as I watched the priest at Mass, that “I might want to do that… to be a priest.” My parents encouraged me to explore the priesthood as a future vocation. This support was important because it allowed me to imagine myself as a priest and to become comfortable with the idea of being a priest. After high school I entered Holy Trinity Seminary and was ordained a priest on April 29, 1978 at the wise old age of 25.

When I was ordained, even though I knew I was answering God’s call, I thought I was also still in control. Yes, I was doing God’s will, but I thought I saw clearly what God’s will was for my life. I imagined quite confidently that I would be an assistant pastor for a few years, then I would pastor a number of parishes in the Diocese of Dallas before retiring in a parish and die. As simple and uneventful as this outline of a life sounds, I was happy with this plan. How naïve. What God sees in us is so much better and greater than we can imagine. I did live my first seven years of priesthood as expected. I was an associate pastor in three different parishes. But after my third assignment, instead of being named the pastor of a parish, my next assignment was as Vocations Director and Campus Minister at Southern Methodist University (SMU). At the end of this nine-year assignment I expected to be named a pastor, but instead I was sent to Rome to study Canon Law and then returned to Dallas as Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary. It was as though no matter what I imagined my life to be, God was leading me in another direction that was very different. When I was finally able to accept (i.e., I gave up) that God may have a different direction and a deeper understanding of my life, I stopped fighting and second guessing God’s will for my life. Instead I embraced His will and with that surrender came a new freedom and wisdom that allows me every day to accept with joy this wonderful call to be your bishop, even though I often feel unworthy.

I believe many of us have had this experience of fighting God’s will in our lives, and if we are wise we eventually let go and accept the challenges of the life that are ours. These challenges are the result of a life that was created both by our choices and those aspects of our life that we did not choose, but were given to us. When we live our lives with trust and hope in God’s call, we are living a vocation, we are answering the call of God in our lives to holiness and to live as his disciples. As we embrace our vocation we must often let go of and grieve our small, imagined future (one we are usually very attached to). We will be challenged to die to self a little more so we can love more deeply and we must learn not only to trust God’s will, but to find peace in being faithful to His call.

Teach your children to not just seek a career but to pray about what God’s call is in their life. Encourage your children when they inquire about a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. When your son tells you he thinks he might want to be a priest or your daughter is considering a religious life, support them and encourage their imagination so that if God is calling them, they will be able to hear the call. Teach them to live their lives in relation to God’s call to holiness and discipleship.

That quiet voice I heard as a child has led me on a journey of faith that I could not have imagined, and I thank God. The life I envisioned for myself was small and unimaginative and God’s plan, well, let’s just say God has a wonderful imagination and I am only beginning to see what He has in store for me.

Faithful Food: Carrying Our Graced Moments Forward

by Kim Long

John Shea, writer, teacher and theological reflector, has a wonderful opening line: “first something happens.”

Something is always happening. In 1974 a family moved in next door to us. The street we lived on had been a quiet one until then. But then a family of seven moved into our 2.5 children, woodgrain station wagoned world. They were wonderful, completely unorthodox, and extremely loving toward one another.

A woman with her six children and all their big love turned our quiet neighborhood on its ear.

A thick hedge separated our two houses and I loved to hide in the big camellia bush and watch their comings and goings. Over time we all became friends and their home became the hub. Problems seemed small there, music sounded sweeter and the food tasted better there. Over the years I have wondered why this was – the family had little money and ate simple food. The ingredient must have been the love they had for one another, the love of a mother of many who stretched to make ends meet. This unassuming grasp of her own reality is what I loved the most. She did not seem to operate under the kind of panic that creates anxiety, simply she knew who she was and what she had to work with and labored under no illusions. And somehow everything worked out.

I recall the family’s faith, not only in God, but in one another, and that, perhaps, as much as the aforementioned love, was the glue which helped hold things together. It is a lesson I have tried to carry forward in my own life.

A few weeks ago I went to see this matriarch. She has dealt with some health issues, with some reversal in her “situation” but still, she was in many ways the brave, fearless and faithfully loving mother I met in 1974 who welcomed me each time with the words, “Hello baby, come on in.” It was a blessing to see her face and laugh as we recalled old stories. Leaving her was not easy and I hope to see her again soon.

As we approach Lent, this family is on my mind. Perhaps it is the proximity of seeing this matriarch who taught me so much about the kind of mother I wanted to be, perhaps it is the relief of seeing and laughing together after many years as though only a moment had passed, perhaps it is the realization that I am close to the age she was when she enveloped me in her arms, her heart and her family.

Lent is about many things, one of which is facing ourselves when we have come up short, but also being thankful for when we have done well and praying to carry those graced moments forward; a time to truly reflect in the safety of God’s embrace and to have no anxiety as we strain to make adjustments, much like the arms of the woman who became a second mother to me.

I confess I have not always known who I was or where I belonged. I grew up in a tumultuous atmosphere and it showed. Now at 57, I finally have a sense of who I am and where I belong. The road I traveled to learn this was not without price. I have thought of Juanita often and wondered at times what she would have done, but deep in my heart I already knew: she would have had faith in life and she would have loved deeply. I am reminded of two passages, one from tradition and one from scripture.

St. Catherine once said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” And from Paul, “Now these three remain, faith, hope and love…and the greatest of these is love.”

May your Lent find you safe in the arms of our loving God and unafraid to reflect on the sum of our lives.

Pancakes ala Juanita


Ingredients:

• 3 eggs

• 1 cup milk (or buttermilk)

• 2 cups self-rising flour

• ⅓ cup safflower oil (any oil except olive, really)

Directions:

1) Crack the eggs and whisk until combined.

2) Add ⅓ cup oil and continue whisking.

3) Once combined add 1 cup milk (or buttermilk).

4) Measure flour into a separate bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour liquid into well and incorporate. If you need to add more milk, do so until the consistency is where you want it.

5) Drop by spoonfuls onto griddle or black iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Wait until edges are drying and bubbles are formed and turn ONLY ONCE!

6) Enjoy with butter and syrup or homemade fig preserves (one of Juanita’s favorites).

 

St. Paschal Youth Held Advent Service Project

The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades at St. Paschal Parish’s Sunday School in West Monroe donated toiletries and socks to make stockings for the Desiard Street Shelter as its annual Advent service project this past December.