Pastor's Message Archives

Looking back at the weekly messages of Father Paul Counce, first published in The Carpenter, our weekly Parish Bulletin


Published: June 18, 2017

My dear Parishioners and Friends,

            Summer has finally come! School is out, two new priests and eight new deacons have been ordained, the LSU baseball team is Omaha-bound, beaches and camps are filling up with vacationers, the outside temperature and humidity are both nearing 100, my birthday’s come-and-gone (and thanks to all who wished me well last Sunday!) – and this weekend we celebrate “Father’s Day!” This last, ultimately, is the most important, given how earthly fatherhood properly mirrors God’s own role in our lives. Certainly, if you are a dad, grandpa, expectant father, stepfather, godfather, or priest – yes, spiritual fatherhood counts! – Happy Father’s Day! You have shown us what it means to be “strong, loving and wise” (2 Tim 1:7) and we are very grateful for it!

Here at the Cathedral I like to joke that unlike other parishes we go from “Ordination Time” into “Ordinary Time!” This doesn’t so much mean a different schedule – the regular rhythm of prayer always continues, of course. For everyone this includes Sunday and daily Mass; for me and all other clergy and religious the responsibility and joy of the Church’s official daily prayer known as the Liturgy of the Hours remains always part of our lives. But it often means a change of scenery. Whether you’re here or away, please remember your religious obligations. Find the nearest Catholic Church while traveling and keep your Sunday holy by going to Mass.

Don’t be afraid to evaluate the similarities and the differences of worship in other settings. I usually find that going to Mass elsewhere reinforces my sense that we “do liturgy” very well here in the Diocese of Baton Rouge and especially here at the Cathedral! Notice too what the Church calls the principle of “progressive solemnity” in Ordinary Time: while major cele­bra­tions and seasons are more intensely rich in symbolism, décor and music, the rest of the year is more simple. Here, for ex­ample, our Cathedral choir is on vacation until after Labor Day, with vesture and floral arrangements more subdued as well.

In closing, I pray that you be joy-filled and safe this summer, whether you’re here or elsewhere. Remember, through your “recreation” God can “re-create” in you a new heart and refreshed mind, if you’re attentive to Him. While the sun can burn your skin (I recommend SPF 45, at least!), sin can burn you in far worse ways – and forever!

                                                Sincerely in the Lord,

                                                 Fr. Paul

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