Pastor's Message Archives

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

Generosity and a Priests' Convention

Published: September 17, 2017

My dear Parishioners and Friends,

            Thank you so much for your generosity in response to the two special appeals last weekend: our Parish’s annual focus on Stewardship of Ministry and the second collection to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. The wonderful community of the Cathedral always rises to the occasion, whether in giving of time and talent, or of our treasure. You may be sure that the Lord notices, since He lives in other people who are helped by us!

This generosity will be called on again, to be sure. Not only has Hurricane Irma wrought havoc in Florida but as I write this everyone is beginning to wonder where Hurricane José will strike. There’s sure to be another “hurricane relief appeal” in our future. And the day is coming soon that we will have to pay for the repairs now going on behind the plastic curtains in the Cathedral: not having use of our side chapels has been inconvenient, but the structural repairs and ceiling replacement are also going to be expensive, I’m certain. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, my column in last week’s issue of The Carpenter had a more complete explanation of what’s happening and what it will likely cost.

Please note that there will be no daily Mass (or confessions) here at the Cathedral on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, September 19-21. Every five years for more than a quarter-century now all of the Catholic priests in the State of Louisiana are invited to take part in a “Priests’ Convention” in New Orleans. In fact, Bishop Muench has made it mandatory that our active diocesan priests attend. It’s not a retreat, but rather a time of mutual education and fraternity. We’ll not only get to eat out in New Orleans a couple of times – I wonder if I can find any good restaurants there? – but also hear some awesome speakers. Cardinal Tim Dolan of New York is one of the keynoters, and Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville will preach at one of the Masses. Both are extremely articulate spiritual leaders. Personally I’m looking forward to the presentation of Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, another of the main speakers: for many years I’ve admired his balanced, deeply insightful – and often funny! – pastoral wisdom. Doubtless some of the other speeches and workshops will be very interesting too (and maybe all of them will be, although it would be a minor miracle not to be a little distracted or bored at some point during two days of priests’ meetings!). While we’re away at this convention, make extra time to pray for your priests: this is yet another way to re-energize and renew our priests, who as you know are dwindling in number, advancing in age, and busier than ever!

Finally, if you are a lay Eucharistic minister here at the Cathedral, you’re asked to come to a special “training” program for lay ministers of Holy Communion here on Saturday morning, September 23. Bishop Muench has directed that all lay Eucharistic ministers undergo periodic re-training, and the diocesan Office of Worship has prepared a DVD to guide us in this. We will begin with “coffee and prayer” at 9 am that day, and finish up our review and discussion of this ministry by 12 noon – and yes, we just might have lunch together, since one should never pass up an opportunity to share some food!

I hope just about every lay Holy Communion minister will be able to come, but could you please call or email the Parish Office (225-387-5928 or to let us know you’re coming? I’ll want to have enough food and handouts for everybody!

                                                Sincerely in the Lord,

                                                Fr. Paul

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