The following announcement appeared in the Good Shepherd Parish bulletin for Sunday, June 10th. “Beginning Friday, June 15, 2012, the daily 6:30 am Mass at Good Shepherd Parish will be moved to St. Henry church, located just a block toward the river at 921 General Pershing. Currently, our rectory chapel can be cramped for our daily Mass, and St. Stephen church is terribly expensive to heat and cool. After consultations were made with some of the former parishioners of St. Henry’s as well as some of our daily Mass attendees, we asked permission from Archbishop Aymond to begin using St. Henry for the daily Mass. Last week, he gave us permission to open St. Henry’s for daily Mass on Monday through Friday. St. Stephen’s will continue to be used for all of our Sunday Masses.”
Good sense and practicality, as well as appropriate economic stewardship, have carried the day. In addition to being a smaller venue, the St. Henry church building is in fine condition having been renovated in the recent past. The church is an intimate and beautiful space. The stained glass windows illustrate the Beatitudes through the saints depicted in each of them. The altar once served as a centerpiece of a Eucharistic Congress. This is a long-hoped for and happy event for so many who hoped that the church could still be open after the suppression of the parish some years ago.
At the Volunteer residence the renovations to the unfinished first floor space continued last week. It involved the removal of an old water fountain, renovations to a reception kiosk, to two doors that were badly warped and the removal of debris. We still have more items to discard and there is plenty of plastering, painting and cleaning ahead of us.
On Saturday the 9th we joined Sr. Nancy Hale and Sr. Pauline O’Reilly, members of the Congregation of the Holy Faith, at their home on Coliseum Street for a wonderful dinner and evening.
On Sunday, the 10th, Dr. Michael Horan, a professor of theology and administrator at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, spent the day with us. After Mass at St. Gabriel’s he treated us to brunch at C’est La Vie, a French bistro around the corner from our house. Michael is uncle by marriage of Vincent Fiedler-Ross who was in our first group of volunteers! Before marrying Patricia Fiedler, Michael was one of our Brothers from 1974 to 1994. Michael was in town to lecture at the Summer Institute for Catholic School Leadership.
It has been warm and very rainy recently. The mosquito season started 6 weeks early due to a warm winter.
On a somber note, the murder rate for Louisiana still is desperate. The national murder rate is 5 per 100,000 people. In 2010 it was 59 per 100,000 people in Louisiana; it declined to 50 per 100,000 in 2011. As this is written, the second section of the local paper recorded 3 deaths by murder yesterday and the day before in the city.
The Archbishop of New Orleans speaks of “The New Battle of New Orleans: Violence, Murder, Racism.” In a prayer recited in Catholic parishes we say: “Hear our prayer and give us the perseverance to be a voice for life and human dignity in our community.” AMEN