First Reading — God allows us to make choices, but we are not to choose injustice or sinfulness (Sirach 15:15-20).
Psalm — Happy are those who observe God’s commands (Psalm 119).
Second Reading — God’s wisdom is mysterious and hidden (1 Corinthians 2:6-10).
Gospel — Jesus has come not to abolish but to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-37).
MESSAGES FROM OUR PASTOR
February 12, 2023
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
THE GLORY OF THE DIVINE WAY
Today’s readings draw us into ageless, vibrant depths. Followers of God’s law, we belong to ancient traditions. Children of God, we marvel at the freshness of creation. The Old Testament readings, from Sirach and the Psalms, celebrate the rich blessings we receive when we observe God’s commands—not because we are slaves to the law, but because the law gives life in abundance. Saint Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians confirms the glory of divine law, but warns that God’s ways tend to be unpopular and misunderstood in this world. Paul speaks of the ancient wisdom of God, which is mysteriously both “hidden” and “revealed.” God does not have secret codes that we earthly mortals cannot understand; in love, God reveals the glory of the divine way in Jesus. Saint Matthew’s Gospel emphasizes the importance of living in God’s law, enlivened by a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.
READINGS FOR THE WEEK
Monday: Gn 4:1-15, 25; Ps 50:1, 8, 16bc-17, 20-21; Mk 8:11-13
Tuesday: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Ps 29:1a, 2, 3ac-4, 3b, 9c-10; Mk 8:14-21
Wednesday: Gn 8:6-13, 20-22; Ps 116:12-15, 18-19; Mk 8:22-26
Thursday: Gn 9:1-13; Ps 102:16-21, 29, 22-23; Mk 8:27-33
Friday: Gn 11:1-9; Ps 33:10-15; Mk 8:34 — 9:1
Saturday: Heb 11:1-7; Ps 145:2-5, 10-11; Mk 9:2-13
Saturday Vigil Mass
4 pm St. Benedict
8 am St. Augustine
10 am St. Benedict
Tuesday at 4 pm - St. Benedict
Wednesday at 5:00 pm - St. Augustine
Thursday at 7 am - St. Benedict
Friday at 7 am - St. Benedict
Fr. Andrew's Installation
October 8, 2022
St. Benedict the Moor & St. Augustine
(Church offerings can be mailed to 5479 Hwy. 1, Napoleonville, LA 70390)
PRAYER FOR THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY
God of Mercy and Love we place our African American Families before You today. May we be proud of our history and never forget those who paid a great price for our liberation. Bless us one by one and keep our hearts and minds fixed on higher ground. Help us to live for you and not for ourselves, and may we cherish and proclaim the gift of life. Bless our parents, guardians and grandparents, relatives and friends.
Give us the amazing grace to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Help us, as Your children, to live in such a way that the beauty and greatness of authentic love is reflected in all that we say and do. Give a healing anointing to those less fortunate, especially the motherless, the fatherless, the broken, the sick and the lonely. Bless our departed family members and friends.
May they be led into the light of Your dwelling place where we will never grow old, where we will share the fullness of redemption and shout the victory for all eternity. This we ask in the Precious Name of Jesus, our Savior and Blessed Assurance. Amen.
Holy Mary, Mother of Our Families, pray for us.
Prayer composed by FR. JIM GOODE, OFM, who in 1989 founded this National Day of Prayer for the African American Family.
ON THE PATH TO SAINTHOOD
Venerable Pierre Toussaint was born a slave in Haiti. Philanthropist & Founder of many Catholic charitable works. As a slave, Venerable Pierre Toussaint was brought from Haiti to New York and apprenticed under a popular hairstylist in the city. He eventually became the most sought after hairdresser of high society women. Upon the death of his master, he gained his freedom and was very successful as one of the country’s first black entrepreneurs. He became quite wealth, but instead of spending lavishly on himself, he supported the Church and the poor. He and his wife sheltered orphans, refuges and other street people in their home. He founded one of New York’s first orphanages and raised money for the city’s first cathedral. Even during yellow fever epidemics, Toussaint would risk his life to help others by nursing the sick and praying with the dying.
“I have never felt I am a slave to any man or woman but I am a servant of Almighty God who made us all. When one of his children is in need, I am glad to be His slave.”
Mother Mary Lange was the foundress and first Superior General of the Oblate Sisters of Providence (1829-1832), the first congregation of African American women religious in the history of the Catholic Church. On July 2, 1829, Elizabeth and three other women professed their vows and became the Oblate Sisters of Providence. This congregation would educate and evangelize African Americans. They educated youth and provided a home for orphans. Slaves who had been freed were educated and at times admitted into the congregation. They nursed the terminally ill during the cholera epidemic of 1832, sheltered the elderly, and even served as domestics at St. Mary’s Seminary. She was born Elizabeth Lange, a native of the Caribbean, believed to be Cuban born of Haitian descent. By 1813 Providence directed her to Baltimore, Maryland where a large community of French speaking Catholics from Haiti was established. Mother Mary Lange practiced faith to an extraordinary degree. In fact, it was her deep faith which enabled her to persevere against all odds, in close union with Jesus, she lived through disappointment and opposition until God called her home in 1882 at the St. Frances Convent in Baltimore, Maryland.
Venerable Henriette Delille was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she lived all of her life. She was determined to help those in need for the love of Jesus and for the sake of the Gospel. Henriette was also a person who suffered as she made her way through life, bearing crosses. She taught us that sanctity can be attained in following the path of Jesus. It was in this manner that she dealt with her troubles and major obstacles to achieve her goals. Some of the troubles Henriette met were the resistance of the ruling population to the idea of a black religious congregation; the lack of finances to do the work; the taunts and disbelief of people in her mission; the lack of support from both the Church and civil authority; and poor health.
However, Henriette practiced heroic virtue. She had faith, lived in hope and love. She was compassionate, forgiving, and merciful. She believed in justice and was not afraid to do what was right in the eyes of God. God blessed her efforts. And in 1842, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family. Henriette died November 17, 1862. Her funeral was held at St. Augustine Church. Her obituary states, “. . . Miss Henriette Delille had for long years consecrated herself totally to God without reservation to the instruction of the ignorant and principally to the slave."
Fr. Augustus Tolton was the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States publicly known to be black when he was ordained in 1886. A former slave who was baptized and reared Catholic, Tolton studied formally in Rome. He was ordained in Rome on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. Fr. Tolton led the development and construction of St. Monica’s Catholic Church as a black ‘National Parish Church”, completed in 1893. Tolton’s success at ministering to black Catholics quickly earned him national attention within the Catholic hierarchy. “Good Father Gus,” as he was called by many, was known for his eloquent sermons, his beautiful singing voice and his talent for playing the accordion. He is the subject of the 1973 biography from Slave to Priest by Sister Caroline Hemesath.
Julia Greeley was born into slavery, at Hannibal, Missouri, sometime between 1833 and 1848. Freed by Missouri's Emancipation Act in 1865, Julia subsequently earned her keep by serving white families in Missouri, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico—though mostly in the Denver area. Julia entered the Catholic Church at Sacred Heart Parish in Denver in 1880, and was an outstanding supporter of all that the parish had to offer. The Jesuits who ran the parish considered her the most enthusiastic promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus they had ever seen. Every month she visited on foot every fire station in Denver and delivered literature of the Sacred Heart League to the firemen, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. A daily communicant, Julia had a rich devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin and continued her prayers while working and moving about. She joined the Secular Franciscan Order in 1901 and was active in it till her death in 1918. As part of the Cause for Canonization, Julia's mortal remain were transferred to Denver's Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on June 7, 2017.
Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA was a self-proclaimed, “old folks’ child,” Bowman, was the only child born to middle-aged parents, Dr. Theon Bowman, a physician and Mary Esther Bowman, a teacher. At birth she was given the name Bertha Elizabeth Bowman. She was born in 1937 and reared in Canton, Mississippi. As a child she converted to Catholicism through the inspiration of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity who were her teachers and pastors at Holy Child Jesus Church and School in Canton. During her short lifetime (52 years), many people considered her a religious Sister undeniably close to God and who lovingly invited others to encounter the presence of God in their lives. She is acclaimed a “holy woman” in the hearts of those who knew and loved her and continue to seek her intercession for guidance and healing.
For more information on Sr. Thea Bowman's cause, check out the website for her cause.
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez.
"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern."
- Pope Francis, 9/16/13
The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order. www.usccb.org/offices/justice-peace-human-development/forming-consciences-faithful-citizenship
We, the members of St. Benedict the Moor Parish, are called through baptism to celebrate the presence of Christ in Word and the Sacraments. We are called and sent by Christ to live gratefully the life God has given us and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the spirit of faith, service, and community, we strive to bring our sister churches (St. Benedict the Moor and St. Augustine) and our people of our community together and closer to God.
St. Benedict the Moor Office Phone:
Saturday Vigil Mass
St. Benedict 5 pm
St. Augustine 8 am
St. Benedict 10 am
Tuesday at St. Benedict 5 pm
Wednesday at St. Augustine 5:30 pm
Thursday at St. Benedict 7 am
Friday at St. Benedict 7 am
Every Friday at St. Benedict after the 7 am Mass until 8:30 am.
Saturday at St. Benedict 4:30 pm
Sunday at St. Augustine 7:30 am
Available at other times by appointment
Fr. Ibeh's Office Hours
Tuesday-Friday 9 am-4 pm
+++Remember our churches and the Missionaries of St. Paul in your Will. +++
Rev. Fr. Andrew Toyinbo, MSP, Pastor
Mrs. Jerilyn Williams, Director of Religious Education at St. Benedict
Ms. Tara Dupaty, Director of Religious Education at St. Augustine
Ms. Reyana Johnson, Office Assistant
St. Benedict the Moor + St. Augustine