To be installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux today at 2:00 PM CST
The Vatican announced Monday, September 24, 2013 that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux and has named Auxiliary Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans to succeed him. Bishop Fabre will be installed at the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on October 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM, at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma.
GETTING TO KNOW BISHOP FABRE
Shelton Joseph Fabre was born in rural New Roads, Louisiana, 44 miles outside of Baton Rouge, on October 25, 1963.
He is the fifth of six children.
His father and mother are Luke and Theresa Fabre. His father passed away in 2007.
His siblings are Diane Marie, Luke III (deceased in 1973); Gerald Louis, Clyde Raymond (deceased in 1980); and Angelo Gerard.
Attended local schools in New Roads for both elementary and secondary school, graduating as valedictorian of Catholic High of Pointe Coupée in 1981.
Entered the seminary out of high school, entering Saint Joseph Seminary College, also known as "Saint Ben's."
In 1985 he received a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in History Saint Joseph Seminary College.
After completing his college seminary studies, he was sent abroad to The American College of Louvain, where he received additional priestly formation while studying at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
In 1987 he received a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from the Katholiek Universiteit to Leuven in Louvain, Belgium.
In 1989 he received a Master's of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from the Katholiek Universiteit to Leuven in Louvain, Belgium.
As a Priest:
Ordained a Transitional Deacon on December 10, 1988 by Archbishop Peter L. Gerety at St. Jan-de-Doperkerk in Leuven, Belgium.
Ordained a Priest on Saturday, August 5, 1989 by Bishop Stanley J. Ott at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.
He juggled a variety of responsibilities as a Priest of Baton Rouge. He was pastor of the parishes of Saint Joseph in Grosse Tete, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Maringouin and Sacred Heart of Jesus in Baton Rouge.
He also served as an Associate Pastor at Saint George in Baton Rouge, Saint Alphonsus Liguori in Greenwell Springs, Saint Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, and Saint Isidore the Farmer in Baker.
He served on the diocesan Clergy Personnel Board and served as chair of the Pastoral Planning Committee of the diocese. He at various times took on the roles of chaplain to Saint Joseph's Academy, head of the diocesan Office of Black Catholics, Dean of the Northwest Deanery.
He also served as a member of the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, and the Diocesan School Board.
He served as a Defender of the Bond within the Diocesan Tribunal.
As a Bishop:
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans by Pope Benedict XVI on December 13, 2006.
Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans by Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes, Archbishop of New Orleans, at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, in New Orleans, on February 28, 2007
Bishop Fabre is the second-youngest Catholic Bishop, and the most recently ordained African-American Bishop in the United States.
Appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux by Pope Francis on September 23, 2013.
Will be installed at the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on October 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM, at the Cathedral of St. Francis de Sales in Houma.
His own words:
"I am humbled and excited by this appointment by the holy father, and I pledge to serve the needs of the church here in the diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. ... In all that we do, it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we praise and serve, and I am confident that together we will grow in faith."s
When his hands are raised, Joshua and the Jewish army are winning
When his hands lower, the Amaleks get the better of the fight
"Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset." (Exodus 17:12)
"And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." (Exodus 17:12)
We all need rocks to lean on
THE ROCKS WE LEAN ON
Fr. Pat O'Brien was a rock for us to lean on.
Fr. John Gallen was a rock for us to lean on.
Each of us can tell a story of how a priest has helped you.
Our parish family here at Christ the Redeemer
I love you, I love being here.
I am proud of you and who you are.
Many of you are rocks for each other.
WE NEED ROCKS ... FOR THE FUTURE
Moses' wisdom: preparing for the future ... he brought "rocks" with him: "Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle while Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of the hill." (Exodus 17:10)
Because I know y'all are hungry ... I simply had to share this!
After a long wait, Dumb Ox Ministries announces the much anticipated official studio release of To the Dust, the debut album from Greg&Lizzy, a newlywed couple-turned-dynamic-musical-duo. After marrying in 2012, Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux naturally began writing and sharing songs from the heart of their relationship, offering healthy doses of humor and joy, along with fears, trials, and the ultimate triumph of authentic love. To the Dust is a collection of 13 original songs inspired by their own experiences of love, faith, and marriage. Expressed via sincere artistry and lyrical depth, which is never forced and often surprising, the entire album is infused with poetic insights born from Blessed John Paul II's teachings on authentic love.
Though relatively new to performing as a duo, these two artists have been sharing their hearts as worship leaders for years across the US and internationally. Greg&Lizzy offers a rich tapestry of hope with a musical effort that moves across the expanse of the human heart, exploring some of the greatest joys and deepest trials of loving another faithfully.
Recently, on October 4th, the digital release steadily climbed the charts on iTunes throughout its first day there! Get your own copy of To the Dust!
I'm away October 12 & 13, outside of Chicago at Mundelein Seminary with the Institute for Priestly Formation. Holding y'all close to my heart. Back in Thibodaux at all the Masses October 19 & 20. Praying for ya'll with a father's heart.
I think one of the most destructive modern day heresies is "WWJD."
"A particularly dangerous phenomenon for faith has arisen in our times: indeed a form of atheism exists which we define, precisely, as 'practical', in which the truths of faith or religious rites are not denied but are merely deemed irrelevant to daily life, detached from life, pointless. So it is that people often believe in God in a superficial manner, and live ‘as though God did not exist’(etsi Deus non daretur). In the end, however, this way of life proves even more destructive because it leads to indifference to faith and to the question of God."
— Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, November 14, 2012
God is alive, He is not "dead" ... nor is He irrelevant to our lives.
Because WWJD is so seductive, we've spent the past 4 weeks looking at important aspects of our relationship with Jesus.
CONNECT INTRODUCTION TO SERIES
Today is part five of the "Who is Jesus?" homily series. Let's review where we've been.
On Sunday, September 8th: "Jesus is always taking the initiative. He is always pursuing us."
On Sunday, September 15th: "Jesus looks at you through the eyes of mercy."
On Sunday, September 22nd: "Jesus wants to live life with you. He wants to do everything with you."
On Sunday, October 6th: "There's a difference between waiting for Jesus to do something versus waiting with Jesus as he is doing something in your life."
There are three principle characters in 2nd Kings, chapter 5: Naaman, the King Joram of Israel, and Elisha. Who are they?
Naaman was the chief general of the Arameans (modern day Syria). He is mentioned to have leprosy: "But valiant as he was, the man was a leper." (2nd Kings 5:1)
King Joram was the King of Israel.
Elisha was a prophet, the successor of Elijah.
God calls Naaman to go Israel to find Elisha the prophet so that he might be cured. He assents and leaves Syria to go to Israel. The Aramean king gives him permission to go and gives him letter and a small military retinue.
King Joram freaks out when he sees his biggest rival, with a small retinue with him, walking into his palace. The "king of Israel tore his garments" in panic that Naaman might be there to spy on Israel. (2nd Kings 5:7) He resists what God asks of him.
After eventually gaining access to continue, Naaman meets Elisha the Prophet. Elisha tells him: "Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean." (2nd Kings 5:10)
Naaman scoffs at the idea deeming it ridiculous. Naaman resists what Elisha says. Naaman resists what God asks of him.
UNPACKING THE CORE MESSAGE IN OUR DAILY LIVES
The dynamic of resistance that we see in the Old Testament is often like the dynamics of resistance we see within ourselves. Yes, Jesus is always reaching out to us. Jesus is always taking the initiative. Jesus is always pursuing us. But, we often resist.
"With ever more accurate darts of love the Holy Spirit opens our consciences before God so that deeper and more effective healing can occur; at times his coming is so pure that it causes us to have pain and recoil at the level of intimacy God wishes his Son to achieve in our being."
— Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., The Eucharist and the Healing of our Affection of Sin
We're afraid of us
We're afraid of our darkness, our own woundedness, our own history.
We're afraid of Jesus
Because we aren't utterly convinced that He is who He says He is we may not want Him that close to us.
We want to be in control
We've been in control of our life for such a long time. The thought of letting go of control can be frightening.
THE GOOD NEWS
Here's the good news: WWJD is a heresy, Jesus is alive.
Jesus knows we will resist ... and He still pursues us
Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of the Guardian Angels, a profound truth. However, in a world seduced with "spirituality" without "religion" it would be good to have a little theological meat explaining the Catholic Church's teaching on angels.
Voila ... let us turn to Peter Kreeft, Ph.D. ...
ANGELS: THE TWELVE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THEM
They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.
They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.
They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.
They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.
They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.
They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.
There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons, or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions, and exorcisms, are real.
Angels are aware of you, even though you can’t usually see or hear them. But you can communicate with them. You can talk to them without even speaking.
You really do have your very own “guardian angel”. Everybody does.
Angels often come disguised. “Do not neglect hospitality, for some have entertained angels unawares”—that’s a warning from life’s oldest and best instruction manual.
We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity.
Angels are sentinels standing at the crossroads where life meets death. They work especially at moments of crisis, at the brink of disaster—for bodies, for souls, and for nations.
WHY DO PEOPLE THINK IT'S STUPID TO BELIEVE IN ANGELS?
One reason is a mistake about themselves: the failure to distinguish between (1) sense perception or imagination (which is a kind of inner sensing) and (2) reason, or intelligence, or understanding. We don't see pure spirits, and we can't imagine them. That doesn't mean we can't know or understand them. We can see and imagine the difference between a five-sided figure (a pentagon) and a six-sided figure (a hexagon), and we can also intellectually understand that difference. We cannot, however, sense or imagine the difference between a 105-sided figure and a 106-sided figure. Both look to us simply like circles. But we can understand the difference and even measure it exactly. So we can understand some things we can't see. We can't see qualities like good and evil either. What color or shape or size is evil? Yet we can understand them. We can imagine our brains, but not our minds, our personalities. But we can know them.
Many who deny angels deny or are unaware of the spiritual half of themselves. Angels are a touchstone of "know thyself". So are animals.
AREN'T ANGELS IRRELEVANT TODAY? THIS IS THE AGE OF MAN, ISN'T IT?
Yes, this is the age of man, of self-consciousness, of psychology. And therefore it is crucial to "know thyself" accurately today. The major heresies of our day are not about God but about man.
The two most destructive of these heresies—and the two most popular—are angelism, confusing man with an angel by denying his likeness to animals, and animalism, confusing man with an animal by denying his likeness to angels.
Man is the only being that is both angel and animal, both spirit and body. He is the lowest spirit and the highest body, the stupidest angel and the smartest animal, the low point of the hierarchy of minds and the high point of the hierarchy of bodies.
More accurately stated, man is not both angel and animal because he is neither angel nor animal; he is between angels and animals, a unique rung on the cosmic ladder.
But whichever way you say it, man must know angels to know himself, just as he must know animals to know himself, for he must know what he is, and he must know what he is not.
HIERARCHY AND INEQUALITY AMONG ANGELS SOUND UNJUST AND UNFAIR. IS GOD AN ELITIST?
1. God's justice is not equality. Neither is nature's.
God the Creator is not equal to any of his creatures, but he is supreme.
Among his creatures, spiritual creatures (angels and men) are superior to merely biological creatures.
Among spiritual creatures, angels are more intelligent than men.
Even within our own species, men are not all equal in intelligence, in quickness, in wisdom, in memory, or in many other things.
And, of course. humans are superior to animals. If you doubt this, you'd better stop eating fish or start eating humans.
Higher (more intelligent) animals are superior to lower (less intelligent) animals. That's why we prefer dogs to worms as pets. Even biologists rank species in a hierarchical order. The more complex they are, the more conscious they are and the more sophisticated their functions.
2. The hierarchy of angels over men parallels the hierarchy of men over animals, and the hierarchy within angels parallels the hierarchy within animals. If the arrangement of animals tells us something about the Creator's style and principles and preferences, it's reasonable to expect to find his style and principles and preferences manifested in angels too.
3. Justice does not mean equality, even among men. It means treating unequals unequally—giving an A to a student who answered 95 out of 100 questions correctly and an F to a student who answered only 45. Many traditional societies, like those of classical Greece and Confucian China, saw justice as essentially an inequality, a harmony among different things: organs in the body, members in a family, heavenly bodies in the cosmos, musical notes in a song, classes in the state, faculties in the soul. The President is not necessarily a superior person to his military chief of stati but his office is. Justice demands the chief of staff obey his "superior", even if the latter has shortcomings.
4. Resentment against some kind of superiority is one of the seven deadly sins. It is called envy, and it is the only sin that never gave anyone any kind of pleasure at all. In the Divine Comedy, Dante discovers that there are many unequal levels even in heaven. He asks Piccarda, who is on heaven's lowest level, whether she is not discontented with her lowly place and whether she longs to move up closer to God, to see more of God and receive more joy. Her answer is that no one in heaven is dissatisfied with his place or envious of anyone else: "From seat to seat throughout this realm, to all the realm is pleasing. [That is, each citizen is pleased with the kingdom as a whole; the whole is present to each individual.] For in his will our hearts have found their peace." T. S. Eliot called this the profoundest line in all human literature.