Please note: today's homily includes a detailed letter from Bishop Fabre addressed to the parish family at Christ the Redeemer. Due to the nature of the letter, and the amount of details therein, key selections from the recording have be clipped and edited away from the final audio file. Pertinent information remains. The full letter, not available in this recording, is most prudently appreciated live and in the context of the attending congregation. However, the edited audio file below not only captures the heart of Bishop Fabre's letter, but it more importantly contains pastoral comments from Fr. Mark as shepherd of Christ the Redeemer.
Below is the full text of the formal announcement from Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, released Sunday afternoon, January 26, 2014
Greetings in the Lord! I want to make you aware of two priest personnel changes that pastoral circumstances require take place in the near future.
Fr. Blair Sabaricos, a priest of the Diocese of Tagbilaran in the Philippines, will be coming to minister in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux staring in February 2014. Fr. Blair’s ministry here is part of our ongoing agreement to welcome priests from this diocese for a specified period of time in ministry here in our diocese. Taking into account the parish needs at Christ the Redeemer as well as other considerations, after consultation with other diocesan officials I have appointed Fr. Blair as Associate Pastor at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Thibodaux. Fr. Sabaricos served very well during a previous period of time that he was in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. We welcome him back to the diocese and look forward to his priestly ministry here again.
Fr. John Theckevalliara, who has served since April 2013 as Associate Pastor at Christ the Redeemer, will take up residency at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Chackbay. Fr. John, who came to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux just over a year ago to engage in hospital ministry, changed his plans soon after his arrival and made the decision to study CPE. Since there is no place to study CPE in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Fr. John will need to leave the diocese to accomplish these plans that he has made. However, it was revealed that to study CPE Fr. John would need a change in his status with the US Government. The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has sponsored Fr. John for this change in status and it is in process. Since I needed to place Fr. Sabaricos at Christ the Redeemer, I met with Fr. John to discuss this as well as his future plans for CPE and ministry here in the USA. In the end, the request that Fr. John made that I could immediately and easily fulfill, with due consideration for his current and hoped for future status with the US Government, was his desire to be in residence in a parish as he awaits this requested change in his status with the US Government. Therefore, Fr. John will reside at Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Chackbay.
I ask your prayers for these priests and for this parish community as they transition in these ways. Know of my great gratitude for the priestly service offered by each one of you! Peace!
Recorded Sunday, January 26, 2014 at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana. © Fr. Mark Toups, 2014
Week 3: What was Jesus' life like as a teenager?
WISDOM: Jesus would have grown in wisdom
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“This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, ‘increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man’, and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking ‘the form of a slave.’”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 472
“We cannot rely solely on the news if we want to understand the world and life. We must be able to remain in silence, in meditation, in calm and prolonged reflection; we must know how to stop and think. In this way, our mind can find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life, can go deeper into the events that occur in our lives and in the world, and come to the knowledge that allows us to evaluate things with new eyes.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Vespers, December 31, 2012
“Whoever thinks with God thinks well, and whoever speaks to God speaks well. They have valid criteria to judge all the things of the world. They become prudent, wise, and at the same time good; they also become strong and courageous with the strength of God, who resists evil and fosters good in the world.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15, 2005
FOR YOUR PRAYER
Imagine Jesus as a teenager learning more and more about the mind of the Father by learning about the Old Testament’s revelation of the Father. Imagine Jesus learning to love the great Old Testament books, such as Wisdom and Proverbs. Read Wisdom, chapter 1. Read it a few times. Pay attention to what words or phrases “tug” at your heart. Pay attention to all of your thoughts, feelings, and desires as you slowly read the text. Ask yourself, are you more influenced by God or the world?
Now, prayerfully imagine the “hidden scenes” of Nazareth: Joseph teaching Jesus the Old Testament; Joseph teaching Jesus about the story of the Chosen People; Mary teaching Jesus about his own history; Mary teaching Jesus about prayer. Be there. Be with them. As you are with them, they turn to you. They ask you: “What’s on your heart today?” What do you want to tell them? Listen to what they say in reply.
© Fr. Mark Toups, 2014