February 19, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

On the Friday before last, I attended the funeral of Father Kenneth Laird, a priest of our diocese who died on February 5 at the age of 73. He served in several Catholic parishes following his ordination in 1975 but was forced to retire early due to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2004. Even so he continued to exercise his priestly vocation through a ministry of online counseling and prayer.

Father Kenny was what we call a lifer.He completed four years of high school and four years of college at St. Bens, then four years of graduate school at Notre Dame Seminary, for a total of twelve years of seminary formation. He was a superb homilist and a gifted pastor.

When priest support groups were formed in 1991, Father Kenny and I ended up in the same group and so were able to gather monthly for prayer and fraternity. Father Jon Koehler and I also gathered at Father Kennys rectory in Zachary on most Saturday nights for hamburgers and poboys. He was a great source of humor and encouragement and will be greatly missed.

The grace-filled season of Lent begins this Wednesday, February 22, so give some thought on how you wish to deepen your faith during this special time. Our Masses on Ash Wednesday will be at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 6:00 p.m. Daily Mass remains at the usual time of 5:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 8:00 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Confessions are at the regular times and at
our Lenten Penance Service scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m.

The Way of the Cross will be prayed each Friday of Lent at 6:00 p.m. in the church. When I am available, I will try to offer confessions during the Stations, but it wont be every Friday. The Knights of Columbus(Fish), the Catholic Daughters or Men of the Cross(Shrimp Stew) will also be serving lenten dinners every Friday in Lent from 5:30 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Center.

Women of the parish may wish to attend Reflect A Busy Womans Retreat Reflecting on Women of the Bible.The opening gathering is next Sunday, February 26, and the closing gathering is Sunday, March 5, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. In between the two gatherings, retreatants are encouraged to spend at least 30 minutes each day in reflection and prayer. Please visit our website for more information or to register: https://www.olohr.com/REFLECT-RETREAT.

We are excited to offer a two-night Lenten Mission this year led by Father Stephen Kramer, SJ, a native of St. Louis currently assigned to Jesuit High School in New Orleans. The Mission will be held on Monday and Tuesday, March 21 & 22, beginning at 6:45 p.m. each night. The themes for his talks are Sin and Gratitudeon Tuesday evening, and Christian Self-Masteryon Wednesday evening. We look forward to his visit to our parish and the opportunity to strengthen our faith and deepen our love for God.

Our parish ofÞce will be closed on Monday and Tuesday of this week for Mardi Gras, and our evening Mass is also canceled on Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day. Have a safe and happy holiday and see you on Wednesday. Remember that Ash Wednesday, like Good Friday, is a day of both fast and abstinence, meaning that we limit ourselves to one full meal (and two light snacks), and abstain from eating meat. The other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.

In Christ,
Father Matt