Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Blessed palms for Palm Sunday will be available for pickup on the front porch of St. Patrick Church, beginning Saturday, April 4 at 5 p.m. and all day on Palm Sunday, April 5.

You will also find there copies of the April edition of the Acadiana Catholic, together with a copy of Bishop Deshotel’s Easter Letter for 2020.

Here are some locally prepared resources for commemorating Holy Week at home:

Holy Week at Home 2020 from the Diocese of Lafayette.

Orders of worship for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday that can be used  to commemorate these holiest days of the Church year at home.

Message from Fr. Guillory, March 31

Dear Parishioners,

I write you today, March 31, as the Church has entered what is called Passiontide. The Fifth Sunday of Lent, which was this past Sunday, begins the two-week period before Easter Sunday. It is during the two weeks of Passiontide that we deepen our union with the Lord Jesus as He approaches His Passion and Death.

Just yesterday morning, Bishop Deshotel sent a letter to the priests of the Diocese of Lafayette to encourage us as priests in these difficult days. With the gentle, yet firm voice of a father, he told us “not to give in to anxiety and discouragement. Rather, look to it with eyes of faith. See it as an opportunity to carry the cross with our Lord, following Him to Calvary and the certainty of the Resurrection.” The Resurrection is certain. It will come. The darkness and doubt will pass. Christ is the new day, the sun that will never set.

*****

So what can we do as we wait out the coronavirus?

Certainly we can pray. And even if the events of the past couple of weeks have distracted us from our Lenten prayer, it’s not too late to take them up again. At St. Patrick’s we are reading chapters from My Daily Bread. Here’s a link to the reading plan that we are following.

It’s so wonderful that there are Catholic resources readily available. EWTN. Live-streaming of Masses and devotions (Rosary, Divine Mercy, Way of the Cross) over so many platforms. There are Catholic websites and online faith formation programs too numerous to list. Abundant faith-inspired movies, classic and contemporary, are available through subscription services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, to name but two.

I know watching Mass at home is not the same, I know. For us priests, celebrating Mass alone or for a virtual audience is not the same, either. But for now, and for the common good, it’s what we have. That said, I am convinced that there are incredible graces to be won in this time. The act of faith and devotion that brings us to participate only virtually in holy Mass, and to persevere faithfully in these hard days, may well win for us new and special graces for when we can return to the public celebration of the Eucharist. God will not be outdone in generosity. An ounce of faith and good will on our part, and He multiplies that thirty, and sixty, and a hundredfold!

So what else can we do to fill our hours well? Quoting a passage from a favorite spiritual book, They Speak by Silences: “Our little houses, like our souls, are occupied by Someone… He is the Master: He has a right to everything. He takes our hours, one by one, and fills them.”

Yard work, cleaning out closets, or attics … sorting through old pots and pans and junk drawers … organizing papers and pictures …even the most mundane tasks can bring us closer to our Lord. Ordinary life, done with an extraordinary outlook, the outlook of faith: this is the stuff of holiness.

“Wait for the Lord, be stouthearted and wait for Him” (Psalm 27).

Cooped up at home, we can learn how each of us carries a hermitage within, a place in our hearts occupied by Someone, sharing in part, for now, in the vocation of monks and nuns. Think of our Carmelite sisters right there on Carmel Drive in Lafayette … how they’re praying and working, filling their hours well and worthily (and praying for all of us, if I know them!).

How not to fill our hours? Excessive use of news media and social media. There is NO information about the coronavirus to be gained from any post on Facebook. People filled with worry and panic can resort to saying or posting or “quoting” the most dubious things, giving in to their worst fears. Stay away from this misinformation, from the worry and needless anxiety it can bring. The evil one, a spirit of fear, is waiting there to prey upon you and to draw you away from an ever deepening trust in our Lord.

Resist worry, fear, and anxiety. Find and do joyful things, simple things, wholesome and holy things. “And let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).

*****

Here at St. Patrick’s Monica and I are observing reduced office hours – just enough to check the mail, return calls, pay bills, and deal with things that need immediate attention. It is a great help that we both work alone – and in separate buildings! So social distancing is not a problem. If it’s on your mind about how to give to St. Patrick’s in these days, see the link here on how you can do that via on-line giving. Naturally, a check in the mail works well, too.

Even if little St. Patrick’s is not equipped for a big online presence, still we’re reaching out to parishioners as we can. Last week a few volunteers made phone calls to about thirty of our older parishioners to check on them. All reports were good, and they’re following up with the ones who wanted to be contacted again. I’m preparing these emails and have finally figured out (rudimentarily) how to make updates to our simple website. I’ve also been phoning a handful of parishioners each day to check in and to offer an assurance of my prayers. So far, everyone we’ve contacted is in good health (though some are admitting to symptoms of mild boredom, go figure!).

Lastly, but above all, know of my prayers and love for each of you. I really look forward to seeing you all again, and please God, soon.

Yours in our Lord, Fr. Guillory

A note about parish support

Foremost on our minds in this time is the health and well-being of loved ones and of all in our community. As your priest and pastor, my first concern is your spiritual health and well-being.

As the one responsible even for the temporal aspects of our parish, I feel it necessary to make available to the parishioners of St. Patrick’s the possibility of supporting your parish financially through the convenience of on-line giving.

Through the good work of our diocesan offices, all parishes in the Diocese of Lafayette now have the possibility of offering on-line giving to their parishioners.

If you wish to support St. Patrick’s financially in this way, just follow this link, which will take you to a secure site called Parish Give 52. There you can choose an amount for the general offertory and second collection. You can make a one-time donation or a recurring weekly or monthly donation. Then under the section called “Affiliated Church Parish”, choose “170 – St. Patrick Church, Lafayette” from the drop down menu. Enter your personal and payment information, then proceed to confirmation.

I hope you find this useful and convenient.

Please know that you are in my prayers daily, especially during these difficult days as we hunker down, simplify, and place our trust ever more in the Lord.

Mother Immaculate, pray for us.

Good St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Patrick, pray for us.

In Christ, Fr. Guillory

March 27 Update

Since all public Masses in the Diocese of Lafayette have been canceled, public Masses will not be celebrated at St. Patrick’s.

As per directives from the Diocese of Lafayette, the parish office is closed to the public until April 13. You may still reach the parish by phone; in the event that no one answers, please leave a message and we will return your call.

St. Patrick Church is open for private prayer during the following hours:

  • Mon-Thurs, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Fri, 7 a.m.-12 noon
  • Saturday, 3-5 p.m.

The sacrament of confession is available (for now) according to our regular schedule:

  • Mon-Fri 7-7:25 a.m.
  • Saturdays 3-3:30 p.m.

March 23 update from Fr. Guillory

On March 19, I sent out this letter-email to those St. Patrick’s parishioners for whom we have email addresses. I now post it here for broader access.

Please continue to pray for one another, for the sick, for those who are alone or afraid, for all healthcare workers, for our leaders.

In these days and in the days to come, we must push away from us a spirit of excessive worry and anxiety. In the quiet of our homes, outside in our yards, let us try to enjoy the beautiful spring days that have arrived, inviting the Lord to carry our worries and burdens, while we “cast all our worries on the Lord,” who cares for us (1 Pet 5:7), and fill our hours with wholesome things.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Patrick, pray for us.

March 19, Solemnity of St. Joseph

Ite ad Ioseph! Go to Joseph!

From Bishop Deshotel, a pastoral letter concerning St. Joseph, whose help in this difficult time all Catholics should implore.

Pastoral Letter Inaugurating Year of St Joseph

March 18 Coronavirus Update

Since all public Masses in the Diocese of Lafayette have been canceled, public Masses will not be celebrated at St. Patrick’s.

St. Patrick Church is open for private prayer during the following hours:

  • Mon-Thurs, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Fri, 7 a.m.-12 noon
  • Saturday, 3-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

The sacrament of confession will be available according to our regular schedule:

  • Mon-Fri 7-7:25 a.m.
  • Saturdays 3-3:30 p.m.