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Posted November 27, 2015 at 12:00 am

Medjugorje visit life changing

By Rachele Smith 

The Catholic Commentator 

For 29-year-old Eric Pavlovich, going to church was the last thing on his mind. 

Taken on Nov. 2 in Medjugorje, this photo, which shows a glowing form or shape on the left side, captures what was happening at the Blue Cross during the same time and place one of the visionaries said an apparition of the Blessed Mother was occurring. According to the visionaries, the apparitions of Mary have been appearing for 34 years; however, the Vatican has yet to release an official comment on Medjugorje. In June Pope Francis noted that a statement on the conclusions reached by the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje would be coming soon. Photos by Rachele Smith| The Catholic

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    Medjugorje has become popular pilgrimage site for Catholics

    The Catholic Commentator

    Almost since the beginning of history, humans have been drawn to the idea of a religious pilgrimage. In the Bible, several of the Psalms are called the “Psalms of Ascent” and were used by the faithful as they journeyed to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. As a boy, even

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    Coming Events

    Year of Mercy Holy Door Opening – St. Joseph Cathedral, Fourth and Main streets, Baton Rouge, will begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the opening of its Holy Door on Tuesday, Dec. 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, with Mass beginning at noon. To learn more about the Year of Mercy, the schedule of events for the Diocese of Baton Rouge for the year and catechetical/pastoral resources, visit or call 225-336-8760.

    Day of Prayer

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    Faith, doubt, dark nights and maturity

    In one of his books on contemplative prayer, Thomas Keating shares with us a line that he occasionally uses in spiritual direction. People come to him, sharing how they used to have a warm and solid sense of God in their lives but now complain that all that warmth and confidence have disappeared and they’re left struggling with belief and struggling to pray as they used to. They feel a deep sense of loss and invariably this is their question: “What’s wrong

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    Glorify God and serve others

    Bishop Stanley J. Ott envisioned a ministry of support for many good works, an annual campaign that might enjoy the blessing of unending commitment. In 1985 he established the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. In this commemorative anniversary effort, “Glorify God and Serve Others,” we celebrate and continue 30 years of vital ministry through the BAA and graciously ask for your participation and support.

    By God’s grace and the generosity of caring parishioners, the BAA has

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    Seeing Pope Francis at home

    We have all had the opportunity to see Pope Francis in the United States this year, at least on TV. It was a wonderful visit and did a lot for Catholic morale in our country. I have had a lagniappe year, getting to see him this month on his home turf in front of St. Peter’s at his regular papal audience on Nov. 4.

    A former secretary of mine in Prairieville who has remained a close friend announced to her family that

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    EDITORIAL: Poll disturbing; not surprising

    A recent poll revealed a disturbing trend that Americans are becoming less and less religious in their daily lives. According to the report, using such gauges as church attendance, prayer and belief in God, young adults are even less religious in their beliefs than their parents’ generation.

    Overall, approximately 89 percent of adults polled say they believe in God, a drop of three percent in the past seven years. More distressing, only half of young adults born from 1990 to 1996 are certain of their belief in God.

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    Don’t let anyone drag you down

    Drag Me Down

    I’ve got fire for a heart, I’m not scared of the dark

    You’ve never seen it look so easy

    I got a river for a soul and baby you’re a boat

    Baby, you’re my only reason

    If I didn’t have you, there would be nothing left

    A shell of a man who could never be his best

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    Our Brand Is Crisis

    Warner Bros.

    Lured out of seclusion by a duo of political operatives (Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd), an emotionally fragile spin doctor (Sandra Bullock) with a mixed record in U.S. elections joins them in working for a Bolivian presidential candidate (Joaquim de Almeida) whose campaign is in free-fall. By securing an unlikely victory for her client, the devious image-maker hopes to win the latest round in her long-running feud with an even more unscrupulous American consultant (Billy

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    St. Francis Xavier students recently worked on the El Dia de los Muertos project. El Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on Nov. 2. On this day, families gather at the cemetery and decorate their loved ones’ grave. The families also gather around, eat their family members favorite dish and remember the good times they had together. The student project was to pick a family member they have lost and create an altar for that person. The students used different objects

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    During the week of Oct. 26-30, St. Alphonsus School students kicked off their Red Ribbon Week with a prayer service and release of red balloons. Each balloon had a prayer attached along with the school’s address. The balloons have been spotted in years past as far as Mississippi. The students completed several service projects and learned more about the dangers of drugs throughout the week. Photo provided by Marcy Stevens | St. Alphonsus School

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    Students at Redemptorist/St. Gerard School recently participated in Operation Christmas Child, an international project for Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child partners with church groups and schools around the country to give Christmas gifts to needy children around the world. Redemptorist/St. Gerard students put together and stuffed more than 100 gift shoe boxes. Some students even wrote letters. Photo provided by Erica Walker | Redemptorist/St. Gerard School

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    ‘You too?’ Students answer with ministry

    The Catholic Commentator

    The Sisters of St. Joseph charism is so deeply instilled into St. Joseph’s Academy students, some may think the prayers they pray, lessons they learn and service projects they do are simply a daily routine.

    St. Joseph’s Academy students attending a CSJ/SSJ Student Leadership Conference in Philadelphia clean up around a park in Camden, New Jersey as a

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    STA students address hairy topic through fundraising campaign

    The Catholic Commentator

    Was there really a Viking sighting in Hammond?

    Several male students and faculty members at St. Thomas Aquinas Diocesan Regional High School are participating in No Shave November. The males who paid $15 are allowed to grow a beard and long hair during the month of November. Among those participating are, from left, Ryan Amerson, Gabe Stant, Benjamin Drummond and  Hayes Perrilloux. Photo by Richard

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    Deacon Zeringue dies

    The Catholic Commentator

    Deacon Henry John Zeringue Sr., a longtime resident of St. James Civil Parish, passed away Nov. 10 at the age of 89.

    Deacon Zeringue was born in Modeste, but his father worked in various shipyards throughout the south, eventually settling in St. James. His father established a farm equipment repair and manufacturing shop where Deacon Zeringue eventually worked after

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    Bishop Robert W. Muench installs Father Chuong Cao CSsR as pastor at St. Gerard Majella Church in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Nov. 21. Bishop Muench said the Rite of Installation connects the people of the parish and the priest to the bishop who is connected to the Holy Father. Photo by Rachele Smith | The Catholic Commentator


    Don’t let the past drag you down

    As a priest for over 55 years, I’ve heard a lot of confessions. It’s one of the joys of the priesthood to bring peace to the souls who come to us for relief. Inner pain that comes from guilt can be awful.

    Some people seek the help of psychiatrists or psychologists to help them quiet their feelings of guilt and worry. Jesus gave us absolution and a sense of humor to take care of this

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    Having God as running partner helps student keep pace in her faith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Like most college students, Libby Cassisa has a crazy schedule. Between attending classes, going to club meetings, holding down a part-time job, and oh yea, preparing for her next step after college, Cassisa definitely has a full plate.

    Libby Cassisa celebrates after completing her first marathon in 2014 in New Orleans.


    Yet, this

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    St. Mark Church, Gonzales, held its annual fall festival on Nov. 8. The day featured games, rides, a costume contest, trunk or treating, live music and food. One of the favorite activities for the families was taking a hay ride. Photo by Jimmy Sanchez


    Explaining Eucharist to child/Anger and holy Communion

    Q At Mass recently, after listening intently to the words of consecration, our 4-year-old granddaughter whispered to my wife, “Is wine really blood?” How would you answer her question? Also, would your answer be different for a 7-year-old, a teenager or an adult taking RCIA classes? (Florence, South Carolina)

    A First of all, I credit your granddaughter for her attentiveness and only wish that many of the grown-ups at Mass were so sharply focused. Next, the short and completely truthful answer to

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    Lay associates of the Sisters of St. Joseph share order’s mission

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catholics say they are embracing the lives and mission of the sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph by joining  its  lay associate movement instead of theoretically watching it. 

    Participating in the rite of commitment to the Sisters of St. Joseph Lay Association Program are, from left, front row, Caroline Cappel, Debbie Gelpi, Elise Fryou, Fran Harvey, Pat Brignac

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    Tear down this wall: Holy Year calls for human barriers to tumble down

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – For a spiritual leader who denounces a world divided by walls, a church shuttered by cliques and hearts hardened to compassion, opening wide the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy will be a significant and symbolic moment for Pope Francis.

    In Catholic tradition, the Holy Door represents the passage to salvation – the path to a new and eternal life, which was opened to humanity by Jesus.

    It also symbolizes an entryway to God’s mercy

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    Terrorist attacks create politcal havoc, threats in Louisiana

    The Catholic Commentator

    Repercussions from the terrorist attacks in Paris have helped redefine the landscape of Louisiana politics, especially with Gov. Bobby Jindal grabbing national headlines and gubernatorial candidates using those attacks as fodder in their final pleas to the public before the Nov. 21 election.

    Syrian refugees wait on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, June 10. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo,

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    Father Al Davidson


    Q Where are some of the favorite places you like to ride your bike?

    A The joy of being in Pierre Part is the fact that everywhere there is a road, a body of water parallels the road, so it makes every opportunity to ride a new experience. Even though we ride for exercise, the adventure of being in communion with God’s creation makes each and every outing a new form of

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    Celebrating Mary’s conception

    Most Catholics know that Dec. 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and is also a holy day of obligation. But what might be confusing for some is the meaning of the feast day.

    A common misconception among Catholics and Christians is the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Since the Immaculate Conception occurs only 17 days before Christmas, the math would suggest otherwise.

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    Statue of the Prodigal Son

    Most Catholics know that Dec. 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and is also a holy day of obligation. But what might be confusing for some is the meaning of the feast day.

    A common misconception among Catholics and Christians is the Immaculate Conception celebrates the conception of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Since the Immaculate Conception occurs only 17 days before Christmas, the math would suggest otherwise.

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    Year of Mercy opportunity for liberation from oppressions of life

    The Catholic Commentator

    Pope Francis is using the Jubilee Year of Mercy to invite Catholics to a deeper conversion, a return the sacrament of confession and to look at themselves through a more merciful lens, said Barry Schoedel, associate director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

    The Year of Mercy is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Dec. 8, the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, and conclude

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    Medjugorje visit life changing

    The Catholic Commentator

    For 29-year-old Eric Pavlovich, going to church was the last thing on his mind.

    Taken on Nov. 2 in Medjugorje, this photo, which shows a glowing form or shape on the left side, captures what was happening at the Blue Cross during the

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    Answering one of life’s most difficult questions

    The right to life. 

    The right to die. 

    Interrelated by the common thread of life, these are two issues overwhelming in their complexities yet offer no easy solutions. 

    The right to life appears more simplistic, since a humane and civilized society is mandated to protect the sanctity of all life, from the unborn to the elderly. Admittedly, the issue becomes a bit thorny when addressing the death penalty, but being pro-life demands protecting even the lives of those individuals who have committed the most heinous of acts. 


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    Officials confirm threat made to Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge
    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge officials and the Louisiana State Police confirmed Tuesday night that an unknown individual made a threatening phone call to CCDBR earlier during the day.

    Officials also downplayed a report that a Syrian refugee who originally resettled in the Baton Rouge area as part of CCDBR’s Refugee and

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