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  Site Last Updated: December 13, 2018
3310 Jefferson Highway, Lousiana 70121 | Phone:(504)-833-3366/ 833-4118 | Fax:(504)-834-1532

Pastor's Corner - Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Fr. Bac-Hai Viet Tran

Greetings and blessings from God!


Greeting you with Love and blessings from God. How was your week? I hope things are going well with you and your plans for Christmas. We are enjoying the weather that we have been blessed with so far. Would you believe that we are in the third week of Advent already? This Sunday we celebrate Gaudet Sunday which means, Rejoice Sunday. For those who attend regular Mass on Sunday you will see that the pink candle will be lit on the Advent wreath which signifies “joy” and will be burning brightly. It is a sign to tell us that we have one more week until Christmas. If you pay attention you will also see that some priests will wear pink vestments. I definitely do not like the color pink, so thank God priests have the option to wear another color, violet. So I stick with violet. There is nothing wrong with either liturgical color, so don’t get confused when you see one priest wearing pink and the other wearing violet, both colors are correct.

Before you know it Christmas will be here. This year Christmas falls on a Tuesday, so we all will have a break for the weekend and celebrate Christmas on Tuesday. Since Christmas is so close to the weekend, many of us will want to bargain with God saying “why do we have to go to Mass again so close to the weekend? Can we just move Christmas to the weekend?” We have 31 days in the month of December, and unfortunately December 25th is on a Tuesday, and we cannot cut it short. If we cut it short, we lose one day, and for all of us who are getting older every day, you know that 24 hours is very valuable to you. Like anything in life you win some and you lose some. Many places go back to business as usual on the following day, but many of us will get an extra holiday on Monday. So you will have a long holiday weekend from your jobs. In our office we are going to be closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so that everybody who works for St. Agnes will be happy, and hopefully they are ready for the coming New Year, 2019. Otherwise just picture the consequences that I will have to deal with, people with long faces as they come back to work right after the holidays. Their body may be in the office, but their soul and spirit are still at home. So please pray for me. Since Christmas falls on a Tuesday, the Mass schedule is as follows: Vigil Mass for the family is on Monday evening at 4:00p.m. This Mass will focus on the children. We also have “Midnight Mass” at 11:00pm. On Christmas day Mass times will be at 8:00am, 9:30am and 11:00am. Of course, traditionally the adult choir will sing a half hour before the 11:00pm Mass on Christmas Eve. So please come early and show your support and enjoy the Christmas music presented by the choir. Besides the Masses, we will also have confessions available for those who want to go. Confessions will be on Wednesday December 19th, Thursday, December 20th, Friday, December 21st from 5:00-6:00pm and on Saturday, December 22nd at the regular time, 3:00-3:45pm.

Two weeks ago, on Sunday, December 2nd, in helping the children get ready for Christmas spiritually, we had confessions for the CCD kids on Sunday morning and in the evening for the High School students. I was really touched by their seriousness in receiving this sacrament. The High School CCD students also stayed over for a half hour to pray the Litany of the Saints. Thanks to Kelly Wilbert and those who organized this service for the children.

As you may know Advent is the season of preparation. In America it is not uncommon to hear the word “preparation” and think of decorations, gifts, presents, parties, etc., etc. Advent can be caught up in the busy schedule of “to do lists” and we may completely ignore the meaning of what we are doing to celebrate the mystery of the incarnation, the birthday of the Son of God, when he became human. And the Church wants us to remind everyone that we need to prepare not only outside, but also inside so that we can be better persons for ourselves and for others.

Beginning last weekend, we started distributing the offering envelopes. So don’t forget to pick up your envelopes after Mass if you haven’t done it already. They are located in back of church. If you don’t have an envelope, or you are a new parishioner and would like to use envelopes, pick up a box with the white cards in it, fill it out and drop it in the collection basket, or ask an usher and they will tell you what to do. We appreciate your patience and participation in using these envelopes. We encourage you to go online and use the online giving program WeShare. It is so easy. Just go on the St. Agnes website and follow the instructions. It is not too complicated. If you have any questions, you may call the office and we will be glad to help you walk through the process.

Again, I just want to remind you that the Keep Christ in Christmas billboard is located along the Jefferson Highway and Causeway ramp. Be sure to take a look at it, and take a moment to meditate on it. Don’t blink too long, because it is located in an area that if you do not pay attention you will miss it. Just be careful because I don’t want you to wreck your car either.

Well as we go about our day, again, let’s remember that in this season we celebrate the Son of God coming to us as a human being. He became like one of us. He came to show us how to be a human being who loves and serves God and reach out to one another. He came to gather all of us into the family of God. So, let us testify to him by our good deeds and loving open heart and … open your wallets, your purse, reach out to the poor and the less fortunate than we are. We need to teach our children the lesson of generosity and sharing. Above all, the lesson of the joy of giving.

Last but not least, spread the news to all of the children who come to the 4:00pm Christmas Vigil Mass that Santa Claus will come with a few gifts in his sack. So behave and be a good boy or girl until that day. In conclusion, remember that there are only 8 more days before Christmas, so, do whatever you can to prepare for this big day, but always remember what Christmas is all about so that we don’t get into the habit of doing things without knowing the reason why we are doing them. The reason for the season, Christmas is the birthday of Christ, the Word Made Flesh. And as always, be happy, be healthy, be nice, be patient, and be kind to one another materially and spiritually. Have a good week and I hope to see you on the weekend and at Christmas! God loves you and I love you too. God Bless and Go Saints!!!

Fr. Bac-Hai