Reverend Monsignor Ronald C. Groth's private funeral Mass for his family and the clergy is available for viewing on YouTube.com/lcdiocese. The service was held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 15, from Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings. (This Mass is in addition to the one at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Raymond held earlier in the morning on Friday.)
Many pastors throughout the Diocese of Lake Charles have been thinking “outside the church building” to allow as many parishioners as possible the opportunity to attend Mass — something many Catholics have longed for since March 17. It was noon that day when public liturgies ceased in the diocese because of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.
“I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122:1)
On May 1, 2020, I lifted the suspension on public liturgies in the Diocese of Lake Charles. Pastors are asked to use their discretion while respecting current guidelines regarding the number and manner of attendance to ensure that the faithful have access to the Eucharist. Our liturgical tradition puts many options at our disposal.
Check here for announcements, updates, online Masses, cancellations and prayers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more news and updates, follow the Diocese on its Facebook page Roman Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles.
Catholic Charities expanding food bank to Ragley Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, with assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank, is expanding its food distribution to Ragley at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 16816 Highway 171. The first food distribution will be held 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, September 10. Subsequent food bank dates will be the second Thursday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
All clients must bring the following items to register to receive food:
Picture ID for each adult in the household and Social Security card for each person in household.
Food stamp letter or proof of one month’s income for the household such as: SSI, TANF, Social Security, Child Support, Retirement, Unemployment, Veterans Benefits, or Payroll Checks.
Proof of residency — a utility bill or a lease, and one rent receipt.
Clients will be registered while remaining in their vehicles. Food will be placed directly into their cars. All are asked to wear a face mask.
Additional food bank sites include: Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles; Golden Arms Apartments, 1481 Third Street, Lake Charles; St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, 11054 Highway 384, Grand Lake; and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Creole. All faiths are welcome to apply for assistance.
Bishop Provost continues gradual reopening of churches With the state of Louisiana operating under Phase 2 effective since Friday, June 5, Bishop Glen John Provost is asking pastors to continue their normal Mass schedules with 50% of the church capacity. Click here to read the Bishop's recent letter, directives and COVID-19 flyer regarding public Masses. Please contact your local parish for more details. Note: The faithful remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Several priests continue live-streaming Masses during Phase 2 Several priests throughout the Diocese of Lake Charles continue to live-stream their Masses on various church parish websites and/or Facebook pages as churches gradually reopen. Click here. (NOTE: This listing was updated to reflect Phase 2, including 50% maximum occupancy in churches effective June 5. Please check back often for the latest information.) Daily scripture readings can be found atwww.usccb.org.
Diocesan offices – including the Administrative Offices in the Chancery Building, the Ministries Office in the Bishop Harold Perry Building, Office of Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities, and the Saint Charles Center – will close at 1 p.m. for "Summer Hours" on Fridays from May 29 until September 4.
Regular offices hours – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – will be in place, by appointment only, Monday through Thursday each of those weeks. To contact the Diocese, please call 337-439-7400; or Catholic Charities at 337-439-7436. Normal Friday hours resume on Friday, September 11, 2020.
Pilgrimage Response to Coronavirus Pandemic During this time of pandemic, Bishop Glen John Provost is urging pilgrimages in the Diocese of Lake Charles to the Shrine of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Cameron for the duration of the pandemic.
Every year Bishop Provost leads a pilgrimage to the Shrine at the beginning of the hurricane season. He said it is only appropriate that the faithful should seek Mary’s intercession when so many are becoming ill and serious concern of the coronavirus is spreading.
“I fear that the faithful of the Diocese do not fully realize that Our Lady Star of the Sea is a duly erected shrine,” said Bishop Provost. “We should seek Mary’s intercession during this pandemic at this our own shrine, where her powerful intercession has come to our aid so often in the past.”
The Shrine was established by Bishop Maurice Schexnayder in the 1960’s, and Bishop Provost has recently approved a Decree establishing statutes for the Shrine. The Shrine enjoys, with papal approval, the same spiritual privileges as the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, one of the four major basilicas in the Eternal City. A plenary indulgence may be gained by an Act of Spiritual Communion, a sacramental confession, and praying for the intentions of our Holy Father.
May Mary's prayers directed to the throne of God protect us during this crisis, preserve us from all illness, and grant us good health.
"A Thought from the Bishop's Chapel" Daily reflections called “A Thought from the Bishop’s Chapel” can be found at www.lcdiocese.org/the-diocese/our-bishop/bishop-s-chapel-daily or on www.facebook.com/lcdiocese. The first of 74 reflections was posted on March 19, 2020, concluding with the final reflection on May 31. Bishop Provost began writing the reflections as a way to minister to the faithful after public Masses were suspended on March 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension of Masses was lifted on May 1.
Catholic Charities grateful for volunteers, donations Sister Miriam MacLean. R.S.M., Director of Catholic Charities, said the gratitude she and the staff have for all those who have supported them with their time and donations cannot possibly be expressed in words but perhaps it can be shown in their continued efforts to provide for the local communities. Catholic Charities continues to be inspired by the daily works of faith, hope, and charity and has been particularly blessed with His calming peace that has kept them steady through all the mountains and hills. Sister Miriam hopes that everyone is staying safe and finding their own peace through this journey.
For food assistance, visit Catholic Charities from 9 a.m. to noon any Tuesday, at 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles. For other assistance related to rent, utilities, ID’s, funerals, or medication, please call their office on Mondays at 337-439-7436 to apply.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help Catholic Charities continue their relief efforts, please visit www.catholiccharitiesswla.com and click on the Donate Now button. You may also mail donations to 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601. Food donations will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you would like to donate food for the pantry, please consider ordering from their Amazon Wishlist or dropping off cans directly to Catholic Charities, 1225 2nd Street.
An Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer
Pope Francis entrusts entire world to Blessed Virgin Mary Pope Francis offered the following prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 11, entrusting the city of Rome, all of Italy, and “the entire world to the protection of the Mother of God, as a sign of salvation and hope” during the ongoing coronavirus emergency. Let us join our Holy Father in prayer, penance, and fasting in response to this time of trial.
Salus Populi Romani
Protectress and Health of the Roman People
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
While many things have remained uncertain throughout the weeks of social distancing and COVID-19, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church and the Cowboy Catholics student ministry at McNeese State University remains dedicated to their mission to form lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ.
Cowboy Catholics adapted to the challenging times with the use of technology to keep their students engaged during this time of social isolation. This allowed the mission of the organization to spread beyond its typical boundaries — the college campus.
“The church doors may be closed, but our mission is still moving forward,” said Allie Livingston, development director of Cowboy Catholics. “The virus cannot infect the mission of the Church.”
A total of 16 weekly bible studies led by FOCUS missionaries and student leaders continued to meet online throughout the semester. Participating in bible studies has allowed students to stay in contact and further develop relationships with each other and the Lord.
To meet the needs of key student leaders, the ReachMore student evangelization team received daily content to aid them in spiritual growth. Weekly meetings moved online to hold each other accountable and discuss advancing the Gospel on the McNeese campus.
Campus Minister Randall Edwards sees the importance of continued formation with students because “college ministry is about forming their whole lives” and giving them the tools to be successful in every part of their lives, even after their time at McNeese State.
The Rev. Nathan Long, Randall Edwards, FOCUS missionaries, student leaders and other staff members are also meeting with students via phone call and video call to offer support, prayer and continued one-on-one discipleship.
“Cowboy Catholic’s continued activity reminds me that Christ is in control of this situation,” said Wendy Maggio, Cowboy Catholic junior. “He will bring great good out of it, no matter how dark it may seem at the moment.”
As the spring semester comes to a close and the summer semester approaches, Cowboy Catholics is still taking steps to encounter students, build them in their faith and send them to live out their Baptismal call.
Because of the faithful support of the Catholic community, alumni, and parents, Cowboy Catholics is able to reach more students for Christ. For more information about supporting Catholic campus ministry at McNeese State University visit cowboycatholics.com/support/ or contact Allie Livingston at 337-477-1434.