The Works of Mercy Trust

mercy oct2015


This past spring, the Bishop Joseph Ott Works of Mercy Trust Fund Board of Trustees issued grants to area non-profits whose staff and volunteers faithfully address needs in the Baton Rouge community with established effectiveness and dedication, and on May 19, Bishop Robert Muench personally presented the worthy organizations their grants. Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge is one of the deserving ministries the board is very pleased to support.

Rebuilding Together is a national organization of more than 200 affiliates—with over 125,000 projects valued at well over a billion dollars to date—and, in little more than a decade of operation, the local affiliate has invested more than $1,000,000 in the greater Baton Rouge community by completing more than 100 individual projects on behalf of seniors whose homes required updates and repair. Work continues throughout the year, but Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge volunteers take part in a National Rebuild Day on the last Friday of April each year. Visitors to the organization’s website can view photos of recent projects, learn how to make donations, volunteer time and skill, or learn how to receive assistance. Take a moment, and visit the Rebuilding Together Baton Rogue website, You’ll be encouraged to see so many gifted and compassionate volunteers at work.



Recommended Resources
for Reflection and Study

Please visit “The Steward’s Bookshelf”
for additional recommendations.

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Death, Taxes, Love and Forgiveness

From the Stewardship Today Archives,
October 2010

Residents of Colonial Boston notoriously objected to a tax levied by the British crown on tea, standing with others throughout history that found high taxes unreasonable or unjust. Ancient Egyptians paid unreasonably heavy taxes on cooking oil, and Romans were among the first to require a sales tax. The ‘look’ of eighteenth century Russian culture likely changed a bit as the result of a tax on beards, and taxes on everything from windows to fireplaces to trees altered the landscape of several European countries in recent more


The following is profound wisdom regarding good works, from the desk of St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), Spanish Carmelite and Doctor of the Church:

“God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with desire that men know of them.”


Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge

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The Vatican Website

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More Local, Regional and National Links...


Televised Mass

Catholic Life Television broadcasts the Tuesday Midday Mass, live from St. Joseph Cathedral at 12 Noon, and rebroadcasts the service at 6 PM. Visit for a variety of daily Catholic programming.

Diocesan News Page



local oct2015

As was the case in the capital city just across the river, the growing Port Allen area was a valued part of the New Orleans Archdiocese in the mid-1920s when Holy Family Church was officially established as a Catholic parish. At the time, parishioners had celebrated the Eucharist in various mission chapels for generations: in Port Allen, but also in Lobdell and Grosse Tete. The Holy Family Parish website notes a new sanctuary was completed in 1928, and four years later, the congregation already totaled more than 1300 parishioners. Near the close of WWII, the Port Allen church opened Holy Family School, and forty years ago, dedicated the church building in which the still-growing congregation currently meets and ministers so well to the West Baton Rouge community.

The Parish mission statement is as gracious as it is clear: “Holy Family Parish is a loving, caring community of devoted and committed Catholic Christians. Our mission purpose is to spread and deepen the Kingdom of God among all people. Our aim is to carry out this mission through our strong tradition of faith and family, through a strong sacramental and liturgical life, through a total Catholic educational program, through a ministry to the social needs of the community, and through evangelization.” A new, easily downloadable “2015 Ministry Directory” brochure offers detailed descriptions of the many opportunities for service available through Holy Family ministries and programs. To download the brochure, view ministry photos, or simply learn about the wonderful Holy Family Catholic Church in Port Allen, please visit


“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.”

(Titus 2:11-14; New American Bible, Revised Edition)

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Designate Your Assets to Help Others

If you are looking for an easy way to support the Diocese of Baton Rouge, but can’t part with assets today, consider designating the diocese as the beneficiary of your retirement plan assets or insurance policies. When you support the diocese through a beneficiary designation, you can have peace of mind knowing that your plans can be altered at any time. Consider the following options:

Retirement plan assets make a tax-wise gift. If your children are the beneficiaries of your retirement plan assets, federal income taxes may erode up to 39.6 percent of the amount they receive from your plan. In contrast, the diocese is tax-exempt and eligible to receive the full amount. Life insurance is a low-cost way to provide a gift, as well. If you name the diocese as contingent beneficiary, the diocese will only benefit if your primary beneficiary predeceases you. Insurance annuities carry an income tax burden, making your named beneficiary responsible for paying the income tax due on the growth of your annuity. The tax burden makes these assets a popular choice to leave to the diocese because that can eliminate the tax bill on the portion received.

How to Name Us as Beneficiary

To name the diocese as beneficiary of any assets, contact your retirement plan administrator or insurance company for a change-of-beneficiary form. Decide what percentage you would like to give, and name the diocese, along with the percentage you chose, on the beneficiary form. Then return the form to your plan administrator or insurance company.

For More Information

Consulting an estate-planning attorney is a smart investment that can save you and your family money and heartache in the long run, too. Please seek legal advice before deciding how you will handle your estate plan.

For additional information concerning Diocese of Baton Rouge Planned Giving opportunities, please visit the “Plan My Legacy” page through the Office of Stewardship website:




Please Support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal

         and Thirty Years of Vital Ministry


main oct2015

 Click Here to Watch Video

Stewardship: A Louisiana Legacy

Glorify God & Serve Others:
The Thirtieth Anniversary BAA

Bishop Robert W. Muench’s message, from the anniversary brochure:

In 1985, beloved Bishop Stanley Ott initiated the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, an essential and far-reaching endeavor that has funded dozens of ministry efforts, has met the needs of thousands of your neighbors, and has spread the love of Jesus Christ throughout the region. In 2011, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary year of our diocese’s founding, and this year we honor the birth of this invaluable appeal.

You have the opportunity to show God’s grace to others today, and your generous participation is as essential as ever. In this anniversary year, please choose to give, helping to shape the future of our diocese for generations to come. Please Glorify God and Serve Others with us, as we celebrate thirty years of vital ministry and continue the Lord’s work through the BAA.

The Stewardship of Prayer

prayer oct2015Called To Shepherd Their Flocks

The first week of this month—from Monday, October 5 through Thursday, October 8—our diocesan priests will attend their annual Priest Retreat. Inviting the prayerful support of appreciative parishioners, Bishop Robert Muench communicated those plans to Catholics throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “Over the years, attendance at our annual Priest Retreat has been remarkably consistent. Pressing ministry could compromise and jeopardize our commitment to these special opportunities. I hope this letter helps you understand and support our priests with their commitment to their ministry. I ask that you pray for our priests and our diocese during these days, as they pray for you as well.” more


Know What You Really Want
... read more

The Stewardship of Ministry

ministry oct2015The Just One and Questions of Justice

One of the most popular courses in the history of Harvard University has its own website and can be viewed from anywhere in the world online for free. The course features Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government Michael Sandel—author of the bestseller Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?—and is a class simply known by the name of the text, “Justice.” Filmed before a packed Sanders Theater audience of nearly one thousand students, the scheduled course is always full. A single exposure to episode one, and viewers understand why. Dr. Sandel, a celebrated Rhodes scholar, is a gifted instructor. He has to be. It’s a challenge to invite discussion concerning questions like these: Is lying ever justified? What makes a good citizen? To what degree are we free to make our own choices? And, it’s available online at no charge: . . .read more


The Wounds of a Leader ... read more

The Stewardship of Finance

finance oct2015Remind Me That We’re Blessed


Pilgrims to the great temple in the ancient Holy City were said to make their way “up to Jerusalem.” Once there, they ascended the inclined walkways and multiple stairways to the public areas in which they would offer sacrifices for sin and blessing, particularly at the many special feast days and festivals that marked the Hebrew calendar. Scholars believe the songs that appear as the fifteen psalms running from Psalm 120 to Psalm 134 refer to this pilgrimage. In the texts, each one is referred to as “a song of ascents.” Messages of joy, blessing and thankfulness, we are encouraged every time we read them or hear them read. Two appear below, in full.. . .read more


Give It Up ... read more


“Whatever our bodies may be doing, we should at the same time continually lift up our minds to God, which is the most acceptable form of prayer. For no matter which way we turn our steps, as long as our minds are turned to God, we clearly are not turned away from Him who is present everywhere.”                         

(St. Thomas More, 1478-1535, English Statesman and Catholic Martyr)


 “God feeds the birds, and daily food is provided to the sparrows; and to creatures that have no sense of divine things, there is no lack of drink or food. Do you think that to a Christian—to a servant of the Lord—to someone given to good works—to someone who is dear to the Lord—anything will be lacking? Do you imagine that the one who feeds Christ is not himself fed by Christ, or that earthly things will be lacking to those to whom heavenly and divine things are given?”


(St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 200-258, North African Bishop and Martyr)


Stewardship Today is a monthly devotional newsletter designed to assist Catholics everywhere in developing a greater understanding of the role of stewardship in everyday life.
All we are, and all we possess, are gifts from God for our use and for the blessing of others. Through wise stewardship, we invest our time, our talents and our treasures to the glory of God.

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