The Works of Mercy Trust
This 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 great effectiveness and dedication. On May 19, Bishop Robert Muench presented the worthy organizations their grant checks. Celebrating 150 years of service to the capital-area community, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of Baton Rouge is one of the ministries the board chose to support.
“The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads men and women to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.” The Dining Room is the number one hot meal provider in the community, the centers for men and the Day Center for homeless women and children offer essential shelter, distribution centers offer clothing and other necessities at “bargain basement prices,” and the Community Pharmacy “provides prescription medicines free of charge to those who are unable to pay for them.” To find out more about these programs, to offer your own gifts of support, or simply to learn more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, please visit their local website: www.svdpbr.com
THE STEWARD'S BOOKSHELF
for Reflection and Study
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NATIONAL CATHOLIC NEWS
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- Pope's visits to Cuba, U.S. to highlight families, charity, tolerance
FROM THE ARCHIVES
As Iron, Fashioned by the Fire
From the Stewardship Today Archives,
John Deere, a transplanted Vermont blacksmith, was thirty-four years old when he sold his first steel plow to a local farmer in Grand Detour, Illinois. Within years, his young firm was manufacturing thousands of farm implements from its Moline headquarters and, along with Cyrus McCormick and a few others, helped to turn the American Midwest into “the breadbasket of the world.” At the heart of Deere’s enterprise was a craftsman’s knowledge of materials and an innovator’s understanding of process. The stubborn soil of the Illinois prairie, master over the cast iron plow, gave way to Deere’s steel adaptation, forever altering productivity as well as production. Farmers began to work more keenly with greater yield....read more
LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS
STEWARDSHIP: THE LOCAL PARISH
St. Isidore the Farmer Parish was established in 1879 as a mission of St. Joseph Church in Baton Rouge, nearly a decade before the city of Baker was formed in the community north of the capital. Named for St. Isidore, the Catholic patron of farmers and a native of Madrid, today the former rural parish welcomes parishioners “from every imaginable background and circumstance,” in the words of Father Frank Bass. The first chapel was built in 1880 and served as a mission church of yet other area parishes before becoming an official congregation in the summer of 1958, shortly before the Diocese of Baton Rouge was established. Twenty years ago, the parish dedicated the wonderful sanctuary in use today, and St. Isidore now celebrates its clustered parish relationship with St. Pius X.
Healthy and growing ministries include programs for children, youth, young adults, maturing adults and seniors—individuals and families. Annual events and activities include blood drives, a Lenten fish fry, a winter bonfire, Christmas toy drives, holiday food basket collections, and Octoberfest. Plus, the church provides a great many more services to the community through which parishioners minister to each other, neighbors and friends. For additional information about St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Baker, Louisiana, please visit the church website: www.stisidorecommunity.org
STEWARDSHIP IN SCRIPTURE
Our Savior Jesus Christ and faithful men and women throughout the Scriptures serve as witnesses of devotion and are an inspiration to us all.
“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
“For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”
(Hebrews 12:1-3; New American Bible, Revised Edition)
CATHOLIC SAINTS ON STEWARDSHIP
Early Gallic monk St. Vincent of Lerins, who died in the fifth century, addressed the talents of the Catholic faithful, celebrating their value and encouraging their complete and total investment:
“Keep the talent of the Catholic faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute one thing for another; I do not want you impudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing.”
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“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)