The Works of Mercy Trust

workofmercy july2015

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:





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As Iron, Fashioned by the Fire

From the Stewardship Today Archives,
July 2012

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 more


Clothing and Furniture Donations

St. Vincent de Paul welcomes your donations of clothing, furniture, appliances and household goods. Drop off items at any one of several capital-area locations, or call the pick-up service to donate large items. Call (225) 267-5447 for details.

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random july2015

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:


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)


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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JULY 2015


“I Will Give You Shepherds”


Please Support Our Two Seminaries


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Stewardship: A Louisiana Legacy

stewardship June2015

The “I Will Give You Shepherds” Capital Campaign

For the spiritual shepherds who serve us, priestly formation is vital and quality theological education essential. Within our Archdiocese, two seminaries serve the needs of our seminarians, and their investment is impressive. Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans enjoys a current enrollment of 113 seminarians, and St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict has the highest enrollment it has known in over thirty years. But, even as the schools meet the needs of our students, educational facilities have needs of their own.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and the Archdiocese of New Orleans have announced a $25 million capital campaign designed to “continue to provide the very best in priestly formation” for years to come. That the campaign has already reached the halfway point in donations is a measure of the region’s commitment to our Catholic future. Please join other parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. Visit the campaign website at to make your commitment today, and read Bishop Robert W. Muench’s letter of invitation to the parishioners of the Diocese of Baton Rouge by clicking on the following link: more

The Stewardship of Prayer

prayer july2015The Lord Is My Shepherd

Students of the Scriptures are introduced to the Old Testament king David in the books of the prophet Samuel. Displeased by King Saul’s behavior, the Lord chose a successor. “ ‘I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,’ God said to Samuel, ‘for from among his sons I have decided on a king.’ ” Jesse was blessed with many sons, more than half a dozen. Samuel met them all, and the oldest of the brothers were impressive young men. However, God directed Samuel’s attention to the least of more


Everybody Knows
... read more

The Stewardship of Ministry

ministry july2015All People Loved, All the Time

The Bible, Shakespeare, Franklin, Lincoln, Twain and Churchill. Know a famous proverb or quote? Attribute it to one of those six resources, and you’ll be right much of the time. Unfortunately, we actually do that—we attribute popular quotes to famous people without investing in requisite research. Here’s an example: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln, right? Not so fast. . . .read more


Sheep Without a Shepherd ... read more

The Stewardship of Finance

finance july2015They’re Not Just Leftovers Any More


Leftovers. Are you a fan? Cold pizza. Warmed casserole. Arguably, a discussion of preferences—pro and con--affirms the sheer tonnage of food left over after mealtime in America. Otherwise, there’d be no discussion. And “tonnage” is the right term. According to Feeding America—a national network of food banks and food pantries—more than 70 million tons of food goes to waste. Amazingly, much of that never appears on a single person’s plate, making its way to landfills and waste processing centers.. . .read more


Jesus, the Bread of Life ... 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)

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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