Next Friday, February 22nd, St. Rita’s Parish and School Youth Group returns! All 5th, 6th, and 7th graders from the parish and school are invited for faith, food, and fun from 5-6pm in the Moreau Center (school cafeteria). Help us build this important group.
While we New Orleanians generally figure our date of Easter by the celebration of Mardi Gras, the movement is actually reverse -- today and historically. In the earliest times of Christianity, those preparing to enter the Church in liturgical celebrations of Easter intensified their prayer and practices during the days closest to Easter. Thus, Lent with its symbolic 40-day period began by those going through an ancient RCIA-like program, and those believers already initiated into the Church similarly kept Lent as a support to those preparing to join their community and as a way to personally recommit themselves to the faith.
In turn, Catholics began preparing themselves for the penitential season of Lent by enjoying the many blessings they had received, giving birth to Mardi Gras, a festival period beginning on Epiphany and culminating with "Fat Tuesday." The older -- and still current -- title of this period is instructive: Carnival. Carnival is actually an anglicization of two Latin words, carne vale. Catholics, then, literally offer a "goodbye to meat or flesh." Rather than a hedonistic display of all possible excesses, Mardi Gras or Carnival is our common enjoyment of friends, food, and creation. It is only through truly knowing these things can we know what we are actually giving up in Lent.
There are, of course, certain excesses on display, requiring an appropriate celebration to always be the goal. Archbishop Gregory Aymond has offered some help in this regard, penning both suggestions for parents and children for the Mardi Gras season.
Not convinced yet about the Catholic necessity of the celebration? Famed 20th century German theologian Karl Rahner was even taken by the feast, noting the importance of laughing with creation. Read his reflection on a feast far from his native Freiburg, but close to his heart.
Finally, don't forget to get your routes and dates and times straight! Patience is a virtue to develop, but there is plenty of opportunities for it without creating it yourself. Get all your parade info here.
St. Rita Info
Our St. Rita School Color Guard and Cheerleaders will march in a number of school parades and in Metairie’s Little Rascals on Sunday, February 17th and New Orleans’s Choctaw on Saturday, February 23rd.
Fr. Peter will again take up his role as Chaplain of the Krewe of Thoth, celebrating the krewe’s Mass (8:30am in the riverfront Hilton, if you’re looking for a lively downtown Mass) and riding in the parade. Sunday, March 3rd, Float 9 (“D Day”), neutral ground side, top, last rider. I’m usually throwing to the back, so yell loud!
Exciting things are in the works for our St. Rita Seniors! If you are 50 or older and have been looking for an opportunity to join fellow parishioners in faith and fellowship, please come to our St. Rita Senior Kick-Off Friday, February 15th at 4:30pm in the Moreau Center (school cafeteria). Posh Paint will provide canvas and and paint (and suggestions), and St. Rita will provide a main for the meal. The cost is $5; side dishes are welcomed. There will be plenty of parking available -- and an exciting announcement about future gatherings! Reserve your spot via email or calling the Church Office (866-3621).
Married, single, widowed, religious...there's a spot for everyone!
How is God inviting you to serve? In February our Ministry Focus is Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
Our schedule for Christmas will be:
Monday, December 24th
Tuesday, December 25th
There is still an obligation to attend Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent, either Saturday evening or Sunday morning. We will have our normal Sunday schedule for the 22nd and 23rd.
For the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God on January 1st, we will have a 4pm Vigil on Monday, December 31st and a 10:30am Mass on Tuesday, January 1st.
Please join us during this sacred time!
Prepare your spirit for Christmas! The annual St. Rita Advent Prayer and Pot Luck takes place on Wednesday, December 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Rita School Cafeteria. The theme will be “Keeping Watch for the Lord in My Old/Young Life,” with parishioners Madi Alford and Deacon Mark White presenting.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Friday, December 7th 4pm Vigil Mass
Saturday, December 8th 8am Mass
Join us in celebrating Our Lady on this holy day of obligation.
Between the Parish and the School, you raised over $16,000 from 99 donors! Our parish received the 6th most amount of gifts to a parish in our archdiocese. This all will help our lighting and security projects tremendously.
Thank you for shining your light!
• Betty Kron • Mark Romig & David Briggs • Katie & Howell Crosby • Mary Decoteau • Chris Self • Buddy & Amy Savoie • Judy Kron • Fr. James Wehner • Fr. Peter Finney • The Douglas Beaton Family Foundation • Darryl and Ana Schexnayder • Rachel Kimble • Shane & Christina Foret • Carlton and Lynn Dufrechou • Dc Doug Busch • Sagrario Ortiz • Sr. Immaculata Paisant • Betty Trachtman • Toni Tusa • Marianites of the Holy Cross • Merle and Robert Albers • Mrs. Robert Boh • Elizabeth Beard • Rebecca and Sohan Fernandes • Jonathan & Katherine Finney • Sarah & Ben DeMarais • Brittnay Breaux • Trish Schultz & Copper Hirsch • Ann Clayton & John Chamberlain • Shirley Flynn Unangst • Pat and Karen O'Brien • Dc Andrew Rudmann • Frederick and Carlette Boyd • Michael McCormick • Rita Lambert • Gary Ault • Sarah Finney • Jane Fleshman • Al and Marie Spansel • Dane Breaux • Tom and Gail Nalley • Cory Howat • Acquanetta Spears • Peter Finney Jr. • Benjamin Russo • Mary Beth Reiling • Mr. & Mrs. David Mettz • Anne Fabian • Helen Gerig • Kelly Dixon • Shelia Danzey • Jerrilyn Carmouche • The Ladmirault Family • James and Peg Kane • Sisters at Magnificat House • Jessica Hof Cambre • Pat and Susie Veters • Karen Augustine • Mindy DeBarge • Mike and Suzie Daly • Mr and Mrs Paul Barletta • Jose Bautista • Sr. Marjorie Hebert MSC • James and Peg Kane • Kathleen Cage • Victor and Marla Dorsey • Anthony & Sarah Sabatini • Mike Killeen • Patrick Riviere • John & Laurie Conkerton • Sr Ellen Kron, DC • Curt Rome • Michael Bartlett • Tom and Carol Hebert • Trish Schultz • Catherine Riviello • Lydia Patterson • Mike Carrabine • Todd Matherne