Through the generosity of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and a parishioner of St. Benilde Parish, we have obtained and fully restored the Baptismal Font from the former Incarnate Word Catholic Church which was closed following
We are continuing the work of beautifying our Church building and sanctuary as we build a worthy dwelling place for our God. The people of St. Benilde parish have taken great care in providing for the Lord’s House.
If you would like to make a memorial gift to assist in our continued efforts in
beautifying our Church building, please contact Fr. Cooper at the Parish Office.
What a house is for a family, a church is for the family of God. There is no family without a house. One of the films of Italian neo-realism that I still remember is “Il Tetto” (“The Roof”), written by Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio De Sica. In postwar Rome a poor young man and woman fall in love and get married but do not have a home. Under Italian law at the time, once a house had a roof, its occupants could not be evicted. The couple hurriedly try to put a roof on a ramshackle dwelling and when they succeed, they are overjoyed and embrace, knowing that they have a home, a place of intimacy; they are a family.
I have seen this story repeat itself in many places in cities, towns and villages where there was no church and the people needed to build one. The solidarity and enthusiasm, the joy of working together with the priest to give the community a place of worship and a place to meet -- they are all stories that would merit a film such as De Sica’s.
In the “Confessions” (VIII, 2) St. Augustine recounts the great Roman philosopher and rhetorician Victorinus’ conversion to Christianity from paganism. Now convinced of the truth of Christianity he told the priest Simplicianus: “You know I am already Christian.” Simplicianus answered him: “I will not believe you until I see you in the church of Christ.” Victorinus replied: “Is it the walls that make a Christian?” The skirmish continued between the two. But one day Victorinus read in the Gospel these words of Christ: “Whoever disowns me in this generation, I will disown before my Father.” He understood that it was human respect, fear of what his academic colleagues would say, that kept him from going to church. He went to Simplicianus and said to him: “Let’s go to church, I want to become a Christian.” I think that this story has something to say to people of culture today too. ~ Fr. Robert Cooper