In Defense of Mother Church


After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together, told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, HE WOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!
This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!
It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him … all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity.
jesus embracing sinner
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Everyone says that forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”
The act of forgiveness is not a born trait. It is an acquired virtue. When you have been hurt, and sometimes far more deeply than words can explain, forgiving the person who hurt you is absolutely the last thing you want to do. Because to say, “I forgive you,” is just not enough. You want, no, you demand that the offenders experience the same pain with perhaps a bit more intensity than you experienced. You see simply forgiving the person as some sort of indirect acceptance for their behavior. However, forgiveness doesn’t remove any of the iniquities of the offender. It is the act of forgiveness that releases you from the bondage of pain, and places you on the road to healing.  God will take care of the rest. 
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12: 19-21)
In the book entitled Forgiveness, a Catholic Approach by  Fr. Scott Hurd (Archdiocese of Washington, DC)  reminds us that forgiveness is a gift. “The forgiveness we are called to offer is a decision, a process, and a gift. It is a decision, because by forgiving we choose to let go of any desire for revenge or retaliation, and we free ourselves of the bitterness and resentment that hardens our hearts. Forgiveness is a process, because letting go of resentment takes time; we may need to make the decision to forgive over and over again. Finally, forgiveness is a gift of love that we give freely, without expectations, exceptions, or limitations. It is neither earned nor deserved. When we love the ones we forgive, we wish them happiness, not harm; well, not woe; heaven, not hell.”
Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta said it best,
“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

I’ve learned... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned... That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned... That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’    makes my day.

I’ve learned... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned... That being kind is more important than being right. 

I’ve learned... That you should never say no to a gift from a child. 

I’ve learned... That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.

I’ve learned... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. 

I’ve learned... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. 

I’ve learned... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult. 

I’ve learned... That life is like a roll of toilet paper.  The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. 

I’ve learned... That money doesn’t buy class. 

I’ve learned... That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. 

I’ve learned... That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts. 

I’ve learned... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. 

I’ve learned... That love, not time, heals all wounds. 

I’ve learned... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. 

I’ve learned... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. 

I’ve learned... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them. 

I’ve learned... That life is tough, but I’m tougher. 

I’ve learned... That opportunity is never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. 

I’ve learned... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned...  That I wish I could have told my Mom that I loved her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned...That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain,but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

 Divine mercy image
Once upon a time all feelings and emotions went to a coastal island for a vacation.
According to their nature, each was having a good time. Suddenly, a warning of an
impending storm was announced and everyone was advised to evacuate the island.
The announcement caused sudden panic. All rushed to their boats. Even damaged
boats were quickly repaired and commissioned for duty.
Yet, Love did not wish to flee quickly. There was so much to do. But as the clouds
darkened, Love realised it was time to leave. Alas, there were no boats to spare.
Love looked around with hope.
Just then Prosperity passed by in a luxurious boat. Love shouted, “Prosperity, could
you please take me in your boat?”
“No,” replied Prosperity, “my boat is full of precious possessions, gold and silver.
There is no place for you.”
A little later Vanity came by in a beautiful boat. Again Love shouted, “Could you
help me, Vanity? I am stranded and need a lift. Please take me with you.”
Vanity responded haughtily, “No, I cannot take you with me. My boat will get
soiled with your muddy feet.”
Sorrow passed by after some time. Again, Love asked for help. But it was to no
avail. “No, I cannot take you with me. I am so sad. I want to be by myself.”
When Happiness passed by a few minutes later, Love again called for help. But
Happiness was so happy that it did not look around, hardly concerned about
Love was growing restless and dejected. Just then somebody called out, “Come
Love, I will take you with me.” Love did not know who was being so magnanimous,
but jumped on to the boat, greatly relieved that she would reach a safe place.
On getting off the boat, Love met Knowledge. Puzzled, Love inquired, “Knowledge,
do you know who so generously gave me a lift just when no one else wished to
Knowledge smiled, “Oh, that was Time.”
“And why would Time stop to pick me and take me to safety?” Love wondered.
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and replied, “Because only Time knows your
true greatness and what you are capable of. Only Love can bring peace and great
happiness in this world.”
“The important message is that when we are prosperous, we overlook love. When
we feel important, we forget love. Even in happiness and sorrow we forget love.
Only with time do we realize the importance of love. Why wait that long? Why
not make love a part of your life today?”
Author Unknown
jesus tomb resurrection 778x485 
Vision of Maria Valtorta on 2-Apr-1945
“You are mad, women.  Grief has upset you.  The light has seemed an angel to you.  The wind, a voice. The sun, the Christ.  I do not criticise you.  I understand you, but I can only believe what I have seen: the open empty Sepulchre, and the guards who have run away with the stolen Corpse.”
“But if the very guards say that He has risen!  If the whole town is in a turmoil and the Princes of the Priests are mad with rage, because the guards have spoken while running away terrified!  Now they want them to say something different and they are paying them for that.  But it is already known.  And if the Judaeans do not believe in the Resurrection, they do not want to believe, many other people do believe...”
“H’m!  Women!...” Peter shrugs his shoulders and is about to go away.
Then the Mother, Who still has on Her heart the Magdalene, who is weeping like a willow-tree in a downpour, for her too great joy, and who kisses Her fair hair, raises Her transfigured face and says a short sentence: “He has really risen.  I have had Him in My arms and I kissed His Wounds.”  She then bends over the head of the passionate woman and says: “Yes, joy is even stronger than sorrow.  But it is only a grain of sand compared to what will be your ocean of eternal joy.  You are blessed because you made your spirit speak above reason.”
Peter dare not deny any longer... and with one of those sudden changes of the old Peter, who is coming back to light again, he says and shouts, as if the delay depended on the others and not on him:  “Then, if it is so, we must let the others know.  Those spread out in the country...look for them... take action... Come on, get a move on.  If He really should come...let Him at least find us”....
Jesus says:
...“And I, at the beginning of dawn on the third day, descended like the sun and with My brightness I broke the human seals, so useless before the power of a God, with My power I prized open and overthrew the stone watched over in vain, with My apparition like lightning I knocked down the uttlery useless guards placed as guardians of a death that was Life, that no human power could prevent from being such.
By far more powerful than your electric current, My Spirit entered like a sword of divine Fire to warm the cold remains of My Corpse, and in the new Adam the Spirit of God breathed life, saying to Itself:  “Live, I want it.”.....
....The new Adam goes to the new Eve.  Evil entered the world through a woman, and was defeated by the Woman.  The fruit of the Woman has detoxicated men of the slaver of Lucifer.  Now, if they want, they can be saved.  She saved woman who had remained so fragile after the mortal wound.
...Have, have, have faith in Me.  Love.  Be not afraid.  May what I suffered to save you assure you of the Heart of your God.”

palm sunday image


Vision of Maria Valtorta on 30-Mar-1947(Palm Sunday)

Jesus embraces with His arm the shoulders of His Mother, Who has stood up when John and James of Alphaeus have reached Her to say to Her: “Your Son is coming”, and then they have come back to join their companions who are proceeding slowly, talking, while Thomas and Andrew have rushed towards Bethphage to look for the donkey and the colt and take them to Jesus.

In the meantime Jesus is speaking to the women.  “Here we are near the city. I advise you to go.  And go without being afraid.  Enter the town before I do.  All the shephards and the most faithful disciples are near En Rogel.  They have been told to escort and protect you.”

“The fact is that...We have spoken to Aser of Nazareth and Abel of Bethleham in Galilee and also to Solomon.  They had come as far as here to watch for your arrival.  The crowd is preparing a great celebration.  And we wanted to see... See how the tops of the olive trees are shaken?  It is not the wind that is shaking them thus.  But it is the people who are gathering branches to spread them on the road and to protect You from the sun.  And over there?  Look over there, they are stripping the palm-trees of their fan-shaped leaves.  They look like clusters and they are men who have climbed up the truns to gather more and more... And, on the slopes, You can see children bending to pick flowers.  And the women certainly strip gardens or corollas and scented herbs to strew Your way with flowers.  We wanted to see... and imitate the gesture of Mary of Lazarus, who picked up all the flowers pressed by Your feet when You went into Lazarus’ gardens” says imploringly Mary of Clopas on behalf of them all.

Jesus caresses the cheek of His old relative, who looks like a little girl anxious to see a show, and He says to her:  “You would not be able to see anything among the large crowd.  Go on, to Lazarus’ house, the one whose keeper is Matthias.  I shall be passing there and you will see Me from on high.”

“Son... and are You going all alone?  Can I not be near You?  Asks Mary, raising Her very sad face and staring with Her sky-blue eyes at Her meek Son.”

“I would beg You to remain hidden.  Like a dove in the cleft of a rock.  Rather than Your presence, My beloved Mother, I need Your prayer!”

“If so, Son, we will all pray for You.”

“Yes. And after you have seen Him pass by, you will come with me to my mansion in Zion.  And I will send servants to the Temple, with instructions to follow the Master all the time, so that they may bring us His orders and His news, says Mary of Lazarus resolutely, always quick in realising what is the best thing to do and to do it without delay.”

“You are right, sister.  Although it grieves me not to follow Him, I understand that it is a just order.  In any case Lazarus told  us not to contradict the Master in anything, and to obey Him even in the least matters.  And we will do that.”

“Go, then.  See?  The roads are getting busy.  the apostles are about to join Me.  Go.  Peace be with you.  I will make you come when I think it is a suitable moment.  Goodbye, Mother.  Peace to you.  God is with us.”

Happy family walking together


While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about -the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags.

He stopped right next to me to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father.

The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing.

He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be.

I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me.

I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?” “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” With that, he and his family turned and strode away together.

I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, “What’cha looking at?” Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, “My future!”– Author Unknown

front of church aisle with doors no light copy

Authored By: Fritz Tuttle

Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.

In the Old Testament we see God's continual involvement in the lives of the Israelites through appointed prophets. God delivered, instructed and admonished the Israelites. He made His motions in a visible, specific and formal way. He always did so through human hands, mouths, feet, minds and wills. God established a law and a means for executing it.

In concert with His redemptive act, Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, "You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said "build," as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.

Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven."(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained."(John 20:23)

Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, "Do this in memory of Me." (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to "Make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), and to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, "Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days." (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.

The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.

God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit.  (Fritz Tuttle is active in Catholic apologetics and the Legion of Mary.)

mountain climber

They tell the story of a mountain climber who, desperate to conquer the Aconcagua, initiated his climb after years of preparation.  But he wanted the glory to himself, therefore, he went up alone.  He started climbing and it was becoming later, and later.  He did not prepare for camping, but decided to keep on going.

Soon it got dark.  Night fell with heaviness at a very high altitude.  Visibility was zero.  Everything was black.  There was no moon, and the stars were covered by clouds.

As he was climbing a ridge at about 100 meters from the top, he slipped and fell.  Falling rapidly he could only see blotches or darkness that passed.  He felt a terrible sensation of being sucked in by gravity.  He kept falling....and in those anguishing moments good and bad memories passed through his mind.  He thought certainly he would die.

But then he felt a jolt that almost tore him in half.  Yes!  Like any good mountain climber he had staked himself with a long rope tied to his waist.  In those moments of stillness, suspended in the air he had no other choice but to shout: “HELP ME GOD.  HELP ME!”

All of a sudden he heard a deep voice from heaven... 

“What do you want Me to do?”


“Do you REALLY think that I  can save you?”


“Then cut the rope that is holding you up.”

There was another moment of silence and stillness.  The man just held tighter to the rope.  The rescue team says that the next day they found a frozen mountain climber hanging strongly to a rope.....  TWO FEET OFF THE GROUND.

storm on the farm website

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to  work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farmhand?" the farmer asked him.

"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

We, as believers in Christ, secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of the storms.

When I first met Christ, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way, it was rather boring, but predictable... It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts.  Up mountains, and through rocky places.  At breakneck speeds, it was all I could do to hang on!  Even though it looked like madness,

He said, ‘Pedal’.

I was worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?”  He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life.  And entered into the adventure.  And when I’d say, “I’m scared”, He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed.  Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.  He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”

So I did, I gave them to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received.  And still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first.  In control of my life, I thought He’d wreck it.  But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners.  Knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learnging to shut up and pedal in the strangest places.  And I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.  And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore, He just smiles and says...




St. Helena Catholic Church
122 S. 1st. Street
Amite, LA, 70422

New Parishioner Form




photo gallery icon


Full of Grace has been generous in purchasing a year subscription to the Catholic Website  Go to  and register for FREE! 

Diocese of Baton RougeDiocese of Baton Rouge


prolife footprint


success baby

“Give us the grace – When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.” – St. John Paul II


We, at St. Helena Catholic Church, are concerned with educating, directing, and sustaining all who visit. 

In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.


PSR 2021   June 7th-18th