Viewpoint: Reflections on taming the demons within

With the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine and with New Orleans’ never-ending crusade against crime and corruption, there is much for Christians, Jews and Muslims to reflect upon during Holy Week, Passover and Ramadan. Everyone has demons that haunt them. New Orleanians, it seems, have more than their fair share. The ability to fight off temptation often determines the quality of a person’s character and the kind of life they lead. Yet the longer I observe people — including politicians at all levels of government — the more I wonder what makes integrity fade away.

A guide to the St. Joseph’s Day altars

Saturday, March 19, is the Feast Day of St. Joseph, and the lavish altars celebrating the day are truly a feast for the eyes. The altars offered as thanks for relieving hunger are overflowing with food: fish, pasta, pastries, breads in symbolic shapes. (You won’t find any meat; St. Joseph’s Day always falls during Lent.)

The altars are also laden with symbolism, from the palm frond over the door as you enter to the swag bag handed out as you leave.

Uptown synagogues and other Jewish institutions on guard against potential attacks

The attack Saturday (Jan. 15) on a synagogue near Fort Worth, Texas, where four people were taken hostage, reverberated across the American Jewish community and heightened concerns about safety and security. Those concerns are particularly acute in Uptown New Orleans, the home not only of two synagogues, Temple Sinai and Touro Synagogue, but also of Tulane University’s Hillel and Chabad houses and the Jewish Community Center. 

“What we know, and have known for generations, is that it takes courage to walk through the world as a Jew, and it takes strength to deny those who would harm us the power over our humanity that they seek,” Touro Synagogue posted on its Facebook page after the hostage incident in Texas. “We will continue to be proud of who we are, and we will continue to love others for who they are.”

“We pray for peace for all of those families of all of those who were affected. We pray for the day when we’ll beat our swords into plowshares, our spears into pruning hooks, when none will make us afraid,” said Rabbi Daniel Sherman in a video message to his congregation, referencing words from the Jewish prophet Isaiah.

Holiday markets and events make the yuletide bright across Uptown neighborhoods

A wide variety of markets in Uptown neighborhoods give you the chance to find the perfect Christmas gift for family and friends while supporting local artists and businesses. Plus, browsing a market is more fun than shopping online or in the big-box stores. If you want to forget about the shopping and just sit back and enjoy the festive spirit, you can take in a concert inside one of Uptown’s resplendent churches. A list of markets and other holiday events is below. Christmas markets

Nov.

Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon is on the market again

The pews are gone. The baptismal font and religious statues have been removed, and the church bell is no longer in the belfry. Even the stained glass windows are in storage elsewhere. For now, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 2400 Napoleon Ave. awaits the next chapter in its nearly 100-year history.

Red Beans & Rouses partners with local churches to help feed neighborhoods (sponsored)

New Orleans traditions are here to stay! Every year, Rouses Markets donates millions of pounds of food to local food banks, food pantries, and community fridges. “I appreciate and love the way our stores and the neighborhoods they serve work together to support one another, and make sure that everyone has enough food to eat,” said Marcy Nathan, Rouses Markets’ creative director. Rouses Markets has always supported local nonprofit organizations, schools and churches working to make their neighborhoods better places to live and work. Recently they started a new community initiative, Red Beans & Rouses, in partnership with churches all over New Orleans.

Catfish fried, shrimp po-boy, filé gumbo… it’s Lenten season on dah bay-you 

 

In New Orleans, Lent marks a culinary tradition as well as a spiritual and liturgical season. Much like the way we eat red beans on Monday, we eat seafood, usually fried catfish, on Lenten Fridays. We search and compare fish fry menus with the same fervor and passion reserved for king cakes only a few days earlier. 

New Orleanians mark the beginning of Lent at the stroke of midnight as Mardi Gras ends. Before the embers of Ash Wednesday are wiped from our foreheads, we’ve already started planning the Easter crawfish boils. While Lent marks a time of reflection and penance for practicing Catholics, locals of all religions, or no religion at all, partake in the tradition.

Ecole Bilingue plans expansion on St. Henry’s Church complex

The Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans received City Planning Commission approval last week to increase its footprint within the St. Henry’s Catholic Church complex with the use of a building for its middle school. The private French immersion school occupies multiple buildings and courtyards within the church grounds for its early childhood, kindergarten, elementary and middle schools. To give the middle school students room to grow in a building of their own, the school wants to lease the Blessed Pauline building at 4219 Constance St. Plans show the interior will be renovated into four classrooms, a science and technology lab, a music room and three offices.

Central City church hosts two days of COVID-19 walk-up and drive-thru testing

Council members Helena Moreno, Jason Williams and Jay H. Banks are proud to announce mobile COVID-19 testing in Central City. The testing initiative is hosted by 12 Baptist churches throughout the city and held this week at New Hope on Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way. In partnership with the city of New Orleans, NOLA Ready and the New Orleans Health Department and Ochsner Health System, community drive-thru or walk-up testing will take place on Tuesday (May 5) and Wednesday (May 6) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Hope Baptist Church, 1807 Rev. John Raphael Jr. Way (formerly LaSalle Street). “Having testing easily accessible to those that are most likely to be impacted and who are less likely to be able to get to the other testing sites, just makes sense,” said District B’s Councilman Banks. “Throughout every crisis New Orleans has experienced, churches have been an anchor, and served as a beacon of hope.