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Diocese of Baton Rouge transfers three priests, assigns three deacons new positions; parishioners at Christ the King, St. Aloysius to see fresh faces

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Bishop Robert Muench blesses palm fronds with Holy Water as he observes a Palm Sunday ceremony Sunday morning before he and the congregation walk back to the Cathedral for Palm Sunday Mass carrying palm fronds.


Diocese of Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench will transfer three priests and assign three deacons positions once they are ordained priests starting July 1, according to a Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge Facebook post.

Rev. Joshua D. Johnson, 27, current parochial vicar at Christ the King Parish in Baton Rouge will become parochial vicar at St. Aloysius Parish in Baton… Continue reading →

New president of Pineville college stops at Baton Rouge church on state tour

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- The Rev. Dr. Rick Brewer, the newest president of Louisiana College, kicked off his tour of area Baptist churches by speaking and playing the piano at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Baton Rouge on May 17.

The newest president of Louisiana’s only Baptist college visited the oldest Baptist church in East Baton Rouge Parish to introduce himself and encourage parents to send their students there. The Rev. Rick Brewer, ninth president of Louisiana College, spoke to the congregation of Woodlawn Baptist Church, established in 1850, and received a warm reception… Continue reading →

Speaker will discuss human trafficking

Sister Eugenia Bonetti will speak about the global problem of human trafficking and local efforts to combat it at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 4727 McHugh Drive in Zachary. Bonetti has founded numerous homes in Italy that serve as safe havens for women and girls who have been rescued from… Continue reading →

Former SAAB showroom home to Baton Rouge Anglican church

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The Rev. Clark W.P. Lowenfield, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast, calls the new Holy Cross Anglican Church a 'mission outpost ... where others can come and taster and see and know Jesus as they come into His kingdom.'

At first glance, a Cadillac dealer’s showroom may not seem like a “mission outpost” of Christianity, but that’s exactly how Holy Cross Anglican Church was described by a visiting bishop when he blessed the congregation last Sunday evening. Holy Cross Anglican worships at the Gerry Lane Cadillac dealership, in a spacious showroom… Continue reading →

Evangelist Ravi Zacharias speaks at Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- 'We literally are in quicksand of sinking values,' Ravi Zacharias told the more than 1,200 people attending the 51st annual Louisiana Governor's Prayer Breakfast on April 15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

International evangelist Ravi Zacharias is calling on America to return to biblical faith and moral values, and he’s encouraging Louisiana to lead the way. “We are a nation today trying to reconcile liberty with law, and it looks like liberty trumps law, but again and again and again anarchy tends to break out,” Zacharias said recently.… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Apologetics not an apology but a formal defense of Christianity

In today’s story about the 2015 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, the featured speaker, Ravi Zacharias, is called an apologist. This term confuses many people because they feel it means the person apologizes for Christianity. Instead, apologetics is a formal defense of a topic. It comes from a Greek word that means “to defend, to make reply, to… Continue reading →

It’s out. They’re in. Presbyterian Church (USA) approves same-sex marriage

Ellie Genuardi poses with a sample of her company's ethnic partners wedding cake toppers at the Renellie warehouse in Costa Mesa, Calif.  on Friday, June 6, 2008. The distributor who makes wedding-cake figures that can be customized to come in bride-bride and groom-groom pairs, said they have gone from selling 50 a day to 150 since the May 15 ruling allowing gay marriage. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

After decades of debate, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has endorsed same-sex marriage and is allowing its clergy to perform the ceremonies. At last count, 93 of the 171 presbyteries — groups of local churches similar to a Catholic diocese or Methodist conference — voted to approve an amendment to change the definition of marriage from “a… Continue reading →

Many religious leaders express their opposition to same-sex marriage

It didn’t take long after the Presbyterian Church (USA) announced its approval of gay marriage that other Presbyterians and Christian leaders declared their opposition to it. “Due to the most recent pronouncement of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to redefine marriage, we in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church reaffirm our position on Christian marriage,” read a statement from the… Continue reading →

Knights of Peter Claver conference set April 24-26

Norman Francis

The 71st Louisiana State Conference of the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary will be held April 24-26 at the Baton Rouge River Center. Among the conference highlights are the group’s awards banquet, where Xavier University President Norman Francis will speak, and its Domestic Violence Awareness Breakfast, where Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette J.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Rev. Tom Ranzino finds more ways to serve in Baton Rouge diocese

The Rev. Tom Ranzino, pastor of St. Jean Vianney and Director of the Office of Worship of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

When approached about expanding his service in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, the Rev. Tom Ranzino was more than willing. Faithful serving with compassion has been among Ranzino’s gifts during his 35 years in the diocese. And it’s been Ranzino’s way of giving back to a faithful God. “I really trust in God’s faithfulness to me… Continue reading →

Artists, photographers invited to submit works to church for gallery exhibit

Artists and photographers are invited to submit works for the next River Community Church art and photography exhibit, “Favorite Faces.” Preference is for submissions to be framed or on gallery-wrapped canvas, with a wire on the back for hanging. Children and adults can submit photos and art between April 26-29 at the church, 36367 Old Perkins Road,… Continue reading →

Exploring Judas’ last days through theater

Photo provided by the Lauren-Reilly Eliot Company -- Cortland Melton (left) takes on the role of Jesus and rebukes Judas, played by Andre Trahan, right, in 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.'

While “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” may be a too-hot cup of tea for the theologically fragile, it’s a delicious post-Easter dessert for everyone else. First staged off-Broadway in 2005 and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Adley Giurgis’ dark comedy-drama employs flashbacks to an imaginary childhood, plus lawyers who call for the testimonies from… Continue reading →

First permanent sanctuary for St. Margaret's Church to open Sunday

PRAY photo by mark h hunter, Scott Arbour, a carpenter with Blair Construction, measures the "rerdos," the area inside the arch, at the front of the new sanctuary of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church. The rerdos will be covered with a gold silk fabric as a background for the altar area.

Ever since St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church was founded in the early 1970s, the congregation has been meeting in one parish hall or another — until now. On Sunday afternoon at 3, church members will celebrate the consecration of a 3,000-square-foot sanctuary specifically designed and built to glorify God and inspire all who enter… Continue reading →

Palm Sunday ‘Go Day’ sends church members out to help others: ‘Jesus loves people ... and we want to be like Him’

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Micah Cating, right, student minister at Istrouma Baptist Church, tags running back Sintrall Franklin, 8, back to camera, during a touch football game on Palm Sunday morning at Ardenwood Terrace apartments during the church's  'Go Day' outreach. Games, food and a brief Bible lesson was held at the apartments in north Baton Rouge by church volunteers.

While congregations gathered in churches across Baton Rouge to observe Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Istrouma Baptist Church quickly became empty. Members attended a short worship service, then quickly dispersed across the metro area for the church’s fourth annual “Go Day.” “We do ‘Go Day’ because Jesus… Continue reading →

Conference unifies men from variety of Christian faith groups

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- T.C. Stallings talks about 'Playing on God's Team' to men attending the Iron Sharpens Iron conference at Istrouma Baptist Church.

Unity — across cultures and religious faiths — was the unofficial theme of the 2015 Iron Sharpens Iron conference that brought about 150 men together at Istrouma Baptist Church. The conference, sponsored by Gulf South Men on March 21, was designed to bring together men from a variety of Christian faith groups to help them become more… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge churches help address hunger in the community

Photo provided by Church of the Way Presbyterian Church -- Orchard tender George Reeves, left, and orchard master Kane Mire work in the Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard that was planted March 21 on South Foster Drive. The orchard is a cooperative project to help feed the hungry.

Two Baton Rouge churches are putting their green thumbs to work to help feed the hungry here. The Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard, which will allow those in need to pick fruit, was planted Saturday, March 21, on land adjacent to the church on South Foster Drive. Some 20 citrus trees —… Continue reading →

Book, play compares death penalty to the crucifixion of Jesus

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Community College -- Aaron Fontanilla takes on the role of convicted murderer Matthew Poncelet in Baton Rouge Community College's production of 'Dead Man Walking,' which focuses on the relationship between Sister Helen Prejean and the death-row inmate.

Sister Helen Prejean compares the death penalty to the crucifixion of Jesus and uses the cross to illustrate her argument against it. “This is a really conflictual, really hard, moral issue — and you have to start with the crime,” Prejean said. “Somebody in cold blood has taken the life of… Continue reading →

National Single Moms Conference set for Baton Rouge

Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Maggio and The Life of a Single Mom Ministries will present the 2015 National TLSM Single Moms Conference on June 19-20 in Baton Rouge. This national event is open to single moms and supporters of single moms from around the country who desire to be empowered, educated and encouraged. Since its… Continue reading →

Church marks pastor’s anniversary


St. Alma Baptist Church in Lakeland will mark the seventh anniversary of Pastor Mary W. Moss with celebration services on Friday and Sunday, March 20 and 22. At 7 p.m. Friday, Pastor Troy Johnson, of Fresh Start Community Church in Houston, will preach at Belfair Baptist Church, 4444 Fairfield Ave., Baton Rouge. On Sunday at 2… Continue reading →