St. Anthony art teacher recognized by state organization

By Maureen Smith
MADISON – Amanda Cashman, the art teacher at St. Anthony School, was recognized this fall with the 2015 Bill Poirier Mississippi Outstanding Art Educator of the Year given by the Mississippi Art Education Association (MAEA). The Vicksburg native and fifth-generation graduate of St. Aloysius, was named the art teacher when St. Anthony opened its doors in 2009, but her path to the position took a few turns along the way.
“I didn’t do any education as an undergraduate. I figured I would probably work in a museum or a boutique or gallery,” she said. She decided to investigate teaching after she graduated. That’s when things started falling into place. “When I moved back to Vicksburg my own art teachers from St. Aloysius, Lisa Grant, called me at Christmastime,” said Cashman. Grant was going to take a leave of absence and invited Cashman to fill in for a semester. “Two weeks into it, I said, ‘alright, message received God, this is where I am supposed to be,’” explained Cashman.
In addition to her time at Vicksburg Catholic, she spent time as an art educator at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
St. Anthony is a WHOLE School, which uses a program offered by the Mississippi Arts Commission to integrate arts throughout a school’s entire curriculum. Cashman said this allows her to work collaboratively with the teachers in all the grades. “The third grade is learning about Civil Rights and the unit starts with the Civil War and Underground Railroad. I said, ‘A-ha, I can do quilt blocks and quilt patterns with them.’ The patterns and things we learned about in art were the ones they used as codes on the railroad,” explained Cashman.
The day a visitor was in the classroom, the second grade was doing a unit on ocean environments. Cashman gave them a lesson on using basic shapes such as ovals and rectangles to create more complicated pictures as a way to help them illustrate the creatures in the ocean. Each student has a creature he or she is researching so they had to apply the art lesson to what they knew about their fish, shark or deep-sea dweller.
The teachers and administrators appreciate her contributions “Amanda Cashman is an invaluable resource for me as a classroom teacher. Her knowledge of art history and art styles greatly helps me to tie my curriculum to art objectives,” said Megan Leake, sixth grade Language Arts teacher.
“Art is not just visual art – that’s my chunk of it, but here (as a WHOLE school) we teach through movement and dance. We teach through music and song and there are all different art forms that can really come together to strengthen the learning,” said Cashman. Her goal is to expose the students to as many forms of art as she can.
“I think in exposing them to as many different types of art and artists and art materials that everybody can find something they like or that inspires them.  I realize that every thing is not for everybody but I think if you have so much choice to look at you can find something that speaks to you,” she said.
“I have only known Amanda for a short time, but it was clear to me when I first met her that she is an excellent educator, and a very loving and caring teacher and faculty member. She is connected to everything about our school and is a wonderful role model for our students and our teachers. She is a very valued member of our school family,” said St. Anthony principal James Bell.
The Poirier award is the highest given by MAEA. Cashman said she was honored to receive it, but added that she gets much more out of the organization. She calls the members her ‘tribe,’ saying that they support one another with ideas and resources. She credits the organization with helping her become a better teacher every year.

Catholic Press Month celebrates encountering others in joy

February is Catholic Press Month. This year’s theme reflects the core of the Department of Communication’s new mission statement: Encountering others in Joy: Communicating the life and mission of Jesus Christ.
As communicators we, the staff in the Department of Communications, seek to encounter you, the faithful, pastors and lay ministers and members of our communities, in a manner that is relevant and informative while also offering content that inspires.
We want to tell your stories and be a resource for open communication throughout the diocese and the community at large. We want to use all the tools we can, print, digital and social media to spread the joy of the gospel, but we also want to meet you where you are.
Catholic Press Month gives us an opportunity to promote how our Catholic community has supported us in putting our mission statement into action. Copies of the promotional poster below will soon go out to all the parishes.
This poster offers a small glimpse into how we as a church have encountered others in love and joy. Encounters such as – (clockwise) ordaining men to lead and grow the church; offering confidence to inner-city school girls through the services of Catholic Charities; celebrating the amazing resilience of a 130 year old parish; dedicating a chapel rebuilt after a fire; fostering unity while building stronger relationships among Catholic youth; and honoring community members who have faithfully returned their time and talents to the church – all communicate the life and mission of Jesus Christ. We hope seeing the impacts of our faith in action will encourage us to grow deeper in that faith.
Thank you for your support. Your willingness to read the paper, share our facebook posts, share your stories and welcome members of the staff into your communities is truly inspiring.
We ask you to continue to partner with us in our mission to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ. Send your stories, photos and thoughts to us. Be our eyes and ears in the parishes, schools, missions and communities who are sharing the joy of the gospel.
You can email, call 601-969-3581, or send a good old fashioned letter to 237 East Amite Street, Jackson, MS 39201.

Tour highlights: pastor’s hometown, historic Irish sights

NATCHEZ – Father David O’Connor, pastor of St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Parish, will lead a 10-day tour to Ireland departing from Jackson on Friday, July 8, and returning Monday, July 18.
The trip will include nine nights in Ireland, seven of which will be in four-star hotels and two will be in Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. The overnight stays will be in Dublin, Donegal, Mayo, Limerick, and the final night will be at Carton Manor Hotel in Kildare County. Each day will begin with a full Irish breakfast. Seven dinners, including a medieval banquet in a castle, are part of the tour. The group will travel in a luxury air-conditioned motor coach.
“I will be with the group throughout their visit to Ireland, and will offer a tour of my home town and will introduce them to the history, culture and myths of my native country,” said Father O’Connor. “My initial plan is for a group of approximately 30 people. At least half of that number have already indicated an interest. My hope is that those who decide to make this tour will enjoy the natural beauty and history of Ireland and will return home with great memories.”
Upon arrival at Dublin airport the group will be transferred to Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, overlooking Dublin Bay, for a two night stay. Dublin adventures will include a tour into the heart of the world famous Guinness Brewery and a guided tour of Ireland’s Capital city, In the afternoon the group will travel south to Wicklow, known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’ where they will see the monastic settlement established by St. Kevin in the sixth century.
A stop in Northern Ireland will include a visit of the city of Derry. This is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest walled cities in Europe. In Donegal, the group will experience the stunning scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way where the Atlantic Ocean has beaten the coast for millennia, shaping and molding it to the whim of the tides for generations.
From Donegal the group will head for Mayo, stopping to visit the grave of W.B. Yeats, a round tower dating from the 11th century, and will spend two nights in the picturesque town of Ballina. We will visit Knock Shrine, the site of the apparition of Mary in 1879, and Croagh Patrick, a place visited by St. Patrick.
A two night stop in Limerick will include a visit to Adare – Ireland’s prettiest village with its 13th century church, and to Father O’Connor’s home church where he was baptized and attended elementary school.
The group, on its last day in Ireland, will travel through Tipperary County, making a stop at the seminary where Father O’Connor studied theology and was ordained to priesthood, and/or also visiting the ‘Rock of Cashel’, a monastic site with the ruins of a Gothic cathedral dating from the 13th century.
The package price, including airfare is $3,675 per person.
Further information on the tour is available by visiting St. Mary Basilica website (, calling Father O’Connor, 601 445-5616, or emailing the agency at For registration call Sara, 617-639-0273.
(Submitted by Regina Mardis, secretary at St. Mary Basilica)

World Marriage Day honors couples

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON — Fifty couples marking significant wedding anniversaries renewed their wedding vows Sunday, Feb. 7, during a World Marriage Day Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. More than 50 other couples were not able to attend the Mass, but were honored by the Office of Family Ministry.
World Marriage Day is an opportunity for the church to recognize couples who have sustained their commitments to one another. Pastors submit the names of couples celebrating 25 or more years of marriage to the Office of Family Ministry. Every couple is invited to the Mass, but even those who cannot come to Jackson are recognized by the bishop.
This year Betty and Tom Griffith will mark 65 years since they got married in Betty’s hometown of Mobile, Ala. Tom was a Navy pilot serving in Pensacola when they met at a dance on base. After Tom’s career in the Navy, civil aviation and then as a flight instructor, the couple retired in Meridian where they are members of St. Patrick Parish.
The Griffiths raised 10 children, five girls, five boys. Their youngest daughter is a Sister of Mercy in Savannah, Ga. The close-knit family moved all over the country. Their secret for moving with all the kids? “I’d go first by myself and Betty would follow,” laughed Tom.
“When we got married, you decided you would be married for life. It wasn’t something you played with. You have to work on it every day,” said Betty of how the couple have lasted 65 years. Tom added that her good cooking helped.
She said she would tell couples today to stop before their wedding and really reflect. “Take a look at what you are doing and really realize it’s a commitment for life,” she said. She and her husband got involved in the parish in every community where they lived and are still Mercy Associates today.
Anna and Joe Orr of Clinton Holy Savior also met at a dance. They will celebrate 50 years of marriage this year. Joe said they put planning into their marriage, discussing some heavy topics before they made the commitment.
“When Anna and I were planning on getting married we agreed that one, we wanted five children, number two, Anna would always stay at home to take care of the children and number three I would be the only one working to support the family,” said Joe.
He said the couple concentrated on keeping their family close.
“We had our children early in our marriage and they came close together, five kids in 11 years. Since our kids were so close together in age they were always close to each other and us. We went to church together every Sunday, never missing Mass.  Our kids always went to Sunday school and CYO classes.
We did a lot of things together, mostly on weekends, such as swimming, picnics, going to the zoo, movies, visiting relatives etc.,” he said. “Our marriage has been successful because we loved God, loved each other and loved our children,” Orr added.
The Orrs recommend that couples today put time into planning their family life to ensure a long, successful marriage. “Get to know each other’s parents and friends. Go to church together. Discuss education, jobs or career plans. How many children you want and who will take care of them when one or both of you are working. Don’t rush into marriage. Get to know each other and be prepared for a lifetime of marriage and family,” said Orr.
At the end of the Mass, Fran Lavelle, Director of Faith Formation, honored Jennifer Eidt, the coordinator for the Office of Family Ministry for her many years of service to the Diocese of Jackson. Eidt’s family is relocating so this is her last World Marriage Day celebration here.
The Office of Family Ministry is one of the many ministries supported by the Catholic Service Appeal. In addition to this celebration, the office provides marriage preparation programs, coordinates natural family planning training and supports other family ministry. Your donation to CSA is an important part of maintaining these services.

Father Phipps resigns, takes leave

Father Ricardo Phipps announced his resignation as director of Catholic Charities Wednesday, Feb. 10. Father Phipps was appointed in July of 2015. He also requested and was granted a leave of absence from the priesthood, leaving his positions at Jackson Christ the King Parish and Sister Thea Bowman school. Father Phipps informed the bishop he is pursuing a job opportunity in Pennsylvania.
In a letter to the staff at Catholic Charities, Bishop Kopacz called the resignation a complete surprise. He expects to name an interim director in the next few days.
“As for now, I will be celebrating Mass and meeting with Christ the King parishioners the next few weeks and working with Charities senior staff, the governance council and the board of directors to ensure the many vital ministries and services continue to make a positive impact on our community. I ask you to keep Father Ricardo, myself, Christ the King Parish, Sister Thea Bowman School and Catholic Charities in your prayers,” wrote the bishop in a letter to clergy about the resignation.
All of the planned events and services offered by Catholic Charities will continue utilizing the staff already in place at the agency.

Catholic Day at Capitol speakers urge action with love

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Almost 100 people attending Catholic Charities’ Catholic Day at the Capitol Thursday, Feb. 11, in Jackson heard that the situation for Mississippi’s children and those with mental health issues is dire, but not without hope.
The Poverty Task Force, coordinated by Catholic Charities, selected two issues of focus this year – taxation and issues involving children and mental health. Speakers came to educate and empower attendees on both issues.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz opened the day with prayer and a few words about the responsibility of Catholics to be involved in the public square. Matthew Burkhart of Catholic Relief Services took over to give an introduction to advocacy.
Burkhart called advocacy one of the “two feet of love.” He outlined ways to interact with law and policymakers, emphasizing that in-person visits by engaged constituents have been shown time and again to be the most effective way to impact the process. People who can’t meet lawmakers in person, he said, would do better to write personal letters and emails rather than just sign a form letter. He urged people to include a personal example to support their cause.
The morning concluded with words from three panelists who had their own powerful personal stories to share. Warren Yoder of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi spoke about the lawsuit against the state foster care system. At the time the suit was filed, the system was quite simply overwhelmed. “It got so bad on the coast case workers would shred records on children because they knew there was no way they could get out to see them or provide services and case workers were getting blamed,” he said.
The federal government will take over the foster care system unless the state can demonstrate improvement. “The number of families failing in Mississippi and the children taken into care is skyrocketing,” said Yoder. He said half of the caseworkers assigned to investigate and follow up on reports of abuse have overwhelming workloads. A thousand currently operating foster homes do not meet minimum standards and more homes are needed.
The executive director of the foster care program has asked the legislature to allocate $34.5 million this year to reorganize the system, hire case workers and tackle the problems. Yoder urged people to support the allocation and praised the work Catholic Charities does to help foster children through the agency’s work in the field.
Amy Turner, director of children’s services for Catholic Charities and director of therapeutic foster care gave some statistics on how big the problem is, but said she sees hope for the families in the state. “I don’t believe the parents of every child that’s abused set out to do that. They need parenting skills,” she said. Often, she added, parents who are able to take classes and get therapy themselves can learn how to manage their own anger and stress and a family can be reunited.
She told of a case involving a five-year old who had bruises on 65 percent of her body when she came into the system from her father’s home. The child’s mother came asking for help and started therapy. “The mom was able to change her mindset. She got lots of therapy and we did family therapy,” she explained. When the mother and child were reunited, Catholic Charities was able to help set up a network of supportive services so mother and child will continue to be supported as they move forward.
The final panelist was Valerie McClelland, director of the Solomon Counseling Center. She explained that childhood trauma stays with a person for life and can be triggered at any time. The more trauma a person suffered as a child, including experiencing hunger, depression or household dysfunction, the more likely that person is to have health issues later in life. “There are a lot of hurt children walking around out there in adult bodies,” said McClelland.
“There were 25,000 reports of abuse and neglect in Mississippi last year. Only 6,200 were evidenced. That concerns me. There are not enough workers to investigate,” McClelland said.
The group headed into the cathedral for Mass, then gathered for lunch and to listen to Father Fred Kammer, SJ, director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute of Loyola University, New Orleans. Father Kammer explained the difference between progressive and regressive tax systems. The latter forces the poor to bear more of the tax burden and damages a community as a whole. He tied the idea of using a more just tax system to the issues of the day, pointing out the need for funding to heal the foster care system and the children it serves.
“As you make your visits to your senators and representatives, you have a two-part message to deliver. First, in the spirit of Pope Francis in this year of Mercy, they should know that children and the mentally ill need essential human services to be funded and protected from cuts,” said Father Kammer.
“Second, they should hear from you that the burden of taxation to pay for those services must be carried more equitably by individuals and corporations who are more able to pay for them not by the poor and struggling families. This is not about politics; it is about human dignity and the common good,” he added.
After Mass and lunch, the attendees walked over to the capitol building where Bishop Roger Morin, of the Diocese of Biloxi, led a press conference urging lawmakers to support children and those facing mental health issues.
Four teenagers from Tupelo St. James Parish attended Catholic Day at the Capitol. Each one said he or she learned something new during the event. “I learned about how children need more love and how much that has affected Mississippi and we need to do something about that,” said Hunter Lepping, a student from Saltillo High school. His friend Andrew Albers added that he feels like he can turn the lessons from the day into action back home.
“I feel like I could put more thought into what I do. That I should be more grateful for my education and that I have financial and supportive parents and that I am not in any stress at all,” said Carrie Barrett, also of Saltillo High School. She and Julianna Vaughn, a ninth grader, said their youth group already does a lot of service work, but will now take what they learned at Catholic Day home and let it influence the projects for this year. They also hope to bring more teens in the future to attend the day.
Other groups came from the Diocese of Biloxi, McComb, Jonestown, Greenwood and other communities througout the diocese.



  • BROOKHAVEN St. Francis Parish, “Rediscover Catholicism” women’s study group on Mondays at 9 a.m. in the library. Books by Matthew Kelly will be available for $5.
    – Class on the Sunday’s Gospel beginning on Feb. 21, from 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. in the library.
  • GRENADA St. Peter Parish, Lenten mission, March 14-16, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Led by Catholic lay evangelist Michael J. Cumbie.
  • HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Tenebrae Candlelight service, Sunday, March 6, at 7 p.m. for all area parishes.
  • JACKSON St. Peter Parish, adult faith formation Lenten sessions, “God’s Mercy,” Sundays, Feb. 21-March 13, from 9:15 – 10-15 a.m. in the cathedral center.
  • JACKSON St. Richard Parish, Mondays during Lent the daily Mass will be at 6:30 a.m.
    – Men’s prayer breakfast on Mondays during Lent from 7 – 7:35 a.m. in Foley Hall.
    – Lecto during Lent, Tuesdays from 10 – 11:30 a.m. in the Mercy Room.
  • JACKSON St. Therese Parish, mission, Feb. 22-24, “The Joy of the Gospel.” Led by Father Michael McAndrew. A light social will follow.
    – Annual women’s retreat at St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, March 4-6. Led by Jill Hisaw and Sister Lourdes González. Registration deadline is Feb. 25.
  • MADISON St. Francis Parish, M & M study group, “Jesus A Pilgrimage,” Wednesdays during Lent from 9:15 – 11:15 a.m. in the Family Life Center.
  • MERIDIAN St. Patrick Parish, small group Lenten devotion, Wednesdays from 6:15 – 7:30 p.m. in the parish center. Details: Mary Billups,
    – Lenten penance service, Monday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.
  • NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica/Assumption Parish,  Lenten book study groups: Sundays at 8:30 a.m. led by Karen Verucchi; Mondays at 6 p.m. led by Ruth Powers; Mondays at 8:45 a.m. led by Kakki Gaude; Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. led by Allen and Beth Richard. Roseminette Gaude will lead a group on Friday mornings at Assumption. Details: Parish office, 601-445-5616, or email Ruth Powers,
  • SHAW St. Francis Parish, Lenten reflections, Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at the Presentation Sisters’ home.
  • SOUTHAVEN/OLIVE BRANCH/ROBINSONVILLE/HERNANDO “The Forgiveness Walk,” silent meditation and prayer moving from altar to altar’ to contemplate a different ‘work of Mercy’ at each one.
    – Christ the King, Days and times: Thursday, Feb. 25, from 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    – Queen of Peace, Thursday, March 10.
    – Good Shepherd, Wednesday, March 16, 6 p.m. through the weekend.
    – Holy Spirit, Thursday, March 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • YAZOO CITY St. Mary Parish, eight-week Church History course, beginning in March. Cost is $20 plues a book fee. Details: Diane Melton. 662-746-1680.


  • Brookhaven St. Francis, Stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass.
  • Cleveland Our Lady of Victories, Fridays at 6 p.m.
  • Columbus Annunciation, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. in the chapel.
  • Corinth St. James, Tuesdays at 6 p.m. with Stations of the Cross.
  • Hernando Holy Spirit, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by a meatless soup supper.
    – Reconciliation Mas, Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.
  • Flowood St. Paul, Fridays at 6 p.m. followed by a  Lenten dinner.
  • Jackson Christ the King, stations and the rosary. Fridays at 6 p.m. in the gathering area.
  • Jackson St. Peter Cathedral, adoration on Fridays  at 4 p.m.  followed by the stations at 6 pm. A light, meatless meal will be provided  afterwards in the cathedral center.
  • Jackson St. Richard, Fridays at 2:15 and 5:30 p.m. in the church. Meatless supper at 6 p.m.
    – Communal reconciliation service, Tuesday, March 1, from 1 – 6 p.m.
    Jackson St. Therese, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. followed by a soup supper and a Lenten session led by Jill Hisaw.
  • Madison St. Francis, rosary at 6 p.m. followed by the stations and dinner.
    – Reconciliation service, Thursday, March 3.
  • Oxford St. John Parish, Fridays at 5 p.m. followed by a Lenten fish fry.
  • Shaw St. Francis, Fridays at 6 p.m.
  • Tupelo St. James, Fridays after the 12:10 p.m. Mass and at 6 p.m.


  • BROOKHAVEN St. Francis Parish, Young Catholic group meeting, Sunday, March 6, at 4 p.m. at the home of Joe and Linda Moak. Viewing of the movie “The Passion of Christ.” Dinner will be served at 6:15 p.m.
  • CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, “Life after loss – A Lenten invitation,” six-session discussion group led by parishioner Larry Lambert  on Tuesdays, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Luke Methodist Church. Details: Lambert, 662-719-8756,
  • GREENVILLE Sacred Heart, healthy eating classes on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. – Line dancing, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
  • JACKSON Sister Thea Bowman School 10th annual Draw Down, Saturday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s Multi-Purpose Building. Grand prize is $10,000. Tickets are $100. Details: Shae Robinson, 601-352-5441.
  • MADISON St Joseph Catholic School, registration is  open for the 2016-2017 school year. Details: Kristi Garrard, 601-898-4812.
  • MERIDIAN St. Patrick Parish, meeting of the newly formed “Mercyfull Mufllers,” to knit scarves for the homeless of the area, Monday, Feb. 22, from 2 – 4 p.m. Details: Mary Billups,
  • NATCHEZ – St. Mary Basilica, Catholic Heritage guided tours in celebration of Natchez 300th anniversary, Saturdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26, and April 2, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. beginning at the Family Life Center.
  • SHAW St. Francis Parish, Lenten luncheons, Wednesdays at noon with a spiritual talk.
  • TUPELO St. James Parish Lenten soup supper, Friday, Feb. 26, from 5 – 8 p.m. in Shelton Hall. Soup will be $1 per bowl. Proceeds will go to Meals on Wheels.
    – Ladies’ Club meeting, Sunday, Feb. 28, after the 10:30 Mass in Mary’s Room. A light lunch will be served.  All ladies of the parish are invited.

The photo on the back page of the Feb. 5 edition of Mississippi Catholic was from the door of Vicksburg St. Mary Parish. The caption has the wrong name. We deeply regret the error.

La peregrinación como un camino de conversión

Por Bishop Joseph Kopacz
La peregrinación es una dimensión esencial a través de todo el Jubileo de la Misericordia. Nuestra Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol, junto con un grupo de iglesias en todo el territorio de la Diócesis de Jackson, son una constante invitación a los fieles a hacer una peregrinación al corazón de la misericordia de Dios.
¿Qué es tan especial acerca de una peregrinación? No sorprendentemente, la peregrinación ha existido en todos los tiempos y en la mayoría de las religiones y culturas en todas partes. El pueblo de Israel viajó al templo en Jerusalén. Los musulmanes hacen peregrinaciones a La Meca. Los hindúes viajan al Río Ganges, entre otros lugares sagrados. Los budistas viajan de un lugar a otro para recibir la misericordia del Gautama Buda.
La peregrinación es un símbolo importante para los cristianos. Como un miembro del pueblo de Dios, el cristiano está en la carretera. La peregrinación es el símbolo del camino del pueblo de Dios a lo largo de los siglos, y el modo de vida cristiano puede compararse a una peregrinación. Por lo tanto, uno puede hablar de los cristianos como estar en peregrinación.
La Iglesia Católica siempre ha honrado el viaje del peregrino. Un famoso símbolo de peregrinación es el laberinto de Chartres, en Francia, cuya catedral fue construida alrededor de 1230. La Edad Media fue una época de peregrinación, pero ya que no fue posible establecer fuera de Jerusalén, ellos en lugar fueron a catedrales como Chartres, donde podían hacer el camino espiritual siguiendo la ruta del peregrino en el laberinto.
Pueden haber muchas razones para realizar una peregrinación: para fortalecer la fe, para orar, para hacer penitencia, para pedir por el perdón del pecado, para rogar por un favor, para pedir por la sanación física o mental, o para pensar sobre las grandes cuestiones de la vida. Incluso si existen tales razones personales el peregrino siempre se une a las generaciones anteriores de peregrinos y de esta manera dan un paso hacia la tradición con una gran nube de testigos de las generaciones pasadas.

Peregrinación significa cambiar de mentalidad, el resultado de las experiencias en el camino. El peregrino es como un extraño que está viajando en una tierra extranjera. A lo largo del camino, la purificación pueden ocurrir; algo puede suceder y el cambio ocurre en las profundidades del corazón.
En la ruta, el peregrino se enfrenta a él o a ella misma. La peregrinación se convierte en el camino al arrepentimiento, a una revisión de la vida. San Agustín alentó a sus compañeros cristianos a desarrollar una teología de la peregrinación del corazón. “La verdadera peregrinación no se hace con los pies sino con el corazón, no con pasos corporales, sino con pasos del corazón. Según Agustín, el equipaje para este viaje es la humildad y el amor.”
A pesar de que la mayoría de nosotros no caminarán una gran distancia en peregrinación a las iglesias designadas iglesias en la diócesis, las bendiciones siguen siendo las mismas que las de los clásicos itinerarios espirituales. Un vínculo de solidaridad, compañerismo y unidad crece. Compartimos el mismo deseo de llegar al destino. Estamos llamados a llevar las cargas del uno al otro, a escuchar la historia personal de cada uno de los demás. Juntos escuchamos la historia de Dios a través de la oración y la acción de gracias.
Una vez que llegamos a nuestro destino nos damos cuenta de que la vida no es lo que era antes. Hemos cambiado. A través de la purificación y la penitencia nos acercamos más entre nosotros. La llegada no es el final del camino, sino un nuevo comienzo.
Todas los peregrinos tienen experiencias comunes y desafíos relacionados a la salida, al viaje en sí, y a la añoranza por el destino. Estamos en camino hacia la plenitud del reino de Dios, una gran caminata a la Jerusalén celestial, hacia Aquel que nos llama a la comunión, a la unidad en la diversidad.
A medida que empezamos nuestras sesiones de escucha en toda la diócesis a fin de desarrollar una visión compartida mutuamente y a las prioridades pastorales, lo hacemos en el corazón del Jubileo de la Misericordia en el comienzo de la cuaresma. Como peregrinos nos encaminamos juntos para fortalecer la iglesia de Jackson, el Cuerpo de Cristo. Somos bendecidos de tal manera al emprender este camino bajo la mirada de la misericordia de Dios.
Si fuese posible, incorporemos una peregrinación espiritual a nuestra disciplina para la Cuaresma o en algún punto en el Jubileo de la Misericordia.

El libro de la Pascual Juvenil traído a la diócesis

021916juvenil01SAN AGUSTIN, Florida – El grupo de 12 jóvenes adultos de la Diócesis de Jackson regresó feliz y cada uno con una copia del libro de la Pascual Juvenil 2016, “Misericordia: viendo a todos con los ojos de Dios”, en el cual escribieron y meditaron el capítulo seis.
Verónica López, asesora de la Pastoral Juvenil Hispana de la Diócesis de Jackson, acompañó al grupo para la reunión del Taller III de la Pascua Juvenil en la cual participaron más de 200 jóvenes adultos de las diócesis del sureste de los Estados Unidos. Estos jóvenes trabajaron en grupo durante casi un año, asistiendo a tres talleres y escribiendo un capitulo del libro.

Julie Hernández, izq., y Verónica López,  junto con el resto del grupo de jóvenes adultos de la Diócesis de Jackson llegan a San Agustín jubilosos de estar allá para continuar con el diálogo sobre el libro de la Pascual Juvenil del 2016.

Julie Hernández, izq., y Verónica López, junto con el resto del grupo de jóvenes adultos de la Diócesis de Jackson llegan a San Agustín jubilosos de estar allá para continuar con el diálogo sobre el libro de la Pascual Juvenil del 2016.

Desde 1980, el SEPI ha coordinado anualmente la preparación y publicación de este libro en el cual los jóvenes aplican el misterio pascual a un tema que ellos mismos escogen y que consideran es de importancia y actualidad en sus propias vidas. El título del capitulo seis es “Misioneros de la misericordia”.
Este libro será utilizado este año durante la Cuaresma en las diferentes diócesis del sureste de los Estados Unidos.

Comenzamos la Cuaresma con las cenizas

TUPELO – El Padre Lincoln Dall, (izq.) le impartió las cenizas a un grupo de trabajadores de la construcción durante una Misa special para la celebración del Miércoles de Ceniza, el sábado 13 de febrero en el Restaurante D-Casa. El Padre Lincoln celebró dos Misas más en otros dos restaurantes. (Foto de Raquel Escobar)

TUPELO – El Padre Lincoln Dall, (izq.) le impartió las cenizas a un grupo de trabajadores de la construcción durante una Misa special para la celebración del Miércoles de Ceniza, el sábado 13 de febrero en el Restaurante D-Casa. El Padre Lincoln celebró dos Misas más en otros dos restaurantes. (Foto de Raquel Escobar)


La Cuaresma es un tiempo para examinar nuestras vidas de un modo profundo y ayudarnos a librarnos, a través de la penitencia, de las cosas que nos alejan de Dios. En este tiempo, los católicos entre las edades de 18 y 59 años están obligados a ayunar el Miércoles de Ceniza y el Viernes Santo. Además, todos los católicos de 14 años de edad y mayores deben abstenerse de comer carne el Miércoles de Ceniza, el Viernes Santo y todos los viernes de Cuaresma.
Los demás viernes del año también, aunque según el país, puede sustituirse por otro tipo de mortificación u ofrecimiento como el rezo del rosario.
(NOTA: Lean el artículo sobre las cenizas en la pag. 4)