VARNAMAN - Representates de diferentes países presentaron sus culturas durante la noche del encuentro como parte de la Semana Nacional de la Migración. (Foto de Danna Johnson)

VARNAMAN – Representates de diferentes países presentaron sus culturas durante la noche del encuentro como parte de la Semana Nacional de la Migración. (Foto de Danna Johnson)

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De Danna Johnson

La Semana Nacional de Migración 2017 fue una gran oportunidad de encuentro de diferentes culturas. El Centro de Apoyo al Migrante de Caridades Católicas, la Iglesia Católica de St. James de Tupelo y la oficina de Caridades Católicas de Vardaman, unieron esfuerzos para crear este ambiente de encuentro.
Esta semana de actividades comenzó con la inauguración en St. James de Tupelo con la celebración de Epifanía y con la presentación del video “Los Invisibles”. Mas de 100 personas estuvieron presentes. Todos y todas fueron invitados a compartir sus historias como migrantes en Mississippi. La conclusión de este primer dia fue que: “Migracion es un acto de fe”.
En los siguientes días de la Semana Nacional de Migración, Amelia McGowan, abogada de migración de Caridades Católicas y directora del Centro de Apoyo al Migrante, ofreció talleres informativos y consultas individuales sobre el tema de migración. Esto se llevó a cabo en las comunidades de Ripley, Corinth y Vardaman.
Muchas familias del Deanery V se hicieron presentes. Amelia ha construido confianza y credibilidad con su dedicación, excelente servicio y su pasión por apoyar a las familias migrantes de toda la Diócesis de Jackson.
La Iglesia Católica de San Cristóbal de Pontotoc celebró una misa conmemorando la Semana Nacional de Migración 2017. El Padre Tim Murphy recibió a todos los asistentes, incluyendo al Padre Octavio Escobar, quien nos visitó desde México y quien celebró la Eucaristía en un ambiente de hospitalidad y esperanza. La invitación fue abierta a reflexionar sobre el Salmo 104: “El Señor nunca olvida sus promesas”.
El viernes 13 de enero, la Noche de Expresión Cultural se llevo a cabo en Vardaman. Nancy Sánchez, de la oficina de Centro de Apoyo al Migrante de Caridades Católicas y un equipo de voluntarios hicieron posible este evento de juntar a la diversa comunidad.
Hubieron demostraciones artísticas, comida, bailes de varios países, entre ellos: México, Honduras, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Colombia e India. Liza May y Sandra Loucios ambas nativas de Vardaman, dieron la bienvenida a todos los asistentes con “Gracia Suprema” y presentando datos culturales tanto de la región del sur y de Vardaman. En palabras del Presidente de la junta directiva de la Oficina de NE de Caridades Católicas, “Esto es algo en lo que necesitamos crecer”. Alrededor de 150 personas de diferentes culturas del NE de Mississippi estuvieron bajo un mismo techo, celebrando lo que todos tenemos en común: nuestra diversidad.
La clausura de esta semana especial estuvo a cargo de la Hermana Gabriela Ramírez de Caridades Católicas de Birmingham, AL. Ella abrió su presentación con la pregunta: ¿Podemos crear una cultura inclusiva?
Dorothy Balser, Directora de la división Comunidad y Ministerios de Alcance Social de Caridades Católicas de Jackson, dijo que “Este ha sido un tema muy poderoso para crear conciencia y educación, y que buscaremos la oportunidad de hacerlo de nuevo en este año.”
La Hermana Ramírez cerró la Semana Nacional de Migración 2017 invitándonos a unirnos en oración, teniendo a Jesús como modelo: “Padre, que todos ellos sean uno, como nosotros somos uno” (Juan 17,21)

 

Schools provide strength to communities

Forming our Future
By Catherine Cook
This year our celebration of Catholics Schools Week marks 170 years of continuous Catholic education in Mississippi. No other school – public or private – in our state can make that claim. Six of our Catholic schools/centers trace their beginnings to the 1800s and have continued throughout the educational history of our state.
Each year Catholic schools across the United States set aside the week that begins with the last Sunday in January as Catholic Schools Week. It is a time to reflect upon and celebrate what each school provides to its students, families, parishes, cities, states, and the nation.
January 29th – February 4th, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Jackson join the national celebration with activities that highlight and thank the many persons who contribute in large and small ways to make our schools what the 2017 Catholic Schools Week theme proclaims: Catholic Schools – Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.
This theme speaks to the heart of what our schools strive to be – communities that at their core are rooted in the love of God that is lived out in service to others – educational communities in which students learn academic lessons and life lessons. This is what sets our Catholic schools apart from other educational institutions across the state. It is why throughout the 170 year history of Catholic schools in Mississippi families have made sacrifices to provide a Catholic education to their children. This Community of Faith, Knowledge, and Service is why teachers and administrators commit themselves to carrying forth the tradition of a quality education marked by faith and service – an institution begun and sustained for much of our Catholic school history by women and men religious.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the comments from students, parents, faculty, administration, and alumni included in the Catholic Schools Week insert. There is little I can add to what they say about their experiences in the Catholic schools in our diocese. I ask that you take the opportunity during Catholic Schools Week to visit the Catholic school in your area and see first-hand what Catholic education in the 21st century is about.
Consider taking a friend and or neighbor to help share with community stakeholders what a Catholic school provides to students, families, and the community. Vibrant Catholic schools enhance the faith life of their parishes and the social-economic-cultural life of their civic communities. You don’t have to be a parent to be invested in your local Catholic school as it has an impact on your parish and your local community. Catholic schools always welcome persons who wish to support their mission with time, talent, and/or treasure.
Finally, this is a time to say “thank you” to the many Catholic school stakeholders – employees, volunteers, patrons, alumni, and friends. “Thank you” to pastors and parishioners – your support is essential to the life of our Catholic schools. “Thank you” to faculty, staff, and administration for your commitment to the education and formation of students – your dedication continues the legacy left by the religious sisters and brothers on whose shoulders we stand.
“Thank you” to volunteers – your service in endless ways and groups, such as, advisory councils, committees, parent associations, booster clubs, fund-raising events, etc. is vital to operation of our schools. And, “thank you” to parents for choosing to place your children in our Catholic schools. We exist to partner with you to provide a community that teaches, leads, and develops your children into persons of faith, knowledge, and service. Congratulations to each Catholic school in our Diocese on your celebration of Catholic Schools Week 2017! We are proud of your efforts and accomplishments.
(Catherine Cook is the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Jackson.)

National Migration Week offers opportunity for encounter, faith sharing

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VARDAMAN/PONTOTOC - Dancers present samples of their culture during a night of encounter.

VARDAMAN/PONTOTOC – Dancers present samples of their culture during a night of encounter.

By Danna Johnson

VARDAMAN – National Migration Week 2017 was a great opportunity to bring people together. The Migrant Support Center of Catholic Charities, Tupelo, St. James Parish, and the Family Life Center in Vardaman, joined efforts to create a culture of encounter, following the theme Pope Francis inspired for the week.
The observance started at St. James with an Epiphany celebration followed by the documentary “The Invisibles.” More than 100 people attended. Participants were invited to tell their stories and share challenges as immigrants in Mississippi. The conclusion of this first-day event was that “migration is an act of hope.”
The following days, Amelia McGowan, immigration lawyer for Catholic Charities, and director of the Migrant Support Center, offered workshops and free legal clinics in the communities of Corinth, Ripley and Vardaman. Many families traveled from different parts of the deanery to work with her.
Pontotoc St. Christopher Parish celebrated Mass commemorating National Migration Week. Pastor Father Tim Murphy concelebrated with Father Octavio Escovar, visiting from Mexico. He invited all to reflect on Psalm 104: “The Lord remembers his covenants forever.”
On Friday, January 13, the night of cultural encounter was hosted in Vardaman. Nancy Sanchez, cultural specialist for the Migrant Support Center and a team of volunteers of Family Life Center made this first-ever gathering possible. There were demonstrations, food and dancing from various countries including Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Colombia and India.
Liza May and Sandra Lucious, both natives of Vardaman, opened the night with “Amazing Grace” and gave a presentation of their cultures: Southern and Vardaman.
“This is something to build on” said Northeast Catholic Charities Board president. Nearly 150 people of different cultures in Northeast Mississippi gathered under one roof to celebrate that what we have in common is our diversity.
Sister Gabriela Ramirez from Catholic Charities of Birmingham, Ala., closed the week with a presentation asking the question: Can we develop an inclusive culture?
“This was a powerful topic for awareness and education, and we will find the opportunity to do it again in this year,” said Dorothy Balser, director of community and social outreach ministries for Catholic Charities. Sister Ramirez closed her program by all to pray: “Father, that all of them may be one, as we are one” (Jn. 17, 21).
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrates National Migration Week every January to honor those who leave their homes seeking better lives.
(Danna Johnson is the head of the Family Life Center in Vardaman.)

Adam, Williams announce ordination plans

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Aaron Williams

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The Diocese of Jackson is pleased to announce the ordination to the transitional diaconate of Nick Adam and Aaron Williams. All are welcome to the celebrations.Adam, an Alabama native who considers Meridian his hometown, will be ordained Friday, March 17, at 6 p.m. at Meridian St. Patrick Parish. Williams, a Jackson native, will be ordained Saturday, March 18, at 5:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. A reception will follow both Masses.

The men will spend a year in service as deacons before being ordained priests. During that year they can preach and proclaim the Word, witness marriages, preside at funeral liturgies and baptize babies. They cannot celebrate Mass until they become priests.
Please keep our seminarians in your prayers as they make final preparation for this next step in their journey to the priesthood.

Calendar of Events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT
GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus retreat center presents a silent retreat: “Mary in the Mystery of Christ and the Church,” on Saturday, February 11, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. The presenter is Brother Daniel Korn, C.Ss.R., noted Redemptorist author. Cost is $35 which includes lunch. Details: contact Magdalene Abraham at (662) 299-1232.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick, Pathways of Prayer Retreat, Saturday, February 11, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Enrich your prayer life by exploring different approaches to growing closer to God. Registration fee of $20 includes breakfast, lunch and all materials for the day. Space is limited; bring registration fee to the church office by February 1. Details: Mary Billups marybillups@bellsouth.net, (601) 693-1321.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS
AMORY St. Helen, Book Discussion Group on “Small Great Things” by Jody Picoult on Monday, February 13, noon in the parish hall. Everyone is invited to read the book and plan to join in the discussion. Details: call the parish office at (662) 256-8392.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph Parish, St. Monica’s Prison Ministry visits the Washington Co. Correctional Facility on the second Monday of each month to share our Catholic faith. Next visit is February 7. Details: contact Sandra Cirilli or Frank Dantone at the church office, (662) 335-5251.
– St. Joseph “Sharing Christ,” Tuesdays in the parish hall, 6:30 – 8 pm, February 21 – April 4. It is a seven week journey focusing on personal evangelization and sharing our relationship with Jesus in our daily life. Registration forms in back of church. Details: call the parish office, (662) 335-5251.
GREENWOOD Mardi Gras Celebration to benefit St. Francis School, Saturday, February 18, 7 p.m. – midnight, Leflore County Civic Center. Adults only. Featuring: Steve Azar and the Sensation Dance Band of Memphis. Tickets: $35. Includes, buffet, party favors, set-ups. Bar available. Details: (662) 453-0623 or info@deltatics.net
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, weight loss support group. Come join us each week as we support each other on our weight loss journey. Wednesday mornings at 8:30 am for weigh-in and sharing. Details: Liz Brown, (901) 331-3419.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Young at Heart Senior Social, Saturday, February 18, for parishioners and friends aged 65+. Volunteers (youth and adults) and door prizes needed. Bingo, food and great prizes. Details: Charlene Rushing, (601) 431-9127.
– Grief and loss support group, second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.. Next meeting February 13. Compassion Care Hospice Office, Suite A, 113 Jefferson David Blvd. Open to the public. Details: (601)442-6800.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Hospice Ministries Winter Volunteer Training Program, Feb. 3 – Feb. 5. Details: call (601)898-1053, ext. 258.
TUPELO St. James, Knights of Columbus Super Bowl Potluck Party, Sunday, February 5, 4 p.m. in Shelton Hall. Big-screen TV and everyone is invited. Details: Keith Merritt, (662) 322-1427.
VICKSBURG St. Paul, Meals on Wheels chairperson needed. St. Paul sincerely thanks Camille Atwood for her service of 22 years. Meals on Wheels meets the first Saturday of the month and feeds approximately 30 people. Details: (601) 636-0140

YOUTH BRIEFS
Greenville, St. Joseph School, Mardi Gras Fling, Saturday, February 25, at the Washington Co. Convention Center, 6:00 pm to midnight. Must be 21 or older. Cost: $100, admits two for dinner, music from the sounds of Yazoo Gold, “get-down” dancing and drinks, as well as a chance to win $10,000 worth of prizes in the annual draw-down. Details: Tickets on sale in both school offices, the church office or from any school advisory council member. To donate a tax-deductible door prize, contact Missi Blackstock at (662) 378-9711
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, “Souper” Bowl of Caring, youth will be collecting after all masses on the weekend of February 4-5. Goal is to raise $800.00.

TUPELO, Parkgate Pregnancy Banquet, Tuesday, February 21. Any student age 15 or older is invited to volunteer. You will need to be at the Orchard by 5 p.m. and dinner is provided. Details: call or text Jessica Vaughn (662) 871-5033.

VOCATION RETREATS FOR WOMEN
HOLLY SPRINGS The Sisters of the Living Word, the Chicago Archdiocesan Vocation Association CAVA), and Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM)
are jointly hosting “Hands-ON + Hearts-IN: A discernment experience for women at their residence in Holly Springs. Young women will be accompanied by vocation ministers for the Monday through Friday experience, providing a hands-on opportunity to assist those in need while discerning life as a sister. Attendees will reside with sisters from various communities. Service projects include: tutoring children, assisting at a food pantry,cleaning homes for the elderly, repairing damaged homes, serving meals at a soup kitchen. The only cost to attend is the travel to the residence. Available dates: February 6-10 or 20-24; May 15-19 or 22-26; August 29 – Sept. 1; September 18-22
Applicants need to book a spot one month prior to the start of a week-long event. Details: Sister Sharon Glumb, SLW sglumb@slw.org; 847-577-5972 ext. 233 (office); 601-291-6738 (cell).
MOBILE, Ala., Little Sisters of the Poor presents “Listening with Our Lady” retreat Friday, March 24, at 6 p.m.- Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m., at Sacred Heart Residence of the Little Sisters in Mobile. This retreat is for single Catholic women aged 17-35 who may wish to discern a call to religious life. The weekend includes Mass, talks, question and answer sessions, service opportunities and adoration. Meals provided. Register by March 21. Details: vocmobile@littlesistersofthepoor.org or (251) 591-3700.

Go: Celebrating 35 years of catechetical formation

KENNER, LA, - Bishop Kopacz, center, celebrated the closing Mass for the conference with diocesan priests Father Arokia Savio, right of the bishop, pastor of Grenada St. Peter Parish, and Father Paneer Arockiam, pastor of Yazoo City St. Mary Parish. Two local deacons assisted. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)

KENNER, LA, – Bishop Kopacz, center, celebrated the closing Mass for the conference with diocesan priests Father Arokia Savio, right of the bishop, pastor of Grenada St. Peter Parish, and Father Paneer Arockiam, pastor of Yazoo City St. Mary Parish. Two local deacons assisted. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Hundreds of delegates from Southhaven to Natchez descended on Kenner, La., to participate in the recent Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference. More than 1,200 participants from Region V, in which this diocese is located, came for all or part of the three-day conference. The diocesan delegation included Bishop Kopacz, who celebrated the closing Mass on Saturday.
In its 35th year, the conference was previously known as the Hofinger Conference, named for Fr. Johannes Hofinger, S.J., a world-renowned missionary, evangelizer, teacher, and catechetical leader. “This year’s theme, ‘Prayer: Our Faith Prayed and Lived,’ reminded us of our need for prayer and to experience prayer in new ways. There really was a little bit of something for everyone as the topics covered were quite varied,” explained Fran Lavelle, director of the department of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Jackson and one of the conference organizers.
“In addition to the areas one would expect, topics like ministry for special needs and the elderly were covered. A track for liturgy was also provided as well as a track for those working with high school students,” she added.
Members of her team and diocesan representatives, including Will Jemison, coordinator for Black Catholic ministry for the diocese, Abbey Schuhmann, coordinator for Youth Ministry, Catherine Cook, Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Karla Luke, coordinator for operations for the schools, also attended.
In addition to the keynote speakers and breakout sessions, participants had access to exhibits and liturgies. “One of my favorites was a beautiful exhibit on icons and their use in personal and communal prayer. It was a great feature,” said Lavelle.
Lori Arreola agreed. She was a first-time attendee from Grenada St. Peter Parish. “I liked the transforming of icons for catechesis and prayer workshop because it takes me to a closer intimate relationship with the Lord as well as deeper understanding level,” she explained.

Fathers Aroika and Savio, pictured at the closing Mass, brought people from their parishes to the conference. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)

Fathers Arockiam and Savio, pictured at the closing Mass, brought people from their parishes to the conference. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)

Father Aroika Savio, pastor of Grenada St. Peter Parish has attended several of these conferences, but none of his catechetical staff had the opportunity until this year when a delegation of six went with him. Rosa Buzzarde, took the Liturgy track. She said she learned how to write the prayers of the faithful to include all people. She also learned about new rites of ceremony for weddings that have additions and exclusions written into them.
Annette Tipton, took the family evangelization and spirituality track. “I learned about the need for Spiritual Coaches in our parishes and how to accompany people in their faith walk,” she said. She added that she enjoyed not just the academic and logistical side, but got a lot from the spiritual offerings. “In a different venue, Dr. Brant Pitre of Gray, La, powerfully taught a deeper understanding of Lectio Divina – keeping a dialogue with Christ in prayer,” said Tipton.
Nancy Oswalt also attended the lectio breakout. “I learned about Lectio Divina, scripture and prayer and how important it is to our faith, and then some ways to actually pray and have a conversation with Christ. For the youth I now have some new ways to lead ‘guided prayer’ and modeling prayer,” she said.
Father Savio said he values conferences such as this one. “I wanted my people to see how other parishes are celebrating liturgy, offering catechesis and doing other things,” he said.
This was the first year the faith formation directors in this region took a lead role in both content and logitics for the conference.
“For several years the conference was planned by a professional meeting planner. We were given the opportunity last year to continue with an outside planner or taking on the role as a region,” said Lavelle. “With more input from the region felt we are able to address our local needs better.”
The diocesan directors for the region have already begun planning for next year’s conference. “It has been a learning experience that paid off,” Lavelle added.
As the faith formation directors plan the next conference, they would like to use feedback from this year. Those who attended the conference should submit an evaluation online at www.go4th.faith. “We want to hear from you so we can continue to provide a first rate Conference,” said Lavelle.

The team from Pearl St. Jude Parish enjoyed the vendor area where attendees could look at the latest in church supplies and catechetical material.

The team from Pearl St. Jude Parish enjoyed the vendor area where attendees could look at the latest in church supplies and catechetical material.

Inaugural Pilgrimage for Life celebrates Respect Life month

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By Elsa Baughman
GREENWOOD – The first “Pilgrimage for Life” in the Diocese of Jackson, was held Saturday, Jan. 14, at Locus Benedictus Retreat Center. January is Respect Life Month.
During the three mile walk around the retreat center and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Delta, the pilgrims, flanked on both sides by dancers from Tupelo and Jackson, prayed the rosary, sang songs and prayed after each mystery. Leading the way were four people carrying the cross, (the source of salvation) the banner of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe (source of conversion) and the banner of the event. The dancers took turns dancing after each mystery.
“We want to present God our needs and pray for justice, for life and hope,” said Father Michael McAndrew, CsSR, before starting the walk. “This is why we walk in pilgrimage, it is a very Catholic tradition. And on this day we are going to celebrate life, from conception to natural death, and we’re going to pray for the honor and dignity of every person and every race,” he said.
The petitions after each mystery were offered for the healthy and happy conception of all infants and for the end of abortion; for all migrants and immigrants of the world; for all elderly people so that they may always be treated and cared for with gratitude and love; for all the youth and young people of the world so that they live their lives with purpose and be brave men and women of God; and for the care and respect of our environment, our home.
“This is something beautiful, I loved it,” said Ernestina Mata, of Jackson, who attended the pilgrimage with her teenage daughter. “I was not planning to come,” she added, “but God wanted me to come. I saw myself in need to accompany my daughter because my husband didn’t want her to come alone.” Mata commented that the event reminded her of something that she witnessed as a child in the village where she grew up in Mexico. “On special occasions the people of the town gathered in the field to ask God or give him thanks for something in particular, such like that it rains or for a good harvest,” she said. “Today, these childhood memories came to my mind.”
The closing Mass was celebrated at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Delta by the priests of the Redemptorist community living in Greenwood.
In his homily, Father McAndrew said that the Mass was celebrated for all the families affected by the migratory situation in the country and especially by migrants who do not have a house, who are not welcomed and for the success of the Fifth National Encuentro. During Mass, a family whose father is facing deportation, offered their testimony.
Veronica Lopez, coordinator for Hispanic young adult ministry for the diocese, said she thinks this first Pilgrimage for Life was very good and successful. “We were able to gather 150 people; whole families, including children, youth, young adults, grandparents and even Father Ted’s dog,” she said, adding that “precisely, all of these people, human beings, were the focus and objective of our pilgrimage. And we prayed for the human rights of each one of us, from the youngest to the oldest.
Lopez said she was very pleased for the support and help she received from the young Hispanic adults of the diocese and the Redemptorist priests who guided and led the pilgrimage. “It was great,” she said. She noted she wants to continue having this pilgrimage every year and hoped that more people attend it. “I would like to see more than 500 people attending next year.”
Salomón Esparza, from Greenwood, attended the event with his wife and children and said he liked that people from other areas of the diocese took the day to attend the event. “This is something very nice to experience and I think the children will always remember it. I would like to continue attending and that it becomes an annual tradition.”

Calendar of Events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

CHATAWA St. Mary of the Pines, annual Jackson St. Richard Parish Ladies Retreat January 20-22. Retreat leader: Molly McCarthy. www.spiritliftingministries.net. Cost $130 per person per double room or $150 per person for single room. For registration forms, go to www.saintrichard.com. Details: tubertini@saintrichard.com, 601-366-2335, ext 107.
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. – Church of the Incarnation, Women’s Morning of Spirituality, Saturday, February 25, 8:15 am – 1:30 pm with continental breakfast at 7:15 am. Details: call 901-853-7468 or front.desk@incarnationcollierville.org.
GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus Retreat center presents “A Spiritual Journey through Biblical Times” on Sunday, January 29, 2 – 3:30 p.m. The presenter is Dr. Nancy Ehret. The cost is $15 per person and $20 per family. Details: www.locusbenedictus.org or call 662-299-1232
LAFAYETTE, La. – Holy Spirit Regional Women’s Retreat sponsored by Catholic Charistmatic Renewal of New Orleans at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Lafayette, January 27-29. Register by noon January 23. Presenters: Michelle Moran, Fr. Joe Krafft & Deacon Larry Oney. Details: www.ccrno.org, CCRNO 504-828-1368.

PARISH, SCHOOL & FAMILY EVENTS

BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, appreciation dinner for all lay ministers. Friday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Mitchell’s Restaurant. Spouses invited. RSVP by January 20. Babysitting not provided. Details: Parish office: 601-833-1799, office@stfrancisbrookhaven.org
COLUMBUS, Annunciation School Military Appreciation Day (part of Catholic Schools Week), Tuesday, Jan. 31. All members of the military both active and veterans are invited to the celebration. Details: acsmarketing@cableone.net.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, English as a second language classes offered Sunday mornings in the Parish Center Volunteer teachers needed, not necessary to know Spanish. Details: John Czarnetzky, 662-701-8711
GREENWOOD St. Francis School, annual Mardi Gras celebration, Saturday, Feb. 18, from 7 p.m. – midnight, featuring Steve Azar in concert and the Sensation Band of Memphis. Cost is $35, adults only. Details or to purchase tickets, 662-453-0623.
GRENADA St. Peter Parish, Blood Drive, Sunday, January 29 from 10am-2pm. Please make an appointment. Details: Parish office 662-226-2490 or sign up online at stpetergrenadams.com.
HOLLY SPRINGS St. Joseph Parish, Black History program, Sunday, February 5, after Mass honoring Judy Smith, the first black female superintendent of Holly Springs School District.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Super Bowl Raffle tickets are being sold by Knights of Columbus after Masses for $1.00 per ticket. Drawing will be held after 10:30 a.m. Mass January 29.
JACKSON Respect for Life Candlelight Vigil in Rotunda of State Capitol, Saturday, January 21, at 6 p.m. Pro-life of Jackson will sponsor. January 22 marks 45th anniversary of Supreme Court Roe vs Wade. Details: 601-956-8636.
VICKSBURG St. Michael, Adult Faith Formation Class on Sacraments and Worship, beginning Tuesday, January 24, from 7-9 p.m. in the Adult Education Building. Eight class sessions on consecutive Tuesdays with class ending March 21 Textbook: “Sacraments: New Understanding for a New Generation,” by Ray Robert Noll. Cost is $20 plus cost of book. Details: Anita Hossley, 601-638-3871.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES MOVES TO NEW OFFICE

Catholic Charities office will be completely relocated to 850 E. River Place, Jackson MS 39202, in Jackson on Jan. 1, 2017. The new site offers more parking and represents a savings of $70,000 to $110,000. There are 160 employees in the organization and the new personnel director has been a very positive influence.
The Domestic Violence Shelter has purchased a building and offers day care for children, as well as housing. They will relocate when renovations are complete
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CATHOLIC DAY AT THE CAPITOL
Catholic Charities has decided not to stage a Catholic Day at the Capitol for 2017 and instead focus on regional legislative advocacy meetings. Check the Catholic Charities website for details and updates, www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org.

WORLD MARRIAGE DAY 2017
World Marriage Day 2017, Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. Mass and reception at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. The celebration honors all married couples, but those celebrating their 25th, 50th or 60th anniversaries or any significant anniversary are invited to participate.

SAVE THE DATE

Matthew Kelly will be coming to the Jackson area on Saturday March 11th from 2-6 pm at the Madison Central High School Auditorium. The facility seats 1,000 people. The cost of the event is $39.00 per person.
Tickets will be available at the Chancery, various Jackson Metro Area parishes and online at DynamicCatholic.com.
In addition to attendance at perhaps the best Catholic event in America this year, the ticket price includes:
• Hardcover copy of The Four Signs of a DynamicCatholic (retail value $25)
• CD copy of The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality (retail value $10)
• Inspirational Journal (retail value $12)
• Dynamic Catholic pen (retail value $1.95)
• Mass Journal (retail value $10)
Total Retail Value: $58.95
*Please note these products are subject to change.

Jeans, Jazz and Bruin Blues set for Feb. 18

MADISON – Tickets are still available – but are selling fast – for a chance at $10,000 during a night of fun, gourmet food and live entertainment. Saint Joseph School’s 24th annual Jeans, Jazz and Bruin Blues Draw Down is set for Saturday, February 18, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. on the campus.
The school’s gymnasium and cafeteria will be transformed into lively venues for great food and good times. An open bar, live auction, silent auctions, raffles for themed-baskets and specialty beers, a wall of wine and door prizes round out the activities and add to the excitement of the draw down.
A draw down is a “reverse raffle” with tickets drawn throughout the evening. The owner of the last ticket remaining wins the $10,000 grand prize.
Back by popular demand is the “first choice raffle.” Only 100 first choice tickets, at $100 each, will be sold. Prior to the start of the live auction, one of these tickets will be selected, giving the winner his/her choice of one of the items up for auction. A beer raffle and the wine wall allow people to take a chance on their favorite beverages.
A ticket admitting two adults is $130, with optional insurance available for $20. The “insurance” places a ticket back in the drawing if it’s one of the first 100 pulled.
Sponsorships are still available. There are several levels of sponsorship, which start at $300. Sponsors get event tickets and different levels of recognition.
Organizers limit ticket sales and this event consistently sells out. Purchase tickets online at www.stjoebruins.com, from the school office during regular school hours or by calling 601-898-4803.

Deliver Me volunteer seeks driver for supplemental food boxes

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Neil Rhodes is looking for a few willing volunteers to help with a once-a-month ministry to low-income elderly residents in Jackson.
During the first week of each month, Rhodes spends a couple hours each day delivering boxes of food to residents in senior living facilities. He’s been doing it for 10 years and delivers as many as 500 boxes each month, according to Deliver Me, the non-profit, nondenominational agency that coordinates the packaging and client list.
In the beginning, Rhodes was a member of a team of four men, including the late Ken Artigues and Pete Foret, both Catholic. Now it’s just Rhodes and C.T. Dexter.
“It started with Kenny Artigues. We went to high school together at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis. He called and talked to me about working for Gleaners, picking extra crops. When I retired in 2007 I started delivering the boxes through Deliver Me,” he said.
He says he still loves the work, but he is slowing down and could use extra hands.
“Deliver Me has been around for quite some time,” said Joyce Ainsworth, one of the service coordinators. “The mission is focused offering supportive services to low-income people older than 65 who live alone at home or in a senior living facility,” she added. The agency offers groceries, help with applying for benefits and utility assistance, eye glasses, hearing tests and hearing aids. They also run a clothing closet and provide blankets, heaters and linens to people who need them.

JACKSON – Neil Rhodes chats with Betty Carlyn as he drops off supplemental food boxes at a senior living community in Jackson.  He hopes to recruit more drivers for the monthly ministry. (Photo by Tereza Ma.)

JACKSON – Neil Rhodes chats with Betty Carlyn as he drops off supplemental food boxes at a senior living community in Jackson. He hopes to recruit more drivers for the monthly ministry. (Photo by Tereza Ma.)

In addition to the grocery deliveries, Deliver Me works with Mississippi Food Network (MFN) to provide Commodity Supplement Food Program boxes. These are what Rhodes delivers. They include nonperishable items as well as a block of cheese every month.
Rhodes sets a delivery schedule, MFN and Deliver Me pack the boxes and he drives all over town dropping them off. “It’s something I truly enjoy doing, I truly do, and I think other people would like it too,” he said.
On a recent Tuesday morning, Rhodes and Dexter loaded dozens of boxes headed for an apartment complex near St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson. The boxes are large moving boxes full of canned items so the men use a dolly to cart them through the halls. They spend a few minutes visiting with each resident and try to make sure everyone is doing well.
“Neil has been a true blessing to us. A real, true blessing,” said Ainsworth. “He serves on the board and continues to work. “We see real need out there,” said Ainsworth. “Many people just can’t get out to even pick up food or come to our office,” she added.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the effort can call Rhodes at (601) 906-3516 or contact the office at Deliver Me at (601) 354-4646.