JACKSON – During the last weekend of September, Holy Family Parish celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding. Saturday evening parishioners, pastors, catechists and graduates gathered for a gala dinner. Sister Michele Doyle, sitting in the center, who teaches now sits with Corinne Anderson. Joyce Brasfield-Adams, who works in faith formation for the parish, is visible in the back. Harrison Hart, parishioner, and Msgr. Elvin Sunds, who lived at the parish for many years, catch up. At left, Johnnie P. and Houston Patton reminisced about sending their children to Holy Family School. (Photos by Art Pulliam)
By Maureen Smith
MADISON – Residents of Campbell Cove at St. Catherine’s Village enjoyed a day in their honor during a Paint the Town Purple event Friday, Sept. 29. October is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month so the staff wanted to host something to honor members of their community with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Campbell Cove is dedicated to serving those with dementia.
Latoya Thomas, a social worker at St. Catherine’s, got the idea when she attended a Mississippi Department of Mental Health event several years ago. She said she wanted the residents to get a day just for them. The staff organized carnival-themed games, such as balloon volleyball and a bean bag toss. Everyone enjoyed carnival food including cotton candy and nachos.
In addition to celebrating current residents, the staff invited the families of those who have died of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to honor their memories with prayer and a balloon release. Chris Young, a rehabilitation technician, read their names. “This event gave me a lot of clarity about the ones we have lost to Alzheimer’s. I personally know all the ones on the list because I helped them in their therapy so all of them meant a lot to me because I had one-on-one relationships with them,” he said.
“Today we enjoyed a wonderful event. Every day we get to spend with our seniors is just a joy and with our seniors who have dementia our motto is just to meet them where they are every day and celebrate moments of joy along their journey. It’s a blessing and a joy to be with our elders, said Lisa Wilburn, the director of Campbell Cove.
(St Catherine’s Village offers levels of care from independent living to nursing home care.)
Congratulations to the Bank Plus team from the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, winners of the 35th Annual Catholic Foundation Bishop’s Cup golf tournament, held on Thursday, Sept 15 at Lake Caroline.
Proceeds from this year’s tournament will benefit the newly established George Roman Charitable Trust. This trust, established by the Bishop’s Cup Committee in honor of George Roman’s work, will fund grant projects from parishes, schools and organizations around our diocese. Through the guidance of George Roman, Executive Director of The Catholic Foundation from 1992-2008, the Bishop’s Cup golf tournament flourished.
Please mark your calendars for the 36th annual Bishop’s Cup September 13, 2018. Next year the proceeds will benefit the Reverend Patrick Noonan Memorial Trust. Father Noonan, who served in parishes all across the diocese, played in the Bishop’s Cup each year and was a huge supporter of the Foundation. His newly established trust will fund projects around our diocese for parishes and schools.
By Christopher Luke
JACKSON – #iGiveCatholic returns to the Diocese of Jackson on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The one-day giving blitz offers parishes, schools and organizations a chance to raise money online with support from the Catholic Foundation and the iGiveCatholic organization. Twenty-eight people completed the first training for participants on Wednesday, September 27, in Jackson. Training will continue until the final session, a webinar set for Tuesday, October 24, at 2 p.m.
During this mandatory training, representatives will learn how to register their ministry on the #iGiveCatholic website, promote the giving day using volunteers, social media, newsletters, emails, bulletin announcements, etc., and thanking and following-up with donors.
Trena Robinson, Director of Advancement and Communications/Public Relations for the Mound Bayou St. Gabriel Mercy Center is participating for a second year. “Attending the #iGiveCatholic training session was very informative. I learned about the new requirements as well as the updated technology guidelines. The marketing ideas session was very intriguing,” she said. “Examples of how to reach more donors through the use of social media were given.” Last year, the proceeds from #iGiveCatholic were used towards the renovation of the cafeteria at St. Gabriel. This year, the proceeds will be allocated to a new roof on the learning center.
#iGiveCatholic is a 24-hour online crowdfunding effort that is held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The Catholic Foundation has made this opportunity possible by paying the entry fee for the entire diocese. The campaign involves 16 total arch/dioceses with a goal to raise $3.5 million in gifts. The goal for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson is $150,000. #iGiveCatholic isn’t just a fund-raiser. It is also an opportunity for the Catholic community to affirm its faith as disciples of Jesus Christ by sharing gifts out of love for God and one another.
In 2016, the campaign included the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Houma-Thibodaux, Biloxi, and Austin, Texas. This year the campaign has extended to the Archdioceses of Atlanta, Ga., Kansas City, Kan., and Mobile, Ala., the Dioceses of Helena, Mont., Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn., Lexington and Owensboro, Ky., Lubbock, Texas, and Paterson, N.J.
Last year, donors exceeded the $1.5 million goal, giving $1.8 million dollars with a total of 6,826 gifts. The Catholic Diocese of Jackson raised $132,736 from 1,019 givers.
How does #iGiveCatholic work? Donors will visit iGiveCatholic.org, the online platform and search for their participating parishes, schools, ministries, and not-for-profit organizations. From November 10-26, donors can schedule gifts to their favorite ministry. Donors can also donate on the actual giving day. Leaderboards on the website will keep track of donations to each organization. The minimum donation is $25.00 and there is no maximum.
Parish, school, or not-for-profit organization representatives have a little time left to sign up for the effort. All it requires is a training session and some enthusiasm. Contact Christopher Luke at 601-960-8481 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get details.
(Editor’s note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Catholic Charities has offered a way out for those in abusive situations for decades through counseling, advocacy and a shelter for women and children hoping to break the cycle of abuse. Bishop Joseph Kopacz recently announced that the shelter will soon have a new home. The bishop submitted the following reflection to area publications describing the new operation and inviting the community to step in and help.)
We at Catholic Charities are excited to know that in the near future the goal of a new domestic violence shelter will be realized in the city of Jackson. Early 2018, a newly renovated building will be providing a safe haven for adults and children suffering from the trauma of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Catholic Charities has provided this critical service since the 1980s and very soon we will be able to do so in a building specifically designed to serve this vulnerable population. It is challenging enough for an adult to leave a destructive relationship, but it is daunting to do so with children and youth who may or may not understand the gravity of the situation.
Our new shelter will be able to serve the children at each developmental stage while their parent or caregiver receives the support to begin again. We are so grateful for our dedicated staff at Catholic Charities who accompany our brothers and sisters, as well as for our benefactors whose generosity allows us to further our mission to serve and empower. Together we are a visible sign of Christ’s love.
The facility will be divided into three main functions: the housing area, a childcare center and offices for the administrative staff. The shelter will include eight bedrooms beautifully designed to meet the individual needs of the family. Staff members will be housed on-site to assist victims 24-hours a day. Other amenities will include a therapeutic group and counseling area, a suite of offices to assist victims, a family room, dining area and bathing facilities. The shelter will be confidentially located and will serve Copiah, Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Issaquena, Sharkey, Simpson, Yazoo and Warren counties.
The childcare program will offer individual and therapeutic groups/intervention to 35 children ranging in ages from six weeks to 12-years old. Trained staff and teachers will work in the program. The childcare program will offer enrichment activities with a well-designed playground in the rear of the building. Finally, a commercial-grade food preparation area will be onsite to prepare meals and snacks for the victims and children.
Work continues to make the shelter both safe and welcoming. The next step is to find partners in that effort. Contact the program directors for more information on how your parish, school, youth group or office can help in the final touches by calling 601-326-3714 or 601-326-3758.
Those who wish to help can also participate in the Purple Dress Run, an evening 5-K walk and run, Thursday, Oct. 19, at Hal and Mal’s in downtown Jackson. Register online by clicking the icon at www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org.
By Maureen Smith
MADISON – One hundred thirty catechists from across the diocese attended a day-long gathering at St. Joseph School on Saturday, Sept. 30. Fall Faith Formation Day took the Diocese of Jackson’s Pastoral Priorities as its inspiration, offering as its theme: inspire, embrace, serve. When the diocese launched a new set of priorities last year, Bishop Kopacz and his team framed them around a new vision statement to Inspire Disciples, Embrace Diversity and Serve Others.
Fran Lavelle, director of Faith Formation for the diocese, has been anxious to offer catechists an opportunity to get together. “We wanted to make sure everybody in the formational ministries had a chance to be part of a day that maximized our opportunity to bring in some good speakers and it has given us some great ideas for what we want to do next year,” she added.
Jim Schellman, former director of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, took on the inspire theme, offering a plenary session called ‘A people on the way.’ Schellman is nationally known for his work in the catechumenate and liturgy. Father Joseph Brown, SJ, used his plenary session to talk about embracing diversity. He wrapped his talk around traditional spirituals, music and storytelling. Slaves, he said, sang because they had faith. He called on the audience to remember “how we were all slaves and strangers in a strange land,” as we are connected to the Israelite tradition.
Father Brown said we have to stop calling groups other than our own ‘them’ and try to find ways to tell and listen to the stories everyone has to tell.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz closed the day with the theme of service. He spoke about his work with Catholic Charities, the most visible direct service arm of the Catholic Church.
Between the plenary sessions, attendees could select breakout sessions, which included: youth liturgy, led by Father Jason Johnston, on faculty at St. Joseph High School; creative catechesis led by Jessica McMillan, coordinator for youth ministry at McComb St. Alphonsus Parish; adult faith formation, offered by Wes Williams, who leads several faith enrichment and formation programs at his parish of Madison St. Francis. Father Brown and Schellman also hosted breakouts.
Carrie Lambert, youth minister at Natchez Basilica of St. Mary, enjoyed creative catechesis. “You need to find God everywhere you are and in everything you do. You need to look for him in ways that you wouldn’t think of necessarily so you can reach your youth – whether it’s the little ones or the teens – you find that kernel in there, find a way to get their attention and make it applicable to them. That’s what I love,” she said.
Gladys Russell, Jackson Holy Family Parish coordinator for youth, attended the breakout on liturgy where Father Jason discussed how understanding the liturgy is key to getting young people really involved. “One of the points we need to get across to our youth is the idea of giving of ourselves as Christ gave of himself for us,” she said.
Arista Evans from Canton Holy Child Jesus echoed that sentiment and appreciated the time she could spend with other youth ministers. “I want to get more ideas and find ways to bring the kids closer to Christ and give them a meaning and a reason for wanting to come to Mass instead of because their Mama is making them. I also wanted to get ideas on how to get the parents more involved with bringing their kids to Mass, because they can’t come to Mass unless their parents bring them,” said Evans.
Several catechists who attended Williams’ breakout session said they enjoyed hearing about different programs he has utilized. “He told his own story which was fascinating to follow. He said about five percent of Catholics are involved. Most come to Mass to put in their time. To get them to be missionary disciples takes a lot of work,” said Sister Lael Niblick, CSA, lay ecclesial minister from Amory St. Helen Parish.
“I was interested in learning ways to attract young professionals, just like the speaker, who had grown up Catholic, but no longer owned their faith. He spoke about living through jarring experiences that call your attention. For him it was the death of his father,” explained Joyce Brasfield-Adams of Jackson Holy Family.
Brasfield-Adams praised the day overall, saying it is good for catechists to share their journey with one another. “It’s important that we have sessions like these where we are able to get together to be fed; where we learn something for ourselves. As catechetical leaders, we try so hard to give something to someone else that I wanted something for me,” she explained.
BROOKHAVEN – Father Henry Shelton, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, offers Mass and anointing of the sick monthly for seniors of the parish. The August celebration included lunch. (Photo by Christine Annafiorella)