Diocese of Jackson joins national giving campaign again

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – #iGiveCatholic, a 24-hour donation blitz, is set for Tuesday, Nov. 28. The idea came out of a group of who donors decided they wanted to combat the commercialism of the holiday season by focusing on philanthropy. So, they founded Giving Tuesday to counter Black Friday.
Last year, the Office of Stewardship and Development sponsored the Diocese of Jackson’s participation in #iGiveCatholic for the first time, allowing any parish, mission or school to sign up for free. Each group selects a particular project for which they are raising money.

To donate, go to www.igivecatholic.org. Select Diocese of Jackson and all these organizations will appear. Throughout the day, donors can check on the progress of each campaign and ask others to support their cause.

Vocation week starts with pair of breakfast gatherings

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON / OXFORD – To kick off National Vocations Week, two parishes hosted brunches to raise money for seminary education. Oxford St. John Parish hosted the final Seminarian Education Challenge brunch.
Supporters gathered Saturday, Nov. 4, for Mass and brunch where Deacon Aaron Williams shared his vocation journey and thanked attendees for their support.
Proceeds from the Oxford brunch will go towards the Catholic Extension Challenge to raise $100,000 by the end of the year in order to earn a partial matching grant of $25,000.
The following day, St. Richard Parish welcomed Deacon Nick Adam back for the annual Msgr. Glynn Seminarian Brunch. Andrew Nguyen, who is also supported by the parish, attended as well. Deacon Nick thanked the parish for their support. The Knights of Columbus and the vocations committee at St. Richard have hosted this brunch for many years as a way to raise awareness of the need for local vocations and money to support those studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Jackson.
Its not too late to support the Seminarian Education Challenge. The effort is only $18,000 shy of its goal and every gift will count.
Contact Rebecca Harris at 601-960-8477, rebecca.harris@jacksondiocese.org or download the app Givelify to make a donation.


El obispo Kopacz habla en solidaridad con los soñadores

El Obispo Joseph Kopacz hizo la siguiente declaración el jueves 2 de noviembre en apoyo de los “soñadores,” personas traídas a los Estados Unidos cuando eran niños y que desean seguir un camino hacia la ciudadanía. Mientras el presidente Donald Trump y los miembros del Congreso luchan contra los problemas de inmigración, los obispos y otros líderes religiosos alzan la voz a favor de la compasión, la razón y una reforma significativa. El obispo envió copias de esta declaración a las parroquias que sirven a las poblaciones hispanas en la diócesis de Jackson, ofreciendo a los pastores la opción de compartirla con sus comunidades.

Queridos amigos en Cristo,
Con el paso del tiempo desde el 5 de septiembre y la decisión de la Acción Diferida para Llegadas en la Infancia, DACA, aquellos que no se ven afectados directamente pueden ser arrullados en el sueño de que esta crisis ha pasado. Todos los que se ven directamente afectados, ya sea personalmente o con un familiar, amigo o vecino, saben de manera diferente. A menos que esta realidad sea abordada justa y exhaustivamente por el Congreso de los Estados Unidos en marzo de 2018, esta decisión presidencial se convertirá en una crisis para todos los Soñadores afectados, así como todas sus vidas se verán negativamente afectadas, especialmente los miembros de la familia.
Como obispo de la diócesis de Jackson, me solidarizo con mis hermanos obispos en todos los Estados Unidos, junto con todos los Soñadores para quienes esta nación es la única patria que conocen. Ustedes han vivido aquí la mayor parte de sus vidas, fueron educados aquí, trabajan aquí, y muchos de ustedes han defendido a nuestra nación en los Servicios Armados, todo lo cual es para decir que han soñado aquí y han estado construyendo una vida para ustedes mismos mientras contribuyen al bienestar de nuestra nación. La diócesis de Jackson se solidariza con ustedes, les da la bienvenida, ora con ustedes y por ustedes, y defenderá una decisión legal justa cuando el Congreso de los Estados Unidos aborde este tema crítico de integridad e identidad nacional. Ustedes son nuestros hermanos y hermanas en el Señor Jesús, miembros de la Iglesia Católica y la familia de Dios, y trabajaremos para mantener su dignidad y el lugar que les corresponde en nuestra nación.
En la paz de Cristo,
Obispo Joseph Kopacz

2017 Diocese of Jackson Seminarians

The Diocese of Jackson currently has 10 men in discernment for the priesthood serving in parishes or studying at one of three seminaries. Please keep them in your prayers. Anyone interested in learning more about vocations in our diocese can find contacts and details on the vocations page of the website: www.http://jacksondiocese.org/about/offices/vocations/

Deacons to be ordained May 31, 2018
Deacon Nicholas Adam
Deacon Aaron Williams

Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, La
Mark Shoffner
Adolfo Suarez Pasillas
César Sánchez Fermín
Franklin Eke
Andrew Nguyen

Sacred Heart Seminary, Franklin, Wis.
Carlisle Beggerly

St. Joseph Seminary College, St. Benedict, La.
Andrew Bowden
Tristan Stovall

L-R bottom: Adolfo Suarez Pasillas, Mark Shoffner, Deacon Nicholas Adam, Bishop Joseph Kopacz, Deacon Aaron Williams, Andrew Nguyen, 2nd and 3rd row Andrew Bowden, Franklin Eke, group of Knights of Columbus 2nd row on left Tristan Stovall.

New Hope Village relaunched with new name, ownership, management

By Maureen Smith
HOLLY SPRINGS – The Diocese of Jackson, Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM) and a newly formed 501c-3 charity have partnered to create a new ministry in Marshall County. Bishop Joseph Kopacz joined Father Jack Krups, SCJ, executive director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions, Father Thi Pham, pastoral leader for the area, and the SHSM board on Friday, Nov. 3, to bless and dedicate the Bishop William Houck New Hope Village.
The village has been in the community for many years. According to Lyle Hennen, one of the original founders, a group of business owners and community leaders came together in 1996 to purchase a motel complex and turn it into a homeless shelter. The collection of small cottages offered separate housing units for homeless men and women as well as a clothes closet and small food pantry. The group let businesses or church groups sponsor one building at a time for renovations.
The Knights of Columbus and Mens’ Club from Olive Branch Queen of Peace Parish would often help with donations. “Two years ago we decided to renovate a couple of the units,” said Jeff Bell, who was just a volunteer at that time. He is now the manager of New Hope Village. “We had to gut them to the studs because we found black mold and water damage throughout,” he explained. The volunteers also discovered that the charity was having a hard time keeping its doors opened.
The Diocese of Jackson stepped in to help create the new partnership. The diocese purchased the property. Bell acts as director under the new 501c-3. SHSM took over the food pantry and offered to help with some social services. “The work of Sacred Heart Southern Missions and Bishop Houck New Hope Village complement each other well,” said Father Krups. “We both offer vital services to support those who are most vulnerable — thus strengthening the fabric of the entire community,” he added.
“New Hope can put a roof over their heads, which is a good start, but we can help with the bigger picture,” explained Laura Grisham, SHSM development director. The missions already runs several food pantries so its employees are familiar with federal rules and best practices. They have a social service office at Holly Springs St. Joseph Parish so they can offer the long-term assistance many people need to step out of an emergency situation and into a recovery plan.
“Once we get them in the shelter, then they can come to the food pantry and get some food. We have training programs and resume help so we can assist them in getting a job. We can do more than just house them. This partnership can help people get back on their feet,” said Grisham.
Last summer the diocese took over the property and offered Bell the job of fixing it up and getting the operation back up and running. He lives in one of the units and has committed to live onsite for a year. He said the next step is to get community support. “We are trying to get the facility to a point where we can show it to the community and share our vision of what it could be so we can get the local churches, civic and county leaders involved.” The operation has a board at the diocesan level, but Bell is working to create a local advisory board. These board members would help with volunteers and fund-raising to hire more staff.

“This will continue the vision we had for the outreach to the poor of five counties in northern Mississippi,” said Hennen.
Currently two families and a handful of single men and single women are staying on the site. New Hope offers immediate overnight housing to anyone, but people can request to stay for 90 days. “During that time, the residents meet with me every week to tell me what they are doing to find a job,” said Bell. They can also take advantage of the social service office. If someone secures a job, but just can’t afford housing yet, they can apply to stay for up to nine months while they save money and seek housing.
“We are trying to give people a little breathing room – let them get a job and get a little money in their pockets without having to worry about rent or utilities for a little while,” said Bell. Several units on the site are still under renovation and Bell has plans to turn a larger building into a larger-capacity shelter for women and children. He takes on each renovation as its own project so he can continue to expand as he builds partnerships with the community and his board.
Bell is a general contractor. His daughter has volunteered to help with intakes and paperwork while she finishes school, but he hopes to add staff as funding sources come online. The charity can now accept donations to an account housed at the Bank of Holly Springs. Look for a facebook page in the coming weeks to keep up with progress.

Bishop Kopacz schedule

Saturday, Nov. 10-19 – U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, General
Meeting, Baltimore, Md.
Saturday, Nov. 25, 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. – Confessions and Mass,
Jackson Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle
Sunday, Nov. 26, 9 a.m. – Feast Day Mass, Jackson Christ the King Parish
Thursday, Nov. 30 – Senior class visits, Natchez Cathedral School
Monday, Dec. 4 – Senior class visits, Madison St. Joseph School
Tuesday, Dec. 5 – Mass and visitation, Parchman Federal Penitentiary
Thursday, Dec. 7 – Senior class visits, Vicksburg Catholic School

Only public events are listed on this schedule and all events are subject to change.
Please check with the local parish for further details

Parish calendar of events


BROOKSVILLE Dwelling Place Retreat Center, “Praying Scripture through Lectio Divina,” an ancient practice of reading and praying Scripture, November 10-11, begins with 6:30 p.m. supper. There will be group time and periods of silence. Presenters: Mary Louise Jones and Claudia Addison. They facilitate a Lectio group at St. Richard. Donation: $180. Details: (662) 738-5348 or dwellpl@gmail.com.
CULLMAN, Ala., Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, Intensive Centering Prayer Weekend, November 10-12. Develop further the discipline of Centering Prayer and deepening your relationship with God. Prerequisite: Introduction to Centering Prayer. Cost: Private room $245. Details: contact Sister Magdalena Craig, OSB at (256) 615-6114, www.shmon.org.
LAFAYETTE Louisiana, Holy Spirit Women’s Retreat, January 26-28, 2018, Dr. Mary Healy and Father Bill Henry will be featured at the annual Holy Spirit Women’s Retreat at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette, LA. The theme is “Gather in Upper Room with Mary.” There will also be a Life in the Spirit Seminar presented by Deacon Larry Oney, his wife Andi, and the CCRNO Team. Patti Mansfield will also be featured. This retreat is sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO) and serves hundreds of women from throughout the Gulf South. Weekend and Saturday commuters are welcome. Register online at www.ccrno.org or call (504) 828-1368.


AMORY St. Helen, Parish Christmas dinner for all adults, Saturday, December 9. Annual celebration and honoring of grandparents will be at Mass on Sunday, December 10. Details: church office (662) 256-8392.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis of Assisi, Knights of Columbus spaghetti dinner, Thursday, November 16, 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Pick up or dine in, Serio Hall. Cost: $9.00 per plate. Local delivery for six or more plates. Details: church office (601) 833-179.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Angel Tree. Outreach committee invites all to take part in this benefit for needy families for Christmas. During Advent, the tree with names and needs will be set up in the church entry. Details: church office (662) 846-6273.
GRENADA St. Peter, Couples Gathering beginning monthly in January, possibly on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. rotating houses where the meeting is held. We will start with a book study on “Climbing the Mountain,” one of the Lay Apostle books. Books will have to be ordered by Dec 1. Details: Annette Tipton (662) 226-2490.
JACKSON St. Richard, Father Edward “Monk” Malloy, C.S.C., will speak December 8-9 in Glynn Hall on “Christian Perspectives on War and Peace.” Father Malloy served as the 16th president of the University of Notre Dame from 1987 to 2005. He now serves as President Emeritus and is a full professor in the Department of Theology. Details: church office (601) 366-2335.
LELAND St. James, Benefit Fish Fry for James “Jamie” Rutland, Jr., Thursday, November 16 from 5-7 p.m. at the parish hall. Cost: $10 per plate. Donations may be mailed to the church or dropped off at the church office. Details: church office (662) 686-7352.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, High School seniors are invited to take a Bible Break every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at M7 Coffee House in Ridgeland. Seniors are also invited to choose WOW on Wednesdays 6:30 – 8 p.m. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.
– St. Anthony School, 9th annual Starry Night Gala, Saturday, December 9, 7-11 p.m. Live music, live and silent auctions, raffles, food. Details: Jennifer Schmidt, (601) 214-9656 or Jenniferschmidt819@yahoo.com
MERIDIAN St. Patrick, 20th Annual Musical and Variety Show, fashion show and dinner, Saturday, November 18, 6 p.m. Tickets: Reserved seating, $20; Adults open seating, $10 and children through high school, $5. Proceeds benefit St. Patrick School. Tickets available in the parish office or school office. Details: Dan Santiago (601) 917-7364 and Mary Yarger (601) 482-6044 for reserved tickets.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Parish Blood Drive, Tuesday, November 28, 12-5:30 p.m. at the O’Connor Family Life Center, Details: Regina Mardis at church office (601) 445-5616; Susan Nielsen (504) 258-6940 or online sign-up at www.unitedbloodservices.org.
PEARL St. Jude, Women’s Retreat, Saturday, November 18, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. “Spirituality for our Everyday Lives.” Retreat Leader: Father Lincoln Dall. Snacks and lunch will be provided. Sign-up sheets after Masses. Details: call Kelly at the church office (601) 939-3181.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, History and implementation of the RCIA catechist certification class begins Tuesday, November 14, in the Parish Office from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Details: church office (662) 746-1680.


A caption in the Oct. 27 Mississippi Catholic incorrectly identified a speaker at the diocesan Encuentro. Seminarian César Sánchez Fermín was leading the presentation in the photo. We apologize for the error.

Lunardini to join Catholic Charities as COO

By Maureen Smith

John Lunardini, Catholic Charities COO

JACKSON – John Lunardini will step into the role of Chief Operating Officer at Catholic Charities, Inc., in Jackson on Monday, Nov. 20. Lunardini comes from the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association where he was the communications and business development director. Prior to his work in healthcare, he managed grants and programs for the Hinds County Human Resource Agency as the vice president of community programs.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz will remain at the agency as executive director, while Lunardini takes over much of the day-to-day work of operations and supervision. “John brings with him a wealth of experience in management, communications, IT and business development,” said Bishop Kopacz. “We are so glad he responded to the call,” he added.
Bishop Kopacz has been the executive director for about a year-and-a-half. “I am grateful that I got this opportunity to get an inside view of the operations at Charities. It is a good thing for a bishop to truly be immersed in the ministries of his diocese,” said the bishop. While he has enjoyed his tenure, Bishop Kopacz is happy to welcome a partner in the work.
Lunardini is a Jackson native and graduate of St. Richard and St. Joseph Catholic schools, but was not raised Catholic. His two children currently attend St. Richard and he and his wife love the community there. “We started digging down into ourselves to try and discover what we really wanted in our life,” he explained. They completed classes for the rite of Christian initiation for adults (RCIA) at Gluckstadt St. Joseph Parish and entered the church a few years ago. “It was one of the best things we have ever done as a family,” he said.
Lunardini was not looking for a job, but his wife saw an announcement about the Catholic Charities position in their bulletin and urged him to apply. “Not only am I looking forward to being able to serve the greater good, but to be able to combine that with my faith – that’s not something everyone gets to do.”
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has had a tremendous impact on Lunardini’s faith development. He says integrating the seven principles of CST is at the core of what he believes Catholic Charities does. He believes they transcend politics and give the faithful a way to connect with the world at large.
“I think we should be asking how we can talk to people about these seven core issues – they are not just Catholic issues, they are issues of life, they are for everybody,” he explained. The seven principles proclaim the life and dignity of the human person; a call to family, community and participation; rights and responsibilities; preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity and care for God’s creation.
Lunardini’s approach to management comes from an African proverb popularized by Boston Celtics player Doc Rivers, Ubuntu. It roughly translates to “I am because we are.” To Lunardini, this means the success of Catholic Charities is predicated on the success of each person and program in the agency. Part of the philosophy calls for individuals to consciously and actively encourage one other and find ways to partner to make the overall organization stronger. Since Catholic Charities operates a number of diverse programs, this support is crucial.
(Editor’s note: the press deadline for this edition of Mississippi Catholic was too close for complete coverage of the Journey of Hope events. Look for stories in the next edition.)

Students urged to consider vocation during campus ministry retreat

By Maureen Smith

College students play an ‘icebreaker’ game with marshmallows as part of their fall retreat at Tishomingo State Park the last weekend in September. (Photos by Dawn McGinley)

TISHOMINGO – Three dozen college students from Mississippi State University and the Mississippi University for Women spent the weekend of Sept. 30- Oct 1 in Tishomingo State Park participating in the campus ministry fall retreat. Father Rusty Vincent, diocesan coordinator for college campus ministry, planned the weekend around the theme GPS, guidance, purpose, sent.
“The way myself and the team came to the theme was a discussion about many of the students need help finding direction in life,” explained Father Vincent. “Guidance was about discernment and how God is seeking to guide us in our lives. For purpose we divided the students into men and women, and we had talks about who we are and how that comes together with our discernment.”
“Being sent was meant to show that once we get clarity with our purpose, we are called to go into our world and our lives and share that joy with others,” he wrote in an email to Mississippi Catholic.

More than 30 students participated in the retreat with the theme GPS, guidance, purpose, sent.

He said the retreat team was hoping the students would consider the idea of discerning God’s will as they make decisions about their next steps in life. Dawn McGinley, coordinator for campus ministry at Mississippi State, said she feels blessed every day to work with Father Vincent and was excited to present the retreat.



Parishes take celebrations outside to honor Mary in October

By Maureen Smith
October is the month of the rosary and this year marked the 100th anniversary of Mary’s appearances in Fatima. Many parishes took advantage of cooler weather and clear skies to host outdoor celebrations honoring the Blessed Mother.
On the feast of the Holy Rosary, members of Grenada St. Peter Parish dedicated a new outdoor rosary garden. Their celebration included a rosary procession.
In Crystal Springs, Jackson and Natchez, several parishes took their beads outside, offering rosaries the weekend of Oct. 14-15 in honor of the Fatima anniversary. Even the cloistered community of Carmelite sisters in Jackson offered a rosary from their lawn.
A few pastors tied their prayers to the consecration of the diocese to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which took place Sunday, Oct. 8. Bishop Joseph Kopacz urged pastors to consecrate their parishes as well. The effort places the new Pastoral Priorities in the care of Mary as parishes and pastors convene teams to work on their goals for thier communities.

NATCHEZ – Catholics from all area parishes gathered at the park near the Basilica of St. Mary to honor the Fatima anniversary with a rosary on Saturday, Oct. 14. (Photo courtesy of Regina Mardis)

GRENADA – Father Aroika Savio, pastor of St. Peter, leads the rosary procession to the new rosary garden behind the church. He was assisted by parishioner Madeline Liberto. (photo by Michael Liberto)

CRYSTAL SPRINGS – The community from St. John and St. Martin parishes prayed the rosary in downtown Crystal Springs on Saturday, Oct. 14, to mark 100 years since Mary appeared to a trio of children in Fatima, Portugal. More than three dozen parishioners participated in the procession and rosary. (Photo by Janice Stansell)