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.

Shaw’s spaghetti success

SHAW – St. Francis of Assisi Parish hosted a spaghetti supper Saturday, Oct. 22. Barbara Faccini reports that volunteers dished about 1,400 plates of spaghetti between dine-in and take-out orders. She said everyone in the parish helped so the event turned into something of a homecoming. Above, Father Peter Nguyen, SVD, associate pastor, is visible in the serving line. (Photo submitted by Barbara Faccini)

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
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,
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 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
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
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.

Hands-on Learning takes center stage at Annunciation

COLUMBUS – Annunciation school kindergarten students “stomp” through the hallways for their annual dino parade on Wednesday, Oct. 4. When the students complete their studies of the prehistoric beasts, they get to dress up and act out a little. (Photos by Katie Fenstermacher)

COLUMBUS –Father Jeffrey Waldrep shows second-grade students how a baby is baptised during a role-play exercise at Annunciation School.

Eagles soar to league championship

MADISON –The St. Anthony School football team won the Central Mississippi Elementary Football League Championship for the second year in a row. The fifth and sixth grade Eagles played the fifth and sixth grade Christ Covenant Warriors on Bill Rafael field at St. Joseph Catholic School on Tuesday, October 10. Both teams came to the championship game undefeated and played a tough game. (Photos by Kristian Beatty)


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)

Delta parishes welcome Young Woman of Grace program

GREENWOOD – During the first weekend of October, 12 girls from three parishes gathered at Locus Benedictus retreat center for their first of five overnight sessions of the Young Women of Grace study program. The study, designed for girls ages 12 and older, teaches young women how to discern their purpose and mission in the world, and to find true fulfillment. It is based on an adult study program of the same name and uses a magazine-style workbook packed with facts, testimonials and stories of saints and other Catholic role models.
The retreat began with dinner on Friday at 6 p.m. and included Mass and reconciliation.. On Saturday morning after breakfast the girls gathered at the Mary, Mother of the Delta Shrine for a time of meditation and prayer.
In this first session of Young Women of Grace, the girls learned they have a special call from God and about the gifts of women to influence the world. In addition, they learned about Saints Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and Madeline Sophie Barat.
The monthly sessions will continue until April 2018. For more information on the Women of Grace or the Young Women of Grace, visit the website,
(Story submitted by Tara Trost)