Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich: first beatification celebrated in U.S.

By Al Frank
NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) — Although Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was personally unassuming, the spiritual impact she had on other Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth was so unmistakable that they began the effort to have her canonized soon after her May 8, 1927, death in Paterson.

(CNS Photo)

(CNS Photo)

Her cause will advance Oct. 4, when she will be declared Blessed Miriam Teresa at a beatification Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. She will be the first American to be beatified in the United States.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will celebrate the Mass, joined by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, Paterson Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli and Bishop Kurt Burnette, head of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic.
The church leaders represent local churches that all claim the daughter of Slovakian immigrants — she was born in Bayonne, baptized in the Eastern Catholic Church and educated at St. Elizabeth College in Morris Township, where her remains are entombed in the chapel of her congregation’s motherhouse.
Cardinal Amato will read the declaration of beatification near the beginning of Mass after a short biography is read and a portrait of her is unveiled.
Many Sisters of Charity plan to attend the liturgy, which will include a procession with a reliquary containing locks of Sister Miriam’s reddish brown hair, cut after her death of appendicitis at age 26.
Sister Miriam was known for her bad eyesight, and her intercession was invoked for Michael Mencer, a New Jersey boy who was going blind. His complete cure in 1964 was authenticated by the Vatican as having no medical explanation and was endorsed by Pope Francis in December.
In general, one confirmed miracle is needed for beatification and a second such miracle for canonization.
The youngest of seven, Sister Miriam delayed college to care for her invalid mother, who died when “Treat” — as Sister Miriam was called — was 18. Because of her poor eyesight, she was rejected by the convent of contemplatives she wanted to enter before she joined a teaching community.
“Miriam’s life of aligning her life to the will of God is a model for all of us,” said Sister Mary Canavan, a former general superior of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth who is the fourth sister to serve as vice postulator of Sister Miriam’s cause.
“I don’t know if we need another saint in the church per se, except that her message that we all are called to holiness is significant to everyone in this troubled world, because it will take all of us to help bring about the reign of God,” Sister Mary told the New Jersey Catholic, Newark’s archdiocesan magazine.
Sister Mary also noted that Sister Miriam embraced selflessness and had an acute awareness of God’s presence in her life.
Because she was baptized in the Eastern Catholic Church, her cause also is championed by the Eparchy of Passaic, which has jurisdiction over the Byzantine churches from Maine to Florida. Also endorsing the cause is the Archdiocese of Newark, where Bayonne is located, and the Diocese of Paterson, whose territory includes the Chapel of the Holy Family in the Convent Station section of Morris Township, where Sister Miriam’s body is entombed.
Sister Miriam was said to be aware of a special call at age 3. “Even before she entered the Sisters of Charity, she was living a saintly life,” Sister Mary said.
After graduating second in her class from Bayonne High School in 1917, she cared for her mother and her family for two years before enrolling at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station.
She majored in literature and graduated in 1923 with highest honors “but was in a state of perplexity as to the future,” according to a biography by Sister Mary Zita Geis, a Sister of Charity.
Sister Miriam was drawn to a contemplative Carmelite community in New York but was rejected because her poor eyesight would have prevented her from helping with the sewing of the liturgical vestments the nuns made to support themselves.
The Sisters of Charity hired her to teach Latin and English at the Academy of St. Aloysius in Jersey City, which closed in 2006. She left teaching to care for her ill father, who operated a shoe repair business and after he died, she entered the Sisters of Charity novitiate in 1925.
In the winter of 1927, she was hospitalized several times and so, when she complained of pain just a few months later, her superiors suspected hypochondria. When she was again hospitalized, it was for acute appendicitis. She died just after taking her vows as a fully professed sister.
Only after her death did confidantes reveal she had described having a vision of Mary in her sophomore year and of walking with St. Therese, which  occurred during her novitiate.
On her body’s return to Convent Station from the hospital, one of the sisters cut locks of her hair. After her burial, visitors began chipping pieces from the granite cross at her grave.
Sister Mary said her work on Sister Miriam’s cause has helped her to better understand the Gospel message “Many are called, but few are chosen,” which she said is embodied in Sister Miriam, an example of living a holy life.
(Frank is editor of the New Jersey Catholic magazine and associate publisher of The Catholic Advocate, the news outlets of the Archdiocese of Newark.)
(Copyright © 2014 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news services may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to, such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method in whole or in part, without prior written authority of Catholic News Service.)

Brookhaven pastor seeks assistance for homeland

BROOKHAVEN – Father Alphonse Arulanandu, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, is asking for help for the people of his homeland who are facing a natural disaster familiar to many in Mississippi, severe flooding.
Father Arulanandu is from the Catholic diocese of Jammu-Srinagar. The diocese has missions in all three regions flooded right now – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. His bishop, Bishop Peter Celestine, sent a letter detailing the damage and asking the priests from his diocese serving abroad for help.
“The flood has hit five missions in Jammu region, namely, Mandal, Akalpur, Poonch and Rajouri leaving complete or partial devastation of Christian houses, school and church buildings along with many people.


This aerial view taken Sept. 10 shows houses submerged by floodwater in Srinagar, India. While nearly 250 people have perished in the floods following rains in the Kashmir Valley in the foothills of the Himalayas, more than 700,000 people have been maroo ned on rooftops, trees and hills since Sept. 7. (CNS photo/EPA; cover photo – CNS photo/Reuters)

The missions in Kashmir are located in flood-hit Srinagar and Baramulla. In Srinagar there are two educational institutions, namely, Presentation Convent School and Burn Hall School which are submerged up to the first floor (18-20 feet). As per the last communication we had with the priests and sisters, they have taken shelter in attics of the school buildings. They still await for rescue team for evacuation, even after five days. The mission has also 32 catholic families within the vicinity of Srinagar city and they too are affected badly. As per reports coming in, the Holy Family Catholic Church located in Srinagar city also has submerged in water. There are no whereabouts of the priests residing in priest house in the church campus.”
Bishop Joseph Kopacz has approved a special collection in Brookhaven for the people of the Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar, and invites all the faithful to contribute as well. Checks can be directed to the Diocese of Jackson, PO box 2130, Jackson, MS, 39201. Please mark that the donation is for flood victims in the Diocese of Jammu- Srinagar.
Nationally, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has appealed to Catholics to mobilize funds and materials to augment church relief work in northern Jammu and Kashmir state, devastated by floods.
While nearly 250 people have perished in the floods following torrential rains in the Kashmir Valley in the foothills of the Himalayas, more than 700,000 people have been marooned on rooftops, trees and hills since Sept. 7.
Media reported that the casualty figures could mount as many areas have no communication links and the extent of death and devastation is not known yet. Even in the state capital, Srinagar, floodwaters had risen up to the fourth floor of buildings, and some people had to swim to safety.
The bishops’ Sept. 10 appeal expressed “sympathy and solidarity with those thousands of people who lost their homes, shelters and other establishments due to the unprecedented deluge,” the worst in 60 years.
In the appeal to the bishops and other leaders of the church, the conference president, Cardinal Baselios Thottunkal, exhorted “the community of faithful, institutions and people of good will to contribute generously to rebuild the lives of the people.”
With heavy presence of security forces in the Kashmir region plagued by Islamic militancy, security forces have been leading the evacuation of the marooned people by boat or by airlifting them.
Caritas India, social action wing of the Indian church, said people are “with no means to communicate their location to the rescuers as the power and telephone lines (including) mobile links are down for three days in a row.”
Father Frederick D’Souza, director of Caritas India, told Catholic News Service his agency also already helped 4,000 affected families.
“Five members of our emergency team are in Kashmir now assessing the situation. They are in touch with government officials to coordinate the relief work,” he said. Babita Alick, Caritas India’s team leader for disaster management, told CNS that “two Caritas staff who flew to (worst-hit) Srinagar could not move out of the airport surrounded by floodwater. They were stranded there for two days.”
“Based on results of the assessment, CRS will provide emergency relief to address priority unmet needs,” Castleman said.
(Anto Akkara of Catholic News Service contributed to this report)
(Copyright © 2014 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news services may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to, such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method in whole or in part, without prior written authority of Catholic News Service.)

Bishop Kopacz learns about `office’

ROME –  Bishop Joseph Kopacz is spending 10 days in Rome, Italy, learning about the role and responsibilities of a bishop and the Office of Bishop in the Catholic Church.
Newly ordained bishops are invited by the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops to attend the seminar held at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum on the outskirts of Rome. Located along the Via Aurelia, a few miles to the southwest of Vatican City, the Athenaeum is directed by the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.
The school for bishops has been conducted for more than 30 years. It is an effort to allow new bishops to be immersed in their new ministry in the episcopacy.
After Morning Prayer and Mass, these bishops from around the world spend several hours in lectures and discussions on the various aspects of the office of bishop. The lectures are given in Italian and bishops not fluent in Italian listen to interpreters through headphones. Time is given for questions and discussion after each presentation.
In a recent email from Rome, Bishop Kopacz remarked, “We have four sessions of nearly two hours each per day. They have been substantial and the most recent one was on the Sacred Liturgy, the Bishop as Sanctifier.”
Other topics include episcopal spirituality, episcopal governance, fraternity with and care for priests, use of the media for evangelization, and relations with eastern churches .
During down time, Bishop Kopacz planned to visit sites in Rome and take in the culture and history of the Eternal City. When he returns to the diocese he hopes to share his experiences in his column for Mississippi Catholic. This week we are featuring Father Robert Barron, of WordonFire, a global media ministry, in Bishop Kopacz’ place.
At press time, the new bishops were scheduled to have an audience with Pope Francis on Sept. 18, the last day of the seminar. Bishop Kopacz will return on Friday, Sept. 19, and spend the weekend installing Father Xavier Amirtham, OPraem, as new pastor at Holy Family Parish in Jackson and conferring the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for seminarian Jason Johnston at St. Paul Parish in Vicksburg.

Special Collection aids Christians in Middle East

BALTIMORE – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has committed an initial $1 million in private funding to help victims of the escalating violence in northern Iraq. With the help of service partners in Iraq, CRS is currently providing food, water and essential living supplies to families in desperate need of the essentials.
Over the next six months, CRS hopes to more than double the initial $1 million commitment and help an additional 30,000 people with social support and trauma counseling, education for children and preparation for longer-term resettlement. The Diocese of Jackson will take up a collection the weekend of Sept. 27-28, to help Catholic agencies in the Middle East assist with humanitarian aid.


Children flee violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar, Iraq, Aug. 10. Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 Yezidi ethnic minorities, an Iraqi human rights minister said. (CNS photo/Rodi Said, Reuters)

CRS worker Caroline Brennan filed the following report from a refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq:
The news from Iraq can be terrifying from a distance. But up close and in person, Iraqi families could not be more gracious, welcoming and kind — despite the dire backdrop in which they are living.
In a tent where the heat is sweltering and water is in scarce supply, you are offered a bottle of cold water. Under an open sky where a family — who lived in a nice home less than a month ago, and today lives under a tree — you are graciously offered tea. Above all, you are offered apologies that they are not able to offer you anything more.
The humanitarian crisis facing Iraqi families here is something that was unimaginable for many of them just months ago. Since January of this year, 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced within their country. They come from diverse backgrounds — Christian, Yazidi, and Shia minorities; corporate jobs, farmers and day laborers; grandparents, college students and newborns. They have one thing in common: they have been targeted by the militant group the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), and have fled their homes in fear.
Many left in the middle of the night at a moment’s notice, crowded into small cars with a large number of family members, fleeing for safer cities like Erbil and Dohuk. They made it to some form of refuge after being robbed at check points and walking for hours or days. They find themselves in a life completely foreign to what they knew before.
Local Iraqi priests say all are welcome here for refuge, but their resources are stretched thin. CRS is working with the local Catholic Church and Caritas Iraq to provide relief and care for thousands in the area. To date, Caritas Iraq and CRS have provided living supplies to 4,350 displaced families in Erbil, Ninewa, Dahuk, Zakho and Amedi. But the needs are tremendous.


Displaced people stand outside their tent at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Ankawa, Iraq, Aug. 14. (CNS photo/courtesy Aid to the Church in Need-USA)

Fear looms for families who are uncertain what their options will be for the long term. For starters: School is to start in September, but tens of thousands of people have filled classrooms of school buildings that were closed for the summer. Many displaced children weren’t able to take their end of year exams back home so are uncertain they will be able to move up whenever schools do resume. It’s unclear when schools will reopen and, if so, where these families will go.
“We need to go to back to our homes. We want to be safe. We want to be able to go to Church,” says Mary, who now lives in a classroom with another family in Sarsang.
And, driving along the highways, you see hundreds of families, primarily Yazidi, living under overpasses or along the sides of the road.
No matter the backdrop, you are still welcomed with kindness, and offered what little families have from their abundance of their generosity.
“I don’t want you to feel sorry for me,” said Saddam, living in an abandoned building with his six children in Erbil. “I don’t want to hurt your heart. I’m sorry you are meeting me in this circumstance. This is not life, but we are breathing,” he says.
CRS and Caritas are opening a joint office in Erbil as a base for their expanding operations. Program priorities include: Food and shelter; water and sanitation; essential living supplies; psychological and social support; education for the thousands of internally displaced children who have missed months of school; and preparation for longer-term resettlement, including more permanent shelter and livelihood options, such as cash-for-work and vocational training.
(Copyright © 2014 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news services may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to, such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method in whole or in part, without prior written authority of Catholic News Service.)

Pope leads global student hangout

By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The wisdom of “It takes a village to raise a child” has been lost as kids are either overprotected by permissive parents or neglected, Pope Francis said. “The educational partnership has been broken” as families, schools and society are “no longer united together for the child,” he said Sept. 4 after holding his first Google Hangout — a live video conversation — across five continents with teenagers who belong to the international network of “Scholas occurentes,” uniting students of all faiths and cultures.


Pope Francis video chats with a Salvadoran student in the gang-infested neighborhood of La Campanera, San Salvador, Sept. 4. (CNS photo/ Jose Cabezas, Reuters)

Parents and teachers used to stick together to teach kids important values, the pope said, recalling when he got into trouble in the fourth grade. “I wasn’t respectful toward the teacher, and the teacher called my mother. My mother came, I stayed in class and the teacher stepped out, then they called for me,” he told a group of educators and experts involved with the worldwide Scholas network.
“My mom was really calm. I feared the worst,” he said. After getting him to admit to his wrongdoing, his mother told him to apologize to the teacher. The pope said he apologized and remembered “it was easy and I was happy. But there was an ‘Act Two’ when I got home,” insinuating stiffer punishment had followed.
However, today, “at least in lots of schools in my country,” if a teacher notes a problem with a student, “the next day, the mother and father denounce the teacher,” he said. The family, schools and culture have to work together for the well-being of the child, he said. People have to “rebuild this village in order to educate a child.”
All of society also needs to help children and young people who are homeless, exploited, victims of violence or without any prospects, he said. The pope pointed the blame on today’s “culture of disposal” and “the cult of money” for creating and perpetuating adults’ apathy to or complicity in the mistreatment of kids.
This is why “it’s very important to strengthen bonds: social, family and personal ties” with kids and young adults, and create an environment that helps them approach the world with “trust and serenity.” Otherwise, kids will be “left only with the path of delinquency and addiction,” he said. The pope’s comments came at the end of an afternoon encounter to launch — a new social network for students from all over the world to cooperate on environmental and social causes, sport and art initiatives, and charitable activities.
The Scholas initiative was begun in Buenos Aires and supported by its then-Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who also used to teach high school when he was a young Jesuit priest. When he became pope, he asked fellow Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, to expand the network’s reach and impact. With a small digital camera and studio lights aimed at him in the Vatican synod hall, the pope took questions from five Scholas members, who were linked in from Australia, Israel, Turkey, South Africa and El Salvador.
The pope urged the young people to build bridges through open and respectful communication, in which they listen carefully to others and exchange experiences, ideas and values.
(Copyright © 2014 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news services may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to, such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method in whole or in part, without prior written authority of Catholic News Service.)

Youth Briefs

CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories Parish, altar server training on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. for all current and new servers in fourth grade and up. Details: 662-846-6273.
COLUMBUS Annunciation, CYO blast off, Sunday, Sept. 21, from noon – 3 p.m. at Lake Lowndes. Details: Maria Dunser, 662-328-2927, ext. 12.

GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph Parish youth are encouraged to assist with game booths at Germanfest on Sunday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

PEARL St. Jude Parish youth in seventh-12th grade are invited to a special Respect Life event Saturday, Sept 27, at 9 a.m. Participants will work with the Knights of Columbus to prepare life crosses for October. After lunch the youth will go to Mac and Bones for a round of miniature golf.

RIDGELAND Holmes Community College  will offer ACT workshops on Saturday, Oct. 18, and on Jan. 31, and April 11, 2015. Details: Katrina Myricks, 601-605-3339,

TUPELO St. James Parish hosts “Freshman Forecast: The Journey Begins” a discussion session for seniors, Sunday, Sept. 28, from 2 – 6 p.m. in the CYO room. Details:  Dawn Steinman, 662-842-4881.

SENATOBIA The Northwest Mississippi Community College Catholic Student Association meets at 5:30 p.m. on the last Monday of the month at the McClendon Building, Room 130. Membership is open to students on any Northwest campus. Details: LaJuan Tallo, 662-816-1129.

St. Joseph junior named U.S. Senate page

MADISON – St. Joseph School junior Jack Hall was selected to serve as a page to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran during the spring semester. Hall is the first St. Joe student to receive such an honor. He will serve in the Senate from mid-January through mid-June 2005.



As a Senate page, Hall will attend classes in the Senate Page School from 6:15 – 9:30 a.m., or one hour before the Senate meets. Pages report for duty and work until about 5 p.m. or until the Senate adjourns for the day.
The Senate page program is limited to juniors who maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
At St. Joseph, Hall has been active with the Speech & Debate team and currently serves as sports editor of The Bear Facts, the school’s student newspaper.
Last spring, he was named the first recipient of the Orley Hood Sports Writer of the Year Award sponsored by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. The award was named after the late Orley Hood, a popular, longtime sports columnist with The Clarion-Ledger.

Faith traditions have deep roots in Mideast

Millennial Reflections
By Father Jeremy Tobin, O.Praem
This column has been percolating with me for some time as events in the Middle East grow consistently worse for Christians. In the West our understanding of Islam, much less Eastern Christianity, fails to grasp the seventh century split between Muslims: Shia and Sunni. With the disintegration of a pan-Arabic nationalism, after the American invasion of Iraq, these ancient religious animosities resurfaced. Christians and other minorities are suffering persecution from this regional religious war.
Our faith is a Middle Eastern religion. We sometimes forget that Jerusalem, not Rome, was the first center of our faith. It was from Jerusalem that the Apostles reached out to the world around them. Rome was the capital of the world. It was also the place where Christians were later fed to the lions.
It was in Antioch, in Syria, that we were first called ‘Christian.’ In Syria they celebrate Mass in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. Christianity spread both East and West from Jerusalem. Babylon, in what is now Iraq, was still a functioning city and both Jews and Christians lived there. The Jews composed the Babylonian Talmud while living there. The Talmud is a collection of commentaries on Scripture and Jewish law written by rabbis. Christians, too had a strong presence in the region, including thousands of monasteries. Basra, for instance, was a monastic city in Christian times. There was all this, and more, in the centuries before Mohamed.
When the Muslims came to power, they granted protection to the “religions of the book,” that is Jews and Christians. Jews and Christians had to pay a tax, but were allowed to run their institutions, churches and monasteries. The history of Eastern Christians to the present has been a history of generally amiable coexistence with the Muslim rulers. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the creation of modern Arab and non-Arab states in the region, and especially after WWII, a pan-Arabism brought people together, both Christian and Muslim. While this lasted, it was a time of peace for Christians. That is all gone now.
The region is rife with religious and tribal warfare. Ancient hatreds came to the surface. Fanatics kill Christians, seize everything they have, and destroy centuries-old churches, monasteries and shrines. As one Chaldean Christian reported, “For 1,600 years Christians have been in Mosul, now they are driven out!”  By the way, Chaldeans are under the jurisdiction of the Pope.
History has a way to create new memories and new realities. Our religious history separated Eastern and Western Christians. With the consolidation of the Muslim caliphates and the split between Rome and Constantinople, we in the West, disconnected ourselves from the fate of our Eastern brothers and sisters. Now is a good time to reclaim that history and remember we are all united in Christ, no matter where we live.
The Crusades were a total disaster for Eastern Christians, Muslims and Jews, and centuries later, the fallout lingers throughout the Middle East. In the West, more concerned by what separates us, we became oblivious of what unites us. We are at a point where Christianity could be eradicated from the place of its birth. That is a horrible thing to think of, that the religion of Jesus is no more in the region we read of daily in the Scripture.
Further, the Western powers who could do something do not have the fate of Christians at the top of their list. Pope Francis has been speaking out, pleading, calling for prayers to save “our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.” He continues to call world leaders to reach out with humanitarian aid to help the Christians in the Middle East. As I say, “They are us and we are them.”
We must continue to pray for peace and call upon world leaders to create lasting structures to establish and support peace between the three faiths who all claim that region as their birthplace.
(Father Jeremy Tobin, O.Praem, lives at the Priory of St. Moses the Black, Jackson.)

Retreats offer unique connection to Christ’s life

Complete The Circle
By George Evans
I am writing this after recently returning from what has become my annual retreat at Manresa Retreat House in Convent, Louisiana, located on the River Road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Manresa is a Jesuit retreat house on the banks of the Mississippi with great facilities including an antebellum main residence building, a beautiful chapel, and wonderful new conference center, not to mention several avenues of oaks. It is a magnificent retreat setting on many acres.
Being a Jesuit institution, our retreat was based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuit founder. Although these kinds of retreats have been conducted for 500 years, there always seems to be something new or different in the annual sojourn, at least by way of emphasis. This year was no different for me among the 16 from St. Richard Parish who joined the 95 from Baton Rouge for the retreat.
The retreat master was terrific. One of the distinguishing things he stressed was truly pondering different scriptural passages in the manner of lectio divina and putting oneself in the scene of particular gospel passages. St. Ignatius stressed this exercise, and though I had previously been encouraged to do so it had always been difficult for me to benefit from it. For some reason, perhaps the Holy Spirit, it worked better this time.
Let me share a couple of scenes we entered into on retreat and see if they are meaningful to you. Be with Jesus as he walks into the Jordan river to be baptized by John the Baptist. Feel the chill and wetness of the water. Sense the Spirit descend upon you with Jesus and hear the Father tell Jesus and you that you are His beloved Son along with Jesus in whom He is well pleased.  When we leave with Jesus we are ready to follow him. (Mt 3:13-17)
We then go into the desert with Jesus and become hot and hungry and we withstand, with Jesus, the devil’s temptation to do it his way and the world’s way by pleasing the crowd, grasping at political rule or by seeking religious power. We resist our culture’s enticement to greed, to things, to rampant pleasure and luxury. (Lk 4:1-13)
We go back home with Jesus to Nazareth where he stands  up in the Synagogue and reads from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”( Lk4:16-19) Jesus has set forth his mission and his father’s will for him and therefore for us as his followers.  He has given his inaugural address and asked us to help him complete his work.
We later go with Jesus when he sees Zacchaeus, a short man who had climbed a tree in order to see Jesus in the pressing crowd. We experience Jesus reaching out to this rich, sinful, hated tax collector asking, to the astonishment of everyone in the crowd, to stay in his house. We see and hear Zacchaeus’ conversion and promise to give half his possessions to the poor and repay four times over anything he has extorted. We are excited about the celebration we will experience with Jesus at Zacchaeus’s house that night.(Lk 19:1-10)
As time goes by we hear many parables and stories from Jesus. One is the Last Judgment in which Jesus separates the sheep on the right from the goats on the left and we hear him tell those on his right that they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world and those on his left to depart from him into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And like those on the right and left we are anxious to know the reason and he tells us along with the others there:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. When asked about doing or not doing these things he replied, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me…..what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ (Mt 25:31-46)
We leave this scene struck by its directness and simplicity. We resolve to act in accord with what we have heard. We ask to be forgiven. We go to confession at the retreat. We experience a freedom and liberation. We understand its not enough just to pray and go to Mass. We have to reach out to others in charity and justice by making the system better.  We ask for the grace to enter gospel scenes with Jesus again in the future. We invite you to join us. We go home in peace and with joy.
(George Evans is a pastoral minister at Jackson St. Richard Parish.)
Editor’s note: see retreats on page 6

Extraordinary form of Roman Rite celebrated in Cathedral

By Mary Woodward
& Maureen Smith
JACKSON – On Friday, Sept. 5, 100 people gathered in St. Peter Cathedral to celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, known by many as the Tridentine Mass or the Latin Mass. Father Scott Haynes, SJC, from Chicago was the celebrant for the mass which was the votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Father Haynes, a native of Starkville, along with Tuscaloosa native, Father Anthony Rice, SJC, spent several days prior to the Mass offering training for clergy who would like to learn to celebrate the extraordinary form. The two priests also assisted in training boys and men interested in being altar servers for the extraordinary form.

The Mass celebrant and servers genuflect during the procession. Father Scott Thomas is visible in the background sitting in choir, meaning he wore liturgical vestments, but did not concelebrate the Mass.

The Mass celebrant and servers genuflect during the procession. Father Scott Thomas is visible in the background sitting in choir, meaning he wore liturgical vestments, but did not concelebrate the Mass.

Fathers Haynes and Rice are members of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, a religious order of priests devoted to the extraordinary form and preserving the tradition of Latin, chant and polyphony in the church. They also do workshops for the ordinary form of the Roman Rite.
As a simple explanation, in 2007, then Pope Benedict issued a document entitled “Summorum Pontificum” which gave priests anywhere around the world permission to celebrate the Mass using the 1962 Missal – meaning the Tridentine mass (from the Council of Trent).
In his letter to bishops concerning the document, he explained that the liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite incorporated two forms – the ordinary, which we celebrate regularly, and the extraordinary, which many have continued to have a devotion to. Both forms make up the Roman Rite and are to be seen as the continual flow of the 2000 year liturgical tradition of the church. He emphasized there was no fracture of the tradition at the Second Vatican Council.
Both forms of the Mass use the same words of consecration, therefore it is the same Eucharist. Both forms are based in the Latin language and may be celebrated in Latin. Both forms have ancient roots in the church’s liturgical tradition.

Robert Rutherford (left) and St. Joseph School senior, Patrick Morgan, served at the Mass after training for a week.

Robert Rutherford (left) and St. Joseph School senior, Patrick Morgan, served at the Mass after training for a week.

Working from this understanding, UnaVoce Mississippi, with the permission of Bishop Joseph Kopacz, invited Fathers Haynes and Rice to come to the diocese and put on the workshop which concluded with the Sept. 5, Missa Cantata or Sung Mass.
UnaVoce is a lay Catholic organization dedicated to Gregorian chant and polyphony in the church and the incorporation of it in both forms of the Roman Rite. Members of UnaVoce provided the servers and schola (choir) for the Mass Sept. 5.
Father Haynes, explained some of the differences between the extraordinary form and the ordinary form. “The priest is facing East, toward the altar, known as ad orientem or toward the Orient. This is scriptural. We read that in the end time, Christ comes from the East. The point is not that he’s turning his back on the people or that he’s shy, he is together, with the people, in joyful expectation looking forward to the end times – to the coming of Christ. Also, he is looking to the crucifix, a central part of the Mass,” said Father Haynes.
One difference noticed by some was there were no concelebrants to the Mass. Priests who were present sat in choir – meaning they vested in the liturgical attire of cassock, surplice and biretta and sat off to the side.

Father Scott Haynes, SJC, celebrates the votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Friday, Sept. 5 in the cathedral using the extraordinary form. The prayers and songs were in Latin and Father Haynes faced ‘ad orientem,’ or toward the altar. (Photos by Maureen Smith)

Father Scott Haynes, SJC, celebrates the votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Friday, Sept. 5 in the cathedral using the extraordinary form. The prayers and songs were in Latin and Father Haynes faced ‘ad orientem,’ or toward the altar. (Photos by Maureen Smith)

Father Joe Dyer, pastor in Forest, Newton and Paulding, came to the Mass and sat in choir along with Father Matthew Simmons, director of vocations for the diocese; Father Scott Thomas, pastor in Clarksdale; and Father Rice. Fathers Simmons and Thomas participated in the training. Father Rice preached the sermon for the Mass.
“When I went into the seminary the Mass was still in Latin,” said Father Dyer. “What is important to me is the music. The rich history of polyphony is worth keeping. I thought the music was just beautiful and I thought the choir did a great job with the music,” he added.
Plans now are for some simple diocesan directives for the extraordinary form to be issued by Bishop Kopacz. There are also plans in the near future to celebrate the ordinary form in Latin at the Cathedral.