Father Phipps to lead Charities

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz has appointed Father Ricardo Phipps director of Catholic Charities Jackson. Father Phipps, a Mississippi native, has a doctorate from the University of Mississippi in counselor education as well as a masters in counseling, a masters in divinity and undergraduate degrees in math and history. He has taught graduate level courses at Ole Miss and the University of Texas in Tyler and has served in a number of parishes in the state.
“I am extremely humbled to be appointed to serve at Catholic Charities and also very excited about the appointment. I appreciate the confidence of the bishop in giving me this opportunity,” said Father Phipps. “My training is mental health related, counseling specifically, so I feel like my experience is in line with much of what Catholic Charities is already doing. I want to be a part of assuring that these services will be offered and expanded for a long time,” he added.
“Father Phipps has been a priest of the Diocese of Jackson for the past ten years, and I am confident he will apply his leadership skills to strengthen and develop the array of services that bring support and hope to many in need,” said Bishop Kopacz in a statement.
Linda Raff has been leading the agency temporarily while a search committee looked for a permanent director. The bishop thanked her for coming out of retirement to be the interim director. “I thank Linda Raff for her invaluable leadership during this time of transition. May the Lord continue to bless her and her family,” said the bishop.
Catholic Charities is undergoing re-certification with the national Council on Accreditation (COA) right now. Raff will remain at the agency part-time until the end of September to help smooth the transition and assist with the review. COA accredits child welfare, behavioral health and community-based social service providers. The certification process is very rigorous.
“Father Ric’s background and experience in ministry, education and clinical work in addition to his care and concern for all of God’s children makes him especially suited for the work and mission of Catholic Charities,” said Raff. “I know the agency will thrive under his leadership and I know it will continue to be a beacon of help and hope for all Mississippians especially the poor and vulnerable,” she added.
Catholic Charities is the social service arm of the church in Mississippi, providing direct service to those in need. The agency offers counseling, adoption services, a rape crisis center, a domestic violence shelter, immigration and resettlement services, a health ministry, social justice advocacy, addiction services, disaster response and housing and job training for veterans. Clients do not need to be Catholic, in fact, a majority of those served are not Catholic.
“I feel like Catholic Charities is our greatest evangelization arm in an area where not many people are Catholic, and I am excited to be a part of that,” said Father Phipps. He will remain pastor of Jackson Christ the King, but will no longer be pastor of Jackson St. Therese. Msgr. Elvin Sunds will serve as canonical pastor of St. Therese. See page 11 for these and other pastoral assignments.

Encyclical theme no surprise

By Bishop Joseph Kopacz
Pope Francis’ first encyclical is the inspiring document entitled Laudatio Si. This unique title is drawn from the beginning of the canticle of Saint Francis of Assisi that addresses God the Creator. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.” Pope Francis is calling on all of humankind, especially those of the Christian faith to care for our common home.
This encyclical should come as no surprise. On March 19, 2013, on the feast of Saint Joseph, in his inaugural homily with religious and national leaders present from all over the world, Francis proclaimed Jesus Christ to all the nations in the spirit of the great saint from Assisi whose name he chose.
In his prophetic homily he mentioned care for creation, our common home, nine times. This struck me as remarkable theme in an inaugural address with countless millions viewing throughout the world, and joyfully praying with the first Pope from the Americas.
Pope Francis spoke eloquently about Saint Joseph, the protector of Jesus Christ and his mother, Mary. “The core of the Christian vocation is Jesus Christ. Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, protect Creation.” Francis continues. “This is something human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us, as Saint Francis showed us.”
Embodying the spirit of Saint Francis, Francis of Rome is pleading with us “to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves.” He concludes his homily as if conducting a symphony, “so that the Star of Hope will shine brightly, let us protect with love all that God has given us.”
The Joy of the Gospel, Evangelii Guadium, Francis’ first Apostolic Letter is the beginning and end of all that he is doing, teaching, and preaching. Jesus Christ is mankind’s joy and hope, and all who are baptized in His name are called to be missionary disciples, joyful witnesses of the Lord of history, especially where the Cross is most evident. Laudatio Si emerges from Evangelii Guadium as daylight flows from the dawn of a new day. The seeds of both are contained in Francis’ inaugural homily on the Feast of Saint Joseph. “The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters.” (Evangelii Guadium)
In Laudatio Si Pope Francis is speaking as a spiritual and moral leader calling each of us to more fully answer the call to care for others and to care for God’s creation. It is a summons to “profound interior conversion” by recognizing with humility the results of human activity unmoored from God’s design. It is an integral ecology that further develops the teachings of the Church, most notably since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Let us look at two examples, although there are many more.
On the occasion of the annual celebration of the World Day of Peace on January 1, 1990, Pope Saint John Paul II offered a vision of this integral ecology as a message of hope and peace to the world. “Theology, philosophy and science all speak of a harmonious universe, of a cosmos endowed with its own integrity, its own internal, dynamic balance. This order must be respected. The human race is called to explore this order, to examine it with due care and to make use of it while safeguarding its integrity.”
On November 14, 1991, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published the document entitled Renewing the Earth which addresses this holistic understanding of the crises and opportunities facing the modern world. “At its core the environmental crisis is a moral challenge.
It calls us to examine how we use and share the goods of the earth, what we pass on to future generations, and how we live in harmony with God’s creation.” The Bishops then and now “want to stimulate dialogue, particularly with the scientific community. We know these are not simple matters; we speak as pastors… Above all, we seek to explore the links between concern for the person and for the earth, between natural ecology and social ecology. The web of life is one.”
What is astounding is that Pope Francis has chosen the complex reality of an integral ecology as the matter for his first encyclical. This has been on his mind and heart for a long time. Not unexpectedly, those on the left and the right of the political spectrum have offered criticism or have found compatibility with their own world views.
But there is a length and height, breath and depth to this encyclical that cannot be worthily addressed through sound bites or superficial analysis. As he has done from the beginning of his election Pope, Francis encourages dialogue and encounter with respect and humility.
As with Evangelii Guadium, Laudatio Si requires a commitment from each of us to read it, pray about it, dialogue about it, and allow it to shape us as missionary disciples in God’s fragile yet resilient world, our common home. This is an encyclical to which we will return often. “And God saw that it was very good.” (Genesis)

State honors church with ecumenical history

By Joan Shell
FULTON – On April 18, six locations in Fulton were officially named as Mississippi historical sites, including Christ the King Catholic Church, which has been a church site since 1878. The day included the unveiling of the official marker in front of the church and tours of the building. A crowd of people gathered, including current and past church members and state government representatives.
The ceremony itself, much like the history of the church, was interdenominational. Retired Methodist Minister Glyn Wiygul presented the history. He ended the welcome by saying how very pleased everyone was that this building was in the hands of the Catholics because they know it will be well cared for. Sister Betty Clayton then brought the whole crowd to their feet by leading a rousing version of Amazing Grace and Father Albeenreddy Vatti blessed the marker.

Father Albeenreddy Vatti takes the microphone to bless the new historical marker in front of Fulton Christ the King Church.

Father Albeenreddy Vatti takes the microphone to bless the new historical marker in front of Fulton Christ the King Church.

The first church on the site was a large one-room frame structure erected in 1878 by Malachi Cummings. This was the only church in Fulton and all denominations worshipped together with a variety of ministers taking turns officiating. In 1880 Cummings deeded the church to the Methodist Conference for $50. All denominations, both black and white, continued to hold their services in the building, but now they scheduled their individual services at different times.
In 1930 the wooden structure was replaced with the current two-story brick building which the Fulton Methodist Church used until they built a new facility in the mid-1960s. While the building held no services, a MAPA program continued to use the Sunday school rooms for a training class for an integrated group of children with special needs.
This building was sold to the Catholic Diocese July 13, 1968, through the efforts of Glenmary Home Missioners and the Catholic Extension Service. Father Clement Borchers from Aberdeen St. Francis was instrumental in initiating the purchase and presiding at the Saturday Eucharist. Bishop Joseph Brunini of the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson dedicated the newly purchased mission church on Oct. 27, 1968. There were more Methodists present at the dedication than Catholics. There were only 18 Catholics in Itawamba County – including the Catholic students attending Itawamba Community College at the time. The total purchase price for the facility was $20,000 which was, even in 1968, considered to be less than the land value for the downtown corner location.
A Catholic Church in this corner of rural northeast Mississippi was a novelty.  People in the area knew very little about Catholics and 072415fulton01the many misconceptions about our faith made it difficult for the few Catholic families who attended Christ the King. Slowly but surely, the church has come to be an integral part of the community. As more Catholics took leadership roles in the area, the church became a well-respected and an important part of society here.
Christ the King is a mission church of Tupelo St. James with Father Lincoln Dall as the Sacramental Minister. Father Albeenreddy Vatti drives from New Albany every week to celebrate Mass at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and is very much loved by the small Fulton congregation of 35 families and visitors.
Everything is offered at Christ the King as any much larger church – it’s just done on a smaller scale. The recent RCIA class was attended by one person, the vacation Bible school averaged 10 children daily, the religious education classes have 2-4 children in each class. Being small doesn’t stifle enthusiasm, it encourages warm fellowship among the members.
Everyone becomes an important minister in the church and all members rarely say no when asked to fill in for a missing member. Work parties are frequent as are dinners after Mass celebrating any occasion we can come up with.  We take a great deal of pride in our building and its place in downtown Fulton.
(Joan Shell is the Pastoral Minister at Fulton Christ the King Parish)

Four schools have new principals…

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – While students were playing this summer, administrators and construction crews were hard at work getting buildings, programs and themselves ready for a new school year.
The diocesan Office of Catholic Education added Margaret Anzelmo in July as the coordinator of academic excellence. She left her job as assistant principal at Jackson St. Richard to take on the task fulltime.
Last spring, teachers from across the diocese met in subject area teams to continue the process of writing and revising the diocesan curriculum. The 2015-2016 school year will be the second year for the math curriculum and the first year for science, language arts, and religion in grades 6-12.
Teachers and administrators are learning the new curriculum for each subject area and aligning lessons, activities, and technology applications to the standards. Instructional leaders within each school, under Anzelmo’s direction, will guide teachers through the process of implementing the standards and fine-tuning instruction.
Four schools have new principals, Madison St. Anthony, Jackson St. Richard, Vicksburg St. Aloysius and Madison St. Joseph.
Jim Bell is leading Madison St. Anthony School this year. He arrived mid-June to work with Julie Bordelon, interim principal to ensure a smooth transition. Bordelon, a 20-year Catholic school educator from St. Patrick, Meridian stepped in last year as interim while a committee searched for a permanent administrator. “We thank Ms. Bordelon for her service to Catholic schools,” commented Catherine Cook, superintendent.
Cathy Wilson, a graduate of Vicksburg Catholic Schools, is principal at Jackson St. Richard this year. Former principal Lisa Geimer ended her tenure as principal at the end of the last school year. “Mrs. Geimer faithfully served St. Richard as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal for many years, and we thank her for her dedication and leadership”, said Cook.
Vicksburg St. Aloysius’ new principal Dr. Buddy Strickland is busy planning for the upcoming year. Strickland replaces interim principal Jules Michel, who served as principal at three high schools in the diocese. “I can’t say enough about his commitment to Catholic education and his willingness to serve when called,” said Cook.
Cook will lead Madison St. Joseph for the 2015/16 academic year after principal Keith Barnes left. Barnes was part of the St. Joseph community for more than 20 years as a coach, teacher, assistant principal and principal.  “Keith did a lot to bring the entire school community together. I think that is one of his great legacies, he was able to unite parents, students, alumni and faculty with a singular vision,” said Terry Casserino, journalism teacher at St. Joseph. Cassarino credits Barnes with helping the school achieve a number one ranking on Niche.com, a school ranking site. “We have a lot to build on, thanks to Keith (Barnes), and we can build on this foundation and beyond,” he added.
“During the time Mr. Barnes was not teaching/coaching prior to his return to St. Joseph as assistant principal, he served on the Diocesan School Advisory Council”, stated Cook, “so his service to Catholic schools went beyond St. Joe, and we thank him for his service to the Diocese.” Here is a look at what was happening at some schools during summer vacation.

Greenville St. Joseph
and Our Lady of Lourdes

  • Our Lady of Lourdes will to the St. Joseph campus  after construction is complete.
  • Groundbreaking for the merger was set to happen July 24.
  • St. Joseph will add rigor to the math curriculum to allow students to take algebra earlier.
  • Additionally, math teachers received training to implement Southern Regional Educational Board Math, a course of study designed to strengthen algebra and geometry skills in preparation for college.

Madison St. Joseph

  • Crews revamped existing space in the administration building to add an 80-seat chapel capable of hosting each class for liturgies.
  • Teachers are participating in a three-day training to roll out a science, technology, religion, engineering and math program.
  • Every teacher will get a MacBook computer and training. Additionally, 48 Macbooks have been ordered for student use in classrooms.technology infrastructure has been upgraded to move to the student one-to-one laptops scheduled for implementation in January 2016.

Vicksburg Catholic

  • Preschool teachers attended early childhood education conferences in New Orleans and Dallas. Several elementary teachers attended a conservation in education workshop. The high school librarian attended the 2015 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Dallas.
  • High School teachers attended AP certification classes in chemistry, English, government and calculus.
  • The school will also add SREB math like Greenville St. Joseph.

Natchez Cathedral

  • Teachers attended workshops including a Civil War workshop, “Wired Differently” workshop,  the Secondary Science Olympiad Summer Institute and an institute on teaching reading at Columbia University.
  • New dropped ceilings and insulation were installed in the elementary classrooms and the cafeteria to improve noise, appearance and energy efficiency.

Madison St. Anthony

  • New website launched.
  • Teachers and staff participated in the Whole Schools Initiative training.
  • St. Anthony will be the first school in the state to offer Wilson Fundations, a supplemental phonics, spelling, and writing program to pre-K4 – second grade students.
  • First through sixth grade students will have access to iPad mini tablets. Kindergarten will have two touch screen smart boards and Pre-K4 will be getting two flat panel TV monitors.
  • The Via Creativa Program will have seven new offerings:  BRICKS4KIDZ, chess, computer explorers, Skyhawk soccer, tech club, Challenge Island and drama.

Meridian St. Patrick

  • Reworked entrance added a covered driveway to the new building dedicated earlier this year. Administrators and teachers moved into the new offices and classrooms.
  • The library was renovated.
  • The school installed a science and engineering lab and new playground equipment.

    Southaven Sacred Heart

  • Upgraded IT network, adding fiber optic connections, wireless networking throughout the school and an Internet connection five times faster than the current speed.
  • The school will add several cultural awareness days that showcase diversity of the Sacred Heart community.

Jackson St. Richard

  • Document cameras, a projection system to increase student engagement, are being added to classrooms.
  • Teachers are receiving IPads for their use with student classroom Ipad carts.
  • Teachers participated in a variety of professional development including the Whole Schools Institute, Handwriting Without Teachers, and STREAM-Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Clarksdale  St. Elizabeth

  • Added a shaded area to campus thanks to a donation.

Columbus Annunication

  • Opened the library four days a week in summer to support the summer reading program.
  • Hosted art and music camps.



  • AMORY St. Helen Parish, book discussion, “The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen,” Monday, Aug. 10, at noon at the parish hall.
  • GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, adult summer Bible study, “Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come,” Wednesdays at 10 a.m. in the classroom in Heritage Hall.
  • GREENVILLE St. Joseph Parish, Healing Mass, Thursday, July 30. Prelude music begins at 11:15 a.m. Mass at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch in the parish hall.
  • GRENADA St. Peter, praying the rosary, Sundays at 6 p.m. in the church.
    – Book discussion, “The Light is on For You” Tuesdays, at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Details: Cecilia Lucio or Irene Stark.
  • JACKSON St. Richard Parish, “Go and Make Disciples,” a six-week series on the role of Catholics, begins Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in Glynn Hall. Details: Debbie Tubertini, 601-366-2335, ext. 107, tubertini@saintrichard.com.
    – Book discussion, “Jesus – A Pilgrimage,” by Father James Martin, SJ, for six-weeks beginning Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the library. Books are available in the parish office for $20. Details: George Evans, evans@saintrichard.com.
  • MERIDIAN St. Patrick Parish Catholic Book Club, review of the book on Luis Antonio Talge, current cardinal of the Metropolitan See of Manila, Phillippines, Monday, Sept. 14. Details: Kathy Foley, 601-616-0025, kathyfoley1941@yahoo.com.
  • YAZOO CITY St. Mary Parish, “The Rosary and Me,” Sundays, Aug. 30 and Oct. 25. More information to come.


  • BROOKHAVEN St. Francis Parish, young adult fellowship night, Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Amy and Dennis Valentine, 515 S. Jackson Street. All parishioners aged 21-45, are welcome. Refreshments and supper will be served. Details: Valentines, 601-757-1885.
  • CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth Parish fair, Tuesday, Sept. 15. Volunteers are needed. Details: Lisa Chicorelli,  662-645-0398.
  • CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories Parish, Mothers’ Morning Out open house, Sunday, Aug. 2, from 4-5 p.m.
  • GREENVILLE St. Joseph Parish, 2015 parish fair brainstorming meeting, Wednesday, July 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the parish hall. Details: Missi Blackstock, 662-822-1862.
    – Date and time for the newly formed cancer support group will be announced soon. Details: BeBe, 251-604-2966
  • GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, dedication of new organ, Sunday, Aug. 2, during the 9 a.m. Mass. A concert will be performed at 3 p.m. followed by a social in the parish center. The entire Catholic community of IHM, St. Francis, St. Thomas and Sacred Heart are invited.
  • HERNANDO Holy Spirit Parish, Men’s Association is accepting aluminum cans for recycling. Bring bags to the garage door or put them in the containers marked for cans in the Family Life Center. Proceeds benefit Catholic Social Services, Interfaith Food Bank, and the Cindy Pretti Scholarship Fund. Details: Lee Smith, 662-233-4833, or Sal Galtelli, 662-429-5071.
  • JACKSON St. Richard Parish, Chatham Art Showcase, Friday, Aug. 14, from 6 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Entrance fee is $5 and includes a glass of wine or a soft drink. Applications are available at www.saintrichard.com. Details: Raymond Barry, 601-366-2335, chathamartshowcase@strichard.com.
    – Bereavement support group meeting, Thursday, Aug. 13, at 6:30 p.m. Rev. Keith Tonkel, pastor of Wells Memorial Methodist Church, will speak on “Coping hints at the death of a loved one.” Details: Nancy McGhee 601-942-2078, ncmcghee@bellsouth.net.
  • JACKSON St. Peter Cathedral, fund-raiser for Habitat for Humanity Build 2015, sale of high quality trash and garbage bags in three sizes from now until Aug. 23 after all weekend Masses.
    – Fall gala, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Old Capitol Inn. Details: parish office, 601-969-3125.
  • JACKSON Christ the King Parish, liturgical dance workshop, Friday, July 31, from 1 – 4 p.m. and Saturday,  Aug. 1, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for girls ages 6 and up. All are welcome, free of charge. Led by Sister Lynn Marie Ralph, SBS. Details: Pamela Osborne, 601-948-8867.
    – King Workers yard sale, Saturday, Aug. 1, from 7 a.m. – noon in the Multipurpose Building. Donations are needed (not clothes).
  • NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, blood drive, Monday, July 27, from noon – 6 p.m. in the O’Connor Family Life Center. Schedule your appointment at www.unitedbloodservices.org.
  • SHELBY St. Mary’s Parish, Mass of Thanksgiving, celebration of diamond jubilee of the religious profession of Sister Jo Ann Villademoros SSND, Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m. Father Sam Messina will be the celebrant. All are invited to the Mass and to the social which will follow.
  • TUPELO St. James Parish, information session on a new class of the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program (LIMEX) Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. in Mary’s Room. Details: Lee Oswalt, 662-322-3741, or Kris Ivancic, 662-791-9643.
    – Visit of the Mexican Consulate, Aug. 15-16. To make an appointment call 877- 639-4835.
    – The Happy Hearts will be traveling to the Abbey at Culman, Ala., on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Cost is $10 person which covers the tour of the grotto and lunch. Reserve your spot by Aug. 12. Details: Jessica, 662-871-5033.
    – Parishioners are invited to support Nikki Ivancic in “Dancing Like the Stars,” Saturday, Aug 22, at the Bancorpsouth Center. An evening that raises money for Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi. Tickets are $50 for the show and dinner and $20 for the show. Details: www.bgcnms.org/nikki-ivancic.aspx.
  • YAZOO CITY Drop off for the shoe box collection for the religious education projects is  Sunday, Aug. 16.


  • JACKSON Catholic Charities inaugural “Cash Crawl” during Fondren’s First Thursday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. This is a fund-raiser for the Rape Crisis Center with an opportunity to take home $1,000 for playing a progressive card game during Fondren’s First Thursday.
    Entry fee is $25. Tables will be set up along State Street and throughout Fondren for your chance to play along. Visit participating merchants and draw a card to enter for a chance to win the big prize. Details: www.ccjackson.org.


  • JACKSON “Be in the know . .  . before you go,” informative presentation about the different types of senior housing available in the Jackson Metro area, including services and approximate cost. Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Dominic Hospital. Presenters will also explain services available to senior adults in the home. Details: 601-200-6698.

Tema de la encíclica no sorprende a nadie

Por Obispo Joseph Kopacz  La primera encíclica del Papa Francisco es el inspirado documento titulado Laudatio Si. Este original título fue extraído del comienzo del cántico de San Francisco de Asís que trata  sobre Dios el Creador. “Alabado sea mi Señor, por nuestra hermana, la Madre Tierra que nos sostiene y nos gobierna, y que produce diversos frutos con coloridas flores y hierbas”. El Papa Francisco le pide a toda la humanidad, y en especial a los de la fe Cristiana, que cuiden de su hogar común.
Esta encíclica no debería sorprender a nadie. El 19 de marzo de 2013, en la fiesta de San José, en la homilía de su discurso inaugural con dirigentes religiosos y nacionales presentes de todo el mundo, Francisco proclamó a Jesucristo a todas las naciones en el espíritu del gran santo de Asís cuyo nombre escogió.
En su profética homilía, mencionó el cuidado de la creación, nuestro hogar común, nueve veces. Esto me pareció un notable tema en un discurso inaugural con incontables millones de personas viendo en todo el mundo, y con alegría rezando con el primer papa de la Américas.
El Papa Francisco habló elocuentemente sobre San José, el protector de Jesucristo y su madre, María. “El núcleo de la vocación cristiana es Jesucristo. Protejamos a Cristo en nuestras vidas, para que podamos proteger a otros y proteger la creación”. Francisco continua. “Esto es algo humano, que involucra a todos. Quiere decir proteger toda la creación, la belleza del mundo creado, como el Libro del Génesis nos dice, como San Francisco nos mostró”.
Encarnando el espíritu de San Francisco, el Francisco de Roma nos está implorando “a proteger la totalidad de la creación, a proteger a cada persona, especialmente a los más pobres, a protegernos a nosotros mismos”. El concluye la homilía como si estuviera dirigiendo una sinfonía, “para que la Estrella de la Esperanza brille, protejamos con amor todo lo que Dios nos ha dado”.
La Alegría del Evangelio, Evangelii Guadium, la primera Carta Apostólica de Francisco, es el inicio y el final de todo lo que está haciendo, enseñando y predicando. Jesucristo es la alegría y la esperanza de la humanidad, y todos los que han sido bautizados en su nombre están llamados a ser discípulos misioneros, testigos gozosos del Señor de la historia, especialmente donde la Cruz es más evidente.
Laudatio Si surge de Evangelii Guadium como la luz del día fluye del amanecer de un nuevo día. Las semillas de ambos se encuentran en la homilía inaugural de Francisco en la Fiesta de San José. “La tierra es nuestra casa común y todos nosotros somos hermanos y hermanas”. (Evangelii Guadium)
En Laudatio Si el Papa Francisco habla como un líder espiritual y moral llamándonos a cada uno de nosotros a responder de un modo más completo a la llamada de cuidar a los demás y de cuidar la creación de Dios. Es una invitación a “una profunda conversión interior” reconociendo con humildad los resultados de la actividad humana desamarrada del diseño de Dios. Es una ecología integral que desarrolla las enseñanzas de la Iglesia, especialmente desde el Concilio Vaticano II en la década de 1960.
Veamos dos ejemplos, aunque hay muchos más. Con ocasión de la celebración anual del Día Mundial de la Paz el 1 de enero de 1990, el Papa San Juan Pablo II ofreció una visión de esta ecología integral como un mensaje de esperanza y de paz al mundo. “La teología, la filosofía y la ciencia hablan de un universo armónico, de un cosmos dotado de su propia integridad, su propio equilibrio interno y dinámico. Este orden debe ser respetado. La raza humana está llamada a explorar este orden, a examinarlo con la debida atención y hacer uso de él mientras salvaguardan su integridad.”
El 14 de noviembre de 1991, la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos publicó el documento titulado, “Renovando la Tierra” el cual trata esta comprensión holística de las crisis y las oportunidades que enfrenta el mundo moderno. “En su esencia la crisis del medio ambiente es un desafío moral. Nos llama a examinar cómo usamos y compartimos los bienes de la tierra, lo que pasamos a las generaciones futuras, y cómo vivimos en armonía con la creación de Dios”.
Los obispos, entonces y ahora “quieren estimular el diálogo, en particular con la comunidad científica. “Sabemos que éstas no son cuestiones sencillas; nosotros hablamos como pastores… Por encima de todo, buscamos explorar los vínculos entre la preocupación por la persona y por la tierra, entre la ecología natural y ecología social. El tejido de la vida es uno de ellos”.
Lo que es sorprendente es que el Papa Francisco ha escogido la compleja realidad de una ecología integral como el tema de su primera encíclica. Esto ha estado en su mente y su corazón por un largo tiempo. No inesperadamente, los de la izquierda y la derecha del espectro político han ofrecido críticas o han encontrado compatibilidad con su propia visión del mundo. Pero hay una longitud y altura, amplitud y profundidad de esta encíclica que no puede ser dignamente dirigida a través de acertadas mordeduras o análisis superficial.
Como lo ha hecho desde el comienzo de su elección, el Papa Francisco fomenta el diálogo y el encuentro con respeto y humildad. Como con Evangelii Guadium, Laudatio Si requiere un compromiso por parte de cada uno de nosotros de leerla, de orar al respecto, dialogar sobre el asunto, y permitir que nos forme como discípulos misioneros en el mundo frágil pero resistente de Dios, nuestro hogar común. Esta es una encíclica sobre la cual volveremos a hablar a menudo. “Y Dios vio que era muy bueno”. (Génesis)

Pastoral Assignments:

Father Ricardo Phipps was appointed director of Catholic Charities Jackson and will remain pastor at Jackson Christ the King, effective August 3.

Upon the recommendation of Father Paul Kahan, SVD, provincial for the Southern Province of the Society of the Divine Word, Father Alfred Ayem was appointed pastor of Jackson Holy Ghost Parish, effective August 17.

Msgr. Elvin Sunds was appointed canonical pastor of Jackson St. Therese parish and will oversee the redistribution of the property of Jackson St. Mary Church, while living in residence at Pearl St. Jude Parish, effective August 3.

Father Mario Solarzano was appointed pastor of Corinth St. James, and sacramental minister for Booneville St. Francis and Iuka St. Mary Parishes, effective August 24.

St. Dominic offers community education

JACKSON – St. Dominic Hospital is bringing back by popular demand the series: “Dealing with life’s challenges.” Dan Hall, president of Caring Transitions, will conduct the self-help series on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 11:30 a.m. with the theme “How to start communication about sensitive issues” on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 11:30 a.m.  at St. Dominic Centre.
The second presentation, “Making the holiday joyful (again) – how to overcome seasonal depression,” is set for Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Dominic Centre.
Both presentations are free and open to the public. Another free series to be offered this year, this one on wealth and management, will deal with how people can accumulate, preserve and transfer wealth. Themes, dates and times are:
– “Investment/market update – preserving wealth and safekeeping retirement assets,” Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Dominic’s Centre.
– “Avoiding fraud and the state making decisions for you,” Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Dominic’s Centre.
– “Have you saved enough to retire?” Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. at St. Dominic’s Centre.
For more information call 601-200-6698.
Also, save the date for the annual senior wellness fair to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. – noon in the Mississippi Trade Mart. This event is free for adults, 55 and older. It’s a fun event with entertainment, exhibits, door prizes, food for all and free health screenings. Flu, pneumonia, shingles and Tdap vaccinations will also be available.
For more information call 601-200-6698.

Workshop leads to interpreter certification

By Elsa Baughman
JACKSON – Andres Hill, one of 19 people attending an intensive interpeter’s workshop offered by the Mississippi State Department of Health, began to interpret when he was attending high school in his hometown of New Orleans. He was the only one in his family who spoke English and Spanish well so he used to accompany his grandmother to her doctor’s visits. “Interpreting was important to me at that time but I never considered it as a career opportunity,” Hill said.

Laura Rivera, (right) an interpreter supervisor at the Department of Human Services’ Division of Family and Children’s Services in Jackson, explains how to use the interpreter audio equipment during the training. Shirley Pandolfy (left), operations management analyst principal, was one of the instructors of the 40-hour workshop. (Photo by Elsa Baughman)

Laura Rivera, (right) an interpreter supervisor at the Department of Human Services’ Division of Family and Children’s Services in Jackson, explains how to use the interpreter audio equipment during the training. Shirley Pandolfy (left), operations management analyst principal, was one of the instructors of the 40-hour workshop. (Photo by Elsa Baughman)

Nineteen people attended “Bridging the Gap,” a six-day training held in Jackson at the end of June. The Office of Health Disparity Elimination of the Mississippi State Department of Health is offering the course in different cities in Mississippi to improve provider-patient communication by decreasing language barriers and increasing cultural awareness.
The trainers emphasized the treatment of culture as an integral part of communication and an important aspect of the interpreter’s work.
The topics included the roles of the interpreter, code of ethics for interpreters in health care, modes of interpreting, memory development, the role of culture in medical interpretation, cultural bumps, medical terminology and the body systems  such as the circulatory, digestive, nervous and so on.
Among the 19 people who attended the training, 18 are of Hispanic descent and one is married to a Hispanic. Some work in clinics, others are employees of the Department of Human Services in Jackson and the Mississippi State Department of Health Clinic in Scott county (Forest) and in Madison county (Canton).
“There are so many needs among Hispanics, especially the language barrier,” Hill said, “and what a privilege to return to my first love and be there for someone who needs me. For me it was my grandmother and who knows, tomorrow that person may be someone else’s grandmother,” he said.
Something interesting Hill learned was that the base of good interpretation requires the use of three important factors: skip nothing, add nothing and change nothing of the conversation between two people. “And by applying these three principles we achieve proper communication,” he said.
Amanda Fitzgerald was born in Honduras. Her parents are from Nicaragua and at the age of three her family came to live in Miami. She now lives in Brandon and works at the Mississippi State Department of Health County Clinic in Forest. She says she became interested in this training because there are many things that she needs to learn, especially about the culture and the medical terminology.
“I like working with the public and that is why I took the job in the Department of Health, where many people of different cultures go for health services,” she said.
What she liked the most about the training was the area of professionalism while interpreting. “Since I serve as an interpreter at my job, I want to do it correctly and I need to know well the medical vocabulary in both languages in order to be able to communicate well with the patient and the doctor,” she explained.
The training also included information on telephonic and video remote interpreting in health care settings, which are becoming increasingly common in different parts of the United States and in Mississippi.
At the end of the training the participants took an exam. If they pass they will be identified as a qualified medical interpreter and may take the test to become a certified healthcare interpreter, if they wish.
The next 40-hour course will be offered in Jackson on Sept. 16-18 and 23-25, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The cost is $300 for those who register by Aug. 14 and $400 two weeks prior to the course. For more information contact Dora Moreno, 601-206-1540, dora.moreno@msdh.ms.gov.

Love remains key to youth ministry

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While youth ministry and education programs must be updated to meet the needs of young people today, the church’s outreach still must be based on love, concern and spiritual guidance, Pope Francis said.
Writing to members of the Salesian religious orders marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco, the pope said, “The world has changed much in these two centuries, but the spirit of young people has not: young men and women still are open to life and to an encounter with God and with others.”
Without proper assistance, he said, their ideals and aspirations place them at risk of “discouragement, spiritual anemia and marginalization.”

Pope Francis greets a young woman as he leads a meeting with young people along the waterfront in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets a young woman as he leads a meeting with young people along the waterfront in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In his letter dated June 24 and posted on the Salesian order’s website in mid-July, Pope Francis told the Salesian priests, brothers and sisters that they must look at “the resources the Holy Spirit raises up in situations of crisis,” and not just the ways modern culture “injures” the young.
For example, he said, Salesian outreach to young people must “follow the paths of new means of social communications and of intercultural education among people of different religions or in developing countries or in places marked by migration.”
The challenges present in Turin, Italy, in the 19th century — challenges which led St. John Bosco to found his order and his schools — he said, “have taken on a global dimension: idolatry of money, inequality that breeds violence, ideological colonization and the cultural challenges found in urban contexts.”
The key to helping young people today, he said, is the same as it was in St. John Bosco’s time: love, “understood as a love demonstrated and perceived, where kindness, affection, understanding and participation in the life of the other are expressed.”
Don Bosco insisted his schools and technical training centers have a family atmosphere, he said, one in which the instructor was a “father, teacher and friend of the young” and where there was a “climate of joy and celebration” with “plenty of space for singing, music, and theater” and time set aside for recreation and sports.
“Don Bosco will help you not disappoint the deepest aspirations of the young: their need for life, openness, joy, freedom and a future;their desire to work together to build a more just and fraternal world, promote development for all peoples, to safeguard nature and environments for life,” Pope Francis said.