Growing virtue heals flaws

By Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI
All of us live with some wounds, bad habits, addictions and temperamental flaws that are so deeply engrained and long-standing that it seems like they are part of our genetic make-up. And so we tend to give into a certain quiet despair in terms of ever being healed of them.
Experience teaches us this. There’s the realization at some point in our lives that the wounds and flaws which pull us down cannot be simply be turned off like a water-tap. Willpower and good resolutions alone are not up to the task. What good is it to make a resolution never to be angry again? Our anger will invariably return. What good is it to make a resolution to give up some addictive habit, however small or big? We will soon enough again be overcome by its lure.
And what good does it do to try to change some temperamental flaw we’ve inherited in our genes or inhaled in the air of our childhood? All the good resolutions and positive thinking in the world normally don’t change our make-up.
So what do we do? Just live with our wounds and flaws and the unhappiness and pettiness that this brings into our lives? Or, can we heal? How do we weed-out our weaknesses?
There are many approaches to healing: Psychology tells us that good counseling and therapy can help cure us of our wounds, flaws and addictions. Therapy and counseling can bring us to a better self-understanding and that can help us change our behavior. But psychology also admits that this has its limitations. Knowing why we do something doesn’t always empower us to change our behavior. Sociology too has insights to contribute: There is, as Parker Palmer puts it, the therapy of a public life. Healthy interaction with family, friends, community and church can be a wonderfully steadying thing in our lives and help take us beyond our lonely wounds and our congenital missteps.
Various recovery (12-Step) programs also contribute something valuable: These programs are predicated on the premise that self-understanding and willpower by themselves are often powerless to actually change our behavior.  A higher power is needed, and that higher power is found in ritual, communal support, radical honesty, admittance of our helplessness and a turning over of ourselves to a someone or something beyond us that can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Recovery programs are invaluable, but they too aren’t the answer to all of our problems.
Finally, not least, there are various theories and practices of healing that ground themselves in spirituality. These range from emphasizing church-going itself as a healing, to emphasizing the sacrament of reconciliation, to recommending prayer and meditation, to counseling various ascetical practices, to sending people off to holy sites, to letting oneself be prayed-over by some group or faith-healer, to undergoing long periods of spiritual guidance under a trained director.
There’s value in all of these and perhaps the full healing of a temperamental flaw, a bad habit, an addiction or a deep wound depends upon drawing water from each of these wells. However, beyond this simple listing, I would like to offer an insight from the great mystic, John of the Cross, vis-à-vis coming to psychological, moral and spiritual healing.
In his last book, “The Living Flame of Love,” John proposes a theory of, and a process for, healing. In essence, it runs this way: For John, we heal of our wounds, moral flaws, addictions and bad habits by growing our virtues to the point where we become mature enough in our humanity so that there’s no more room left in our lives for the old behaviors that used to drag us down. In short, we get rid of the coldness, bitterness and pettiness in our hearts by lighting inside our hearts enough warm fires to burn out the coldness and bitterness.
The algebra works this way: The more we grow in maturity, generativity and generosity, the more our old wounds, bad habits, temperamental flaws and addictions will disappear because our deeper maturity will no longer leave room for them in our lives. Positive growth of our hearts, like a vigorous plant, eventually chokes-out the weeds. If you went to John of the Cross and asked him to help you deal with a certain bad habit in your life, his focus wouldn’t be on how to weed-out that habit. Instead the focus would be on growing your virtues: What are you doing well? What are your best qualities? What goodness in you needs to be fanned fan into fuller flame?
By growing what’s positive in us, we eventually become big-hearted enough so that there’s no room left for our former bad habits. The path to healing is to water our virtues so that these virtues themselves will be the fire that burns out the festering wounds, addictions, bad habits and temperamental flaws that have, for far too long, plagued our lives and kept us wallowing in weakness and pettiness rather than walking in maturity, generosity and generativity.
(Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, theologian, teacher and award-winning author, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX.)

2015 Annual Stewardship Conference

The Office of Stewardship and Development is encouraging parish leaders to attend this year’s International Catholic Stewardship Conference (ICSC). The International Catholic Stewardship Council, which puts on the conference, is a professional organization recognized internationally as a source of education, networking and information to advance the ministry of Christian stewardship as a way of life in the Roman Catholic Church, and to promote the cause of Catholic philanthropy in dioceses and parishes worldwide072415stewardship
“With more than 30 presenters from different religious positions and backgrounds, this conference offers something for everyone,” said Christopher Luke, coordinator for the Office of Stewardship. ICSC is open to priests, deacons, religious, and lay parish administrators.
This year’s theme is Stewardship in the Footsteps of Pope Francis. Workshops will focus on how stewardship can transform a parish, how social media can help with evangelization and how to incorporate young adults in stewardship.
In addition to the practical knowledge, ICSC offers the opportunity to pray, reflect and participate in uplifting liturgies. Headliners include Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran, authors of the landmark book Rebuilt; Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, Archbishop of Bogota, Colombia; Archbishop Blasé Cupich of Chicago; Angela Perez Baraquio Grey, Catholic educator and Miss America 2001; and Tom Kendzia, a renowned Catholic composer, producer and musician.
The conference will take place in Chicago Oct. 22-25. The early bird registration fee is $499 until July 31.. After that date, the price goes up to $599 per person for members. Register online at Those who register should let the Office of Stewardship and Development know at 601-960-8481 or email at

Loyola to start new program in North Mississippi

By Kris Ivancic
TUPELO – What is your ministry? This is the first question students in the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program (LIMEX) are asked.  It is not always an easy question to answer. LIMEX can lead to a master’s degree or certificate in Pastoral Studies or Religious Education. There is also an opportunity to earn undergraduate credit, but is also an opportunity for personal growth.
In Mississippi, we are well aware of the need for laypersons to be prepared to assume ministry in their parishes. Tupelo St. James Parish will be sponsoring another LIMEX learning group, which will begin this fall.
There will be an information session on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. in Mary’s Room of the Catholic Life Center at St. James.  Call Lee Oswalt at 662-322-3741 or Kris Ivancic at 662-791-9643 if you have questions. You can also go online to
In “Called and Gifted,” the U.S. Bishops stated, “Baptism and confirmation empower all believers to share in some form of ministry. Although the specific form of participation in ministry varies according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all who share in this work are united with one another.” This document really speaks to the call to all the faithful to participate in the ministry of the church in some way. LIMEX is designed to equip everyone to respond to God’s call in their life. Ministry is not just about teaching religious education or being a lector at Mass. Certainly, those are ministries, however; ministry does not just exist within the liturgy or even the parish.  Ministers function in the workplace, with certain groups, in volunteer organizations — everywhere. Christianity is not a spectator sport.
Here are some former students’ reflections on their LIMEX experience:
“The LIMEX course, especially the group setting, provided the opportunity for service which has made a major life difference for me. It was fun getting a masters degree from a university before setting foot on the campus, but the important factor was the opening for deeper ministry and service to God.”
“I began the LIMEX process for my own self-edification and maybe to help with my role as catechist. I was expecting a completely ‘college-like’ experience, but LIMEX is more than that. It is a faith-sharing experience that has deepened my understanding of ministry and, hopefully, has made me a more effective minister.”
If you are feeling God calling you to deeper participation in His work, maybe LIMEX is for you.  So—what is your ministry?
(Kris Ivancic is a lay minister at Tupelo St. James Parish)

Protection of Children announces renewal details, workshop plans

The Office for the Protection of Children has two programs in the works this fall. First, all active parish, school and service center employees must renew their child protection certification by Oct. 31. The Diocese of Jackson requires recertification every odd-numbered calendar year as part of its ongoing commitment to the safety of children.
“It is imperative that everyone who has contact with minors understand our policies and that they recognize potential signs of abuse,” said Vickie Carollo, office coordinator. “Renewing these certifications is a way for us to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest research,” she added.
New employees and volunteers must attend an initial training session at their parish, school or ministry site. Those who have already attended a training only need to read a series of review lessons and complete a quiz online. The program will automatically update the status of the volunteer or employee once the review has been submitted. The lessons focus on current research into child abuse, such as what children abusers may target. They also give contemporary examples of abuse cases, including ones involving social media and online communications.
While the review is online, it is possible to print any of the material. The employee must pass each lesson before moving on to the next one, but users can review a lesson and re-take a quiz. Access the quiz using the link on the home page of the Diocese of Jackson website,
The second program is a workshop open to anyone including pastors, catechists, volunteers and concerned parents and parishioners. On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Offices of Protection of Children, Faith Formation and Catholic Schools will offer a workshop at Madison St. Joseph High School from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on “Catholic Citizenship in the Digital Age.”
“We have a responsibility as Catholics to promote internet safety as a church. Education is important to us as good Catholics to be respectable and appropriate users of digital and social media.  Staying well-informed of changes in technology is crucial due to the dangers that threaten us and our children and young people,” said Carollo.
The presenter, Paul Sanfrancesco, is the director of technology for the Garnet Valley School District located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He also teaches as adjunct professor in the graduate education department at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, and Neumann University, in Aston, Penn. Read more about that program here.
A few years ago Sanfrancesco did a survey in his school system on how proficient teachers were at using technology. He found that many needed training not only in technology, but in online platforms such as social media. He started a summer program to train his own teachers. He now takes that program across the country
The workshop is free and lunch will be provided; however, registration is requested. For additional details, call the Office of Protection of Children at 601-960-8471 or email

Josephites elect new leader

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Father Michael L. Thompson has been elected to a four-year term as superior general of the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, better known as the Josephites.
A native of Port Arthur, Texas, the 57-year-old priest had been serving as vicar general since 2011. He is the 14th superior general of the religious community, founded 144 years ago to minister to African-Americans.
Josephite priests and brothers elected Father Thompson during their general conference in mid-June at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington. “It’s a great honor to have your brothers choose you to be their leader. I now have a deeper responsibility to care for the men and to guide them in their ministry,” Father Thompson said in a statement.
“We Josephites are still here fighting for justice, peace and dignity in our black Catholic communities,” he said, noting that he would be establishing a justice and peace committee in the near future.
Ordained in 2004, Father Thompson was parochial vicar at Corpus Christi/Epiphany Church in New Orleans. Following Hurricane Katrina, Father Thompson assisted at the post-Katrina recovery office, which the Josephites had set up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
“I am really excited about the dedication of the Josephites who serve in ministry now and the men who are coming to join us,” Father Thompson said. “The excitement they have about continuing the mission of the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart gets me rejuvenated.”
The Josephite religious community, founded after the Civil War to minister to newly freed slaves, serves in parishes and special ministries, spanning seven states, including Mississippi, and the District of Columbia.



St. Mary of the Pines
Eight-day retreats –  $640
Five-day retreats –  $400
Weekend directed retreats – $160
Directed Retreats: The resident retreat director is Sister Dorez Mehrtens, SSND. To schedule a retreat contact Sister Dorez, 601-783-0411 or 601-810-7758 (cell),
Private Retreats: A private retreat is a retreat without a director and may be scheduled any time space is available. The individual chooses his/her own resources and rhythm of prayer and reflection throughout the day. Suggested donation: $65 per night. Financial assistance for any retreat is available upon request.
“Advanced Icon Workshop,” Sept. 23-30 for students who have completed several classes under the tutelage of a master from the Posopon School of Iconography. Taught by Nikita Andrejev. Cost is $930. Registration deadline is July 23.
Contact: St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center, 3167 Old Highway 51 South, Osyka, MS, 39657, 601-783-3494,

“Theology of the Body,” August 7-9 for high school students in grades 9-12.  Tara Trost will be the facilitator. The retreat begins on Friday evening and ends with Mass on Sunday.  Details will be posted on the website in the coming weeks,
Contact: Locus Benedictus Retreat Center, 1407 Levee Rd, Greenwood. Magdalene Abraham, 662-299-1232,
The Dwelling Place
Summer directed/private retreats, Aug. 7-15. Schedule a three, five or eight-day retreat within these blocks of time. Cost is $80 per day.
“Come to the Quiet,” Sept. 4-6 and Oct. 2-4.
Come, get away, be still and sort out your life under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
“Jesus and my ego,” Sept. 25-27. Using Lectio Divina, participants will look at stories in the gospels designed to bring one’s ego out into the open. Led by Father Henry Shelton. Cost is $200.
Contact: The Dwelling Place, 2824 Dwelling Place Road, Brooksville, MS, 39739, 662-738-5348,

Benedictine SISTERS
Introduction to Centering Prayer, Sept. 4-6. Centering Prayer is a form of Christian prayer rooted in the ancient Christian contemplative tradition.  Its purpose is to foster a deeper intimacy with Christ through the silence and stillness of contemplative prayer. Private rooms, $245.

“Woman Spirit Rising,” Sept. 25-27. A gathering of women at the Red Tent, a safe place to tell your own stories, to do truth telling, and to share hopes and dreams. Led by Sister Mary McGhehee. Private rooms, $245, shared rooms $205 per person.
Contact: Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, 916 Convent Road, Cullman, AL 35055, 256-734-8302,

Directed Retreats: The Jesuit Spirituality Center specializes in personally directed retreats based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Solitude and silence are important aspects of these retreats. Retreats may range from three days, five days, or eight days, to a full month.
Dates: Aug. 13 or 16, Aug 25 or 28, Sept 8 or 11, Sept. 21 or 24; Oct. 5 or 8. Retreats of eight-days begin on the first date. Retreats of five or three days begin on either date. Costs vary according to the length of the retreat.
“An introduction to the directed retreat,” Oct. 2-4. Cost is $160 (includes $70 non-refundable pre-registration fee).
An Introduction to the Directed Retreat is designed for someone making a silent directed retreat for the first time. Group and individual sessions will focus on how to pray, to journal, and to communicate prayer experiences with one’s director. This retreat will also prepare participants for a longer 3, 5, 8 or 30-day retreat. Led by Nelda Turner.
Contact: Jesuit Spirituality Center, 313 Martin Luther King Dr., Grand Coteau, La. 70541, 337-662-5251.

Discernment retreat, for single women 17-35, Friday, Aug. 7, from  5:30 p.m. to Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. Led by Father Victor Ingalls and the Little Sisters of the Poor. No charge. An extended stay with the Little Sisters is also available.

Contact: Little Sisters of the Poor, Sacred Heart Residence, 1655 McGill Ave. Mobile, Alabama 36604. Sister Carolyn, lsp,, 251-591-3700.

Sending a child to college an exercise in trust

Kneading Faith
By Fran Lavelle
It’s late July and before we know it our college students will be heading off to campus. For those of you who have sent a child away to college I am certain you’ll agree there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding the event. As many of you know, I spent 15 years working as the full time Catholic campus minister at Mississippi State and from that experience have gained some insights helpful to parents of college students. Here’s my list of three things every parent should consider:

Trust God
This seems like a no brainer, but for many parents letting go of control of their son or daughter is unbearable. They feel like if they have all the cards they can prevent their child from life’s more difficult situations. I get it. Some parents might be looking back at their own track record in college. Some of us may have not always made the best choices.
Thinking back to our own behavior can be helpful in that we know the temptations and pitfalls awaiting young people in college. Peer pressure is as real as it’s ever been. We need only to look to the Old Testament for the consequences of temptation. We all know what choice Eve made in the garden. We are not all that different. But knowing the reality that temptations and pressures are part of college life means we need to trust God all the more.
We need to allow our young adult children to make mistakes. We need to let them fail, fall down, get their hearts broken and stand back up on their own two feet knowing they survived and have learned from each experience. We need to trust that they will learn and appreciate a greater dependence on God as they struggle with their newly minted role of young adults.

Trust yourself
Yes, trust yourself that you have raised a good person. You have given them opportunities to learn, grow and succeed. You have provided the necessary infrastructure for them to grow in their faith, their studies and hopefully their life skills. You have to trust that the foundation you have put in place is sturdy and durable.
Yes, there will be challenges that your child faces in college that will seem like an assault to the foundation you have provided, but you must trust that the foundation you built is solid. Who remembers the wisdom of this 38 Special song, “Just hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control”? Sure, this song is about a lost love interest, but the wisdom rings true.
Hold on, loosely. By doing so you are there to help them navigate life when they really need your help. The loosely part means you let them handle the non-life threatening stuff. Allow your child to grow trusting you have done your job and done it well.

Trust your child
As a parent you know your child’s gifts and you know their challenges. They need to feel the freedom that this new stage in life offers them. They need to know you are there, but they need to learn to trust their own discernment and decision making. Second Corinthians 5:7 teaches us, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
College is the perfect time to grow in our faith walk. They will not see the road ahead but in walking by faith and not sight deepens our dependence on God. Allowing our children to trust their own judgement gives them confidence to make increasingly more important decisions. So too it will increase their dependence on God and hopefully be strengthened and enriched by their prayer life.
After the last box is unpacked, a semester of learning, growing and experiencing life awaits your college-aged child. Let us take comfort in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust.”
(Fran Lavelle is Director of the Department of Faith Formation.)

Ruling highlights separation of civil law from morality

Complete the circle
By George Evans
Like many of you, as a Catholic, I have been trying for the last days and weeks to get my arms around the impact of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision making same sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Regardless of whether we think the decision is correct or not, or whether we like it or not, there is no question that it is now the law of the land. What then does that portend for us as Catholics in our religious practice? After considerable struggle and thought my conclusion is NOTHING. The Supreme Court does not make moral law.
Civil law and Catholic morality are two different things. Both have an enormous impact on the way we live. Frequently the law changes the way people act. Think of the way the Civil Rights statutes in the 60’s changed voting, housing, accommodations, employment and myriad other parts of our lives. The blockbuster changes in public education effected by the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education has been monumental. Every Southerner who lived through what was a true social revolution based to a great extent on changes in law experienced the practical impact of law on life.
As a Catholic, I have always thought the Brown decision and laws of the Civil Rights Era were in lock step with Catholic morality. They moved this country much closer to its own destiny set forth in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and to the Old and New Testaments.
Genesis tells us that God created us in His image and likeness and the Gospels tell us His Son, Jesus, proved our worth by dying and rising for us and our salvation. Although legal, it was not moral to have segregated schools, churches, movie theaters, water fountains, bathrooms, etc. Segregation was legal in the south but not moral. Neither was slavery in its day. We now acknowledge the sin of legal segregation as well as slavery. We did not for a long time. I think the Civil Rights decisions and statutes are a great example of how law influenced behavior to be more in keeping with gospel values than did much of the preaching of the time.
On the other hand, Roe v Wade, another monumental Supreme Court decision more than 40 years ago, has had the opposite practical impact. By legalizing abortion it has conveyed the message to many that abortion is okay whether that was the intent of the decision or not. The result has been millions of innocent babies cast onto the trash heap.
Nothing could be further from Catholic morality. The law has not changed the clear teaching of Catholic morality condemning abortion. Those who claim otherwise are, at least objectively, deluding themselves. The sin of abortion is still with us. Roe v Wade has had the opposite effect from the Civil Rights decisions and statutes but also is evidence of how law can affect behavior one way or the other.
There are many areas which may not be quite as clear as Jim Crow and abortion. In my mind the failure in Mississippi of the legislature and governor to expand Medicaid is an affront to Catholic morality which stresses the duty to work for the common good and to care for our vulnerable brothers and sisters. I appreciate that financial arguments to the contrary are made.
I submit that they are hollow and trumped by the financial benefits of new jobs, critical support for hospitals and the moral imperative of healthcare for several hundred thousand people now doing without to the detriment of us all. If we accept Mt. 25 as being at least one standard for our personal salvation, perhaps we need to cure this absence of law to conform with Catholic morality.
Obviously there are many areas where law and morality relate – education funding, euthanasia, death penalty, mental health, immigration, etc. Too many to go into here. But what the Supreme Court has done in the case of same sex marriage highlights the difference between the two. Catholic morality teaches that same sex marriage is unacceptable and violates the consistent teaching of Scripture and the church.
As such we have no duty to accept it in our church practice while still recognizing it as the law of the land until such time as it may be changed. Our moral duty to love and respect all people remains our task including those who enter same sex marriage. Our moral duty to support and promote traditional marriage between a man and a woman continues and even increases as we work to uphold marriage as a special relationship between one man and one woman.
Pope Francis’s Synod in October in Rome will address the family which starts with a man and a woman in marriage. Let us pray for its success, for the success of future propagation, and for a change to the recent decision on same sex marriage.
Let us act in such ways that God’s kingdom comes now as well as later. Let us treat all people in such ways that our witness to the Jesus of the gospels will be irresistible to all who come into contact with us in our daily lives. Then we will have fulfilled our duty as citizens to law and as Catholics to Catholic morality.
(George Evans is a pastoral minister at Jackson St. Richard Parish.)

Sharing faith, having fun

By Floyd Ingram
HOUSTON – It is a 15-hour trip from Savage, Minn., to Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Houston. But Kate Ruth, 15, said she missed it last year and was not going to miss a chance to meet with her Houston friends again this summer – even if it is 997-mile from the front steps of St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Minnesota to the parking lot of Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“I came two years ago and had to miss last year because I had something else planned,” said Ruth, who made the trip with 24 youth and 13 adults this year. “I want to help these kids have a meaningful vacation Bible school. I missed that last year. I didn’t want to miss it this year.”Ruth and the 37 other members of St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Savage, Minn., will host VBS where they will tell children Bible stories, sing, do crafts, have lunch and then hold a one-on-one reading program. The week-long series of events is open to the public.
This marks the 11th year for St. John to make the trek to Houston.
“We have made plans for 100 kids and hope for 75,” said Andi Little, director of Faith Formation for St. John. “We have made a lot of friends in this community over the years. We love coming to Houston and we are blessed every year.” Little said the theme for this year’s vacation Bible school is “Holy Land Caravan,” and will teach kids about Moses and the Book of Exodus.
“We also hold up five holy people who we can look to as examples,” said Little. “Teaching children about these holy heroes or five saints is part of our faith.” And in addition to fun and games, several adults on this year’s mission team will do several small construction projects in the community. Last year’s VBS saw about 100 kids take part in VBS “Wet Wednesday” with 40 doing the reading program.
St. John is a church of over 900 and Heart of Mary – well, it is much smaller. “When this got started in 2003 we saw this as something special,” said Little. “We are not out to change the world, just the life of one person at a time.” Little said they try to keep their agenda simple.
“We just tell them about God’s love, do some crafts and eat a hot dog,” said Little. “The afternoon is when we do our reading program and when we really start building relationships.” Lay Ecclesiastical Minister, Lorenzo Aju, said St. John’s work in Houston is a boon to the church. “For them to support us like this means so much to our church, our parish and our community,” said Aju. “This helps our children so much.”
Aju said building relationships has been the key to the success of this mission each year. “Our children and our community look forward to this year,” he explained. “It encourages our parishioners and our kids to have so much fun.” Little said they will soon start making plans for next year’s trip. Sharing faith, having fun.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is reprinted with permission from the Chickasaw Journal in Houston.)


GLUCKSTADT – St. Joseph Parish youth Mass, Sunday, Aug. 2, at 5 p.m. Volunteers needed for all ministries.
– Kick off party Sunday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. food, fun and fellowship.

GREENVILLE St. Joseph Parish, Theology of the Body for Teens retreat, Friday-Sunday, Aug. 7-9, at Locus Benedictus Retreat Center. This program will give teens the answers and the tools they need to successfully and safely navigate through life. Details: Tara Trost,  662-515-9126.

HERNANDO – Backpack blessing during the Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9, Masses at Holy Spirit Parish, Olive Branch Queen of Peace, Robinsonville Good Shepherd, Southaven Christ the King, Senatobia St. Gregory, and Holly Springs St. Joseph.

MADISON St. Anthony School football practice for third through sixth graders will begin in August. A physical is required for all participants. Details: Frank and Paige Harrison, 601-291-4846,

PEARL St. Jude Parish, Young Apostles (rising seventh-12th graders) annual kayak and canoe trip down the Okatoma River, Sunday, Aug. 9. The cost to rent a canoe is $30 (canoe fits 2 people)YA and for a kayak is $30 (fits one person. Participants will attend the 8:30 a.m. Mass then depart for Seminary. Bring extra clothes, shoes, lunch and additional money ($5-10) for dinner/snack. Details: text or call Mrs. Mara, 601-421-3849, or Mrs. Betsy, 601-214-7378.