Jubilee Year of Mercy offers pilgrimage opportunities

By Maureen Smith
Vicksburg celebrated the first pilgrimage day for the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Monday, Jan. 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. All three parishes offered a Mass and were open to pilgrims for the whole day.
Most of the action on pilgrimage day was based out of St. Paul Parish. The community celebrated its feast day with rosaries throughout the day, adoration and benediction in addition to Mass. Home schooled students as well as students from Vicksburg Catholic School joined in the prayers that day. In the evening, the parish hosted a movie and a meal.
In St. Michael Parish, artist Brandy Lee hand painted the Year of Mercy logo in the parish center and on a canvas to display in the church. “When Father Curley and I began talking about the Year of Mercy, we knew we wanted something depicting the Year of Mercy hanging in both the church and the education building, explained Helene Benson, director of religious education for St. Michael Parish. “However, I knew I wanted something different than just taking the artwork down to the local print shop. I wanted something original and done by someone we knew personally. That’s when our thoughts turned to Brandy Lee, the daughter of our rectory housekeeper Adell. At St. Michael we consider both Adell and Brandy to be part of our church family,” Benson continued. Lee is studying art at Hinds Community college. “Her response was an overwhelming and enthusiastic yes! We are so proud of Brandy and her accomplishments and hope in some small way this can help her as continues to develop and use the talents that God has so graciously given her,” said Benson.

Remaining pilgrimage days:
– Monday, Feb. 22, feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, Jackson.
– Friday March 4 – Saturday March 5, “24 hours for the Lord” adoration and pilgrimages, all sites.
– Sunday, April 24, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Jubilee for Young people, all sites.
– Tuesday, July 26-Sunday, July 31, World Youth Day and anniversary of the founding of diocese, all sites.
– Sunday, Sept. 4, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, observed memorial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, all sites.
– Thursday, Sept. 15, Our Mother of Sorrows, original diocesan patroness, Natchez sites.
– Sunday, Nov. 6, jubilee for prisoners and those in prison ministry, Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle.
– Sunday, Nov. 13, closing of Holy Doors, all sites
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Pilgrims should visit all the churches at each pilgrimage site on a pilgrimage day. See the site list at www.jacksondiocese.org. For more background on pilgrimages and Holy Doors, see column on page 12)