By Laura Grisham
HOLLY SPRINGS – Wednesday, Jan. 25, will be remembered as an important day for Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM) and Northwest Mississippi. It was on this day that the groundbreaking for the Father Gregory Bezy Volunteer House in Holly Springs took place. Bishop Joseph Kopacz, bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, and Holly Springs Mayor Kelvin Buck were among those participating in the ceremony, which had originally been planned for earlier in the month, but was rescheduled due to ice and snow.
The Father Gregory Bezy Volunteer House will play an important role by housing caring people who travel to northeast Mississippi from near and far to help others.
Each year, Sacred Heart Southern Missions hosts hundreds of volunteers from all across the country. Last year, that total exceeded 1,400 people, many of them high school and college students wanting to make a difference in the lives of the poor.
They offer a variety of service, everything from manual labor to works of mercy. Projects include work in home repair, helping distribute food for the food bank, tutoring or helping with summer programs for teens and kids. Often, volunteers find that those whom they have helped have made a difference in their lives as well.
“In volunteering, they find that they, too, have been changed,” said Father Jack Kurps, SHSM executive director. “Their hearts have been changed by their experience. They learn what it means to be a Christian.”
The new facility will have the space to house 32 volunteers. Project completion is expected by fall. It is named after Father Gregory Bezy, SCJ, who came to Mississippi in 1952 and served as the director for Sacred Heart Southern Missions for more than 30 years. Father Bezy was instrumental in establishing several churches here in northern Mississippi, expanding schools, and initiating many of our social outreach programs.
“He touched the lives of many in Mississippi and across the nation,” said Father Krups.
The advent of this new facility will provide much needed accommodations for our ever-increasing volunteer base. It will also afford us the opportunity to complete more projects for those in need through the additional sets of willing hands.
(Story reprinted with permission from Sacred Heart Southern Missions’ newsletter.)