Holy Ghost calls alumni home

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Holy Ghost Catholic School educated generations of students before it closed in 1969 and the graduates continue to have an impact on their communities. On the weekend of Oct. 12-14 the parish hosted an all-class reunion.
The gathering marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the high school at Holy Ghost, the first high school for African-Americans in the city of Jackson. The weekend included a Friday evening fish fry, a photo session for all classes on Saturday, a gala Saturday night and Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph Kopacz on Sunday.
Mary Udoh, the last principal at the school, headed up organizing the events.
She even invited Sister Marie Angela Risi, a member of the Missionary Servants of the Holy Spirit, to return to the parish where she served so long ago. Sister Risi spoke of the enduring love the Sisters have for the people of Jackson.
At the end of Mass, Derek Singleton, a Holy Ghost alumnus, spoke of the tremendous impact Catholic education had on all who attended Holy Ghost and invited everyone in attendance to support the nearest Catholic School, Sister Thea Bowman School, located at nearby Christ the King Parish.

Zachary Taylor, class of 1942, lines up for the class photo, assisted by his daughter, Fabvienen Taylor, who attended the school with her brothers until it closed in 1969. (Photo by Laci Smith)

During Mass Sunday morning, Bishop Joseph Kopacz spoke to a packed church about attending his own school reunion recently and about the importance of education as one legacy of the Catholic Church.

(l-r) Nina McKinney Cook; Mary Udoh, the last principal at Holy Ghost School, and her daughter Okononwan Udoh brought up the gifts during Mass. (Photo by Maureen Smith)

Sister Marie Angela Risi, SSpS, came from Illinois for the reunion. She spoke at the closing Mass of the Sisters' love for their students.

Parish ministers process out with Bishop Kopacz at the end of Mass.

A Friday night Fish Fry gave classmates a chance to catch up at a casual meal while the Saturday gala was a more formal event. More than 120 alumni attended events throughout the weekend. Organizers hope to host a reunion every-other-year. (Photo by Laci Smith)