Sacred calling answered, Beggerly ordained as new priest for diocese

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Homegrown seminarian, Carlisle Beggerly was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Jackson on May 27 at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson, where family, friends, priests, deacons, fellow seminarian and supporters from around the diocese were present for the joyous occasion.

Growing up in Florence, Beggerly had a profound spiritual awakening during his college years. Influenced by St. Augustine’s Confessions, Beggerly embarked on a quest to find the church to which Augustine belonged, ultimately leading him to the Catholic faith. Under the guidance of Father Bill Voller in Hattiesburg, Beggerly received instruction and embraced Catholicism, sensing a calling to the priesthood from the very beginning of his conversion.

After spending time with a religious order, Beggerly realized it was not the perfect fit and decided to pursue a different path. Even upon completing law school at Mississippi College, the call to priestly life continued to resonate within his heart.

After moving to West Point and joining Immaculate Conception parish, Beggerly made the decision to enter seminary for the Diocese of Jackson, drawn by a deep desire to minister to the people who influenced and shaped his life.

After the Liturgy of the Word during the Mass of ordination for Beggerly, Bishop Joseph Kopacz called upon his worthiness and testimony was given by Father Nick Adam, director of vocations for the diocese.
“Relying on the help of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, we choose this man, our brother, for the order of the priesthood,” said Bishop Kopacz to applause from those gathered for the occasion.

During the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Kopacz anointed Beggerly’s palms with holy chrism. Afterward, his hands were wrapped in a binding cloth. At his first Mass of Thanksgiving at his home parish of Immaculate Conception West Point, Beggerly explained a tradition that sometimes accompanies the ritual.

“The cloth symbolically represents the ropes that were tied around our Lord,” explained Beggerly. “And it also serves a practical reason in that it cleans the oils off your hands,” he said to laughs from the pews.
Beggerly went on to explain a custom that some priests continue today, in presenting their mothers with the cloth.

“It is custom to give this piece of cloth or maniturgium to the mother of a priest as a gift, so that she is buried with it and presents it to our Lord and says, ‘I have given You my son as a priest,’” Father Beggerly told those gathered at his home parish.

Welcoming his mother forward to receive the gift, those gathered smiled and applauded the special tradition they witnessed.

As a self-described “son of Mississippi,” Father Beggerly looks forward to ministering to the people who have helped form him through the years. His first assignment will be with the Catholic community in Meridian at St. Patrick and St. Joseph beginning July 1.


(Photos by Michael Barrett and Joanna Puddister King)

First Mass

(Photos Joanna Puddister King)