DUBUQUE, Iowa – Sister Nona Meyerhofer, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, celebrated her
Double Diamond Jubilee (70 years) on Sunday, June 18, at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque.
Sister Nona served as a teacher and educator in Iowa and Illinois and served from 1999 – 2009 at Excel, Inc., Morton, Mississippi, as director and teacher. In June of 2009 Sister Nona retired to Mount Saint Francis Center in Dubuque, Iowa.
Sister Rita Goedken, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Dubuque, celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) on Saturday, June 17, at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque.
Sister Rita is the daughter of Alfred and Loretta (Koch) Goedken and is blessed to be one of their 12 children. She attended SS. Peter and Paul School in Petersburg, St. Boniface High School in New Vienna, and Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. Later she did graduate work at Central Michigan University and at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York. Over the years, she taught at Aquin Elementary School, Cascade, Iowa; St. Joe, Bode, Iowa; St. Paul School, Eugene, Oregon; and Our Lady Help of Christians School, Saginaw, Michigan. She has served in parish ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in
Chesaning, Michigan, St. Patrick Parish in Palms, Michigan and at St. Victor Parish in Monroe, Wisconsin. After serving on the Sisters of St. Francis’ leadership team, she traveled to Morton, Mississippi, and served as the program coordinator for the Learning Center. Now living at Mount St. Francis Center, Sister Rita continues to be immensely grateful for a life of rich blessings.
“God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!” said Sister Rita on the occasion of her Jubilee.
Cards can be sent to Sister Nona and Sister Rita at 3390 Windsor Ave., Dubuque, IA 52001.
By Rhina Guidos (OSV News) – Religiosas y religiosos de muchos lados de América Latina y el Caribe se reunieron del 2 al 5 de junio para abordar algunos de los problemas más difíciles que enfrenta la región, a los que la hermana Liliana Franco, presidenta de la Confederación Latinoamericana de Religiosos (CLAR), llamó “la noche”, refiriéndose a las condiciones sociales, eclesiales, y otras que afectan la vida consagrada. Compartieron los nombres de sus amigos caídos: algunos de ellos eran sus predecesores y otros mártires; algunos habían vivido vidas largas mientras que otros, cortas; pero todas enraizadas en una cercanía radical al Evangelio.
Aun así, la Misa de clausura de la 48.ª reunión de la junta directiva de la CLAR en Lima, Perú, transcurrió con alegría y tranquilidad. Terminaron tarde el 5 de junio, con banderas de toda América Latina y el Caribe dispuestas sobre un altar, recordando a sus amigos caídos y dando gracias por sus vidas. Los miembros de las CLAR de Nicaragua y Haití no asistieron a la reunión. Los nicaragüenses temían salir del país y luego no poder regresar. Los haitianos están lidiando con una violencia creciente. Aquellos que asistieron desde lugares como Cuba y Venezuela compartieron detalles sobre las condiciones deterioradas en sus países, como la falta de alimentos y medicinas. Los miembros dijeron que este es un camino cada vez más doloroso, ya que América Latina y el Caribe sufren convulsiones políticas, migración a gran escala, violencia, y persecución – situaciones que han afectado cada vez más a la vida consagrada en la región. En medio de todo esto, ellos también hablaron con gran entusiasmo sobre el sínodo de la sinodalidad – un proceso de tres años de escucha y diálogo al que el Papa Francisco ha convocado a la Iglesia, y que se lleva a cabo desde 2021 hasta 2024 y lo que significa para la vida consagrada.
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) — Lamentando las “masacres silenciosas” de personas inocentes que murieron mientras cruzaban el mar Mediterráneo en busca de una vida mejor en otro lugar, el mundo debe cambiar su actitud hacia los migrantes y los necesitados, dijo el Papa Francisco.
“El hermano que llama es digno de amor, de acogida y de toda atención”, dijo el Papa en una carta con motivo del décimo aniversario de su primer viaje apostólico como Papa a la isla italiana de Lampedusa el 8 de julio de 2013. “Es un hermano que, como yo, ha sido puesto en la tierra para gozar de lo que allí existe y compartirlo en comunión”.
Lampedusa, situada entre Sicilia y las naciones norteafricanas de Túnez y Libia, ha sido durante décadas un importante punto de destino para los migrantes de África, Oriente Medio y Asia que buscan una nueva vida en Europa. Sin embargo, muchos migrantes suelen realizar el viaje en embarcaciones poco seguras o sin las provisiones necesarias, como alimentos, agua y flotadores.
Se cree que al menos 2.000 personas perdieron la vida en 2022 y de nuevo en 2021 mientras cruzaban el Mediterráneo. Entre 2014 y 2022 se registraron casi 26.000 muertos y, entre 2014 y 2018, unas 12.000 personas ahogadas nunca fueron encontradas, según Statista. El Papa Francisco lamentó las muertes durante su visita de 2013 con oraciones y arrojando una corona floral a las ondulantes aguas.
En su carta al arzobispo de Agrigento, Sicilia, Alessandro Damiano, el Papa dijo que quería visitar a la gente de Lampedusa “para expresar mi apoyo y cercanía paterna a quienes, tras dolorosas vicisitudes, a merced del mar, desembarcaron en vuestras costas”. El Vaticano publicó la carta el 8 de julio.
“Asistimos a la repetición de graves tragedias en el Mediterráneo. Nos estremecen las masacres silenciosas ante las que aún permanecemos impotentes y atónitos. La muerte de inocentes, principalmente niños, en busca de una existencia más serena, lejos de las guerras y la violencia, es un grito doloroso y ensordecedor que no puede dejarnos indiferentes”, escribió.
“La ocurrencia de desastres tan inhumanos debe sacudir absolutamente las conciencias”, escribió. “Es necesario un cambio de actitud” y “todos estamos llamados a un renovado y profundo sentido de responsabilidad, mostrando solidaridad y compartiendo”.
“Es necesario, por tanto, que la Iglesia, para ser verdaderamente profética, debe trabajar “con solicitud para ponerse en las rutas de los olvidados, saliendo de sí misma, aliviando con el bálsamo de la fraternidad y de la caridad las heridas sangrantes de quienes llevan impresas en sus propios cuerpos las mismas llagas de Cristo”, escribió el Papa.
Instó a los cristianos a “no permanecer prisioneros del miedo y de la lógica partidista, sino a ser cristianos capaces de enriquecer esta isla” con la “riqueza espiritual del Evangelio, para que vuelva a brillar con su belleza original”.
El Papa también celebró el Domingo del Mar el 9 de julio tras rezar el Ángelus con los visitantes en la Plaza de San Pedro. La jornada internacional de oración por la gente de mar y sus familias, los trabajadores de la industria marítima, los capellanes y los voluntarios con el apostolado del mar se estableció oficialmente en 1975 para concienciar sobre la importancia del trabajo que realizan los marinos, que hoy en día son más de un millón de personas.
El Papa Francisco agradeció a todos los marineros que “custodian el mar frente a las diversas formas de contaminación — además de su trabajo — y sacan del mar la suciedad que tiramos, el plástico”.
“Quisiera también recordar con gratitud a cuantos operan con Mediterranea Saving Humans en el salvamento de migrantes en el mar”, dijo.
La ONG reúne a particulares y asociaciones para salvar a migrantes en apuros en el mar con su propio barco civil de rescate. El Papa Francisco ha invitado al “jefe de misión” del grupo, Luca Casarini, a asistir al sínodo sobre la sinodalidad de octubre de 2023 en el Vaticano como uno de los ocho “invitados especiales” sin derecho a voto”.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis named 21 new cardinals, including U.S.-born Archbishop Robert F. Prevost, who took the helm at the Dicastery for Bishops in April, and French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States.
The pope announced the names after his recitation of the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square July 9. He said he would formally install the cardinals during a special consistory at the Vatican Sept. 30.
Cardinal-designate Prevost expressed his surprise and joy upon hearing the announcement, he said in an interview with Vatican News July 10.
“Certainly I felt happy for the recognition of the mission that has been entrusted to me — which is a very beautiful thing — and at the same time I thought with reverence and holy fear: I hope I can respond to what the pope is asking of me. It is an enormous responsibility, like when he called me to Rome as prefect,” he said in Italian.
“I see it as the continuation of a mission that the pope has decided to give me,” he added.
Speaking in English, Cardinal-designate Prevost said it is not a coincidence that Pope Francis scheduled the consistory before the start of the first general assembly of the synod on synodality, saying he is firmly convinced that “all of us are called to walk together.”
The new cardinals represent more than a dozen countries on five continents. Three of the new cardinals are current Vatican officials, three are current or retired apostolic nuncios, 13 are current or retired heads of archdioceses around the world, one is a rector major of the Salesians and one is a 96-year-old confessor in Buenos Aires. Six belong to religious orders; two of them are Jesuits.
Continuing a papal custom, among the new cardinals were three churchmen — two archbishops and a Capuchin Franciscan priest — over the age of 80, whom Pope Francis said he wanted to honor because they were particularly deserving because of “their service to the church.” Being over the age of 80, they are ineligible to vote in a conclave.
After the new cardinals are installed in late September, there will be 137 potential voters and the total membership of the College of Cardinals is expected to be 243.
The nomination of Cardinal-designate Prevost brings to 18 the number of U.S. cardinals; after the consistory, the U.S. contingent will include 11 potential papal electors.
The September ceremony will mark the ninth time Pope Francis has created cardinals since his election to the papacy in March 2013. After the ceremony Sept. 30, he will have created a total of 131 new cardinals in that College of Cardinals, which would make up about 54% of the total college and 72% of potential electors.
With the addition of six new cardinals under the age of 60, the average age of cardinal electors will get one year younger going from today’s average age of 72 years 8 months to 71 years 6 months. Cardinal-designate Alves Aguiar of Lisbon, 49, will be just six months older than the youngest elector, Cardinal Giorgio Marengo of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 49.
Cardinal-designate Prevost, 67, was born in Chicago, and had served as bishop of Chiclayo, Peru, for more than eight years before being appointed to lead the Vatican body responsible for recommending to the pope candidates to fill the office of bishop in many of the Latin-rite dioceses of the world. Recommendations made by the dicastery are typically approved by the pope. Archbishop Prevost has been a member of the dicastery since November 2020.
He also oversees the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, established in 1958 by Pope Pius XII to study the church in Latin America, where nearly 40% of the world’s Catholics reside.
The cardinal-designate holds degrees from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. An Augustinian friar, he joined the Augustinian mission in Peru in 1985 and largely worked in the country until in 1999, when he was elected head of the Augustinians’ Chicago-based province. From 2001 to 2013, he served as prior general of the worldwide order.
In 2014, Pope Francis named him bishop of Chiclayo, in northern Peru, and the pope asked him also to be apostolic administrator of Callao, Peru, from April 2020 to May 2021. The pope then appointed him to succeed the retiring Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops in early 2023.
Cardinal-designate Pierre, 77, was born in Rennes, France. Ordained to the priesthood in 1970, he served as apostolic nuncio to Haiti, Uganda and Mexico until Pope Francis named him nuncio to the United States in 2016.
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offered his congratulations and prayers to the new cardinals on behalf of the bishops of the United States July 9.
“Please join me in praying for Cardinal-designate Prevost and Cardinal-designate Pierre as they continue their lives of service to the universal church,” Archbishop Broglio said. “For the church in the United States, their ministry has been a true blessing. Our episcopal conference rejoices in this sign of recognition of these distinguished churchmen.”
Before he read the 21 names, Pope Francis told the estimated 15,000 people in St. Peter’s Square that the diversity of the new cardinals “expresses the universality of the church, which continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all people on Earth.”
The order in which the cardinals are announced determines their seniority in the College of Cardinals, which has little practical effect except in liturgical processions.
Here is the list of the new cardinals:
— U.S.-born Archbishop Robert F. Prevost, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, 67.
— Italian Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for Eastern Churches, 67.
— Argentine Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández of La Plata, Argentina, incoming prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. He will turn 61 July 18.
— Swiss Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, the apostolic nuncio to Argentina, 76.
— French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, 77.
— Italian Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, 58.
— South African Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, 66.
— Argentine Archbishop Ángel Sixto Rossi of Córdoba, 64. He is a member of the Society of Jesus.
— Colombian Archbishop Luis José Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá, 61.
— Polish Archbishop Grzegorz Rys of Lódz, 59.
— South Sudanese Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, 59.
— Spanish Archbishop José Cobo Cano of Madrid, 57.
— Tanzanian Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, coadjutor archbishop of Tabora, 63.
— Malaysian Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Malaysia, 71.
— Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan of Hong Kong, 63. Born in Hong Kong, he is a member of the Society of Jesus.
— Bishop François-Xavier Bustillo of Ajaccio in Corsica, France, 54. Born in Spain, he is a member of the Conventual Franciscans.
— Portuguese Auxiliary Bishop Américo Alves Aguiar of Lisbon, 49.
— Spain-born Salesian Father Ángel Fernández Artime, rector major of the Salesians, 62.
Those named cardinal and over the age of 80:
— Italian Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, a retired papal nuncio, a former curial official and a respected historian of the Second Vatican Council, 82.
— Retired Archbishop Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez of Cumaná, Venezuela, 84.
— Capuchin Father Luis Pascual Dri, confessor at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompei, Buenos Aires, 96.
HATTIESBURG – Msgr. Joseph Clement Mercier “Father Joe,” a native of Hattiesburg, passed away on March 20, 2023 after a long and full life of priestly ministry.
Msgr. Mercier was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Ella Mae McGinley; five brothers, Albert Lucien, Patrick Bernard, Adrian Gabriel, Delphins Francis & Michael James; two sisters, Agnes Therese Morgan and Mary Claire Debrow. Msgr. Mercier is survived by his brother, Damian Mercier of Hattiesburg; numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and many priestly brothers and deacons.
Msgr. Mercier graduated from Sacred Heart High School, Hattiesburg, in 1944. After a brief tour in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He began his seminary training at St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict, Louisiana, and then completed his formation at the North American College and Gregorian University, both in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest at the Church of The Twelve Apostles in Rome for the Diocese of Natchez on July 17, 1955. As a priest, Msgr. Mercier served as associate pastor of St. Mary’s parish, Jackson; Nativity Cathedral, Biloxi; St. John the Evangelist parish, Gulfport; and Sacred Heart parish, Hattiesburg. He then served as pastor of Christ the King and Holy Family parishes in Jackson; Sacred Heart parish, Pascagoula; St. John the Evangelist parish, Gulfport; and Sacred Heart parish, Dedeaux.
During his nearly 68 years of priestly ministry Msgr. Mercier served the Catholic community in many roles. He served as a teacher in three Catholic high schools in Mississippi, overseeing many parishes with attached schools, he also served Catholic students at the University of Southern Mississippi as chaplain of the Newman Club on campus and acquired the land on behalf of the diocese where St. Thomas Church and the Newman Center are today. He also served on the diocesan board of consultors, clergy council, diocesan liturgical commission, personnel board, synodal examiner, parish priest consultor for the “Mississippi Register” newspaper (now “Mississippi Catholic”) for the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson. While at Sacred Heart parish, in Dedeaux, he was the priest director of the Cursillo movement of South Mississippi and lay retreats. After his retirement he spent many years assisting fellow priests by traveling to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and continued ministry with the Cursillo movement.
Msgr. Mercier spent his last years at The Claiborne assisted living facility in Hattiesburg where he continued to celebrate Mass for small groups in his room until his health prevented him from continuing. A Mass of Christian burial was held at Sacred Heart Church for Msgr. Mercier, with interment at Sacred Heart Cemetery on Bonhomie Road.
LENTEN MEALS AND STATIONS BATESVILLE St. Mary, Knights of Columbus Fish Fry on March 31 from 5-7 p.m. Cost $12/plate. BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Stations every Friday during Lent at 5:30 p.m. followed by a light meal. CANTON Sacred Heart, Stations every Friday at 5:30 p.m. followed by a soup supper in the parish center (no charge). All are welcome! CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, Lenten lunch and reflection on Fridays during Lent from 12-1 p.m. in McKenna Hall. COLUMBUS Annunciation, Fish Fry in the Activity Center, after Stations every Friday during Lent at 5:30 p.m. in the chapel. FLOWOOD St. Paul, Knights of Columbus Fish dinner every Friday after Stations at 6 p.m. Donations accepted. All are welcome. GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Lenten dinner/Fish Fry on March 31 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Stations every Friday at 6 p.m. Cost: $10 per plate. Includes three strips of catfish, coleslaw, fries, hushpuppies, tea or water. Dine-in or carry out. Grilled cheese sandwiches with fries for $3. GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary, Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, every Friday during Lent from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $12 per plate. Dine in or carry out. HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Men’s Association fish fry on March 31 beginning at 4 p.m. – eat in or takeout. JACKSON St. Peter Cathedral, Stations at 5:15 every Friday in Lent, followed by simple, meat-free meal in the parish center. Spanish stations at 7 p.m. JACKSON St. Richard, Stations at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays during Lent with Knights of Columbus Fish Fry in Foley Hall following. Dine-in or carry out. Cost: $12 adults; $6 children; $40 Families of 5+ members. MADISON St. Francis, Rosary 6 p.m., Stations 6:30 p.m. and Lenten meal 7 p.m. every Friday during Lent. MERIDIAN St. Joseph, Stations at 6 p.m. on March 31, followed by fish fry in Kehrer Hall. Plates $10 each. NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, every Friday of Lent, from 5-7 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Cost: Catfish $12; Shrimp $12; Combo $14. Dinners include fries, hush puppies and coleslaw. For grilled fish, call 30 minutes ahead. Details: Darren (601) 597-2890. OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Soup Suppers at 5:30 p.m. March 24 and 31. OXFORD St. John, Stations in Church at 5 p.m. and Knights of Columbus Fish Fry at 5:30 in parish hall. Dine-in or take-out. Cost $10, plate includes fish, fries, hushpuppies, slaw and a drink. PEARL St. Jude, Fish Fry following Stations every Friday during Lent at 6 p.m. Reservations required. Dinner includes catfish, fries, huspuppies, coleslaw and tea. Dine-in only. No cost, donations encouraged. Details: church office (601) 939-3181. STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Knights of Columbus catfish dinner after Stations in the Church at 5:30 p.m. every Friday during Lent. SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Fish Fry at 5:30 p.m. and Stations at 7 p.m. on March 31. TUPELO St. James, Lenten Pasta Dinner, Friday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m. in Shelton Hall. Dine-in or carry-out. Meatless spaghetti (choice of red or white sauce), salad, garlic bread and dessert. Cost: adults $9; kids $6. VICKSBURG Knights of Columbus Fish Fry every Friday during Lent. YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Stations and Soup, Tuesdays during Lent at 5:30 p.m.
PENANCE/RECONCILIATION SERVICES CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, Reconciliation with several priests available, Thursday, March 30 from 5-7 p.m. FLOWOOD St. Paul, Penance Service, Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. GREENVILLE Sacred Heart, Penance Service and Individual Confessions, Wednesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. MAGEE St. Stephen, Penance Service, Saturday, April 1 at 4 p.m. OXFORD St. John, Penance Service, Monday, March 27 from 5-6:30 p.m. SHAW St. Francis, Penance Service and Individual Confessions, Monday, March 27 at 6 p.m. STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Penance Service, Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. TUPELO St. James, Reconciliation Service, Thursday, March 30 from 5-7 p.m. in the Church.
SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT CLINTON Holy Savior, Ladies Lenten Retreat in McGing Hall on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Father Lincoln Dall and Carmelite Sister Anna Maria. Details: church office (601) 924-6344. METAIRIE, La. Five-day Silent Directed Retreat, June 26 –July 2 at the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center (5500 Saint Mary Street, Metairie). Cost $500, includes room and board. Meet daily with a spiritual director, pray with scripture and spend the rest of the day in silence, prayer and rest. Register at franu.edu/retreat. Details: email@example.com or call (225) 526-1694.
PARISH, FAMILY & SCHOOL EVENTS COLUMBUS Annunciation, Blood Drive, Sunday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bank First parking lot. FLOWOOD St. Paul, Women’s Sports Team afternoon of bowling at Fannin Lanes, Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. RSVP to (601) 927-4533. Cost to bowl is $5.25 per person; shoe rental $4. GREENVILLE St. Joseph School, Muffuletta Sale, Pick up on April 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets available at school or church office. Details: church office (662) 335-5251. JACKSON St. Richard, Men’s Prayer Breakfast with Bishop Kopacz, Monday, April 3 at 7 a.m. in Foley Hall following Mass at 6:30 a.m. Details: contact Anthony at (601) 573-8574 or firstname.lastname@example.org. MADISON St. Catherine’s Village, Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, meets fourth Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Campbell Cove building. Lunch provided. All are welcome. Details: call to RSVP (601) 856-0123 or email email@example.com. SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Blood Drive, Sunday, March 26 from 12-3 p.m. Sign up sheets in gathering space. Details: church office (662) 342-1073. SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Resurrection Party, Sunday, April 16 at 3 p.m. Details: church office (662) 342-1073. TUPELO St. James, Rise Up, Monday, April 10 in Shelton Hall. Dinner at 5:30 p.m.; Scripture, testimony, worship at 6:30 p.m. A night of food, fellowship and worship. All ages welcome. Nursery will be provided. Details: church office (662) 231-0981.
EASTER EGG HUNTS BATESVILLE St. Mary, Easter Egg Hunt after 10:30 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday. Please bring three dozen or so plastic filled Easter eggs and tape them closed. COLUMBUS Annunciation, Easter Festival, Sunday, April 2 from 2-4 p.m. CYO teens are hosting an Easter egg hunt, games and snacks. Event open to children birth to fifth grade. Event at Annunciation School. Donations of candy are needed. Details: church office (662) 328-2927. FLOWOOD St. Paul, Easter Egg Hunt by Knights of Columbus, following 10:30 Mass on April 2. Report to Learning Center cafeteria for instructions. HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, April 2 at 11:45 a.m. Egg hunts by age groups (0-3; 4-6; 7-10). Lunch provided and prizes awarded. MADISON St. Francis, Easter Sunday Egg Hunt, Please drop off filled eggs in the Family Life Center collection boxes by Palm Sunday. (No nuts, peanut butter or hard candy, please.) PEARL St. Jude, Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, April 9 at 10 a.m. SENATOBIA St. Gregory, Pot-luck meal and Egg Hunt after Easter Sunday Mass on April 9. Mass at 8 a.m. YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Easter Egg Hunt, immediately following Mass on Easter Sunday. Please place candy filled eggs in the box at the back of the church.
SAVE THE DATE COLUMBUS Annunciation School, Draw Down and Art Auction, Friday, April 14 at the Trotter Convention Center from 6:30-11 p.m. Adults only (21 and up). Event includes dinner and open bar. Details: email firstname.lastname@example.org. FLOWOOD St. Paul, Men’s Retreat sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on May 20. For all men of St. Paul parish age 18 and up. GREENVILLE Paul and Wadel Abide Memorial Golf Classic, Friday, May 12 at the Greenville Golf and Country Club. Cost: 4-person scramble $150 per golfer, includes cart fee, drink tickets and entry to social. Non-golfers cost is $60 and includes two drink tickets and entry to social. Enjoy food, drinks, door prizes and awards after golfing. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph School Scholarship Fund. Details: school office (662) 378-9711. HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Yard Sale, Friday, May 19-20. Start saving item donations now. Donations accepted beginning May 8. Details: church office (662) 429-7851. Holy Spirit, Vacation Bible School, June 5-8 from 6-8 p.m. JACKSON 17th Annual Sister Thea Bowman School Draw Down, Saturday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the school multi-purpose building. $5,000 Grand prize. Cost $100, second chance insurance extra $20 per ticket. Details: (601) 351-5197 or email@example.com. MADISON St. Francis, Rocky Railway VBS express, June 19-22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All pre-K4 through fourth graders are invited. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org. MERIDIAN St. Patrick School, Countdown scheduled for April 21. Grandprize $5,000. Cost: $100 each. MERIDIAN Knights of Columbus State Convention, April 28-30 at the Threefoot Hotel. For more information visit: kofc-ms.org/convention/2023 NATCHEZ Cathedral, 39th annual Crawfish Countdown, Friday, May 5. Join us for a fun night of crawfish, ice-cold beverages, chance to win $5,000 and more.
REMINDERS/NOTICES ENGAGED ENCOUNTER WEEKENDS April 28-30 at Lake Tiak O’Khata in Lousiville; July 14-16 and Oct. 27-29 at Camp Garaywa in Clinton. Please register at www.jacksondiocese.org/family-ministry. NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS GATHERING, July 20-23 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Join with other Black Catholics and those who minister to Black Catholics for a celebration of faith and culture. Details: nbccongress.org. INDIANAPOLIS Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21, 2024. Registration is now open. See what Our Lord has in store for this next chapter for the Catholic Church in United States. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/3ydav9Q. Details: EucharisticCongress.org. INDIANAPOLIS National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), Nov. 16-18, 2023 at the Indiana Convention Center. This distinctly Catholic three-day conference will include opportunities for spiritual growth, prayer, learning and service. For more information, visit ncyc.us. VOCATIONS RETREAT Come and See event for men ages 16-24 at St. Joseph Seminary College, March 31 through April 2. Details: for more information or to sign-up contact email@example.com or (601) 969-4020. WORLD YOUTH DAY: LISBON 2023 Event for young Catholics ages 16-35, though all are welcomed to attend in Lisbon, Portugal. For more information visit: https://www.lisboa2023.org/en/.
REQUIESCAT IN PACE HATTIESBURG – Msgr. Joseph Mercier, a retired priest of the Diocese of Biloxi passed on Monday, March 20 at the age of 96. A recording of the Funeral Mass can be found at facebook.com/CatholicDioceseBiloxi. Msgr. Mercier will be buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Hattiesburg. NEW ORLEANS – Bishop Fernand (Ferd) Joseph Cheri III, OFM, a New Orleans native who had served since 2015 as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, died March 21 at age 71 at Chateau de Notre Dame in New Orleans following a lengthy illness. Bishop Cheri, 71, served most recently as administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish in New Orleans until kidney and heart problems forced him to step away from active ministry. He was born with one kidney and had been on dialysis three days a week for several months. “He has been called home to the Lord,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said. “We mourn his death and thank God for his life and ministry.”
By Tom Hoffarth LOS ANGELES (OSV News) – Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell was remembered as a man “gripped by grace” and “at ease with movers and shakers and also with the moved and shaken” as nearly 5,000 attended a funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels March 3.
The Mass was the conclusion of a three-day tribute to Bishop O’Connell, starting with a March 1 memorial Mass at St. John Vianney Church in Hacienda Heights. On March 2 at the cathedral, local Catholics said farewell to Bishop O’Connell in an all-day public viewing followed by a vigil Mass.
In his homily at the funeral Mass, Msgr. Jarlath Cunnane, Bishop O’Connell’s classmate and close friend from their seminary days in Ireland in 1971, called upon the phrase “Anam Cara,” the Celtic concept of having a friend of the soul.
“You’re blessed if you have a soul friend,” said Msgr. Cunnane, the pastor of St. Cornelius Church in Long Beach. “And I was blessed to have David. … I was better for having known David O’Connell. Many of you were too, were you not?”
The question drew a round of applause from the pews.
Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez presided over the Mass that not only filled the cathedral pews but had hundreds more standing in the aisles, ambulatories and seated on the outside plaza watching a livestream presentation.
Long, yellow school buses frequently pulled up to the curb outside the cathedral to drop off more mourners. Several streamed into the Cathedral Plaza as the two-hour Mass went on, using umbrellas as shade, clutching their young children, simply wanting to be present.
Three cardinals – Roger M. Mahony, Blase J. Cupich of Chicago and Robert W. McElroy of San Diego – attended as well as 34 bishops and more than 50 priests at the altar.
Local dignitaries included LA Police Chief Michel Moore, former Los Angeles mayors Eric Garcetti and Jim Hahn, former LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, LA District Attorney George Gascón and several other civic leaders who called Bishop O’Connell a friend over the years. Cunnane noted that Bishop O’Connell “wasn’t just my good friend. Friendship is something he was good at. He has friends young and old, far and wide … he has friends up and down the social scale, at ease in the corridors of power and with the powerless.”
In calling him a man “gripped by grace,” Msgr. Cunnane said Bishop O’Connell was “seized by the Lord, like Jeremiah (who) said: ‘Lord, you seduced me, and I let myself be seduced; you were stronger and you triumphed.'”
“A mind and a wit always quick and sharp, but sometimes in earlier days, with an edge, by grace became levity and joyous humor, and (an) ability to affirm,” the priest added. “He was always affirming, he found the good in people and praised it. He spoke it into them.”
Msgr. Cunnane thanked Bishop O’Connell’s family members present, several who came from Ireland, “for giving us the blessing of him for all these years and all this wonderful ministry here in Los Angeles.”
Archbishop Gomez read a message from Pope Francis that concluded: “To those gathered for the Mass of Christian Burial and to all who mourn Bishop O’Connell’s loss in the sure hope of the Resurrection, the Holy Father cordially imparts his blessing as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord.
The archbishop added: “As we know, Bishop Dave loved and served Jesus with all his heart and all his strength, and like Jesus, he loved his brothers and sisters ‘to the end,’ with a special love for those who are often forgotten and those who live on society’s margins. … We continue to pray for his eternal repose and especially we know that he has received the eternal reward. He’s in heaven. So, let’s keep praying for him, for his family, and for all of us. And let’s start going to his intercession for our needs.”
An ensemble choir with musicians from the cathedral, several parishes and Bishop Amat High School in La Puente provided music for many still in shock about Bishop O’Connell’s death at his home in Hacienda Heights on Feb. 18 at age 69.
One of the songs sung before the Mass was the traditional Irish ballad, “Danny Boy.”
After Communion, the choir sang the Irish hymn “Lady of Knock,” to whom Bishop O’Connell had a lifelong devotion. Among the lyrics: “Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland, all my cares and troubles cease. As we kneel with love before you, Lady of Knock, my Queen of Peace.”
Various religious leaders also were present – from the Armenian Apostolic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Episcopal Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ, Baptist Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as well as from the American Jewish Committee, the Hindu Vedanta Society, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, the California Sikh Council and the Baha’i faith.
David O’Connell, a nephew from Ireland who shared a name with his uncle, said in a reflection at the end of Mass that “for me and my family and everyone listening here, we all have an opportunity to pick up where he left off and carry on the example that he set. Help those that you can help. Lend an ear and listen to people. Respect each other. Be considerate and give others the benefit of the doubt. Have patience and give everyone a chance.”
He added that his uncle “liked being a comedian, but he had a day job that seemed to be going better for him. … Uncle Dave was an inspiration for our whole lives. He taught us if we have the capacity to help someone, you should do it. All he wanted to do was make things easier for everyone else, and never asked for a single thing in return.
“He never ended a phone call without telling me how proud he was of me. And I hope he knows how proud we are of him. Let those close to you know that you love them and that you are proud of them.” Bishop O’Connell was interred in the cathedral’s mausoleum following his funeral Mass.
(Tom Hoffarth and Mike Cisneros write for Angelus, the news outlet of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Pablo Kay is editor-in-chief of Angelus.)