Bishop Visit Brings Hope to Families

By Berta Mexidor and Linda Reeves
CARTHAGE – Bishop Joseph Kopacz travelled to Carthage and Kosciusko Sept. 29, World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to celebrate Mass and to visit Hispanic families of the two parishes affected by the federal immigration raids this past summer.
Mass celebrations were held at both St. Therese in Kosciusko and St. Anne in Carthage bringing families together in faith and as one big Catholic family. “I have been listening to every opinion, in favor and against, but everybody agrees the immigration system needs a change,” said Bishop Kopacz at one point, during Mass at St. Therese, as he talked about the broken immigration system and the call for change by people from across America.
Bishop Kopacz informed parishioners that only hours after the raids Aug. 7 on Mississippi food processing plants, people from around the country responded with support and concern for those family members involved. More than 700 workers, many undocumented immigrants, were jailed and separated from loved ones.
Donations poured into Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson from 40 different states and several organizations. “The willingness to help reflects a fact,” said Bishop Kopacz. “A lot of people care. That is the heart of the United States of America.”
Several Catholic communities of the diocese have been facing the consequences of the immigration raids over the past months. In emergency response, the diocese has been working with parishes to provide assistance.
St. Anne Parish, which Bishop Kopacz visited as part of his trip, is a focal point for crisis management in the area with many parish families faced with hardships struggling to pay rent and food bills after heads of households lost jobs due to the raids. Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Father Odel Medina, St. Anne pastor, is heading up long-term recovery efforts in Carthage as part of the diocese’s humanitarian aid efforts in coordination with Catholic Charities and other community organizations joining in the outreach.
Help is also being extended outside of the St. Anne parish family and other affected parishes and into the community-at-large to help families touched by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Father Mike O’Brien, pastor of Sacred Heart in Canton, and Father Roberto Mena, Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity and pastor of St. Michael Parish in Forest, are also part of the diocese’s humanitarian aid initiatives.
During the Sept. 29 Mass at St. Anne, Father Odel highlighted the humanitarian task as a new way to encounter Christ and his mission. “We live in a rich country,” he said. “Each one of us has wealth, …we are called to share and practice the word of God…, each one of us can change our own heart to care for each other.”

Bishop Kopacz recognized Father Odel for his role and service to the Carthage community. He also promised his continued support and help to the congregation. “Everybody knows that Catholics care for people and Catholics take care of the poor and underserved communities,” said Bishop Kopacz totally committed to taking care of and helping his sheep as shepherd of the Diocese of Jackson.
At the end of Mass, Bishop Kopacz greeted and talked with people attending the celebration. Community members also had the opportunity to express their concerns and questions to Luis Arango-Petrocchi, a lawyer and program manager of Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities Dallas of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
Catholic Charities Dallas is in collaboration with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson responding to the Mississippi communities most affected by the raids. At this time, both charities are working in Canton, Forest and Carthage providing social services.

Luis Arango-Petrocchi, program manager of Immigration Legal Services from Catholic Charities Dallas, answered questions about documents received on family member’s legal cases on Sunday, Sept. 29 at St. Anne Carthage.

Arango-Petrocchi explained that the charity’s Immigration Legal Services program is mainly focused on explaining and educating individuals about immigration rights. The charity is also helping families understand about possible legal outcomes depending on their individual case.
Arango-Petrocchi said that the crisis is ongoing explaining that involved legal processes and red tape takes time. “Some families will have to wait many years for the solution of their cases,” he said about the workers, part of parish families here in the diocese and once part of the local economy trying to work and make a better life for their loved ones. They will continue to be impacted for the long term.

All creatures of ordinary times

Lucia Silecchia

ON ORDINARY TIMES
By Lucia Silecchia
Kittens have eyelashes. I distinctly remember the moment I first noticed this. Years ago, a cat welcomed a litter of kittens in my family’s backyard. Happily, they were unafraid of their accidental landlords but had a wide-eyed curiosity about us. As they let me approach them, I saw perfect, nearly invisible, rows of eyelashes above the bright yellow eyes that looked up at me.
I was well beyond the age when this sort of discovery should have struck me so deeply. Yet, it did. There was something about such minute detail on such tiny creatures that overwhelmed me with a sense of creation’s glory – and the far greater glory of the Creator. God had planned every tiny eyelash above every tiny eye on every tiny face of every tiny kitten throughout time.
Often, it can be overwhelming to think directly of the glory of God because it is so far beyond what I can start to comprehend. Indeed, it is also overwhelming to contemplate the great dignity of human persons created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, I am grateful for all the ways in which the more accessible, but often overlooked, everyday miracles of creation show a glimpse of the face of God.
Each autumn, October’s feast day of St. Francis of Assisi turns our attention to the particular way in which the creatures of this world reflect their awesome Creator. In so many churches, blessings of animals take place – perhaps with some trepidation! Household pets are blessed during these days in an expression of gratitude for the ways in which they brighten our ordinary times in so many ways.
Cats will come, with that look of disgruntled ennui that cats wear better than anyone else can. Good-hearted dogs will frolic joyfully at the chance to meet new two and four-footed friends. Fish will slosh around in their bowls when they are carried to church steps and gardens – and it is hard to fathom what they may be thinking as their serene existence is interrupted in this way. Birds will dart around in their cages as they go on this peculiar fieldtrip, and the turtles, toads and lizards will wear the inscrutable looks they always sport. Gerbils and hamsters may nervously burrow in their cages when they discover that they are in a crowd that includes cats and the occasional snake. More exotic and larger animals will be welcomed too, in the hopes that nothing unexpected happens as they assemble.
As people and pets gather in holy places, I hope it will be a chance to think again of the ordinary extraordinariness of the animals who share our world. If I had an eternity, I could never imagine into creation the octopus, the elephant, the starfish or the giraffe – or any of the creatures that dart in the depths of the sea and fill the sky with fluttering. Who but God could conceive of a butterfly, a dolphin, a porcupine or a sea urchin? Yet, they grace my world and for the gifts of them, I am grateful.
Paradoxically, there are circumstances in which it seems as though our animals are treated better than our neighbors are. Conversely, there are other times when animals are treated with cruel neglect and thoughtlessness. Yet, despite these failings in the ways we share our world with others, I hope that this year, our tributes to St. Francis are a time for gratitude.
It is a time for gratitude for the blessed gift of creation, and for the gentle power of God the Creator who brought humanity and all else that lives into creation. It is a time for gratitude for the animals who share our homes, hearths and hearts – and for all those creatures we do not know. Most importantly, it is a time to be grateful to a God who even gives kittens those eyelashes that to this day remind me to be thankful for the smallest of miracles in ordinary times.

(Lucia A. Silecchia is a Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America. “On Ordinary Times” is a biweekly column reflecting on the ways to find the sacred in the simple. Email her at silecchia@cua.edu.)

Answering the call

Father Nick Adam

In late September, I took a group of young women on a tour of several different religious communities in our region. We visited sisters who are nurses that care for the sickest of the sick, and who pray with families through the night as they prepare to commend their loved ones to the Lord. (Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, New Orleans) We visited sisters who work in publishing and are dedicated to increasing the visibility of the Gospel on social media platforms. (Daughters of St. Paul, Metairie, La.) We visited sisters who are catechists and philosophy professors, (Daughters of Divine Providence, Covington, La.) and we ended our trip visiting cloistered nuns dedicated to praying for the Church and the world. (Carmelite Monastery, Covington, La.)
It was an eye-opening experience for the discerners and also for this priest. I heard vocation stories that sounded a lot like mine, calls that came from the Lord in the same mysterious way that my call to priesthood had come. It was an incredible trip.
As we seek to inspire disciples and create a culture of vocations, women religious must play a vital role. The young women were joined by supportive mothers who were excited to see what religious life was about and they were all blown away at the joyful hearts that they connected with over the weekend. If you are interested in visiting a religious community or learning more about male or female religious life, contact me in the Office of Vocations,
– Father Nick Adam

NEW ORLEANS – Seniors Annalise Rome, Leah Murphy, Hannah Dear and Farrell Moorehead, participate in morning prayer with the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick at St. Joseph Catholic School. (Photo by Father Nick Adam)

Vocations Events

Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m – St. Richard Catholic Church (Glynn Hall). This is a meeting for anyone interested in helping to launch a Serra Club in the Diocese of Jackson. The Serrans are lay men and women dedicated to supporting priestly vocations in their diocese. Please contact the Office of Vocations if you are interested in attending this meeting.
Friday, Nov. 8-11 – Saint Joseph Seminary College offers a retreat for high school men (juniors and seniors) who are interested in learning more about seminary life. The retreat lasts from Friday evening through Sunday lunch and gives discerners a chance to get a feel for the seminary routine and meet seminarians and professors.
Friday, Nov. 22 – Bonfire Football Game – St. Joseph Seminary, Covington, La.
Contact the Office of Vocations if interested in attending any of these events.

vocations@jacksondiocese.org
www.jacksonpriests.com

NATCHEZ – (Above) Father Mark Shoffner and senior, Faith Anne Brown, show their Greenwave school spirit in the ring on Sept. 14 at Cathedral school’s homecoming court announcement. (Photo by Shannon Mason Rojo)
NATCHEZ – (Above) Father Mark Shoffner and senior, Faith Anne Brown, show their Greenwave school spirit in the ring on Sept. 14 at Cathedral school’s homecoming court announcement. (Photo by Shannon Mason Rojo)
NATCHEZ – Father Scott Thomas cathes some air while playing some ball out on Cathedral school’s football field on Friday, Sep. 20. (Photo by Cara Serio)

Parish calendar

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

HOLLY SPRINGS Hands–ON + Hearts–IN is a program is to assist women who are discerning a call to consecrated life through hands-on service to the needy throughout north Mississippi. Monday – Thursday, Oct. 21–24. This program, coordinated by the Sisters of the Living Word, is a collaborative effort between the Chicago Archdiocesan Vocation Association (CAVA) members and Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM). The hospitality team will be the Sisters of the Living Word. They previously will be offering the meals and a comfortable home base for the prayer and discernment aspects of the experience. Details: contact Sister Sharon Glumb, SLW at handsonheartsin@gmail.com or (847) 577-5972 Ext# 233.
METAIRIE, La. Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO), Torrent of Grace, An Evening of Worship, Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Benilde cafeteria, 1901 Division Street. The evening features “Overshadow Me” with Sean Tobin, composer and worship leader from Los Angeles. The sole purpose of this gathering is to seek God, to worship and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Everyone is invited who desires to spend an evening with prophetic, spirit–filled music and praise. There is no charge, but a love offering will be received. Details: www.ccrno.org; info@ccrno.org or (504) 828-1368.
MIAMI, Fl. Journeying with Pope Francis Conference Roots and Challenges, Pedro Arrupe Jesuit Institute, Nov. 8-10. Bilingual confernce touching on a variety of subjects and challenges. Cost: $160-$180 – Limited to 150 attendees. Details: http://ijpa.us or email Ramon Machado at rmachado@yahoo.com.
NATCHEZ Join Father Mark Shoffner on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land Feb. 12-21, 2020. Details: call Father Mark at the church office (601) 445-5616.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. National Catholic Singles Conference, Oct. 25–27. Join hundreds of single Catholics from across the country at the Diocese of Nashville Catholic Pastoral Center. The weekend includes talks by dynamic speakers (Sr. Helena Burns, Dr. Kerry Cronin, Damon Owens and David Clayton) as well as music, social events, prayer, food, fellowship and more. Space is limited. Enter promo code NASH19 for a $20 discount. Details: For more information and to register visit www.NationalCatholicSingles.com. or call Mirjana Northrop at (512) 766–5798 or email natcatsingles@gmail.com.
STANTON, Tenn, Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend, Oct. 25–27 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center. Details: Norman and Barbara Sobota at (901) 373-7030 or email sobota@bellsouth.net.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS

ABERDEEN St. Francis, Adult Bible Study, Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Studying the Gospel of John. Details: church office (662) 813-2295.
BATESVILLE St. John, Knights of Columbus are holding a Rummage Sale, Friday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please donate any clean, unbroken, gently used items that you no longer need. Details: church office (662) 563-2273.
OLIVE BRANCH, Queen of Peace, Prayer and Worship Course taught by Sister Emily, Thursdays, Oct. 3 until Nov. 21 at 6:45 pm. The focus of the classes will be a better understanding of the liturgy and of various prayer forms. The texts that will be used are Introduction to Christian Worship, third edition and We Worship: A Guide to the Catholic Mass. Details: ctksemily@aol.com or the church office (601) 895–5007.
JACKSON HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CAPITAL AREA CATHOLIC BUILD – The build for the next 5 years will be renovating existing houses in the Broadmoor Neighborhood in north Jackson. Sign-up sheets for Saturdays, Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 are available at participating parishes. Please consider helping with this very worthwhile ministry. No experience is necessary, just a desire to help someone less fortunate than yourself. In addition, they still need assistance in reaching their financial goal. Any size gift will be greatly appreciated. To donate, visit www.habitmca.org/support/donate; call (601) 353-6060 or mail to Humanity MS Capital Area, P.O. Box 55634, Jackson, MS 39296.
JACKSON Walk for Life to benefit Pro-Life Mississippi. Oct. 19 at 8 a.m. Details: www.prolifemississippi.org.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Bake Sale, Lunch, & Bingo, Tuesday, Nov. 26. Community will be invited to participate in the Bake Sale, as well as purchase a lunch and then play Bingo. If you have any items you would like to donate for Bingo prizes, please contact yazoocitystm@jacksondiocese.org

YOUTH BRIEFS

JACKSON Sister Thea Bowman School, registration is underway for the 2019–20 school year. If you are looking for a solid academic education rooted in Gospel values serving grades Pre K3 – 6th grades. Details: Shae Goodman-Robinson, principal at (601) 506-8998 for more information.
JACKSON St. Richard would like to ask you to continue to vote for in the Bank On Their Future contest. The school must be in at least third place to receive some sort of prize. You can vote daily until Oct. 15th. Details: www.bankontheirfuture.com.
MADISON St. Anthony, Open House and Fall Festival, Saturday, Nov. 2 from 2-5 p.m. There will be games, carnival food and hayrides. Details: school office (601) 607-7054.
RIDGELAND St. Francis of Assisi, Senior Bible Break, Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. at M7 Coffee House, 111 North Wheatley Street in Ridgeland, for all 12th graders for scripture sharing and fellowship. Bring a Bible and friends are welcome. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.

IN MEMORIAM

Miss Sturbaum served as the Lay Ecclesial Minister at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Louisville and St. Therese Catholic Church in Kosciusko for nearly twenty years. She was very involved in prison ministry, as well as her daily duties of ministering to the two parishes.

Pro-life supporters challenged by ordinance

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Pro-life supporters will now have barriers to their First Amendment rights to support women considering abortion at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic. The Jackson City Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday, Oct. 1 preventing people from congregating, picketing or demonstrating within 15 feet of any entrance of a health care facility.
The ordinance also created a “buffer zone” prohibiting persons from approaching women with any sort of leaflet or speaking to her about saving the life of the unborn within a radius of 100 feet from the abortion clinic’s entrance.
On both Sept. 26 and Oct. 1, to a packed chamber, with standing room only in the hallway outside, Jackson city council members listened to those in favor and those against the ordinance. The ordinance passed with a vote of 3 to 1. The sole voting for the life of the unborn was Councilman Ashby Foote of Ward 1.

JACKSON – Also known as the “Pink House,” the Jackson Women’s Health Organization is located in the Fondren business district. (Photo from archives)

The ordinance states that the city council “recognizes that the exercise of a person’s right to protest or counsel against certain medical procedures is a First Amendment activity that must be balanced against another person’s right to obtain medical counseling and treatment in an unobstructed manner and that is free from increased health risks such as those associated with shouting or other amplified sound. The Jackson Police Department has been consistently called upon to mediate the disputes between medical providers, those seeking medical counseling and treatment, and those who would counsel against their actions. …”
The ordinance continued that, “It is the intent of this article to establish guidelines that will ensure that patients have unimpeded access to medical services that may be conducted in a calm environment while ensuring that the First Amendment rights of those seeking to communicate their message are not impaired.”
At the council meetings, business owners in the Fondren neighborhood in Jackson where the clinic is located reported that the atmosphere around the abortion clinic is “bad for business.” The position that resonated with council members when they voted for the “buffer zone” ordinance.
Lisa Duran, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, is concerned about the limitation “to exercise free speech [and] the right to share the Gospel on the streets of Jackson around ‘healthcare facilities.’”
Duran says that “all citizens should be concerned because now a Pandora’s Box has been opened.”
“The city council used the term ‘health care facility’ in the ordinance but the only facility mentioned in the city council meeting was the abortion facility … When did the killing of pre-born boys [and] girls become ‘healthcare’?”
Pro-Life Mississippi pledged to continue to be on the sidewalk near the facility to pray and share other options with expectant mothers. The organization invites all to respect life and join the group for their annual Walk for Life event on Oct. 19, where supporters march from St. Richard Jackson to the abortion facility and back. For more information visit www.prolifemississippi.org.

Day of golf supports special kids

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – The weather has been perfect for the St. Richard Special Kids Golf Tournament since the tournament’s inception in 1981 and this year was no exception. On Thursday, Oct. 3 golfers, including several priests and Bishop Joseph Kopacz, teed-off for this special fundraiser, which is organized by students in St. Richard’s Special Kids program.

JACKSON –Caroline Hosey, Benjamin Morgan, Rashad Adams, Will Parker, Mary Catherine Vanderloo, Allyson Plunkett, Joshua Richardson and Eve Walsh thank golf tournament participants. (Photo by Shannon Garner)


Golfers ranging in age from 20 to 80 years young enjoyed a game of golf, fellowship over lunch and prizes sponsored by area businesses and restaurants.

This is the largest fundraiser for the Special Kids program at St. Richard Jackson, a program that was started almost 40 years ago when Father Patrick Ferrell saw the need to provide a program designed to address the challenges of children with special needs.

No matter their faith denomination, the program works with students that have a variety of special needs and each follows an individual plan for growth and learning. The Special Kids high school program serves students 13 to 20, while the adult program serves students age 21 and over.

Several businesses, including M7 Coffeehouse, Gina Diamond’s Flower Company and The Ramey Agency, support the adult program by offering weekly opportunities to work and learn valuable skills.

“As the mom of a special needs adult, your hope is a place for your child that helps him realize his full potential and his place in the community. St. Richard does that and more. It is a second home for Will and the place that helped us realize he could do so much more than we ever imagined,” says parent Melissa Parker.

In addition to the golf tournament, the Special Kids program hosts two student art shows, where students sell ceramics, candles, icons and photography. The next at show will be held on Dec. 5 at Foley Hall at St. Richard. Funds raised from these events provide the financial aid needed to make the Special Kids program possible.

Rusty Haydel, steering committee member for the tournament and longtime supporter of the Special Kids program, said “St. Richard’s special kids are an inspiration to all of us. What ever we do for them, we get paid back tenfold. God has blessed us with our special kids.”

For more information on the program or to volunteer time and talent with students, email program director, Kim Turner at sk@saintrichard.com.

Martínez joins chancery staff

Daisey Martínez

JACKSON – Daisey Martínez joined the chancery staff as the Associate for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the new Office of Intercultural Ministry on Monday, Sept. 30. She is a member of St. Jude Pearl, but also serves as a catechist at St. Martin Hazlehurst and as a co-leader for the young adults group at St. Richard Jackson. Martínez is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and has worked as an admissions counselor for the university.
Over the summer two events helped lead Martínez to apply for the position at the diocese. She had a beautiful, intimate experience with the Eucharist at the Southeast Pastoral Institute’s (SEPI) Young Latino Summer Leadership Institute at the end of July and then the occurrence of the ICE raids in Mississippi on Aug. 7.
As the child of immigrants, her madre from El Salvador and her padre from Mexico, Martinez’s “heart ached” after the raids.
“Members of the Body of Christ were hurting. I realized that God needed me here in Mississippi,” said Martínez, who had been considering moving out of state. “Then one Sunday after Mass, Angéle Bartholomew approached me and told me that the diocese was creating a new Office of Intercultural Ministry. She … believed I could make a difference in our community if I accepted the role.”
While the Office of Intercultural Ministry is new to the diocese, it is a connection to the past. In 1978, Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA was appointed by Bishop Joseph Brunini to direct the Office of Intercultural Affairs for the diocese. In this position Sister Thea was integral in renouncing racial prejudice and promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity. In that role, she balanced the challenge of encouraging Catholics to embrace our common faith while celebrating our diverse cultural heritages.
With Sister Thea’s example in mind the Department of Faith Formation saw a growing need to re-envision the offices of separate ministries to serve the needs of long standing and emerging cultural communities in the diocese. The Office of Intercultural Ministry is tasked with the primary goal of cultivating empowerment of Black Catholic, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Native American and other culture communities throughout the diocese.
The office will be staffed by two full-time employees, a coordinator for the office and an associate for youth and young adults.
Director of Faith Formation, Fran Lavelle is thrilled to have Martínez on board in the associate role.
“Daisey brings so many gifts to this ministry. She is a servant leader and is a natural at making people feel at ease and part of the group,” said Lavelle.
“She is deeply committed to her faith and deeply committed to serving God’s people. I am so excited to see how God uses her gifts serving the young people of our diocese.”
Martínez credits her mother for the deep faith she has today. “She introduced me to God, His love and so much more,” said Martínez.
The Department of Faith Formation hopes to have an announcement soon on the position of Coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Ministry.

St. Catherine’s paints it purple

MADISON – In observance of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the staff and residents of Campbell Cove at St. Catherine’s Village celebrated a “Paint it Purple” party on Friday, Sept. 27.
Much of the day centered on fun carnival-themed games and food, including cotton candy, popcorn, pizza and nachos. Employees honored all of those who are living with dementia, as well as those who have transitioned with a prayer service at which workers read the names of patients who have died. A bell is run for each person.
Residents helped with an eco-friendly balloon release after a prayer service.

St. Therese parishioners honor their patroness of great faith

By Berta Mexidor, Elsa Baughman and Linda Reeves
JACKSON – Parishioners of St. Therese in Jackson celebrated their patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux, Oct. 6 during a special bilingual Mass away from parish grounds at Camp Garaywa in Clinton.
This year marks the four-year anniversary of the celebration at the camp facilities to accommodate the large number of faithful wanting to participate in the parish celebration and to honor the saint. Padre Juan Chavajay, pastor of St. Therese, was main celebrant for the Mass held in the auditorium.


Padre Juan’s homily was mainly focused on the short life of St. Therese of the Child Jesus also known as the Little Flower, who continues to make a big impact on people from around the world. Therese, a role model of faith and love for Jesus, heard the call of God at age 15. It was only with the approval of her father and after special permission by Pope Leo XIII that the teen was allowed to enter the Carmelite congregation leaving her family, friends and possessions behind.
As a cloistered nun, she lived a simple life of prayer hidden inside the convent never going out on mission or ministry. After a short time, Therese became sick and tests revealed that she had tuberculosis. After a 10-year battle with the illness, Therese died at the young age of 24, but her life has lived on after the world came to know and love her through her autobiography.
At the center of padre Juan’s message was St. Therese’s great love for and faith in God. The young girl gave up everything to live a life of religious vocations and also turned to God during her most difficult times trusting in him as she suffered from her illness.
“Today we ask for her intercession so we can have the faith she had,” said padre Juan. “It’s easy to trust in God when things are going well but when problems arrive, we question our faith,” he said encouraging parishioners to continue to have faith in the Lord even during hard times.
At one point during the Mass, the children of St. Therese Parish processed to the altar with red roses in hand. They placed roses near the parish’s St. Therese image showcased at the front of the church. Padre Juan explained that the flowers were in memory of the great saint, who loved flowers and saw herself as a little flower of Jesus.

After the Mass, parishioners gathered for a pot-luck lunch in the dining hall made possible through the generous donors, who contributed dishes. Parishioners Eva Sanchez and Veronica Womack headed up the food committee and took care of all the details.
There were indoor and outdoor activities for the children arranged by Joel Montoya heading up the activity committee. At one point, the children hit piñatas with a large number four printed on them representing the fourth anniversary of the St. Therese celebration at Camp Garaywa.
Parishes everywhere celebrate St. Therese around Oct. 1 each year, the official feast day marked on the Church calendar. Bishop Joseph Kopacz recognized and paid tribute to the Little Flower during Mass celebration at St. Therese in Kosciusko on Sept. 29. Bishop Kopacz concelebrated Mass with Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Father Odel Medina, pastor.
As part of celebrations, yellow and white roses adorned the Kosciusko parish’s St. Therese image, altar and church. Parishioners celebrated their patroness praying especially for the youth and family of the parish.
Bishop Kopacz explained that St. Therese was a model of faith and love in Christ and known for her spirituality of doing the ordinary with extraordinary love. Today, she is venerated around the world and takes on the title of co-patroness of missions, “because of her prayers and her way to reach others,” Bishop Kopacz said.