Diocese of Jackson
Synod on Synodality Synthesis Summary

“Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.”
These words of the Adsumus Sancte Spiritus (We are present, Holy Spirit) truly formed and informed the work of the Diocese of Jackson as we faced challenges in gathering the people of God to pray, reflect and discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us.

We were overwhelmed that nearly 100 percent of our parishes and missions participated as did all four of our Catholic high schools, two college campus ministries, two womens’ religious communities, several parish high school religious education cohorts, our seminarians, both cohorts in our diaconate program, our chancery department leadership, staff and leadership from Catholic Charities and men from one of the prisons in Mississippi. The graces that poured forth from our process were confirmed and affirmed across all demographics. The heart and mind of the people of God regardless of age, ethnicity or background found alignment in a desire for healing and unity.

Our love for the young church compelled us to seek their wisdom as we saw them with the most to gain or lose if this moment of synodality was not properly explored. Ninth through twelfth graders were all asked the same questions: (1) In your own words what is Jesus asking you to do? and (2) What can our church do to change or respond to your needs as a Catholic Christian?

When asked “what Jesus is asking you to do?” the teens responded:
• Serve/help others
• Keep an open heart and mind; Be merciful
• Be inclusive of others
• See Christ in everyone

Through the process of thoughtful prayer and discernment, our teens clearly see their call to be the hands, feet and heart of Christ in the world. They articulated a need for authenticity in how we serve, include and welcome others.

On the question of “what can our church do or change to respond to your needs as a Catholic Christian?” – a sample of responses include:
“Be less intimidating.”
“I am a science person. I need proof. Help me understand the why.”
“I am gay. Help my parents accept me.”
“The good Samaritan ignored the social differences between himself and the victim in the name of mercy. This is the mindset we should have today.”
“Let us not be so quick to judge.”

Just over 40 percent of the high school students enrolled in our four Catholic high schools are Catholic. We serve a large non-Catholic student community. Responses from the non-Catholic students reflected two major sentiments:
“Please stop making out like the Catholic religion is superior to other religions.”
“I am not Catholic, but I would change the hypocrisy.”

The young church articulated a desire for leaders who are humble and live their faith. They also asked for more opportunities for meaningful service; to take care of the poor. Like the Good Samaritan, the young church is asking us to pour wine and oil into the wounds of those in most need of hope and healing. They called for leaders to be more authentic in words and actions; to stop being hypocritical. They asked for better preaching; to be more relevant and address issues that matter. They asked that the church stop using religion to support political views. They called us to be better examples of faith in action. And they asked the church to be more welcoming of others regardless of faith tradition, culture, and/or sexual orientation (LGBTQ). They further asked we meet people where they are.

The young church is calling us to authentic listening, intentional accompaniment, and a re-envisioning of how we catechize. Witnessing faith in action was a theme that we heard over and over from the young church.

There were some content voices who expressed an affirmation that everything is fine just the way it is. But by and large, the young church asked to be taken seriously. They want to be seen, valued, and heard.

Our local listening underscored a clarion call for unity and healing. The call for unity came through on several levels.

First, there was a call for unity in our diversity. There were some members of our traditionally African American parishes who called for integration of parishes. Those voices advocating for the integration of parishes cited that the model of segregated parishes no longer reflects societal norms.

Our Hispanic community looks vastly different than it did 15-to-20 years ago. Gone are the days that Hispanic ministry solely served the needs of migrant communities as they came and left to work in our agricultural sector. Many communities throughout the diocese have well established Hispanic congregations. Many of our Hispanic high school youth were born and raised in Mississippi and have as much of a Southern accent as any of our Anglo teens. For the young church they have been raised side by side with their African American and Anglo contemporaries. For older Hispanics, depending on their immigration status and how long they have lived in the US, the needs of the communities vary widely.

The strained political discourse in this country has taken a toll on the faithful. Many requested that politics be taken out of the church. While in reality politics can never be totally removed from the church, it is entirely possible to lessen the divisive rhetoric. We know the Catholic vote in 2020 was evenly split between the two major parties. The overflow of divisive, often tribal thinking that is evident in American political life has spilled into our sanctuaries. We read in Mark 3:25, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” As part of the call to unity, we understand that we must find ways that clergy and lay leaders promote the values and teachings of the church without regard to conservative or liberal agendas.

We heard a call for the church to be a safe place where different points of view and different spiritual expressions find a home. The biggest barrier to unity is our ability to disarm ourselves of our weapons of choice – be they words or actions. If we are to provide a big umbrella that covers the spectrum of spirituality and theological perspectives, then everyone needs to make room for the other.

The work of healing requires prayerful consideration. The hurt experienced by the church varies from person to person. The areas of healing range from providing a more reasonable process for annulments, to creating space for the LGBTQ community, to overcoming racial and ethnic divisions, and to handling the continued fallout from the sexual abuse scandal. Allowing people to name their hurts is extremely powerful. We discerned that while we may be operating in a more transparent way, we still need to provide opportunities for those hurt by the church to be heard. An often-mentioned request was for the church to take ownership of its mistakes. The church can easily be circumscribed by ongoing litigation, but as soon as possible we should make the effort to own our mistakes, apologize to those impacted by our actions and make every effort to provide reconciliation and restorative justice.

Let Us Dream by Pope Francis was the inspiration for the process we developed for the ten regional listening sessions that our Bishop held throughout the diocese. We visited each of the six deaneries with listening sessions in English and held an additional four sessions in Spanish at key locations with high Hispanic presence.

In the regional sessions, we asked for concrete ideas; we asked the faithful to further define the vision. We all want unity; we all want to retain the young church; we all want racial reconciliation. The question we asked is what does that look like? Sometimes the most important part of a conversation is in asking the questions. Perhaps the real work will begin when we intentionally gather again and again in different forums and locations to hammer away at the things that divide, deflate and defeat us.

To be certain, there is a chasm between the more traditional Catholics including some young adults and the more progressive community. We heard both a call for preserving the Latin Mass and lifting the rules of celibacy so that married men can become priests and priests can marry. Expanding the role of women as deacons and priests was also raised. Deeply rooted in the passionate views of both communities and everyone in between is a genuine desire for a better church. We also heard a call for a better understanding of Scripture, for better adult formation, and for an expansion of formal formation of the laity for ministry roles within the church.

We clearly witnessed the many streams that were feeding into the overflow moments brought forth by the synod process. They are still forming, flowing, and directing the mission of the diocese; the work of Synodality never ends.

There were three major themes that came from our discernment. We heard an overwhelming call for:
1. Healing and Unity,
2. Adult Formation for Evangelization, and
3. Education of Children and Youth.

We also heard a call for greater lay leadership in the church and education/formation of lay leaders; adult faith formation centered on Scripture, the Eucharist, and basic church teaching; evangelization of adults and youth to learn to share faith; active youth programs to reach and retain the young church; and to continue to rebuild trust and increase transparency.

We stated many times over that the good news of the Synod on Synodality is that we do not have to wait for a document from Rome or for that matter a pastoral letter from our Bishop to begin the work of Synodality. This process of deep listening has reminded us to be more intentional.

One of the first steps toward becoming a synodal church is a real effort to rebuild a sense of community. Central to this mission is continuing to gather for dialogue. One of the more interesting groups that shared the synod process together was the leadership from the chancery. Our conversation was robust as we sought ways to animate faith in the Body of Christ in our diocese. What we all saw was our need to go out – to be present in our schools and parishes and gather to talk, brainstorm, and yes, dream.

Some things we heard we readily understood are examined at higher levels of the hierarchy. Other things the diocese can influence, while others are local issues that seek local solutions. We heard a call for better formation of adults. This is an area for partnership between the diocese and local communities. Another issue we heard from many participants was a call for better catechesis and understanding of the Eucharist. Our celebrations and activities throughout the year underscore our commitment to listening to what the people of God need from the church.

We are searching for ways to reimagine transmitting our Catholic faith in the Diocese of Jackson that honors our deep tradition and past but also seeks to provide for a more inclusive future as one. Our desire for unity will only be achieved if we work to be one. Breaking down the man-made barriers that divide us will not be easy. Forces within and from the outside of the church have worked tirelessly to divide people. Recognizing that the church is big enough to make room for everyone is the one thing that will save us from further fracture.

We are all one in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. The truth of our faith is beautiful. We realize that before we can speak to others about that beauty, we must first see it in ourselves – our messy, diverse, complicated selves.

The above is a summary of the synthesis report submitted to the USCCB. To view the full 10-page report of the synod process in the Diocese of Jackson, visit

By The Numbers

The Diocese of Jackson is the largest territorial diocese east of the Mississippi River. There are 72 parishes and 19 missions spread out over the 37,643 square miles. However, the large geographic footprint does not hinder our mission. We firmly believe in a ministry of presence and presence requires us to meet God’s people where they are.

Catholics represent about two percent of the population in the diocese. Our minority status clearly offers us many opportunities to have conversations with our non-Catholic family, friends and coworkers.

Thankfully, most people are open to conversation and feel at ease asking questions about what Catholics believe. Our young people often express a sense of responsibility in knowing their faith in order to answer their non-Catholic friends who may have questions. We heard in our local listening and affirmed again in the regional listening sessions with Bishop Joseph Kopacz a desire for better catechesis and a greater understanding of Scripture, specifically Bible studies.

70 Parishes and Missions

18 High School Religious Education Programs

4 Catholic High Schools

2 University Campus Ministries

2 Cohorts of Seminarians

2 Cohorts of the Diaconate Program

1 Cohort of Catholic Charities Employees

2 Orders of Religious Women

1 Prison Community

15 Local Sessions in Spanish

Input from Regional Synod Sessions

Below are excerpts from input received at regional synod listening sessions across the diocese.

MADISON – March 21, 2022
Unity – more diocese wide participation. Every church seems to act alone and keep it within the parish. As Catholics in central Mississippi our community is fairly small. I believe by reaching out to other churches and supporting their events or missions, we could build a stronger bond with our Catholic community formation.

As a married 32-year-old, my wife and I seek things to do based around our faith, marriage, retreats, diocese gatherings, festivals, worships, etc.

As an expecting father children’s education is important, our early learning programs are great, but it will be my job as a father to ensure the education sticks.

In order to evangelize first we need to have more adult education in order to feel capable of explaining our faith small group studies talking and reaching the Bible and learning together.

The youth in most parishes in Mississippi are spread out at different school districts and need more time to be together besides just a Wednesday night at faith formation.

The “Bible in a Year” by Father Schmidt on Ascension Press is an awesome program that should be encouraged for all.

Also, we need to remember God’s word does not change – what is wrong is wrong! People change, not God!

I am a young adult not native to the diocese. Being from outside the diocese I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous young adult communities throughout the southeast. Many things that made those groups vibrant, serving and alive are missing in this community.

– Availability of the sacraments
– Deep orthodoxy in educational opportunities that exceeds the surface level
– Leaders who embrace the quest for answers to difficult questions
– Challenge to engage in open faithful service to others

Many young adults I’ve encountered here and at other diocese feel wounded and abandoned by pastors and bishops who tease or question their reverence, sincerity, questions and works.

Just an addition:
Also, I can say with 100% certainty that in the young, joyful living church, women priest is such a fringe view. Literally only old people seem to support that. (I say this lovingly.)

For better and full communication when conflicts arise. Look at how we can handle conflict resolution better going forward. Transparency from the start, more education on the purpose of the sacrament of reconciliation and making it more available to us – has healing power. All need to be willing to hear what they may not want to hear but be willing to grow. Unite our diocese in common prayer. Make therapy, vacation, healing retreats available for our clergy and ministers without stigma attached to it. Have our priests have a support system, ways to be nurtured and poured into. They are spread thin.

GREENWOOD – March 31, 2022
Commitment to meet across racial and language barriers, to listen to each other and act out of love, acknowledge our own shortcomings and ignorance.

To be willing to join in (at least) bilingual Masses, penance services and to be willing to be uncomfortable.

Youth engaging and dynamic programs be willing to face hard questions about the church’s past. Current concerns about sexuality, gender issues and race.

By coming together at Mass and celebrating opening our heart and mind to the presence of Christ. By prayer and realizing we are all created by God, we can accept each other with respect and understanding

Embracing our religion and learning what it entails, being a practicing Catholic, living our religion so that others will see Christ in us.

If the diocese did and probably should concentrate only on these, it would be Adult Formation – everything from life-changing, heart-affecting retreats like Cursillo to missions, to fantastic speakers, to Bible study. Well-formed adults will seek healing and unity, and will bring their children to Mass and religious ed. If we focus on everything, we’ll end up doing nothing. Let’s focus energy and diocesan money on adults formation.

Be more welcoming in the church by reaching out to those who have left the church.
Effectively teach children about their faith ensure that they are knowledgeable as they mature and go through their educational process.

MERIDIAN – April 4, 2022
Showing concern and patience for those who do not share our view, lifestyle and feelings. Try to assist those who have left the church are viable path of reconciliation.

Provide educational and recreation for the youth. Encourage them of the benefits of knowing Christ and church.

What can we accomplish in “one hour a week?” Not sure if “here’s your book-teach your class” is the best way to approach teaching the children who do not attend a catholic school. I realize volunteers may not want to spend or donate even more time to really know their subjects, but “we” need to make the very best of what little time we have with our children. “Educate the Educators.”

Form groups that fast and prayer for a given time for healing and unity specifically in our parishes, diocese, country.

Yearly sessions on Catholic social teaching to address all sections. As society changes, it can never be too often that all are discussed.

TUPELO – April 5, 2022
With the family being the domestic church, we need to build on the wonderful work that is already started. More attention to marriages to support the family. Many in our community and specifically in the church suffer from one partner having psychological issues. I feel our pastor avoids this. Even educating in group sessions what is healthy and unhealthy. How to build God centered relationships and avoid secular division.

Our church leaders need to continually apologize for how the sex scandals were covered up and since handled. This should come from the local level, but continually from the bishops, archbishops, cardinals and pope. Confidence needs to be restored that our church leaders know that abuse of children is a sin. It is not bad behavior. It is a sin! We need to know that all the pedophiles have been removed from our church.

There is scientific evidence (genetic) that homosexual predisposition is a gene carried and not a choice. The church must allow or at least research the literature to better meet the spiritual needs of this group of Catholic faithful.

BATESVILLE – April 6, 2022
Since there is very little we can do to change the annulment process – “we” can welcome those not permitted to marry in ways that are in keeping with tradition.

Improve religious ed by having fewer breaks (we cancel for the smallest, briefest school holidays – Columbus Day, Labor Day, etc.) Keeping it routine could help kids and families know that if its X:00 on Sunday, we have religious ed! Bonus: programming for adults at the same time.

Email from Bishop’s Office on the “Whys of the faith.” Short. One big question answered succinctly. If an email came from the Bishop and it could help train folks to answer questions that come from other denominations and the public.

In terms of unity and healing our church has many separate Masses which divide parishes. There has been a lack of youth orientated faith formation and a lack of leadership. Our differences seem to separate us instead of uniting us. We must invest in the youth.

NATCHEZ – April 19, 2022
Adult formation needs to be pushed hard from the pulpit. There are enough programs available on a myriad of topics that there is no excuse not to use them. However, the diocese might be able to help by offering facilitation training at various places in the diocese. Priest don’t have to do this; a trained facilitator can handle leading discussion.

Bless the disenfranchised. Invite to parish family activities. Show love over and over. Touch people with hard hands. Physically reach out. Smile and give eye contact.

Opportunities for fellowship (example: parish retreats dinner, events, etc. where you see microcosm of our parish ) – For many, these opportunities were some of the only events they engage in socially. I believe that these programs/events can help foster a sense of healing and unity and possibly help eliminate some of the isolation.

Scripture, when preached well and consistently, in line with the long understanding the church provides, really cuts deep into the modern division in structures. It always has what we want – pure water, pure air, untainted food – why do we allow scriptural preaching and explanations to be corrupted by political philosophies and trends. It only politicizes the Word and either panders to or infuriates the faithful.

Acceptance of others for who they are or those who are different from you. God created everyone. His most important commitment is love. Everyone has something to bring to the table let’s give them the opportunity to share. Some people often feel unaccepted in the church – they must feel they the love we as Christians should change that.

Healing and unity: Welcome our LGBT members with open arms and allow active participation in our church and liturgies.

Welcome people of different races and ethnicities as members of our faith, worship communities.
Perhaps it is time to join majority white parishes and majority black parishes as one – especially in places where one is flourishing, and one is struggling.

Beyond a Synod Process to a Synodal Church

By Fran Lavelle

I have been calling for a lay revolution for years. Before anyone calls the Vatican to have me arrested for inciting an insurrection against the church let me be very clear about what I mean.

I am not asking for a lay revolution against the church; rather one within the church in collaboration with the ordained and consecrated. For generations upon generations religious sisters and brothers catechized our children, Father made sick calls to the hospital and nursing homes. Father gave instructions for those seeking to come into the church. He also prepared couples for marriage. Lay people had roles as cooks, housekeepers and janitors, but the heavy lifting of ministry was undertaken by clergy and religious.

In the past nearly 60 years since Vatican II we have seen a sharp decrease in the number of clergy and religious serving the church. Perhaps the laity has not been empowered or encouraged to do so, but it the Synod made it clear that everyone must take part in undertaking the work of the church. The ordained and religious can no longer shoulder that responsibility alone. The lay revolution I am speaking of is for us, the laity, to step up to the plate and take responsibility for our faith and the ministries of the church in a transformational way. We have looked to the leadership of the church to tell us what to do.

The listening sessions for our Synod demonstrated that we, the laity, know what is needed to move beyond a transactional faith. People around this diocese asked for better faith formation of both youth and adults, you asked for an end to partisan politics, you asked for greater unity, you asked for healing. You asked that we do a better job keeping the young church engaged and active.

All that we heard, all that the faithful are seeking is within our grasp. There are more programs, podcasts, video series, websites and resources than one could ever have imagined. We do not need better resources. We do not need a better textbook for education our children in the faith.

We need to call on the Holy Spirit to fill us with a passion to use the resources and tools that we have been given and become leaders within our parishes and communities. What we are in need of are doers of the Word. We need people to say in earnest, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.”

How do you become a transformational leader in the church? If you see a need, talk to others in your community about what they see. Get input from people who do not look like your or think like you. If the need is validated, develop a plan. Take your plan to the parish council or your pastor/LEM.

Often parishioners come to the church office to bring up a need to the pastor but do not have constructive ideas on how to address the issue. I am not advocating that we all act like urban cowboys and bust up the pastor’s office hell bent on doing what we want. I am suggesting that when we see a need, develop solutions, seek input, listen to others and present a well-formed plan for addressing the issue. We have clutched our pearls for far too long. We have looked to the clergy or someone else to address the issues facing the church.

I have a plaque in my office that says. “Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” If we want vibrant, dynamic, communities of faith we have to be dynamic and vibrant people of faith. Multiply the success of your parish community. Be a part of the solution. Step up. Show up. Share the journey.

(Fran Lavelle is the Director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Jackson.)

Priest of the Sacred Heart celebrate jubilees

By Laura Grisham
SOUTHAVEN – The day after welcoming three new SCJs to the fold, the U.S. Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrated the anniversaries of the first profession of vows for 14 of their own: Father Bernie Rosinski (70 years); Father Thomas Cassidy, Father Mark Fortner, Father Patrick Lloyd and Father Steve Pujdak (60 years); Father James Brackin, Father Jack Kurps, Deacon David Nagel and Father James Schifano (50 years); Father Stephen Huffstetter (40 years); and Brother Duane Lemke, Father Vien Nguyen, Father David Szatkowski and Father Chuck Wonch (25 years). Together, they have served in religious life for a remarkable 650 years.

The celebration was held at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Franklin, Wisconsin.
Deacon David Nagel, SCJ, a 50-year jubilian, was the homilist for the Jubilee Mass. He recalled the responses of the prophet Samuel and Mary, Mother of Jesus, who both said ‘yes’ to God’s call. “Each of us celebrating our anniversary can remember God’s call to share in the work of his church,” said Deacon David. “…When I look at this group of jubilarians, I can see a large variety of gifts, he continued. “That is what we celebrate today with the anniversaries of each of these religious. Each of us called to give ourselves in service to the Lord and the church. And each of us in different forms of service, but each one completing the whole church of Christ.”

Sacred Heart Southern Missions congratulates their own Father Jack Kurps on his 50th jubilee! Originally from Chicago, Father Jack professed vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1972 and was ordained in 1977.

On Aug. 16, the US Province commemorated the 70, 60, 50, 40 and 25-year anniversaries of First Professions of 14 SCJs, including Father Jack Kurps and Father David Szatkowski. Those celebrating their jubilees are Father Bernie Rosinski (70 years); Father Thomas Cassidy, Father Mark Fortner, Father Patrick Lloyd and Father Steve Pujdak (60 years); Father James Brackin, Father Jack Kurps, Deacon David Nagel and Father Jemes Schifano (50 years); Father Stephen Huffstetter (40 years); and Brother Duane Lemke, Father Vien Nguyen, Father David Szatkowski and Father Church Wonch (25 years). (Photo courtesy of Laura Grisham)

He recently recalled how he had first been attracted to the Priests of the Sacred Heart some 62 years ago on a visit to Divine Heart Seminary in northwest Indiana, where his brother was attending. “I was nine years old when I first met priests like Paul Casper and Dominic Wessel. Although I was just a kid, they and other SCJ priests and brothers always seemed to welcome and have a kind word for us. I looked forward to our monthly visits and when, in eighth grade, I decided that I wanted to go to the seminary…”

Father Jack’s first assignment was in 1980 at Queen of Peace parish in Olive Branch, Mississippi. In addition to his parish ministry and decades of service as executive director at Sacred Heart Southern Missions, he has served as vocations director for the Priests of the Sacred Heart and on a number of committees and commissions, including as a delegate to the 1997 General Chapter. Kurps has also served several terms on the Provincial Council, and is currently vice provincial of the United States Province.

Speaking of his various ministries, Father Jack said, “I obviously have enjoyed being part of our ministry in Mississippi. And I enjoy my work on the Council and the prep work for provincial assemblies and other gatherings. I would consider my time as province director of vocations to be the most challenging, but also most rewarding of the ministries I have been asked to perform. As I am sure that anyone who has done formation work would agree, there is something very sacred about accompanying someone who is truly discerning what God is asking of him.

“In the last 15 years or so, I have had a growing awareness of not only being part of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, but also being part of the wider Dehonian Family – priests, brothers, sisters and lay men and women following the Dehonian charism.”

As acting chairperson of the Dehonian Associates Committee, Kurps has led several groups on the path towards becoming associates of the order. “It has been a privilege to accompany an increasingly larger number of the laity in Mississippi who have become Dehonian Associates.”

“I try hard to be a faithful son of Father Dehon. When I look to see where we minister, not just here in the U.S., but also in some of the most difficult places in the world, and what God has accomplished through us, I am proud and happy to be part of this,” said Father Jack.

Sacred Heart Southern Missions also congratulates Father David Szatkowski, local superior of the SCJs in Mississippi. He celebrates his 25th profession of vows this year.

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, and baptized in Alexandria, Virginia, as a child of a military family, Father David, 48, has lived in many parts of the world, “but I consider Lawton, Oklahoma, to be my hometown,” he said. After taking part in a summer program hosted by the province vocation office, Szatkowski applied to be an SCJ candidate in 1992.

“I liked that the SCJs ministered as a team,” Father David said. “I also liked the variety of ministries and the creative ways that ministry is done.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1995, a Masters of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union in 2002, and was ordained to the priesthood shortly thereafter.

“I spent three years at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Houston before returning to school,” said Father David. This time, school was the Angelicum in Rome, where he earned a JCL and a JCD (canon law degrees). After graduation, Szatkowski served in provincial administration, in formation, and on the pastoral team here in northern Mississippi.

Reflecting on his years as a Priest of the Sacred Heart, Father David said that he has “come to see the wisdom of the call to ‘get out of the sacristy,” words to fellow priests from Father Dehon inspiring them to go to the people. “I think that by seeing ourselves as active repairers of the world we are free to find how we can invite people to the Heart of Christ.

In memoriam: Father Schifano, SCJ

HALES CORNERS, Wis. – Originally from Colorado Springs, Father Jim Schifano, SCJ, passed away on Aug. 29 at the age of 77. It was only two weeks before that he celebrated his 50th anniversary of vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Before pursuing his vocation, Father Jim served in the US Army; he was at the rank of sergeant when he was discharged in 1967.

Father Jim completed his theological studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology and later served at the seminary from 1978-1990. However, his first assignment as a priest was at Divine Heart Seminary in Donaldson, Indiana.

Besides his many years serving at the seminaries and in the monastery community, Father Jim also did pastoral ministry, first at St. Matthew parish in Houston (1977-78). After over 20 years at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Father Jim returned to Houston, where he briefly served at Christ the Redeemer parish (1990-91) and then back at St. Matthew’s for five years.

In 1997, Father Jim joined the SCJ community in Mississippi, where he ministered for three years at St. Gregory parish in Senatobia and Sacred Heart parish in Walls. From 2004-2007, he served at St. Joseph’s parish in Holly Springs. Father Jim’s final assignment before retirement was with the Sacred Heart Community in Pinellas Park, Florida.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Sacred Heart Community at Monastery Lake. Please keep Father Jim, his family and local community in your prayers.

Ending isolation for the deaf: ministry director promotes independence and inclusion

By Catholic Extension

BILOXI – Start with your open right hand, palm face out, shoulder high. Move your right arm to the left, gently, like a mother gathering her children. Crossing your chest, touch the side of your right hand to your left shoulder.

Then raise both hands to the sky, the left hand slightly higher than the right, a silent show of praise. With your closed hands, a horizontal line just above the head, forming an altar, gracefully extend your fingers and pull your hands apart, like birds taking flight.

This is how to sign the words “Our” and “Father” — a hand that crosses the heart, open hands raised to the sky, just above the head, gracefully acknowledging the God space in which we always dwell.
Helen Keller once said, “Blindness separates people from things. Deafness separates people from people.”
The isolation that deafness brings is almost unimaginable for the hearing, who have no idea what the deaf have to go through to participate in a hearing world. Gregory Crapo, director of the de l’Epee Deaf Center in Biloxi, Mississippi, knows this well.

Gregory Crapo, director of the de I’Epee Deaf Center in Biloxi, is a finalist for Catholic Extension’s 2022-2023 Lumen Christi Award. The award is Catholic Extension’s highest honor given to people who radiate and reveal the light of Christ present in the communities where they serve. (Photo courtesy of Diocese of Biloxi/Gulf Pine Catholic)

Community is key
The ministry was established in Biloxi in 1977 by Daughter of Charity Sister Dolores Coleman. Since 2003, Crapo has served as the center’s director. Today, Crapo and his staff of three promote independence and inclusion in the community for the deaf, hard of hearing and disabled. Catholic Extension has supported the ministry for more than 30 years.

Community is the key word. Community is the only way to end the isolation that deafness brings.
This ministry is as expansive as it is innovative. Crapo and his staff provide interpreting services for the Diocese of Biloxi and its neighbors. Universities and hospitals utilize these services, as do teachers, police and the court system.

Providing interpreters is just a small part of de l’Epee’s mission. The center creates a community in which the deaf and hard of hearing have all the activities and services a hearing community would have.
Crapo has led the expansion of a wide array of social services including American Sign Language (ASL) classes, a food pantry, transportation and emergency services during extreme weather, such as hurricanes.
Young people go on field trips, participate in dances and attend retreats. They receive educational services from academics to religious instruction. Camp D.E.A.F. (Deaf Enabled to Associate for Fun and Friendship) offers five days of recreational activities for children ages 5 to 14. Older teens and young adults trained in ASL serve as camp counselors and are drawn further into empathy and mission. An outside prayer grotto is being planned to help young people know that the call to pray is always and everywhere.

From debt to expansion
When Crapo first arrived, the center was struggling with debt. His leadership has enabled de l’Epee to become debt free, financially stable and in a position to grow its mission. Its outreach is at an all-time high. More and more deaf and hard-of-hearing people are moving into the area for the center’s services.
The ministry is reaching an expanded population through a new branch called The Tabitha Project, which will serve the blind, deaf-blind and people with special needs. Crapo also helped establish a clinic that provides eye surgeries to people in need.

Bishop Louis Kihneman III of Biloxi said, “Greg has been challenged with expanding our established ministry to people of all disabilities while understanding the differences in each area of need.”
Crapo said that the Catholic faith comes alive in sign language. He believes that the sign for “Jesus Christ” is the most powerful. It is the symbol for “king” with a C hand shape and the third finger of each hand touching the opposite palm representing Jesus’ wounds. Crapo says, “Working with our most vulnerable populations is the best way to walk in Jesus’ footsteps.”

In a thank-you note to our donors, Crapo wrote, “Your commitment to Catholic Extension allows us to make our community a better place and is a great inspiration, helping ensure that the staff and volunteers of de l’Epee can provide critical assistance when needed.”

There are those who take advantage of the deaf. Crapo believes that trust building is the most important part of his ministry because such wounds can only be healed through love and in community. Crapo’s trust in God’s love animates his ministry. De l’Epee is truly God’s space.

So, start with a hand that crosses the heart, open hands raised to the sky, hands just above the head, gracefully praising the God space in which we always dwell.

(Catholic Extension is honored to share the accomplishments of Gregory Crapo, a finalist for the 2022-2023 Lumen Christi Award. Visit this page to read other inspiring stories from this year’s finalists:

Featured photo… Fall Faith Formation Day …

MADISON – Mary Frances Strange of St. James Tupelo and Joi Fleming of Holy Family Jackson socialize during a break during Fall Faith Formation Day on Saturday, Aug. 20 at St. Francis parish. Faith formation leaders from around the diocese gathered for the event with the theme “Behold I make all things new,” with keynote speaker Stephanie Cloutre Davis, an Ignatian trained spiritual director and breakout sessions covering a variety of topics. (Photos by Joanna King)

Calendar of events

PEARL St. Jude, Retreat for Healing and Hope, Friday Oct. 14, 6:30-9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parish hall. Featured speakers: Father Bill Henry, Janet Constantine, LMHC and spiritual director, sponsored by Marian Servants of Jesus the Lamb of God. Registration free, lunch provided. Topics: Our Brokenness; Blocks to Healing; and Receiving God’s Love. All are welcome. Details: Contact Maureen at (601) 278-0423 or Pat at (601) 955-0755 or email

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth Fair, Tuesday, Sept. 27. Spaghetti dinner, gift shop, raffle and more. Details: church office (662) 624-4301 or school office (662) 624-4239.

GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Germanfest 2022, Sunday, Sept. 25 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The family-oriented festival is best known for its authentic German food and music. Admission and parking are free. Festival goers may wish to bring a lawn chair. Details: church office (601) 856-2054.

HERNANDO, OLIVE BRANCH and SOUTHAVEN Holy Spirit, Queen of Peace and Christ the King, Drive-thru Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9-11 a.m. All pets welcome! Details: call parish offices.

JACKSON St. Richard, ChristLife: Discovering Christ, a seven-week series begins Sept. 28 and ends Nov. 9. Held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Foley Hall. Come enjoy dinner and explore answers to important life questions. Registration required, child care for ages 3+ is provided. Details: register at or visit

MERIDIAN St. Joseph Octoberfest, Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy this day of fellowship with food, youth activities and more. Details: Rhonda (601) 227-1199.

NATCHEZ Cathedral Fall Festival, Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Midway games, petting zoo, food and craft sales. Plus Adult Night Saturday at 6 p.m. with band and purchase paddles for fantastic packages. Sunday fried chicken lunch at 11 a.m followed by bingo. Details: Contact Carlyle at (337) 962-5323 or visit Facebook @CathedralFallFest.

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Evening with Father Josh Johnson, Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. Father is well-known for his popular Ascension podcast “Ask Father Josh.” He has written several books including the best-selling “Pocket Guide to Reconciliation” (co-written with Father Mike Schmitz), “Broken & Blessed” and “On Earth as it is in Heaven.” The event is free, contributions to Father Josh’s school in his Baton Rouge parish are welcome. Details: church office (601) 445-5616.

OLIVE BRANCH Men’s Club Golf Tournament, Sunday, Sept. 25 at Wedgewood Golf Club. Sign-up at Details: to donate door prizes, play or sponsor a hole, contact Tim at (901) 515-8598.
RIPLEY St. Matthew, Parish Feast Day Celebration, Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 9 a.m. Enjoy fun with sports tournaments, food booths and more. On Sunday, Sept. 25, Bilingual Mass of Thanksgiving at 3 p.m., followed by a potluck meal. Details: church office (662) 993-8832.

SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Save the date: Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 8. Enjoy international food, basket raffle, entertainment and more. Details: church office (662) 342-1073.

DIOCESE Middle School Fall Retreat with NET Ministries, Oct. 15-16 at Lake Forest Ranch, Macon. Retreat is for seventh and eighth graders with opportunity for prayer, faith sharing, fellowship and more. Details: contact Abbey Schuhmann at (601) 949-6934 or

HERNANDO Holy Spirit, We Are One Northwest Parishes of Mississippi, Sunday Sept. 25. Day begins with a youth led Mass at 3 p.m., followed by “Community Feud” for high school youth, activities for Pre-K through eighth graders. Dinner, snack and drinks will be provided. Also, door prizes, music, inflatables, games and more. All are welcome! Details: church office (662) 429-7851.

YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Lunch with seminarian EJ Martin, Sunday, Sept. 25. He will talk to youth about the Mass and his decision to become a priest. Lunch will be in parish hall following Mass. Details: church office (662) 746-1680.

BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Save the dates: St. Francis Parish Picnic on Oct. 9; Knights of Columbus Blood Drive on Oct. 23; and Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat on Oct. 26. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.

DIOCESE Save the date: #iGiveCatholic on Giving Tuesday Nov. 28. Join Catholics in this nation-wide day of giving.

JACKSON St. Richard School, Krewe de Cardinal set for Feb. 10. Call for tickets and sponsorship opportunities. Details: church office (601) 366-2335.

MERIDIAN St. Patrick, 23rd annual Variety Show/Dinner and Fashion Show, Saturday, Nov. 5 in the Family Life Center. Details: church office (601) 693-1321.

New documentary on Sister Thea Bowman highlights her faith, justice work

By Anna Capizzi Galvez

WASHINGTON (CNS) – A new documentary on Sister Thea Bowman shines a light on her life and work as an advocate for racial justice and intercultural understanding.

The idea for the documentary came to Franciscan Sister Judith Ann Zielinski, who wrote and produced the film, after the 2020 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“I thought, I have to do something, what can I do?” and “Thea Bowman popped into my head. She was a Franciscan sister, a woman who had been fighting systemic racism in her own time and in her own way.”
The documentary is a comprehensive look at Sister Thea, the first African American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and one of six Black Catholics known as a “Servant of God.”
It also makes a case for her sainthood and for contemporary spirituality, Sister Zielinski said.

“Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood,” comes from NewGroup Media and the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi. Along with archival media of Sister Thea, the documentary features interviews with her colleagues, friends, fellow Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, former students and African American scholars, priests and bishops.

The one-hour film, a part of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission’s fall documentary season, will begin airing on ABC stations nationwide Oct. 2.

This is an official promotional poster for the documentary “Going Home Like a Shooting Star: Thea Bowman’s Journey to Sainthood.” The documentary will air on ABC stations nationwide beginning Oct. 2, 2022. (CNS photo/courtesy NewGroup Media)

Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt, associate producer and biographer of Sister Thea, called her an “apostle for racial reconciliation in our church today.”
Noting that she died in 1990, Father Nutt said the film would make her known to a new generation. He also said her life resonates with much of what younger Catholics are looking for in the church – someone who speaks truth to power.

“Her call for justice, justice for the roles of women, justice for those who experience no matter what ethnicity, oppression or hatred” speaks to “us as a church being the body of Christ,” he said.

He also said her call for people to come together and share their gifts is a pivotal message to put a stop to “some of the racial hatred that we see in our society even today,” Father Nutt told Catholic News Service.
Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz of Jackson, Mississippi, petitioner for Sister’s Thea’s cause and executive producer of the documentary, said the film “speaks the need for the church to never give up that desire to be more united and more universal.”

He said Sister Thea had a “timeless message” that included a desire for greater harmony, unity, racial understanding and reconciliation and “being the body of Christ in a more faithful way.”

The bishop also remarked at the depth of her call, describing her as gifted, charismatic, prophetic and a “dynamo of energy.”

Sister Thea was born Bertha Bowman in 1937 in Yazoo City, Mississippi, to Dr. Theon Bowman, a physician and Mary Esther Bowman, a teacher. Her family moved to Canton where she encountered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Holy Child Jesus School.

At age 9, Bertha became Catholic and at age 15, she left home for La Crosse, Wisconsin, to attend the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s high school, later joining the community and taking the name Sister Mary Thea.

Sister Thea went on to receive her doctorate from The Catholic University of America and returned to La Crosse to teach English and linguistics at Viterbo University.

Her parents’ deteriorating health called her back to Canton, where she led the Diocese of Jackson’s first Office for Intercultural Affairs. Her gifts for preaching, singing and teaching led her to countless speaking engagements across the United States.

In 1984, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died March 30, 1990, at age 52.

She was declared a “Servant of God” in May 2018 and the U.S. bishops voiced their consent to her canonization cause at their Nov. 2018 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

Sister Eileen McKenzie, president of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, said Sister Thea’s canonization would “hold up the spirituality and the gift of the Black Catholic Church” and “give courage to our African American brothers and sisters who often don’t have platform.”

It would also be significant for her order. One of the primary values of Franciscans is continual conversion, Sister McKenzie explained, noting that Sister’s Thea’s canonization would call the community into deeper conversion.

“Her spirituality, her witness, her prophetic spirit resonates with us today. It’s hard to even speak of Thea in the past tense. It’s as if she’s with us today,” Father Nutt said.

“Going Home Like a Shooting Star” was funded in part by the Catholic Communication Campaign. Streaming opportunities will be announced by the Diocese of Jackson. To watch a preview of the film, visit:

With a servant’s heart, Father Carroll passes at age 86

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Known for his servant’s heart, Father Bernard Patrick “Brian” Carroll passed on Monday, Sept 5 at the age of 86, celebrating 60 years of priestly life in Mississippi.

Born on April 27, 1936, in Dublin, Ireland to the late Dan and Bridget Carroll, Father Carroll enrolled at St. Patrick’s College in Carlow, Ireland and was ordained for the Diocese of Jackson (formerly Natchez-Jackson) after completing his seminary studies on June 9, 1962.

Father Bernard Patrick “Brian” Carroll is pictured in 1968. He died on Monday, Sept. 5 at the age of 86, celebrating 60 years of priestly life in Mississippi. (Photo from archives)

While at seminary, Father Brian earned his nickname “Speedy.” His friends would encourage him to “quicken up” his story telling saying “can you speed this up and get to the end.”

“But it never happened,” said Father Gerry Hurley after describing the moniker during his homily at St. Paul parish for Father Brian’s funeral Mass.

Also known for his dry wit and sense of humor, Father Brian had a joke for each occasion, said Father Hurley. “And you weren’t always sure when he reached the punchline.”

Having a servant’s heart, Father Brian was well known for his ministry to children and the sick. Many comments on social media following the news of his passing highlighted just how special Father Brian was to those who knew him.

“Well done good and faithful servant. You gave us so much. I could name it all from baptizing my dying brother with a teacup to giving your best to our youth. We’ll miss you; God give you rest.” – Jimmy Isonhood

“Father Carroll always had the wisdom from the Holy Spirit to guide his parishioners. … He was wonderful to make home visits and give the anointing of the sick to the sick and dying. He anointed my great uncle in Jackson in the middle of the night. He always said God protects us.” – Jeannie Malatesta Roberts

“He was so good to my in laws who came to live with us and attended church at St. Paul with us in Brandon for a few months after they lost everything in Katrina. Later, when my father-in-law died in 2010, [Father Brian] drove from Brandon all the way to New Orleans to concelebrate. He was so good at comforting the grieving, “ wrote Lori Brechtel on the news of Father Brian’s passing.

“Another time, my husband dropped something off after hours at St. Paul, and Father was in the kitchen in the Learning Center by himself cooking anything he could find to feed a family in need that had pulled in from Lakeland Drive. He had a servant’s heart and was so funny and humble. … Well done, good and faithful servant,” Brechtel continued.

The list of memories and stories could fill pages on the love, humor and heart for service Father Brian had for the people of the Diocese of Jackson. Each story, such a wonderful testimony to the joy and compassion over his 60 years in the diocese.

Arriving in the diocese in September 1962, Father Brian was assigned to St. John’s Parish in Biloxi and served as a teacher at Biloxi High School. In 1967, he served on the faculty of Our Lady of Victories High School in Pascagoula and as assistant pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Moss Point.

From the coast, Father Brian then made his way up to Vicksburg teaching at St. Aloysius High School and serving as assistant pastor at St. Paul Parish in 1968. He then served on the Diocesan Board of Consultors as a representative of assistant pastors.

In 1969, Father Brian was assigned as assistant pastor at Annunciation Parish in Columbus and served as chaplain at the Mississippi University for Women (formerly Mississippi State College for Women).

Traveling south, in 1970 Father Brian was assigned as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in McComb for six years, in addition to serving as chaplain at Southwest Junior College. After McComb, he served as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Meridian and again as a consultor for the diocese.

After serving as dean of deanery III and VI, Father Brian served as the Pro-Synodal Judge to the Marriage Court before being appointed in 1986 as pastor of St. Elizabeth Clarksdale, where he ministered for 12 years.

From the Mississippi Delta, in 1998 Father Brian was appointed pastor of St. Paul Parish in Flowood, where he served for another 12-year stint. While there, he would often visit the St. Paul Early Learning Center and entertain the children with jokes and sing Irish lullabies and ditties.

While at St. Paul, he served as dean of deanery I for two years, in addition to serving again on the College of Consultors and Presbyteral Council.

The year 2010 brought Father Brian to St. Richard Parish in Jackson as a senior associate with Father Mike O’Brien; and as sacramental minister of St. Stephen Parish in Magee. He served in both parishes until he retired on New Year’s Eve of 2014.

“He had a great impact and affect on the lives of people,” said Father Hurley. “Yes, he was known for the funnies and wit and the Irish ditties, but he was most especially known for his pastor’s heart, his generosity to his family and friends and indeed to anybody in need.”

When he was able to travel home to Ireland, Father Brian would make the trek home to Ireland for a visit with family, always bringing a suitcase filled with gifts from Mississippi – whether it be popcorn, candy or over-sized clothing – it was always well received.

Traveling from Ireland to attend the funeral, was Father Brian’s nephew, Donal Carroll.
“We were very privileged to have a priest in our family,” said Donal.

He said that some of the most cherished memories in the family was when Father Brian would come home to Ireland with the suitcase of gifts for everyone.

“From pecan logs to Slinkys to popcorn … eventually Father Brian realized after many years of carrying this heavy suitcase … that you could get popcorn and the like in Carrick-on-Shannon or the local towns,” shared Donal.

“It still didn’t diminish our delight to see him coming home for that month.”

On behalf of the family, Donal thanked the many who aided Father Brian in his final years, including the staff at St. Dominic Hospital and St. Catherine’s Village; and to Father Mike O’Brien who helped care for “Speedy” and assisted the family for many years.

Father Mike is currently in Ireland ready to greet “Speedy” along with other family and friends on his final stage of the journey, where he will be buried at Kilmore Cemetery in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon.

“After 60 years of faithful service to God and the people of Mississippi, Father Brian has gone home to his eternal rest in heaven. His body will be buried at home in Ireland. So, again to the Diocese of Jackson and the people of Mississippi, you will be forever enshrined to the Carroll family.”

Historia de superación, compromiso, evangelización y colaboración

Por Berta Mexidor
TUPELO – El Certificado de Educación Continua en Teología y Ministerio de la Universidad Loyola de New Orleans fue recibido por un grupo de doce líderes Hispanos del decanato V, después de cuatro años de estudio, en Misa especial el 27 de agosto en la iglesia de St. James.

El certificado fue entregado por los profesores Tracey Lamont, PhD. directora y profesora asistente y Thomas Ryan, PhD. director del Programa del Instituto Loyola para la Extensión del Ministerio (LIMEX). La Misa fue celebrada por el padre Timothy Murphy, concelebrada por los Padres Henry Shelton (retirado) y Mario Solorzano, quien fue el Homilista y asistidos por el diácono permanente Carlos Solá.

La Universidad Loyola de Nueva Orleans ofrece programas de Maestría y Certificado a ministros eclesiales laicos (LEM) así como a líderes parroquiales que sirven a su iglesia. El certificado de LIMEX consta de seis semestres, completando un curso en cada uno de ellos.

TUPELO – Yolanda Chávez; Luis Gordillo; Magaly Heredia; María de Jesús Hernández; Mariano Hernández; Maria León; Alejandro López; Eduardo Padilla; Teresa Pena; Luis Rosales; Bernardo Sorcia y Raquel Thompson recibieron el premio Kairos del Instituto del Ministerio de la Universidad Loyola el pasado mayo. El certificado por completar sus estudios de Teología vino de las manos del Dr. Thomas Ryan, director of LIMEX en Misa especial el 27 de Agosto. (Arriba) Los doce líderes de LIMEX y su coordinadora Danna Johnson se preparan y bajan la cabeza para recibir la bendición especial proveniente de los Padres Tim Murphy, Mario Solorzano, Henry Shelton y el diácono Carlos Solá. (Debajo) La audiencia, acompaña a los sacerdotes en la bendición. (Fotos de Berta Mexidor)

Los participantes Hispanos de la Diócesis pertenecen a las parroquias del decanato V: St. James de Tupelo, St. James de Corinth, St. Christopher de Pontotoc, St. Matthew de Ripley y St. Helen de Amory y han sido auspiciados por la oficina diocesana de Formación de Fe.

El grupo, recibió el Premio Kairos, del Instituto Loyola para el Ministerio el pasado mes de mayo, durante la ceremonia de graduación de Honores de la Facultad de Enfermería y Salud de Loyola. La palabra griega Kairos significa un ‘…espíritu pleno, cuando las personas y circunstancias se unen de forma extraordinaria para cumplir la voluntad de Dios en el mundo.”

Danna Johnson, quien obtuvo una Maestría en Teología de Loyola en 2019 y es ahora LEM en Inmaculate Heart of Mary Houston, fue la facilitadora del grupo. Las hermanas Carol Ann Prenger, SSND de Ripley y Jane Wand, SSND de Boonville fueron también una fuerza de apoyo y motivación para el grupo, acompañándolos en todo momento.

En su homilía, el padre Mario Solorzano dijo que estudiar cuatro años de teología es un gran logro, pero que el caso de los laicos, a diferencia de los sacerdotes, la tarea es doble porque además de estudiarla ”…ustedes la ponen en práctica todos los días en sus vidas de familias, en el trabajo y en sus comunidades. Por eso ustedes ven la fe de una manera diferente,” y los instó a usar aún más los conocimientos adquiridos.

El Padre Timothy Murphy explicó a Mississippi Catholic que LIMEX ha ayudado a grupos desde Natchez hasta Tupelo. “Una gran parte de los fondos para la traducción de los materiales al español fue proporcionada por la familia de la Sra. Betty Montgomery. Ella fue una de las primeras partidarias de LIMEX, con un doctorado en inglés y quien falleció trágicamente en un accidente en hace unos 10 años Tupelo.”

El programa LIMEX comenzó en Tupelo en 2008. El doctor Len Pinkley, pionero de LIMEX, recordó en su intervención el apoyo que recibió y la amistad imperecedera que se creó en el grupo, formado por seis miembros de la comunidad de Tupelo, incluido uno no católico.

El Padre Tim concluye que estos doce líderes Hispanos “…son una gran historia de superación, compromiso, evangelización y colaboración.”

La doctora Tracey Lamont, profesora de LIMEX, concluyó diciendo que el grupo se ha ganado “el derecho de llamarse una ‘comunidad de aprendizaje’.”