Diocese of Jackson releases list of credibly accused clergy, brothers

JACKSON – This report contains the names of all clergy and lay religious credibly accused of sexual abuse of which the Diocese of Jackson is aware. An accusation is considered credible when it has been investigated, presented to our Independent Fitness Review Board and deemed to be specific and believable. Civil authorities determine if an accusation is a crime. Not everyone on this list was charged or convicted of a crime.
None of these men are still in active ministry.
The list includes the names of the priests, a list of locations where they served, when the abuse is reported to have happened and when it was reported to the diocese. You may notice a gap between the abuse date and the reporting date. The diocese may not have been aware of the abuse before a priest was moved to another parish. Not all victims report their abuse right away. This is why the work the church is doing to remove the stigma of reporting is so critical.
The sooner we know about an allegation, the sooner we can take action to protect those vulnerable to abuse.
In a few cases, psychologists of that time treated a priest and deemed him safe to go back into ministry. While the science of that time believed such treatment could be effective, we now know this is not the case; and every priest, deacon, lay employee or volunteer who abuses a minor today will be permanently removed from ministry.
When the diocese receives new credible reports, those are presented to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, law enforcement or the district attorney in the place where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
You may also notice reports from what is now the Diocese of Biloxi. The Diocese of Jackson once encompassed the entire state. In 1977, the state was divided into two dioceses: Jackson and Biloxi. The Diocese of Jackson holds the archives from the beginnings of both dioceses and so any case from the Diocese of Biloxi from before 1977 will appear as part of the history of the Diocese of Jackson. The Diocese of Jackson has records for close to 1,000 priests who served here during its 180-year history. This investigation examined the files dating back to 1924.
All new credible reports of abuse will be added to the version of this list posted to the diocesan website.
If you have been abused by a member of the clergy or an employee of the church, we want to hear from you. Contact our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator Valerie McClellan at (601) 326-3728.


Letter from Bishop Joseph Kopacz

Dear Friends in Christ,
This week the Diocese of Jackson released the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. It is our hope and prayer that releasing these names will confirm our commitment to transparency in the pursuit of our Promise to Protect and our Pledge to Heal the harm caused by abuse in the church. The list was posted on the diocesan website and is printed inside this Mississippi Catholic on pages 6-7.
We know that this list will cause pain to many individuals and communities and I am truly, deeply sorry for that pain. The crime of abuse of any kind is a sin, but the abuse of children and vulnerable adults is especially egregious. First and foremost, it is a sin against the innocent victims, but also a sin against the Church and our communities. It is a sin that cries out for justice.
The time for trying to keep these cases quiet in the church has come to an end. We now know that this deep wound in the Body of Christ will not heal until we lay bare the sins of the past and work together toward reconciliation. Releasing this list is not the end of a process, it is another step forward in the ongoing effort to reform our church.
In addition to the list, look for additional information about how our Office of Child Protection and Safe Environments is working to screen and educate employees and volunteers as well as educating children and families in self-protection, in hopes of preventing abuse in the future.
The majority of the cases on our list are from the past. This does not make them any less hurtful or significant, but it does indicate that the measures the Church and the Diocese of Jackson have put into place to prevent abuse are having an positive impact.
We know it can still take years for a victim to come forward. We want to hear from those who have been abused by a member of the clergy or an employee of the church. Not only is it our legal duty to report these cases, helping victims find healing and wholeness is our moral imperative. Anyone can contact our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator Valerie McClellan at (601) 326-3728 to seek help.
Again, I apologize from the depths of my heart to those who have been sexually abused by clergy and church personnel, to the families damaged by these crimes and to the Catholic community for the scandal this scourge has brought upon our Church. There is no room for this evil in our society or our churches.
It is my hope that the release of this list during the penitential season of Lent will remind us to pray for all those impacted by abuse and recommit all of us to the Promise to Protect and the Pledge to Heal.
Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop Diocese of Jackson

Couples share their love, commitment at World Marriage Day

By Berta Mexidor and Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Eighty-two couples marked World Marriage Day by celebrating more than 3,500 years of marriage on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. The number of couples attending doubled from last year. The majority of those are celebrating either 50 or 25 years of marriage. Ten couples honored are celebrating 60 years of marriage.
Charlene Bearden, coordinator for the Office of Family Ministry, organizes the celebration of World Marriage Day for the Diocese of Jackson. Each couple celebrating a significant anniversary receives a certificate and a blessing from Bishop Joseph Kopacz. “I think it shows that faith out there is solid – it’s strong and people want to celebrate that,” said Bearden.
World Marriage day is a global event to honor the sacrament of marriage and recognize those who are called to the vocation. In the homily Bishop Kopacz talked about the reading of loving your enemies. He remarked, teasingly, that it was not intentional for the occasion, but it is a good lesson about the magnitude of love. Bishop Kopacz blessed the commitment and example of the couples and asked them to renew their vows with a kiss. After the Mass and blessing, all the couples were invited to the cathedral center for a reception.

50 years anniversary

Evonne and Randell Arender, 50 years from St. Joseph, Gluckstadt

Linda and Tom Bailey 50 years from St. Mary Basilica, Natchez

Rebecca and Thomas Corkern 50 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Brookhaven

Mary Nell and Billy Davenport, 50 years from Sacred Heart, Canton

Caroline and Don Frazier, 50 years from Holy Savior, Clinton

Kathleen and David Gruseck, 50 years from Annunciation, Columbus

Margaret and Ken Hicks, 50 years from St. Michael, Vicksburg

Miriam and Buddy Honeycutt, 50 years from St. Peter, Grenada

Katie and Doug Hornback, 50 years from St. francis of Assisi, Madison

Lynn and Ken Hynes, 50 years from St. Paul, Flowood

Kathy and Harvey Johnson, 50 years from Holy Family, Jackson

Janet and Robert Kalka, 50 years from St. Stephan, Magee

Ruth and Bob McWilliams, 50 years from St. Mary Basilica, Natchez

Marilyn and Robert Scott, 50 years from St. therese, Kosciusko

Betty and William Vaughan, 50 years from Sacred Heart, Canton

Carolyn and Donald Verucchi, 50 years from Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Natchez

Georgeann and daniel Leavell, 50 years from St. Michaele, Vicksburg

25 years anniversary

Becky and Eddie Adkins, 25 years from St. Joseph, Gluckstadt

Rosa and Dan Buzzarde, 25 years from St. Peter, grenada

Kristi and Scott Garrad, 25 years from St. Richard, Jackson

Nina and Shane Hoang, 25 years from St. Alphonsus, McComb

Denise and Stephen Martinolich, 25 years from Holy Savior, Clinton

Kay and Mark McKenna, 25 years from St. Patrick, Meridian

Martha and Timothy Lee Prater, 25 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Madison

Irma and Ernesto Sanchez, 25 years from Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, Jackson

Carmen and Isidro Vieyra, 25 years from St. Terese, Jackson

Special anniversary

Katheryn and Leo Duguay, 65 years from St. Paul, Flowood

Cassandra and Tracy Hansbrough, 30 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Greenwood

Dianne and Robert Jones, 46 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Greenwood

Mary and Chris Manning, 41 years from St. francis of Assisi, Madison

Margaret and John McAleese, 65 years from St. Paul, Flowood

Conception and Miguel Solano, 41 years from Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, Jackson

Darleen and William Smith, 61 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Madison

Irene and Lane Tucker, 65 years from St. Peter, Grenada

Tammy and Scott Waller, 39 yearts from St. John Crystal Springs

Yvonne and Robert Tanner, 35 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Greenwood

Derrik and Mary Faucheux, 1 day

Debra and Tunney Vandevender, 30 years from St. Francis of Assisi, Madison

Margaret and John McAllese of Flowood St. Paul Parish are celebrating 65 years of marriage with their two children and three grandchildren. “Always get rid of the problem you had before you go to bed. No fighting going to bed – get rid of it,” said John. He and his wife also like to laugh together.
Rosa and Dan Buzzarde came down from Grenada to be honored for their 25-years of marriage. It may seem like a long time, but Dan feels differently. “I looked up one day from my job and lightning slapped me in the face and it was her and I haven’t gotten over it yet,” he said. Rosa said she would tell young couples that marriage takes “lots of patience, lots of love and lots of understanding.”
Carmen and Isidro Vieyra from Jackson St. Therese celebrated 25 years of marriage. They believe that God is always helping them on the trip. Carmen said “God gives patience and love to understand.” Their daughter, Cyntia Vieyra and her fiance Gustavo García, after six years of dating, will follow their parents’ example and take the vows next May.They want to have “all the children with whom God blesses them” both said at the same time.
30-year couple Cassandra and Tracy Hansbrough from Greenwood St. Francis urge young people to put work into a relationship before marriage. “They should weigh their options and get to know one another before they get married and realize that marriage is a partnership and compromise is very important,” Cassandra explained.
Forgiveness and mercy play a role in Yvonne and Robert Tanner’s 35-year marriage. “You need to still love every day. Every day is a new beginning and when you approach it that way then those days start adding to years and more,” said Robert. His wife added, “Keep God first in prayer and I think everything else will work out.”

More pictures coming soon!

Chanche Medal honorees: serve, embrace, inspire

JACKSON – When Bishop John Joseph Chanche arrived in the newly formed Diocese of Natchez in May of 1841, there were no Catholic Churches, only a couple of missionary priests, and his flock was far flung. He rose to the challenge and laid the foundation for the Diocese of Jackson. The diocese honors his legacy and thanks those who continue to build on his foundation with the Bishop Chanche medal for service.
This year, Bishop Joseph Kopacz gave 19 adults and nine young people their awards on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. During the Mass, he used Bishop Chanche’s crozier, at right, and spoke of the man who braved wilderness and scarcity to build up the kingdom of God. The brief descriptions on these pages come from the Bishop Chanche nomination forms and offer a glimpse into the men and women who serve the Church today.

Adult winners with their medals.

Ella Deffner – Clinton Holy Savior
Eucharistic minister to shut-ins, liturgical volunteer.
“Ella lives out her personal devotion to Eucharist in her own life as a faithful Eucharistic Minister visiting and bringing Eucharist to shut-ins weekly. She prepares our altar for Mass daily and Sunday and cares for altar linens, vestments and votive candle.” – Father Tom McGing

Kathleen Edwards – Pearl St. Jude
Certified Catechist, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, hospitality coordinator, liturgical volunteer, RCIA volunteer.
“Kathleen’s ministries have touched many lives. I have seen the impact she has on children, as they respond very enthusiastically to her presence. I have seen her give special attention to children with special needs and they respond very positively to her. She is the face of Christ to many in our parish. She is always serving and taking care of our parishioners, making sure they feel welcome.” – Father Lincoln Dall

Mavis and Lando Fratesi – Leland St. James
Liturgical volunteers, social volunteers, Knights of Columbus
“This couple has been committed to their Catholic faith for past 63 years and they participate in all the ministries of the parish. Lando volunteers for any work in the parish. Young people and children look up to them as role models of parents and grandparents.” – Father Alphonse Arulanandu

Roma Golden – Natchez Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Liturgical volunteer, visited sick and home-bound, inspiring caregiver to disabled son, member Secular Order of Disclaced Carmelites
“For many years, Roma dedicated one day each week to visiting and praying with the sick and home bound and being a Eucharistic Minister to Catholic members. This has been of great service since Assumption Parish did not have a full-time priest. She has been an outstanding witness by her caring for her disabled son.” – Father David O’Connor

Deborah Hopf – Gloster, Holy Family Parish
Volunteer organist
“Ms. Debbie Hopf is a devoted organist at Holy Family Church in Gloster, as well as for St. Joseph Church in Woodville, as a substitute whenever required. She recently retired from Amite County School System as a Board Supervisor and as an English teacher at Centreville Academy, and has been most faithful to her weekend music ministry at Holy Family Church.” – Father Scott Dugas

Carolyn Koenig – Amory St. Helen
Coordinates parish Christmas charity effort, visits elderly and alzheimers patients, participates in civic charity events.
“Each year more than 80 children and families have some sort of Christmas because of her hard work and dedication. She has a loving heart and her generosity is well known in the parish. There have been times when she was hospitalized but continued with doing what she could from her bed and home. Carolyn is a loving woman who has raised two Catholic daughters who continue to participate in the Church along with her two grandchildren. Her witness of Faith is quietly evident in all she does.” – Sister Lael Niblick

Mary and John Kraft – Madison St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Office and liturgy volunteers
For Mary and John, their service to the Church is priority. They see the work that they do for the Church and for the Lord as their path of living out their holiness. So many sacrifices have been made to accomplish the good work the Lord has inspired them to carry out.” – nominating committee

Mike Logan – Woodville St. Joseph
Hospitality volunteer, usher, assists needs veterans.
“Mike Logan has continued a dedicated ministry of Minister of Hospitality and Usher at St. Joseph Church in Woodville for more than 10 years. This goes back to a family tradition started with St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Churches in Natchez.” – Father Scott Dugas

Vivian and Patrick McKinney – Chatawa St. Teresa of Avila
Parish council volunteers, donated construction time, talent and treasure, social gathering volunteers, associates of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
(In addition to preparing meals for parish events), “Pat constructed the concrete foundation for the bell tower at St. Teresa of Avila Church, as well as the concrete ramp to St. James Mission Church, Magnolia.” Vivian serves on several committees and arranges parish picnic annually. They are “a faithful family — totally dedicated to their church in various ways. They are always available to take up any responsibility.” – Father Suresh Reddy Thirumalareddy

Roxian and Daniel Miller – Natchez St. Mary Basilica
Liturgical volunteers, parish event volunteers, social service volunteers, member Knights of Columbus.
“Both of these nominees are outstanding witnesses and examples in St. Mary Basilica parish. They are leaders in the “Respect Life” activities of the parish and in the functions of the Knights of Columbus. Both can be found in the Family Life Center kitchen helping to prepare and serve the weekly parish dinners and do the clean up afterwards. Both are very dedicated to praying the rosary, often making rosaries to give to those who need one and leading many rosary services throughout the year, especially during the month of October.” – Father David O’Connor

Rosalinda and Joel Montoy – Jackson St. Therese
Hispanic ministry, catechesis, parish and finance council volunteers, donors of construction time, talent and treasure,
“Most recently Joel helped recruit and coordinated volunteers who are donating $115,000 worth of labor for construction of the new parish offices and religious education classrooms.” Rosalinda has also been an example of one who gives her time, talents and leadership to the parish. She serves on the pastoral council and on the liturgy committee. For three years Rosalinda has been the director of the Parish School of Religion for Hispanics. Like a good leader, she prepared someone to take her place this year, and Rosalinda has returned to teaching one of the classes.” – Msgr. Elvin Sunds

Evelyn Villanueva Riveros – Vicksburg St. Michael
Hispanic ministry coordinator, sacramental preparation volunteer, social service volunteer
“Evelyn is a native Puerto Rican and her home country was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Being barely able to communicate with family and friends made this time very difficult for Evelyn but she threw her heart into doing whatever she could for her fellow Puerto Ricans. She took her love of Hispanic Ministry and her love of country to the global scale. Almost single handedly she arranged for the St. Michael Parish Hall to be used as the Warren County drop off location for relief items going to Puerto Rico.” – Father Robert Dore

Derek Singleton – Jackson Christ the King
Liturgical volunteer, parish council member, school supporter, physical plant volunteer, catechist Knights of Peter Claver.
“Derek is a true example of who a Catholic is. His deeds are not not done because he was asked to sign up for something. He does things because he feels as a Catholic it is something that he should do. It is in his persona to go out of his way to serve.” – Deacon Denzil Lobo

Barbara and Donnie Tynes – Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle
RCIA coordinators, liturgical volunteers, Habitat for Humanity volunteers, prison ministry, parish council
“Since their registration as parishioners 14 years ago, Barbara and Donnie are the smiling faces that inquirers and visitors see at the Cathedral They are always ready with a smile or hug or both to help those in need feel special.” – Father Anthony Quyet

Doug Prosen – Philadephia Holy Cross Parish
Food pantry ministry, Knights of Columbus
“He is a vibrant person who spends his time serving the poor and runs this ministry free of charge.” – Father Darnis Selvanayakam

Britt Virden – Greenville, St. Joseph Parish
School and parish volunteer and donor. “Britt exemplifies what it means to believe in a mission and put every ounce of talent and energy into mission. He believes in it and he lives it. He has also made financial sacrifices in order to support our school and parish. No matter what the need was, Britt would see to it that we got it.” – Father Bill Henry.

Gracie Wilson – Gluckstadt St. Joseph
Liturgical volunteer, hospitality volunteer for parish and diocesan events, Hispanic ministry, social service, Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxillary
“Gracie is invaluable to me, personally, and to our community. She leads when called to leadership, she is on the team when needed, and she serves in the background when that service is necessary. She is always there, helping, supporting, and praying for our parish family.” – Pam Minninger

Youth honorees

JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz congratulates youth winners of the Bishop Chanche service award during the Mass on Saturday, Feb. 24. (Photos by Maureen Smith)

Olivia Artigues – Starkville St. Joseph
Youth ministry and catechetical volunteer, liturgical volunteer, community service volunteer.
“When she speaks about or lives out her faith, it is a pure and well intended example for the others to follow. And it is done in such as way, as John the Baptist, pointing to someone much greater than herself.” – Deacon Jeff Artigues

Raphael Barner – Jackson Holy Ghost
Liturgical volunteer, musician (Sonic Boom of the South member), role model.
“At our church and at school, Raphael is known for his leadership and his willingness to assist and prayerfulness. The youth at our church look up to Raphael because is always available for the young males to talk to school and sometimes about music. Raphael has no problem praying with his friends and sharing his religious beliefs. For a young man who have so much going on in his life, he is a jewel.” – Father Alfred Ayem, pastor

Catherine Cook – Jackson St. Richard
Youth ministry leader, retreat leader, liturgical volunteer, community service volunteer
“Catherine has a deep faith in God and a strong personal relationship with Christ. Her relationship with Christ is evident in everything she does. Catherine truly loves the Lord and this becomes very apparent in the way she lives her life. You don’t have to spend much time with Catherine before her love of Christ becomes apparent. She just can’t help sharing his love with others. “ – Amelia Rizor, youth minister

Margaret Elizabeth Gordon – Gluckstadt St. Joseph
Liturgical volunteer, catechist volunteer, community service
“Meg has an enthusiasm for her participation and faith that inspires not only her leaders but our younger members as well. She is always willing to guide the younger teens when needed.” – Patti Greene, youth minister

Cassandra Klutz – Meridian St. Patrick
Liturgical ministry, particularly music ministry, Vacation Bible school and summer service camp volunteer.
“She is the most empathetic young person I have ever been around, she has a knack for sensing what someone may need, whether it be a kind word, a smile, or a helping hand and then providing it without fanfare. She is very creative in the arts with the ability to vision an idea and then follow through to its completion. Her kindness extends throughout our youth, she will take the time to teach younger kids arts, crafts, music and anything that she has had experience with previously. Finally, her integrity might be her strongest suit. She has been taught a strong moral foundation by her parents and she has built upon that herself.” – John Harwell, youth minister

Dominic Lopez – Pearl St. Jude
Youth ministry volunteer, liturgical volunteer, volunteer for Carmelite monastery, parish leadership council, hospital volunteer
“He is a strong leader in our community and in our youth program. He has a strong devotion to the Eucharist and the Mass and to many of the devotions of our Catholic faith. He tries to get other youth involved in our parish and is always encouraging to them. Many of the other youth look to him for leadership and as an example. He promotes the traditions and devotions of the Filipino community in our parish.” – Father Lincoln Dall

Ryne Hamilton McCallum – Vicksburg St. Michael
Peer catechist, youth leader
“It is really hard to narrow down to three words Ryne’s character. Loyal, hardworking and faith-filled easily come to mind. However, the one word that really stands out is inquisitive. Ryne has been attending our Parish School of Religion since second grade and in those eleven years there have only been a handful of times that he has missed. He is still attending this year as a Confirmed high school senior.” – Helene Bension, Director of religious education.

John Paul Moorman – Madison St. Francis of Assisi
Youth ministry volunteer, Vacation Bible School volunteer
“John Paul’s service has done a lot to help build a culture of outstanding young Christian men and women in our parish community. By working with young men and women almost every Sunday and serving as he is needed he is helping others see an example of a youth who takes his faith seriously and lives it out. We are very thankful for John Paul and everything about this outstanding young man. He consistently attends youth activities, participates in worship activities and extends himself beyond what is required by volunteering this year with the EDGE core team.” – nominating committee

Mary Swinney – Kosciusko St. Therese
Youth ministry leader, civic volunteer, community service volunteer
“Well organized and dependable with tasks large and small. This year she helped organize and worked at four fundraisers to pay for the nine youth and two chaperones to attend the Youth Conference in Vicksburg. Mary is very humble and is not one to call attention to herself and is willing to help where ever there is a need.” – nominating committee

Julianna Vaughn – Tupelo St. James
Youth leader, liturgical volunteer, Vacation Bible school volunteer, community service volunteer.
“She is a leader in every way. She is the captain of her cheer squad, captain of the soccer team, Vice President of her senior class, Vice President of high school student government, President of the BETA club, Contributing write to the Quill and Scroll high school paper, volunteers for the Nettleton peewee football league. She is also pursuing a career in service to her country. “ – Mary Frances Strange, youth minister

Christopher James Walton – Flowood St. Paul
Youth leader, liturgical volunteer, Eagle Scout
“In referring again to his genuine nature, he participates in our program because he knows it is the right thing to do and really enjoys it. He is the type of student that the adult volunteers have come to know they can count on to help inspire other students. All of his current and past youth volunteers have nothing but great things to say about him.” – Corey Head, youth minister

Justice tempered with mercy, practicality: advocating for criminal justice reform

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – For prison ministry coordinator Marvin Edwards, the criminal justice systen should be based on two verses of Scripture: Jeremiah 10:24-25 “Correct me, O Lord, but with justice. Not with your anger, or you will bring me to nothing.” He spoke about how these verses relate to restorative justice reforms needed in the criminal justice process in Mississippi at this year’s Catholic Day at the Capitol (CDC), Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. At the event advocates urged participants to support House Bill 1352.
The bill expands access to drug courts and mental health courts so addicts and the mentally ill can get treatment rather than just be incarcerated. It will also allow felons to get occupational licenses as long as their offenses are not related to the profession in which they would like to work. Currently, the state of Mississippi controls licensure for about 60 occupations such as cosmetology, barbering and landscape architecture. Felons can receive training in these, but are banned from getting a license when they get out, making it harder for them to get a job. The bill also eases restrictions on suspending driver’s licenses for parolees, another barrier to being able to work.
Edwards spoke as part of a panel discussing the many issues related to the need for reform. He was joined by Jim Robertson of Empower Mississippi, who spoke about the need to create and sustain reentry programs for people who have served their sentences and who want to become contributing members of society again.
Robertson and Edwards both work on reentry programs. They believe in starting the process as early as during sentencing, particularly in the cases of young offenders who have the potential to use their time in prison to learn from their mistakes and get training in life-skills.

Bishop Louis Kihneman, bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi

Monsignor Elvin Sunds

Panelists (l-r) James Robertson, Empower Mississippi; Marvin Edwards, coordinator for Catholic prison ministry; Christina Dent, End it for Good; and Amelia McGowan, immigration attorney, discuss how different aspects of the criminal justice system impact their work and ministries during Catholic Day at the Captiol, Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Father Jeremy Tobin, O.Praem

Bishop Louis Kihneman and Bishop Joseph Kopacz

Mrs. Sue Allen

The keynote speaker for the day was John Koufos, national director of reentry initiatives for Right on Crime, a national advocacy group. Koufos told his personal story of conversion. While driving drunk, he almost killed someone else and ended up going to prison. He was able to get sober and wanted to start a new life, but realized how many barriers he would have to overcome – starting with trying to get his driver’s license back. He used his skills as an attorney and his connections in the legal community and his efforts got noticed. He ended up being tapped by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to lead a state-wide reform effort. He went on to be the executive director of the Safe Streets and Second Chances Initiative and national director for Right on Crime.
Koufos praised the group gathered for CDC and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant for their work on reforms. “You have a formula here that’s something special,” said Koufos. “Very few states have a coalition like the one you have right here. You need to keep up this momentum,” he added.
Panelist Christina Dent spoke about how her attitude about addiction was transformed when she fostered an addict’s child. “What I found was a mother who deeply loves her son. Her addiction was not about a lack of love,” said Dent. The mother got treatment and was able to restore her family structure. In another case, Dent said the outcome was tragic. The second mother did not get treatment, she got a 15-year prison sentence for drugs. “Her children are growing up without their mother.” Dent said these cases sent her searching for a better answer for addicts. She advocates for a health-care approach to drug use rather than criminalization. She leads discussion groups around the book Chasing the Scream, a story about the history of the criminalization of drugs in America, and runs the advocacy group End it for Good.
Alicia Tarrant, who works with the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence came up from Biloxi for the day. “I am interested in restorative justice and want to learn more about it and criminal justice reform. Many victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault may have charges related either to their abuse or to drug use or that kind of stuff and I just want to know how they can better be helped,” she said.
Anna McNiel heard some of the CDC speakers at separate events, but wanted to know how their ideas meshed together. “I love hearing how believers can all come together and apply what we can learn from the Bible to all of these real situations and find justice for people. My Dad always said ‘all truth is God’s truth.,’” she said.
Sue Allen, who led the Faith in Action Team in organizing the day, closed the presentations with her own story of seeking restorative justice for her son, a convicted murderer who suffers from a mental illness.
Participants gathered at the Capitol for a news conference in the early afternoon. Bishop Louis Kihneman, Bishop of Biloxi, read a joint statement from himself and Bishop Joseph Kopacz of the Diocese of Jackson. “For compelling reasons, there is a growing consensus throughout our state that punishment must be accompanied by rehabilitation and restoration to community and society,” read the bishop. “We are here today to add our voices, values and experience to the quest for a more just and peaceful society, the visible expression of the Kingdom of God in our midst.”
Governor Bryant has said he will sign the bill into law if it is passed as-is. Advocates still have time to contact their senators to support HB 1352.

Parish calendar of events

COVINGTON Louisiana, Married Couples Retreat, March 16-17, at St. Joseph Abbey Christian Life Retreat Center. Come away for rest and spiritual strength and nourishment. Suggested donation: $275 per couple. Details: www.faithandmarriage.org or call (504) 830-3716.
CULLMAN, Ala., Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, John Donne and George Herbert: Poets of the Paschal Mystery, March 22-23. They were 17th century metaphysical poets and how exploration of their poetry will enhance the Lenten journey. Retreat Director: Sister Marian Davis, O.S.B., Ph.D. Cost: Private room $145; shared room $110 per person. This is a one-night retreat. An additional night of retreat is available for those who wish. Details: (256) 734-8302, retreats@shmon.org or www.shmon.org.
COLLIERVILLE Tenn, Men’s Morning of Spirituality, Saturday, March 23. Doors open at 7 a.m., program begins at 8 a.m. Catholic Church of the Incarnation, 360 Bray Station Road. There is no cost and is open to all men seeking a deeper relationship with Christ and a greater unity with other men seeking to grow their Catholic faith. Keynote speaker: Damon Owens, a gifted and sought-after speaker for national conferences, marriage seminars, seminaries, and youth groups on Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family and NFP. Details: www.castyournets.org/mmos.

BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Lectio Divina, Fridays during Lent at 6:30 p.m. in the library. Presented by Shelley Harrigill. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.
CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk through Christ’s Passion, five-week study, Thursday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m. in McKenna Hall, then meets after 5:30 Mass on the following Tuesdays. Join scholar Edward Sri as he sheds light on the mystery of Christ’s suffering and death and how it can draw you closer to Jesus. Study books will be available for $15 each. Details: church office (662) 624-4301.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Ladies Bible study resumes Wednesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. discussing Chapter 17 “Can God Really Change me or is that just wishful thinking?” Details: church office (662) 846-6273.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Knights of Columbus Lenten dinners, Fridays, March 22 (fish fry); March 29 (shrimp etouffee) and April 5 (shrimp po’boy). Details: church office (601) 856-2054.
JACKSON St. Richard, Lectio Divina during Lent meets Tuesdays, March 12, 19, 26, April 2 and 9 from 10 -11:30 a.m. in the Mercy Room. Come experience a way to pray the Lenten Sunday scriptures during this season. Facilitators: Mary Louise Jones and Claudia Addison. You can come to any or all sessions. All are welcome. Details: Claudia at claudiaaddison@mac.com or the church office (601) 366-2335.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Save the Date, Cajun Fest, Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sponsors still welcome. Details: church office (601) 856-5556 or visit https://www.facebook.com/stfrancismadison/. Sponsors contact Mike and Mary Robinson, Cajun Fest Chairs at robinson557176@bellsouth.net.
Save the date, Miraculous Mission Vacation Bible School 2019: Blast off for Pre-K-4th graders is June 17-21. Details: Mary Catherine George at mc.george@stfrancismadison.org to volunteer or call the church office (601) 856-5556.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Ladies of the Natchez area retreat at Our Lady of the Oaks, Grand Coteau, Louisiana, December 5-8. A $25 deposit is needed for holding your room ASAP. Details: Kot Morris at (601) 334-8339.
Knights of Columbus fish fry, Fridays during Lent in the Family Life Center from 5-7 p.m. Catfish dinners $10; shrimp dinners $11 and combo dinners $12. For grilled catfish, please call 30 minutes ahead. A movie will be shown each Friday. Details: (601) 897-0295.
PEARL St. Jude, Life Walk on Saturday, April 13 at Flowood Nature Park. Registration is at 8 a.m. and walk begins at 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Proceeds from the walk will provide no cost pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. Details: Anja Baker at anja@cpcmetro.org if you would like to join the St. Jude team.
Save the Date, Vacation Bible School, “Surf’s Up – Chill Out with the Beatitudes” on June 17-21, 9 a.m. – noon. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.
SHAW St. Francis of Assisi, Day of Reflection at Locus Benedictus, Greenwood, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The theme will be Stations of the Cross. Be sure to register before the workshop so they know how much food to prepare. Cost: $10. Details: church office (662) 754-5561.

JACKSON Sr. Thea Bowman School, Draw Down, Saturday, April 27, in the Multipurpose building. Grand prize: $5,000. Tickets are $100 and second chance insurance: $20. Details: school office (601) 352-5441.
MADISON St. Anthony School is now accepting applications for new students entering grades K4 – 6th. Details: visit www.stanthonyeagles.org or contact Michele Warnock at (601) 607-7054.

Jóvenes , el Ahora de Dios

CIUDAD DE PANAMÁ (CNS) – Lisboa, Portugal, abrirá sus puertas a los jóvenes del mundo en el 2022 para la próxima Jornada Mundial de la Juventud (JMJ).
Los portugueses reaccionaron ondeando la bandera de su país y coreando: “¡Somos la juventud del papa!”. En su homilía, el Santo Padre alentó a los jóvenes católicos
“Ustedes, queridos jóvenes, no son el futuro sino el ahora de Dios. ”


PANAMA – Joel Montoya, Jr. en una selfie, junto al portarretrato del Papa. Joel de la parroquia de Santa Teresa en Jackson publicó esta foto, el souvenir más importante, en su cuenta de Facebook durante su visita a Panamá como delegado a la Jornada Mundial de la Juventud (JMJ) celebrada desde el 22 al 27 de enero. (Fotos cortesía de Joel Montoya)

Jóvenes de Nuestra Diócesis
Joel Montoya, Jr. describe “el privilegio de ser invitado a la JMJ 2019 en Panamá” como una experiencia inolvidable que tuvo un gran impacto en su vida. “Jamás en mi vida había visto tanta gente junta; pero lo más bonito que me sorprendió fue que eran todos jóvenes católicos….Me di cuenta que la iglesia católica está viva y llena de jóvenes que quieren hacer un cambio para el bien del mundo”, dijo
Maria Isamar Mazy, Juan Enrique Parra y Roberto Zapata de la Catedral de San Pedro Apóstol participan en un programa pastoral bíblico para líderes organizado por el Instituto” Fe y Vida”. El programa se basa en la Biblia Juvenil Católica y es recibido en la Diócesis de Knoxville en Tennessee. Próximamente será la graduación, después de cuatro intensos encuentros.
Susana, Andrés, Cecilia y Rosamaría Becerrill asitirán el 2 y 3 de marzo próximos a los talleres del Libro de la Pascua Juvenil. Los hermanos se unen a unos cinco jóvenes más.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Juan Enrique Parra, después de su presentación en el grupo de trabajo (Foto por María Isamar Mazy)

Escuela de Padres

Por Ali y Patricia López
HAZLEHURST – El pasado 3 de febrero en la Misión de San Martin se celebró otra sesión de formación de los padres y madres de los niños que atienden nuestras clases de educación religiosa.
El tema “Responsabilidad de los Padres en la Educación de los Hijos” fué facilitado por Edward y Susana Flores, pertenecientes al equipo dirigente del Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico USA.
Estamos en el segundo año desde que iniciamos este ambicioso programa de formación. Cada primer domingo de cada mes, un nuevo tema de formación es compartido con los asistentes. Los padres y madres no solo reciben formación, sino también tienen la oportunidad de compartir sus experiencias y hacer planteamientos pertinentes al tema que se esté tratando en la sesión.
Desde octubre de 2017, cuando comenzó el programa de Escuela para Padres, la participación de los padres ha incrementado llegando en febrero de este año a doblar en número la participación en las sesiones dominicales.
Con este programa, en San Martin, seguimos apoyando las prioridades pastorales de nuestra diócesis en cuanto a la formación permanente de Discípulos comprometidos.

HAZLEHURTS – (i-d)Edward y Susana Flores del Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico USA y padres de la comunidad, Feb. 3 (Foto por Ali y Patricia López)

(Ali y Patricia López son líderes catequistas del programa de Escuela para Padres, además sirven como Ministros de Eucaristía, lectores y pertenecen al Consejo Hispano Diocesano).

Obispo Chanche Award: Evelyn Villanueva Riveros, Joel y Rosalinda Montoya

Por Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – Tres hispanos recibirán este sábado 23 de febrero el Premio Obispo Chanche 2019 por su contribución a la parroquia, la comunidad y la Iglesia en general. El premio será recibido en la Catedral de San Pedro, en misa oficiada por el obispo Joseph Kopacz, y consta de diploma y medalla.
Nominados por Monseñor Elvin Sunds, párroco de Santa Teresa, está el matrimonio de Joel y Rosalinda Montoya y Evelyn Villanueva Riveros ha sido nominada por el padre Robert Dore, de la parroquia de St. Michael en Vicksburg,
El Premio Obispo Chanche fue creado en 2012, durante las celebraciones del 175º aniversario de la diócesis. El Obispo Chanche fue el primer obispo de la diócesis, establecida y radicada en Natchez, en el año 1837. El premio se otorga individualmente o a grupos de personas con un trabajo evangelizador y de servicio destacado dentro de la parroquia, la comunidad o la Diócesis.
Joel y Rosalinda Montoya
Para fundamentar su nominación, Monseñor Elvin explicó la gran tarea de liderazgo cristiano que han desplegado Joel y Rosalinda, “Gracias al liderazgo de Joel y Rosalinda, y gracias al espíritu acogedor de los antiguos miembros de la parroquia de St. Therese, se ha hecho sentir a la comunidad hispana no como invitados en la parroquia sino como familia.”

JACKSON – Parroquia Santa Teresa. Joel y Rosalinda trabajan y motivan a los jovenes involucrandose en todas las actividades de la parroquia. Aquí en la Danza Guadalupana en 2018 de la parroquia (Foto cortesia de Joel Montoya)

El matrimonio Montoya llegó a Santa Teresa después de la clausura de St. Mary en el 2015. La parroquia de Santa Teresa abrió sus puertas a todas las familias provenientes de St. Mary. Monseñor Elvin explica que “los hispanos abrazaron la iglesia de Santa Teresa como su iglesia. Como resultado, la Iglesia de Santa Teresa, que había experimentado un descenso dramático de miembros en los últimos años, se ha duplicado en tamaño con la llegada de nuevos feligreses hispanos. Han dado nueva vida y una nueva energía a la parroquia”
Monseñor Elvin describe con detalles el porqué de la nominación de esta pareja “Joel y Rosalinda ayudaron a la comunidad hispana a tener un sentido de pertenencia a la parroquia. Una indicación del sentido de propiedad es su compromiso de construir un nuevo edificio para albergar las oficinas de la parroquia y las aulas de educación religiosa. Además de hacer un compromiso financiero significativo con el proyecto de construcción, los feligreses hispanos se han comprometido a donar su trabajo para la construcción del edificio. La mano de obra donada ha reducido el costo del edificio en $ 115,000. Joel y Rosalinda jugaron un papel clave para que esto sucediera. Joel aportó dinero, trabajo y ayudó a reclutar y coordinar a otros trabajadores voluntarios.”
Los resultados a notar no son solamente económicos según argumenta el padre Elvin “Además, la riqueza de las culturas hispánicas ha bendecido a la parroquia. Los feligreses, tanto hispanos como no hispanos, disfrutan de Las Mañanitas, Las Posadas, la celebración de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y un Via- Crucis en vivo y los bautismos en español durante la misa en inglés. Los bautismos de los niños hispanos jóvenes son un signo positivo de una nueva vida para la parroquia “, añade.
Joel es un contratista general que trabaja por cuenta propia y tiene su propia empresa de construcción. Rosalinda lleva la contabilidad para la empresa. Rosalinda también ha sido un ejemplo de alguien que le da tiempo, talento y liderazgo a la parroquia. Es miembro del Consejo Pastoral y del Comité de Liturgia. Durante tres años, Rosalinda ha sido la directora de la Escuela Parroquial de Religión para los hispanos. Como una buena líder, preparó a alguien para que ocupara su lugar este año, y Rosalinda ha regresado a enseñar una de las clases. Ella coordina la fiesta anual de Guadalupe y la venta mensual de alimentos, después de la misa dominical, para apoyar la construcción de la nueva oficina y el edificio de educación religiosa. Ella sirve como un ministro de la Eucaristía.
Joel sirve en el Consejo de Finanzas y el Comité de Construcción de la parroquia. Es director del Ministerio de la Juventud, maestro de PSR, lector, comentarista y ministro de la Eucaristía. Joel y Rosalinda son líderes en el Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico y proveen preparación matrimonial para parejas comprometidas. Monseñor Elvin concluye la labor y ejemplo de esta pareja, cuando afirma que debido al liderazgo de Joel y Rosalinda “los hispanos están involucrados en todos los aspectos de la vida parroquial.”

VICKSBURG – Parroquia de St, Michael. Durante misa celebrada por el padre Curley, Evelyn lee el evangelio (Foto cortesia de Evelyn Villanueva)

Evelyn Villanueva
El padre Dore evalúa a Evelyn Villanueva Riveros, casada con el Dr. Guillermo Riveros, Evelyn como la “cara de la comunidad Hispana en Vicksburg”.
La comunidad de Vicksburg no tiene, por ahora, más misas en español. Por más de diez años, Evelyn fue la liturgista de la misa que se celebraba en St. Michael, reclutaba ministros litúrgicos y servía como traductora de la homilía del padre Curley y de todos aquellos que la han necesitado en programas sacramentales.
Evelyn es de Puerto Rico, madre de dos hijos e ingeniera en el Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Ingeniería del Ejército de los EE. UU. Evelyn ha sido voluntaria de Soup Kitchen, del Comité de Duelo, un ejemplo a seguir en la Semana de las grandes mentes en Ciencias, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas, (STEM, por sus siglas en inglés) y ha obtenido la Medalla por Logros para el Servicio Civil otorgada por el Departamento de del Ejército de los Estados Unidos, (Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, por su nombre en inglés). Ha participado en Cursillo y actividades del Ministerio Hispano. Ella también ha desempeñado un papel fundamental en la preparación bautismal para padres hispanos jóvenes. Evelyn conduce el entrenamiento para padres y padrinos, ya sea que el bebé esté siendo bautizado en St. Michael o en algún otro lugar. Debido a que ella es una mujer de profunda fe, Evelyn se toma muy en serio este ministerio.
El padre Dore recuerda que la cúspide del compromiso de Evelyn con su gente fue en el otoño de 2017 cuando” su país de origen fue destruido por el huracán María. El hecho de no poder comunicarse con la familia y los amigos hizo que esta vez fuera muy difícil para Evelyn, pero se esforzó por hacer todo lo posible por sus compatriotas.
Ella llevó su amor por el ministerio hispano y su amor por el país a la escala global.” El padre Dore cuenta que “Casi sin ayuda, dispuso que el St. Michael Parish Hall se usara como lugar de entrega del Condado de Warren para los artículos de ayuda que van a Puerto Rico. Los artículos fueron recolectados y clasificados por tres semanas. Luego, en un sábado muy caluroso y húmedo, con un acondicionador de aire roto en el salón parroquial, Evelyn reunió a su tripulación para colocar los artículos en una caja y etiquetarlos para el envío. Fue un asunto de todo el día para poner artículos donados en 5 camiones cargados de agua, alimentos no perecederos, ropa y juguetes que salieron de St. Michael ese día. ¡Fue increíble!”
El padre Dore concluye su recomendación añadiendo “La naturaleza misma del ministerio de la iglesia generalmente significa un sacrificio del tiempo de uno, el tiempo que podría gastarse con la familia o en alguna actividad de ocio. Evelyn hace una gran cantidad de viajes para su trabajo y tiene dos hijos en la universidad. Es difícil imaginar que queda tiempo para cualquier ministerio voluntario. Sin embargo, ahí está ella. También se sabe que aprovecha las oportunidades para enriquecer su propia vida de fe. Ha participado en el Cursillo y en varias clases y talleres de formación en la fe diocesana”

Papa remueve a ex-carnenal McCarrick. Cumbre en Vaticano

Por Carol Glatz Catholic
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) – El Papa Francisco ha confirmado la remoción del sacerdocio de Theodore E. McCarrick, el ex cardenal y arzobispo de 88 años. El Vaticano anunció la decisión el 16 de febrero, diciendo que McCarrick fue declarado culpable de “solicitud en el sacramento de confesión y pecados contra el Sexto Mandamiento con menores y con adultos, con el factor agravante del abuso de poder”.
Al ordenar el “despido del estado clerical” de McCarrick, la decisión significa que McCarrick pierde todos los derechos y deberes asociados con ser sacerdote, no puede presentarse como sacerdote y está prohibido a celebrar los sacramentos.
La única pena de la iglesia que es más severa que ésta es la excomunión, que le habría prohibido recibir los sacramentos.
El castigo de McCarrick es el más duro dado a un cardenal por el Vaticano en los tiempos modernos.

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) – Todos los ojos y oídos estarán en el Vaticano durante una reunión sin precedentes del 21 al 24 de febrero para hablar sobre la protección de los menores en la Iglesia Católica con los presidentes de todas las conferencias de obispos del mundo, los jefes de las iglesias católicas orientales, de líderes de las órdenes religiosas de hombres y mujeres y jefes de las principales oficinas del Vaticano. ¿Qué deben esperar las personas de la reunión de cuatro días?
1. Lo primero y más importante será crear conciencia, el abuso no es un problema “occidental”, sino que ocurre en todos los países.
2. Escuchar a víctimas y líderes para adoptar una cultura de responsabilidad y transparencia.
3. Una “asamblea paralela” con sobrevivientes y grupos de defensa para pedir mayor responsabilidad, acción y reforma.

(Cindy Wooden en Roma, contribuyó con esta historia).