Catholics call to “Faith in Action”

By Monsignor Elvin Sunds
JACKSON – One day a pastor was giving his fourth-grade religion class a tour of the church. As they went through the church, he pointed out the altar, tabernacle, pulpit, crucifix, baptismal font, book of Gospels, etc. He explained the significance and importance of each. Finally, at the end of the tour he said there was one more very important item.
He pointed to the exit sign at the main door of the church. He explained that if what we celebrate for one hour on Sunday morning does not make a difference in how we live the rest of the week, we have missed the purpose of our Sunday worship. As we exit the church, we cannot leave at the door what we celebrate in the Mass and read in the Scriptures. Our faith is not meant to be confined to the four walls of the church building. It is meant to be lived every day outside the walls of the church.
We find the same message in the Gospels. After giving us the Beatitudes Jesus says we are the light of the world. We must let our light shine before all “so that they may see the goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father” (Mt. 14-16). Likewise, in the Epistle of James (2:14-24), we read that faith without action is lifeless and worthless.

The Faith in Action Team of the Diocese of Jackson seeks to help Catholics and Catholic parishes put their faith into action. It supports the efforts of Catholic Charities to encourage and assist parishes in putting faith into action through service to the community especially to the marginalized and vulnerable. The Faith in Action Team also identifies and prioritizes issues that have an impact on human life and dignity in the diocese. It seeks to educate Catholics on those issues and solicit their support in addressing the issues.
A major activity of the Faith in Action Team of the Diocese of Jackson is organizing the annual Catholic Day at the Capitol. At the Catholic Day at the Capitol, Catholics gather to witness to our Catholic values concerning issues impacting the population of our state, especially the vulnerable and marginalized of the state. One to three priority issues are identified and addressed each year. Materials are developed to inform Catholics of these issues and how our Catholic values speak to the issues. This year’s Catholic Day at the Capitol is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2020. More information will be provided in the months ahead.
The Faith and Action Team is composed of volunteer laypersons, religious and clergy from around the diocese. Membership is open to all that desire to actively live their Baptismal call to be a “Visible sign of Christ’s love” to all, especially to the vulnerable and marginalized in our midst. The team meets monthly at the Jackson office of Catholic Charities. For more information on how you or your parish can be part of the Team or work with the Team, contact elvin.sunds@jacksondiocese.org.

Attorney responds to cover-up insinuation

(Editor’s Note: Frank Vollor is currently an attorney in Vicksburg. He felt moved to write a response to recent allegations of unfair treatment leveled against the Diocese of Jackson. His letter appeared in the Greenwood Commonwealth on Sept. 7 and the Clarion Ledger on Sept.15.

Contrary to the insinuation that the Catholic Church tried to cover up sexual abuse and was insensitive to the plight of the poor in the Clarion Ledger’s Sept. 5, 2019 article “Greenwood Man Struggles Still After Clergy Abuse,” the Catholic Church, in fact, aggressively pursued full disclosure of any abuse and attempted to provide spiritual, psychological and educational needs of the poor. In 1998, I was the Fitness Review Officer for the Diocese of Jackson when allegations of sexual abuse were first brought against Franciscan Brother Paul West by Rapheal Love, the brother of Joshua K. Love, the subject of the article. Paul West was the principal of St. Francis School in Greenwood.
I was asked to be the Fitness Review Officer on a volunteer basis because I had experience as an attorney prosecuting abuse cases and had helped establish the Child Abuse Prevention Center in Warren County.
In 1998, Rapheal Love first reported inappropriate touching and conduct by Brother Paul West to Brother Don Lucas. Brother Don Lucas in turn reported to others, who reported the allegation to me. I immediately contacted the Mississippi Department of Human Services who has an interest in child abuse cases. In addition, I reported the alleged abuse to the Greenwood police department. I have documents from the police department showing receipt of this abuse report. I then confronted Brother Paul West who strongly denied the allegation.
Even though Paul West was never prosecuted, indicted, tried or convicted and no judicial determination of abuse by civil authorities was made, the diocese proceeded as if the allegations were true. Brother Paul West was removed as principal and left Greenwood. He left the Franciscan order shortly thereafter. The diocese offered the entire Love family a liaison minister to meet their spiritual needs. In addition, the diocese offered professional psychological evaluation and counseling to Rapheal and the Love family to meet their psychological needs. At first, this psychological counseling was accepted by the Love family, but subsequently refused because they stated they were doing well.
After the reported abuse, the Diocese Review Committee authorized personal interviews to determine if there were additional allegations. The Diocese then arranged for an independent psychologist to conduct six workshops at St. Francis school. The workshops were age appropriate spanning four years old through 8th grade with visual aids including proper boundaries and where to seek help if boundaries are violated. These workshops where Joshua Love attended school did not reveal any further allegations of abuse. The diocese also sent a letter to all parents who had recently withdrawn their children from the school asking for their reasons and complaints. Again, no further abuse was identified.
When new allegations were made in 2018, 20 years later, I was not the Fitness Review Officer, but the official statement of the diocese indicates that the Franciscan Order of which Paul West was a member in 1998 is providing counseling, urged Joshua to have an attorney review any settlement, and settled with him. Again, that same year in 2018, the Diocese made public and published in the papers the new allegation as credible along with others. The Catholic Church aggressively pursued the allegations of sexual abuse and compassionately ministered to the families involved. The statements and insinuations concerning coverup and failure to hold church leaders accountable in that article are not true.
– Frank Vollor, Attorney at Law

The Diocese of Jackson is committed to ensuring that children served by the church are not at risk of sexual abuse by the Church personnel. Diocesan policies and procedures currently in place seek to protect, enhance and, in some cases, restore the trust that our faith calls for between agents of the Church and the children and adolescents entrusted to our care. The Diocese of Jackson wishes to encourage any victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Clergy to come forward and begin the healing process. We encourage any victim to contact Valerie McClellan, Victims Assistance Coordinator at 601-326-3728.

Priest remembered for service, humor and love of Christ

By Joanna Puddister King
NATCHEZ – On Sept. 11, as the choir sang “Jerusalem, My Happy Home,” a sea of priest and deacons in white clerical vestments passed down the center aisle of St. Mary Basilica to pay respects to their brother in Christ, Father Alfred “Al” Camp at a memorial Mass. Father Al passed at the age of 87 on Sept. 1 at St. Dominic hospital in Jackson.
Led by Bishop Joseph Kopacz, hundreds from around the state and the numerous parishes and schools in which Father Camp served, gathered to celebrate a man known for his faith, wisdom, knowledge, humor and service to Catholic schools.
Father Gerry Hurley, pastor of Flowood St. Paul, delivered a homily that celebrated the life of Father Camp, with anecdotes full of humor and love of Christ.

“We gather today for two reasons. To celebrate our faith and hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to celebrate our hope and faith in the resurrection of Father Al Camp,” said Father Hurley.
“Alfred Camp certainly believed in that faith and hope in the resurrection and he was very keenly aware that was where he was proceeding. The second reason we come together is to celebrate the life of this distinguished man.”
After delivering a summary of Father Camp’s service to the priesthood, Father Hurley noted Father Camp’s immeasurable commitment to Catholic education. “This was his life, this was his passion, this was his vocation,” Father Hurley said of Father Camp’s enduring interest in education.
Father Camp began his life of service as a priest and educator at Vicksburg St. Paul and St. Aloysius school in 1968. He served as teacher and principal of St. Aloysius until 1992, when he was named pastor of St. Mary Basilica in Natchez, where he served until 2004. During that time, he was often present in the halls and supportive of Natchez Cathedral school.
Father Hurley shared stories of Father Camp, including his efforts and humor after a fire at St. Aloysius school, his big green Pontiac and how much he enjoyed ice cream with a big dollop of cool whip. The highlight being a conversation between Father Hurley and Father Camp on his wish to donate his body to science.
“A few years ago [Father Camp] said to me ‘I’m going to donate my body to science … I want them to see how a real man has lived,’” to which the crowd in the pews laughed heartily. Father Hurley continued, “Then he said ‘Not really. I want them to figure out what made me tick. Because I’ve been trying to figure it out for all these years myself.’”
“We know that what made him tick was the spirit of God in him,” said Father Hurley. “He had that spirit. He was an unrelenting and boundless spirit of love and devotion and faithfulness and friendship and care for others.”
In addition to the memorial Mass at St. Mary Basilica, celebrations of Father Camp’s life were held in Vicksburg, Madison and in Ohio with family. On Oct. 25, a “Tailgate for Fr. Camp” will be held in Vicksburg before the St. Aloysius home football game against Natchez Cathedral. More details will be posted on Vicksburg Catholic Schools Facebook page in the coming weeks.

Annual golf tournament benefits programs and schools in diocese

MADISON – For 37 years golfers from around the diocese have come to compete in the annual Bishop’s Cup golf tournament hosted by The Catholic Foundation. This year, the tournament was held on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Lake Caroline and was chaired by Steve Carmody, who has chaired the event for the past 27 years.

MADISON – Golfers are ready to roll on Sept. 10 at the Bishop’s Cup at Lake Caroline. (Photo by Rebecca Harris).

Along with the tournament, a social, dinner and auction was held at the Mermaid Café for participants and Foundation supporters. Proceeds from the events assist the Foundation in funding grant projects around the diocese for parishes, schools and Catholic Charities. Some past projects supported have included vacation bible school supplies, parish building renovations, program supplies at the Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Shelter and Born Free programs, as well as STEM labs and playground equipment for schools.
“The tournament continues to grow each year, and we are always excited to see our golfers return. We would like to thank all of those that help to sponsor holes to make the tournament a success,” said Catholic Foundation executive director, Rebecca Harris.
This year Lester Diamond, Bishop Joseph Kopacz, Paul Sego and David Sinclair sponsored by St. Dominic Health Care System came in first place with a score of 53. Tico Hoffman’s team came in second place with a score of 54 and the third-place winner was the Bank Plus team with a score of 55.
Ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to save the date for the next Bishop’s cup, set for Sept. 8, 2020.

Vocations

Father Nick Adam

Answering the Call
How old should one be to enter the seminary or to start formation in a religious house of discernment? This question is as old as the Church. I have heard many different opinions and my own opinion has been molded and refined as the years have gone on. A popular viewpoint that I have heard is that we need men and women who have “real world” experience prior to entering into religious discernment. This way they know the “basics” of living as an adult and they might avoid some pitfalls in religious life. They also have a chance to experience a “normal life” and perhaps this will make them more ready to embrace a call from the Lord because they know what else is out there. I had worked for four and a half years and lived on my own prior to joining the seminary. I had to learn to scrape together enough money week to week to pay for essentials, I learned what things cost and I matured a great deal during those years on my own.

But as I progressed through the seminary, I was formed to be a priest alongside men with a variety of personal and professional backgrounds. Some had been highly successful business leaders; some were fresh out of high school and had never had a paying job. Some were grandfathers who had been widowed, others had never dated. What I came to understand during my six years of seminary was that formation works. No matter our background, no matter our life experience, it was our dedication and faithfulness to what the Church demanded of us in priestly formation that dictated our success or our failure. Every man and woman is different, some young men know they have a call to the priesthood from an early age, it is all they have ever wanted to do. Should we really say: “no, do this other thing first or you will not be happy?” I did not experience that call early on, the Lord apparently saw fit to put a desire for priesthood on my heart at a later date, but that did not change the fact that it would be my dedication to formation and to the Lord that would dictate my success or failure.

Earlier this month I shared my vocation story with students at Ole Miss and I spoke with the wonderful youth group at St. John Oxford as well. I hope that any young person, at any age, who manifests a desire to explore religious life is not brushed aside until they are “old enough” to make that decision. Every disciple is different, God calls us all at different times and that is the answer to the question, how old should one be to enter the seminary or religious formation? It depends on the person and that is how God intended it. Father Nick Adam

Vocations Events

Friday, Oct. 4 – Sunday Oct. 6 – Jesu Caritas Retreat with Dominican Sisters of Nashville, Tennessee.

Friday, Nov. 22 – Bonfire Football Game – St. Joseph Seminary, Covington, Louisiana.

Contact the Office of Vocations if interested – vocations@jacksondiocese.org

Couple stays connected at St. Catherine’s Village

By Debbie Szwast
MADISON – What started as a meeting in elementary school has become a lifelong love story for Betty and John King, now residents at St. Catherine’s Village senior living community.
“The couple act like newlyweds, even though they have been married for 66 years,” said Felichia Fields, assistant executive director at St. Catherine’s Village. John, who is 90 years old and a Korean War veteran, lives in skilled nursing in Siena Center while Betty, 88, has a studio independent living apartment on campus.
“Being able to stay happy and connected while living in separate areas of St. Catherine’s Village is a testament to their bond and the strength of their marriage,” said Fields.
John and Betty first met in Clinton and after travelling across the country and Europe and raising two daughters, retired there. But as John entered his 80s, his health began to falter and his mobility became restricted due to diabetes. After caring for her husband at home for seven years, Betty—a former teacher—realized it was time to get caregiver support. A close friend told the couple to check out St. Catherine’s Village.
“We had seen the community being built but were unaware of the services available,” said Betty. Following a stint in physical therapy for John, the couple decided to visit the property.

MADISON – John and Betty King enjoy life at St. Catherine’s Village. (Photo courtesy of Debbie Szwast)

“When we first spoke with the staff, they were all very kind and truly made us feel wanted here,” she continued. “Luckily, one private skilled nursing room was available so we took it. And we are so glad we did! St. Catherine’s Village is about the most precious place in the world.”
John moved into Siena Center in Oct. 2017. For a year, Betty visited John at St. Catherine’s Village every day. John was concerned about Betty driving 20 miles each way so her daughters urged her to consider moving to the senior living community as well. It was a difficult choice after owning a home for more than 60 years.
“I put everything on paper…one column with what I liked about St. Catherine’s Village and one column with the drawbacks. When I looked at the paper, everything was in the ‘like’ column,” she recalled. “So I prayed on it and asked God to show me a sign to make the right decision.”
Soon after, Betty’s son-in-law called to tell her he had a friend who was looking to purchase a home for investment purposes. The morning after showing Betty’s home, the potential investor made an offer and within 30 days the Kings’ family home was sold and closed.
“I knew this was God’s answer,” she said.
In Oct. 2018, Betty moved to St. Catherine’s Village and immediately began making friends. Around the corner from her apartment was a college mate and around the other corner was a couple from Clinton she had known. On her first night, she also met the community’s music director.
“I found my niche—playing the piano and loving it,” said Betty. “I grew up playing in church then in clubs and at dances. Now I play hymns for Sunday church.”
At first, Betty was concerned about downsizing to a studio apartment.
“I thought, I can’t live in a space that small,” she recalled. “But the staff assured me that when a larger apartment opened up I could move into it. Needless to say, the studio ended up being absolutely perfect for me.”
She appreciates that her residence has a balcony overlooking the lake because a natural setting is very important to both Betty and John, who worked for the Mississippi State Park Service helping to restore the Gulf Coast after hurricane Camille and building 11 new state parks.
Overall, St. Catherine’s Village boasts 160 acres of beautiful outdoor space with lakes and wooded grounds. The Kings can be found walking around the lush campus and enjoying the well-manicured property during “date time” nearly every day. Betty often accompanies John to the grill, as well.
“We both adore the food here,” John said. Several choices are offered for every meal, all chef prepared in one kitchen. So whether in independent living or skilled nursing in Siena Center, menus are the same.
While Betty likes going out to eat at night, she also plays bridge with friends and participates in many of the activities and events at St. Catherine’s Village. There is so much to do on campus that even though the couple’s daughters and their families live nearby in Clinton and Madison and can frequently visit, “sometimes I’m already booked,” Betty teased.
John prefers quiet hour on the lower level. More importantly, he wants to catch a big fish on what he calls “Lake Siena,” the large lake outside the Siena Center skilled nursing building.
“I keep trying to put together a football team but no one wants to be on my team,” John joked. A former college football coach, he met a staff member at St. Catherine’s Village who had been a quarterback on one of his teams.
“We feel so special and blessed to be in such a good place,” said Betty. “With John’s diabetic condition, the nurses test his blood sugar several times a day and keep him on track. You don’t find that anywhere else. And they are always in such good spirits and take beautiful care of him. So we can stay relaxed and not worry about anything.”
“Everything at St. Catherine’s Village is at the highest level—service, amenities, property, activities, etc.,” said Betty. “Anyone who moves here will have the best quality of life—whether for the next year or many years.”
As Madison’s preeminent all-inclusive Life Plan Community, St. Catherine’s Village provides the right care at the right time for those in their retirement years. The private, gated community boasts a caring staff, on-site resident-centered care, and a mission-focused environment. Adults age 62 and older are welcome and encouraged to enjoy fullness of life, health and faith.
St. Catherine’s Village offers independent living in apartments and garden homes, assisted living in Marian Hall, memory care in Campbell Cove, skilled nursing in Siena Center and the new Tuscany building, and skilled nursing dedicated to memory care in Hughes Center.
The all-inclusive Life Plan Community was the first in the state to earn accreditation by CARF-CCAC. This “commitment to excellence” seal signifies that the campus exceeds the standards established by the only international accrediting body for CCRCs.
To learn more about life at St. Catherine’s Village, log onto www.StCatherinesVillage.com or call (601) 856-0123 to schedule a tour.

Catholic Christian Family Movement launches new year of initiatives

By Berta Mexidor
RICHLAND – Dedicated Catholics gathered this month to take part in an ongoing movement here in the diocese aimed at promoting Christianity in marriages, families and communities and bringing people closer to God.
Juan and Maribel Melo, presidents of Catholic Christian Family Movement (Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Catolico – MFCC), led the assembly Sept. 6 at the Richland Community Center. The event marking the MFCC program’s kickoff of activities for the year attracted people from many areas and more than 35 couples, many of them with children were in attendance.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz attended the opening assembly and addressed those attending giving everyone a message of hope. He talked about the ongoing immigration crisis in Mississippi that several families of the diocese have faced and continue to experience, including families involved in the MFCC faith movement.

RICHLAND – The Liturgy coordinators of the MFCC, Herlinda and Jaime Martínez made a detailed presentation, on Friday, Sept. 6, about the five pillars of the movement. (Photos by Berta Mexidor)

Bishop Kopacz said to them “… the jail, the separation is very difficult, there is much suffering in this life, but there is much hope also, in the communities of faith and in the people, who are coming to help.”
MFCC is a national lay movement recommended by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. As part of movement initiatives, programs and events led by trained coordinators and leaders are aimed at saving and strengthening marriages and helping children, individuals and families develop faith and a strong sense of Christian community.
The Richland event included talks, activities and breakout sessions when small groups gathered in discussions. Spiritual advisors and leaders were on hand for counseling and to answer any questions. Many people expressed their joy about the start of a new year of activities.
At one-point, new members of the movement program were introduced and welcomed during the assembly. Among the participants were presente Francisco and Isabel Mazy, delegates, and Miguel and Lizet Cruz, both vice presidents. Sister Maria Josefa García Álvarez, a member of the Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit congregation, is one of the spiritual advisors along with Brother Theodore Dausch, CFC and father Odel Medina, pastor of St Anne Carthage.
This year, Father Juan Chavajay, pastor of St. Therese in Jackson, also joins the movement serving as an advisory team member. Charlene Bearden, Diocese of Jackson coordinator of the Office of Family Ministry, was also on hand showing her support.

RICHLAND – Couples began the assembly, on Friday, Sept. 6, by thanking each other, reaffirming the love they profess and the commitment on keeping their marriage in faith.

In preparation of the September kickoff event, spiritual counselors and coordinators met Aug. 3 at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson. During the meeting, movement members received training and discussions were presented about expansion and growth of the outreach with five elements at the center: prayer and liturgical life; study; apostolic action; hospitality and economic contribution.
For more information on MFCC, contact Juan and Maribel Melo at 601-826-3305 or 601-209-3232. The national website is www.mfccusa.net.

Connecting in the fostering world

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Everyone has a story to tell and speaker CJ Fox spent time on Tuesday, Sept. 17 telling hers to a group of social workers, therapist, foster parents and Catholic Charities employees at the Jackson Medical Mall in an effort to help those in attendance connect in a more meaningful way to foster children.
Fox shared some staggering statistics at the event. Only 30% of foster children graduate from high school, while less than 1 % graduate from college. At least 66% end up dead or homeless within the first year of transition out of foster care and 80% of prisoners were once in foster care.
“There is a huge disconnect in the system. Biological parents, the kids … we’ve got to communicate better,” said Fox. “It’s imperative that we all figure out a way to work together to change these odds.”
The odds are something Fox has witnessed firsthand. She began to tell the crowd about an eight-year-old girl and her story of abuse, neglect and fear. Before long, the child was in foster care and moving from home to home. As the story telling went on, Fox noticeably began to change the pronoun she was using from “she” to “I.”

JACKSON – Speaker CJ Fox tells her foster care story to attendees of Catholic Charities in-service event on foster care. (Photos by Joanna Puddister King)

She was telling her story.
After one group home she stayed in, Fox ended up with a foster family who gave her a home and taught her how to read, as she was so behind academically. The family spent time with her and played with her, something that had not happened often before.
“They never asked ‘What’s your story?’ They just loved me where I was,” said Fox. “And I was a hard kid to love. I was anxious. I was nervous all the time. I was short-fused. I would cry if I couldn’t get something right.”
Fox thought they were a family until one day she thought she was being taken to school, but instead she was taken to a courthouse. She was afraid. “Nobody is telling me what is going on … social workers, my Dad was in the back of the room, Mom was up front, cops were all around and a judge,” said Fox.
She urged those in the crowd, “if you can make it developmentally appropriate for the child just try to talk to them about what’s going on. These are the things that are happening, but no matter what happens … it’s all gonna be ok.”
By age 16, Fox had been moved about 30 times. The last foster mom that took her in encouraged her to go to college. Something that seemed unobtainable. But Fox obliterated the odds and eventually graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in education.
Fox attributes some of her success to sports. “I played every sport that I possibly could. If you can encourage your kids to get involved in some sort of sport, band, honor choir or what ever it looks like for that particular kid. Get them in a group to make them feel safe,” said Fox.
“The most important thing was every time I had an encounter with someone that believed in me. They believed in me more than I believed in myself.”
Fox also told the crowd that she has God to thank for guidance as well. One day while studying at Mississippi State, she was walking back to her dorm after history class, which took her past an old abandoned pool behind McCarthy gym.
“There was no water in it. It was just cracked and broken,” said Fox. While walking, Fox was thinking about her life and asked God, “Why me? What did I do? When am I gonna catch a break? … I’m tired.”
God answered. “He said because I have bigger plans for you. … He said that to me in that moment and instantaneously I look to my right and I see a tree growing out of the side of the pool,” said Fox.
“Somehow this tree is making it. … It had broken through the cement and stretched its branches to the sky for life. And I heard, ‘be the tree.’”
So, despite the odds, Fox persisted. She has been a teacher, a mentor, a volunteer, a financial service rep, a sales director, a speaker, the founder of two organizations (the Anunda Project and Unify Human:Kind, the recipient of the community SHEro award and the author of Obliterate the Odds.

Attendees at Catholic Charities “Connecting in the Fostering World” in-service at the Jackson Medical Mall have a dialogue with CJ Fox and others on the foster care system and how all parties can work together for the betterment of every child.

In addition to her story and tips on how to bridge communication gap with foster children, Fox did activities with the group of social workers, therapist, foster parents and Catholic Charities employees present. The group did a “love language” exercise and got into small groups to discuss situations that may arise involving the best interest of foster children.
Crisis intervention speciality, Andrew Cambell of Hope Haven home-based services was present at the event. During the group discussion, he offered his opinion that “professionals need to come together so they can collaborate and talk, so that when you are working on a case with a child, you won’t retraumatize [the child].”
Cambell said that a lot of times in the foster system that a child “has given that same information over and over. And the child is tired of it.”
Fox closed the event by thanking all in attendance for being so willing to go on the journey with her and she left with the words that “you can’t reach, rescue or restore every child that is out there, but you can make a difference in the life of one and that is good enough.”
To learn more about CJ Fox and how to determine your role in foster care, visit her Facebook page, Obliterate the Odds.

Parish calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT
BROOKSVILLE The Dwelling Place, Transitions and Transformation, Oct. 11–13, begins with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Am I in transition in retirement, in my workplace, my family, my residence, my relationship or health? The weekend will explore these issues. Facilitators: Dr. Francis Baird, LPC, who has a private counseling practice in Columbus and Starkville and Clare Van Lent, MA CSp., Dwelling Place Director. Donation: $180. Details: (662) 738-5348 or email dwellpl@gmail.com.
HOLLY SPRINGS Hands–ON + Hearts–IN is a program is to assist women who are discerning a call to consecrated life through hands-on service to the needy throughout north Mississippi. Monday – Thursday, Oct. 21–24. This program, coordinated by the Sisters of the Living Word, is a collaborative effort between the Chicago Archdiocesan Vocation Association (CAVA) members and Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM). The hospitality team will be the Sisters of the Living Word. They previously will be offering the meals and a comfortable home base for the prayer and discernment aspects of the experience. Details: contact Sister Sharon Glumb, SLW at handsonheartsin@gmail.com or (847) 577-5972 Ext# 233.
METAIRIE, La. Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO), Torrent of Grace, An Evening of Worship, Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Benilde cafeteria, 1901 Division Street. The evening features “Overshadow Me” with Sean Tobin, composer and worship leader from Los Angeles. The sole purpose of this gathering is to seek God, to worship and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit. Everyone is invited who desires to spend an evening with prophetic, spirit–filled music and praise. There is no charge, but a love offering will be received. Details: www.ccrno.org; info@ccrno.org or (504) 828-1368.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. National Catholic Singles Conference, Oct. 25–27. Join hundreds of single Catholics from across the country at the Diocese of Nashville Catholic Pastoral Center. The weekend includes talks by dynamic speakers (Sr. Helena Burns, Dr. Kerry Cronin, Damon Owens and David Clayton) as well as music, social events, prayer, food, fellowship and more. Space is limited. Enter promo code NASH19 for a $20 discount. Details: For more information and to register visit www.NationalCatholicSingles.com. or call Mirjana Northrop at (512) 766–5798 or email natcatsingles@gmail.com.
PEARL St. Jude – The Marian Servants of Jesus, the Lamb of God, invites you to a “Come and See” open house, Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. An opportunity for you to learn about the Marian Servant Community. Details: Contact Teresa Preuss (601) 906–1338, tepreuss@yahoo.com, or Maureen Roberts (601) 278–0423 mmjroberts@gmail.com.
STANTON, Tenn, Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend, Oct. 25–27 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Retreat Center. Details: Norman and Barbara Sobota at (901) 373-7030 or email sobota@bellsouth.net.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS
ABERDEEN St. Francis, Adult Bible Study, Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Studying the Gospel of John. Details: church office (662) 813-2295.
BATESVILLE St. John, Knights of Columbus are holding a Rummage Sale, Friday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please donate any clean, unbroken, gently used items that you no longer need. Details: church office (662) 563-2273.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, 153rd Francis Fest (formerly known as Parish Picnic), Sunday, Oct. 6, Mass at 10 a.m., Lunch, bingo, games and jumpers for the kids. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.
OLIVE BRANCH, Queen of Peace, Prayer and Worship Course taught by Sister Emily, Thursdays, Oct. 3 until Nov. 21 at 6:45 pm. The focus of the classes will be a better understanding of the liturgy and of various prayer forms. The texts that will be used are Introduction to Christian Worship, third edition and We Worship: A Guide to the Catholic Mass. Details: ctksemily@aol.com or the church office (601) 895–5007.
JACKSON St. Richard, Evening with Mary, Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in Foley Hall. KC Williams, local artist, and Suzan Cox will team up to show the different ways people picture our Blessed Mother. The evening is a time for women to listen to speakers and share a dessert and conversation. There is no cost. Deadline to register is Oct. 4. Social begins at 6 p.m. with speakers starting at 6:30 p.m. Details: Suzan Cox at (601) 366-2335 or cox@saintrichard.com.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Father Nick Adam, Parochial Vicar at Jackson St. Richard, will be discussing “The Power of Silence,” Monday, Sept. 30 and Tuesday, Oct. 1. In our society, our access to silence is pretty much zero. We are constantly bombarded by noise of one kind or another. But in order to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, we have to make room for silent prayer so we can hear the Lord’s call above all the noise. These nights will include Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, along with a meal. Details: church office (601) 856–5556.
MERIDIAN Catholic Community of St. Joseph and St. Patrick, October Festival 2019, Saturday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Includes health fair, hispanic cultural dishes, fun games for children, escape room for teens, country store and white elephant store (7 a.m. to 12 p.m.). Fish and rib plates $10; Rib slabs $20. Details: (601) 938–1337 or (601) 227-1199 to make donations (no clothing please).
VICKSBURG St. Paul will host a six-week adult catechesis program, The Mass, where Father Rusty Vincent will outline each part of the Mass, its Scriptural foundation and the reasoning behind responses and gestures. It will start Wednesday, Sept. 25th at Farrell Hall. Meals are served for $5. If you would like to attend, please email Rebecca Weatherford at faithformation@stpaulvicksburg.org. or church office (601) 636-0140.

YOUTH BRIEFS
JACKSON Sister Thea Bowman School, registration is underway for the 2019–20 school year. If you are looking for a solid academic education rooted in Gospel values serving grades PreK3 – 6th grades. Details: Shae Goodman-Robinson, principal at (601) 506-8998 for more information.
MADISON St. Anthony, Open House and Fall Festival, Saturday, Nov. 2 from 2-5 p.m. There will be games, carnival food and hayrides. Details: school office (601) 607-7054.
RIDGELAND St. Francis of Assisi, Senior Bible Break, Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. at M7 Coffee House, 111 North Wheatley Street in Ridgeland, for all 12th graders for scripture sharing and fellowship. Bring a Bible and friends are welcome. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.

IN MEMORIAM
Long-time resident of Vicksburg, Sister Mary Fatima Starks, died Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Mobile, Alabama. A Sister of Mercy for 72 years, she was 90 years old.
Sister Fatima ministered in education, as a teacher and principal at schools in Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Of her 60 years in active ministry, all but 3 years were spent serving the people of Mississippi. She gave over 30 years of service to Vicksburg Catholic school. Most recently, before moving in 2016 to the Convent of Mercy in Mobile, she served as a volunteer at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Monday, Sept. 23 at Corpus Christi church in Mobile. Sister Fatima’s burial took place at Cedar Hill cemetery in Vicksburg, Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Tome nota

Vírgenes y Santos. Celebraciones
Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús. Martes 1ro octubre
Santos Ángeles de la Guarda. Miércoles 2 de octubre
San Francisco de Asís. Viernes 4 de octubre
Virgen del Rosario. Patrona de Guatemala. Lunes 7 de octubre.
Virgen del Pilar y Nuestra Señora de la Concepción Aparecida. Patrona de Brazil. Sábado 12 de octubre.
Día del Descubriento de América. Columbus Day. Lunes 14 de octubre.
Santa Teresa de Jesús. Martes15 de octubre.
Día de San Juan Pablo II. Martes 22 de octubre.
San Antonio Maria Claret. Jueves 24 de octubre.
San Judas Tadeo. Lunes 28 de octubre.
Diócesis
Encuentro Provincial de Mobile (con las diocesis de Alabama y Mississippi), sábado 12 de octubre, de 8 de la mañana a 5 de la tarde, en Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 2605 Spring Hill Ave, Mobile, AL 36607
Convocatoria
Encuentro Diocesano de comunidades hispanas del noreste de Mississippi.
“Habla Señor, que tu siervo escucha”
St James Tupelo
Octubre 19 de 8 a.m. a 4 p.m.
Esta es una oportunidad de Encuentro y Formación, en la que todas las comunidades Católicas Hispanas están llamadas a participar.
Conferencista principal: Alejandro Siller-Gonzales, del Instituto Congar de San Antonio, TX y miembro del Equipo Pastoral del Mexican-American Cultural College (MACC).
Invitado especial: Jesus Rodríguez, Cantante Católico con dos producciones discográficas. “Perdóname” en el 2013 y “Para Sobrevivir” en el 2016. Es el autor del tema del Encuentro Diocesano: “Háblame Señor”. El Encuentro culminará con la Santa Eucaristía a las 3 p.m.