Catholic Service Appeal kicks-off

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – As the Diocese of Jackson kicks off the 2023 Catholic Service Appeal (CSA), director of Stewardship and Development, Rebecca Harris shared her thanks for the Synod process over the last year.

“As a diocese, we listened and heard the voices of the people calling for more programs for youth and young adults, more faith formation for adults and opportunities for healing,” said Harris.
“I’m pleased that the CSA can be a part of aiding ministries grow and flourish in our church in these ways.”

In the fall of 2022, the diocese began an office for young adult and campus ministry as a response to the call for more opportunities for young adults. This year, the CSA is able to assist this office with funds raised through the appeal to help young adults continue to grow in their faith beyond college.

Each year in January Bishop Joseph Kopacz sends letters to all parishioners in the diocese asking for support ofministries that are vital to the Catholic faith.

“When you make a gift you become the ‘Hope Rising’ to those served by the appeal,” Harris says.
The Catholic community can become the hope to those served by these ministries: Seminarian Education, Catholic Schools, Retired Priests, Clergy Assistance, Permanent Diaconate Ministry, Catholic Charities, Campus Ministry, Formation Ministry and Religious Education, Intercultural Ministry, Evangelization and Communication, Family Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Youth Ministry and grants for Parishes and Schools.

For detailed information on each of these ministries supporters can visit website

Harris says that supporters will also find stories from people who have been supported by the Catholic Service Appeal.

“This year, we are featuring stories that show a small piece of how donations to the CSA make huge impacts.”

Supporters can click on the “Voices” page to see how donations supported Izzy from the Catholic Charities Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program; or learn how Catholic Charities Born Free program supported Jada to deliver a healthy baby boy free of drugs. Site visitors can also read how the vocations ministry supported Deacon Carlisle Beggerly as he answered the call of God; and discover how Eduardo Padilla reached deep into his faith and became a leader at his parish. And lastly, read how youth ministry supports youth like Emerson Erwin of St. Joseph Gluckstadt to attend retreats like SEARCH.

“Your prayers and generosity always make a difference,” says Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

There are several ways to give to the 2023 Catholic Service Appeal. Pledge cards can be mailed to PO Box 22723; Jackson, MS 39225; and supporters can visit to donate online.
Gifts of stocks can also be made to support the Catholic Service Appeal. For more information on the CSA, contact Rebecca Harris at (601) 960-8477.

(Editor’s note: See the special Catholic Service Appeal insert in this edition of Mississippi Catholic to learn more about all the ministries supported by this appeal.)

In memoriam: Sister Marie Elizabeth “Sister Liz” Koehler, RSM

ST. LOUIS – Sister Marie Elizabeth “Sister Liz” Koehler, RSM, age 73, of St. Louis, Misourri, died Jan. 18, 2023, in hospice care at Catherine’s Residence, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Born the eldest of seven children, Sister Liz dedicated her life to serving others.

Born Jan. 25, 1949, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sister Liz graduated from St. Edward Elementary School in 1963 and Mt. St. Mary’s in 1967, both in Little Rock. After graduating from “the Mount,” she entered the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate in St. Louis. Continuing her education, Sister Liz received her Bachelors of Arts in social studies from Maryville College, St. Louis, in 1973 with an elementary education certificate. While continuing in her ministry, she received her Masters of Science in counseling at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, in 1986, and a certificate in spiritual direction from the Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, in 1997.

Sister Liz’s call to self-sacrifice and service sustained her through teaching at Christ the King School, Fort Smith, Arkansas; St. Patrick School, Meridian, Mississippi; St. Joan of Arc School, St. Louis; serving as a child care worker at Mercita Hall, St. Louis; parish ministry at St. Richard Church, Jackson, Mississippi; as spiritual director in Little Rock; and bereavement coordinator at Mercy Medical facilities in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert L. Koehler, Sr., and Mary Ellen (Penny) Koehler and brother Dennis Koehler.

In addition to her love of her family, Sister Liz enjoyed scrapbooking, sewing, cake decorating, photography, reading and traveling.

Calendar of events

GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus, School of the Holy Spirit, Feb. 16-19. Cost $100 per person, no charge for age 18 and under. Featured speakers: Father Tom Dilorenzo, Maria Vadia and Pastor Myles Milham, with worship team of Mike McDuffee and Arianna Alberti. To register or more details visit: Details: Magdalene (662) 299-1232 or

JACKSON Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, Men’s Retreat led by Father Anthony Quyet, Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Theme is “Bloom where You are Planted.” All men (Catholics and non-Catholics) are welcome. Details: Richard Martin (601) 540-0419.

ONLINE “Holy is His Name” Bible study with Dr. Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center, Streaming for free during Lent. This 12-part study traces the meaning of holiness from its origins in Scripture to its appearance in our lives today. Explore Scriptural encounters with the Divine – the burning bush, ark of the covenant, burning coal and more. Details: Register for free at

BATESVILLE St. Mary/St. John, Ladies Altar Society Chili Cook-Off, Feb. 19. Details: call church office to register (662) 563-2273.

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth School, 23rd Draw Down Mardi Gras party, Saturday, Feb. 17 from 7-10:30 p.m. at the Bank Building. Silent auction and entertainment by Groove Factor. Tickets $100/admits two. Must be 21 to attend. Details: call (662) 624-4239.

FLOWOOD St. Paul, 20th Annual $10,000 Draw Down Mardi Gras party, Saturday, Feb. 18 from 7-11 p.m. Tickets $125/admits two. You do not have to be present to win. Details: call Pat at (601) 953-6370.

GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary, Annual Fat Tuesday Chili Fest, Feb. 21. Details: church office (662) 453-3980.

HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Widowed and Divorced Gathering, Sunday, Feb. 19 from 1-3 p.m. Join us for a Mardi Gras theme event with Bingo and fellowship. Bring an appetizer. Details: sign up in Narthex or contact church office at (662) 429-7581.

MERIDIAN Catholic Community Mardi Gras Party, Saturday, Feb. 18 from 6-10 p.m. at St. Joseph (Kehrer Hall). The “Adult” Catholic Community is invited to come celebrate, fellowship and just have a good time. There is no admission charge; however all are invited to support the “goody basket” raffles at $1 each. Details: David at (601) 938-5757.

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Kids Mardi Gras event, Wednesday, Feb. 15 after the Parish Dinner in the Family Life Center. For grades PreK-3 through second. There will be crafts, stories and treats explaining Mardi Gras and its Cathoic history. Details: church office (601) 445-5616.

St. Mary Basilica, Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, every Friday of Lent, beginning Feb. 24 from 5-7 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Cost: Catfish $12; Shrimp $12; Combo $14. Dinners include fries, hush puppies and coleslaw. For grilled fish, call 30 minutes ahead. Details: Darren (601) 597-2890.

PHILADELPHIA Holy Rosary, Lenten Mission (for Holy Rosary, St. Therese and St. Catherine) with Father Dennis Berry, S.T., March 9-11. Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. with Mass and Saturday at 5 p.m. followed by potluck supper in the parish hall. Details: church office (601) 656-2880.

PEARL St. Jude, “Lent: A Season of Preparation and Renewal” – Mission and Mass with Father Joseph Krafft, professor of pastoral theology at Notre Dame Seminary. He will preach at all Masses the weekend of Feb. 18 and 19. Mission on Feb. 19, 20 and 21 at 6 p.m. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.

VICKSBURG 40th Annual Vicksburg Catholic School Drawdown on the River, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Levee Street Warehouse. Join us for a chance to win $20,000 and enjoy a silent auction and food by Gary Thomas. Get your tickets before they sell out. You do not have to be present to win. Details: purchase tickets online at

JACKSON 17th Annual Sister Thea Bowman School Draw Down, Saturday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose building. Details: school office (601) 352-5441.

DIOCESE Join us in honoring 2023 Bishop Chanche service award winners. Adult awards presentation and Mass, Saturday, March 4 at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Jackson. Youth award presentation will be during the closing Mass at DCYC in Vicksburg on Sunday, March 5.

Abstinence: Catholics abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22, 2023) and Good Friday; and also on Fridays during Lent; however, Bishop Joseph Kopacz has granted a dispensation from the requirement of abstaining from meat on Friday, March 17, 2023 in honor of the Feast of St. Patrick, as on this feast day various cultural dishes with meat are traditionally served. The dispensation is granted with the condition that those who take advantage of the dispensation will substitute another profound act of penance, such as prayer and alms giving to mark this day. Norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding on Catholics from age 14 onwards.

Fasting: Catholics fast (eating one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal) on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22) and Good Friday (April 7). Catholics 18-59 years old are bound by this obligation.

Calendar of events

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. Women’s Morning of Spirituality, Saturday, Feb. 4 at Church of the Incarnation. Breakfast at 7:15; program at 8:15 and Mass at 12:15. Speaker is Cathy Reineking and Keynote is Ann Leatherman. Mass celebrant will be Bishop Terry Steib. Register at Details: email

GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus, School of the Holy Spirit, Feb. 16-19. Cost $100 per person, no charge for age 18 and under. Featured speakers: Father Tom Dilorenzo, Maria Vadia and Pastor Myles Milham, with worship team of Mike McDuffee and Arianna Alberti. To register or more details visit: Details: Magdalene (662) 299-1232 or

NATION Bible in a Year Online Retreat, Feb. 10-13, led by Father Mike Schmitz. Details: for info and to register visit

ST. LOUIS Discernment retreat, Feb. 17-20 at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Sancta Maria in Ripa campus. Retreat theme is “Caught up in God’s love: Listening to the call.” Weekend will include time for personal and communal reflections. Sessions will provide opportunity to learn – through conversation, contemplation, prayer and spiritual guidance – how to recognize God’s invitations in your life. No cost to attend. Private rooms provided, all meals included. Details: for more information and to register visit

CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Supper, Thursday, Feb. 9 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the KC Hall. A limited number of tickets will be sold; plates are $15 and drive thru only. Tickets can be purchased from any Knight at the parish.

Our Lady of Victories, 2nd annual Supper and Substance for married couples, Saturday, Feb. 11 in the parish center, following 5:30 p.m. Cost $50 per couple. Forms due Feb. 1. Details: church office (662) 846-6273.

FLOWOOD St. Paul, 20th Annual $10,000 Draw Down Mardi Gras party, Saturday, Feb. 18 from 7-11 p.m. Tickets $125/admits two. Details: call Pat at (601) 953-6370.

GREENVILLE St. Joseph School, Spring Fling, Feb. 11 from 7-11 p.m. at the Delta Men’s Association in Eudora, Arkansas. Tickets include dinner, drinks for two; entertainment by Stylish and $10,000 Draw Down. Details: visit

St. Joseph Church, Youth Group Strawberry Fundraiser. Cost 8 lb flat $30 or 4 lb $15. Orders due by Feb. 10, payable to St. Joseph Church. Details: order from Alyssa at (662) 335-5251 or stop by the office.

GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary, Annual Fat Tuesday Chili Fest, Feb. 21. Details: church office (662) 453-3980.

GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Family Bingo Night, Friday, Feb. 3 from 6-8 p.m. in the parish hall. Items needed for prizes. Details: church office (601) 856-2054.

HERNANDO Cocktails and Catholicism, Second Friday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m., for adults only. Meeting space at Holy Spirit Church (545 E. Commerce Street) in the Family Life Center. On Feb. 10, Father Ben Bradshaw of St. Michael’s in Memphis and creator of Soul Food Priest will discuss faith and food in his talk “Can we eat alligator on Fridays and other important things to prepare for Lent.” Details: RSVP at or call Deacon Ted at Christ the King at (662) 342-1073.

JACKSON St. Richard School, Krewe de Cardinal, Friday, Feb. 10 at The South Warehouse in Jackson. Theme is “Rio de Janiero.” Enjoy food and drinks, plus music by the Epic Funk Brass Band. Silent auction and raffles. Tickets $200 per couple. Details: Tammy at
JACKSON St. Richard Church, Liturgical Living in Lent, Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in Foley Hall. Event for parents – nursery, refreshments, fellowship and materials provided. Details: email for more information.

MADISON St. Joseph School, Jeans, Jazz and Bruin Blues Draw Down, Saturday, Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m. at The Country Club of Jackson. Tickets are $130 per couple. Enjoy a wide selection of food, open bar, auctions and a chance to win $10,000. Only 500 draw down tickets will be sold. Details:

MERIDIAN St. Patrick, Travel with Father Augustine to Italy and France, September 9-19, 2023. Travel to Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Assisi, Venice, Italy and Lourdes, France. Cost: $4,999 with airfare and all included. Details: To register contact (855) 842-8001 or register online at

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, “Rekindling Eucharistic Amazement” Catholics as Intentional Missionary Disciples of Jesus, Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. Featured speaker is Father James Wehner of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Events begin at 6 p.m. each day of the program. Details: church office (601) 445-5616.
PEARL St. Jude, Feed My Sheep Ministry will be serving lunch and passing out “Blessing Bags” at Poindexter Park in Jackson on Sunday, Jan. 29. Donations accepted to help with cost of meal. Volunteers are needed to assemble blessing bags, prepare the meal and transport and serve the meal. Details: contact Beth at to volunteer.

PEARL St. Jude, “Lent: A Season of Preparation and Renewal” – Mission and Mass with Father Joseph Krafft, professor of pastoral theology at Notre Dame Seminary. He will preach at all Masses the weekend of Feb. 18 and 19. Mission on Feb. 19, 20 and 21 at 6 p.m. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.

STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Deacon John will be hosting ENGAGE this Spring. Come and engage in your faith on Monday nights from 6-7 p.m. in the church. The schedule is as follows: Jan. 23; Feb. 6 and 20; March 6, 20 and 27; April 17; May 1 and 15. Details: church office (662) 323-2257.

JACKSON 17th Annual Sister Thea Bowman School Draw Down, Saturday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose building. Details: school office (601) 352-5441.

Pope Benedict placed Jesus Christ at the heart of church’s mission

By Gina Christian
(OSV NEWS) – Catholic evangelizers are recalling the profound impact the late Pope Benedict XVI had on the Church’s mission of evangelization – a legacy that placed Jesus Christ at the heart of any effort to share the Gospel.
“A personal relationship with Jesus – he always came back to that,” said Sherry Weddell, author of “Forming Intentional Disciples” and executive director of the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Catherine of Siena Institute, which provides parish resources for faith formation in discipleship and evangelization.
“Before we can go out and proclaim God, we must first know God ourselves. Pope Benedict XVI knew this was key to evangelize,” said Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of FOCUS, a Catholic outreach to college and university students.
In an email to OSV News, Martin noted Pope Benedict significantly advanced the evangelization initiatives of Pope St. John Paul II, seeking to “reawaken the Christian faith in areas where it (had) once thrived, but had declined.”

Pope Benedict XVI arrives for a rally with young people outside St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., April 19, 2008. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Martin said he was honored to have been appointed by the late pope, whom he had known “for more than 30 years,” as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which Pope Benedict established in his 2010 motu proprio “Ubicumque et Semper.” (In June 2022, the council was merged with the former Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to create the Dicastery for Evangelization.)
Pope Benedict “understood the connection between solid faith formation and evangelization,” said Father Hezekias Carnazzo, a Melkite Catholic priest and founding executive director of the adult catechetical Institute of Catholic Culture based in McLean, Virginia.
For the late pope, that dynamic required “always required asking the question of who God is,” said Father Carnazzo, noting that Pope Benedict “very clearly answered that question with his encyclical ‘Deus Caritas Est’ (‘God is Love’), in which he reminds us that God is love, and love is the giving of ourselves to the beloved.”
That message radiated in the late pope’s writings, said Weddell, who “quoted him extensively” in her book “Forming Intentional Disciples: the Path to Knowing and Following Jesus,” an updated edition of which was published in November by OSV Books.
“The language he used was so clear,” Weddell said. “He talked about Jesus as living, present and active in his life, and was seeking … to help others have that same encounter.”
Saul Keeton, a former Episcopalian who came into full communion with the Catholic Church, said Pope Benedict’s election marked “the true beginning” of his Catholic formation.
“His papacy and his writings on the liturgy helped me to find my own voice,” said Keeton, now the advancement director for Family Missions Company in Abbeville, Louisiana. “I deeply appreciated the way he explained the beauty of the liturgy, and how important it was for us as humans to tap into that.”
For many young people, particularly those of post-Millennial or “Gen Z” demographic, “Pope Benedict’s papacy and evangelization was foundational and formative,” said Martin. “He loved young people and brought them … to Jesus. He was their calm shepherd – his trust and his peace, which came from Our Lord, led the way.”
Keeton pointed to Pope Benedict’s “very logical approach to exegesis and the fact that it began from a place of faith.” Keeton admitted he was “binging on Benedict podcasts” during his travel to the Jan. 2-6 SEEK23 conference in St. Louis.
Yet the late pope’s greatest proclamation of the Gospel may well have been a silent one, said Keeton.
Pope Benedict, the first pope to resign in 600 years, “spent the majority of his post-election years primarily as a contemplative intercessor,” said Keeton. “I have to imagine at times it was very lonely for him; he had to have known (his resignation) would be misunderstood. He took on this mystical element, and the suffering was unique.”
The late pope’s final years witnessed to all that he had written about the faith, said Weddell.
“What we have in him is a brilliant theologian who had lived it,” she said. “He had prayed it through, and you could tell by the way he talked about Jesus, his friend.”

(Gina Christian is a National Reporter for OSV News.)

Faith, basis of success for St. Joseph Greenville athlete, McCloyen

By Nikki Thompson

GREENVILLE – Roury McCloyen, a St. Joseph Catholic School Greenville senior, is one of the nation’s best shot put and discus throwers.

McCloyen established his faith early in life as he was influenced by his father, who was a pastor. He is beyond grateful for the impact the Catholic faith has had on his life. From helping his community through acts of service to assisting at weekly Mass, McCloyen is the epitome of what it means to be not only a Christian athlete but a record-breaking Christian athlete.

In April 2022, McCloyen’s discus throw broke the old MAIS record. McCloyen has been throwing both the shot put and the discus since he was nine years old.

When we asked why he started this particular sport, he responded, “When I was 9 years old, my coach put a shot put in my hand, and it just felt like it was meant for me.” Over the past decade, he has learned how to improve at his sport.

This past summer, Roury McCloyen, representing St. Joseph Catholic School Greenville, won the men’s shot put for his first-ever Junior Olympic title at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California. (Photo by USATF)

This past summer, McCloyen won the men’s shot put for his first-ever Junior Olympic title at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California.

“It was the best competition I ever had and going against a college commit made it even more fun,” wrote McCloyen.

Coming from a small town in the south traveling to California and competing in the Junior Olympics is a lot to talk about and be proud of for McCloyen and his family. This experience is the type of accomplishment that most young athletes dream of having. For McCloyen, it became a reality.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, in a gym full of his family and friends, McCloyen accepted a full scholarship to Mississippi State University. In true his style, he threw everyone off a little bit at first by picking up a University of Alabama hat but quickly swapped that one out for a different shade of red and a cowbell in hand. The gymnasium erupted in cheer as his classmates, family and community were delighted that McCloyen was staying close to home.

“I chose Mississippi State because when I visited there it just felt like family. I know I can be around people that will help me grow. My goal is to make it to the Olympics,” McCloyen stated. Of course, he thanked his parents, Royal and Maury McCloyen, for helping him every step of the way.

In the last few months, McCloyen has added another championship ring to his collection for football. In November, the Fighting Irish won the MAIS 4A State Championship in football, and McCloyen was an integral part of the team. He earned his third championship ring in football with this victory, and he also has earned additional championship rings for basketball and track.

McCloyen has a bright future ahead of him, both academically and athletically. “The staff at St. Joe, cannot wait to see him succeed at MSU. We know he will have tons of Irish support following him,” said principal, Craig Mandolini.

When McCloyen was asked what his fondest memories at St. Joseph Catholic School will be, he replied, “When I leave here, I will remember all of my coaches, my teammates, and especially my teachers that helped me get through my high school years. Their love and support of me throughout school did not go unnoticed.”

Mandolini says there is something to say about having a young man like McCloyen being a product of Catholic education. With that, Mandolini likes to think about Hebrews 11:1 that says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

“Faith is not something we talk about or write about in concept. Our faith is in every action we take and every in word we speak. Roury has grown up not only in an environment at home where he can actively practice his faith but also at school where it is nourished and grows exponentially. Without our faith, we are nothing, and because of Roury’s faith, he’s an awe-inspiring Christian athlete,” said Mandolini.

“Here at St. Joe, we can’t wait to see where this road leads Roury in the future, but until then, we will enjoy watching him in his final months as an Irish!”


Through the kindness of his Heralds of the Good News Provincial and the acceptance of Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, Rev. Augustine Palimattam Poulose, pastor of St. Joseph and St. Patrick Parishes in Meridian has been incardinated into the Diocese of Jackson.

Mary Woodward, Chancellor Diocese of Jackson

Featured photo…Ole miss CCM represented at focus – seek23

ST. LOUIS – Nearly 19,000 from across the country attended the FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) SEEK23 conference in St. Louis, Missouri from Jan. 2-6. The event invites people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and His church. Pictured is a portion of the event where students raised their school flags. The Diocese had approximately 80 that attended this year’s event. (Photo by Father Nick Adam)