Around the diocese during holy week/Easter

MERIDIAN – First graders at St Patrick School performed live stations. (Photo by Kasey Owen)
MAGEE – Children at St. Stephen parish receive instructions
before their Easter egg hunt. (Photo by Kirby J. Rivere)
YAZOO CITY – Children at St. Mary parish participated in an Easter egg hunt after Mass on Easter Sunday with Father Panneer Selvam. (Photo by Babs McMaster)
MADISON – St. Joe senior, Adriana Terrazas, a reporter for Bruin News Now, sets up to interview seminarian Joe Pearson, along with four seminarians Will Foggo, EJ Martin and Grayson Foley on Tuesday, March 26. All four seminarians were former St. Joe students. The Bruin News Now story was included in the Thursday, March 28, edition of the award-winning, student-produced weekly newscast. (Photos by Tereza Ma)
St. Joe seniors, Andrew Doherty and Adam Williams set up the camera for a special interview with Bishop Joseph Kopacz by Bruin News Now anchors, Emerson Erwin and Maddie-Claire Spence, on Tuesday, March 26 before the annual diocese Chrism Mass during Holy Week. The journalism students interviewed Bishop Kopacz and seminarians for an edition of their award-winning weekly newscast – Bruin News Now.

Around our schools

JACKSON – The Cardinal Men’s Club of St. Richard School is hosting their annual Flight to the Finish 5k and fun run on Saturday, April 20. Pictured (l-r) celebrating the upcoming event are Thea Saucier, Charliegh Luzardo, Townes Crews, Thomas Eastus, Elizabeth Elmore, Patrick Crews (Past President), Andrew Ueltschey (President), Thiel Crews, Elsie Ueltschey, Sam Williams, Max Jones and Thomas Ueltschey. (Photo by Celeste Saucier)
COLUMBUS – Annunciation fourth grader, Joel Heard prays during adoration. (Photo by Jacque Hince)
VICKSBURG – On Feb. 28, 2024, Fathers Nick Adam and Rusty Vincent offered a Spanish Mass at the St. Francis Xavier Chapel for the Spanish II class at St. Aloysius. The students read, responded and participated in Spanish. (Photo by Vivian L. Velazquez)
VICKSBURG – Davis Jarabica from the one-year-olds class, explores rosary beads and baby’s Bible from the Lobby Altar at Sisters of Mercy Early Learning Center. (Photo by Shannon Bell)
SOUTHAVEN – Students Nico and Aniyah enjoy the Holy Thursday Craft Retreat at Sacred Heart School. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)

Mississippi Catholic

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Bishop Joseph N. Latino in memoriam

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Distinct Biloxi church reminds us to ‘keep an eye on the Gulf’

Pictured is St. Michael Church Biloxi in December of 1963. The church features a distincitive shell roof and round shape.

From the Archives
By Mary Woodward

JACKSON – This past week several chancery staffers, including myself, attended a regional conference in Biloxi for the Diocesan Fiscal Managers of several dioceses and archdioceses in the southeast. The opening Mass on Sunday evening was celebrated in St. Michael Church by the two host bishops, Bishop Louis Kihneman of Biloxi and our own Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

Established by Bishop John Gunn and known as the “church of the fishermen,” St. Michael dates back to 1917. Being just a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico, it has been buffeted by several hurricanes. As our group approached the church with its distinctive shell roof and round shape, images of that roof from the helicopter flyover on the news the morning of Aug. 30, 2005, filled my mind.

Religious statues lie on the floor of St. Michael Church in Biloxi, Miss., March 1, 2006. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

From the air the church looked intact, as if it had miraculously survived unscathed from the 28-foot storm surge of Hurricane Katrina the day before. But as the days went by and reports came into the chancery in Jackson from Biloxi, we learned the church interior was decimated. That distinctive roof seen from above was hiding the massive power of Mother Nature gone wild.

The five-ton marble altar was cast to the side off its platform and much of the interior appointments had been swept away by the surge leaving an almost empty shell behind. The waterline was well up the interior walls of the church.

Now more than 18 years later, St. Michael stands as a testament to the resilience of the people of the Gulf Coast, who have survived more than one catastrophic storm over the past 100 years. Memories of Aug. 29, 2005, still linger in the physical landscape of the Gulf Coast, which took the direct hit of Katrina. These memories also are carried in the collective psyche of those who endured the wrath and persevered in rebuilding a vibrant community.

Moving forward in faith as intentional disciples while always keeping an eye on the Gulf.

(Mary Woodward is Chancellor and Archivist for the Diocese of Jackson.


DCYC 2024 – Vicksburg

Andrew Doherty, Anna Williams and Madalyn Weisenberger, all of St. Joseph School in Madison, pose for a photo with Bishop Joseph Kopacz with their newly bestowed Bishop Chanche Youth Awards. (Photo by Kristen Doherty)

VICKSBURG – High-school youth from across the Diocese of Jackson gathered at the Vicksburg Convention Complex from March 1-3, for the annual diocesan youth conference – DCYC – organized by the Office of Youth Ministry. This year’s theme was “More Than Enough,” and it featured keynote presenter Doug Tooke and worship leader, Steven Joubert. (Photos by Amelia Rizor)

Andrew Doherty of St. Richard Jackson receives a handshake from Bishop Joseph Kopacz during the annual Bishop Chanche Youth Awards at DCYC. (Photo by Kristen Doherty)



Hampton Derivaux, St. Paul Vicksburg
Andrew Doherty, St. Richard Jackson
Jaime Mendoza, Jr., Holy Family Jackson
Greta Nalker, Immaculate Conception Raymond
Jeremy Napoles, Christ the King Southaven
Travis Ross, St. Joseph Meridian
Menelik Rozelle, St. Alphonsus McComb
Elese Serio, St. Joseph Greenville
Benjamin Sylve, Jr., St. Joseph Gluckstadt
Agatha Taquino, St. Joseph Starkville
Madalyn Weisenberger, Holy Savior Clinton
Anna Williams, St. Francis Madison
Loria Williams, St. Francis Madison
Grace Windham, St. Francis Madison

Around our schools

JACKSON – St. Richard School students are presented with “Cool 2B Kind” awards by John Dorsa for earning the highest points in their houses for virtuous and honorable deeds. (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)

COLUMBUS – Annunciation school recently held a Robotics Pep Rally. (Photo by Jacque Hince)

YAZOO CITY – Youth at St. Mary’s Church celebrated Valentine’s Day with treats and bingo. (Photo by Babs McMaster)
JACKSON – St. Richard School students learn to type with “Keyboarding Without Tears.” (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)

Decade of faith: Bishop Kopacz celebrates 10-year milestone

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz, surrounded by priests and deacons from the Diocese of Jackson, commemorated his 10th anniversary of ordination to the episcopacy at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson with a special Mass on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Bishop Kopacz was ordained and installed as the 11th Bishop of Jackson on Feb. 6, 2014, but he fondly remembers getting the initial call the day before Thanksgiving – in an unforgettable Italian accent – “Holy Father is directing you to be the bishop of Jackson in Mississippi.” Bishop mused to those gathered at his anniversary Mass, that “it was an offer you can’t refuse.”

JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz lays prostrate during his ordination as Bishop of Jackson on Feb. 6, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. He recently celebrated his 10th anniversary at the Bishop for the Diocese of Jackson. (Photo from archives)

“These 10 years later has given me an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the call and the ongoing challenge and blessing of serving as the 11th bishop of the diocese,” said Bishop Kopacz.

He fondly remembered traversing the diocese by airplane days after being installed as Bishop and visiting a few parishes across the diocese, including St. Mary’s Basilica in Natchez, St. Joseph in Greenville, St. James in Tupelo and to St. Joseph in Starkville. “It was great to experience and see what a large swath of land the diocese covers,” said Bishop Kopacz. “So, 10 years later and possibly 300,000 miles later on my car, I think I can say I know a little bit about Mississippi and its geography.”

But more than miles, Bishop Kopacz reflected, are the countless souls who have touched his life along the way through parishes and the variety of missions and ministries that make up the diocese. He continued by celebrating the dedication of the clergy, the resilience of parishioners and the transformative power of God’s grace working through each individual.

In his homily, Bishop Kopacz credits his enthusiasm and energy for the diocese to the Eucharistic prayer at Mass when the clergy pray for him every day. Joking with those clergy present, that they “can’t skip that part … as a lot of grace flows from that on good days and bad. It truly carries me forward.”

Turning 74 later this year, Bishop Kopacz says that he hopes to still be around to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the diocese in 13 years. He expressed how grateful he was for the people of the diocese, all of the priests and religious, coworkers at the Chancery and all the staff at parishes across the diocese who respond to God’s call every day.

“I thank everyone for the kindness and generosity for the 10th anniversary of my consecration and installation as the 11th Bishop of Jackson,” said Bishop Kopacz. “It was a splendid and joyful occasion.”

JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz celebrated his 10th anniversary as the Bishop for the Diocese of Jackson with priests and deacons from around the diocese on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Cathedral of St. Peter. Inset, a comemorative photo collage with scenes from the past 10 years. (Photos by Tereza Ma)


Ash Wednesday

JACKSON – Deacon Denzil Lobo places ashes on Sister Thea Bowman School second grader, Azaria Weems, on Ash Wednesday. (Photo by Christopher Payne)

NATCHEZ – Religion teacher, JoAnn Waycaster places ashes on the forehead of Cathedral School senior, Gracie Bradley on Wednesday, February 14 at St. Mary Basilica. (Photo by Cara Moody)

SOUTHAVEN – Father Hendrick Ardianto, SCJ, distributes ashes to Cash Fortin during Sacred Heart School’s Ash Wednesday Mass. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

MADISON – St. Francis of Assisi student Avery Cook receives ashes from Father Albeenreddy Vatti. (Photo by Chiquita Brown)

GREENVILLE – Kent Tonos, Father Sanchéz and Fletcher McGaugh get ready to process out of St. Joseph School Mass on Ash Wednesday. (Photo by Elese Serio)

Youth – SEEK24 and High School Confirmation retreat


By Alex Barfield
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – College students from Mississippi joined approximately 20,000 others for a five-day conference focused on faith in St. Louis from Jan. 1-5.

The University of Mississippi brought a group of 18 students, and Mississippi State brought about 80 students.

SEEK is a national conference organized by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
Each day, students attended Mass in the former hockey arena, listened to speakers like Father Mike Schmitz, and formed community with the universal church.

“SEEK was the most incredible experience that I had no idea I needed so much! Getting to hear the most amazing speakers, meeting so many people on fire for the Lord, and singing and worshipping alongside 20,000 other students truly made me fall in love with the Catholic Church in a whole new way,” said Olivia DeGravelle, sophomore.

“SEEK 24 was yet another reminder to me that the Catholic Church is alive and thriving! I encountered Christ through the many interactions I had with fellow college students, through powerful speakers, and through the sacraments. The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly doing incredible things,” said, Frank Galeziewski, senior.

A yearly event, the SEEK conference will be held in Salt Lake City, UT as its main location in January 2025.

(Alex Barfield is the campus minister at The University of Mississippi through St. John the Evangelist parish in Oxford.)

High School Confirmation Retreat – MACON

St. Michael parish in Forest

St. Peter parish in Grenada

Youth – Catholic Schools Week in pictures

COLUMBUS – Annunciation

CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth

MADISON – St. Anthony


MADISON – St. Joseph

JACKSON – St. Richard

NATCHEZ – Cathedral