Masked, distanced priests take part in postponed chrism Mass

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – This year’s chrism Mass in the Diocese of Jackson did not take place during Holy Week as usual and instead was celebrated on June 17 with a crowd of socially distanced, masked priests from around the diocese.
The special Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter Jackson was rescheduled due to churches being closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a restriction that continued up until Pentecost on May 31.
“The chrism Mass is a ‘manifestation of the priests’ communion with their Bishop,’ so it is very important for clergy to participate in that Mass even if a congregation of any size may not be able to gather,” explained chancellor, Mary Woodward. “Though not technically close to Easter as we would have wanted, the Mass nonetheless had a great fraternal spirit with the clergy gathering albeit six feet apart in masks. Much care was given to keep the clergy safe and to maintain the integrity of the liturgy.”
Bishop Joseph Kopacz welcomed all clergy present and those watching the live stream presentation on Facebook under the “unusual circumstances of worship.”
The masked and socially distanced Diocesan priests, who joined Bishop Kopacz for the Mass renewed their priestly promises. Bishop Kopacz blessed them and blessed the holy oils to be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the diocese for the year.
The oil of the sick is blessed to bring the strengthening and healing power of Christ in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. The oil of catechumens is used at Baptism to purify candidates before baptizing with water. The sacred chrism is used to anoint individuals after baptism, seal those who are to be confirmed with the Holy Spirit, and in holy orders for priests on the hands and bishops on the head. It is also used to anoint altars and churches during their dedication.
During his homily, Bishop Kopacz reflected on the pandemic and how different congregations look now with “people looking back with masks on. Just seeing the eyes.” Even with masks, few congregants and being socially distanced, Bishop Kopacz said that, “it is our way of coming together in spite of all of the obstacles to say that we are the body of Christ.”
The faithful throughout the diocese were invited to take part in the livestreamed Chrism Mass through Facebook Live. After the Mass, priests received their oils and brought back to their parishes.

Meet Tristan Stovall

In preparation for our Homegrown Harvest Gala in the fall, which will benefit the Diocese of Jackson Office of Vocations, over the next several weeks we will feature a Q&A with one of our seminarians. This week, meet Tristan Stovall who is entering his first year of formation.

Tristan Stovall

Home parish: Holy Cross Philadelphia

Background: I was born and raised in the red clay hills of Neshoba county.

What is your vocation story? I was raised a Baptist. My first memory of Catholicism is seeing the funeral of Pope St. John Paul II on television. At the time I was awestruck by all the proceedings. I had so many questions about what was happening and who this man was for whom the whole world was coming to a halt. I became more and more interested as I grew up. When I was 15, I went to Mass for the first time at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. I knew then that I had to become a Catholic. At the Easter Vigil in 2014 I was received into full communion with the church.
I have always had a deep desire to dedicate my life entirely to God. This desire was present for as long as I can remember. Entering into the sacramental life of the church changed my life. I began attending daily Mass and frequenting the sacrament of penance.
The example of the saints was very influential in my pursuing a vocation to the priesthood. St. Catherine of Siena has always exercised an influence over me. Seeing her example of total dedication has constantly inspired me to give myself entirely to the service of Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church. I hope one day to receive the call to Holy Orders and to be entirely dedicated to the service of the church.
What draws you to diocesan priesthood?
The care of souls is what draws me to the diocesan priesthood. The care of souls means that the primary responsibility of the diocesan priest is to work for the salvation of those souls who are entrusted to his care. I believe that this is the specific ministry to which the Lord is calling me. This ministry is specific to the diocesan priest. I discerned the religious life for a while, but ultimately came to see that that was not what the Lord was asking me to do.

What are your hobbies/interests? I enjoy playing the piano. I also very much enjoy reading and traveling.

Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is Catherine of Siena. I love her because she has been a friend to me in my discernment. She is a “no-nonsense” sort of person. She was at once extremely joyful and serious. I think St. Catherine represents the divine humor which we so often miss in our faith. This 20-something-year-old, illiterate Italian girl was not afraid to confront the world’s most powerful people in order to carry out Christ’s work. Her life was profoundly ecclesial, she was focused on being faithful and ensuring the unity of the church, for which Christ prayed.

Do you have a favorite devotion?
My favorite devotion is lectio divina, which is the prayerful reading of the Word of God. I am drawn to this devotion because it brings me to a deeper knowledge of Christ.

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you? I was once part of a Southern rock band.

Who is your favorite sports team?
If my answer to this question was not “the LSU Tigers” my family would disown me.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a seminarian? And the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a seminarian has been coming to a deeper knowledge of the faith. To know God is to love Him. I have experienced this concretely in my life throughout my years of seminary formation.

What advice do you have for those discerning a vocation?
Don’t be afraid to give it a try. You have nothing to lose. You can’t discover whether or not you have a vocation until you try it out.

Meet Ryan Stoer

In preparation for our Homegrown Harvest Gala in the fall, which will benefit the Diocese of Jackson Office of Vocations, over the next several weeks we will feature a Q&A with one of our seminarians. This week, meet Ryan Stoer who is entering his fourth year of formation.

What is your home parish?
St. Richard, Jackson

Ryan Stoer

What is your background? (Where are you from, how did you end up in Mississippi, etc.)
I was born In San Diego, and I have lived in Ohio and New Mexico. I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico Tech. I had a few job offers after I graduated, but I ended up taking a job which required a security clearance. My parents had moved to Mississippi while I was in college, so I stayed with them as I waited for my clearance. During this time of waiting, I was told that I should consider the priesthood.

What is your vocation story? Who influenced you and why?
My vocation story is relatively simple. All it took was a single question. But, before I get to that question, I will give you a little of my background.
For much of my life, I considered success the highest goal. I did well at almost everything I tried. In high school I graduated as the salutatorian and I did well at swimming. I practiced and strived for perfection in academics, sports, and in everything where anyone had any expectation from me. I was at the top of my class at college, had everything paid for by scholarships, and had three job offers when I graduated. Two of those jobs would have started the day after I graduated, but I chose the one which required a clearance, so that I could come back to Mississippi, and help my Mom who had cancer at the time.
The clearance should have taken six months, but as new politicians and other civil servants were given clearance after the 2016 election, it took longer. I started applying to other engineering jobs, yet did not hear back from any of them.
Finally, one day, I was fed up, and went to confession. I told the priest everything I had done, he gave me absolution, and then he told me that God loves me and then asked me a question. He asked, “Have you ever considered being a priest?”
In response, I told him, “No, I want to have a normal life. I want to have a wife and kids, and I want a normal job.” Then I left. But what he said had stuck with me.
Afterwards, I talked to a Deacon at St. Richard Jackson and told him of my experience, and he helped me pray and discern what I should do. After a few months, I decided to enter the seminary.
A week after I entered, I received a phone call that said “Your clearance has come through, we expect you to report to work next week.” They told me all my benefits, my salary, and where I would live. I never thought that I would tell them no, and that I had started a new path towards the priesthood, but that is what I did.
That priest was Father Frank Cosgrove. For my entire life, everyone had looked up to me for what I did, and how well I did it. I was praised for my good grades and other successes, but no one, had ever looked at me, knowing only my sins, and told me that I was loved, simply because I am me. No one had called me out to think beyond success toward God. I think it was the first time I had felt the gaze of God and thought about something other than my own desires, and it became the foundation for my discernment.

What draws you to diocesan priesthood? And to the Diocese of Jackson?
What Father Frank did for me, I want to do for others. I want to enter into people’s lives: their joys and sorrows, their trials and triumphs, and show them that God loves them. I desire to bring God to them in the sacraments. I want to embody Christ and bring him into the practical matters of everyday life. I want to show that God enters into the suffering and evil, not simply to get rid of it, but to truly redeem it and bring out an even greater good. I would like to be a priest so that I can encourage others to develop their relationship with God, so that they can find lasting peace and fulfillment in the love that only God can give. I would like to do this in the Diocese of Jackson, because that is where I experienced God’s abundant love for me.

What are your hobbies/interests?
I like to swim, play tennis, go to the gym, read, watch movies, and hike.

Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is St. Lawrence. He was my confirmation saint. I picked him because he was funny. He was martyred by being roasted on a grid iron. As he was being roasted, he said “I am well done on this side. Turn me over!” As a teenage boy, I thought it was great that he could come up with a funny remark, even as he was being tortured. But as I grow older, I find the remark that caused him to be killed much more inspiring. The prefect of Rome told Deacon Lawrence to bring the wealth of the Church to him within three days. Lawrence, took the treasures of the Church, gave it to the poor, and brought the poor, lame, and widowed with him as he told the prefect, “These are the treasure of the Church.” I admire St. Lawrence for his courage, humility, and humor, and he inspires me to remember what is truly important.

Sister Thea Bowman: national witness to possibility of racial harmony

Sister thea cAUSE
By Father Maurice Nutt
Recently a fellow priest friend told me that a parishioner called him because she was troubled by the way that George Floyd was being hailed as a saint by the media. “He wasn’t a saint,” she quipped. The priest replied, “No, he wasn’t a saint, but neither are you and I, we are all sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.”

Father Maurice Nutt

We’ve watched the excruciating video of an apprehended 46-year-old African American man by four Minneapolis police officers, hand-cuffed face down on the ground as one of the police officers relentlessly pressed his knee into his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Floyd in anguish cried out, “Please, I can’t breathe” to no avail and became unconscious and died of asphyxiation. Moments after George Floyd’s murder and continuing on today protests have erupted globally in cities large and small. The protesters have been multiracial and intergenerational indicating that they are united in their quest for justice and racial harmony. The demands for racial justice and equality, an end to racial violence, and police reform have reverberated incessantly.
No, George Floyd was not a saint, but he remains a symbol of something much more insidious: the sin of racism. This sin is an ever-present reminder that some people and institutions who have economic, social, cultural, political power and privilege deliberately or unwittingly subjugate and oppress those who do not enjoy equal power and privilege. Some social and economic advances notwithstanding, racism and discrimination continues to plaque the vast majority of people of color in our nation.
Systemic racism has been present in our country since 1619, the year that enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of what would eventually become the United States. Thus, for four-hundred years African Americans have fought for justice and equality: a fight that has never been fair nor equal. Four hundred years marked by the era of slavery, Reconstruction, “Jim Crow” segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The struggle has been for the respect of their humanity and recognition as being created in the image and likeness of God — like all humanity. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Protest is the language of the unheard.” Protest is also the language of those who are tired of fighting and want the dominant culture to hear and to understand.
The voices crying out for the eradication of racism are not only being heard from the voices of the protesters on our city streets but from religious women and men, priests, laity, theologians, Bishops, and even from Pope Francis. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said, “People of color suffer discrimination and indignities not only from racist individuals, but from the very structures erected by our society that were meant to protect the vulnerable.” Pope Francis instructs us, “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” And still there is yet another voice of one who walked and worked among us and continues to call us to intercultural appreciation and racial reconciliation, Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA. Here is her testimony: “I can be a bridge over troubled water. I can take you by the hand and take you with me into the black community. I can walk with you into your community, and if I walk with you into your community, I don’t enter as a stranger, I walk as your sister.”
We have a Mississippian who was a national witness to the possibility of racial healing and reconciliation. Sister Thea believed that we all must work to tear down the walls of racial division in our segregated and polarized society and church by making the effort to truly be in contact with one another: to get to know another’s story, their joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams. She was emphatic that the church as the Body of Christ must first confess her sin of racism, make amends and come to a place of healing and reconciliation. Then and only then can the church be a leader in racial healing globally. Sister Thea said: “May the Spirit within us and among us inspire us to keep on keeping on, in our homes and families, in our communities and in our church. May the Spirit inspire us, and may we share our spiritual and cultural gifts with the church and with the world. We’ve come this far by faith. Can’t turn around.”
Sister Thea, pray for us!

(Father Maurice J. Nutt, C.Ss.R. is a Redemptorist Missionary. Reverend Dr. Nutt’s areas of research and interests include pastoral theology, homiletics, African American culture, and the intersectionality of the church and the work of justice.)

Bishop, other religious leaders call for change to Mississippi flag

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – On June 11, Bishop Joseph Kopacz and a group of religious leaders from all different faiths gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Peter to rally for the removal of the Mississippi state flag with its Confederate battle flag image. The movement comes about with the renewed focus on race relations in the wake of George Floyd’s death and in response to the peaceful protests by Black Lives Matter Mississippi at the Governor’s Mansion on June 6 by the community members present who called for the removal of Confederate symbolism in the state.
Working Together Mississippi, who organized the rally, is the state’s most diverse coalition of faith and civic institutions. The group believes that the state and country stand at an historic moment in the work of repentance from American’s sin of slavery and systemic racism. The current Mississippi State flag with the Confederate battle flag at its center conveys a message and history that the group rejects.
Mississippi is the only state whose flag still contains the confederate battle flag since Georgia changed its flag in 2003. In 2001, Mississippians voted in favor of keeping the current state flag.

JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz speaks at a rally organized by Working Together Mississippi for the removal of the Mississippi state flag. Many faith leaders were gathered for the event. Pictured behind Bishop Kopacz are Rachel Glazer representing the Jewish community, Reverend Stephen Cook of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Ronnie Crudup of the Fellowship of International Churches, Father Lincoln Dall and Bishop Joseph Campbell of the South Central Diocese – Church of Christ (Holiness) USA. (Photo by Joanna Puddister King)

At the start of the rally at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Bishop Kopacz said the mission for the event was to be “one strong voice in opposition to the current state flag.”
“We are looking to push [the flag] to be removed and be replaced by a flag that truly represents who we are in Mississippi and the 21st century.”
Bishop Kopacz also talked to the gathered press and on-lookers about the story of Joshua and Israelites and marching around the city of Jericho. “If you recall the way those walls came down, they had a long, long shout and that wall came tumbling down,” said Bishop Kopacz.
“So, our voices are strong to make sure that the flag comes down and that again this noble mission be accomplished with something that is so much better for our state at this time.”
The faith leaders gathered for the event represented many Christian denominations, as well as Jewish, Islamic and Muslim religious leaders.
Rachel Glazer, representing Jackson’s Jewish community, said “As the modern lynching’s of black people by police have risen to the forefront of the national consciousness, we can no longer claim that this issue is merely one of historical significance. To be complacent on this issue is to be complicit.”
Bishop Ronnie Crudup, Sr. of New Horizon International Church told the crowd, “By not changing the flag we are saying to the world, nothing has changed.”
He called upon State leadership “to let the world know, as well as the citizens across Mississippi that it’s a new day in Mississippi. It is a time of change.”
Overall, the church leaders present were not focused on what the Mississippi state flag would be changed to, but rather getting the current one down.
“Give us a flag that all of us can all be proud of,” urged Bishop Joseph Campbell of the Church of Christ (Holiness) of the South-Central Diocese. “For me, the Confederate flag is like a large splinter that in my hand every time I see it.”
Rachel Glazer reminded those present that we are all created in God’s image. “The confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi state flag is a mockery of that divine spark. It celebrates the dehumanization of non-white and non-Christian people. We cannot stand idly by while the blood of our neighbors is smeared on the flag over the very building where we expect those leaders to act in all of our best interest.”
Bishop Brian Seage of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi said, “We come together to ask Governor Reeves, Lieutenant Governor Hosemann and Speaker Gunn to come together and remove a symbol that has been a source of division.”
Only hours after the religious leader’s rally, Senators David Blount and Derrick Simmons introduced a resolution to let lawmakers vote to get rid of the Mississippi state flag.
On the other hand, Governor Tate Reeves believes that the flag should only be changed by a vote by the people. He was quoted at his daily briefing on Monday, June 8 stating with regard to a change to the Mississippi state flag, “that if and when [the people] want to change the flag that will be a decision they can make.”
Reverend Jason Coker of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi said that many call the Confederate battle flag history and said that many in his own family and friends hold tight to the current flag, calling it “their heritage.” Reverend Coker says, “But I have to look at my children every day and hope for a better Mississippi. It comes at a point in crisis – do you choose family, or do you choose justice?”
He says that question is upon us now and urged legislators to tap into the best parts of themselves and “into the bedrock of our Christian faith when Jesus was asked the greatest commandment in the entire Bible. Jesus said love God and love your neighbor.”
Reverend Coker says that the time to love our neighbors is here. “Our current flag does not represent over 40% of the state we live in and it doesn’t offer any hope for our future,” said Reverend Coker. “I hope we can come together … and find a group of people to create a new symbol for us. A symbol that doesn’t look backwards, but a symbol that looks forward in hope. Not just for me, not just for us, but for our children and their children.”
At the close of the rally, Bishop Kopacz thanked all for coming together to share their powerful voices on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle and said it was a “proud moment for all” and for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.
“We are all together. One heart, one mind and one voice.”

Meet Carlisle Beggerly

In preparation for our Homegrown Harvest Gala in the fall, which will benefit the Diocese of Jackson Office of Vocations, over the next several weeks we will feature a Q&A with one of our seminarians. This week, meet Carlisle Beggerly, who is entering his fourth year of formation.

Carlisle Beggerly

What is your home parish?
Immaculate Conception, West Point

What is your background? (Where are you from, how did you end up in Mississippi, etc.)
I was born in Jackson. I grew up in Florence. I now live in West Point. I have lived most of my life in Mississippi.

What is your vocation story? Who influenced you and why?
I grew up Protestant. In college, I read St. Augustine’s Confessions. This led me to seek out the church to which he belonged. I entered the church after instruction from Father Bill Voller in Hattiesburg. I felt a call to priesthood from the beginning of my conversion. I spent about a year and a half with a religious order. However, I did not feel it was the right fit for me. I left and went to law school, but continued to feel a calling to priestly life. After completing law school and working for awhile, I entered seminary for the Diocese of Jackson.

What draws you to diocesan priesthood? And to the Diocese of Jackson?
I am very much a son of Mississippi and Jackson Diocese. I want to minister to the people who have helped form me through the years. My family and friends also live here and I want to be near them in the future.

What are your hobbies/interests?
I paint religious icons. I also play the piano. Hagiography (writings about the lives of saints) is one of my favorite things to study. I also enjoy reading and music.

Who is your favorite saint and why?
I have many favorite saints. Different saints have assisted me at different periods of my life. St. Stanislaus Kostka is probably my favorite at the moment. He overcame many seemingly impossible obstacles in his formation for religious life and endured to a happy death. I find his intercession very powerful at this point in my discernment.

Do you have a favorite devotion? What draws you to this devotion?
I have a fascination with relics. For Catholics, the body and the soul are essential for salvation. I like praying before these physical reminders of the saints since they were temples of the Holy Ghost. I also like meditating on the fact that the holy relics will be restored to the glorified bodies of their owners after Christ’s Second Coming.

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I was an exchange student to Japan when I was in high school.

Who is your favorite sports team?
Manchester United.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a seminarian? And the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a seminarian is having my day revolve around prayer. The Eucharist truly is the source and summit of my life in formation. This is a great blessing. The most challenging aspect of formation is probably the length of time in formation. Six years is a very long time.

What advice do you have for those discerning a vocation?
Go to Jesus in the Eucharist. Stay close to Mary and Joseph. Seek the help of the Saints and Angels, especially your Guardian Angel.

Where can people send you a personal note?
I will be at St. Joseph’s in Starkville this summer or you can mail a note to me at Notre Dame Seminary.

Youth news

Pomp and pandemics …

HOLY SPRINGS – Cameron Walton rides in the eighth grade graduation parade around Holy Family school on May 15. In celebration, principal Tunia Sangster prepared gift bags for each student and tokens of love from teachers and staff. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

Thank you teachers

MADISON – Second graders show appreciation for their teachers, Mrs. Gail Kraft and Mrs. Beth Burns, in this heartfelt photo collage. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)

Public Mass returns to the Diocese of Jackson with precautions

Masses returned to many parishes within the diocese over Pentecost weekend, May 30 and 31, after over a two-month break.
While some parishes added more Masses, some are not yet ready to fully open, making sure they have all mechanisms in place to assure the safety of parishioners in light of the pandemic. Please check with your individual parish for proper procedure on attending Mass.
Several restrictions for the safety of parishioners include mandatory masks for those over age 2, social distancing, Communion in the hand only, no choir or ensemble singing and the sign of peace should not include physical contact.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz continues to dispense all of the faithful from the Sunday Obligation to participate in Mass until further notice.

JACKSON – Blue painters tape separates the pews at St. Richard to help ensure proper social distance is kept. Father John Bohn and Father Nick Adams celebrated Pentecost Mass with parishioners for the first time since churches were shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Beth de Gruy)
SOUTHAVEN – Father David Szatkowski, SCJ, of Sacred Heart parish distributes communion into the hands of a parishioner, while maintaining social distancing. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
OLIVE BRANCH – Queen of Peace parish welcomed Emily Mendoza into the church on Pentecost Sunday as her parents, Janie and Jeffery, sister Madilynn and sponsor Connie Hegwood look on. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
PEARL – St. Jude parishioners enjoyed a drive-in Mass on Saturday, May 30. Pictured are chancery employee, Carolyn Callahan and her husband (Danny) receiving Communion from Father Lincoln Dall. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

Inmigrantes deciden entre vida y muerte

Mensaje del Departamento de
Salud del Estado de Mississippi

NO se le pedirán documentos.
Las pruebas están disponibles en centros de salud comunitarios, a través del Departamento de Salud del Estado de Mississippi y en clínicas temporales de UMC, que hacen la prueba sin que usted salga
de su automóvil.
• Para obtener una cita para las clínicas de
MSDH/UMC, llame al
• Su información no se comparte con ninguna agencia gubernamental encargada de hacer cumplir la ley.
• Las pruebas positivas para COVID-19 no son
absolutamente nada de lo que avergonzarse.
• Es importante saber si eres positivo. Esto protege a su familia y lo ayuda a obtener atención médica.
Distancia social y lavarse las manos son importantes para prevenir la propagación de COVID-19.
• No vaya a trabajar si se siente enfermo.

Por Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – Durante la crisis de COVID-19 los inmigrantes se cruzan hoy entre la ayuda económica y su estado legal. Las medidas de “distanciamiento social”, los paquetes de ayuda gubernamental y los debates sobre cómo reabrir la economía se siguen con atención. Cada persona está contemplando su propia situación, cómo mantener a su familia o cuidando a las personas en riesgo en su propio círculo. Todo esto está dejando un lugar muy pequeño de caridad para los extraños.
Algunos residentes legales e inmigrantes indocumentados ahora son parte “esencial” para la sociedad por su participación en la entrega de productos y servicios, haciendo que el tema sea más confuso y controvertido.
Todos están en la “misma tormenta, pero no en el mismo bote”, según Kimberly Mukherjee, MD, profesora asistente de pediatría clínica de la Facultad de medicina de la Universidad de Tulane, quien, entre otros, buscan nuevas formas de atender a los pacientes de la población vulnerable, en especial a inmigrantes. El mismo sentimiento se comparte con varias voces que reclaman atención a los inmigrantes, desplazados y víctimas de la trata de personas.
La reciente legislación de EE. UU. para el alivio financiero a individuos y familias durante la actual pandemia de COVID-19 no incluyó ninguna asistencia a inmigrantes ilegales, pero también excluyó a los niños ciudadanos estadounidenses que pertenecen a una familia con un estatus migratorio mixto. Para recibir los $500 por cada niño menor de 18 años, los padres tenían que haber presentado el impuesto sobre la renta y poseer un número de seguro social. Muchas familias inmigrantes pagan sus impuestos, bajo un TPIN, pero debido a la falta de SSN, no reciben los fondos de ayuda por cada menor de edad elegible.
Otra de las preocupaciones es sobre los 643,560 adultos y jóvenes adultos bajo la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), aprobada en 2012 y pendiente hoy de una decisión de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos. Algunos de los beneficiarios son médicos, enfermeras y trabajadores esenciales en la primera línea contra la pandemia, y por ley, a la espera de la deportación si el estado de DACA se niega en el futuro.
Dauda Sesay, presidente de la Organización de Louisiana para Refugiados e Inmigrantes reconoce la intrincada participación emocional de los inmigrantes y refugiados legales, que son elegibles para los beneficios y temen que recibir los mismos. Algunos refugiados e inmigrantes legales están teniendo problemas con los beneficios de desempleo debido a la falta de familiaridad con el proceso, la barrera del idioma, las habilidades de internet y que declarar una reducción de ingresos se considere en el futuro como Cargo Público, lo que afectará sus intenciones de ciudadanía. o continuación de la residencia legal.
Existe una aprehensión nacional sobre la liberación a la sociedad de los reclusos infectados por el nuevo coronavirus. ICE también liberó a algunas personas con condiciones de alto riesgo, que no representan un peligro para la población en general. Amelia McGowan, abogada de inmigración del Centro de Justicia de Mississippi, ha seguido de cerca el número de 181 inmigrantes internos afectados por COVID 19, reportados por ICE 15 en Mississippi y 166 en Louisiana. McGowan tiene la respuesta a la pregunta: ¿Por qué los centros de detención son tan vulnerables al virus?:
• El hacinamiento debido a las transferencias regulares entre las instalaciones, el aumento de las redadas, la mayor colaboración entre el estado, la policía local y el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), el aumento de la detención de personas que huyen de la persecución y la tortura, en busca de asilo político y humanitario.
• Limitado acceso a productos de limpieza e higiene.
• Atención médica deficiente
Las familias con todos los miembros indocumenta
dos, algunos de ellos en centros de detención, dependen de sus propios ingresos y caridad del público, esta vez al final de la lista, cuando más de 36 millones de estadounidenses están desempleados y millones de personas están necesitadas.
En Mississippi: la ayuda humanitaria proporcionada por Caridades Católicas a las parroquias con familias indocumentadas afectadas después de la redada de ICE, el 7 de agosto de 2019, continúa. Después de las redadas, alrededor de 700 familias se vieron afectadas, principalmente trabajadores en fábricas de pollos en Carthage, Canton, Forest y Morton. Muchos han estado recibiendo apoyo emocional y fondos de donaciones nacionales y Extensión Católica a través de Caridades Católicas. Además del miedo a la deportación y la separación de la familia se suma al miedo a enfermarse.
Muchos guatemaltecos se vieron afectados en Forest. Monika Soto es tutora de inglés para el distrito escolar municipal de Forest y está preocupada porque los niños están en casa, enfrentando la agravada situación de sus padres, la falta de comidas escolares y de materiales de aprendizaje for falta de computadoras personales y servicio de internet para continuar sus clases, viviendo con padres que no pueden ayudarlos en sus deberes escolares debido a la falta de instrucción y las barreras del idioma que tienen muchos.
Monika también describió que algunos trabajadores reciben una carta donde se les considera “trabajadores esenciales”, pero si se enferman, los beneficios del desempleo o los fondos de ayuda no son una opción. La necesidad de ingresos lleva a un trabajador de una planta procesadora a traer la infección por COVID-19 al hogar, donde todos se enferman. Varios de ellos tienen miedo de admitir que están enfermos y siguen trabajando. Los inmigrantes se encuentran en una encrucijada con dos problemas, la propagación de la enfermedad y la falta de dinero. Esta situación se reproduce no solo en Forest pero en todo el estado y país.

Rose Ocampo, a leader in the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership, urges passersby in Maywood, Ill., May 9, 2020, to complete the U.S. census, while she maintains social Rose Ocampo, líder de la Coalición para el Liderazgo Espiritual y Público, insta a los transeúntes en Maywood, Illinois, el 9 de mayo de 2020, a completar el censo de EE. UU., mientras mantiene el distanciamiento social debido a la pandemia del coronavirus. (Foto del CNS/cortesía Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership)

Catholic Charities Bishop’s Ball goes virtual

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Typically Catholic Charities would be in the middle of final preparations for their annual Bishop’s Ball fundraiser at the Country Club of Jackson, but because of COVID-19 they’ve had to get creative with the way they raise money for the many programs they operate that help so many in need around the state.
So, this year, Catholic Charities is inviting all to support the fifteenth annual Bishop’s Ball fundraiser “at home” on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 6 p.m. through Facebook Live at, where participants can attend regardless of their location and dress up or dress down for the cause.
While the current health crisis has interrupted plans to host the event in person, the need to raise funds for Catholic Charities is as critical as ever. Virtual attendees will be able to participate in an online silent auction and raffle at that includes items such as an autographed Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey, a Joseph’s Studio 10-piece nativity set, a personalized comedy hour for friends and family by a professional stand-up comedian, art by William Dunlap, and a Godfather movie poster autographed by Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Francis Ford Coppola. Additionally, the auction and raffle will include lots of local artwork for every collector. People can join the auction beginning May 23 by texting bb20 to 243725 to receive a personalized one-click login for the auction event. Bidding begins on May 30. Raffle winners will be announced during the Facebook Live event on June 5.
The site is open to anyone, anywhere and items that are won can be picked-up the week following the Bishop’s Ball virtual event at Catholic Charities office in Jackson or shipping is available for an additional fee.
Most events are not complete without a cocktail hour and Catholic Charities virtual Bishop’s Ball is no exception. Colton Woodward of Fizz Mobile Bartending will be on hand during the Facebook Live event to demonstrate how to make the event’s signature cocktail. To participate gather vodka, lemon juice, two strawberries, a few fresh basil leaves, some sugar and club soda (for those 21 and older, of course).
Julie O’Brien, development associate at Catholic Charities Jackson, says “we would like to encourage folks to host a small viewing party at their home. We are even offering gift boxes that include cups, napkins, drink ingredients (including alcohol) and snacks.” The boxes have everything needed for the cocktail demonstration for up to 10 people and cost $250. Just call 601-331-1152 or 601-362-3758 by May 29 to place your order.
At the close of the Bishop’s Ball “at home” event the organization will be saluting essential workers in our community. “We want to honor healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, service industry workers and everyone who has kept our community going during this crisis,” says O’Brien.
For additional information, visit or call 601-355-8634.