Celebration of all things German

GLUCKSTADT – St. Joseph parish hosted the 33rd annual GermanFest on Sunday, Sept. 29 on the church grounds. The Gluckstadt community was founded in 1905 by German immigrants. Many of the decendants of the original families still attend St. Joseph.
Much prep work goes into planning this fun-filled festival. Families gather weeks in advance to can sauerkraut using a traditional recipe. In the days leading up to the GermanFest you can find parishioners preparing sausages, bratwurst, desserts and other German delicacies to share with the community.
This year, GermanFest was a hot one with temps in the upper 90s, but festival goers had lots of fun, good food and a variety of beer to sample. Children enjoyed games, like mini golf and won lots of goodies and treats.
This year, festival goers were able to see some featured German vehicles and participate in the second year of the beer stein holding competition.

(Above) What’s cooking? Parishioners have fired up the grills and brats, shish kabobs and sauerkraut are cooking for all to enjoy. No one had an excuse to leave hungry with all of that food! GermanFest boasts some of the best festival food around.

Youth news

Do you hear that?

COLUMBUS – Kindergartner, Samantha Toboada laughs as she gets her hearing checked at Annunciation school. Kindergarten and pre-k classes received hearing screenings on Sept. 25 by audiologists from Otolaryngology Associates, Ltd. (Photo by Katie Fenstermacher)

Flag Football Season

JACKSON – On Oct. 3, second and third graders from St. Richard and St. Anthony gather to play flag football. The first game was won by St. Anthony Madison and the second game was won by home team – St. Richard Jackson. St. Richard’s team receives awesome support from their cheer team. (Photos by Tereza Ma)

Blue Mass at Natchez Cathedral

NATCHEZ – Father Scott Thomas and third grade students present Sheriff Deputy Ashley Bennett with a thank you gift in appreciation for his hard work. (Photo by Becky Jex)

Dominican Sisters visit school mass

JACKSON – Dominican Sisters offer the sign of peace to St. Richard students during Mass on Sept. 25. (Photo by Meredith McCullough)

Grandparents Day at St. Anthony

MADISON – St. Anthony school celebrated Grandparents Day Mass on Sept. 20. Sullivan Hirn explains details of his artwork to his great-grandparents, Bob and Sue Thornton. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)

Guardian Angels Assignment at St. Richard

JACKSON – St. Richard students had a special school Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 2 to assign “Guardian Angels.” Sixth graders serve as “Guardian Angels” to second grade students to help guide them through their First Reconciliation and First Communion sacraments. Each pair will meet with each other for the rest of the school year. (Photos by Tereza Ma)

Southaven gets scaly visitor

SOUTHAVEN – Animal Tales recently visited Holy Family and Sacred Heart Schools with a variety of animals. Students saw animals from around the world, learned how the animals use camouflage for protection and how some animals became extinct. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

Fall festival season in full swing at churches and schools

Fall means festivals and events at our churches and schools across the diocese. Full of food, music, games and culture, these events are fantastic fundraisers that our Catholic community holds, but all are welcome to join the fun.
Although many festivals have already happened, there is more fall fun scheduled around the diocese. Consider checking out the following fall events:
FLOWOOD – St. Paul Trunk or Treat, Friday, Oct. 25 7:30 p.m.
JACKSON – St. Richard Cardinal Fest, Sunday, Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
GRENADA – St. Peter Harvest Fest, Sunday, Oct. 27, 4-7 p.m.
CLEVELAND – Our Lady of Victories Halloween Carnival, Sunday, Oct. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
MADISON – St. Joseph School, Trunk or Treat, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m. and St. Anthony Fall Festival and Open House, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2 p.m.

RIPLEY – A celebration of culture, the St. Matthew parish festival was held on Saturday, Sept. 21. Father Jesuraj Xavier and Deacon Francisco Martínez join in to experience a traditionhal dance. The festival is held after a procession and Mass at the church and includes traditional Mexican and Filipino food, as well as a dancing horse show. (Photo by Madeleine Hale)
NATCHEZ – Erica Smith, mother of PreK-3 student Piper Smith, works to sell paddles at Natchez Cathedral’s Adult Night as a part of the school’s annual fall festival. Paddles chances are sold for $5 to $25 a chance depending on the package value. Packages included a trip to Disney World, a New Orleans Saints game weekend and a $1000 cash prize.
Children and adults walk in anticipation of winning a tasty dessert on the traditional cake walk at the Cathedral school fall festival. The annual event was held Sept. 28 and 29 and featured midway games, adult night festivities, a petting zoo, silent auction, raffles and more. It draws many current Cathedral school families and St. Mary Basilica parishioners, but also many alumni come in from out of town to support their alma mater. (Photos by Joanna Puddister King)
CLARKSDALE – (Above) Kids contemplate what game to play next. Young or old, all ages had something to enjoy at the St. Elizabeth parish fair on Tuesday, Sept. 17. This parish celebration was started in 1937 and has grown to include prize drawings, a spaghetti dinner, a sweet shop, casserole booth, fish booth, silent auction, pony rides and tons of fun carnival games. (Photo by Dawn Spinks)

Blessing of the pets

Blessing of the pets ceremonies are part of the celebration for the Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, in remembrance for his love of all creatures. This time of year, people bring a procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to snakes, lizards, to churches for a special ceremony. The love we give to pets and receive in return from pets draws us into the circle of life and our relationship to God.

PEARL – (Left) St. Jude parish furry friends receive blessings by Father Lincoln Dall and Deacon John McGregor on Thursday Oct. 3. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)
MADISON – Crawford Kraft and Kaitlyn Rottmann pet her dog as Lorelei Shipley and Jamie Rottman look on at St. Anthony school, on Friday, Oct.4. (Photo by Michele Warnock)
SOUTHAVEN – (Above) Father Greg Schill, SCJ receives kisses from a furry friend during “drive a through animal blessing” at Sacred Heart school on Saturday, Oct. 5. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)
OLIVE BRANCH – Father Thi Pham, SCJ, blessed dogs, cats, hamsters and even horses at Queen of Peace parish on Wednesday, Oct. 2 in honor of St. Francis Day that occurs every year on Oct. 4. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

Taste of St. Francis event celebrates parishioners heritage

MADISON – St. Francis of Assisi Parish celebrates its patron saint with Taste of St. Francis, held on Sunday, Oct. 6. The festival honors the many nations and cultures present at the parish. Parishioners share dishes from their home country or a dish of their choosing. They are invited to decorate a table with cultural items or offer a dance or music from their homeland. St. Francis parishioners also enjoyed music from Deacon César Sánchez of Mexico. (Photos by Melissa Smalley)

St. Francis New Albany celebrates 70th anniversary

By Galen Holley
NEW ALBANY – Members of St. Francis of Assisi parish in New Albany gathered around the Eucharist, then broke out their dancing shoes and fired up the grill as they celebrated 70 years of community on Oct. 6.
Some 250 members, a robust mix of Anglo and Latino, sat in lawn chairs, as Fr. Jesuraj Xavier celebrated an outdoor Mass, serenaded by mariachi and ranchero-style music.

During Mass, members read a brief history of the parish, from the first gatherings inside the home of the Kelso family, through the years when the Glenmary Home Missioners staffed the church, to the vibrant, culturally diverse community it has become.
“This is really a family, everyone together, sharing food, having a good time and worshiping together,” said Mario Garcia, as he walked the impromptu midway alongside the church, amid the delicious smell of carne asada cooking on an open grill and the squeals and laughter of children.
Garcia’s daughter, Rosa, agreed, “This is an example of what community looks like,” she said.
As the music shifted gears, Cindy Gonzalez, Ella Zoniga and Monica Vasquez danced the Zenda Nortena, wearing cowboy attire and moving around each other in sprightly ellipses. Around them, parishioners lounged in the shade, eating tacos and tortas and sharing stories. Twelve-year-old Ashley Vasquez took a fearless, championship-quality ride on the mechanical bull.
For young Diana Pizarro, the party had deep symbolic meaning.
“There is a language difference here, but as you see, we don’t allow it be a barrier,” said the 23-year-old.
Parishioners read the remarks of Glenmary priest, Fr. Wil Steinbacher, a former pastor of St. Francis, who spoke of the architecture of the church. Steinbacher noted the comfortable courtyard, nestled between the parish hall on the north and the offices and classrooms on the south.
“The design was meant to symbolize two arms, reaching out to the community,” Steinbacher said.
April Stanton was delighted to see the children enjoying themselves.
“We have such a great mixture of young and old,” said Stanton. “We’ve all enjoyed the beautiful Mass, and food, and music, and fun, it’s just a great day for the church and for its future.”

Bishop Visit Brings Hope to Families

By Berta Mexidor and Linda Reeves
CARTHAGE – Bishop Joseph Kopacz travelled to Carthage and Kosciusko Sept. 29, World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to celebrate Mass and to visit Hispanic families of the two parishes affected by the federal immigration raids this past summer.
Mass celebrations were held at both St. Therese in Kosciusko and St. Anne in Carthage bringing families together in faith and as one big Catholic family. “I have been listening to every opinion, in favor and against, but everybody agrees the immigration system needs a change,” said Bishop Kopacz at one point, during Mass at St. Therese, as he talked about the broken immigration system and the call for change by people from across America.
Bishop Kopacz informed parishioners that only hours after the raids Aug. 7 on Mississippi food processing plants, people from around the country responded with support and concern for those family members involved. More than 700 workers, many undocumented immigrants, were jailed and separated from loved ones.
Donations poured into Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson from 40 different states and several organizations. “The willingness to help reflects a fact,” said Bishop Kopacz. “A lot of people care. That is the heart of the United States of America.”
Several Catholic communities of the diocese have been facing the consequences of the immigration raids over the past months. In emergency response, the diocese has been working with parishes to provide assistance.
St. Anne Parish, which Bishop Kopacz visited as part of his trip, is a focal point for crisis management in the area with many parish families faced with hardships struggling to pay rent and food bills after heads of households lost jobs due to the raids. Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Father Odel Medina, St. Anne pastor, is heading up long-term recovery efforts in Carthage as part of the diocese’s humanitarian aid efforts in coordination with Catholic Charities and other community organizations joining in the outreach.
Help is also being extended outside of the St. Anne parish family and other affected parishes and into the community-at-large to help families touched by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Father Mike O’Brien, pastor of Sacred Heart in Canton, and Father Roberto Mena, Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity and pastor of St. Michael Parish in Forest, are also part of the diocese’s humanitarian aid initiatives.
During the Sept. 29 Mass at St. Anne, Father Odel highlighted the humanitarian task as a new way to encounter Christ and his mission. “We live in a rich country,” he said. “Each one of us has wealth, …we are called to share and practice the word of God…, each one of us can change our own heart to care for each other.”

Bishop Kopacz recognized Father Odel for his role and service to the Carthage community. He also promised his continued support and help to the congregation. “Everybody knows that Catholics care for people and Catholics take care of the poor and underserved communities,” said Bishop Kopacz totally committed to taking care of and helping his sheep as shepherd of the Diocese of Jackson.
At the end of Mass, Bishop Kopacz greeted and talked with people attending the celebration. Community members also had the opportunity to express their concerns and questions to Luis Arango-Petrocchi, a lawyer and program manager of Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities Dallas of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
Catholic Charities Dallas is in collaboration with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson responding to the Mississippi communities most affected by the raids. At this time, both charities are working in Canton, Forest and Carthage providing social services.

Luis Arango-Petrocchi, program manager of Immigration Legal Services from Catholic Charities Dallas, answered questions about documents received on family member’s legal cases on Sunday, Sept. 29 at St. Anne Carthage.

Arango-Petrocchi explained that the charity’s Immigration Legal Services program is mainly focused on explaining and educating individuals about immigration rights. The charity is also helping families understand about possible legal outcomes depending on their individual case.
Arango-Petrocchi said that the crisis is ongoing explaining that involved legal processes and red tape takes time. “Some families will have to wait many years for the solution of their cases,” he said about the workers, part of parish families here in the diocese and once part of the local economy trying to work and make a better life for their loved ones. They will continue to be impacted for the long term.

What is a Blue Mass?

A Blue Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the church for those employed in the field of public safety, which includes police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and paramedics.
In the United States, the Blue Mass tradition began in September 1934, when Father Thomas Dade of the Archdiocese of Baltimore formed the Catholic Police and Fireman’s Society. That year, the first Blue Mass was celebrated for police officers and firefighters. The name comes from the traditional uniform color associated with law enforcement.
The church also celebrates special occasion Masses known as Red Masses and White Masses. A White Mass is for those in the health care profession, while a Red Mass is for those who seek justice (judges, attorneys, law professors, law students and officials in the legislative and executive branches). The Masses get their names from the traditional colors worn by each respective group. The color white for lab coats worn by doctors and nurses, while the Red Mass gets its name from the English tradition of red as the academic robe or hood color for those with law degrees.

CLARKSDALE – St. Elisabeth students give high-fives to Coahoma county first responders following the school’s Blue Mass and reception.
CLARKSDALE – St. Elisabeth school Pre-2 teacher, Katelyn Willis and student, Carson Smith visit with a first responder on Thursday, Sept. 12. (Photos by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)
SOUTHAVEN – Students and staff at Sacred Heart school wore red, white and blue for Patriots Day on Sept. 11. The day began with Mass, celebrated by Father Greg Schill, SCJ. His homily focused on encouraging students to step up when they see an injustice and to help others. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
JACKSON – St. Richard school hosted a Patriot Day Blue Mass, honoring all policemen, firemen and paramedics on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The service began with singing “This Little Light of Mine” and ended by singing “God Bless America” as a congregation. First responders received a special blessing by Father Nick Adam during Mass and then were treated to a special breakfast where they were given pocket crosses, prayer cards and a pocket St. Michael to carry with them while on duty. Pictured – Leighton Webb looks up at his dad, Stephen Webb. The second gentlemen is a Ridgeland Police Officer. Standing next to him, is St. Richard parishioner Justin Lancaster. (Photo by Meredith McCullough)

Yard sale brings much needed repairs

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Bargain hunters descended on the Carmelite Monastery off Terry road on Saturday, Sept. 7 to find treasures and deals donated by those in the greater Jackson area, who support the close-knit community of Carmelite nuns.
The sale, usually conducted once per year, was extended into a second Saturday on Sept. 14 due to the generosity of donations that poured in. “There was an amazing influx of donations, clothing, books, shoes, toys, kitchen ware, furniture and more,” said Sister Mary Jane Patricia of the Resurrection.

“We really appreciate the generosity of all who donated. And for all the volunteers who came and helped us during the sale.”
Funds raised from the yard sale are going to much needed house repairs for the Carmelite community. Sister Mary Jane said the funds raised only partially covered the cost of repairs needed.
The Monastery has been a quiet hermitage for the Carmelite nuns since 1951 and the home dates back to 1820. The nuns pray for the intentions of the people of the diocese and raise funds through their gift shop located on the property. To learn more about the community, visit www.jacksoncarmel.com.

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.