Priority reflection leads to Merton mission

By Lynn Kyle
WEST POINT – Members of Immaculate Conception Parish are focusing on life-long faith formation as their response to the Diocesan Pastoral Priorities. The parish hosted a three-night mission March 18 – 20. The mission provided an educational program and inspired those attending to have a more devoted prayer life.
The focus of the mission was the life and teachings of Thomas Merton, (1915-1968) a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and one of the foremost spiritual thinkers of the 20th century.

WEST POINT – Participants from Immaculate Conception Parish and several visitors from the surrounding area churches of Columbus, Houston listen to Ed Thebaud speak about Thomas Merton during a three-night mission. (Photo by Lynn Kyle)

He wrote more than 40 books of poetry, essays and religious writing. The mission’s program topics included Merton’s life and conversion, a reflection on his essay on solitude and another reflection on Merton’s essay on contemplation.
West Point parishioner, Ed Thebaud, was the guest speaker. Thebaud is an avid Merton reader and has participated on many occasions in retreats at the Abbey of Gethsemani. Thebaud has also shared his experience and knowledge about the teachings of Thomas Merton during retreats for the Dwelling Place in nearby Brooksville.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz launched the Pastoral Priorities last year and asked all parishes to select one or more as their focus for the next three to five years. Learn more about them at

(Lynn Kyle is a member of West Point Immaculate Conception Parish)

San Martín ofrece apoyo parental como parte del trabajo prioritario

Por Alí y Patricia López
HAZELHURST – Desde octubre de 2017, los padres de la misión San Martín de Tours se han reunido el primer domingo de cada mes para un programa llamado “Escuela para los padres.” Las clases son parte de los esfuerzos de la parroquia para apoyar la prioridad pastoral de la formación de discípulos de toda la vida. Fueron adaptados de un programa ya en uso en América Latina.
El objetivo del programa es apoyar a los padres que tienen hijos inscritos en la educación religiosa, especialmente aquellos que tienen niños que se preparan para la primera comunión este año. Los temas para las clases incluyen la comunicación efectiva dentro de la familia, la autoestima de los niños, los valores familiares, la responsabilidad de los padres de educar a sus hijos en la fe y la importancia de la oración familiar.
Jaime y Herlinda Martínez, quienes asistieron a las clases de capacitación en liderazgo parroquial en la escuela de ministerios ofrecidos por el Instituto de Ministerios Pastorales del Sudeste (SEPI) dirigieron la sesión de clausura, el domingo 4 de marzo. Las clases de SEPI son coordinadas por la Oficina de Ministerio Hispano.

(Alí y Patricia López son miembros de la misión San Martín de Tours)

Juventud hispana celebra el lanzamiento del libro de recursos

Por Melisa Preuss-Muñoz
TUPELO – El fin de semana del 17 y 18 de febrero, un grupo de jóvenes hispanos de la Diócesis de Jackson se reunió para un taller enfocado en el libro de recursos 2018 para jóvenes hispanos y adultos jóvenes titulado, Discierne su vocación siguiendo el ejemplo de María, un libro bilingüe de recursos pastorales para el Ministerio Juvenil Hispano. El libro fue preparado por jóvenes adultos bajo la guía del personal de la oficina regional del Instituto de Ministerios Pastorales del Sudeste (SEPI).
El propósito de este taller fue compartir la edición final del libro, que incluye un capítulo llamado Vocaciones diferentes escrito por el ministerio de jóvenes adultos de la diócesis de Jackson.
Los autores también fueron entrenados en el uso y promoción del libro en sus propias parroquias con el objetivo de ayudarlos a transformarse de feligreses pasivos a contribuyentes y finalmente, líderes de la comunidad.
Cada año desde 1980, SEPI ha coordinado la preparación y publicación de un libro en el que los jóvenes adultos aplican el misterio pascual a un tema que eligen y que es importante y relevante en sus propias vidas. Para iniciar el proceso, asesores adultos y representantes juveniles se reunieron en la primavera para seleccionar el tema. Luego, los participantes de varias diócesis trabajaron en el texto de sus capítulos específicos, guiados por asesores adultos.
En años anteriores, los escritores han tratado diversos temas como la libertad, el amor, la comunidad, la identidad y la evangelización.
Las diócesis del sudeste utilizarán el libro de recursos 2018 durante toda la temporada. Los autores de Discierne su vocación siguiendo el ejemplo de María usaron documentos de la iglesia, testimonios y opiniones de la Iglesia a medida que profundizaban en los temas. El libro también incluye oraciones, canciones, actividades y proyectos.
Aquellos interesados en recibir una copia del libro y capacitación sobre la implementación de las actividades pueden contactar a Verónica López, coordinadora del Ministerio Hispano para adultos jóvenes al 769-447-4005 o

TUPELO - Cynthia Vieyra y Gustavo Garcia revisan el nuevo libro de recursos bilingüe de 2018 para jóvenes y adultos jóvenes hispanos. (Fotos por Veronica Lopez)

Sister Michele Doyle celebrated

YAZOO CITY – St. Mary parishioners surprised Sister Michele Doyle, SSND, with a luncheon to celebrate her 92 birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Sister Doyle teaches two classes at the parish, one on Tuesdays and one once-a-month on Sunday. She also teaches classes in Lexington St. Thomas Parish, Jackson Holy Family Parish and at Madison St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Parishioners from Greenville St. Joseph and Indianola Immaculate Conception Parishes attend the class at Yazoo City. (Photo by Elsa Baughman)

Hispanic youth celebrate book release

By Melisa Preuss-Muñoz
TUPELO – On the weekend of February 17 and 18, a group of Hispanic young adults from the Diocese of Jackson met for a workshop focusing on the 2018 resource book for Hispanic youth and young adults titled, Discern your vocation following Mary’s example, a bilingual book of pastoral resources for the Young Hispanic Ministry. The book was prepared by young adults under the guidance of staff from the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI). The purpose of this workshop was to share the final printed edition of the book, which includes a chapter called “different vocations,” written by the Jackson diocese’s own young adult ministry. The authors were also trained on using and promoting the book in their own parishes during the Easter season, with the goal of helping them transform from being passive parishioners to contributors and eventually, community leaders.
Each year since 1980, SEPI has coordinated the preparation and publication of a book in which the young adults apply the paschal mystery to a topic they choose and believe to be important and relevant in their own lives. To initiate the process of writing, adult advisers and youth representatives meet in the spring to select a topic. Then participants from various dioceses worked on the text of their specific chapter, guided by adult advisers. In previous years the writers have dealt with diverse subjects such as freedom, love, community, identity and evangelization.
Dioceses across the Southeast will use the 2018 resource book throughout the season. The authors of Discern your vocation following Mary’s example used church

documents, testimonies, and opinions of the Church as they delved into the issues. The book also includes prayers, songs, activities and projects.
Those interested in receiving a copy of the book and training on implementing the activities can contact Veronica Lopez, coordina

tor of Hispanic Young Adult Ministry at 769-447-4005 or


JACKSON – Cynthia Vieyra and Gustavo Garcia skim through the new 2018 bilingual resource book for Hispanic youth and young adults. (Photo by Veronica Lopez)

Coping with school shootings: surreal part of U.S. students’ routine

By Carol Zimmermann
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Students in schools across the country have to navigate their way around classes, exams, relationships, cliques, cafeteria food and crowded hallways.
They also have to think about what they would do if someone with a gun came into their school, which seems all the more possible after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The students there now enter brand-new terrain that only students from schools where mass shootings have taken place have any idea about. When classes resumed at Stoneman Douglas on a modified schedule Feb. 28, they faced all their usual routines and challenges right up against the horrific memories of the fear and loss of just two weeks before.
At first, many of these students channeled their raw grief into gun control activism. They gave speeches at vigils and numerous television interviews; they marched and planned bigger marches. They challenged political leaders and businesses associated with the National Rifle Association to do more to stop the carnage they had witnessed. They coined a movement name – #NeverAgain – and spread its message on social media.
But these students – for all their passion and eloquence on camera – also have admitted to reporters that they have a hard time sleeping, or don’t want to be alone or are afraid of sudden noises.
And all of that and more is straight out of books and studies on post-traumatic stress symptoms after what they just experienced.
“What these students have gone through is unfathomable. I think it will be incredibly difficult to cope and move on,” said Rachel Annunziato, an associate professor of psychology at Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York. She said each student will have to find the support they need and to try different coping strategies. For now, she said: “the activism they are showing is heroic and may well help with coping as it could decrease a sense of helplessness and it also strengthens their support network. ‘
The high school has provided grief counselors to students and families since the shooting took place and Annunziato said that will need to continue.
“Some people, miraculously, are very resilient,” she said, but others can have a harder time and need help to connect with others to find healing.
She also told Catholic News Service that the impact of this shooting extends far beyond Parkland, as also was proven by research after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when those impacted by the events were not just the people who directly experienced it. For example, her own 7-year-old sons in New York have talked about the school shooting in Florida and said the students are scared.
In the Diocese of Jackson, School Superintendent Catherine Cook sent a letter to all schools to send to parents. “Please know that the safety of your children, faculty, staff and visitors to our schools is of the utmost importance and steps have been taken to keep them free from harm. Be assured that any and all threats of violence against an individual and/or the school community are taken seriously and will be investigated. School administration consults law enforcement and legal counsel, as needed, to apply appropriate measures for the safety of all,” it reads. The letter urges parents not to believe rumors and assures them they will receive communication from the schools if a threat should arise.
The day after the shooting, the National Catholic Educational Association issued a statement with a link to a prayer service in response to a school shooting and articles about how to talk to kids about these events and turning to God in times of tragedy.
As students nationwide – and particularly in Parkland – consider moving forward, there is one person with particular insight into this situation.
Frank DeAngelis, principal at Columbine High School from 1996 to 2014, was principal at the Littleton, Colorado, school during the 1999 school shooting that killed 12 students and one teacher. Recently retired, he is now an international speaker about school violence and its impact on communities.
USA Today reported that he already has given some advice to Ty Thompson, the Stoneman Douglas principal, telling him: “It’s the things you don’t even think about, things that will trigger the emotions. Teachers won’t know what to expect. It’s a day-by-day experience.”
And the day before the Florida shooting, DeAngelis, who is Catholic, gave a talk at Gregorian Court University, a school founded by the Mercy sisters in Lakeland, New Jersey.
He told students and faculty not only about the horror of the 1999 school shooting but also of the long and difficult road to recovery afterward, even for him.
He said he struggled with survivor guilt – and still does. He wasn’t even sure he would make it after the shooting but was urged on by his pastor, Msgr. Kenneth Leone of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Littleton.
The priest, who is now retired, told Angelis he had a “spiritual imperative” to rebuild the community. That inspired him at first to stay at the job until 2002, when all the students in the freshman class of 1999 graduated, but he ended up continuing as principal until 2014, when the children who were in their earliest school year in 1999, graduated.
At the New Jersey college, the retired principal said a key aspect to finding healing at the high school so marred by tragedy was reaching out to those who felt marginalized.
To illustrate that each student was “loved and included and that they were an indispensable link,” he gave each one a link in a chain that they forged together.
Today, he said, the chain remains for all to see in a prominent place in the school.

(Contributing to this report was Lois Rogers, who writes for The Monitor, newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton.)

Easter schedule for St. Peter the Apostle

Tuesday, March 27, 5:45 p.m. – Chrism Mass
Wednesday, March 28, 5:30 p.m. – Tenebrae
Thursday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. – Holy Thursday
Friday, March 30, 5:30 p.m. – Good Friday
Saturday, March 31, 8:00 p.m. – Holy Saturday
Sunday, April 1, 8:00 & 10:30 a.m. – Easter Sundayl
Sunday, April 1, 1:00 p.m. – Easter Sunday in Spanish

Parish calendar

CANTON Gray Center, Centering Prayer Spring Retreat, April 13-15. Retreat leader: Father William Meninger, Trappist Monk. This year will explore the Enneagram as a path for increasing one’s self-awareness, compassion and conscious living. Details: register at or (601) 859-1556.
METAIRIE, La., Annual Southern Regional Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, March 16-18, Copeland Tower Suites and Conference Center (formerly Best Western Plus Landmark Hotel), “I Am the Lord Your Healer.” Discounts are available for pre-registration. All priests, religious brothers and sisters, deacons and their families are invited to attend the conference at no charge, but pre-registration is requested. Details: (504) 828-1368; or

AMORY St. Helen Parish, book discussion on “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan at noon, Monday, March 12, in the parish hall. Everyone is invited. Details: church office (662) 256-8392.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis Parish, pictorial directory is planned for early Summer. Details: Margaret Weathersby at (601) 754-5554.
CORINTH St. James Parish, Mission on Reconciliation, Eucharist, Lent and Holy Week on March 12-14, noon and 6:30 p.m. Speaker: Father P. J. Curley. Details: church office (662) 331-5184.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph Parish teams with First United Methodist Church, 402 Washington Avenue, for Lenten lunches Wednesdays during Lent. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by meditation. Cost: $8.00 per person. Details: St. Joseph church office (662) 335-5251.
GRENADA St. Peter Parish, help needed for a St. Joseph Altar for the feast of St. Joseph, Monday, March 19. Details: Jerome Boudreaux (662) 809-4974.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit Parish, The Life of Christ Movie: A Holy Land Pilgrimage, Thursday, March 15, at 8:45 a.m. and Saturday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. Watch the Gospels come alive as we journey through the life of Christ in the cities and towns where he lived, died and rose again. Details: church office (662) 429-7851.
HOLLY SPRINGS St. Joseph Parish, The Life of Christ Movie: A Holy Land Pilgrimage, Saturday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. follow by a potluck. Details: church office (662) 252-3138.
MCCOMB St. Alphonsus Parish will host a St. Joseph’s Altar the weekend of March 17-18. Viewing and meal will take place March 18 after the 10:30 a.m, Mass. Details: parish office: (601)684-5648.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Parish, blood drive, Monday, March 26, O’Connor Family Life Center, 12:30 – 6 p.m. Details:, sponsor code: stmarynatchez or call Regina in the church office (601) 445-5616.

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, save the date, Vacation Bible School, June 4-8. Coordinator is Jessica Stubbs assisted by members of the Children’s Ministry Commission. Details: church office (601) 445-5616.
PEARL St Jude, save the date, Vacation Bible School “Around the World in 5 Days!” June 11-15, 9 a.m. – noon, ages three years – rising sixth grade. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.

ABERDEEN St. Francis Parish, Wednesdays at 4 p.m. followed by Mass.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis Parish, Stations and Benediction Fridays at 5:30 p.m., followed by a light Lenten meal in Serio Hall.
CLARKSALE St. Elizabeth Parish, Fridays at 2:15 p.m. (with students) and 5:30 p.m.
COLUMBUS Annunciation Parish, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. in the chapel followed by Fish Fry at 6 p.m. in the Activities Center.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph Parish, Wednesdays at 6 p.m. followed by Mass.
GREENVILLE Sacred Heart Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m. Mass and Stations of the Cross.
St. Joseph Parish, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. Knights of Columbus fish fry in the parish hall on March 23 from 5-7 p.m., $10 per person.
GRENADA, St. Peter Parish, Fridays at 6:15 p.m. followed by soup and salad supper, except for March 23rd’s fish fry.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit Parish, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. followed by soup supper. $1.00 donation per person benefits the poor in community. To help, please call Pat Kuehnel at (662) 996-6622.
IUKA St. Mary Parish, Adoration and Stations, Wednesdays at 9:20 a.m. followed by Mass at 10 a.m.
JACKSON Christ the King Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m.
Holy Family Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m.
St. Peter Cathedral, Adoration and Stations, Fridays 4:30 – 6 p.m. followed by a light meal.
St. Richard Parish, Fridays at 2:15 p.m. with the school.
St. Therese Parish, Fridays at 5:30 p.m. (English) followed by meatless soup supper and a message in the parish hall at 6 p.m. Sundays, (Spanish) at 1:30.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m., Rosary and Stations followed by a Lenten meal.
MERIDIAN St. Joseph Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m. followed by fish fry.
NATCHEZ Assumption Parish, Fridays at 5: 30 p.m.
St. Mary Basilica, Fridays at 12:05 & 5:15 p.m. followed by a Fish Fry in the Family Life Center.
PEARL St Jude Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m. followed by a fish fry.
SHAW St. Francis Parish, Fridays at 6 p.m. following Mass.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary Parish, Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. followed by Mass.

Louisville good news club

LOUISVILLE – Members of Sacred Heart Parish participated in a community-wide luncheon in mid-February to make money for “Good News Bible Clubs,” an after-school program taught in private and public schools in Winston county. Above, Linda Veazey, Carol McAdory and Theresa Bridges dish out the offerings from Sacred Heart’s table. (Photo by Paula Fulton)

Louisville good news club