Grenada Parish celebrates St. Joseph’s Day

GRENADA – Members of St. Peter Parish sing during the blessing of their St. Joseph Altar on Tuesday, March 19. The parish celebrated the feast of St. Joseph in true Italian style with a traditional altar loaded with bread and other goodies. Pastor Father Arokia Savio concelebrated Mass at 8 a.m. with Father Manohar Thanugundla of Brookhaven St. Francis. Those gathered then went to the parish hall to pray a rosary, bless their St. Joseph Altar and enjoy an Italian Meal. (Photo by Michael Liberto)

Parish calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT
BROOKSVILLE The Dwelling Place, Life Lines: Finding the Pearl of Great Price, May 3-5. Life Lines is a writing experience in which the narrative technique of storytelling to focus on different life experiences is used. Facilitator: Raymond Komar, Ph.D. Begins with dinner at 6:30. Donation: $180. Details: (662) 738-5348 or email dwellpl@gmail.com for more information.
CULLMAN, Ala., Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, Common Wisdom: Parallels in Benedictine And Twelve-Step Spiritualities, Saturday, May 4, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. This reflection day will focus on the core principles of Twelve-Step spirituality and the gift of spiritual freedom that is experienced when these principles are put into practice. Retreat Director: Sister Therese Haydel, O.S.B. Cost: $30, includes lunch. Details: (256) 734-8302, retreats@shmon.org or www.shmon.org.
MOBILE Ala, Spring Hill College, Silent Ignatian Directed Retreats, June 7-15 following the the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Participants may register for either three, five or eight full days of retreat. The eight-day retreat begins with a short orientation on Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. and ends after lunch on Saturday, June 15. Five and three-day retreats may be taken for any five or three consecutive days during this time period. Details: Father Christopher Viscardi, S.J. at (251) 380-4662, viscardi@shc.edu and www.shc.edu/sics for registration information.


BROOKSVILLE The Dwelling Place, Life Lines: Finding the Pearl of Great Price, May 3-5. Life Lines is a writing experience in which the narrative technique of storytelling to focus on different life experiences is used. Facilitator: Raymond Komar, Ph.D. Begins with dinner at 6:30. Donation: $180. Details: (662) 738-5348 or email dwellpl@gmail.com for more information.
CULLMAN, Ala., Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, Common Wisdom: Parallels in Benedictine And Twelve-Step Spiritualities, Saturday, May 4, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. This reflection day will focus on the core principles of Twelve-Step spirituality and the gift of spiritual freedom that is experienced when these principles are put into practice. Retreat Director: Sister Therese Haydel, O.S.B. Cost: $30, includes lunch. Details: (256) 734-8302, retreats@shmon.org or www.shmon.org.
MOBILE Ala, Spring Hill College, Silent Ignatian Directed Retreats, June 7-15 following the the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Participants may register for either three, five or eight full days of retreat. The eight-day retreat begins with a short orientation on Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. and ends after lunch on Saturday, June 15. Five and three-day retreats may be taken for any five or three consecutive days during this time period. Details: Father Christopher Viscardi, S.J. at (251) 380-4662, viscardi@shc.edu and www.shc.edu/sics for registration information.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS
BRANDON Bay Point Golf Course, 2019 Knights of Columbus State Convention Golf Tournament, Friday, April 26, 8:30 a.m. Cost is $65 per player includes refreshments and lunch. Hole sponsorships available for $85. Proceeds will support the Retired Priest Fund. Details: visit www.kofc-ms.org/convention/2019.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi Cajun Fest, Sunday, May 5 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dropoff location for donations is the Social Concerns Office by Saturday, April 27. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.
NATCHEZ Holy Family, “A Southern Road to Freedom” a choral presentation, Monday April 15, and Tuesday, April 16, 8 p.m. The Natchez saga of African-Americans from slavery to modern times. Details: church office (601) 445-5700.
St. Mary Basilica, Adult Sunday School, DVD series from Saint Benedict Press, “Queen of Heaven: Mary’s Battle for Souls,” Sundays at 8:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. Details: Karen Verucchi, (601) 870-5388
Assumption of BVM, Line Dancing, Mondays 10-11 a.m. Details: church office (601) 442-7250.
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, calling all women, Rejoice and be Glad, Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Gather with us to come aside and rest a while and reflect on the words of Pope Francis. Lunch will be provided; no childcare. Details: (662) 342-1073.

YOUTH BRIEFS
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday, April 21, at 9:20 a.m. for children up to age nine. Details: church office (601) 856-2054.
Save the date, Vacation Bible School “Savior Stadium,” June 10-12. adult volunteers needed. Sign up for attendees and youth helpers will begin in May. Details: contact Karen Worrell at kworrellcre@hotmail.com or (601) 672-5817.
JACKSON Sr. Thea Bowman School, 13th Annual Draw Down, Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Building. Good food, entertainment, silent auction and door prizes. Grand prize: $5,000. Tickets are $100 and Second Chance Insurance is $20. Details: Shae Robinson at the school office (601) 352-5441 or www.theabowmanschool.com.
MERIDIAN Catholic Community of St. Joseph and St. Patrick, Baccalaureate Mass, Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick in honor of graduating high school students. Details: contact John if you plan to attend at (601) 693-1321, ext. 9 or john@catholicmeridian.org.
NATCHEZ Cathedral School, 35th Annual Cathedral Crawfish Countdown, Friday, April 26, 6-10 p.m. at Cathedral School Cafeteria. Details: school office (601) 442-1988.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Divine Mercy Holy Hour, Sunday, April 28, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Reception to follow. Details: Contact Mary Jerkins for more information at (662) 895-5844.
PEARL St. Jude, Save the Date, Vacation Bible School, “Surf’s Up – Chill Out with the Beatitudes,” June 17-21, 9 a.m. – noon, ages 3 years and up. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Fridays at 12:05 and 5:15 p.m.
Assumption, Fridays at 5:30 p.m.
PEARL St. Jude, Fridays following 10 a.m. Mass and Stations of the Cross ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. Following the 6 p.m. Stations, the Knights of Columbus will be preparing catfish dinners.
WOODVILLE St. Joseph, Monday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Renew introduces small-group series to deal with clergy abuse crisis

By Mark Pattison
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Renew International, which has been offering small-group parish renewal series since the 1970s, has put together a six-week series for parishioners on dealing with the current clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Titled “Healing Our Church,” it offers reflections, Scripture passages, questions to participants to ponder and statements from abuse victims.
“We brought in a lot more with the victims’ voices,” said Jennifer Bober, Renew’s manager of marketing and communications, who was in on all of the development meetings for the new series. “That was something we felt was missing from the earlier resource. Just the directness of the approach, the forthrightness of the approach in this, is different. It’s a different time, and people’s response is very different.”
The Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will employ “Healing Our Church” during Lent in a big way, with nearly 70 parishes — about 83 percent of all parishes in the diocese — offering the Renew series.

Renew International, which has been offering small-group parish renewal series since the 1980s, has put together a six-week series for parishioners on dealing with the current clergy sexual abuse crisis. Titled “Healing Our Church,” it offers reflections, Scripture passages, questions to participants to ponder and statements from abuse victims. (CNS)

Allentown had used Renew twice before, including its 2003 series dealing with clergy sex abuse, “Healing the Body of Christ.”
“We’re trying to do the best we can to meet the needs of victims of abuse, physical victims of abuse,” said Bishop Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown in a Feb. 27 telephone interview with Catholic News Service, but “the people in the pew are hurting, too.”
“Healing the Body of Christ” drew 12,000 participants when Allentown offered it 16 years ago, Bishop Schlert noted. “I don’t know what we’ll get this time. The success is not so much in the concrete number but who came, who felt comfortable to come, and who felt healing in some way,” measurements he acknowledged tend to manifest themselves in the long term.
“All of us are active in church ministry in some form or another,” Renew’s Bober told CNS, and when the latest revelations broke last summer regarding bishops’ roles in the crisis, a common reaction Renew staffers got was, “How can you stay Catholics?”
“We looked around us and we said, ‘We need to do something.’ We know that people are upset, we know people are hurting,” Bober added. “As news broke, we were reading more victims’ stories and we were seeing the power in them, and knowing that, it really made us understand the depth of the hurt that is going on. We wanted to empathize with the victims and for them to do that, we had to include their stories.”
Bober said, “We had (‘Healing Our Church’) small groups running in the office, as things were being written” to test the strength of the material being developed. “We had people within the office, some friends of people who work here from their parishes.” One of them, G. Madsen, a member of Our Lady of Peace Parish in New Providence, New Jersey, wrote in an endorsement for the back cover of “Healing Our Church,” saying that “this six-week program is a positive first step in healing the wounds suffered by faithful Catholics.”
Renew had considered introducing it in the fall, Bober said, but were dissuaded by Bishop Schlert, who wanted it sooner – and his words were used in the book’s foreword: “My people need healing now.”
“I never saw myself as cutting-edge on anything,” Bishop Schlert told CNS. “But my pastors embraced it and said, ‘We’d like to give this a try.’ That’s where the rubber hits the road, in the local parishes.”

Parishes calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT
CULLMAN, Ala. – Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, Weekend Intensive Centering Prayer, April 11-14, develop further the discipline of Centering Prayer and deepen your relationship with God. There will be extended periods of Centering Prayer and shared Lectio Divina. The weekend will be spent in silence. This retreat will begin on Thursday evening and conclude on Sunday with the noon meal. Retreat Directors: Contemplative Outreach Birmingham staff. Prerequisite: Introduction to Centering Prayer Cost: private room $330. Details: (256) 734-8302, retreats@shmon.org or www.shmon.org.
Holy Week at the Monastery, April 18-21 – Holy Thursday through Easter. Experience the three days of the Sacred Triduum immersed in the beauty of Sacred Heart Monastery, joining the Sisters in their silence and in their prayer as they celebrate the special liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. Limited enrollment; Silence. Cost: private room $245; shared room $205/person. Details: (256) 734-8302, retreats@shmon.org or www.shmon.org.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS

BATESVILLE St. Mary, Save the Date, Springfest 2019, May 17-19. Details: church office (662) 563-2273.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Knights of Columbus White Elephant Sale, Saturday, April 6, 7-11 a.m. in Serio Hall. Donations can be dropped off on Wednesday, April 3, 5-7 p.m. Contact a Knight member for large item pickup. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.
BRANDON 2019 Knights of Columbus State Convention Golf Tournament, Friday, April 26, Bay Point Golf Course, 8 a.m., four-Man scramble shotgun start. Cost is $65 per player, includes refreshments and lunch. Proceeds will support the Retired Priest Fund. Details: visit www.kofc-ms.org/convention/2019.
CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, Gospel of St. Luke Bible study, Wednesdays at noon in the meeting room. Details: contact Libby Antici (662) 624-4301.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Forgiveness Walk, Wednesday, March 27, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The walk is a silent meditative prayer journey reflecting on your own. Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Details: church office (662) 429-7851.
Lenten Talk, Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. with Father Greg Schill, SCJ. Details: church office (662) 429-7851.
JACKSON St. Richard, Save the Date, Cardinal Men’s Cub Flight to the Finish XI 5K run and walk on Saturday, May 4. Details: church office (601) 366-2335.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Good Friday Live Way of the Cross plans are underway. Volunteers are needed to portray various roles and help behind the scenes. Join us as we reflect on Jesus’ last footsteps. Details: Amy Hornback ahornback@mdot.ms.gov or call the church office (601) 856-5556.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica and Assumption, Blood Drive, Thursday, March 28, O’Connor Family Life Center, 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. Details: sign up at www.bloodhero.com (sponsor code: stmarynatchez) or Regina at the church office (601) 445-5616.
Cathedral School, Save the Date, 35th Annual Cathedral Crawfish Countdown, Friday, April 26, 6-10 p.m. at Cathedral School Cafeteria. Details: school office (601) 442-1988.
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Seder Meal, Monday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. for all Sacred Heart parishes. Details: (662) 342-1073.

YOUTH BRIEFS

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, see the Memphis Grizzlies and hear Sadie Robertson speak, Sunday, April 7 at 5 p.m. Cost: $15 per person plus money for food. Details: (662) 624-4301.
Alive in You Mission Trip, July 9-14 in St. Louis. Cost is $325 per person. There will be fundraising done for the trip. Details: (662) 624-4301.
JACKSON St. Richard Special Kids Art Show Saturday, April 6, 5-7 p.m. in Foley Hall at St. Richard. Details: 601-366-2335.
Sr. Thea Bowman School, 13th Annual Draw Down, Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Building. Good food, entertainment, silent auction and door prizes. Grand prize: $5,000. Tickets are $100 and second chance insurance is $20. Details: Shae Robinson at the school office (601) 352-5441.
GREENVILLE Sacred Heart, youth retreat, Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Locus Benedictus, Greenwood for teens grades 7-12 for the entire deanery are invited to attend. Details: church office (662) 332-0891.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Breakfast with Jesus for all First Communion children, Sunday, April 7, 9-11:45 a.m. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.

Students participate in service, prayer

SOUTHAVEN – Vinney Heeney helps load groceries for a client. Sacred Heart Students are participating in their school theme for the year ‘Mercy Knows No Bounds’ by volunteering all year at the mobile food pantry run by Southern Missions

Sacred Heart middle school students prepared for Lent with a daylong retreat led by members of the National Evangelization Team, NET.(Photos by Laura Grisham)

Preparing for Lent

SOUTHAVEN – Sister Margaret Sue Broker shows students at Sacred Heart School how the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday procession are burned to use as ashes to mark everyone’s forehead during this year’s Ash Wednesday. Sister teaches the students how this connects the Liturgical calendar. (Photos courtesy of Laura Grisham)

Freezing fun on Fat Tuesday

CLARKSDALE – Cold temperatures didn’t stop the students from St. Elizabeth School from celebrating Mardi Gras with a parade around campus. Older students threw the traditional beads and prizes from convertables to their younger classmates. Mardi Gras, literally Fat Tuesday, was a day to eat all the sweets and meat a family might have to prepare for fasting and abstience during the season of Lent. (Photos by Dawn Spinks)

Lenten Penance Services

BATESVILLE St. Mary, Thursday April 11 from 4-6 p.m.
CANTON Sacred Heart, Monday March 25 at 6 p.m.
CLEVELAND Our Lady of Victories, Stations of the Cross, Fridays at 5:30 p.m.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Wednesday, April 10, from 5–7 p.m.
Stations of the Cross – Wednesdays, 6 p.m., March 13, 20, 27 and April 3
GREENVILLE Sacred Heart, Fridays, Mass at 6 p.m. followed by Stations of the Cross
GRENADA St Peter, Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m.
Stations of the Cross, Fridays at 6:15 p.m. followed by soup and salad supper in the Family Life Center
MERIDIAN Catholic community of St. Joseph and St. Patrick, Thursday, April 4 at noon. A light lunch will follow. Donations to a local ministry will be collected.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica and Assumption Church will have a Lenten Parish Reconciliation Service with Bishop Kopacz at St. Mary Basilica on Sunday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m.
St. Mary Basilica, Stations of the Cross, Fridays at 12:05 and 5:15 p.m.
Assumption, Stations of the Cross, Fridays at 5:30 p.m.
VICKSBURG St. Paul, Thursday, April 11at 7:00 p.m.
WOODVILLE St. Joseph, Monday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.

(To add your parish service to this list, email editor@mississippicatholic.com.)

Parish builds New Life Building

By Elsa Baughman
JACKSON – Sunday, Feb. 24, was a sunny and cool day, perfect for the dedication of St. Therese Parish New Life Building. After several days of rain, the weather cleared and Bishop Joseph Kopacz, Msgr. Elvin Sunds, pastor, Deacon Adolfo Suarez and parishioners stood outside the new building after the 12:30 bilingual Mass for the blessing and dedication.
The construction of this building, which will be used for parish offices and religious education classes, began in February 2018 and was finished on Saturday, Feb. 23. The cost of the construction was $1.5 million, Msgr. Sunds said, adding that most of money from the sale of St. Therese school, about $500,000, and a little from the sale of Jackson St. Mary Church’s building in 2015, were the seed money to start the project.
“We also had very generous donations from parishioners and friends in the community,” he said. Msgr. Sunds noted the parish had two large donations, one for $100,000 from a Catholic Mississippian and $70,000 from a non-Catholic.
“A big help also came from members of the Hispanic community of St. Therese Parish who provided labor for free in the amount of $115,000. Joel Montoya, a contractor who recently received the Bishop Chance Award, coordinated the Hispanic volunteers who donated their labor. “We also had some volunteers from Jackson St. Peter Parish and from other area Catholic parishes who came to the site and asked how they could help,” he said. “I didn’t know them but if they wanted to help I directed them to the areas where they could work.” Montoya said about 45 Hispanic volunteers and a few Americans did about 40 percent of the labor including sheet-rocking, framing, insulating, painting,, brick laying and other tasks.
He said that few who had committed to help but at the last minute couldn’t do it, paid others to do it for them. “That shows how serious they were about being part of this project,” he said. Msgr. Sunds and Montoya feel very blessed for all the help and donations the parish received for the construction of the New Life Building and the day of the blessing they wanted to have a photo with all the volunteers as a memory for the future.

A loan was taken for the rest of the money, about $600,000, which will be paid in 17 years. Msgr. Sunds said Bishop Kopacz is very committed to making sure that St. Therese Parish is an anchor for the South Jackson community and a large anchor for the Hispanic community. “That is why he extended the loan a little further than normal so we were able to go ahead with the project. It was a project that was really necessary for the parish but it is also a statement about St. Therese Parish saying ‘we are here to stay.’”
The parish is very multicultural, including Hispanics, non-Hispanics, African Americans, and others from Vietnam, Africa, Nigeria, and the Philippines.
Msgr. Sunds said they tried to utilize as many of the sacred objects as they could from St. Mary Parish. Some were old or in disrepair and had to either be buried or burned. “We felt it was appropriate to bury them under the foundation of the new building as saying that we are continuing the life of St. Mary here at St. Therese,” he added. The Stations of the Cross at St. Therese are part of St. Mary Parish too.
Volunteers also helped with moving furniture and items from storage and from the current offices to the new building. After the blessing and dedication of the building parishioners gathered to enjoy a reception and cook out.

Feature photo … Women’s’ retreat closing Mass

JACKSON – Almost four dozen women from St. Therese Parish gathered to reflect on the theme “Be who God meant you to be and you can set the world on fire” during a two-day bilingual retreat led by the Redemptorist Fathers from Greenwood. The gathering featured group and individual sessions as well as personal free time. One member, Rosa Saldana, crocheted flowers for each woman to wear. Each flower had a prayer on the back. (Photo by Cathy Eaves)