Calendar

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

NEW ORLEANS Our Lady of the Cenacle Retreat Center, Women’s Retreat, “Finding Peace in Uncertainty” on July 9-11. Know that by depending on God in trying times, you are putting your faith into action. When we get caught up in the trauma of our trials, God calls us to depend on His power to persevere. We wait in faith, prayer and grace. Presenter: Father Paul Hart, who is director of retreats at St. Joseph Abbey and director of the preaching ministry office of the Mid-America Province of the Capuchin Order. He conducts retreats, parish development programs, and religious education workshops. He also serves as chaplain at Brother Martin High School. The retreat center’s capacity is limited due to COVID-19 and they are currently accepting registration on a first come first serve basis. A non-refundable deposit is required. Details: to register, contact the retreat office at (504) 267-9604 or www.neworleansretreats.org/retreats.

PARISH, FAMILY AND SCHOOL EVENTS

GREENVILLE St. Joseph, Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are needed on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Please come to 711 Washington Avenue if you can help. Details: church office (662) 335-5251.
JACKSON – Catholic Charities, Bishop’s Ball, Friday, June 18, 6:30 p.m. cocktails; 7:30 p.m. dinner at the Country Club of Jackson. Live auction and live entertainment. Dress is cocktail attire. Cost: $85 per person or reserve table at $1,000 for eight people. Online auction and raffles begin on June 10 at www.bidpal.net/bb21. Details: Charities office at (601) 331-1152 or purchase tickets at www.bidpal.net/bb21.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Blood Drive will be Sunday, June 20 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Father John Young Center. Walk-ins are welcome. Details: church office (662) 895-5007.
JACKSON St. Richard, Fourth of July Family Picnic is back! Sunday, July 4 after 5 p.m. Mass. Details: church office (601) 366-2335.

YOUTH BRIEFS

CLARKSDALE St. Catholic Community of St. Elizabeth and Immaculate Conception, Cornhole Tournament, Wednesday, June 2 at 5 p.m. in front of McKenna Hall. All youth entering 7-12 grades are welcome to attend and invite their friends. Wingstop will be served. Details: church office (662) 624-4301.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph, Vacation Bible School, June 21-24, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parish hall. Details: Contact Mary Ann Barker (662) 335-5251 for more information or to sign up to help.
MADISON St. Joseph School, Annual Bruin Burn Color Run 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run, Saturday, July 24. All proceeds support the St. Joe Athletic Program for the benefit of all St. Joe Athletes. Details: Beth Vanderloo at (601) 906-9501 or bethbailey68@yahoo.com.
MERIDIAN Catholic Community of Meridian, Youth Gathering, Sunday, June 13 at 4 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Youth sixth grade through seniors are welcomed. Details: for more information, please contact Angela Dove at the Parish Office (601) 436-6025 or by email Angela@catholicmeridian.org.
Summer Parish Battle: How well do you know your Catholic Faith? Parish versus parish for a battle of the wits, Saturday, June 19 beginning with lunch/registration at 11 a.m. and ending with 5 p.m. Mass. All parish youth groups are invited to form teams to compete in trivia competitions and physical challenges and end the day with reconciliation, rosary and Mass. Teams can consist of youth (grades 6-12) and adults. Team with the most points at the end of the day wins trophy and bragging rights for a year! Registration is due by June 4 and there is no cost. Details: Angela Dove at angela@catholicmeridian.org or (601) 693-1321 or (601) 436-6025.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Regnum Dei – Finding God in All Things, June 14-18 (Week 1) and June 21-25 (Week 2). All parish youth groups (grades 9-12) are invited to their summer camp program. You can choose to attend one day, a few days or a whole week and join the youth for their summer service camp and lot of fun. Cost is $50 for the week or less depending on the number of days you plan to attend plus the hotel costs. There will be hotel blocks for any groups wishing to stay overnight. Registration is due by June 4. Details: Carrie Lambert at the church office (601) 445-5616 or stmaryyouth@cableone.net.
PEARL St. Jude, Join Vacation Bible School – family style (for youth in kindergarten to sixth grade), Wednesday evenings June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Bring your picnic blankets or lawn chairs. The theme is Summer Games, centering on the life of Daniel. VBS will be celebrating a different Olympic continent (and saint from that continent) each week as students learn to train, compete and reach the goal through the story of Daniel. Registration is required. Families must register for each day and it will end 24 hours before the event. Details: Register at https://signup.com/group/444217444062 or call Stacy Wolf at 601-939-3181.
VICKSBURG (All parishes) Vacation Bible School “Camping in God’s Creation,” July 19-23 from 9-11:30 a.m. for kindergarten through sixth grades in the Vicksburg Catholic School gym and cafeteria. Details: Contact Lindsey Bradley at lindsey.bradley@vicksburgcatholic.org for more information.
Newman Connect App Please encourage your Class of 2021 grads to sign-up with the Newman Connection through the new Newman Connect App. This is completely free and it helps connect our young people to the Catholic Campus Ministry programs at the colleges and universities they plan to attend in the fall. Details: http://www.newmanministry.com for more information.

Youth honored with Bishop Chanche awards

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – When Bishop John Joseph Chanche arrived in the newly formed Diocese of Natchez in May of 1841, there were no Catholic Churches, only a couple of missionary priests, and his flock was far flung. He rose to the challenge and laid the foundation for the Diocese of Jackson. The diocese honors his legacy and thanks those who continue to build on his foundation with the Bishop Chanche award for service.
This year, Bishop Joseph Kopacz and the Office of Youth Ministry awarded 11 young people the Bishop Chanche award. Due to COVID, awards were given at individual parishes. The brief descriptions on these pages come from the Bishop Chanche nomination forms and offer a glimpse into the young men and women who serve the church today.

Carolina Acosta – St. James, Tupelo
Character: Humble, committed and hardworking
Activities: Altar server, lector, Christian fellowship leader at school
School: Tupelo High School, senior
Acosta was nominated by Mary Frances Strange, director of youth ministry, who said that Acosta lives out her Catholic faith by being brave. “She is one of those people that is hard to describe, because there are few like her. This past year I offered the opportunity for the newly confirmed juniors to help as leaders their senior year. I had eight that were interested. She was one of these,” said Strange.
Acosta helps lead a small group at the parish and comes to all service projects. This year, she even assisted Strange with the Confirmation retreat. “I was so blown away by her, she was the most efficient and productive help I have ever had as a youth minister.”


Anna Elise Crout – St. Joseph,
Gluckstadt
Character: Dedicated, enthusiastic about her faith and desire for growth
Activities: Youth Lead Team, parish and school cantor and pianist, school band, volunteer at Hope Hollow Ministires and MadCAAP

School: St. Joseph Catholic School, junior
Crout was nominated by Pam Minninger, the LEM for St. Joseph Gluckstadt, who said that she reliably serves her parish and Catholic school not only by being a dedicated and enthusiastic participant, but also serves in music ministry as a talented piano player and cantor. She promotes involvement in youth events such as DCYC to her peers and serves as a youth leader on the Youth Ministry Leadership team, which involves being an example of leadership as well as conducting (adult supervised) activities for younger teens and children in St. Joseph’s parish ministries.
“We can always count on Anna to not only participate and share her talents, but to also take a lead in her role as a Youth Lead Team member and also with a genuine enthusiasm for her faith and a desire to share her love of faith with peers,” said Minninger.

Emma Rose Dickerson – St. Alphonsus,
McComb
Character: Responsible, honest and compassionate
Activities: Vacation bible school volunteer, gift bearer, Jag2jag mentoring program, Life Teen, St. Alphonsus social committee, Volunteer at many school events and at WINGS and St. Andrew’s mission
School: North Pike High School, senior
Dickerson was nominated by William Jarvis, youth minister at St. Alphonsus McComb, who described her as having a sensitive heart to those who suffer.
“Emma’s level of commitment is something that we can rely on. We know that if we need someone trustworthy and reliable, that Emma can be called upon,” said Jarvis.

Maria Garcia – St. Therese, Kosciusko
Character: Dedicated, loyal, dependable
Activities: Altar server, bilingual lector, Rosary leader, CYO president, Beta club, Spanish club, book club, member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and volunteer at Shepard’s Touch Clinic
School: Kosciusko High School, senior
Garcia was nominated by Father Odel Medina, ST, pastor of St. Therese Kosciusko. “Maria deserves the Bishop Chanche award for youth because she is dedicated to help bridge the language gap between our Spanish and English-speaking congregational members. She is loyal to her duties and is dependable in all that is asked of her. She is a roll model for her family, church and community,” said Father Medina.
Garcia makes herself available to translate either verbally or written from English to Spanish or vice versa. She has a servants heart.
Father Medina also said that Garcia has encouraged and taught the younger children of the parish how to serve and participate in Mass. “She has taught several other children of the church how to serve as an altar server, say the rosary and participate in Stations of the Cross. Her positive outlook on life is infectious and others want to be around her and like her,” said Father Medina.

Kirstie Graves – St. Joseph, Meridian
Character: Integrity, honesty and selfless
Activities: Lector, choir, Panther Reads, Beta club, member of HOSA, soccer team, softball team, volunteer at Love’s Kitchen
School: Quitman High School, senior

Graves was nominated by John Harwell, office manager of St. Joseph Meridian. Harwell describes Graves as one of the most active youth at the parish and said that she helped rebuild the youth program at the parish. “She made is a priority in her life and she would always be here for the youth Mass and as many activities, programs that she was able to make. … When she starts a task, she does not stop until it is finished.”
“Kirstie is going to go on to do outstanding things as an adult but more importantly she will do her life’s work as a backdrop to her Catholic faith. I am proud to nominate her for the Bishop Chanche Youth Award,” said Harwell.

Anna Marie Lamanilao – St. Michael,
Vicksburg
Character: Kind, generous, and faith-filled
Activities: Violinist in choir, altar server, band, retreat team, key club, Mu Alpha Theta, mentoring team, Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, camp counselor at Camp Silver Cloud
School: St. Aloysius Catholic School, senior
Lamanilao was nominated by Father Robert Dore of St. Michael Vicksburg, who describes her as a wonderful example of how today’s Catholic teenager should live her life. “She is proud to say she has faith in God and is aware of His infinite love and mercy and the blessings he has bestowed upon her,” said Father Dore.
A member of St. Michael parish since birth, she has been involved in the parish in many ways, including Bible school, youth volunteer, CYO, choir, altar server and more.

Nate Leary – St. John the Evangelist,
Oxford
Character: Compassion, enthusiasm and self-discipline
Activities: Eagle scout, tennis, altar server, volunteer at Lovepacks and veterans home
School: Lafayette High School, senior
Leary was nominated by Camille Bianco of St. John Oxford and she describes him as a natural leader. “He is always willing to volunteer to help others, willing to be a ‘speaker’ for the prayer service, and willing to ask and answer questions at youth group. His enthusiasm for all he does, especially his faith, is easy to denote. The years it took him to obtain his Eagle Scout award shows that he is persistent and has self-discipline. He is fun-loving, yet serious about his faith. This combination makes him unique and he will be much-missed next year at youth group,” said Bianco.

Alida Perez – St. Joseph, Starkville
Character: Faithful, leadership and pious
Activities: Youth group, altar server, church choir, school choir, food pantry volunteer
School: Starkville High School, senior
Perez was nominated by Deacon Jeff Artigues at St. Joseph Starkville, who says that she lives her Catholic faith through her active participation in the parish’s youth group. “She’s involved … because she wants to strengthen her bond with God and her Catholic peers,” said Deacon Artigues.

Katheryn Prater – St. Francis, Madison
Character: Genuine, generous, leader
Activities: Vacation bible school team member, hospitality minister, Life Teen, cantor, music team member, Beta club, National Honor Society, volunteer at Our Daily Bread and Why Not Now
School: Madison Central High School, senior

Prater was nominated by Mary Catherine George, director of religious education at St. Francis Madison, who says it has been a privilege to work with Prater at the parish and witness her growth as a strong Christian. “She is a dependable, generous and service-oriented young lady. From my perception of her, she has shown leadership and moral character in all areas of her life,” said George.
In 2020, Prater spent countless hours preparing supplies and take-home kits for the parish’s Vacation Bible School “At-Home” program and even worked on a craft demonstration video with the program.
“Her assistance in our children’s events and youth program has been beyond helpful to me, to our staff, and to the volunteer ministers she has worked with. She makes time to serve in various ways and expects nothing in return,” said George.

Christopher Tonos – St. Joseph,
Greenville
Character: Honest, dependable and committed to his call to serve as a disciple
Activities: MC at Mass, Youth group, St. Vincent de Paul volunteer, tennis
School: St. Joseph Catholic School, senior
Tonos was nominated by Father Aaron Williams and Alyssa Ingram, director of youth ministry. Ingram explained that the parish has a Confirmation class outside of the youth program, so those candidates do not generally return to the program after Confirmation but Tonos did. “He comes back every week and meetings between regular scheduled events as well, [He] does more than ‘show up,’ he steps up. The example and honest heart that he has poured out and into the youth this year has been better than I deserve,” said Ingram.
“His authentic heart for Jesus pours out of him and into whatever he is doing.”

Chase Walter – St. Jude, Pearl
Character: Steadfast in faith, humble and leader
Activities: Altar server, usher, Vacation Bible School volunteer, Youth Alpha, Richland Mayor’s Youth Council, Mu Alpha Theta, baseball
School: Richland High School, senior

Walter was nominated by Stacy Wolf, DRE for St. Jude Pearl. Wolf describes Walter as a young man with the heart of St. Joseph. “Chase stands out not because he draws attention to himself, but because of his quiet, steady faith and dependability. He sets an example for his peers and our younger children, not by his words, but by his deeds and actions. He leads by example with strength and courage,” says Wolf.
Even during the pandemic, Walter has continued to serve the parish with grace. In addition to serving as an usher and alter server on Sundays, Wolf said that he has also continued to take part in Zoom Sunday School and youth activities, despite having a very busy senior year.

Featured photo Parish ladies retreat …

JACKSON – On Saturday, March 6, the ladies of St. Therese Jackson’s Catholic Women’s Association held their 39th annual retreat in the parish hall. Instead of a weekend away, the retreat consisted of one day for a four-hour period. This year the retreat theme was “Born to Build Bridges,” led by Father Alexis Zuniga Velasquez, ST. (Photo by Phyllis Mokry)

Stations of the Cross reenacts Christ’s journey

By Danny McArthur Daily Journal
TUPELO – St. James Catholic Church honored Christ’s journey birth to his death during a 1 p.m. Stations of the Cross service on Good Friday at their Life Center. Dozens of onlookers were in attendance for the bilingual service where church members portrayed 14 key moments in Jesus’ life.
Father Cesar Sanchez presided over the service. Mary Frances Strange and Victor Vazquez alternated reading the reflection in English and Spanish respectively, which tied how Christ’s story mirrors the current life for many migrants. Rodrigo Dominguez played the guitar and sang between each station.
The service lasted over an hour and encouraged attendees to commit themselves to show love to one another regardless of racial, cultural and national backgrounds and differences.

(Reprinted with permission of the Daily Journal – djournal.com)

Featured photos

Preparing Chrism oils …

JACKSON – On March 30, volunteers prepared Holy Oils for priests to take back to their home parishes, in the Community Center at the Cathedral of St. Peter. The oils were blessed by Bishop Joseph Kopacz the day before. This year, no Chrism Mass was held due to holding a Funeral Mass for Father Brian Kaskie. Pictured in front are chancery employees, Vickie Carollo and Fabvienen Taylor. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

Catholic Charities

JACKSON – (Left to right) Pam Hart, Community Relations Manager; Melanie Morgan, Marketing Director; Wanda Thomas, Executive Director; and Michael Crandall, Bank President Canton branch. Thank you to Trustmark National Bank for their generous donation through the Business Children’s Promise Tax Credit. For more information on the Individual Children’s Promise Tax Credit, call 601-326-3714. (Photo by Michael Thomas)

Stations of Cross

PEARL – St. Jude parish meet April 2 for walking the Stations of the Cross. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
JACKSON – St. Richard second graders reenact the Stations of the Cross. (Photo by Chelsea Hamilton)
CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth students perform the Stations of the Cross. Pictured left to right: Isabel Walker (Veronica), William Walker (Jesus), Luke Agostinelli (Simon of Cyrene) and Sam Stonestreet (Roman soldier). (Photo by Derrick Faucheux)

St. Joseph Altar

NATCHEZ – At Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary parish displayed their St. Joseph Altar for his feast day on March 19. (Photo by Maureen Irby)

Calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

NEW ORLEANS Our Lady of the Cenacle Retreat Center, Women’s Retreat, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” April 30 – May 2. Preventing and Resolving Conflicts from our Christian Faith Perspective Jesus preached and lived love, forgiveness, peace and unity. In this retreat we will be offered a deeper understanding of and commitment to Christian peacemaking as well as practical and effective human relationship skills to prevent and resolve conflicts. Presenter: Father Doug Doussan, who is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and is serving as Chaplain of the Archdiocesan Retreat Center. He received a Masters’ Degree in Liturgy from Notre Dame University and special training in Conflict Resolution from Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has given countless training workshops locally and nationally in inclusive parish organization, lay leadership formation, and consensus decision making. The retreat center’s capacity is limited due to COVID-19 and they are currently accepting registration on a first come first serve basis. A non-refundable deposit is required. Details: to register, contact the retreat office at (504) 267-9604 or www.neworleansretreats.org/retreats.

PARISH AND SCHOOL EVENTS

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth School, 21st Annual Draw Down, Friday, April 30 from 7-10 p.m. It will be held at the Norman Brown Building and Courtyard at the Cutrer Mansion, 109 Clark Street. One ticket admits two people to come and have dinner, beverages, and a chance to win $10,000. There will be a silent auction and live music by Gramm Phillips. Indoor and outdoor space for gathering so hopefully everyone will feel comfortable and safe attending. Tickets available from the school or church office or any St. Elizabeth School student. Details: school office (662) 624-4239.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick, Please join Father Augustine on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center for “A Biblical Walk Through The Mass.” All are welcomed! Details: church office (601) 693-1321.
JACKSON St. Richard, Small Faith Communities Spring Season. Several of our small faith communities are watching “No Greater Love,” the biblical walk through Christ’s Passion, from Ascension Press. There are a few groups that are meeting in person, but this is also something that you can do remotely. Details: If you are interested in joining a group or questions on accessing remotely, contact Debbie Tubertini at (601) 366-2335 ext. 107 or email tubertini@saintrichard.com
St. Richard School, Krewe de Cardinal, Friday, April 30 from 7-11 p.m. at The South Warehouse, 627 East Silas Brown Street. The event will be at 50% of the venue capacity. Details: email development@strichardschool.org to reserve your spot or call the school office (601) 366-1157.
JACKSON Sister Thea Bowman School, 15th Annual Virtual Draw Down, Saturday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building (will be live streamed). Grand prize: $5,000; Ticket cost: $100; Second chance insurance: $20. Proceeds will be used for instructional materials and operational expenses. Details: Shae Robinson at (601) 352-5441 or http://christthekingjackson.org/draw-down/ for tickets.

YOUTH BRIEFS
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, “God’s Wonder Lab” Vacation Bible School is scheduled for the week of June 21. Planning committee members and volunteer teachers are needed now so they can begin organized a modified in-person VBS that is enjoyable but safe. Details: Mary Catherine at mc.george@stfrancismadison.org.
MERIDIAN Catholic Community of St. Joseph & St. Patrick, Vacation Bible School, Volunteers are needed. Scheduled dates are July 19-23 from 8-11:30 a.m. Please consider donating time to creating fun, faith-filled memories for our children. Details: If you have any questions, call (601) 917-4566.

SAVE THE DATE
The Center for Pregnancy Choices One Mile Life Walk, Saturday, May 1 at Flowood Nature Park, 4077 Flowood Drive. Walk begins at 9 a.m. with registration from 8-9 a.m. The CPC is a nonprofit medical clinic that is here to encourage and equip those facing pregnancy decisions. Their two clinics serve Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties, offering real choices through their free professional medical services and Christ-centered support. Details: Register at www.cpcmetrofriends.org/LifeWalk or (601) 487-1063.

Father Goodyear nominated for Lumen Christi award

By Joanna Puddister King
PHILADELPHIA – At 72 years old, Father Robert “Bob” Goodyear had much to reflect on for his nomination by the Diocese of Jackson for the Catholic Extension Lumen Christi award, that celebrates Christ’s call to service to his church. Father Goodyear truly demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives – in his case, the Choctaw community.

PHILADELPHIA – Father Bob Goodyear at Holy Rosary Indian Mission in 1982. (Photo from the archives)

When he first arrived on the Choctaw Reservation in 1975 as a newly ordained Missionary Servant priest, Father Goodyear described the “mission” as “having a church workday to cut firewood for the elderly and sick.”

“They were surprised I knew how to use a chainsaw and drive a tractor,” said Father Goodyear – a call back to his very first missionary assignment to Clay county, Kentucky to an Appalachian coal mining town, where he learned to use a chainsaw, dig a foundation by hand and other various construction skills.

In total, Father Goodyear has been assigned to Holy Rosary Indian Mission for 31 years, but not continuously. He served from 1975 to 1990, then was assigned to a mission in Tennessee, then to one in Magee. He returned to the Choctaw Reservation in 2006.

The reservation went through many changes while Father Goodyear was away at other missions. “The dirt roads were paved. There are two casinos that subsidize the tribal programs,” he said.

Roads and casino weren’t the only things that changed. When Father Goodyear first arrived in 1975, Choctaw was the primary language of 98% of the tribe and today that is only true of the elders. Now, most are bilingual.

In his early years at Holy Rosary Indian Mission – a group of three churches consisting of Holy Rosary in Philadelphia, St. Therese Mission in the Pearl River Community and St. Catherine Mission in Conehatta – Father Goodyear read everything he could to learn about the culture of the people he was charged with ministering to.

He eventually gained the trust of the Choctaw community and with the help of three Choctaws he was taught their language.

“As I was first learning Choctaw, I quickly learned there are seven dialects of Choctaw on the reservation and when speaking to someone I needed to know what Choctaw community they came from. Words have different meanings, sometimes very different, in different communities,” said Father Goodyear.

After eight years of studying the Choctaw language, Father Goodyear began translating the Mass into Choctaw with the help of his teachers and an elder, who was the recognized expert on the language. Then with the aid of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Father Goodyear prepared the translation of the Mass to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and then to the Sacred Liturgy office in Rome.

Finally, after eight years with the mission, Father Goodyear was able to celebrate his first Mass in the Choctaw language on May 1, 1983 at St. Catherine Mission in Conehatta.

“The Choctaw language and culture are critical elements in Choctaw self-identity,” said Father Goodyear. “The role of the church here is to believe in the Choctaws, their giftedness, their beauty, their talents, their hopes, so they will believe in themselves as much as God believes in them.”

While his first assignment to Holy Rosary Indian Mission was characterized by “non-traditional” ministries, Father Goodyear learned and did the usual things an associate pastor would do – working with youth, faith education, marriage preparation and the like. When the sisters moved to their new convent building, he remodeled the old convent building and turned it into a recreation center for the youth.

With the Choctaws, he worked with the tribe every chance he could. He worked on a suicide counseling manual, a self-image study, the Choctaw Human Services Council, the Choctaw Most In Need Indian Children and Youth federal demonstration project, and with the Choctaw grant writing office to not only preserve their faith, but the culture and language of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

When he returned to the Holy Rosary Mission in 2006, Father Goodyear’s primary focus has been the preservation of the faith and the development of lay leadership in his three churches.

He developed a training manual for Eucharistic ministers that trains them not only to assist in Mass, but also how to lead a Sunday celebration in the absence of a priest and how to take the Eucharist to the sick and shut-ins – a resource used not only on the reservations, but also in other parishes around the diocese and even in parishes in other states.

As a staff of one, what Father Goodyear has accomplished is nothing less than remarkable. Not to mention, rising to the challenge of ministering during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports have the percentage of Choctaws affected by the virus at about 18%. For a time, Father Goodyear was tending to two to four funerals per week. He has spent a great deal of his time on the phone, writing letters and messaging on Facebook to give his support to those who are grieving. “It is important to know that they are not forgotten and are prayed for,” says Father Goodyear.

He has also spent much time reaching out to those who have been afraid to come to church because of the virus and has worked along side the tribe encouraging Choctaws to take the vaccine.

As COVID restrictions begin to loosen, Father Goodyear is looking to recruit catechist and reaching out to the children and youth again. This Easter, he will baptize nine children at St. Catherine’s in Conehatta and has 15 young people and five adults in RCIC and RCIA. “While attendance is down in my other two churches, the Holy Spirit has been working overtime in Conehatta,” says Father Goodyear.

He says that his focus now is preparing the reservation to assume more responsibility for the future of their churches. “It is unusual for a priest to be in a place for so long. It was not my “plan,” but it has been a blessing I never expected. In spite of the demands of being a staff of one for three churches, I have never been happier as a priest or feel more blessed personally than I am today.”

(Each Lumen Christi Award nominee receives $1,000 in support of his or her ministry, and the award recipient is given a $50,000 grant, with the honoree and nominating diocese each receiving $25,000 of the grant money to enhance their community and ministry. The winner will be announced later in the year.)

Father Myladiyil installed as pastor at Sacred Heart Greenville

GREENVILLE – Father Sebastian Myladiyil, SVD (center) bows his head as Bishop Joseph Kopacz and parishioners of Sacred Heart Church confer a blessing on him. Father Myladiyil was installed as pastor on Sunday, March 14 after being assigned as pastor to Sacred Heart parish in January by Bishop Kopacz. He takes the reins from Father Tom Mullally, SVD, who retired after 50 years of service. (Photo courtesy of Maurice Mosley)

Calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

NEW ORLEANS Our Lady of the Cenacle Retreat Center, Women’s Retreat, “Rise to New Life!” An Easter Retreat, April 16-18. Easter faith is the foundation of Christian life. During this time, we experience the new spring of life, a rejuvenating freshness that compels us to share our experience with the world around us. Retreatants will reflect on the implications of faith in Jesus’ resurrection for their lives and will be inspired to participate in the Spirit’s mission to recreate the face of the earth. Presenter: Father Glenn LeCompte holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a focus in Sacred Scripture from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Father LeCompte now serves the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux as Director of the Office of Worship. In his retreats, Father LeCompte combines his rich background in Sacred Scripture with prayerful music. Their capacity is limited due to COVID-19 and they are currently accepting registration on a first come first serve basis. A non-refundable deposit is required. Details: to register, contact the retreat office at (504) 267-9604 or www.neworleansretreats.org/retreats.
Women’s Retreat, “Making All Things New: Becoming a New Creation” April 23-25. Presenter: Father Joseph Nassal, CPPS. “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” This retreat will explore what it means to become a new creation and to serve with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for life. Father Nassal is the author of many books including: Moments of Truth, The Conspiracy of Compassion, and Premeditated Mercy. A former director of a contemplative house of prayer, for more than a decade, Father Nassal has been in retreat and renewal ministry. He served on the leadership team of the Kansas City Province and lives in Berkeley, California where he is involved in setting up a house of prayer for those on the margins. Their capacity is limited due to COVID-19 and they are currently accepting registration on a first come first serve basis. A non-refundable deposit is required. Details: to register, contact the retreat office at (504) 267-9604 or www.neworleansretreats.org/retreats

PARISH AND SCHOOL EVENTS

MAGNOLIA St. James, “Faith and Racial Equity” is a nine-session online experience from the Just Faith Program. It will be held every other Thursday, beginning April 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom. It introduces a framework for understanding and recognizing racial disparities and takes a deeper dive into specific issues related to power and privilege. There are three primary goals for Faith and Racial Equity: 1) Develop awareness of the ways that racial privilege impacts our communities and ourselves; 2) Through a deep dive into the Gospel of Luke, learn how Jesus’s teachings guide us in seeking racial justice in today’s world; 3) Learn practical tools for becoming anti-racist, and for effecting change in our communities. Cost: approximately $25 plus cost of the three books required for this course. We look forward to YOU joining our group. Details: Call Chris at (301) 266-0433 or send an email if interested to gracie_eddie@yahoo.com.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick, Please join Father Augustine on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center for “A Biblical Walk Through The Mass.” All are welcomed! Details: church office (601) 693-1321.

YOUTH BRIEFS

JACKSON St. Richard School, 8th Annual Krewe de Cardinal, Friday, April 30 in St. Richard Church Courtyard. They will carry on the event safely at 50% capacity. Details: To become a sponsor or to donate an item, email cmarble@strichardschool.com
MADISON St. Francis, Bible Break has changed days, time and location for now. They now meet Sundays from 4-5 p.m. in the Family Life Center lounge to break open the Sunday Scripture. All seniors are welcome. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.
St. Joseph School, 14th Annual St. Joe Bruin Golf Scramble (4 person teams), Thursday, April 8 at 1 p.m. (lunch and drinks provided) at Annandale Golf Club, Madison. Team and Hole Sponsorships Available. Details: Contact Dana Caskey at (601) 942-3870 or danacaskey15@gmail.com.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick School, Save the Date, Annual St. Patrick School Countdown, Friday, April 16. Tickets are now available from any School Advisory Member or at the School Office or Parish Office during regular business hours. Details: school office (601) 482 6044.
NATIONAL Catholic Life Insurance is commemorating the 244th anniversary of the American flag with their 24th Annual Poster Design Contest (for grades Kindergarten – 5th grade) and first annual Video Contest (for grades 6th – 12th grades). Judges score each poster submission based on the following criteria: originality, eye appeal, and them. Participants do not have to be Catholic Life members or of the Catholic faith to qualify. It is an opportunity for all children to express their creativity and originality while honoring a sacred American symbol. Entry forms and complete contest rules can be downloaded from www.cliu.com under “Giving Back.” Deadline to submit entries is May 10. Winning posters and videos are published in the Catholic Life quarterly magazine. Details: contact the Communications Department at (800) 262-2548 or (210) 828-9921 or email branch@cliu.com.