Founding Father honored with plaque in German hometown

Father Aloysius Heick, SVD, was posthumously honored with a plaque in his hometown of Alteglofsheim, Germany on Oct. 27 for his extraordinary mission work in Mississippi.

By Joanna Puddister King

When looking through archives, you cannot help but see the name Father Aloysius Heick listed in connection with the construction of Catholic churches and schools in Mississippi.

Father Aloysius Heick, SVD, a German priest who traveled to America as a missionary more than 100 years ago was posthumously honored in his hometown of Alteglofsheim, Bavaria, Germany on Oct. 27, 2019 at St. Lawrence Church with the blessing of a memorial plaque commemorating his mission work in Mississippi.

This commemoration is through much efforts on behalf of Heick’s descendants, in particular his great-great nephew, Richard Heindl, also of Alteglofsheim. After seeing a picture of his great-great uncle, Heindl went on a quest to research the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Father Heick.

In the early 1900s, Father Heick worked to form churches and schools in Vicksburg, Jackson, Meridian and Greenville, in addition to the first seminary in Mississippi to train African Americans for the priesthood. Much of the work of Heick was controversial at the time and he often received death threats for his belief that all children, no matter their color, should have access to education.

An early assignment in the small Delta community of Merigold nearly cost Father Heick his life. In 1904, he was asked by Chicago millionaire, David Bremner, to establish a mission in Merigold for 140 black families sharecropping on his plantation. Father Heick started with about 12 students in a small warehouse in the downtown area, but within a week the school was closed. Heick was run out of town by whites, who did not share his passion for educating all citizen. According to lore, Father Heick narrowly escaped hidden in either a piano box or coffin and carted out of town to safety.

Father Heick is credited for baptizing over 685 people during his time in Mississippi and founding St. Mary Vicksburg in 1906, Holy Ghost Jackson in 1908, St. Joseph Meridian in 1910 and Sacred Heart Greenville in 1913. The Greenville seminary for African Americans was established by Heick in 1920 but was subsequently moved to Bay St. Louis in 1923.

To the German founded community of Gluckstadt, Heick was instrumental in the completion of the first church building in 1917, which was dedicated in honor of St. Joseph. Originally a mission, St. Joseph was named a parish in 2006.

Father Heick died at the age of 65 in 1929. After his passing, Bishop Gerow of Natchez wrote of Heick: “He might justly be called martyr to his missionary zeal.”

Descendants of Heick have traveled to Mississippi on several occasions to research his extraordinary life. Heindl, his wife and son attended the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph Gluckstadt and the 100th anniversary of Holy Ghost Jackson in 2009.

Pat Ross, parishioner of St. Francis Madison and descendant of one of the original German settlers of Gluckstadt, traveled to Germany for the dedication of the plaque in honor of Father Heick in late October.

“October was chosen for the dedication due to Pope Francis’ proclaiming October the Extra-ordinary month of Missions,” said Ross.

“The Catholics of Alteglofsheim are very proud of their priest and the work he did in the United States.”

In a letter to Father Matthias Kienberger of St. Lawrence church in Alteglofsheim, Bishop Joseph Kopacz stated that “Father Heick was committed to spreading the Gospel in some of the poorest communities of our diocese; and was dedicated to providing a solid education and faith formation to the underserved. We are forever in his debt.”

The plaque commemorating the extraordinary work of Father Heick was designed by Julia Heindl, Heick’s great-great-great niece. Made of bronze and steel, the plaque will occupy a prominent place on the wall of St. Laurentius church in Alteglofsheim.

In memorial

Michael Earl Raff,

JACKSON – Michael Earl Raff, a bold champion of civil rights, public service, the Arts and the city of Jackson, died on Oct. 23, 2019, at Hospice Ministries following a long illness. He leaves behind a broken-hearted family and a legion of relatives, friends and associates.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Michael was the son of the late Mary Nash and Earl Raff. The eldest of five children, his childhood was spent attending Catholic schools where he excelled in academics and sports, especially football. He developed a work ethic for which he later became famous. The family moved frequently during his childhood, and Michael often recalled the difficulty of attending seven schools in a five-year span. This gave him the resilience and the appreciation for friendship that marked his character.
Michael attended Notre Dame, majoring in business and earning membership in the coveted Blue Circle Honor Society. After graduation, Michael answered the call from God to the priesthood. He attended the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, earning a BA with Honors in Philosophy in 1965 and an MA in Theology, with Honors, in 1969.
His abiding sense of justice and disdain for bullies propelled Michael to Mississippi to join the fight for Civil Rights. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese by Bishop Joseph B. Brunini, on May 24, 1969 at St. Peter’s Cathedral, in Jackson – the church he served so faithfully, first, as an assistant pastor and, later, as a beloved parishioner. This is the same church where his extraordinary life was be celebrated on Monday, Oct. 28.
From 1969 to 1971 Michael served as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Ocean Springs, after which he returned to Jackson as executive director of the Mississippi Council of Human Relations to improve racial relations, to advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, and to act as a liaison for businesses, labor and government to work towards equal employment in state jobs. It was a fateful assignment for it was during this time that Michael met Linda Glass, whose commitment to racial equality was the same as his own. His resignation from the priesthood and marriage to Linda created a partnership for social justice that is unequaled in our time. They each supported the other in their ministries to care for “the least of these.” Their marriage has been a source of delight and inspiration to all who know them.
Instrumental in the founding of Legal Services, Michael developed legal assistance to the poor from 1978 through 1983. He brought his skill in advocacy to the Mississippi Legislature. His experience with Legal Services and battles against unfair energy services led him to run for Public Service Commissioner, a race he lost by a heartbreakingly small margin. Michaels’ expertise in public service led him to work for two governors and for several Jackson mayors, as he developed and administered programs for the poor, the homeless, the young, the old, the hungry and the otherwise forgotten. Along the way, he has accumulated honors only Princes of the Realm accrue: The NAACP Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner Award to Individuals Contributing Most to the Political Power for All Citizens; The Southern Center for Human Rights “Founders Award for Advancing the Cause of Justice;” the Association of Community Action Award for Outstanding Dedicated Service; the Mississippi Religious Leadership Founder Award for Exemplifying Ideals of Peace and Justice; the Center for Justice’s Champion of Justice Award; and the Friendship Ball Honoree in 2000.
But most people reading this will remember Michael best as the Pasta Man and, later, as the consummate and abiding host at Thalia Mara. Beginning in 1989, Michael opened “My Favorite Spaghetti,” in a closed service station on the corner of Jefferson and High Streets. A total departure from his public service career, My Favorite Spaghetti was a great success; Jackson’s first healthy option for fast food. Doris Ward was his mainstay, but he hired his children and many of their friends and taught them the famous Raff work ethic, which is still talked about to this day. Michael talked about them too, relishing in and taking pride in their successes in life.
A kind and gentle single-mindedness of purpose is what folks remember about Michael’s work as Director of Cultural Services for the City of Jackson, his final and, according to him, favorite job. As Director of Cultural Services, Michael oversaw Thalia Mara Hall, Smith Robertson Museum, The Arts Center and the Municipal Art Center. He supported the efforts of the Museum of Art, Ballet MS, the IBC, the Symphony, the Muslim Museum, MS Opera and Very Special Arts.
At Thalia Mara, Michael advocated for and oversaw the refurbishment of the auditorium, a Herculean effort, completed in 2014. No one who saw him, battling arthritis and struggling to walk, will ever forget the transcendent joy the gift of being at Thalia Mara brought him. He retired in November 2018.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Richard and Mark Raff and Linda’s parents, Marvin and Mary Emma Glass. Surviving him are his beloved wife Linda; daughter Lauren (Ney) and children Clayton and Olivia; and son Matthew (Ginger) and children Mary Emma and Nash. He is also survived by his sister Sharon Kelly (Jerry); his sister Margie Labelle (Ron) and their children and grandchildren; and Linda’s sisters, Sandra Waide (David) and Mary Beth (Roland) and their children and grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to Catholic Charities or The Mississippi Center for Justice.

Parish celebrates El Día de los Muertos

By Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – A Mexican altar at the entrance of the church, a family’s “kermes,” rosaries and a Mass, reflect how parishioners of St Therese celebrated the All Souls’ Day (El Día de Los Muertos), during the first weekend of November.
At St. Therese, this is the third year that Latin American parishioners have staged a traditional Mexican altar in memory of the family members that passed. During the event, the altar received pictures of the dead, food and drinks that the dead enjoyed in life, as well as, plenty of paper crafts and sugar figurines. In the days before the parish festivities, the parish’s youth group built the altar, carrying on the tradition of their parents.
It is a Mexican tradition to gather around the altar and celebrate as a family, the memories of those who are waiting for the resurrection in another place.

Coincidentally, the large family of the Latino community of St. Therese had a fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 2 where parishioners enjoyed a family gathering on St. Therese’s fields for hours, even under the inclement weather of a cold morning, to enjoy soccer and other games, food and Christian brotherhood. The weather improved during the day and the celebration ended up being a huge success, raising more than $7,000.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, parishioners concluded all of the celebrations with a Mass in Spanish for Father Juan, priest of Santa Teresa.
From the Gospel, Father Juan illustrated the example of Zacchaeus. Like Zacchaeus, every Christian should have an open heart that wants to see Jesus, welcoming him for only one day, today.
“Today, that is the most important day for all of us,” said Father Juan. “Today, we may be looking for the Lord, as Zacchaeus did and, in the end, due to conversion, to feel the true happiness, the happiness that only Jesus provides,” he concluded.
At the close of Mass, Father Juan blessed the Jorge and Rosita Valderas’ family celebrating 42 years of marriage, and the family with the responsibility to pray for vocations, during the week. The congregation also congratulated Joel and Rosalinda Montoya, who received a Family of the Month certificate from Ben Mokry, Treasurer of Council 8285 of the Knights of Columbus. Father Juan thanked all parishioners for their support and with a prayer to St. Michael, he dismissed all to return to the routine of today’s life.

Ministers unite to build fellowship and community

CLARKSDALE – The youth director in Clarksdale is still getting settled in his new parish position but has already launched an exciting new ecumenical program that is bringing youth and adults of various faiths and backgrounds together in unity and in the love of Christ.
Meet Derrick Faucheux, youth director of Clarksdale’s St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish and School and Immaculate Conception. “When I was in Greenwood, North Greenwood Baptist Church would put on this event. I was always impressed with it so I had an idea that we could bring it here,” said Faucheux about the new program “5th Quarter,” taking place after local high school football games and receiving a great deal of attention.
Faucheux arrived to Clarksdale in July with his wife Mary. He is the former youth director of Greenwood’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and St. Francis of Assisi for the past three years. Shortly after arriving in Clarksdale, he met with Todd Bailey, youth director of Clarksdale Baptist Church and Chandler Nail, youth director of Clarksdale United Methodist Church.

Faucheux said the ministers welcomed him with open arms and took him “under their wings” giving him information about the small community of nearly 16,000 in the northwestern region of the diocese and an insight into the needs and opportunities of the youth there. “I’m so appreciative of these guys and the love they have for the youth of Clarksdale. They just don’t care about their individual youth groups but care for all the youth in town,” said Faucheux.
After meetings, discussions and brainstorming sessions, the men came up with the idea to create events throughout the year designed to merge the various youth groups from the different Christian organizations in events and activities. “That is when the idea of the “5th Quarter” came to be,” said Faucheux.
The new program takes place after the local private high school’s Colts take the football field. Lee Academy with its Colts is a private high school with an enrollment of more than 400 youngsters and the football games are a highlight for everyone in town.
Faucheux and the other two youth ministers team up organizing 5th Quarter nights that include an array of activities including sports, food and games. The events are rotated and held at the different church grounds.
The youth event still new has been well attended during football season according to Faucheux with an average of 50 youngsters coming to each event. He hopes that interests will grow as word spreads about the program. “All youth in town are welcome and invited. We have a very diverse group of youth from both the public and private schools.”
Bailey, happy with the success of the program, pointed out that 5th Quarter is twofold. First, it brings youngsters of the community together in fellowship and to enjoy activities in a safe Christian environment with adult chaperones. Parents, volunteers from the various churches and people from the community-at-large are also meeting, socializing and uniting as they get involved to help in efforts. “It’s not about us but about churches coming together to help these kids,” he said.
Jordan Bryant who is a volunteer worship musician believes that “5th Quarter” is unique, helping establish a greater sense of community in Clarksdale and connecting people of all backgrounds and faiths as brothers and sisters in Christ.
“It’s important for the community to come together and put aside the denominational and racial barriers that divide us,” said Bryant. “We must be in one accord in Christ.”
Oct. 25 marks the conclusion of 5th Quarter for this year. The ministers are hoping to bring the program back next year but are also continuing to collaborate and work together throughout the year on other projects. Nail is challenging members of his United Methodist Church and other citizens of the community to get involved. “We need to let down our own barriers because in the end we worship the same God,” Nail said.

In memoriam

Father Jeremiah Francis Corcoran

GREENVILLE – The funeral Mass for Rev. Jeremiah Francis Corcoran, known as Father Frank, was held on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at St. Joseph Greenville. He passed away Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 at Delta Regional Medical Center.
He was born Dec. 3, 1930 in Nenagh Co. Tipperary, Ireland to Jeremiah and Julia Mary Corcoran. He was one of eleven children (6 girls and 5 boys). He attended school in Nenagh but went to St. Flannan’s College Ennis, Co. Clare for his high school education and graduated from there in 1948.
His family were active Catholics and prayer, especially recitation of the Rosary, was very strong. Increase of vocations to priesthood was part of those prayers.
In 1948 Father Frank went to St. Patrick Seminary in Carlow to study for the priesthood and was ordained there on June 6, 1954. It was there he met a fellow student named Paddy Haugh who had signed for the Natchez diocese in Mississippi. Paddy had an uncle in that diocese named Monsignor Carey. Father Frank made the decision to study for the Diocese of Natchez. However, Paddy died a year before ordination.
When he came to Mississippi in 1954, he was assigned by his Bishop to Pascagoula, Miss. His first pastor was Monsignor Carey. Father Frank served throughout Mississippi beginning in 1954. He served as assistant at Our Lady of Victories Pascagoula; St. Peter Cathedral Jackson; St. Therese Jackson; and St. Paul Church, Vicksburg. He was Chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg and founding Pastor of St. Michael Vicksburg. Father Frank was Diocesan Director of C.C.D., Director of Vocations, Director of Irish Missionary Vocations and sat on the College of Consultors for 3 years. He was Pastor at St. Patrick Meridian; St. Joseph Greenville; St. Therese Jackson; St. John Crystal Springs and its mission St. Martin Hazlehurst. In 2004 he retired to St. Joseph Greenville and at the time of his death he had served for 65 years as a Priest.
Father Frank was preceded in death by parents Jeremiah and Julia Mary Corcoran; brothers, Michael Corcoran (Margaret), Maurice Corcoran and Willie Corcoran; and sisters, Olivia Hayes (James), Eva Creedon (Peter) and Joan Morris (Jimmy).
He is survived by 3 sisters, Mary Dagg, Patricia O’Brien and Ann Flannery (Frank) and brother, Danny Corcoran (Maureen).
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Joseph Greenville.

Sister Loretta Beyer

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – Sister Loretta Beyer, 82 died unexpectedly on Sept. 30, 2019, at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls, Minn.
Loretta Pauline was born on Nov. 27, 1936, in Brushvale, Minn. She was the second of 12 children born to the late Alphonse and Mary Gertrude (Miranowski) Beyer. She attended grade school in Campbell, Minn., and attended St. Francis High School in Little Falls, Minn. Her aunt, Sister Mary David Miranowski, was a member of the Franciscan Sisters.
Loretta entered the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls on July 31, 1954, was accepted as a Franciscan Sister on July 31, 1955 and given the name, Sister M. Loyola. She was a Franciscan Sister for 64 years.
Sister Loretta ministered in St. Cloud, Little Falls and Onamia, Minn. In 1972 Sister Loretta, along with Sisters Louise McKigney and Beverly Weidner, heard the Franciscan call to step out of the “safe zone” and work among the poor as they challenged racism in Holmes County, Miss. They joined a black-led community organizing effort to protest discrimination in hiring and police brutality. In 1982, she and Sister Louise McKigney spent 30 days in jail and received a taste of “justice” usually reserved for black prisoners. The three sisters received the Rural Organizing Worker Reward in 1988 and the Unsung Heroes, Mississippi, Award in 1989. In 2003 they received the Franciscan Federation Reconciler Award at the Federation Conference in Detroit, Mich. Another of Sister Loretta’s contributions was converting weedy vacant lots into gardens. With the help of children and other community members, they supplied vegetables to needy families.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place at St. Francis Convent on Oct. 8. Arrangements were by Shelley Funeral Chapel, Little Falls. Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.

Parish calendar


CHATAWA St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center, An Advent Day of Reflection “What am I Waiting for?” on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Advent is always seen as a time of waiting and anticipation. Sister Pat Thomas, O.P., a member of the founding staff of the Peace Center in New Orleans, is currently a leader in pastoral and educational roles around the country. Suggested donation: $40, includes lunch. Details: Sister Sue Von Bank (601) 783-0801 or
GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus Retreat Center will host “Beatitudes – Jesus’ Path to Healing” on Friday, Nov. 8 beginning at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 9 beginning at 8:30 a.m. The presenters are Mercy Boucoup Music Ministry. This retreat will allow Scripture Reflection and time for individual prayer. There is no cost and everyone is welcome. Details: (662) 299-1232 or visit
JACKSON 40 Days for Life on the sidewalk outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 2903 North State Street. Vigil hours 7 am to 7 p.m. daily until Nov. 3. Help save lives in Jackson. You can protect mothers and children by joining this worldwide mobilization. Details: Barbara Beavers (601) 940-5701 or Tammy Tillman (601) 956-8636
JACKSON 39th Annual Squat & Gobble, Thursday, Nov. 21 6-10 p.m. at the Railroad District, 824 South State Street. Great food and beverages, door prizes, silent auction and entertainment by Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster. Cost: $45 if purchased before Nov. 12 and $55 if purchased after Nov. 12. Proceeds to benefit the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in the Metro area. Details: or (601) 955-1677.
STARKVILLE March for Life, ProLife MSU group is planning a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the world’s largest Pro-Life event, leaving on Thursday, Jan. 23, attend the march on Friday, Jan. 24 and return on Sunday, Jan. 26. Details: for more information.
BATON ROUGE, La. Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center (17560 George O’Neal Road), “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World,” Saturday, Nov. 2 from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Speaker: Steve Ray, noted Catholic convert, apologist, pilgrimage guide, documentary producer, best-selling author and speaker. Cost: $60 per person and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Details: Joyce Chaney at (225) 752-8480 or or


ABERDEEN St. Francis, Adult Bible Study on Gospel of John, Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Details: church office (662) 813-2295.
AMORY St. Helen, Our Book Discussion Group will discuss Big Little Lies by Liane Moriority at 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at the parish hall. Everyone is invited to read the book and join the discussion. Details: (662) 256-8392.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, Thursday, Nov. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: $9 per plate, eat in or take out. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.
FLOWOOD St. Paul, Give Us Generous Hearts—Time of Spiritual Renewal, Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is provided. Presenter: Carla Nicks.
FLOWOOD St. Paul, MARC – Missippi Association for Returning Citizens offering Bridges out of Poverty workshop, Friday, Nov. 15 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Getting Ahead While Getting Out workshop, Saturday, Nov. 16 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Workshops provide participants with approach to understanding poverty that prepare incarcerated to be successful returning citizens. Details: Register before Nov. 11 by calling Marvin Edwards (601) 594-8254 or Sister Madeline (213) 215-6103. For more info about MARC visit
PEARL St. Jude, Total Consecration to Jesus Christ Through Mary, according to St. Louis de Montfort, Tuesdays, Nov. 5 – Dec. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Details: Teresa Preuss (601) 878-9067; Maureen Roberts (601) 278-0423 or Teresa Kemp (601) 717-2563
PEARL St. Jude, Extraordinary Form Mass Schedule, Oct. 27 Solemn Mass with Procession 6 p.m, Nov. 2 All Souls Mass 11 a.m., Nov. 10 and Nov. 24 Sung Mass 6 p.m., Dec. 7 Rorate Mass 7:30 a.m., Dec. 15 Sung Mass 6 p.m.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Bake Sale, Lunch & Bingo, Tuesday, Nov. 26. Donations for Bingo prizes are needed. Details: Diane Melton at (662) 746-1680.


JACKSON St. Richard School, Cookies with the Cardinals Open House, Sunday, Nov. 17 at 11:30 a.m. See the school in action in laid-back group tours. There will be an opportunity to ask questions with faculty members. Details: RSVP to Meredith McCullough at
MADISON St. Francis, Bond Home Halloween Bingo, Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 5:45-7 p.m. for 7th-12th graders. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.
MADISON St. Joseph School, Annual Open House, Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. See for yourself the bright, shining soul of our Catholic school! Details: school office (601) 898-4800 or
MERIDIAN Catholic Community of St. Joseph & St. Patrick, Wednesdays, Oct. 30 – Nov. 20 from 6:15–7:30 p.m. in the Parish Life Center. Finding God in Poetry and Prose, join Ray Komar in a literary journey that explores a unique way to deepen one’s personal relationship with God. Details:
MERIDIAN Musical and Variety Show, Fashion Show and Dinner, Saturday Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Tickets: Reserved $20, Adults $10 and Children thru high school $5. Proceeds benefit St. Patrick School. Details: Tickets are available in the parish office, school office or from Dan Santiago (601) 917-7364 or reserved tickets Celeste Saucier (601) 482-6044.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, O’Connor Family Life Center Haunted House, Tuesday, Oct. 29 & Wednesday Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Last tour at 9:30 p.m. Admission $5. Details: church office (601) 445-5616.
OLIVE BRANCH Queen of Peace, Bonfire night on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 5-8 p.m. for all high school students. Dinner will be cooked by Father Thi. There will be s’mores too and lots of FUN! Invite a friend! Details: Church office (662) 895-5007.
PEARL St. Jude, Trunk or Treat, Thursday, Oct. 31 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the parking lot. Trunk or Treat is a fun and safe evening of trick or treating for the children of the parish and the surrounding neighborhood. Sign up today to reserve a spot for your car/truck. Free hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones. All are welcome. Details: church office (601) 939-3181.
STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Trunk or Treat, Thursday, Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. in the parking lot. Costumes welcome.
STARKVILLE St. Joseph, Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Catholic Campus Ministry for college students in the Golden Triangle area, provides a free dinner and talk. Details: for more information.
STARKVILLE “Hail Mary, Hail State” T-shirts available, Want to support Catholic Campus Ministry at Mississippi State University? Cost: $25 (plus $5 shipping/handling). Details: Contact Meg Kanatzar at or call (662) 323-2257.

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)