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)

Taste of St. Francis event celebrates parishioners heritage

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

St. Francis New Albany celebrates 70th anniversary

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

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

Bishop Visit Brings Hope to Families

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

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

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

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