May’s Marian feasts

By OSV News
The Catholic Church has dedicated numerous feast days throughout the year to events in the life of Mary and her various titles. The following are some of the feasts of Mary in the month of May:

Feast of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament (May 13): Mary was called Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament by St. Peter Julian Eymard in 1868. In 1905, St. Pius X granted an indulgence to those who prayed to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Vatican in 1921 designated May 13 as her feast day (but the celebration is not on the church’s universal calendar).

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima (May 13): This feast commemorates the first of six apparitions of Mary to three shepherd children at Fatima in Portugal on May 13, 1917. The feast has become a cultural celebration for Portuguese Catholics around the world and is celebrated in many parishes throughout the United States, often with a procession through the streets surrounding the church.

Feast of Mary, Help of Christians (May 24): After praying to Mary for his safe release from captivity when taken prisoner by the French, Pope Pius VII instituted this feast day in 1815. The feast venerates Mary for her intercession on behalf of those who pray to her. Many Catholics will traditionally mark this day by performing their own charitable deeds to help others in need.

Feast of the Visitation (May 31): Originally celebrated in July, the feast of the Visitation marks Luke’s Gospel account of Mary, having been told by the Angel Gabriel that she would bear the son of God, visiting her cousin Elizabeth. The feast, which originated in the 13th century, was transferred to its current date in 1969 after the feast of the Queenship of Mary, previously celebrated on May 31, was moved to Aug. 22 to follow the feast of the Assumption.

After the bloom has left the rose

By Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI
What is our deepest center? Normally, we take that to mean the deepest part of our heart, the deepest part of our soul, our affective center, our moral center, that place inside of us which Thomas Merton called le pointe vierge. And that is a good way of imagining it. But there’s another.

The classical mystic, John of the Cross saw things differently. For him, the deepest center of anything is the furthest point attainable by that object’s being and power and force of operation and movement. What does he mean by that? In essence, this is what he is saying: The deepest center of anything, be it a flower or a human being, is the furthest point to which can grow before it dies.

Take a flower for example: It begins as a seed, then grows into a tiny bud that sprouts into a young plant. That plant eventually bursts forth in a beautiful bloom. That bloom lasts for a while, and then begins to dry out and wither. Eventually, what was once the substance of a beautiful bloom turns into seeds, and then in its very act of dying, the flower gives off those seeds to leave new life behind.

Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI

Thus, for John of the Cross, the deepest center for a flower is not its moment of spectacular beauty, its bloom, but its last moment when its bloom has turned to seed, and it is able to give off that seed in its very act of dying.

There’s a lesson in which goes against how we commonly assess things. When are we the most generative potentially? When do we have the greatest capacity to use our lives to give off the seeds for new life? What is our deepest center of growth?

Normally, of course, we think of the deepest center as the bloom, namely, that period or moment in our lives when a combination of good health, physical attractiveness, talent, achievement, and influence make us someone who is admired and perhaps envied. This is the time in our lives when we look our best and, as they say, are at the peak of our game. This is our bloom! The best we will ever look!

John of the Cross wouldn’t denigrate that moment in our lives. Indeed, he would challenge us to be in that moment, to enjoy it, be grateful to God for it, and to try to use the advantages and privileges that come with that to help others. But, he wouldn’t say this is the peak moment of our generativity, that this is the moment or period of our lives when we are giving off the most seeds for new life. No, like a flower that gives off its seeds in its very act of dying, we too are potentially most generative after the bloom has given way to the grey of age and our achievements have given way to a different kind of fruitfulness.

Imagine a young woman who is beautiful and talented, and becomes a famous movie actor. At the height of her career, she is in full bloom and is given the gaze of admiration. Indeed, she is adulated. Moreover, in her life outside of the movies she may be a generous person, a wonderful wife, a dedicated mother, and a trusted friend. However, that bloom is not her furthest point of growth, her deepest center, that time in her life when she is giving off the most vis-a-vis generating new life. Instead, when she is an aged grandmother, struggling with health issues, her physical looks diminished, facing the prospect of assisted living and imminent death that, potentially, like the flower whose bloom has dried and turned to seed, she can give her life away in a manner that helps create new life in a way she couldn’t do when she was young, attractive, admired, envied and in full bloom.

A similar case might be made for a star male athlete. At the height of his career, winning a championship, becoming a household name, his envied youthful athletic image seen everywhere in ads and on billboards, he is in full bloom; but at that time, he is not optimally generative in terms of his life giving off seeds to bring about new life. That can happen later, in his old age, when his achievements no longer define him, and he, like everyone else, with his hair greying, is facing physical diminishment, marginalization and imminent death. It is then, after the bloom has left the rose, that in his dying he can give off seeds to create new life.

We tend to identify a spectacular bloom with powerful generativity. Fair enough, that bloom has its own importance, legitimate purpose and value. Indeed, one of our challenges is to give that bloom the gaze of admiration without envy. Not easy to do, and something we often don’t do well. The bigger challenge however is to learn what we ourselves are called to do after the bloom has left the rose.

(Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser is a theologian, teacher and award-winning author. He can be contacted through his website

Called by Name

I was blessed to spend the first weekend of March with the youth of the diocese at DCYC in Vicksburg. I know that this is being covered in another part of this issue, but I wanted to share my perspective! Each year I am blown away by the excellence of the event which our diocesan youth office puts on under the leadership of Abbey Schuhmann. The speaker and the musicians were full of faith and energy and inspired the kids, and myself.

Our seminarians help in various ways for the youth convention each year, and this year we noted that it felt like we were all a ‘well-oiled machine.’ I was really proud of Deacon Tristan Stovall and Grayson Foley as they were the masters of ceremony at the event; and Will Foggo, as he organized all the liturgies for the weekend. Our newer seminarians got their feet wet at the event supporting the organizing efforts of the other guys and walking with the youth and getting to know them.

VICKSBURG – Parish teams engaged in team building to construct the tallest tower to see which group will be first in line for dinner at DCYC. (Photo courtesy Lauren Roberts)

But it wasn’t just our seminarians providing support – I’m just in charge of them! It was really encouraging to see the network of young people in the church bringing along the younger generation and walking with them. Amelia Rizor helped coordinate a team of college students from her campus ministry team to walk with the kids and organize events. There were fantastic chaperones and youth ministers who continue to help our young people grow in their faith and inspire them to share the Gospel.

I came away from the weekend encouraged by the teamwork and dynamic leadership that our church has, especially in the young people who are at these events and on fire for the Lord. I have known many of our seminarians since they were in high school – they’ve been formed by our schools and our parish catechesis programs and our pastors and youth leaders, and they are sharing those gifts. I’ve also known many of our young youth leaders since they were in high school, and they are sharing their gifts as well.

This is the sort of teamwork that shows that we are members of One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I’d like to thank Abbey and her team for letting my department play a role at diocesan youth convention, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and bring forth great leaders in the church for years to come.

Father Nick Adam, vocation director

(Father Nick Adam can be contacted at

Five great Lenten reads

(OSV News) — The season of Lent is an ideal time to grow in the spiritual life. Here are five great reads to help you on your way.

  • “Salvifici Doloris” by Pope St. John Paul II

Written in the wake of his assassination attempt and published as an apostolic letter in 1984, “Salvifici Doloris” is a treatise on the redemptive value of suffering, one of the hidden gems of St. John Paul II’s bibliography. It explains that all suffering finds its meaning and is transformed by Jesus Christ, sheds light on the centrality of the cross in the Christian’s life, and ties together themes of suffering from Scripture to present a robust spirituality on suffering. With Lent’s focus on purification and the need to cling to Christ crucified, this letter is most fitting for the season.

  • “Finding God in Suffering” by Father Christopher M. Mahar (Pauline Books & Media US, 2023)

Drawing richly from the teachings on suffering by Pope St. John Paul II, “Finding God in Suffering” tackles the age-old questions related to the topic, such as “what does suffering mean? Why does God allow it? How can it have a purpose? With Lent’s focus on Christ’s passion and death, this book can help others come to see their own connection to the Suffering Christ.

Drawing from decades of experience in pastoral counseling, author Father Christopher Mahar articulates the church’s teachings very clearly and with great empathy and hope. Each chapter is accompanied by reflection questions and prayer prompts, making the book a perfect tool to engage mind, heart and strength in the midst of suffering.

  • “With God in Russia” by Father Walter Ciszek, S.J. (Ignatius Press, 1997)

An inspiring and challenging memoir of the American Jesuit priest’s imprisonment in a Soviet gulag, falsely accused of espionage and subversion. Much of Father Ciszek’s suffering was endured in hard labor camps in Siberia. While there, he embraced the horror of his situation as a means to carry on his priestly work, even celebrating the sacraments secretly. But, moreover, the brutality he faced was a proving ground for great virtue and holiness. Given the importance placed on interior renewal and holiness imposed by the significance of Lent, this book has much to ponder.

These are the covers of “Finding God in Suffering” by Father Christopher M. Mahar, and “Legacy of Mercy” by Gretchen R. Crowe. (OSV News illustration)
  • “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis (Noll Library, OSV, 2018)

“The Imitation of Christ” is a handbook for spiritual life. The 15th-century text is divided into four books: “Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life,” “Directives for the Interior Life,” “On Interior Consolation” and “On the Blessed Sacrament.” It was written at a time when many recognized the need for reform in the church by holier living of its members. It focuses on the interior life and withdrawal from the world. It places emphasis on the devotion to the Eucharist as a key element of spiritual life. It can be a sure daily companion during Lenten prayer time.

  • “Legacy of Mercy” by Gretchen R. Crowe (OSV, 2022)

Legacy of Mercy is an odyssey into the heart of forgiveness, making it a perfect book to pray with during the season of Lent.

Written by OSV News’ editor-in-chief, the book tells the story of raising and losing a son; the story of forgiving his murderers; and the story of a mother responding to her son’s death not with vengeance or self-pity, but with love and a desire to serve others in need.

On May 31, 1999, Rachel Muha experienced a mother’s worst nightmare. Her youngest son, Brian, and his friend Aaron Land were taken by force on a journey of about 20 miles, spanning three states, that ended in torture and death. They were roommates and students at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and the murders shocked the campus and the wider community.

Even before her son’s body was found, Rachel publicly forgave her son’s killers. It was a life-changing moment, not just for her but for everyone who heard her powerful act of forgiveness and love. Rachel has continued to choose mercy and forgiveness every day since then, now leading a ministry that serves inner-city children in the hope that they won’t choose the same life that Brian’s murderers did.

This list originally appeared at Simply Catholic, an online ministry of Our Sunday Visitor.

Bishop Rolando Álvarez released, exiled from Nicaragua after over 500 days of detention

By David Agren
MEXICO CITY (OSV News) – Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa has been released from prison and sent into exile along with 18 imprisoned churchmen as the Nicaraguan government expelled its most prominent critic, whose presence behind bars bore witness to the Sandinista regime descent into totalitarianism, along with its unrelenting persecution of the Catholic Church.

Vatican News confirmed Jan. 14 at 10:41 p.m. Rome time that with the exception of one priest who remained in Venezuela, all released priests, including Bishop Álvarez and Bishop Isidoro Mora of Siuna, have arrived in Rome “in the last few hours” and are “guests of the Holy See.”

Nicaraguan independent media 100% Noticias posted a photograph on X, formerly Twitter, of the two freed bishops concelebrating Mass in Rome.

Independent Nicaraguan media reported Jan. 14 that the churchmen had departed Nicaragua on a flight for Rome after the government reached an agreement with the Vatican for their release and exile. Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez of Managua – who left the country in 2019 – also confirmed the news at his weekly Mass in Miami, and was visibly moved.

“This is the power of the people of God’s prayers,” he said. “The criminal Sandinista dictatorship of (President) Daniel Ortega has not been able to defeat the power of God.”

The Nicaraguan government acknowledged the churchmen’s release in a Jan. 14 statement, which “deeply thanked” Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, “for the very respectful and discreet coordination carried out to make possible the Vatican trip of two bishops, fifteen priests and two seminarians.”

Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa walks outside a Catholic church in Managua May 20, 2022. After more than 500 days’ detention, the Ortega regime released the prelate, who has been the Nicaraguan government’s most prominent critic, from prison Jan. 14, 2023, and sent into exile along with 18 other imprisoned churchmen. Bishop Álvarez safely landed in Rome Jan. 14, the Vatican confirmed. (OSV News photo/Maynor Valenzuela, Reuters)

The statement continued, “They have been received by Vatican authorities, in compliance with agreements of good faith and good will, which seek to promote understanding and improve communication between the Holy See and Nicaragua, for peace and good.”

The statement struck an unusually respectful tone – far from the government’s frequent accusations of terrorism and coup mongering against church leaders, who attempted to unsuccessfully facilitate a national dialogue after mass protests erupted demanding Ortega’s ouster. The Nicaraguan government also severed relations with the Vatican and expelled the nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, in 2022. The Vatican subsequently closed its embassy in March 2023.

“We recognize the chance for direct, prudent and very serious dialogue, a responsible and careful dialogue,” the government statement said.

The release of 19 churchmen – including Bishop Mora and more than a dozen priests detained during a wave of detentions over the Christmas period – provoked reactions of joy among Nicaraguans in exile, along with statements of defiance.

“With great joy, I thank God that my brother bishops, priests, and seminarians are out of prison. Justice has triumphed. The power of the prayer of God’s people has been displayed,” Bishop Báez said on X, formerly Twitter.

Ambassador Brian A. Nichols, assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, said on X that the regime “expelled 19 unjustly detained Catholic clergy, including Bishop Álvarez.”

“We are reassured to see the release of these religious leaders. All people have the right to worship at home and abroad. We continue to call for the release of all those unjustly detained and the restoration of the fundamental freedoms of the Nicaraguan people,” Nichols emphasized.

Bishop Álvarez has become the face of resistance in Nicaragua, raising his voice against the increasing intolerance of the Sandinista regime – which has subdued the business community, forced the free press out of the country and attempted to control the Catholic Church.

The bishop spent more than 500 days in custody after police arrested him in August 2022 during a pre-dawn raid on his diocesan curia, where he had been holed up protesting the seizure of Catholic media outlets. In February 2023, He was sentenced to 26 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and spreading false information – one day after he refused to leave the country.

Bishop Álvarez refused subsequent attempts at exiling him – as expulsion or refusing priests reentry to the country after traveling abroad became a common tactic.

“The dictatorship feels safer or more comfortable with religious people outside the country than inside the country,” Arturo McFields Yescas, a former Nicaraguan diplomat in exile, told OSV News.

“When they are inside (the country) they consider them a threat, a danger, a counterweight to their official narrative. And when they are outside, (the regime) feels that they no longer have that critical voice, or that voice of truth, which spoke to the people and people listened to,” he said.

(David Agren writes for OSV News from Mexico City.)

Bishop Rolando Álvarez sentenced to 26 years and 4 months in prison by Nicaragua a day after the regime deports 222 political prisoners to U.S.

Calendar of Events

ANGUILLA – Our Mother of Mercy, Celebrating 100 years of our Catholic faith, Saturday, Jan. 27. Mass at 10:30 a.m. with reception following. Please join us!

COLUMBUS – Annunciation, Mardi Gras Mambo, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in the Annunciation Gymnasium. Adults only. Dinner and open bar included. To attend purchase a draw down ticket for $100 or a $35 silent auction ticket at the door. Details: email

HERNANDO – Holy Spirit, Women in the New Testament Scripture Study, Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25 and Feb. 1 and 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. Facilitator for the program is Chris Greer. Details: Contact Chris at (662) 429-7851 for details and to order a workbook.

JACKSON – Cathedral of St. Peter, Mass of Thanksgiving for MLK, Jr. and Sister Thea Bowman, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at 3 p.m. Details: Office of Intercultural Ministry at (601) 949-6935.

St. Richard School, Krewe de Cardinal, Save the date: Friday, Feb. 2 from 7-11 p.m. at The South Warehouse. Details: school office (601) 366-1157.

St. Richard Church, ChristLife, begins Jan. 3 and ends Feb. 14. Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in Foley Hall, with a life-changing retreat on Feb. 14. Explore answers to important questions like: How does knowing Jesus really make a difference? How can I know the power of the Holy Spirit? What is the purpose of my life? All within a community of people who are soul searching as well. Dinner included. Childcare provided as needed. Seating is limited, so register as soon as possible. Details: register at or email Tiffany at

Theology on Tap, Dates for 2024: Jan. 10 with Cookie Leffler; Feb. 7 with Bishop Kopacz; March 6 with Father Lincoln Dall; April 10 – Easter celebration. Meetings are on Wednesdays at Martin’s Restaurant Downtown Jackson.

World Marriage Day, Saturday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter Jackson and Sunday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. at St. James Tupelo. This is a wonderful celebration of the sacrament of matriomony for those couples in the diocese celebrating their 25th, 50th, 60th or greater anniversary. To register contact your parish office or go to to register yourself. Details: Office of Family Ministry (601) 960-8487.

MADISON – St. Francis, Ring in Your Faith 10k/5k, Monday, Jan. 1 at 8 a.m. You are guaranteed a delicious New Year’s Day meal and fellowship after the race. Cost is $30, with proceeds to assist Knights ongoing service projects. Register at Details: Joe at

St. Joseph School, Jeans, Jazz and Bruin Blues $10,000 Draw Down, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 at the Reunion Country Club. Sponsorships available. Details:

MERIDIAN – St. Patrick, Spaghetti Dinner, Saturday, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center. Plate cost: Adults $10/Children $5. Come enjoy a delicious dinner and fellowship. Details: church office (601) 693-1321.

St. Patrick, M*A*S*H Bash Blood Drive, Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the KC Hall. Please go to to make an appointment.

PEARL – St. Jude, Floral Design for Churches Workshop, Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $20 to cover cost of flowers and lunch. Details: RSVP at or call (601) 969-1880.

SOUTHAVEN – Christ the King, Pizza Movie Night, Friday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. for grades 4-8. Enjoy an evening watching “The Fourth Wise Man.” Details: Please sign up to attend by Tuesday, Jan. 2 by signing up in the church or educations or email

Christ the King, Pastoral Council Town Hall, Saturday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. (English) and Sunday, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. (Spanish) – both events in the social hall. The Council would like to hear your needs, challenges and concerts to recommend solutions, create strategies, plan and promote growth for the parish. Details: church office (662) 342-1073.

NATCHEZ – 2nd annual Believe Conference, April 19-21, 2024. Featured speakers are Anne Trufant, Catholic speaker and founder of The Mission on the Mountain; Barbara Heil, Catholic speaker and founder of From His Heart Ministries; and Joanne Moody, minister author, and founder of Agape Freedom Fighters. Cost: $100 for the weekend; $50 for students. Lunch included on Saturday. Details: visit

PINE MOUNTAINS, GA – The Girls Garden Retreat, April 4-7, 2024 at Callaway Resort and Gardens. Retreat is for any woman who seeks goodness of God through beauty, rest, prayer and small community. Featured speaker is Laura Huval, a Grammy-nominated recording artist, Catholic speaker, author and more. Details: for registration, information and pricing visit

LOUISVILLE, KY – National Black Catholic Women’s Gathering, July 26-28, 2024. Join Black Catholic women to engage talents for becoming and forming missionary disciples. Sponsored by the National Black Sisters’ Conference. Details:

VIRTUAL – School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND), “Joyful & Alive Conversation,” Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. CST via Zoom. Single women ages 18-45 interested in how to discover God’s invitations in their life and/or who are curious about religious life are invited to attend and bring questions. Details: More information and registration for the Zoom link is available at

In memoriam: Sister Elizabeth Ann Demirgian, OPIn memoriam:

ADRIAN, Michigan – Sister Elizabeth Ann Demirgian, formerly known as Sister Marie Berge Demirgian, died on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 91 years of age and in the 64th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Elizabeth was born in Flushing, New York, to Edward and Ebrakce (Ekshian) Demirgian. She graduated from St. Patrick High School in Miami Beach, Florida, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and Chemistry from Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida; a Master of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian; and an associate degree in science for her physician assistant license from Santa Fe Community College/University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

Sister spent over 11 years ministering in education at Visitation School in Detroit, Michigan; Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois, a sponsored institution of the Congregation; St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Florida. She was a physician assistant for 22 years in Rosseville and Memphis, Tennessee; Marks, Mississippi, and West Palm Beach, Belle Glade, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orange Park, Clermont, Kissimmee, and Mount Dora, all in Florida. She also served in ministry to the elderly for eight years at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community in Clermont, Florida. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2012.

Sister Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Archie and Berge. She is survived by loving family and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

A recording of Sister Elizabeth’s funeral Mass and other material can be found at

Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

A Mother’s Day Prayer

A Mother’s Day Prayer

I said a Mother’s Day
prayer for you
to thank the Lord above
for blessing me
with a lifetime
of your tenderhearted love.

I thanked God for the caring
you’ve shown me
through the years,
for the closeness
we’ve enjoyed
in time of laughter and
of tears.

And so, I thank you from the heart
for all you’ve done for me
and I bless the Lord
for giving me
the best mother
there could be!

Author Unknown

Calendar of events


CLINTON Holy Savior, Ladies Lenten Retreat in McGing Hall on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Father Lincoln Dall and Carmelite Sister Anna Maria. Details: church office (601) 924-6344.
METAIRIE, La. Five-day Silent Directed Retreat, June 26 –July 2 at the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat Center (5500 Saint Mary Street, Metairie). Cost $500, includes room and board. Meet daily with a spiritual director, pray with scripture and spend the rest of the day in silence, prayer and rest. Register at Details: or call (225) 526-1694.

COLUMBUS Annunciation, Blood Drive, Sunday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bank First parking lot.
FLOWOOD St. Paul, Women’s Sports Team afternoon of bowling at Fannin Lanes, Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. RSVP to (601) 927-4533. Cost to bowl is $5.25 per person; shoe rental $4.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph School, Muffuletta Sale, Pick up on April 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets available at school or church office. Details: church office (662) 335-5251.
JACKSON St. Richard, Men’s Prayer Breakfast with Bishop Kopacz, Monday, April 3 at 7 a.m. in Foley Hall following Mass at 6:30 a.m. Details: contact Anthony at (601) 573-8574 or
MADISON St. Catherine’s Village, Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, meets fourth Wednesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Campbell Cove building. Lunch provided. All are welcome. Details: call to RSVP (601) 856-0123 or email
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Blood Drive, Sunday, March 26 from 12-3 p.m. Sign up sheets in gathering space. Details: church office (662) 342-1073.
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Resurrection Party, Sunday, April 16 at 3 p.m. Details: church office (662) 342-1073.
TUPELO St. James, Rise Up, Monday, April 10 in Shelton Hall. Dinner at 5:30 p.m.; Scripture, testimony, worship at 6:30 p.m. A night of food, fellowship and worship. All ages welcome. Nursery will be provided. Details: church office (662) 231-0981.

BATESVILLE St. Mary, Easter Egg Hunt after 10:30 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday. Please bring three dozen or so plastic filled Easter eggs and tape them closed.
COLUMBUS Annunciation, Easter Festival, Sunday, April 2 from 2-4 p.m. CYO teens are hosting an Easter egg hunt, games and snacks. Event open to children birth to fifth grade. Event at Annunciation School. Donations of candy are needed. Details: church office (662) 328-2927.
FLOWOOD St. Paul, Easter Egg Hunt by Knights of Columbus, following 10:30 Mass on April 2. Report to Learning Center cafeteria for instructions.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, April 2 at 11:45 a.m. Egg hunts by age groups (0-3; 4-6; 7-10). Lunch provided and prizes awarded.
MADISON St. Francis, Easter Sunday Egg Hunt, Please drop off filled eggs in the Family Life Center collection boxes by Palm Sunday. (No nuts, peanut butter or hard candy, please.)
PEARL St. Jude, Easter Egg Hunt, Sunday, April 9 at 10 a.m.
SENATOBIA St. Gregory, Pot-luck meal and Egg Hunt after Easter Sunday Mass on April 9. Mass at 8 a.m.
YAZOO CITY St. Mary, Easter Egg Hunt, immediately following Mass on Easter Sunday. Please place candy filled eggs in the box at the back of the church.

COLUMBUS Annunciation School, Draw Down and Art Auction, Friday, April 14 at the Trotter Convention Center from 6:30-11 p.m. Adults only (21 and up). Event includes dinner and open bar. Details: email
FLOWOOD St. Paul, Men’s Retreat sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on May 20. For all men of St. Paul parish age 18 and up.
GREENVILLE Paul and Wadel Abide Memorial Golf Classic, Friday, May 12 at the Greenville Golf and Country Club. Cost: 4-person scramble $150 per golfer, includes cart fee, drink tickets and entry to social. Non-golfers cost is $60 and includes two drink tickets and entry to social. Enjoy food, drinks, door prizes and awards after golfing. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph School Scholarship Fund. Details: school office (662) 378-9711.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Yard Sale, Friday, May 19-20. Start saving item donations now. Donations accepted beginning May 8. Details: church office (662) 429-7851.
Holy Spirit, Vacation Bible School, June 5-8 from 6-8 p.m.
JACKSON 17th Annual Sister Thea Bowman School Draw Down, Saturday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the school multi-purpose building. $5,000 Grand prize. Cost $100, second chance insurance extra $20 per ticket. Details: (601) 351-5197 or
MADISON St. Francis, Rocky Railway VBS express, June 19-22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All pre-K4 through fourth graders are invited. Details:
MERIDIAN St. Patrick School, Countdown scheduled for April 21. Grandprize $5,000. Cost: $100 each.
MERIDIAN Knights of Columbus State Convention, April 28-30 at the Threefoot Hotel. For more information visit:
NATCHEZ Cathedral, 39th annual Crawfish Countdown, Friday, May 5. Join us for a fun night of crawfish, ice-cold beverages, chance to win $5,000 and more.

ENGAGED ENCOUNTER WEEKENDS April 28-30 at Lake Tiak O’Khata in Lousiville; July 14-16 and Oct. 27-29 at Camp Garaywa in Clinton. Please register at
NATIONAL BLACK CATHOLIC CONGRESS GATHERING, July 20-23 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Join with other Black Catholics and those who minister to Black Catholics for a celebration of faith and culture. Details:
INDIANAPOLIS Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21, 2024. Registration is now open. See what Our Lord has in store for this next chapter for the Catholic Church in United States. Purchase tickets at Details:
INDIANAPOLIS National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), Nov. 16-18, 2023 at the Indiana Convention Center. This distinctly Catholic three-day conference will include opportunities for spiritual growth, prayer, learning and service. For more information, visit
VOCATIONS RETREAT Come and See event for men ages 16-24 at St. Joseph Seminary College, March 31 through April 2. Details: for more information or to sign-up contact or (601) 969-4020.
WORLD YOUTH DAY: LISBON 2023 Event for young Catholics ages 16-35, though all are welcomed to attend in Lisbon, Portugal. For more information visit:

HATTIESBURG – Msgr. Joseph Mercier, a retired priest of the Diocese of Biloxi passed on Monday, March 20 at the age of 96. A recording of the Funeral Mass can be found at Msgr. Mercier will be buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Hattiesburg.
NEW ORLEANS – Bishop Fernand (Ferd) Joseph Cheri III, OFM, a New Orleans native who had served since 2015 as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, died March 21 at age 71 at Chateau de Notre Dame in New Orleans following a lengthy illness.
Bishop Cheri, 71, served most recently as administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish in New Orleans until kidney and heart problems forced him to step away from active ministry. He was born with one kidney and had been on dialysis three days a week for several months.
“He has been called home to the Lord,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said. “We mourn his death and thank God for his life and ministry.”

Saints Perpetua and Felicity
Feast day: March 7

By Julia Williams
JACKSON – Perpetua and Felicity were African Christian women, whose names we hear in the litany of the saints. They were martyred during the persecution of Septimus Severus in Carthage, early in the third century.

The Stewardship PATHS newsletter is produced monthly by the Office of Stewardship and Development. Scan QR code to subscribe. Artwork: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate, Saints Felicity and Perpetua.

Perpetua was the daughter of a pagan nobleman and the mother of a still nursing infant. Felicity was a pregnant slave girl who gave birth in prison just a few days before she was put to death. The persecution of Christians was a gruesome sport in Carthage.

Perpetua and Felicity, along with three male companions who also refused to renounce their faith, were taken into the public amphitheater where the men were thrown to the lions and the women were later beheaded.
In spite of being tortured herself, Perpetua encouraged the others to “stand firm in the faith, love one another and do not be tempted to do wrong because of our sufferings.”

How good a steward am I with the gift of faith? Am I willing to stand firm in the face of ridicule or criticism? What would I be willing to sacrifice for my faith?
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, please pray for us!