Northeast Hispanic Community Annual Encounter

By Berta Mexidor
TUPELO – Hundreds of parishioners gathered in the church of St. James on Saturday, Oct. 19 to hold a gathering of Hispanic families, youth and community leaders from all over the north part of the Diocese of Jackson under the motto “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” based on 1Samuel 3:9-10.
The main speaker of the event was Alejandro Siller-González who was born in Mexico and works at the Congar Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Siller-González worked at the Mexican Cultural Center for several years until 2014 and has actively participated in the National Committee of the V Encuentro. Siller-Gonzalez addressed the youth at the event with the topic “Faith and Culture.” In his conference Siller-González told an anecdote about how important it is to call people by name because God communicates to each one by name, and each time the answer must be that of Samuel “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” To identify when God speaks “You need to have a very close relationship with God and know him better,” summed up Siller-González.
Danna Johnson, community leader of the Deanery V, says that “… More than three hundred people from all over the north approached the event, not counting the children.” This activity is celebrated annually. “We need models of laypeople and families to help the church,” Danna concluded. The organizing team received the participation of the parishes of Southaven, Holly Springs, Vardaman, Columbus, Corinth, New Albany, Pontotoc, Houston and Tupelo. Daisy Martínez, coordinator of young Latinos in the Office of Intercultural Ministries of the Diocese, said that ”It was beautiful to see the number of people who gathered on this cloudy Saturday to open their hearts to the message of the day, let God’s will be our will and remember that God’s time is perfect.” During the day, the priests Mario Solorzano of Corinth, Jesuraj Xavier of New Albany and Roberto Mena, ST of Forest, offered reconciliation and Mass with the assistance of Deacon Francisco Martínez.
At the end of the work sessions and conferences the singer-songwriter, Jesus Rodríguez directed a song and praise session that included a song of his own “Speak Lord that your servant listens.” Rodríguez, of Mexico, has two record productions and is a Doctor of Medicine. He is recognized as one of the most important Spanish-speaking Catholic singers. Rodríguez encouraged the audience to sing to the Lord with a phrase he repeated several times. “When you sing, you pray twice.”


Answering the Call

Father Nick Adam

On Oct. 24, I invited leaders from around the diocese to St. Richard Parish to help me launch a Serra Club. Named in honor of the recently canonized St. Junipero Serra, who brought the Catholic faith to mission territories throughout the Southwest, Serrans are supporting vocations across the country through prayer, time, talent and in many other ways.
I have been positively impacted by the ministry of Serrans and I believe that a Serra Club could immediately help the Vocations Office accomplish two tasks:

1) To provide a base of lay support for vocation promotion initiatives (such as helping with discernment retreats, diocesan events, etc.) and
2) To provide a base of pray-ers, dedicated to praying for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

I hope to develop even more ways to use the Serrans to spark vocations and support our mission. A representative from the Archdiocese of New Orleans traveled to Jackson to run the meeting since this will be the first Serra Club established in the State of Mississippi. If you are interested in becoming a Serran, please contact the Office of Vocations and for more information on what Serrans do, visit Father Nick Adam

Vocations Events

Friday, Nov. 8-10, – “Come and See” Weekend, This is a helpful discernment retreat for young men considering a call to the priesthood. They get to see a seminary in a low-pressure environment with dozens of other men considering their own future. St. Joseph Seminary College, Covington, Louisiana

Creating and holding space for our brokenness

Father Ron Rolheiser

By Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Some years ago I went on a weekend retreat given by a woman who made no secret about the fact that not being able to have children constituted a deep wound in her life. So she offered retreats on the pain of being unable to have children. Being a celibate and not having my own children, I went on one of these retreats, the only man to venture there. The rest of the participants were women, mostly in their 40s and 50s, who had not borne children of their own.
Our leader, using scripture, biography, poetry and psychology, examined the issue of barrenness from many points of view. The retreat came to a head on Saturday evening with a ritual in chapel in which various participants went up to a huge cross and spoke out their pain for Jesus and everyone else to hear. That was followed by us watching, together, the British movie, Secrets and Lies, within which one woman’s heartache at being unable to conceive a child is powerfully highlighted. Afterwards there was a lot of honest sharing of feelings – and lots and lots of tears! But after that painful sharing of pain and the over-generous tears which accompanied it, the entire atmosphere changed, as if some dark storm had just done its thing but left us still intact. There was relief and plenty of laughter and lightheartedness. A storm had indeed passed us over and we were safe.
“All pain can be borne if it can be shared.” Art Schopenhauer is credited with saying that, but irrespective of who said it first, it captures what happened at that retreat. A deep pain was made easier to bear not because it was taken away but because it was shared, and shared in a “sacramental” way. Yes, there are sacraments that don’t take place in a church, but still have sacramental power. And we need more of these.
For example, Rachel Held Evans writes: “Often I hear from readers who have left their churches because they had no songs for them to sing after the miscarriage, the shooting, the earthquake, the divorce, the diagnosis, the attack, the bankruptcy. The American tendency toward triumphalism, of optimism rooted in success, money, and privilege, will infect and sap of substance any faith community that has lost its capacity for holding space for those in grief.”
She’s right. Our churches aren’t creating enough space for holding grief. In essence: In the everyday, practical spirituality of community, prayer, liturgy and Eucharist within our churches we don’t lean sufficiently on the fact that Christ is both a dying and a rising reality. We generally don’t take the dying part of Christ as seriously as we should. What are the consequences?
Among other things, it means that we don’t create enough communal, ritual celebrations in our churches within which people can feel free to own and express their brokenness and grief communally and in a “sacramental” way. Granted our churches do have funeral rites, sacraments of the sick, reconciliation services, special prayer services after a tragedy within a community and other rituals and gatherings that are powerful spaces for holding grief and brokenness. However (with the exception of the sacrament of reconciliation which though is generally a private, one-to-one ritual) these are generally tied to a special, singular circumstance such as a death, a serious sickness or an episodic tragedy within a community. What we lack are regular ecclesially-based communal rituals, analogous to an Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, around which people can come, share their brokenness and experience a grace that can only come from community.
We need various kinds of “sacramental” celebrations in our churches within which, to use Rachel Held Evans’ terminology, we can create and hold space for those who are grieving a broken heart, a miscarriage, an abortion, a dire medical diagnosis, a bankruptcy, the loss of a job, a divorce, a forced retirement, a rejection in love, the death of a cherished dream, the movement into assisted living, the adjustment to an empty nest within a marriage, barrenness and frustrations of every kind.
What will these rituals look like? Mostly they don’t exist yet so it is up to us to invent them. Charles Taylor suggests that the religious struggle today is not so much a struggle of faith but a struggle of the imagination. Nobody has ever lived in this kind of world before. We need some new rituals. We’re pioneers in new territory and pioneers have to improvise. Admittedly, pain and brokenness have always been with us, but past generations had communal ways of creating space for holding grief. Families, communities and churches then had less of a struggle with the kind individualism that today leaves us mostly alone to deal with our brokenness. Today there’s no longer a sufficient communal and ecclesial structure to help us accept that, here in this life, we live “mourning and weeping in a valley of tears.”
We need to imagine some new, sacramental rituals within which to help hold our grief.

(Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, theologian, teacher and award-winning author, is President of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX. He can be contacted through his website Now on Facebook

Journey of faith into order of Discalced Carmelite Seculars

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – On July 27, as the morning light shown through the stained-glass windows depicting Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese at the Carmelite Monastery chapel in South Jackson, four ladies were celebrated at a special Mass to further their commitment to the Discalced Carmelite Seculars.
Father Jorge Cabrera, OCD of the Mount Carmel Center in Dallas, Texas, Father Kevin Slattery and Deacon John McGregor were on hand to celebrate Mass and welcome Elizabeth Jones, making her rite of admission, as well as, Elena Buno, Maria Asuncion Cannon and Rizalina Caskey making their public petition of first promise.
Not to be confused with the Carmelite nuns, the Discalced Carmelite Seculars come from all walks of life, from every level of education and from every type of work. Seculars can be lay Catholic women and men over 18 years of age or ordained diocesan priests or deacons. There are over 45,000 Discalced Carmelite Seculars worldwide and more than 6,000 in the US. Each make a commitment to seek the face of God in prayer for the good of the Church and the needs of the world.
Elizabeth Jones of St. Richard Jackson is one seeking that commitment, as she received the secular order’s signature brown scapular with her rite of admission to the formation. When she was younger, a movie about Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world, drew Jones in to wanting to explore the life of a religious. As she got a little older, Jones realized that she wanted to have a family and found that the Carmelite Seculars would allow her the “perfect balance of being able to still continue to pray and still have a family.”
As a graduate student at Jackson State University studying public health with a concentration in epidemiology, Jones aspires to continue her studies and growth in prayer to the formation of the rite of first promise in a few years.
At the celebratory Mass, Maria Asuncion Cannon, Elena Buno and Rizalina Caskey of St. Jude Pearl, all took the next step in the order by accepting their rite of first promise, which requires a minimum of two years of study and growth in prayer, the apostolate and community life.
Buno’s interest began in the order after she met the Carmelite nuns and started volunteering at the Carmelite gift shop. What ultimately led her to the secular were “the nuns . . . and the desire to deepen [her] relationship with Mary and Jesus Christ and to deepen my prayer and spiritual life.”
Families also play a large part in shaping the faith formation of the secular orders members. Caskey’s family reared her in the Catholic church and she always felt “inclined to the religious life” when she was a little girl. “That did not happen because I got married, but now I’m widowed,” said Caskey.
She came to Jackson from Phoenix, Arizona and did not know about the Carmelite nuns until she “ran into the nuns at a store” and asked them about the order.

Fascinated by her encounter, Caskey got involved the Carmelite secular and began to meet with them every month. She feels “so blessed” that she pursued more knowledge and is thankful for the close-knit community. Caskey plans to take the next step, which is the rite of definitive promise after at least three more years of continued growth and prayer.
It is no surprise that the Carmelite nuns play such a huge part in inspiring others into a relationship with Christ. Juanita Butler, a member of the seculars and Holy Ghost Jackson, was introduced to the monastery when she was a little girl.
“My Mom would come [to the Monastery] for us to hear the nuns sing. They were all behind the wall. We didn’t see them, but we heard them. They sounded like angels,” Butler reminisced.
As a child, “I said ‘Momma, one day I’m going behind that wall,” Butler asserted. Her mother was in disbelief at the certainty of her young daughter saying, “Don’t you know you cannot go behind the wall unless you are a Carmelite nun?” To that Butler responded, “Why not? I can do it.” She laughed a little and said, “here I am today a secular.”
Butler and the Holy Ghost Jackson choir uplifted all in attendance with their joyous hymns accompanied by drums and piano.
Asuncion Cannon summed up the occasion offering that “the Holy Spirit” guided them all to the order and to be followers of Christ.
The third order of Carmel meets monthly at St. Richard Jackson and welcomes all to join them in prayer and study. For more information call Dorothy Ashley, OCDS at 601-259-0885.

(Tereza Ma also contributed to this story.)

From the Holy Land to Mississippi

From the Holy Land to Mississippi

By Carlisle Beggerly
HOLY LAND – One of my favorite things about being Catholic is the church’s ancient devotion to holy relics. Over the years, I have been blessed to obtain quite a few of them. They range from pieces of bone from the bodies of saints to clothing that belonged to them to even articles associated with Christ Himself. The most prized relic of which I have custody is a tiny fragment of the True Cross of Our Lord, discovered by Saint Helena in the Holy Land when she made a pilgrimage there after her son’s conversion to Christianity.
This summer I was able to visit the same sites which Helena visited some 1,700 years ago and to obtain holy relics to bring back for veneration. Like her, this was not my only reason for going to the Holy Land. To walk in the footsteps of Christ draws the believer closer to the Lord and one cannot help but be transformed in some way by the experience. However, I wanted to recover physical, tangible reminders of those places in which God has made His presence known in a unique and corporeal way.
There are few places on earth where the very ground on which one walks is considered sacred. Lourdes, Fatima, the Catacombs of Rome perhaps come to mind. But nowhere is so holy as the land designated by the moniker Terra Sancta. Here, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Mother of God made her home here and raised up a son to be called the savior of the world.
The first stones I gathered were in Hebron, the location of the Oak of Mamre where all three Persons of the Trinity manifested themselves to Abraham. From here we went to the Cave of the Patriarchs, the resting place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. The next day I found olive leaves in the City of David; a stone from Caiphas’s palace; and a piece of the Pool of Siloam where Our Lord healed the man born blind. I came upon a sliver of the cave in which Saint Gabriel announced to the Shepherds the birth of Jesus before serving Holy Mass at the Church of the Nativity. A friar gave me scrapings of the walls of the cave where Our Lady nursed the Lord before setting out for Egypt, a drop of her milk having turned the limestone thereof a brilliant, lactescent white when it fell to the ground.
Over the next days, I procured some stone from the Jordan River where the Lord was baptized and later gathered flowers on the Mount of the Beatitudes and the site of the miraculous multiplication of loaves and fishes. I gained a bit of the house of Saint Peter before traveling to Bethlehem where I collected pieces of Saint Joseph’s house and the grotto of the Annunciation.
After a week of archaeological excavation at a first century synagogue in the Golan Heights, I extracted a bit of the Mensa Christi, a makeshift stone table on which the Resurrected Lord cooked breakfast for His disciples along the shores of Galilee. On the following morning, I acquired stones from the site of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor after serving at the Holy Sacrifice there. At Jericho, I picked up a rock from the stream St. Elisha made potable again by casting salt into it and a seed from a descendant of the Zacchaeus sycamore.

We then returned to Jerusalem where I was able to fetch a bit of Lazarus’s tomb before collecting relics from the site where Our Lord taught the Pater Noster and the place where He wept over Jerusalem. We went to the Garden of Gethsemane from which I plucked some olive leaves; took stone from the birthplace and location of the Dormition of Our Lady; the place of the Ascension; the Caenaculum; and King David’s tomb.
As my pilgrimage came to an end, while at Mass inside the Aedicule of the Holy Sepulchre, I managed to find a bit of stone which had come loose from the interior walls. It serves to remind me of the extraordinary moment when I received the Sacred Body of the Lord in Communion inside the tomb of His Resurrection. Here I also retrieved some rock from the recesses of the cavern in which Saint Helena found that holiest of relics, the True Cross.
I now write this back at home in Mississippi as I gaze at the two reliquaries containing the tiny treasures from my journey. Like Helena before me, I look on these relics with holy joy. They are more than mere souvenirs. They contain a bit of the sacred in a bodily form. They are blessed by the presence of God and His saints. They serve as a prompt to recall the memories of the countless pilgrims who have gone before me. They evoke a kind of anemnesis of the whole economy of salvation. The stones themselves remember and attest to the Glory of God and His Incarnation. My humble collection is a connection to the special place on this planet where the incorporeal God was made flesh. These are sacred gifts of a holy land that I will treasure for many years to come.

(Carlisle W. Beggerly is a seminarian for the Diocese of Jackson studying at Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans after studies in Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Franklin, Wis.)

Nueva Carmelita Descalza

Por Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – La hermana Geraldine del Cuerpo y la Sangre de Cristo, OCD hizo votos solemnes perpetuos de pobreza, castidad y obediencia el 16 de julio, día de la virgen del Carmen, durante rito solemne de profesión y velo en el Monasterio de Carmelitas Descalzos de Jackson. La misa fue presidida por el obispo Joseph Kopacz, con homilía del padre Danilo Fauste, OCD superior de El Monte de Nuestra Señora, en las Filipinas y con la presencia del obispo Joseph Latino.
La capilla estuvo concurrida; allí se reunieron para celebrar el emotivo momento ocho sacerdotes co-celebrantes en el altar, las hermanas armelitasel grupo de Carmelitas seculares, amigos de la comunidad Carmelita y creyentes en la Virgen del Carmen.
Las Carmelitas Descalzas establecieron su monasterio en Jackson en 1951. Como monjas de clausura, las hermanas dedican su tiempo a orar por la Diócesis de Jackson. En la página web de los Carmelitas Descalzos, de la Curia General del Carmelo Teresiano se resume “…Entendemos por espiritualidad carmelitana una forma de sentir y vivir el evangelio desde determinadas premisas que nacen de la experiencia de los “grandes profetas” de la familia del Carmelo Descalzo: Teresa de Jesús, Juan de la Cruz, Teresa del Niño Jesús, Edith Stein, como son: la experiencia de Dios que lleva a descubrir al Dios interior y a dar un sentido teologal a la vida; la experiencia cristológica, que lleva al Cristo histórico del evangelio; la experiencia de la Iglesia, como pertenencia y preocupación por el bien de la misma…”
En su homilía el padre Fauste le recordó a la hermana Faustina lo difícil de la promesa de vida y oración contemplativa, que enseñan la virgen del Carmen y Santa Teresa, para” tener una relación personal con Jesucristo” que incluye pobreza, castidad y obediencia,”… Los votos hablan por tu pasado, presente y futuro … y reflejarán a otros el toque y el amor de Jesús,” dijo el padre Fauste.
La Hermana Geraldine del Cuerpo y la Sangre de Cristo, OCD cantó, entre sollozos, la canción Santo es su Nombre, escucho la letanía a todos los santos postrada en el piso, hizo sus promesas y firmó delante del obispo los documentos de sus votos perpetuos.
La hermana Geraldine, después de un largo camino de vida religiosa como Franciscana, entró a la Sagrada Familia del Carmelo en San Fernando, La Union en Filipinas. Ahora, la Hna. Geraldine se une para siempre a las Carmelitas de Jackson, quienes en su monasterio ejercitan su espiritualidad y administran una tienda de regalos, que les sirve para auto financiarse. Y cito ”…En la vida cotidiana las monjas unen la oración ferviente y el trabajo manual. Este trabajo incluye tanto las tareas domésticas comunes, como las formas específicas de actividad encaminada a obtener fondos para el mantenimiento como, por ejemplo: hornear las hostias, bordar los ornamentos litúrgicos o realizar iconos. Las carmelitas descalzas, escondidas en el silencio del monasterio y aparentemente desconocidas para el mundo, están presentes en todo el orbe.” Al final de la misa, el obispo Joseph Kopacz agradeció a la hermana Jane Agonoy, OCD, priora de la comunidad de Carmelitas, y demás por la preparación de la ceremonia, a todos por su compañía y felicitó a la hermana Geraldine por su decisión de servir a la Diócesis de Jackson. Durante la recepción que siguió, la hermana Geraldine mostró su felicidad compartiendo sonrisas y fotos de acción de gracias.


Divine renovation – St. Paul pastor leads his flock to mission and Christ

Fr. Gerard Gerry Hurley

By Joanna King

FLOWOOD – Father Gerry Hurley and his leadership team are moving forward with a successful evangelization program launched at their parish designed to convert hearts and souls and bring faithful closer to Jesus Christ.

The church’s leadership team is working to focus the parish as a community that is moved “by the Spirit to expand our relationship with Jesus and the Father,” says Father Hurley, pastor of St. Paul Flowood, about the parish’s evangelization initiative inspired by Father James Mallon’s best-selling book “Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish.”

In 2014 Father Mallon, episcopal vicar for parish renewal and leadership support for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada, released the book designed to guide parishes seeking to cultivate vibrant and dynamic faith communities centered on missionary discipleship. Over the past five years, St. Paul Flowood took what they learned from the guide and slowly began introducing different programs as part of a parish renewal project reaching out to various age groups and all members of the parish community.  “We are establishing a direction of what is important,” said Father Hurley.

The parish used the ChristLife series (Discovering Christ, Following Christ and Sharing Christ) as an evangelization ministry to equip area Catholics for the essential work of evangelization as disciples of Christ. It launched with success. Another program is the parish’s small group ministry designed to encourage parishioners to get involved in the life and ministry of the parish. Alpha is an interactive evangelization program for youth used in the parish.

“Our ChristLife experience and our small group ministry processes have been a huge measure of growth and development in our parish,” said a pleased Father Hurley. “We have almost 400 people participating in small groups, which is certainly encouraging. There is much more work to be done because at the center is a community that is united, not uniform, but a united community with freedom of expression and growth, reflecting on what it means to be a true Eucharistic community,” Father Hurley added.

Father Mallon asserts that the Church has “an identity crisis.” In his introductory video, he states that “We’re a missionary church. We don’t have a mission. We are the mission.” Rather than be missionary, Mallon states that “often in our parishes we become maintenance focused and that is . . . we are content to maintain the flock.”

Moving from maintenance to mission is the message at the center of Father Mallon’s Divine Renovation. “In the life of a parish there can be so many things going on. So much busyness, so many requests for time and energy and events. . . . Are we so lost in busyness that we have forgotten the main thing,” asks Father Mallon. 

Going back to the Great Commission, the instructions of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings, Father Mallon suggests that there is where parishes can find the “main thing’” which is to “make disciples.” Going, baptizing and teaching are the means by which we fulfill the command to “make disciples,” says Father Mallon.

“We’re led to be outwardly focused . . . to reach the un-churched,” Father Mallon explains, “Jesus didn’t say go and be disciples. He said go and make disciples. He didn’t say go and make disciples of people in the pews.”

At this point, the movement at St. Paul is not totally welcomed by everyone in the parish family, but the witness of results from the efforts of the parish’s new ministries continue to change hearts and encourage the pastor. Father Hurley says that “while there is still a great deal of push back, we are confident in where we are moving,” he said adding that he feels a great deal of support from his parish.

Rachel Mathias, a teacher at Brinkley Middle School, grew up at St. Paul receiving her first communion there as a child. She reflected at a small group meeting through St. Paul and shared that she appreciates the parish change in the direction from maintenance to mission and is happy about the additional freedom of expression of faith and love that it has afforded her.

As part of parish changes, St. Paul music ministry featuring traditional music and songs since its beginning, has added a “praise team” complete with bass, guitar, piano and drums.

“I miss our choir in a way, but I’m grateful that we’re at this point now,” said Mathias, a part of the choir since she was in tenth grade. “Yes, it’s different from what we are used to, but I have never felt closer to Jesus in Mass,” says Mathias, explaining that she has a new and stronger relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist with the help of her parish’s evangelization initiatives and new programs.

“For me it’s kind of like the Eucharist didn’t really sink in and have as much meaning until I realized who it was that I was actually talking to and singing to. So, I feel like for me that is my mission now. Yes, it’s definitely different than what I grew up with . . . but I have never felt closer in what we are doing than we are right now.”

Father Hurley said that he and his staff “are very enthusiastic about the growth and development thus far. We get much feedback and some resistance, but this is a natural part of this intense growth process,” he said.

To match their divine renovation, St. Paul Flowood is working on a capital campaign to renovate parish facilities and create a larger, more welcoming place of worship. The parish seeks to expand and improve their spiritual home and grow the parish flock with disciple and faithful brothers and sisters, who will open their arms and hearts and share stories of what a difference having a relationship with Jesus Christ has made in their lives.
Father Hurley displays a warm welcome on the parish website: “Jesus invites each of us to a personal relationship with him,” he states. “We hope to be a great companion to you on your journey of faith!“

Parish calendar of events

CULLMAN, Ala. Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, “Introduction to Centering Prayer,” August 30 – September 1. Centering Prayer is a form of Christian prayer rooted in the ancient Christian contemplative tradition. Its purpose is to foster a deeper intimacy with Christ through the silence and stillness of contemplative prayer. This workshop/retreat is designed for those new to Centering Prayer. Private rooms and the ability to maintain silence are required. Retreat directors: Contemplative Outreach Birmingham Staff. Cost: Private room $245. Details: (256) 734-8302, or
PEARL St. Jude, “Life in the Spirit and Healing Prayer” Seminar, Saturday, August 17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the parish hall. Do you desire a deeper experience of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you interested in an opportunity to receive new gifts of the Holy Spirit and a greater outpouring of God’s healing and love? Come for a day of preaching, prayer and praise sponsored by the Marian Servants of Jesus the Lamb of God. Guest speakers include; Father Bill Henry, pastor of Greenville St. Joseph; retreat master and spiritual director, Celeste Zepponi; painter/singer/songwriter, retreat presenter and spiritual director, Mark Davis, formerly Ordained Assemblies of God pastor currently serving on St. Dominic’s Hospital pastoral care team and ethics committee and is an active member of Clinton Holy Savior. Free admission, $10 suggested donation for lunch. Details: Contact Maureen Roberts (601) 278-0423 or
TUPELO The Diocese of Jackson’s Office of Family Ministry and Catholic Charities Office of Parish Health Ministry, Mississippi State Department of Health and Belhaven University are co-sponsoring a two day workshop on first aid for mental health. “Mental Health First Aid” (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community. Two separate trainings will be offered at Tupelo St. James on Thursday, August 22 (Adult Training) and Friday, August 23 (Youth Training) from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration includes lunch. The workshops will be led by Dr. Bradford Smith, Ph.D., licensed psychologist and certified instructor. Registration is required. Registration includes: lunch, a comprehensive manual and three-year MHFA certification. Attending full program is required to obtain certification. Fee: $10 per class. CEU’s offered for nursing and education. Registration website: For more information: Contact Charlene Bearden, coordinator, Office of Family Ministry at 601-960-8487 or
JACKSON “Your Money Your Goals,” Friday, August 9 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (lunch included) at Catholic Charities, 850 East River Place, large conference room upstairs and Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (lunch included) at St. Richard, Foley Hall. For people that help people develop healthy financial practices. Register online by August 8 for one of the trainings listed at by clicking on the “Your Money Your Goals” banner. Details: Dorothy Balser at (601) 326-3725.
MADISON Lake Caroline Golf Course, 37th Bishop Cup Annual Golf Scramble, Tuesday, September 10. Lunch at 12 p.m.; tee time at 1 p.m. and social/dinner/auction at 5:30 p.m. Each golfer receives cart and green fees, hat, golf towel, catered lunch, snacks and beverages on the course, dinner and social. Details: Rebecca Harris at (601) 960-8477 or

AMORY St. Helen, The book discussion group will meet and discuss The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See Monday, August 12 at 12 p.m., at the parish hall. Details (662) 256-8392.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, The book club reading Beyond Your Mother meets Sundays at 11 a.m. in the library. Details: Joshua Atwater at (601) 730-1455.
GRENADA St. Peter, Blood Drive, Sunday, August 25, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Please mark your calendar to come and make a donation. Details: church office (662) 226-2490.
GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Save the Date, Germanfest 2019, Sunday, September 29, 11a.m. – 5 p.m. Details: church office (601) 856-2054.
GREENVILLE St. Joseph, Knights of Columbus breakfast, Sunday, August 11 after 8 a.m. Mass. Details: church office (662) 335-5251.
HERNANDO Holy Spirit, Fr. David Szatkowski will teach a series of 10 sessions on the Gospel of Matthew at 6:45 p.m., Mondays, August 12 – November 18. Details: Please sign up or call Father David at (662) 342 1073.
JACKSON St. Peter Cathedral, Knights of Columbus breakfast Sunday, August 18 following 8 a.m. Mass. Details: church office (601) 969-3125.
JACKSON St. Richard, ChristLife, Thursdays, August 29 – October 10 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Foley Hall. The program has enriched thousands of lives throughout the country. Program includes free lunch. Childcare available if needed. Details: Nancy McGhee at (601) 942-2078 or Tiffany at (601) 842-0151. Register at
MERIDIAN Catholic community of St. Joseph and St. Patrick, Coffee with the Saints, join for coffee and a light breakfast and learn more about the lives of some amazing holy people, Wednesdays, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. in the Parish Center, July 31 – St. Catherine of Siena, August 7 – Bl. John Henry Newman and August 14 – G.K. Chesterton. Details: church office (601) 693-1321.
NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Blood Drive, Wednesday, July 31 from 1 – 6 p.m. at the O’Connor Family Life Center. Details: Regina in the church office (601) 445-5616 or to make an appointment online, go to

JACKSON St. Richard School, Back to School Night, Tuesday, August 6, 4-6 p.m. Details: school office (601) 366-1157.
Sister Thea School, 2019-20 registration is now underway for grades Pre K3 – 6th grades. Details: Shae Goodman-Robinson, Principal at (601) 506-8998.
MADISON St. Francis of Assisi, Annual Life Teen Parent-Teen Kick Off event, Sunday, August 18, 5-8 p.m. Details: church office (601) 856-5556.
MERIDIAN St. Patrick School, Orientation, Monday, August 5 at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Parents may drop off school supplies beforehand at 4-6 p.m. Details: school office (601) 482-6044.

Dos nuevos Sacerdotes

Por Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – En la Catedral de San Pedro fueron ordenados como sacerdotes Mark Shoffner y Adolfo Suarez Pasillas, el pasado 11 de mayo. La ceremonia fue celebrada por el obispo Joseph Kopacz, en compañía de sacerdotes de la diócesis de Jackson y seminaristas de Notre Dame.
Durante la misa de ordenación el obispo impone las manos y con el santo oleo bendice a los hasta entonces diáconos, y quienes desde ese momento se convierten en sacerdotes.
Durante la ceremonia los clérigos Mark y Adolfo recibieron las vestiduras de parte de los padres Patrick Farrell y Kent Bowlds, respectivamente. Los nuevos curas, Adolfo y Mark, juraron obediencia al obispo actual y futuros de la Diócesis de Jackson; juramento con el cual crearon el compromiso de servir como sacerdotes diocesanos.
Los reverendos Mark y Adolfo tienen cada uno una historia de vida diferente, comparten el temor a Dios y una vena mexicana, siguieron distintos caminos de discernimiento y desde ahora seguirán un plan divino similar. Los dos continuaran el llamado del Señor para servir a sus hijos.
Despues de la Misa de Ordenación, los nuevos sacerdotes y varios parroquianos asistieron al Foley Hall de la iglesia de St Richard a recibir la primera bendicion de los nuevos sacerdotes.