Activities around the diocese

MADISON – St. Joseph students (l-r) Jarret Hall (Ralphie) and Turner Brown (Ralph Parker – the older-wiser narrator of the story) at the production of “A Christmas Story” on Saturday, Nov. 12. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
JACKSON – The mascot and cheerleaders for St. Joe Greenville celebrate after a big play at the MAIS 4A state championship game on Thursday, Nov. 17. (Photo by Joanna Puddister King)
JACKSON – On Thursday, Nov. 17, Sister Thea Bowman students faced off against St. Richard sixth grade girls on the court. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

Thank you Veterans!

HERNANDO – On Sunday, Nov. 13, the youth of Holy Spirit Church honored Veteran’s with a reception, cards and a jar of red, white and blue M&M’s. (Photos by Amanda Ready)

Youth life around the diocese

VICKSBURG – Coach Larry Calhoun, the star of the Move To Learn exercise break videos came to Vicksburg Catholic School to introduce administrators, teachers and students to the Move to Learn Initiative! The videos feature Calhoun leading students in simple movement exercises that can be done in a small space. Teachers are noticing that incorporating the fitness breaks in the classroom has increased their students’ ability to learn and to focus on schoolwork. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)


Halloween fun around the Diocese

MERIDIAN – The Youth and Young Adults groups at St. Patrick/St. Joseph hosted the 2nd Annual Halloween Carnival on Oct. 22. The event had great community participation. The Hispanic group provided concessions and were able to take the profit that will be used towards expenses for this year’s Our Lady of Guadalupe activities. The school children and teachers helped with games and the profit from the games will help the school with any projects they have in the works. The Youth and Young Adults also put together a Haunted House in the old convent and profits will go towards event registrations and other activities. (Photos by Angela Dove)

CLARKSDALE – Students at St. Elizabeth School wore costumes, ate pizza and cookies at a Halloween Movie-Night Fundraiser. (Photos by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)

JACKSON – St. Richard sixth grade student dressed as T-Rexes greet students on Monday, Oct. 31. (Photos by Shea Luckett)

YAZOO CITY – St. Mary parish participated in trunk-or-treat in downtown Yazoo City on Monday, Oct. 31. (Photos by Babs McMaster)

CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth held its annual Trunk-or-Treat and canned food drive on Sunday, Oct. 30. The parish collected canned goods for the Clarksdale Care Station while the children dressed up and trick-or-treated through the decorated vehicles and won baked goods at the cakewalk. (Photos by Catelin Britt)

MADISON – St. Joseph students put on a trunk or treat event on Thursday, Oct. 27. Pictured is the Winnie the Poo crew from St. Richard giving an interview to videographer Page for the Bruin Buzz. (Photos by Tereza Ma)

JACKSON – St. Richard School held their annual Cardinal Fest on Sunday, Oct. 23. Pictured is Sister Kelly Moline purchasing homemade cupcakes from students at the entrepreneurs nest. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
MADISON – St. Anthony School celebrated Halloween by incorporating Catholic school symbols. Principal Anne Cowger, Katie Loyacano and Celeste Tassin, dressed as students, chat with the fifth and sixth grade sisters/teachers on Halloween. (Photo courtesy Bridget Moorehead)

COLUMBUS – Annunciation second and third graders took a field trip to The School of Math & Science for their annual Science Carnival on Oct. 24. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)

PEARL – St. Jude parish celebrates the St. Jude feast on Sunday, Oct. 30, with a get together and lunch after Mass with Bishop Kopacz. In front, Lori Lee was “surprised” to be caught with all the cookies. (Photos by Rhonda Bowden)

CLARKSDALE – The three Stonestreet brothers served as altar servers at Mass at St. Elizabeth parish. Sam (senior), Harris (eighth grade) and Michael Stonestreet (fifth grade) are pictured with Father Raju. (Photo by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)

YAZOO CITY – (Left) St. Mary parish held Children’s Mass before celebrating the All Saints and All Souls feasts on Sunday, Oct. 30. (Photo by Babs McMaster)


LELAND – Family traditions continue at St. James parish. Growing up at St. James, the adults were all home for a family wedding and took the opportunity to have their children baptized at their “Home” Church. Children pictured: Infant – Luca Vincent Santucci, Cooper Doyle Santucci, Twins – Joseph Able Santucci and John Phillip Santucci. (Photo by Santucci Family)

CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth School held a Blue Mass honoring those in Uniform in the Clarksdale community. (Photos by Rachel Patterson)

MADISON – Students at St. Francis celebrated the many cultures of their parish as they processed into Mass, celebrating the feast day of the parish’s patron – St. Francis. (Photo by Sallieann Inman)
COLUMBUS – Annunciation third grade teacher, Mrs. Hubbard, assists Aidan Hinton with his project. (Photo by Logan Waggoner)

JACKSON – St. Richard hosted its 41st annual Special Kids Golf Tournament at Deerfield Country Club. All proceeds raised at this event support the school’s exceptional education programs. (Photos by Tammy Conrad)

St. Richard PreK3 students were treated to a visit from the Jackson Fire Department. Students got to try on the firemen’s gear, use the hose AND sit behind the wheel of a real fire engine! Afterwards, students
returned to their classrooms to make their own firetruck cookies! Pictured: Merrick Milligan dreams of driving the fire engine and shows off his cookie creation.

VICKSBURG – Vicksburg Catholic School alumni gathered for food, friends, family and football before the annual Homecoming Game. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)
VICKSBURG – St. Aloysius Senior, Ally Dorion, was selected as the 2022 Homecoming Queen. Ally looks with excitement at her Father, Phillip Dorion, as her name was announced. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)

MADISON – St. Joseph seventh graders work on their lab project: Physical Properties of Matter. (Photo by Tricia Harris)

MADISON – Terry Cassreino’s communication/broadcasting class at St. Joseph School are pictured in action. (Photo by Tereza Ma)


VICKSBURG – Lydia Nettles and Father Rusty Vincent donated blood to help save lives through a blood drive for Mississippi Blood Services. Blessings to all the Flashes family who participated in this life-saving event. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)

COLUMBUS – At Annunciation School, chess club members practice their skills ahead of their first competition. (Photo by Logan Waggoner)

JACKSON – PreK-3 students at St. Richard School harvested vegetables from their class gardens and made their own salsa. Pictured is Oliver Metzger adding cilantro to the mix. (Photo by Tammy Conrad)
MADISON – The Jr. Bruins and the Jr. Flashes face off in a game on Monday, Sept. 26 on Bill Raphael Field at St. Joseph School. The teams are made up of fifth and sixth graders at St. Anthony, St. Richard and St. Francis Xavier Schools. (Photos by Joanna Puddister King)
MADISON – Cheerleaders perform in a pep rally at St. Anthony School on Thursday, Sept. 29. (Photos by Joanna Puddister King)


Special celebrations

YAZOO CITY – (Right) Seminarian EJ Martin visited St. Mary parish in Yazoo City on Sunday, Sept. 25. He spoke to the children about his vocation, the seminary and also served at Children’s Mass. (Photo by Babs McMaster)
JACKSON – In 1953, the Sisters of Mercy founded St. Richard School. To honor their Mercy heritage the school included sixth-grade girls in a special celebration – a Mercy Day Tea with several members of the Sisters of Mercy on Wednesday, Sept. 21. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
VICKSBURG – St. Father Robert Dore gives a blessing during schoolMass at Vicksburg Catholic Schools. (Photos by Lindsey Bradley)

School Masses

VICKSBURG – Father PJ Curley offers a blessing to Brady Shows during the opening school Mass at Vicksburg Catholic Schools.


Happy birthday, Mary!

CLARKSDALE – The St. Elizabeth School celebrated the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Mary’s birthday – on Thursday, Sept. 8 with a procession. God’s gift of His Son to humankind was preceded by another precious gift — the gift of the Mother of His Son. Mary brought forth Jesus into the world. In this modern world, each and every follower of Jesus is also invited to “bring forth” Jesus into the world, in his or her life situation. (Photo by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)

Hands-on learning

SOUTHAVEN – Aleena, A.J. and Aaric work on “stained glass” sun-catcher Crosses on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross at Sacred Heart School. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)
JACKSON – Second graders at St. Richard Catholic School finished their combined science and social studies units with a visit from Scott Riddell – a real beekeeper. Students learned about the effect of the environment on animals and how the environment is affected by animals. (Photos by Tammy Conrad)


SOUTHAVEN – Sacred Heart School’s seventh grade baptism study included the students making their own candles. Pictured is Fernanda Bermudez working on her votive candle. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)

MERIDIAN – St. Patrick assistant teacher, Jasmine Jordan aids kindergartener Matthew Rush with finger painting. (Photo by Emily Thompson)

MADISON – St. Anthony third graders work on a science project in Ms. Holder’s room. Pictured left to right: Isaac Smith, Aspen Taylor, Sydney Beard and Cruz Warwick. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)

VICKSBURG – AP Biology students participated in an Animal Behavior Lab exercise learning the response to environmental variables. Katelyn Clark and Sara Beth Johnston observed animal behaviors relating to environmental stimuli and courtship behaviors. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)

JACKSON – The shape of the week was a square and these St. Richard PreK-3 students got “hands on” when making their very own squares. Clockwise from top: Josie Ball, Oliver Metzger, Townes Crews and Louise Simmons. (Photo by Tammy Conrad)

FLORA – After a time out with their coach, the Jr. Bruins march back for another play versus the Tri-County Academy Rebels on Thursday, Aug. 25. The Jr. Bruins are made up of fifth and sixth grade students from St. Anthony and St. Richard schools. (Photo by Joanna Puddister King)

Back 2 School






Breanna Sumlar, Kira Faulkner and Teyuana Reaves take a break from the day’s activities at Holy Family school. (Photo by Phyllis Parker)


St. Aloysius interim principal, Buddy Strickland celebrates with the class of 2023 as they walk in for their “last, first day of school.” (Photos by Lindsey Bradley)
VICKSBURG – Father Rusty blesses backpacks at St. Paul parish. (Photo by Connie Hosemann)

MERIDIAN St. Patrick


Sister Thea Bowman

St. Richard



Prepping for the new school year

VICKSBURG – Father Rusty Vincent celebrates Vicksburg Catholic School’s faculty and staff Mass. All hope to find God’s grace in each other as they start the new school year with fresh hope, joy, forgiveness and love. They will serve the Lord with gladness. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)
COLUMBUS – Mrs. Ferraez and Mrs. Young learn about the new technology program at Annunciation school and work on assigning new devices (iPads and Chromebooks) to all students for the year. (Photo by Logan Waggoner)
JACKSON – Parents and students gathered at St. Richard school for the “Meet the Teacher” event on Thursday, Aug. 4. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

In the Lord’s Army

YAZOO CITY – Youth at St. Mary parish participated in Vacation Bible School with the theme “Armor of God.” The children dressed as knights and sang “In the Lord’s Army” at the close of event. (Photo courtesy of Babs McMaster)

Catholic students, ‘Steer Clear Deer’ is a national winner

By Monica Walton
JACKSON – This wasn’t your typical middle school class project, nor what it a typical summer for Neel Boteler, Lily Frances Garner, Benjamin Manhein and Maley Thornhill. These four St. Richard School students spent their time engaging in creative, critical thinking, and lots of hard work — and it paid off big time! After winning the local, state and regional levels, they completed their sixth grade year with a trip to Washington DC, and earned first place in the nation at the 20th annual eCyberMission Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Competition sponsored by the US Army. More than 8,400 students registered to compete in the event, and our local students took home top honors in their division with a device to help reduce deer-related vehicle collisions. “Our team put in a lot of prep time,” said Maley Thornhill. “I didn’t realize it was going to take so much work, but at nationals it paid off!”

This was an experience unlike any other for these students. “We felt like kings!” said Neel Boteler. All agreed it was most definitely worth the hard work, and they felt proud to represent our state so well. “Hearing our name called was amazing,” said Lily Frances Garner. “We couldn’t believe our Mississippi team actually brought home the title for the first time. We showed that Mississippi kids are smart, too. It was awesome!”

WASHINGTON – Graduating sixth grade students at St. Richard stop for a shot with their award winning project “Steer Clear Deer” at the 20th annual eCyberMission STEM competition in July. Pictured left to right, Maley Thornhill, Ben Manhein, Neel Boteler and Lily Frances Garner. (Photo courtesy of St. Richard School)

Benjamin Manhein recalled the many hours of research and sorting through all their findings to determine what information would be most helpful to the project. “It was a good feeling when we knew we had what we needed and could begin building the Steer Clear Device,” he said.

The STEM competition invites students in grades six through nine across America to develop a “mission challenge” for their local communities and present a four-minute oral presentation followed by a question and answer session. The panel of judges consisted of U.S. Army scientists and engineers who work at Army laboratories and centers across the country. Ultimately, the goal is to foster student interest in a STEM career thus “cultivating an enduring, high-caliber workforce to provide tomorrow’s soldiers with the capabilities they need to protect our national interests across the globe.”

The St. Richard team named, “Oh Deer!” decided to take on the challenge of a common Mississippi problem – deer-related vehicle accidents. Their project was inspired by personal experience when one teammate’s father was involved in a deer collision causing extensive damage to his car. The team wanted to develop something that would deter deer without harming them and prevent them from running out into oncoming traffic potentially saving countless lives and thousands of dollars in vehicle damage. As they began their research, they discovered that current devices on the market aren’t very effective. They learned that deer can hear at higher pitches than humans, and while deer can see ultraviolet light, they do not see well above eye level. The resulting invention is “Steer Clear Deer” — a device that can be attached to a vehicle or placed on the roadside. It uses light and sound with changing patterns in ranges deer can see and hear, but humans cannot. Field testing and trials using those two deer senses showed great success in deterring deer with the least amount of risk to humans. “Don’t be surprised if you see ‘Steer Deer Clear’ on the shelves one day!” said Jennifer David, St. Richard School principal.

Team “Oh, Deer” brought home much more than a national title, though. Each team member received US Series EE Savings Bonds worth $10,000 at maturity, and they have new friends and great memories to treasure. While in Washington DC for the finals, the students participated in several activities including a Department of Defense Career Workshop Day, working in Army labs, learning about weapons systems, touring the National Zoo and several national monuments, and a showcase event highlighting all the student projects. “I learned more about the Army and how they do more than fight battles,” said Thornhill. “The activities showed us they also use science, technology and math to help our country in other ways.”

The weeklong event was also a unique opportunity to get to know the other students and advisors from around the country. They fostered new friendships and plan to stay in touch with some of them. “The future is very bright,” said advisor Ashley Klein. “I watched the kids grow, particularly in how they presented themselves. They were poised and confident and worked together beautifully. It was great seeing the amazing projects these kids undertook.” The seventh grade winning team from Texas featured the use of marine and freshwater algae as bioaccumulators of microplastics; the eighth grade winners from Illinois studied the impact of different soil additives on increasing the magnesium content in food crops, and determined a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution; and the ninth grade first place team from New Jersey determined the necessary components of a smart beehive system to optimize colony health.

During the awards ceremony, Maj. Gen. Brown, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, inspired the students with these words, “Lots of careers can be exciting, many careers can be rewarding — financially and personally. But a smaller number of careers give you the chance to do something meaningful. To launch a first of its kind product, secure a patent or produce something that changes our way of life for the better is meaningful. Supporting our mutual defense and doing something that brings a soldier home alive is meaningful in a way that few other things are.”

The students were indeed inspired and feel this experience has opened up more opportunities for their future. Lily Frances Garner said it makes her feel like she can do anything she puts her mind to, including succeeding in high school. She is even considering the possibility of pursuing a STEM career like Engineering.

Confirmaciones en Corinth

CORINTH – El sacramento de la Confirmación fue recibido por 9 jóvenes, en Misa celebrada por el Obispo Joseph R. Kopacz y el padre Mario Solórzano, el 9 de Julio en St. James the Less. Los jóvenes son: Anahi Rivera, Mirelle Blanco, Maria Diego, Maria López, Adamaris Pérez, Ricardo Hernández, Alexis Gonzáles (New Albany), Jasmin N. Trejo y Sharivel Trejo. (Fotos por Bernardo Sorcia)