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)


Vacation Bible School

McCOMB – St. Alphonsus Vacation Bible School attendees and volunteers pose for a photo after their “Make Waves” program that took place from June 20 -24 . (Photo by Connie Harrington)
PEARL – Kathleen Edwards reads book of creation to children at St. Jude parish on the first day of VBS on June 8. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth students, Tucker Dooley and Brooks Cauthen enjoy VBS activities. (Photo by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)

Having a “reel” good time

Around the diocese

MAGEE – Parishioners at St. Stephen prepared an impressive spread for their farewell luncheon held onJune 26 for Sacramental minister Father Antony Chakkalakka. (Photo by Kirby J. Rivere)
PEARL – On Thursday, June 16, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus presented the colors at the 15th annual Catholic Night at the Mississippi Braves Trustmark Park. (Photo by Michael Barrett)


CLINTON – Holy Savior senior graduates pose for a photo with Father Thomas McGing after Mass on May 15. Pictured l-r: Tristan Ballard, Abigail Vargheese, Chenoa Dillion, Father McGing, Katherine McCombs and Matthew Weiss. (Photo by Trish Ballard)
NATCHEZ – Emma Loomis and Molly Anderson exit the Baccalaureate Mass at St. Mary Basilica. (Photo by Cara Moody)
VICKSBURG – Father Rusty Vincent speaks to St. Aloysius students. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)
MADISON – St. Joseph Graduate John Hornback is pictured with Doug Hornback, Father Albeen Vatti and Katie Hornback. (Photo by Amy Hornback)
JACKSON – St. Richard fifth graders had a party day on May 24. Students competed boys versus girls by passing balls with their feet into the pool. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
YAZOO CITY – St. Mary parish held a Children’s Mass on Sunday, May 22, with children serving as lectors, altar servers and greeters. Pictured is Will Foster reading. (Photo by Babs McMaster)
LELAND – St. James seniors: Leland Selby, Eleanor Zepponi, Magdalin Prewitt, Graci Pickell and Brett Chustz are pictured with Father Sleeva Reddy Mekala. (Photo by Glenn Pickell)
WEST POINT – J.T. Pope experiences his first time altar serving, surrounded by seminarian Grayson Foley, Deacon Carlisle Beggerly and Bishop Joseph Kopacz, for the ordiantion of Carlisle Beggerly to the transitional diaconate at Immaculate Conception parish on June 4.

Celebrando Exitos de Clase 2022

RIPLEY – (Izq.) El Padre Clem Oya, jefe de la Oficina Multicultural de la Diócesis y párroco de Holy Family en Jackson posa en foto tomada después de Misa celebrada por él para celebrar la graduación de estudiantes de la clase 2022. La foto grupal muestra a los graduados y miembros de sus familias, quienes atendieron a la Misa para bendecir el éxito de los mismos. (Foto cortesia del Padre Clem Oya)
VARDAMAN – Los graduados de Vardaman High School, Orlando Ramos, Joan Juarez y Jacobo Johnson recibiendo una bendición especial del Padre Cesar Sanchez el sábado 28 de mayo. (Foto cortesía de Danna Johnson)

Vicksburg Council 898 of the Knights of Columbus present scholarship

May 19, 2022 – Vicksburg Council 898 of the Knights of Columbus, represented by the council’s treasurer Jeff Eckstein, visited St. Aloysius high school to present a $1,600 scholarship to graduating senior Marissa Jabour, winner of the council’s annual Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest with her essay on the theme of perseverance. The council was also there to present a $1,130 donation to the Vicksburg Catholic Schools Tuition Assistance fund to Ms. Karla McHan. Funds for the scholarship and donation came from various fundraisers the council conducted in the preceding year. (Photo by Tomas Mondragon)


Crowning Mary

JACKSON – Sister Thea Bowman Elementary fifth grader, Ashleigh Mason accepts flowers from Kindergarteners, Karmen Davis and Kahlie Saleem, along with other Kindergarteners and Father Joe Dyer. The flowers were placed before the Mary statue during the Crowning Mary ceremony held after Mass on Friday, May 6. (Photo by Shae Goodman Robinson)
SOUTHAVEN – Sacred Heart students, Mac Collins and Izzy Viglietti serve as attendants as Gwyneth Michael crowns Mary during Mass on Wednesday, May 11. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
CANTON – Nicole Contreras, María Fernanda Tibet and Denise Contreras prepare to crown Mary at Sacred Heart Parish. (Photo by Blanca Peralta Zunigo)

Catholic student life

JACKSON – On Friday, May 6, St. Richard fifth graders performed Fifty Nifty United States. Students showed what happens when the States decide to visit and swap spots with each other. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
WEST POINT – Confirmation candidates, left to right, Paola Garcia and Paulina Lemus, are pictured reaching out to prospective donors for the Confirmation students annual blood drive that took place on Wednesday, May 25. Other candidates also made calls, distributed posters and flyers, and worked on the day of the drive, welcoming prospective donors and offering snacks and assistance; as well as, setting up and cleaning up. (Photo by Cathy Johnson)
GREENVILLE – St. Joseph students Raymon Singh, John Maddox Hillman, Jerrian King and Lori Ann Hughes compete in a team building exercise at their Junior Retreat. Working together is a necessity. (Photo by Emily Thompson)