Around the schools

JACKSON – Sister Thea PreK students, Kendrea Bass, Amirah Wilson and Rhyleigh Deans enjoy some hula-hoop activities. (Photo by Christopher Payne)

JACKSON – Pre-K5 students at St. Richard School process as floats through the parking lot for the schools annual Mardi Gras celebration. (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)

MADISON – St. Joseph Spirit Steppers, Emerson Erwin, Cambell Miller, Stella McCarty and Sophia Liberto enjoy dancing in the Mardi Gras parade at St. Anthony School. (Photo by Candace Sigler)

NATCHEZ – Cathedral fifth grader, Anna Cooper throws beads to the crowd of students at school. (Photos by Cara Moody)

VICKSBURG – Sisters of Mercy Early Learning Center had a “Red, White and Blue Day” on “Celebrate our Nation” day recently at the school. Pictured: Mary Blake Brown, Emma Parrish, Emery Weeks, Hadley and Hunter Strickland. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)


Ash Wednesday

JACKSON – Deacon Denzil Lobo places ashes on Sister Thea Bowman School second grader, Azaria Weems, on Ash Wednesday. (Photo by Christopher Payne)

NATCHEZ – Religion teacher, JoAnn Waycaster places ashes on the forehead of Cathedral School senior, Gracie Bradley on Wednesday, February 14 at St. Mary Basilica. (Photo by Cara Moody)

SOUTHAVEN – Father Hendrick Ardianto, SCJ, distributes ashes to Cash Fortin during Sacred Heart School’s Ash Wednesday Mass. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

MADISON – St. Francis of Assisi student Avery Cook receives ashes from Father Albeenreddy Vatti. (Photo by Chiquita Brown)

GREENVILLE – Kent Tonos, Father Sanchéz and Fletcher McGaugh get ready to process out of St. Joseph School Mass on Ash Wednesday. (Photo by Elese Serio)

Youth – Around the Diocese

ANGUILLA – Our Mother of Mercy celebrated their 100-plus anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 27. Pictured: Reed Mahalitc and his sister Charley Rose bring the gifts up to Bishop Joseph Kopacz and Father Panneer Selviam Arokiam. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
TUPELO – High school students from St. James parish, step up and lead by example, in service to their parish. Pictured: Marcela Tiscareno and Alexandra Villanueva wash dishes and clean the parish kitchen with their fellow senior classmates with a smile. (Photo by Michelle Harkins)

Youth – SEEK24 and High School Confirmation retreat


By Alex Barfield
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – College students from Mississippi joined approximately 20,000 others for a five-day conference focused on faith in St. Louis from Jan. 1-5.

The University of Mississippi brought a group of 18 students, and Mississippi State brought about 80 students.

SEEK is a national conference organized by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
Each day, students attended Mass in the former hockey arena, listened to speakers like Father Mike Schmitz, and formed community with the universal church.

“SEEK was the most incredible experience that I had no idea I needed so much! Getting to hear the most amazing speakers, meeting so many people on fire for the Lord, and singing and worshipping alongside 20,000 other students truly made me fall in love with the Catholic Church in a whole new way,” said Olivia DeGravelle, sophomore.

“SEEK 24 was yet another reminder to me that the Catholic Church is alive and thriving! I encountered Christ through the many interactions I had with fellow college students, through powerful speakers, and through the sacraments. The Holy Spirit is undoubtedly doing incredible things,” said, Frank Galeziewski, senior.

A yearly event, the SEEK conference will be held in Salt Lake City, UT as its main location in January 2025.

(Alex Barfield is the campus minister at The University of Mississippi through St. John the Evangelist parish in Oxford.)

High School Confirmation Retreat – MACON

St. Michael parish in Forest

St. Peter parish in Grenada

Youth – Catholic Schools Week in pictures

COLUMBUS – Annunciation

CLARKSDALE – St. Elizabeth

MADISON – St. Anthony


MADISON – St. Joseph

JACKSON – St. Richard

NATCHEZ – Cathedral


Around our Catholic Schools

MADISON – The St. Joseph Spirit Steppers and Band participated in Governor Tate Reeves’ inaugural parade on Tuesday, Jan. 9 in downtown Jackson. (Photos by Tereza Ma)
MADISON – The St. Joseph Senior Maddie-Claire Spence snags a Bruin News Now interview with Governor Tate Reeves immediately after his swearing-in ceremony on inauguration day. (Photo by Dr. Dena Kinsey)

COLUMBUS – Kindergartners in Mrs. Ford’s class at Annunciation School finished their study on the winter season by playing in the “snow!” (Photos by Jacque Hince)


Around our Catholic Schools

HOLLY SPRINGS – Teachers at Holy Family School collaborated while starting the process of reviewing the English/Language Arts academic standards on Tuesday, Jan. 2. (Photo courtesy of school)
MADISON – St. Anthony students Hunter Smith, Collin Rayner and Greta Kate Ostrenga work together to build a sailboat during a STREAM lesson on Friday, Jan. 5 at St. Anthony School. (Photo courtesy of school)
JACKSON – Mrs. Sandel’s Pre-K3 class wrapped her in wrapping paper for their Christmas party at St. Richard School. (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)
SOUTHAVEN – For an Advent Service on Dec. 11, each Pre-K through second grade student placed a leaf on a circle on the gym floor to form a wreath. Then the candles were added, followed by the lighting of the candles and the singing of the “Advent Song.” (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue)
MADISON – St. Anthony sixth grade student Natalia Rojas spends time with second grade student Matthew Price preparing for First Reconciliation. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)
COLUMBUS – Annunciation fourth graders recently participated in a Science Fair. They presented their projects to the entire school and visitors, alike. (Photo by Logan Gentry)

Posadas, Belen and Reyes Magos

By Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – In the Latino Hispanic tradition, Christmas starts with Posadas, weeks ahead of Dec. 25, and ends on Jan. 6 with the celebration of the Epiphany.
Every Christmas season, parishioners decorate the building with nativity scenes, “El Belen” that include each protagonist of the most important event for the Christian community worldwide. The decoration came alive when people started representing the season’s most important moments.
The Posadas (translation for Inn) is a remembrance of the time when Mary and Joseph were looking for a place where pregnant Mary could deliver the baby, but only received rejections.
Posadas are a procession during the night, led by Mary and Joseph’s actors accompanied by people singing villancicos (Carols for this special occasion), and holding candles.
“The Pilgrims…
I’ve asked you for lodging
Dear innkeeper
Because the mother is going to be
The queen of the heavens.

The Innkeepers…
Then if it is a queen
Who requests it
How is it that at nighttime
She’s traveling so alone?”

Posadas are hosted by a family who opened their house’s doors at the end.
At the Christmas vigil, the Nativity scene is alive with people impersonating the story’s characters.
The Epiphany, in most of the towns, is celebrated with a big parade where three people impersonate the Reyes Magos (the wise men), who distribute sweets, and gifts among the crowd. This action is replicated at home by adults giving gifts to children.

PONTOTOC – Parishioners of St. Christopher parish represented the Nativity scene during “Posadas.” (Photo by Aracely Nieves)
PEARL – St Jude parish celebrated “Posadas” on Wednesday, Dec. 20. In front, Jospeh and Mary are looking for a room at the inn. (Photo by Lauren Roberts)


Around our Catholic Schools

JACKSON – St. Richard sixth graders carried on the tradition of putting on the “Manhattan Mall” for the residents of the Manhattan nursing home across from campus. Seniors are able to “shop” for gifts for their loved ones. (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)
MADISON – Student musicians practice for St. Joseph Catholic School’s annual “Gifts of the Season” Christmas concert that took place on Sunday, Dec. 10, in the school Fine Arts auditorium. Pictured are sophomore Talia Ramos, far right, and freshman Mackenzie Maberry rehearsing for “Gifts of the Season.” (Photo courtesy of school)
COLUMBUS – Annunciation dad, James Wagner, teaches students about electricity during a Superhero themed STREAM Day at the school. (Photo by Logan Gentry)

Around the diocese

COLUMBUS – Father Jeffery Waldrep assists Mrs. Ford’s Kindergarten class with their Thanksgiving story bracelets. (Photo by Logan Gentry)
MADISON – St. Anthony School PreK-4 students, Bryan Gardner and Ridge Bond, were excited to find a candy treat and prayer card in their shoes on the Feast of Saint Nicholas on Dec. 6. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)
PEARL – St. Jude youth performed their annual Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Roberts)
AMORY – The children of St. Helen Church proclaimed the Christmas Story, “Our Chaos, His Peace,” for parishioners and all grandparents following Mass on Dec. 10. Afterwards, they presented grandparents with hand-painted ornaments. High school youth served as lectors, intercession readers and greeters for the Mass. (Photo by Jean Pinkley)


Around our Catholic Schools

VICKSBURG – The second grade “Saints Celebration”, with assistance from sophomores, is a wonderful tradition at Vicksburg Catholic School. (Photo courtesy of school)
JACKSON – Kindergarteners at St. Richard School performed “The Great Turkey Day Race” play for school students and families before Thanksgiving break. (Photo by Chelsea Dillon)
WEST POINT – Adults and youth at Immaculate Conception parish get competitive at a game of musical chairs with Father Binh Nguyen at the parish fall festival event. (Photo by Cathy Johnson)
PEARL – Nate Pearson and Jojo Roberts get ready for Christmas at the St. Jude Young Apostles youth center on Wednesday, Nov. 15. (Photo by Tereza Ma)
WEST POINT – Two “Ninja Turtles” play some croquet at Immaculate Conception parish’s annual Fall Fest. (Photo by Cathy Johnson)
SOUTHAVEN – PreK three and four year old students culminated their unit on Nursery Rhymes with a Nursery Rhymes Olympic Day. Pictured: Addison Wade as one of the King’s Men gives her crown to another one of the king’s men to ride off and try to put Humpty dumpty back together again. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)
MERIDIAN – St. Patrick first graders enjoys a super “Saints-giving” party. They learned about their individual saint, dressed as that saint and enjoyed a special snack. (Photo by Kasey Owen)


Around the diocese

JACKSON – St. Richard first grade students studied, drew portraits and presented their saints to their classmates, family and parishioners at Mass on All Saints Day on Nov. 1. (Photos by Chelsea Dillon)

COLUMBUS – (first photo) Noah Langston and David Leonard walk down the aisle to present the gifts at the All Saints Day Mass at Annunciation School. (Photos by Logan Gentry)

Around our Catholic Schools

COLUMBUS – Annunciation students participated in Superhero STREAM Day celebrating National STEM/STEAM Day recently. (Photos by Logan Gentry)

MADISON – The Lady Bruins show their volleyball skills for “Media Day” on Wednesday, Nov. 8. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

MERIDIAN – St. Patrick students enjoyed the annual soccer challenge hosted by the Knights of Columbus Council 802. (Photos by Kasey Owen)