Sacred Heart School students visit Dehonian school in Brazil

By Laura Grisham
SOUTHAVEN – As Sacred Heart School and Holy Family School students returned from the Summer Institute in Houston, the “Schools in Collaboration” journey continued for two other Sacred Heart students, Kade Whisenhunt and Doryan Didier Pierre-Noel and teacher Ann Lovelace. The three embarked on a 14-day excursion to Colégio São Luiz (St. Louis School), in Brazil. São Luis is one of about 50 schools worldwide that is sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart. This was the first time the Brazilian school has hosted Dehonian exchange students.

In January, Sacred Heart School (SHS) welcomed four São Luiz students and their teacher for a monthlong stay. SHS students have been pen-pals with students from São Luiz for several years. As part of the Dehonian educational community, students are also able to connect with other Priests of the Sacred Heart schools throughout the United States and around the world via zoom at various times throughout the year.

Sacred Heart School teacher Ann Lovelace and students Kade Whisenhunt and Doryan Didier Pierre-Noel recently spent two weeks as exchange students at Colégio São Luiz (Saint Louis School) in Brusque, Brazil, a school sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart. (Photos courtesy of Laura Grisham)

Father Silvano João da Costa, the São Luiz principal, expressed his delight in hosting the Mississippi visitors.

“Just before the 120th anniversary of the foundation of our institution, we are happy to welcome exchange students from a Dehonian school. It is an opportunity of immeasurable knowledge to everyone and the interchange of experiences is spectacular,” said Father Silvano.
He also shared his hope that this first experience in Brazil would reinforce the importance of the internationalization trend and stimulate other institutions that are part of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) around the world to also be open to the project. “I hope that new opportunities will take place. We are ready to receive students and willing to provide our students with the expansion of knowledge, which occurs when we discover new horizons,” Father Silvano explained.

Teacher Mariane Werner Zen, the São Luiz’s bilingual methodology coordinator who visited Sacred Heart School with her students in January, was equally excited to welcome the international visitors. “Our exchange program is very significant because it promotes educational fulfillment and experiences that go beyond the classroom,” said Werner Zen. “It may seem like there is a big difference at first, but then you realize that, despite the geographical and language differences, teenagers face the same challenges. They have very similar moments of happiness, fear and insecurity. The more knowledge they acquire, the more respect and the fewer judgments they express.”

In addition to connecting with the former exchange students, Kade and Doryan attended regular eighth-grade classes and activities daily and learned much about Brazilian culture. They also shared presentations about the Dehonian spirit at Sacred Heart School with their São Luiz counterparts. Teacher Ann Lovelace was able to work with several grades in their English studies.

During their two-week stay, the SHS crew was able to experience a great deal of the Brazilian Dehonian community. Visits to the seminaries in Corupá and Rio Negrinho, and to the novitiate in Jaraguá do Sul, served to deepen their knowledge of the principles and spirituality that guide the Dehonian schools in Brazil and throughout the world.

Ann Lovelace aided Brazilian students with their English lessons while in São Luiz. (Photos courtesy of Laura Grisham)

Their time in Brazil was also filled with all kinds of special activities, such as exploring Navegantes Beach, riding a ferry to Itajaí (Santa Catarina) to see the Bico do Papagaio (Parrot’s Beak) rock formation and tour Santíssimo Sacramento (Blessed Sacrament) Church with its amazing architecture and stained glass.

When asked about his time as an exchange student, Doryan shared, “Before I came here, I thought people didn’t speak English all that much and that they would be more shy. But, I was well accepted and I have been talking normally with the students. They are all very attentive and kind.”

He also said that he was impressed with the structure of the school and the topics covered in the classroom. “The teachers are really nice and the lessons are very meaningful. In Mississippi we are learning the same things in the math classes.”

“What I liked most was getting to know a new culture and discovering new places,” Doryan continued. “I will definitely be saying how wonderful Brazil is.”

Lovelace expressed her delight with the results achieved by the bilingual methodology. While visiting the kindergarten classes, she noticed that even the youngest students were already familiar with the language. “Even the students in the early grades were able to talk to me without trouble. This surprised me because I thought that since English is not their first language, it would be more difficult to communicate. I was wrong.”

The Brazilians’ fluency in English also caught Kade’s attention, as he could count on the help of his classmates to understand the subjects better. “It is amazing how well everyone speaks English,” shared the student. “I thought they would only master the basics, but they all talk to me about different topics easily. They also helped me in class when I didn’t understand something.”

Kade’s enthusiasm about the adventure abroad was easy to see. “I was so lucky to be here; it was amazing! I encourage students to go on an exchange if they have the opportunity. It’s worth it!”


Having a ‘ball’ at field day

CLINTON – Class of 2023 seniors were recognized at Holy Savior on Saturday, May 6. Pictured (l-r): Ryan Callegan, Cade Tripp, Father Lincoln Dall, Emillie McCombs, Cole Hatch and Aidan Camillo. (Photo by Trish Ballard)

COLUMBUS – Annunciation student Gabriella Nguyen got ready for summer with some Field Day fun on Friday, May 12. (Photo by Logan Waggoner)

JACKSON – St. Richard sixth graders made a trip to New Orleans on Friday, May 19 where they visited the WWII museum and St. Louis Cathedral, where Jolie Sekinger gave them tour and brief history. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

PEARL – Parishioners brought flowers to Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 2 for May Crowning at St. Jude parish. Pictured is Josh Statham placing a crown of roses on the parishes statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)

First Communion Celebration

VICKSBURG – Several students recently celebrated their First Communion at Vicksburg Catholic School. Pictured are Collins Farmer, Amelia Guider, Benjamin Ponder, Mary Thompson Ratliff, Charlie Reeder, Joe Robert and Adeline Stewart. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)


Around our Catholic Schools


Sixth grade students led a May Crowning service at Vicksburg Catholic School on May 4. “O, Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!” (Photos by Lindsey Bradley)


Principal Sarah Cauthen and student Liza Stonestreet work together to crown Mother Mary. (Photo by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)


St. Richard six graders, Hayden Couch and Maya work together to crown Mary at school Mass on Wednesday May 10. (Photo by Tereza Ma)


Logan Grant places a flower and Boone Morgan awaits his turn to honor Mary on Monday, May 1 at Annunciation School. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)


Light one candle! (Photo by Michelle Harkins)


First grader, Olivia Lin displays her talent by playing the piano at St. Elizabeth School’s Got Talent: Talent Show. (Photos by Mary Evelyn Stonestreet)


MADISON – St. Joseph Catholic School students celebrate their efforts that raised a record $19,665 at this year’s edition of BruinTHON – an annual student-driven fundraiser that benefits the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, part of the Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Their fundraising effort culminated the seven-hour, on-your-feet, marathon fundraiser BruinTHON on Friday, April 28, 2023, in the St. Joe gym. (Photo courtesy of school)


JACKSON – Recently, St. Richard fourth grade reading buddies visited their PreK-4 friends for some outdoor story time! (Photo by Tammy Conrad)


Mrs. Wade’s second grade class release butterflies they hatched. Pictured are Matthew and Aaric getting a very close look. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)


Students around the diocese


HOLLY SPRINGS – Holy Family School’s PK-4 students were delighted to receive Easter baskets from their teachers. (Photo by Laura Grisham)

COLUMBUS – Annunciation

MERIDIAN – St. Patrick

JACKSON – St. Richard

MERIDIAN – St. Patrick students enjoy sno-cones as a reward for academic achievement after the third nine weeks of school. (Photo by Emily Thompson)
JACKSON – Mrs. Watson’s Kindergarten class made Resurrection rolls. Students stuffed the pastry with cinnamon and marshmallows and after baking they discovered that the marshmallow was not there (it melted) … the tomb is EMPTY! (Photos by Tammy Conrad)


VICKSBURG – (Above) Vicksburg Catholic School fifth grade students attended the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle in Jackson. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)


Youth around the diocese


SOUTHAVEN – Sacred Heart School’s eighth grade students presented live Stations of the Cross just before the Easter holidays. (Photos Father Vien Nguyen, SCJ)
Over 100 youth from Holy Spirit Hernando, Christ the King Southaven and Queen of Peace Olive Branch gathered for a Seder Meal on Wednesday, March 26. (Photo by Amanda Mahla Ready)


TUPELO – Matthew Becker assists as an altar server at Mass on Easter Sunday at St. James parish. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Harkins)


JACKSON – Presenting Mr. and Miss Sister Thea Bowman School 2023: King Zamare’ Owen and Queen Raleigh Mozee. (Photos by Christopher Payne)


MERIDIAN – Myles Spears sells “shamrock supplies” to Liza Thompson at the St. Patrick School Store. (Photos by Emily Thompson)
Students enjoy snocones as a reward for academic achievement in the third nine weeks


Vicksburg Catholic School Class of 2023, along with the help of Golding Barge Line, kicked off their senior retreat week with the installation of a “blessing box” on the corner of Grove Street and Howard Street. The idea is that you “take what you need and give what you can.” (Photos by Lindsey Bradley)


JACKSON – St. Richard School hosted its Spring Family Fun Night recently. While parents attended the Parent Association general membership meeting, students got to do exciting STEM experiments and art projects. Everyone was treated to a delicious dinner courtesy of the PA. Pictured l-r: Bo Brown and Gavin Sutton have fun being “scientists.” (Photo by Tammy Conrad)


School is ‘nifty’

JACKSON – St. Richard fifth graders perform their “Fifty Nifty” program on the 50 states for students and parents on Friday, March 23. (Photo by Joanna Pudister King)
(Left) St. Richard Kindergarten teacher, Kate Morris leads her class by the Stations of the Cross on their way back to class. (Photo by Tammy Conrad)
CLARKSDALE – Father Raju and parishioners at St. Elizabeth enjoy a special St. Patrick’s Day Lenten luncheon on Friday, March 17. (Photo by Catelin Britt)

Grandparents day at Annunciation school

COLUMBUS – The McConnell/Thomas family join hands for The Lord’s Prayer during the grandparents day Mass at Annunciation School. (Right) Annunciation students demonstrate their robotics projects to their grandparents. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)


Hands-on learning

JACKSON – St. Richard School CASA Stem students learn about batteries and circuits through fun, hands-on experiments. Pictured left to right: Zoe Thomas, Oliver Skipper, Reeves Buckley, Andrew Compretta, Jason Ball (instructor), Ben Compretta, Drew Simmons and Andrew Ueltschey.

Next: St. Richard School closed out its school-wide unit on the Mississippi Blues with a performance by The Al Miller Band with singing, dancing and some original “blues” poetry by students. (Photos by Tammy Conrad)

St. Michael Youth at DCYC

FOREST – St. Michael parish youth were excited about attending DCYC this year. (Photos by Liz Edmondson)

Read Across America

SOUTHAVEN – Scarlett, Maddie, Sadie, Luis, Kannon, Haziel, Jayce, Cash, Zahrah, and Jonas were all smiles when they saw the cat come into view. Pre-K and Kindergarteners celebrated Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a visit from the “Cat” himself. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)

STREAM at Annunciation

COLUMBUS – Annunciation fifth grade students cook with Mrs. Cancellare in S.T.R.E.A.M. Class. Pictured: Above, Preston Dimino scoops batter into baking cups. On right, Annabelle Brislin puts the final touches on her strawberry bruschetta. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)

Meridian youth attend DCYC

VICKSBURG – The Catholic Community of Meridian sent eight high school students to DCYC in Vicksburg the first weekend in March.The Holy Spirit moved in and around the youth through all activities at the annual youth conference. (Photos by Angela Dove)


Featuring: Annunciation School

Annunciation students packed away allelujahs in preparation for the Lenten season. Pictured is first grader, Myers Ferguson packing away his allelujah with Father Jeffrey Waldrep.
Annunciation’s seventh and eighth grade robotics team competed in the state championship on Saturday, Feb. 25 and brought home second place in the robot design category.Team: Hayden Torres, Mark Leonard, Anthony Baumann, Sophia Heinkel, Hutch Clemons, Jackson Browning and James Cancellare. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)
JACKSON – St. Richard PreK-3 students Ayden Butler and Everly Hankins brought the “cool” at the annual Krewe de Cardinal Mardi Gras Parade!
JACKSON – St. Richard students enjoy catching beads and goodies at their annual Mardi Gras parade on Fat Tuesday. (Photo by Christiana Williams)
VICKSBURG – Presenting … the Krewe of St. Francis Xavier Elementary! Montessori, Preschool and Kindergarten students made floats for the annual Mardi Gras parade. Older elementary students and high school students caught some beads. And Father PJ Curley loved seeing all the colorful “floats!” (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)

JACKSON – St. Richard six graders enjoy a moment in the spotlight after after performing the hilarious musical “Hatshepsut the Queen of Denial,” directed by music teacher Mr. Dillon. (Photo by Tereza Ma)


Around our Catholic Schools

MERIDIAN – Father Augustine joins students for a “Tacky Tuesday” dodgeball tournament during Catholic Schools Week.
MERIDIAN – Students plant flags outside of St. Patrick school in honor of our service men and women. (Photos by Emily Thompson)
SOUTHAVEN – Fifth grader, Geneva Hicks helps kindergarten students with finding their numbers while playing bingo. Front left to right, Maiya Pruitt and Kala McCoy. Top left to right, Valentina Amador-Alvarez and Geneva Hicks. (Photo by Sister Margaret Sue Broker)

COLUMBUS – Annunciation students follow Ace the Eagle during their “Celebrating our Nation Day” parade. Annunciation seventh grader, Hayden Torres works on renaissance models in art class. (Photos by Logan Waggoner)

JACKSON – Sister Thea Bowman students on the Jaguar basketball team stop for a shot after the SIBA (South International Basketball Association) championship game. (Photo by Christopher Payne)
JACKSON – St. Richard fourth graders recently helped Meals on Wheels pack deliveries. Pictured left to right: Kybrin Johnson, Eli Williams and Cate Weisenberger. (Photo by Tammy Conrad)
YAZOO CITY – Youth at St. Mary Church celebrated St. Valentine on Sunday, Feb. 12 by making crafts and playing games. (Photo by Babs McMaster)

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week around our schools

JACKSON – Bishop Kopacz speaks to Sister Thea Bowman School students at a special Catholic Schools Week Mass. (Photo by Christopher Payne)
GREENVILLE – Greg Fore receives communion from Bishop Kopacz at Mass at St. Joseph School. (Photo by Nikki Thompson)
NATCHEZ – Father Aaron Williams blesses the throat of sixth grader John Zachary Wingfield on St. Blaise’s feast day on Friday, Feb. 3.
VICKSBURG – Pictured after Mass at Vicksburg Catholic School are Jon Graham, Katie Emfinger, Fathers P.J. Curley, Rusty Vincent, Joseph Nguyen, Robert Dore, Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, Vicar General Father Lincoln Dall, Karla Luke and Mary Arledge. (Photo by Lindsey Bradley)
MADISON – St. Anthony welcomed Bishop Kopacz to Mass during Catholic Schools Week celebration of vocations day. Pictured left to right are James Dukes, Bishop Kopacz and Ben Schenk. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)
HOLLY SPRINGS – Father Jack Kurps, SCJ, led Monday’s prayer service at Holy Family. Students and staff members received a special blessing and were presented with a certificate of appreciation. (Photo courtesy of school)
CLARKSDALE – Students, Waverly Roach and Ella Bronwyn Graves bring forth the gifts during Mass at St. Elizabeth during Cathoilic School Week. (Photo by Sarah Cauthen)
VICKSBURG – St. Mary parish celebrated Catholic School Week with their Vicksburg Catholic School students; Miracle Flowers (commentator), De’Marques Flowers (altar server), Me’Kayla Flowers (altar server) and Eva Evans (altar server). (Photo by Leonette Thomas)
GREENVILLE – St. Joseph fifth graders, Caryn Jackson, Matthew Lipscomb and Elizabeth Baldwin, enjoy a reading break between activities during Catholic Schools Week. (Photo by Nikki Thompson)
TUPELO – Santiago Lopez and Nathan Eschete wash vans used daily by the Boys and Girls Club of Tupelo. (Photo by Mary Frances Strange
MADISON – St. Joseph student, Ted Klopman prepares himself a complementary cup of hot chocolate on Student Appreciation Day during Catholic Schools Week. (Photo by AK Stephen)

JACKSON – Sister Thea Bowman School sixth grader, Bailey Thiac presents her science fair project to the judges. (On right) Sixth grader, Ashleigh Mason explains her science fair project to the panel of judges. (Photos by Christopher Payne)