Although the Sisters of St. Joseph of the third order of St. Francis no longer serve in Mississippi, their legacy remains, especially in Meridian and Greenwood, where they were integral in starting a hospital and school. The school, St. Francis of Assisi, is still operating in Greenwood, although it is now served by a different Franciscan community.
This spring the school’s founders dedicated an issue of their magazine, Peace and All Good, to their time in Mississippi to commemorate the 70th anniversary of coming to the state. “Mississippi Ministry, 1945-1996,” is packed full of stories and photos from both communities. A digital issue will be available on the order’s website, www.ssj-tosf.org. Those who would like to order a hard copy should send $10 to Sister Angelora Grossman, SSJ-TOSF, P.O. Box 305, Stevens Point, WI 54481-0305. To speak with Sister Angelora, call 715-341-8457.
JACKSON – St. Dominic Hospital celebrated its 70th anniversary on Friday, April 15. This marks the day when a group of Dominican Sisters from Springfield, Ill., came to Jackson to assume responsibility for what was then known as the Jackson Infirmary. This original hospital was located on Amite Street in downtown Jackson.
Although St. Dominic’s, and the healthcare industry as a whole, has endured growth and change over the years, St. Dominic’s has remained true to the pioneer sisters’ vision of providing a Christian healing ministry to the people of Mississippi. Currently, seven Dominican Sisters serve locally in the St. Dominic’s ministry.
St. Dominic Hospital is a 535-bed tertiary care hospital located in Jackson, serving all of central Mississippi and employs approximately 3,000 people, inclusive of nurses, physicians, and skilled caregivers. The medical staff, of nearly 500 leading physicians and specialists, makes St. Dominic’s one of the most comprehensive hospitals in Mississippi.
To commemorate the occasion, sculptor Tracy Sugg created a life-size bronze statue of a pioneer Dominican Sister titled, ‘Dominican Sister, A Life Given in Service,’ to honor the many donors who have supported the St. Dominic’s ministry over the years. In the past, grateful patients, families and friends helped to support St. Dominic’s by purchasing commemorative plaques placed on doors throughout the hospital. As the hospital changed to meet patient needs, many plaques were left with no place to be displayed. Sculptor Tracy Sugg used the bronze from these plaques to create the statue.
The sister in the sculpture is actually stepping off the plinth with one hand outstretched. This was done to help convey the essence of the Sisters’ desire to not be on a pedestal, but rather to serve in Christ’s love.
“This sculpture honors our many friends and represents the donor recognition plaques placed throughout the hospital in prior years,” said Lester Diamond, president of St. Dominic Hospital. “I cannot think of a better way to commemorate St. Dominic’s 70th anniversary than this distinctive representation of what we hope to embody as an organization.”
(Story and photo courtesy of St. Dominic)
PHILADELPHIA – On Saturday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m., Bishop Joseph Kopacz will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving celebrating both the 130th anniversary of the founding of Holy Rosary Indian Mission and the 70th anniversary of the work of the Missionary Servants of the Holy Trinity in that community. The Mass will be followed by a potluck supper and a special game of bingo.
“We call it ‘religious bingo,’” explained Father Bob Goodyear, ST, pastor. “All the prizes are religious articles that are not easily found in this area – rosaries, crucifixes, bibles, children’s Bibles, a statue of Our Lady of Grace, a framed picture of Kateri Tekakwitha, a nativity scene, etc.,” he added.
Chief Phyliss Anderson and members of the Choctaw Tribal Council representing Tucker are planning to attend the festivities. Chief Anderson, the first female chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, will present two tribal council resolutions, one in honor of the mission and one in honor of the Missionary Servants. The resolutions recognize the work of both the Diocese of Jackson and the Missionary Servants in improving the quality of life for the Choctaw and other community members.
One of them states“ … the Tribal Council does hereby express its thanks to the many individuals who have worked at Holy Rosary Indian Mission through the past hundred years, including priests, sisters, brothers, volunteers and officials of the Jackson Diocese, including Bishops, who have made outstanding individual contributions to the Mission which have positively influenced generations of Tribal members and which have resulted in establishing enduring religious institutions which are vital to the Choctaw community,”
The second part of the celebration is set for December when Bishop Kopacz will preach an Advent mission Dec. 8-10 at Holy Rosary. This celebration will incorporate cultural aspects of Choctaw life, including social dancing.
Holy Rosary was dedicated Sept. 10, 1884, to serve the Native Americans still living in Mississippi. As the population shifted the diocese opened Conehatta St. Catherine and Pearl River St. Therese missions as well. Choctaw culture is still important in the community. Father Goodyear translated the Mass into Choctaw and got permission in 1983 to celebrate the first Choctaw Mass at St. Catherine’s.
The parish is selling T-shirts to commemorate the anniversary. Contact Father Goodyear for order forms and information at BGST1@aol.com