Loyola to start new program in North Mississippi

By Kris Ivancic
TUPELO – What is your ministry? This is the first question students in the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program (LIMEX) are asked.  It is not always an easy question to answer. LIMEX can lead to a master’s degree or certificate in Pastoral Studies or Religious Education. There is also an opportunity to earn undergraduate credit, but is also an opportunity for personal growth.
In Mississippi, we are well aware of the need for laypersons to be prepared to assume ministry in their parishes. Tupelo St. James Parish will be sponsoring another LIMEX learning group, which will begin this fall.
There will be an information session on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 p.m. in Mary’s Room of the Catholic Life Center at St. James.  Call Lee Oswalt at 662-322-3741 or Kris Ivancic at 662-791-9643 if you have questions. You can also go online to http://lim.loyno.edu.
In “Called and Gifted,” the U.S. Bishops stated, “Baptism and confirmation empower all believers to share in some form of ministry. Although the specific form of participation in ministry varies according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all who share in this work are united with one another.” This document really speaks to the call to all the faithful to participate in the ministry of the church in some way. LIMEX is designed to equip everyone to respond to God’s call in their life. Ministry is not just about teaching religious education or being a lector at Mass. Certainly, those are ministries, however; ministry does not just exist within the liturgy or even the parish.  Ministers function in the workplace, with certain groups, in volunteer organizations — everywhere. Christianity is not a spectator sport.
Here are some former students’ reflections on their LIMEX experience:
“The LIMEX course, especially the group setting, provided the opportunity for service which has made a major life difference for me. It was fun getting a masters degree from a university before setting foot on the campus, but the important factor was the opening for deeper ministry and service to God.”
“I began the LIMEX process for my own self-edification and maybe to help with my role as catechist. I was expecting a completely ‘college-like’ experience, but LIMEX is more than that. It is a faith-sharing experience that has deepened my understanding of ministry and, hopefully, has made me a more effective minister.”
If you are feeling God calling you to deeper participation in His work, maybe LIMEX is for you.  So—what is your ministry?
(Kris Ivancic is a lay minister at Tupelo St. James Parish)

Tupelo St. James celebrates centennial, follows Camino de Santiago


TUPELO – On July 9, 1914, then Bishop John Gunn dedicated St. James the Apostle church. In July, 2014, hundreds of parishioners, many descendants of founding families, gathered to celebrate 100 years of faith.
The parish organized a weekend of activities, starting on Friday, July 25, the feast of St. James the Major, with a pilgrimage meant to mimic the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, a famous pilgrim’s trail in Spain. Parishioners boarded a bus to Chickasaw Village and walked back into town praying and singing.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz celebrated two of the weekend Masses which drew almost 700 people. The parish has been served by traveling priests, Benedictines and diocesan priests since its founding.
“We are very thankful for all who helped with our celebration of our patron saint, James the Apostle, and our parish’s 100th anniversary. Bishop Kopacz mentioned to me how pleased he was with the two liturgies he celebrated with us over the weekend,” wrote Father Lincoln Dall, pastor, in the bulletin.
“There are so many people to thank, that the list of names would be endless. But we thank those on the 100th anniversary committee, led by Christi Houin. We thank those who were in special roles in our liturgies last weekend: our wonderful musicians, the liturgy committee, and the lectors who provided us the readings in different languages. Raquel Thompson and the kitchen team; and those who planned the pilgrimage walk did a fantastic job. The Apostle James would be proud of the celebration we had in his honor.  Thanks to all who attended our festivities this past weekend,” he added.
In the mid 1800s, Irish immigrants founded the community when they settled in the area once most-likely trekked by Hernando deSoto and his company in the 16th century. Descendants of those early Irish families are still there while new immigrants from Mexico and Central America are also now members of a vibrant Catholic community there.