St. Therese VBS dedicated to religious life


Betsy Carraway, (left) leads the children in singing “Thank you Father” during St. Therese Parish’s Vacation Bible School. (Photos by Elsa Baughman)

By Elsa Baughman
JACKSON – St. Therese Parish Vacation Bible school (VBS) children dedicated their theme, “Circus of the Stars,” to the 24 religious sisters living at St. Mary of the Pines Retreat Center in Chatawa. According to Betsy Carraway, the director of the VBS, they are all older than 80-years-old and two are older than 100. VBS has held June 16-20.
Carraway said the children made cards for the sisters and retired priest Father Alfred Camp. “The cards say ‘Thanks for saying yes to God,” “We love you,” and one of them says, “Thanks for being God’s husband,” she said laughing but adding, “they got it wrong but the idea is they (religious women) marry Christ and then he is their husband, that’s beautiful.”
She is thrilled this is a Catholic VBS. “K4J (Kids for Jesus) is a wonderful program that helps children understand the faith and grow in virtue,” she added.
During the week participants learned about the virtue of balance, she said. “They had a balancing act where they had to work, play, rest and pray every day.”
Carraway noted they also learned about four saints, St. John Bosco, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John Vianney and St. Teresa of Avila and Friday was dedicated to Mary, the Mother of K4J starts. “I am so pleased they learned about all these saints and other things they would have not learned if they didn’t have attended this special Catholic program,” she added.


Father Alfred Camp talks with the children during his visit to St. Therese.

On Friday, every child received a photo of one of the sisters living in St. Mary of the Pines so they can pray for her individually. The sisters will receive the cards the children made for them plus a monetary donation from the children.
Early on Friday, June 20, Father Camp visited the children to tell them about his life and how he decided to become a priest.
“When I was 12-year-old, one of the nuns at school, Sister Alfred (that’s my name!) said to me, ‘you know, someday you will make a good priest,’” he told the children. “I was young and impressionable and I believed her! That’s all it took,” he added as he related the story of how at the age of 13 he entered the seminary.
Father Camp went on to tell the 23 children gathered around him that during his first months in the seminary he missed his mother, his father and home and that at times he cried himself to sleep because he was lonely but he got used to life in the seminary and soon it was a lot of fun. The children asked Father Camp questions about his life as a priest in the Diocese of Jackson and now as a retired priest living at Madison St. Francis of Assisi Parish.


BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, “Weird Animals: Where Jesus’ Love is One-of a Kind,” June 8-12, from 6 – 8:15 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. each evening.

CORINTH St. James, July 8-10, from 9 – noon.

CLARKSDALE St. Elizabeth, “Safari: Where kids explore the nature of God,” June 16-20. Details: Wendy Gordon, 662-645-4077,

GLUCKSTADT St. Joseph, Monday-Wednesday, June 16-18. Details: Karen Worrell, 601-672-5817,

HERNANDO Holy Spirit, June 9-13, for Pre-K to fifth grade. Monday-Thursday from 9 am – noon and on Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Parents and family are invited to join in the picnic on Friday. Details: Katherine Carroll, 662-429-2896.

GREENVILLE Sacred Heart, June 16-20, from 8 a.m. – noon.

GREENWOOD Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monday-Thursday, June 16-19, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tutoring available until 2 p.m. for children five-years-old through fourth grade.

GREENWOOD St. Francis, “Discovery Zone V,” June 23-26, from 9 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. for children five -13.

HERNANDO Holy Spirit, “Strange Animals,” June 9-13, from 9 a.m. – noon and on Friday from 9 a.m. -1 p.m., for Pre-K through fifth graders. Details: Katherine Carroll, 662-429-2896.

JACKSON St. Richard, “Son Treasure Island,” June 2-6 from 9 a.m. – noon.

JACKSON St. Therese, “Circus of the Stars,” June 16-20, from 8 a.m. – noon. Details: Betsy Carraway, 601-857-2252,

MADISON St. Francis, June 23-27, from 9 a.m. – noon for pre-K through fourth-graders. Camp Creativity will be held for fifth and sixth graders at the same time. Details: Mary Catherine George, 601-856-5556.

McCOMB St. Alphonsus, June 9-13. Registration forms are in the back of the church.

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, “Weird Animals: Where Jesus’ Love is One-of-a-Kind,” June 2-6, from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center, for children four years and older. Fifth-graders and older are welcome as helpers. VBS Mass on Saturday, June 7, at 5 p.m. Details: Jennifer Lambuth, 601- 807-6708,
– Assumption Parish, June 9-11, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in Tuite Hall.

OXFORD St. John, “Weird Animals, Where Jesus’ Love is One-of-a-Kind,” July 22-25, from 9 – 11 a.m. Details: Ginny Scott, 662-317-9045.

PEARL St. Jude, “Camping in God’s Creation” June 2-6, from 9 a.m. – noon for ages three years to rising fifth graders. Cost is $5 per child (maximum of $15 per family) Students from rising sixth graders – high school can volunteer.

SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, “Wilderness Escape,” Monday-Friday, June 16-20, from 6 – 8 p.m. Registration forms are at the bulletin board in the gathering space. Register by Sunday, May 18. Volunteers needed. Details: Donna Williamson, 662 342-1073,