Mississippi Catholic

B y M eg F erguson STARKVILLE – On Thursday, Jan. 23, Mississippi State students Cole Turner (senior), Isabelle Comfort (se- nior), Maggie Henderson (freshmen) and Alexia Balderas (freshman) left their normal class schedule to attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. The Pro Life group at Mississippi State University, led by their President, senior Isabelle Comfort, organized these students’ voyage and even managed have their absences excused. Before the walking down Constitution Avenue, these students (and all of the March for Life attendees) en- joyed a pre-march concert and heard the powerful words of many speakers – from President Trump to Jeanne Mancini (President of March for Life Education and De- fense Fund). For Cole, one particularly encouraging moment was when President Trump spoke in support of the pro-life moment. “I’ve never heard a president speak in person,” Cole noted, and “there aren’t enough words to describe how much it meant.” Among the many speeches, the words of two abortion survivors struck the hearts of all listening. “Those [were] just really powerful and inspir- ing to hear,” Isabelle explained. While this year was freshman Maggie Henderson’s fourth year to walk in the March for Life and Isabelle’s third year, for Cole and Alexia, this March for Life was a brand new opportunity to be a part of the largest pro- life event in the world. “I’ve never seen more priests and sisters in one place before in my life [and] that was super cool,” Cole said. One of the best parts of the trip, Isabelle said, was “being sur- rounded by so many people who be- lieve the same things as you.” In fact, it is estimated that over 100,000 people who believe in protecting the rights of the unborn came out to march on that March to remember B y J oe L ee MADISON – A significant part of Catholic Schools Week at St. Anthony in Madison actually took place in a shop on the property of Ed and Corley Marsalis, long- time St. Francis of Assisi parishioners and close friends of Msgr. Michael Flannery. Corley, over a period of two years, had put her consid- erable glass-blow- ing skills to use and created a mosaic replicating a view of the exterior of St. Anthony with a large eagle flying overhead. Approx- imately twenty square feet, the artwork included a sturdy wood frame made by Ed and weighed a whop- ping 150 pounds. A big challenge was to get the mo- saic to St. Anthony and installed in the school atrium in time for the dedi- cation on Jan. 30, a day which included Mass being cele- brated by Bishop Joseph Kopacz. “Venable Glass transported it in one piece, and Ma- louf Construction hung it,” Corley said. “Father Mike asked me to make it for St. Anthony. We had the eagle as the centerpiece, and I wanted to incorporate the school and used the St. Anthony roofline. I took pictures of the flags outside the school, waiting until the wind was blowing just right. “God helped me and gave me the skills to do this,” she said of the journey, which included many starts and stops. “He was hanging over my shoulder, saying, ‘No, no, you have to put this here,’ until I got it right. There’s an actual (band) drumstick in the design. You have the St. Anthony emblem in the center, and his prayer. There are St. Anthony symbols on the sides.” As parents and grandparents strolled through the atrium on their way to Mass that morning, many stopped to speak with Corley and take pictures of the mosaic, which made a profound impression on everyone from students to clergy. “The eagle is a powerful symbol,” said Bishop Ko- pacz, who made Catholic Schools Week visits to Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville and Meridian as well as metro Jackson. “It’s the symbol of St. John’s gospel as well as the school symbol; it’s the symbol in our Christian tradi- tion that’s very poignant and captures strength, soaring and elegance. We want to be like eagles in the scripture verse – the wings of an eagle – and our faith takes us to that level.” “Every morning, our students recite the Eagle pledge and part of that pledge is to use our gifts and talents to serve others,” St. Anthony Principal Anne Cowger said. “What a beautiful example of using our gifts and talents from Corley Marsalis, who spent many, many hours put- ting together that mosaic for our students.” Cowger, in putting a strong emphasis on service at St. Anthony, oversaw a series of Catholic Schools Week projects that included students taking blankets to pa- tients at Batson Hospital, baked cookies to St. Anthony FEBRUARY 7, 2020 mississippicatholic.com Diocese schools soar high for Catholic Schools Week – Continued on page 6 – Fraud Hotline 6 Diocese launches third- party reporting system INSIDE THISWEEK Sister Thea 7 Point of View – e Bless- ing of Sister ea Kobe Bryant 9 Catholic faith saw Bryant through tough times MADISON – Corley Marsalis thanks St. Anthony school for their support in her ef- forts to make the school mosaic art piece at school Mass on Thursday, Jan. 30. (Photo by Michele Warnock) People gather during the annual March for Life rally in Washington Jan. 24, 2020. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn) – Continued on page 16 –