Mississippi Catholic

B Y A SHLEY G LIRBAS JACKSON – Around mid-afternoon, shortly after Spanish Mass, clusters of families were still congregat- ing outside the Ca- thedral of St. Peter the Apostle, setting the mood of famil- ial affection for the World Marriage Day celebration at 3 p.m. The doors stood wide, ready to receive visitors. Joyful handshakes, affectionate em- braces and energet- ic flute music estab- lished rejoicing as the fitting state of preparatory prayer for this Mass. Not only cou- ples, but extended families, came to celebrate the lon- gevity of the mar- riages being repre- sented. Two men approached each other as faithful friends. The first one expressed eagerness “to celebrate together” with his friend, asking if this was indeed his fiftieth wedding anniversary, which the second man ver- ified warmly. Couples from various parishes, even from St. Michael’s Vicksburg, made the drive to downtown Jackson. The dignity of concelebration highlighted the import- ant role the whole diocese serves in shaping and strength- ening Catholic marriages. Father Lincoln Dall, from St. Jude Pearl; Father Alford Ayem, from Holy Ghost Jack- son; Father Joseph Nguyen, from St. Mary Vicksburg; and Deacon Denzil Lobo, from Christ the King Jackson supported the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Kopacz in celebrating Mass. Altar server Wesley Lindsay, a perma- nent diaconate candidate, as well as cantor Lara Kees and chancellor Mary Woodward served accordingly. Charlene Bearden, the coordinator for the Office of Family Ministry, opened the service, stating, “Welcome to this holy encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ.” Continu- ing to speak of how milestones such as 25, 50 and 60 years of marriage were being recognized, she affirmed the value of the guests, saying, “We are celebrating the B Y F ATHER M AURICE N UTT JACKSON – On November 18, 2018, Bishop Joseph Kopacz formally convoked the formal diocesan inves- tigation into the Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA's cause for canonization. The initial stage of a canonization cause is comprehensive. Bishop Kopacz ap- pointed Dr. Andrea Ambrosi in Rome, Italy as the postu- lator of Sister Thea's cause. Dr. Ambrosi represents several American sainthood causes and is an effective postulator. He will write Sister Thea Bowman's positio, the official dossier sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Dr. Ambrosi will also represent all matters of Sr. Thea's cause throughout the canonization process. The bishop established a canonization tribunal to oversee the diocesan investigation. He also appointed his designee, who represents him in conducting the in- terviews of those who can offer first-hand testimony of Sister Thea's life, holiness and virtues. The bishop also appointed members to the theological and historical commissions. The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La- Crosse, Wisconsin loaned the diocese Sister Thea's writ- ten documents from their archives. The theologians are reviewing Sister Thea's writings, speeches and reflections to ensure that they adhere to the Church's teachings. The historians are also studying Sister Thea's writings as well as secondary sources (biographies, newspaper articles, etc.) about the historical and cultural context of her life. All to determine whether she lived a holy and virtuous life worthy of imitation. The positio is an amalgamation of Sister Thea's biog- raphy, the witness testimonies, the reports from the theo- logical and historical commissions and the postulator's demonstration of her holiness and virtues. The postula- tor receives the positio and presents it to the Congrega- tion for the Causes of Saints. The diocesan investigation is then formally closed. The Diocese of Jackson anticipates the close of the diocesan inquiry and the presentation of the positio to the Vatican no later than the Spring of 2021. Holy Child Jesus Church in Canton will commemo- rate the thirtieth anniversary of Sister Thea's death with a gospel concert on Saturday, March 28 at 3 p.m. Bishop Kopacz will celebrate a memorial Mass for Sister Thea Bowman on Monday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter Cathedral in Jackson. Becoming a Saint: Update on the cause of Sister ea Bowman FEBRUARY 21, 2020 mississippicatholic.com W orld Marriage Day service honors milestones for couples around the diocese – Continued on page 12 – Courage workshop 6 Discussion on same-sex attraction and faith INSIDE THISWEEK 'Querida Amazonia' 13 Pope Francis releases new apostolic exhortation Youth 14 Photos from our youth around the diocese JACKSON – On Feb. 9, Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle hosted World Marriage Day. Pictured in foreground: Mrs. Leonia Adams celebrates 25 years, from Immac- ulate Conception Clarksdale. Bill and Marilyn Hetrick celebrate 30 years, from Holy Savior Clinton. (Photo by Tereza Ma)) Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman. (Photo from archives)