Last October, just as the leaves began to change in the northern portions of the U.S., a group of 25 Mission Partners traveled to Mississippi for a spiritual pilgrimage followed by a week of hard work and service in the Diocese of Jackson.
The pilgrims first stop was Holy Child Jesus parish in Canton where they had the honor of visiting the family home of Sister Thea Bowman. Next was Holy Rosary Native American Mission in Tucker, St. Anne Church in Carthage, and Sacred Heart Mission in Camden where they were joined by Bishop Joseph Kopacz who presided over the closing Mass for the pilgrimage.
As shared by Carl F. Maulbeck “The first part of the Mission Project Experience was a pilgrimage to the four S.T. missions in Mississippi. This was a truly inspiring encounter connecting with missions that have been part of our religious community for over 75 years. The charism carried forward by the Order is exemplified in the efforts of these parishes; for example, civil rights advocacy, spiritual formation, indigenous cultural testimony, and welcoming the stranger. Father Judge’s vision was to have the Word shared with the “spiritually abandoned” and clearly that is self-evident at these parishes. The pilgrimage was a. wonderful journey and touched me deeply.”
Immediately following the pilgrimage, volunteers gathered to get their hands dirty by making critical repairs to several local home and a playground. Residents were thrilled with the assistance they received.
As the volunteers can attest, every pair of hands, every hammer and nail, and every caring smile were all equally important in building a better life for those who were served.
Thank you to all who participated!