Diocese of Jackson celebrates 175th anniversary with Mass, music
Published: September 20, 2012
JACKSON, Miss. (CNS) -- Seventeen bishops, dozens of priests and a congregation of about 1,000 people gathered Sept. 16 at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson. The celebration included a musical prelude, Mass and a reception designed to embrace all of the cultural influences that give the diocese its unique character. Before the celebration, people could take a look at exhibits on each of the bishops of the past prepared by students in Catholic schools in the diocese. The exhibits included mosaics, banners and even a Lego display. Students who worked on the projects were invited to carry in banners bearing the images of the bishops they studied. Many lay groups within the diocese also marched in the procession including the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver, the Knights of Columbus, and the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. Priests and seminarians from all over the diocese then followed. Bishops from surrounding dioceses processed onto the stage to call the congregation to prayer. Visiting prelates included Archbishops Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Ala., and Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and retired Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora. More than a dozen bishops also attended, including Bishop David R. Choby of Nashville, Tenn., whose diocese is also celebrating its 175th anniversary. The original diocese, founded July 28, 1837, encompassed the entire state of Mississippi, with Natchez as the first cathedral city. The first bishop, John Joseph Chanche, a Sulpician, came from Baltimore to serve the fledging flock in 1841.
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