Mon. Oct 19th, 2020

January
While thousands from the Archdiocese of Mobile attended the annual March for Life in Washington, D. C., many also participated in the second annual pro-life march through downtown Mobile following Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Agnes Armstrong, a Montgomery Catholic alumna and Auburn University student, spoke at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Montgomery Catholic students also carried the march’s banner at the front of the parade as about 650 young adults from the archdiocese attended the march.
Sr. Mary Thomas of the Holy Name of Jesus, O.P. made her Solemn Profession of Vows on Wednesday, Jan. 3, at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the Profession Mass.
College students from across the country, including the archdiocese, visited Chicago earlier for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ Student Leadership Summit.
Priests from Montgomery parishes began a new series of talks titled “Forward in Faith” to help people realize the practical relevance of theology in everyday life. For five weeks participants met at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory Campus. Tom Riello, director of Faith Formation at Holy Spirit Parish was responsible for bringing the priests together.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and Shannon Roh, director of development and stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile, announced the Annual Catholic Charities Appeal’s archdiocesan chairs were Jim and Jeanne Backes. Deanery chairs were Terri and Gary Cowles (Baldwin Deanery), Robert Amuso (Dothan Deanery), Dr. Russ Brandau (Mobile Deanery) and Ed Pappanastos (Montgomery Deanery). The goal for the 2018 Appeal was $4.5 million.
Grand Knight W. Clifford Petty and Grand Lady Yolanda Robinson presented a $10,000 check on behalf of The Knights of Peter Claver & Ladies Auxiliary Council 345 in Montgomery to Resurrection Catholic Missions.
The Knights of Columbus Council 12150, Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery, donated $2,000 to the Father Purcell Memorial Exceptional Children’s Center.
Catholic Schools Week in the Archdiocese of Mobile was celebrated from January 28 through February 3.

February
City of St. Jude Parish in Montgomery, which serves an average of 125 meals every Saturday in the soup kitchen, was featured in “The Catholic Week.”
Two Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School students, Lizzie Londell and Cody Harris, earned scholarships from the National Flight Academy in Pensacola.
As of Feb. 12, 2018, a total of 7,473 generous donors had participated with financial pledges totaling $4,333,039.81, or 96 percent, of the Catholic Charities Appeal’s goal of $4.5 million.
Sister Mary Rose of the Pure Heart, O.P. made her first profession of vows as a cloistered Dominican nun at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury.
St. Patrick Catholic School sixth-grade student Austin Gontarski collected a total of 1,726 meals/snacks for the Catholic Social Services Backpack Food Program which feeds children and 280 additional food units.

March
At least 200 men attended a “Call To Lead” conference at Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery and Corpus Christi Parish in Mobile. Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, urged men to break barriers for Jesus.
Legion of Mary volunteers from throughout the country went door-to-door near St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Tilman’s Corner to share Christ. The Legion of Mary, founded in 1921 by Frank Duff in Ireland, is considered the largest apostolic organization of laypeople in the Catholic Church. There are more than 3 million active members.
Knights of Columbus of Gulf Shores donated more than $9,500 to local charities and more than 4,300 man hours.
Archdiocese of Mobile seminarians Gabriel Mills, Connor Plessala and Peyton Plessala were among seminarians studying at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology who received the ministry of acolyte, while seminarian Alexander Crow received the ministry of lector in the school’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel.
Henry Petters of Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, was named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.
The Catholic Charities Appeal exceeded its goal for 2018. Pledges totaled $4,753,060.68 as of March 16, 2018.
St. Michael Catholic School announced it would begin a program called “Side by Side.” The program was created to serve students with intellectual difficulties. Jackie Stapleton was named the director of the program.
St. Peter Parish in Montgomery hosted “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World.”
St. Columba Catholic Church parishioners took part in the 11th “Light of the World Retreat,” an evangelization process which aims to help parishioners renew their faith and become missionary disciples of the Lord.
St. Patrick’s Ladies Auxiliary in Robertsdale presented checks to Catholic Social Services, To Be-Options for Pregnant Women and St. Patrick Catholic School.
On March 10, the Frassati Society and the Catholic Social Service Refugee Settlement Program hosted a soccer game and cookout. The event was held at St. Pius X Parish in Mobile.
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick held its 65th anniversary parade in downtown Mobile.
The River Region Catholic Seniors enjoyed a spiritual day filled with many blessings during a pilgrimage to Blessed Trinity Shrine Retreat Center, Fort Mitchell, Ala.
“Dancing with the Stars – Jacket Style” returned. This annual fundraiser benefits McGillToolen Catholic High School and St. Augustine Scholarship Program. This year’s event raised more than $162,000.
Priests were encouraged by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi to continue to bring the good news to others during his sermon at the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
The NCEA’S Regional Superintendent Summit was held March 15–16. Catholic Schools superintendents from seven states attended the summit hosted by the Archdiocese of Mobile Department of Catholic Education.
A Rosary rally was held on the front lawn of Holy Spirit Parish, Montgomery, for the restoration of traditional marriage and the conversion of the United Stated under Spiritual Patronage of St. Joseph, the Pillar of Families.
Fairhope’s Louise & Richard Caudill, married for 53 years, entered into full Communion with the Catholic Church on March 31 at Christ the King Parish in Daphne.

April
The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, known as “Trinitarian Sisters,” celebrated the 100th anniversary of their establishment as a religious order.
A documentary examining the life of author Flannery O’Connor was shown April 8 at St. Michael Parish in Auburn.
The annual ACCW Card Party was held at St. Pius X Parish’s Family Life Center.
Divine Mercy Sunday was celebrated at the Visitation Monastery on Sunday, April 8. Rev. Marcin Dudziak, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Mobile, celebrated the Mass.
Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery also celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy.
The annual St. Mary Crawfish and Bluegrass Extravaganza was Saturday, April 14. All proceeds benefitted Veterans Recovery Resources.
The Archdiocese of Mobile Office of Vocations released a Video of eight priests discussing their life experiences titled “Called: To Be A Priest in the Archdiocese of Mobile.” It can be seen at mobilevocations.com and on YouTube.
An Ignatian Prayer Day was held at St. Michael Parish in Auburn.
Retired Bishop David Foley (1930–2018) of the Diocese of Birmingham died on April 17 at the St. John Vianney Residence for Priests.
The Archdiocese of Mobile Hispanic Ministry Office hosted “La Copa Verdadera (The True Cup)” in Fairhope. Seven parishes throughout the archdiocese battled in men’s, women’s and children’s soccer matches.
The Sisters of the Visitation Monastery, after many years of fundraising, meetings and prayers, announced it will be getting a new elevator.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and his classmates met at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington. La., to celebrate their 40th anniversary as priests.

May
Religious priests, brothers and sisters attended Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi gave them all a “thank you” for their dedication. More than 20 religious communities are represented in our diocese.
A Mass of Hope and Healing was held at St. Peter Parish in Montgomery through the intercession of St. Gianna Molla (1922 –1962) to support those who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, SIDS, abortion, disease or by accident and for those experiencing infertility.
“Southern Steeplechase,” a Night at the Derby, was held at St. Mary Parish in Mobile. Proceeds benefitted the school.
All were invited to celebrate the 110th anniversary of historic Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish’s church in Mobile from May 11-13.
A week in the life of Fr. Nicholas Napolitano, the youngest priest in our diocese at the time, was featured in “The Catholic Week.”
The Knights of Columbus held its 115th annual state convention in Orange Beach at the Perdido Beach Resort. Fr. Dan Good is the chaplain of the Knights.
Resurrection Parish’s Zipporah Broughton and Jaemin Kim of St. Andrew Kim Taegon Parish earned the Jimmy Hitchcock Award. This prestigious award was given to recognize the Christian leadership and athletic success of two high school seniors in Montgomery.
The Annual Maritime Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Fr. Lito Capeding, chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea. A reception followed at the Portier House.
The McGill-Toolen Catholic High School boys’ tennis team won the Class 7A state tennis title. It was the team’s first since 1979.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced plans for the new Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Parish in Malbis. Fr. James Cink was appointed as the parish’s first pastor. It is the first completely new parish in the archdiocese since 1977.
The priests of the Archdiocese of Mobile participated in the annual three-day retreat held at the Manresa Retreat House in Convent, La.

June
Resurrection Catholic Missions in Montgomery hosted a play depicting the life of the first recognized African-American priest, Fr. Augustus Tolton, at Alabama State University titled “Tolton: From Slave to Priest.”
Deacon Andrew Bradley Jones and Deacon Gilbert Thomas Pierre were ordained to the priesthood on June 2 at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, while Mr. Patrick James Gilbreath was ordained a deacon. A reception followed at the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence.
Congratulations to McGill–Toolen Catholic High School seniors who received more than $19 million in scholarships. Dylan Campbell was the valedictorian and Patrick Spafford was the salutatorian.
Members of the St. Rose of Lima Parish, Mon Luis Island, announced they would be renovating the historic one-room schoolhouse which was used from the early 1900s to 1966.
A new parish center was dedicated at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Foley.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi ordained 11 permanent deacons at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Those ordained were Jay F. Boyd, Wiley J. Christian III, Curt A. Crider, Hector J. Donastorg, Charles J. Eick, Marcene E. Emmett Jr., Charles P. Groves, Joseph D. Mueller, Stephen A. Tidwell Sr., Francis Hoai N. Tran and Gary J. Vrazel.
St. Francis Xavier Parish held a procession on June 3 for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
A Fatima conference was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Sponsors of the Conference were The Legion of Mary Curia and the Daughters of Mary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

July
The first Mass for the new Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Parish was celebrated on July 22 at Prodisee Pantry in Spanish Fort.
Knights of Columbus Council 6727 at St. Columba Parish in Dothan held their Seminarian Dinner honoring the young men studying for the priesthood. More than 200 parishioners bought tickets that funded the gourmet dinner in honor of the 17 seminarians from the Archdiocese of Mobile. About $55,000 has been raised from the dinners.
Barry Dean, president of the association of Catholic College Coaches and Athletes, organized a baseball and softball camp which combined sports and Catholic faith. The Camp was held at Westside Complex.
Very Rev. William Saucier and the parish family of St. Thomas the Apostle in Chickasaw invited all to venerate a relic of the patron saint of Cancer patients, St. Peregrine Laziosi on the final Sunday of every month after the 4 p.m. Mass.
Dr. E. Joseph Lee II was named Spring Hill College interim president.
Officials broke ground on a new chapel at Auburn University. The daily Mass student chapel is expected to seat about 150 people.

August
Sister Joyce Ann Hertzig, OP celebrated her 60th year jubilee as a professed religious and Sister Lucianne Siers, OP celebrated her 50th year jubilee. Both served in the Archdiocese of Mobile.
Little Flower Catholic School unveiled a new logo for the school year thanks to a team of graphic designers from Spring Hill College.
About 30 priests from all corners of the Archdiocese of Mobile served as waiters during the inaugural Seminarian Summer Gala at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School’s Dolly Barranco Center. The cost for one year of a seminarian’s formation is about $50,000. The dinner raised $102,672.
Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Mobile officially opened the 2018–19 academic year on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Sister Marie Genevieve, OP made her final profession of vows to the order of the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Cecilia. Sister was raised in St. Ignatius Parish.
Permanent deacons renewed their commitment to diaconal services during Mass on Aug. 19.
St. Michael Catholic High school played their first varsity football game on Aug. 24.

September
RCIA classes were set to begin in September. Catholics were encouraged to invite others to discover the faith.
The Burse Club annual drive was Sept. 8-9. This annual drive supports the Archdiocese of Mobile’s seminarians.
The annual Blue Mass for First Responders was held at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Deacon Hector Donastorg was named the Archdiocese of Mobile’s new Director of Hispanic Ministry. Deacon Donastorg was ordained a permanent deacon in June 2018 and has been involved with the Hispanic Ministry and the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Auburn and St. Mary Parish in Opelika.
The entire St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School family was back on its main campus for the first time since a December flash fire.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced a continuing commitment to “the safety of our young people when they are involved in Church ministries both locally and nationally.”
Mother Judith Mary Meredith, l.s.p.., celebrated her 50th anniversary jubilee with a celebration at the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence.
Fr. Travis Burnett, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Grove Hill, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the dedication of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which continues to serve as the parish church for Clarke County.
Since 2011, the Christ the King Perpetual Adoration Chapel has been guarded around the clock by more than 400 weekly “guardians,” which allows for more than 1,000 walk-in visitors to the chapel weekly. Missionary priest, Fr. Joseph Aytona, CPM, traveled from Kentucky to give the chapel the “boost” it needed. He preached at all five Sunday Masses at Christ the King Parish and many new members signed up to become “guardians.”

October
Sister Anne Brady, R.S.M., was honored Oct. 4 for her service in the St. Dominic Parish community. Sister Anne celebrated the 60th anniversary of her profession of vows. She taught at St. Dominic Catholic School for 44 years. She has remained a vital part of the parish.
The “177 Project” reached the Archdiocese of Mobile. The Project, a night of adoration and music, was to vist all 177 dioceses in the United States. The event in the Archdiocese of Mobile was held at St. Mary Parish.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated a Mass at Carmelite Monastery in recognition of the Carmelites’ 75th anniversary of their arrival to Mobile.
Gloria Purvis, co-host of EWTN Radio’s “Morning Glory,” was the featured speaker at the Archdiocese of Mobile’s “Called to Love” women’s conference at Corpus Christi Parish in Mobile as well as at St. Joseph Maysville Parish.
Little Sisters of the Poor held the 47th annual Lawn Party on Oct. 21.
Catholic Social Services asked for donations for the victims of Hurricane Michael. The Category 4 storm raged through the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10.
Children ages 4 to 12 serve the elderly at Seton Haven in Montgomery. They visit once a month to spend time with the residents.
The annual White Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi. The Mass is for doctors, nurses and others in the medical profession.
Students from Corpus Christi, St. Dominic, Christ the King and St. Ignatius Catholic Schools in Mobile prayed for life at 6:30 a.m. every Friday during 40 Days for Life.

November
Black Catholic History Month was celebrated in Montgomery with Mass at Resurrection Catholic Parish with Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi as the main celebrant. A luncheon followed at the Doubletree Hilton with attorney Milton Davis as guest speaker.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi was among religious leaders and political/law enforcement figures who spoke to hundreds of people of various faiths at the Ahavas Chesed Synagogue in Mobile at a candlelight vigil after 11 people were killed in a mass shooting at Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi stressed the four priorities for the Archdiocese of Mobile are evangelization, strengthening the family, serving the needs of neighbors and encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life. All parishes within the archdiocese will be taking self-assessments to help recognize their strengths and weaknesses regarding these priorities.
The McGill-Toolen Catholic High volleyball team made it two state 7A titles in a row at the Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham. The team has not lost a set at the state tournament in two years. The team is coached by Kate Wood.
All Souls Day Masses were celebrated at Mobile’s Catholic Cemetery by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi; St. Margaret Catholic Cemetery, Montgomery, with Fr. Frank Sofie as celebrant; and Mobile Memorial Gardens with Fr. Stephen Vrazel as celebrant.
Montgomery Catholic senior Anna Catherine Barranco was chosen as on of 40 auxiliary members to march with the Great American Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi attended the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops held in Baltimore where the bishops focused on the abuse crisis.
The Silver Jubilee celebration of the church at Christ the King Parish, Daphne.
Reigning over the 71st annual Toy Bowl Classic and a court of 180 eighth-graders was Queen Mallory Ryan McCorkle and King Kyle Joseph Tomlinson of St. Mary School. These outstanding court members raised over $70,000 to help ensure the continued success of the CYO programs. Banquet Speaker was Jim Nagy, executive Director of the Senior Bowl.
Catholics from across the Archdiocese processed through downtown Mobile in a show of faith on the feast of Christ the King. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi was the main celebrant at the Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass included the presentation of the Christ the King Medals to recipients selected by each parish in the archdiocese.
Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams won the Class 4A AHSAA state championships.

December
The Archdiocese of Mobile voluntarily released the names of priests, deacons and brothers who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct of a minor since 1950. Archbishop Rodi stated “This decision was not made lightly. It is my prayer that this will not re-traumatize anyone, but will assist in the healing for which these victims desperately long.” He also emphasized that the “Archdiocese of Mobile is not allowing anyone to minister in our archdiocese who has credible accusations of sexual misconduct with minors.”
Sister Mary Lawrence Ortmann, RSM, died at the Convent of Mercy, Mobile. Sister served as a Religious Sister of Mercy for 75 years in various ministries in the archdiocese as a medical technologist.
Fourth-graders from Corpus Christi Catholic School had the honor this year to decorate the Chancery’s Christmas tree.
Faithful gathered throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile to commemorate the Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day.
— Compiled by Anne Baggett.

By Editor

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