Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

January
Providence Hospital was the first hospital in Mobile to participate in the Donate Life program, which helps raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. Todd Kennedy, CEO and President, hand-wrote a note that was placed on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in Pasadena, Calif.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi attended the weeklong retreat for U.S. Catholic Bishops at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. The retreat leader was Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa.
Hundreds of students from South Alabama, Auburn, Troy, Spring Hill College and Coastal Alabama Community College were among the 17,000 young adult Catholics that attended the SEEK2019 conference in Indianapolis.
Sister Catherine McKillop, O.P., who spent 25 years ministering in elementary education, including six years as principal at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic School, Montgomery, died at the Dominican Life Center in Michigan.
Receiving the 2019 Gardberg Award for support of the Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy’s mission of providing to the poor and uninsured were David Dekle, Cecilia Mace and Robert Battles.
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Parish in Spanish Fort welcomed its first catechumens.
Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze, the founding bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi and the first black bishop in the 20th century to head a U.S. diocese, died at the age of 95. Bishop Howze was a native of Daphne and he was baptized at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Mobile at the age of 25. He served as Bishop of Biloxi from 1977-2001. He was succeeded by the current Archbishop of Mobile, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi.
Director of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese, Shannon D. Roh, announced the 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal goal was $4,500,000.
Archdiocesan Chair of the 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal was Mrs. Barbara Liddon of Dothan. Deanery Chairs were Gary and Terri Cowles, Baldwin Deanery; Robert Amuso, Dothan Deanery; Russ Brandau, Mobile Deanery; and Cary and Lynn Kuhlmann, Montgomery Deanery. Theme of the Appeal was “We are Called to Give to Those in Need.”
Reverend David A. Hamm, S.T. was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Phenix City.
“Innovation and Tradition” was the theme of Catholic Schools Week 2019.
Hundreds of students and faculty from McGill-Toolen, St. Michael and Montgomery Catholic high schools traveled to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life rally.
About 1,500 people participated in the March For Life held in Mobile through the downtown area. Very Rev. Paul Zoghby, pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland in Foley, was the keynote speaker for the rally in Cathedral Square.

February
The Carmelite nuns in Mobile rarely leave their cloister and life of prayer. However, four of the nuns originally from Vietnam, traveled to Montgomery and took the Oath of Allegience to the United States of America. Becoming U.S. Citizens were: Sister Mary Assumpta of the Eucharist, O.C.D.; Sister Mary Angela, O.C.D.; Sister Mary Agatha of Jesus, O.C.D. and Sister Mary Caroline, O.C.D.
Seminarians from St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., visited Mobile and worked with Catholic Social Services to help repair homes of low income elderly in the community.
The Knights and Ladies of St. James Council 172 and St. James Major Court and Junior Daughters held installation of new officers. Fr. Hyginus Boboh, S.S.J., pastor of St. James Major, blessed the offices of the Council.
St. Ignatius Catholic School fifth-grader Anna Beth Gibney won the 56th annual Mobile/Baldwin Spelling Bee and advanced to the state finals in Birmingham.
Msgr. James Frank Dorrill, longtime University of South Alabama professor and chaplain of Campus Ministry, was buried in the Priest Section of Catholic Cemetery of Mobile following Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Howard Moussier, O.S.B., former pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in Elberta, died and was buried at St. Bernard Abbey.
Father Edward Markey, O.S.B., former pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lillian died. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Bernard Abbey.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed the Visitation Monastery’s new elevator. Deborah Farmer headed the project.
Approximately 375 teens from throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile representing 34 parishes converged on Orange Beach’s Perdido Beach Resort for the Annual Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Conference. The theme was “This Changes Everything” and the weekend was transformative for those who participated.
Archdiocese of Mobile Seminarian Alexander Crow was among the seminarians studying at St. Meinrad seminary and School of Theology who received the ministry of acolyte at the school’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel.
Pope Francis spoke at the conclusion of Mass on the final day of meetings on the protection of minors in the church at the Vatican.
Sister Katherine Marie Bell, R.S.M., a Sister of Mercy for 65 years, died in Baltimore. Sister Katherine Marie was born in Montgomery and raised in Mobile. She attended Little Flower and Convent of Mercy schools and entered the Sisters of Mercy in Baltimore in 1953. She taught in Catholic elementary schools in Mobile, Selma, Huntsville, Birmingham and Baltimore and was committed to social justice.

March
Shannon Roh, executive director of the Office of Development and Stewardship for the Archdiocese of Mobile, announced that parishioners of the archdiocese had once again demonstrated their love for those in need through their generosity in helping the Annual Catholic Charities Appeal exceed the $4.5 million goal for 2019.
The Ordinariate parish in Mobile located at St. Ignatius Parish, with 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass in the chapel, serves as home to converts from Anglicanism. The Society of St. Gregory the Great in Mobile welcomed George Weigel, a foremost authority and friend of Pope Saint John Paul ll. He spoke about John Paul II following Mass.
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick under the leadership of President David Galloway, celebrated 66 years of marching through the streets of Mobile spreading green and Irish cheer and luck. The parade followed Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception with Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi as celebrant and Fr. Patrick Driscoll, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, as homilist. James “Jimmy” T. Wall was grand marshal.
An EF4 tornado devastated Lee County killing 23 people and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes. Deacon Raymond Gueret, director of Catholic Social Services, Montgomery office, said the town of Beauregard instantly turned into a “war zone.” Beauregard is less than 10 miles from both Opelika and Auburn homes of the Archdiocese of Mobile’s St. Mary of the Mission Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish.
Archangel Radio’s flagship local morning show became known as “LA Catholic Morning” co-hosted 7-8 AM weekdays by Michele McAloon and Todd Sylvester. The program is available at 1410-AM as well as newly acquired 94.5 FM.
Fans of Catholic literary giant and apologist G.K. Chesterton in the Montgomery area held their inaugural meeting of the River Region Chesterton Social where they gathered to discuss the works of the British writer and learn from his timeless and witty insights.
The Board of Directors of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh elected longtime Mobile broadcast journalist and Corpus Christi parishioner Bob Grip as its new chair.
Students and parents from Corpus Christi, St. Mary and St. Ignatius Catholic schools along with other participants gathered at the Women’s Resource Center parking lot to support the 40 Days for Life program.
Mrs. Marilyn King, director of Catholic Social Services for the archdiocese, announced that Catholic Social Services of Baldwin County would undergo $600,000 expansion of its facilities. The project would increase office space by 1,154-square feet so To Be Options for Women, pregnancy and parenting ministries can be included within the main building.
Auburn University students filled the new Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Chapel as Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated a Mass of Dedication. The new chapel seats about 150 for Mass and is available 24 hours a day for prayer.
St. James Major Parish, Prichard, under pastor Fr. Hyginus Boboh, S.S.J., opened a food bank across the street from the church building in an effort to support low-income families. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed and commissioned the food bank on the Feast of St. Joseph.
Twenty-six couples completed training to be a marriage mentor couple as part of a new initiative started by the Archdiocese of Mobile to assist the engaged couples ministry.
Rev. Jerome Raymond Robinson, who served in the Archdiocese of Mobile at St. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius and St. Monica Parishes Mobile, and St. Patrick Parish, Phenix City, died in Terre Haute, Ind.
Rite of Election and call to continuing Conversation was held throughout the archdiocese for the elect, candidates and confirmandi.
The Catholic Youth Organization, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School and St., Michael Catholic High School announced changes to the youth football and cheerleading programs which included:
• Middle School Football and Cheerleading
• Expanded competition for CYO Division 6 (5th and 6th grade) Tackle football
• Division 4 (3rd and 4th grade) Flag Football
• Kindergarten Flag Football
• Kindergarten Cheerleading
• Toy Bowl game to feature middle schools McGill-Toolen and St. Michael teams
Middle School programs are now part of the AHSAA and must follow all guidelines which include attending a middle school that feeds into high school for which they will compete.

April
Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Mobile Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, the annual Living Stations of the Cross in Downtown Mobile were portrayed by St. Dominic Parish Youth Group students. Young people in the archdiocese have evangelized in Mobile on Good Friday since 2014.
Plans for an on-campus athletic complex at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope were unveiled with more than 80 percent toward the financial goal pledged. During the “Bringing Our Cardinals Home” campaign rally, Principal Faustin Weber revealed the proposed design and master campus plan. An estimated $5 million was needed and $4.1 million had been raised from private solicitations.
Robert C. Andry was honored at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Chastang for 75 years of service in the Knights of Peter Claver Council 2.
St. Mary Parish in Opelika hosted two teams of AmeriCorps volunteers who visited Lee County to assist with tornado relief efforts after the EF-4 tornado killed 23 people in Beauregard. The young adults who volunteered came from every corner of U.S., from Washington state to Florida.
Drexelaire Marietta Andry, founder of the Prichard Chapter, was honored for her dedication to the ideals of St. Katherine Drexel. The celebration was hosted by the Drexel Society, Inc. with members of the Prichard Chapter, Mobile Chapter and National Officers attending the presentation.
Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters Christa Cunningham, OP and Sister Patricia Tyson, OP, who both served in the Archdiocese of Mobile, celebrated their 60th jubilee.
More than 300 people entered into Full Communion with the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Mobile at the Easter Vigil.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi called to ordination Deacon Patrick J. Gilbreath in the Order of the Presbyterate and Mr. Gabriel V. Mills, Mr. Connor R. Plessala and Mr. Peyton J. Plessala to the Order of Deacon.
Pictures of Holy Week throughout the Archdiocese showed the faithful participating in the many liturgical services. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi was shown lighting the Paschal candle held by seminarian Gabriel Mills during the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Area altar servers were honored by the Knights of Columbus at a banquet at St. Catherine of Siena Parish for their services in their respective parishes. Judge Edmond G. Naman was the speaker at the banquet.
Fr. Cu Minh Duong, pastor of St. Monica Parish, blessed a new Shrine of the Holy Cross at the Carmelite Monastery.
Father Marcin Dudziak, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, was principal celebrant at the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the Visitation Monastery.
Around the nation and in Mobile, the Little Sisters of the Poor honored dedicated volunteers who serve faithfully at the Sacred Heart Residence. The Little Sisters and their staff planned a special Mass, social hour and luncheon to express their thanks to the volunteers.
The archdiocese announced the sale of the Cathedral Place Apartments in downtown Mobile to Memphis, Tenn.- based Alco Properties, Inc. from Catholic Housing of Mobile, Inc. The Cathedral Place Apartments will continue to serve low income elderly. Proceeds from the sale would be used to pay off debt on the apartments and remaining funds will be used to improve Camp Cullen in Baldwin County as a retreat center for the youth.
Sister Elaine Roberts, former teacher at Most Pure Heart of Mary, died at the motherhouse in Sinsinawa, Wis.

May
Gwen Byrd, the Archdiocese of Mobile’s Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Executive Director of Catholic Education was among the recipients of the NCEA’s Learn, Lead, Proclaim Awards, which recognizes outstanding efforts, contributions and achievements on behalf of Catholic school education. Byrd was chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations dedicated to the nations Catholic schools.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed a new columbarium at the Catholic Cemetery in Mobile as cremation has become a more common practice of laying a loved one to rest. Catholic Cemetery of the Archdiocese of Mobile is providing an option to meet the needs of Catholics with 176 available niches in the columbarium.
Sister Mary Agnes, O.C.D., was sworn in as a U.S. citizen. She is one of five Carmelite nuns in Mobile who have become U.S. citizens this year.
St. Margaret Parish, Bayou La Batre, welcomed several thousand people to the 70th Annual Blessing of the Fleet. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed each of the boats as they progressed down the Bayou.
Holy Spirit Catholic Church parishioner and Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Senior Isabelle Cochran was the female recipient of the Jimmy Hitchcock Award which recognizes Christian leadership and athletic success. She had more than $350,000 in scholarship offers.
St. Pius X Catholic School, Mobile, won first place in its division at the Northern Gulf Coast Regional MATE ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) Challenge. The winners competed against teams from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia creating an engineering company that designs, builds and uses underwater robots to carry out specified missions.
St. Michael Catholic High School seniors made history when they became the first class to graduate from the high school. The 46 graduates began their journey at St. Michael as sophomores when the school opened for the 2016-2017 school year.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi appointed Msgr. William Skoneki as vicar general and Moderator of the Curia as well as Rector of the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Msgr. Skoneki had been pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Auburn since 2005. Msgr. Skoneki changed roles with current Vicar General Msgr. Michael L. Farmer, who became pastor at St. Michael Parish.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi asked for prayers and support of the priests in the archdiocese participating in the annual three day retreat held at Manresa Retreat House in Convent, La.
The McGill-Toolen Catholic High School baseball team captured the AHSAA 2019 Class 7A State Championship defeating Bob Jones High School in the final game of the series 7-6, in Montgomery. It was the first state baseball title McGill-Toolen had ever won.
Archdiocese of Mobile seminarians Drew Williams and Thomas LaPointe received their Master of Philosophy and Deacon Patrick Gilbreath a Master of Divinity and Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology degrees from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.
St. Patrick School, Robertsdale, fifth graders won first place in the Alabama Coastal Kids Quiz, an environmental competition open to fifth graders in Mobile and Baldwin Counties and sponsored by the Alabama Coastal Foundation.
Catholic scouts took part in the annual Archbishop’s Dinner hosted by the Mobile Catholic Scouting Committee, which was held at St. Vincent de Paul Parish.
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School senior Hannah Daffin finished her career at McT with two state titles in the shot put and discus. She won five 7A State Championships in a row and holds the 7A record.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the Rite of Candidacy at Spring Hill College’s St. Joseph Chapel for 19 men preparing to enter into the permanent diaconate. They now begin their final three years of preparation.
The Archdiocese of Mobile celebrated National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for mariners and people of the sea with Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception celebrated by Fr. Chris Boutin and assisted by Deacons John Archer, Gary Vrazel and Charles Groves.
Three Catholic high schools and one Catholic college in the Archdiocese of Mobile held graduation ceremonies for some 700 plus graduates. McGill-Toolen Catholic High 2019 graduates were awarded over $18.5 million in scholarships. Valedictorian was Mary Alice Fitzpatrick Jouve and Salutatorians were Emily Doyle and Liam Tully. St. Michael Catholic High Valedictorian of the school’s first graduating class was Caroline Zitnik. The 144th Commencement of Montgomery Catholic Preparatory Valedictorian was Reagan Herbek and Austin Collett was Salutatorian.
Continuing tradition the graduates of Spring Hill College, dating back to the root of the Jesuit heritage walked down the Avenue of Oaks to have their degrees conferred by President E. Joseph Lee ll, PhD. Ignation Award honors were presented to Dorothy A. Brown and Kyle M. Mistretta.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced the following appointments of Pastors: Msgr. William J. Skoneki, rector of the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. Christopher G. Boutin, pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish, Troy; Rev. Msgr. Michael L. Farmer, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Auburn; Rev. M. Dennis Irwin, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Wetumpka; Rev. Saleth Mariadoss, pastor of St. Peter Parish, Montgomery; Rev. James Singarayar, H.G.N., pastor of St.. Joseph Parish, Lillian; and Rev. Frank J. Sofie, pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine, Atmore.

June
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi ordained Fr. Patrick Gilbreath to the priesthood and Deacons Gabriel Mills, Connor Plessala and Peyton Plessala to the transitional diaconate in ceremonies at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Gilbreath’s first parish assignment was to serve as a parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish, Montgomery.
The St. Serra Club of Mobile completed its 2019 Priest Golf Tournament at Spring Hill College Golf Course. The winning team consisted of Terry Silva, Fr. John Lynes, Jim McAleer and Larry Wooley.
Rev. Msgr. William R. James died the day after his 90th birthday after serving the Archdiocese of Mobile throughout his 65 years as a priest. The Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Patrick Church, Robertsdale, home of his final assignment.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi appointed Rev. Bura Aloysius Koroba, S.S.J., as a pastor of Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Mobile.
U.S. bishops, including Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, gathered for the spring general assembly in Baltimore. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) took action to respond to the abuse crisis.
Honored at a 4th Degree ceremony of the Knights of Columbus were Charlie Pollman, Daniel Johnson, Zachary Pigg, Frank Saunee and Perry C. Rucker.
Resurrection Catholic Parish, Montgomery celebrated their 75th anniversary with the theme “Rise Up.” Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the Mass. Grand Knight Eugene Elmore and Grand Lady Yolanda Robinson of the Knights and Ladies Council and Court 345 presented a check for $7,500 to Fr. Manual Williams, C.R., in support of the Catholic Mission. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, Resurrection Catholic Missions presented a powerful Symposium on Racism and the Catholic Church at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, narrated by Judge Vanetta Penn McPherson.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi entertained priests of the Archdiocese 75 years and older at the Diamond Lunch held at the Cathedral Rectory.
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Parish in Spanish Fort celebrated Mass in its temporary home at Prodisee Pantry. Pastor Fr. James Cink unveiled plans for permanent parish facilities, beginning with a multipurpose building. The archdiocese donated 26 acres of land on Highway 31 to the parish.
The Diocese of Birmingham celebrated its 50th Anniversary with its Eucharistic Congress. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and other bishops celebrated the closing Mass at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
St. Ignatius Parish welcomed 21 children of families who have resettled in Mobile through Catholic Social Services Resettlement Program. The children joined St. Ignatius children grades 5-7 for a morning of fun activities and games. The day of fun was part of St. Ignatius weeklong “Walk the Walk” program for children.
Former Little Flower teacher Sister Audrey Olsen (S. Rose Christine) passed away at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated Mass at St. Mary Parish, Mobile, in recognition of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s 150th anniversary of their arrival in the U.S. since 1901, the Little Sisters have served the elderly poor in Mobile. Mother Judith Mary Meredith, l.s.p. delivered remarks following the Mass.

July
Parishioners of St. Columba Parish, Dothan, held what has become known as the “Seminarian-Palooza” Weekend. Parishioners opened their doors and hearts in support of the 21 young men studying for the priesthood to serve the Archdiocese of Mobile.
St. Michael Catholic High School announced that the campaign for the athletic facilities had reached its goal with more than $5 million pledged. The principal noted the facilities would be built a step at a time and updates posted as the project progresses.
The history of churches in the Archdiocese of Mobile, past and present, since 1950 that were sold or demolished and also Churches that were built was listed in “The Catholic Week.” Information was comprised from the Archdiocese of Mobile Archive Department.
Bringing the Mass for Shut-ins and helping them remain connected to the faith is the main purpose of “Mass for Shut-ins” program throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile. Funded by Catholic Social Services, this program is broadcast every Sunday on TV stations throughout the Archdiocese.
The Mobile Engaged Encounter community hosted District 3 Catholic Engaged Encounter District Convention at the Admiral Hotel. Attendees came from seven southeastern states. Dr. Ray Guarendi, radio show host of Dr. Ray’s “The Doctor Is In,” was the keynote speaker. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the closing Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Local Catholic radio station Archangel Radio was voted best AM radio station in this year’s “Nappie Awards” sponsored by the weekly independent newspaper “Lagniappe” which is distributed in Mobile and Baldwin County. Other winners included: Best Pastor: Little Flower Pastor Fr. John Lynes; Best Private High School: McGill-Toolen; Best Preschool Teacher: Candice McLaughlin, Corpus Christi; Coolest Church/House of Worship: Little Flower Catholic Church; Coolest Elementary Teacher- Mobile: Karen Shirah, St. Ignatius; and Coolest High School Teacher- Mobile: Phil Proctor, McGill-Toolen.
About 200 women from the Wiregrass area gathered at St. Columba Parish for “Flourish.” The inaugural women’s conference was co-coordinated by Nikki Burns and Ashley Johnson of St. Columba’s Bloom Ministry for women of all ages from Mobile, Montgomery, Enterprise and Ozark as well as Florida and Georgia.

August
Hundreds who attended the Archdiocese of Mobile’s “One Faith One Family” learned the three Rs of the liturgy of the domestic church- relationships, rituals of connection and reaching out. Featured speakers were Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak at the event held at the Daphne Civic Center. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi closed the weekend with Mass.
The new Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School’s 33,000-square foot athletic complex that seats more than 850 people was dedicated by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi. The gym’s size and two regulation- size basketball courts allows for the school to host tournaments for multiple Knights athletic teams to practice at the same time.
Nearly $100,000 was raised to support the 21 Archdiocese of Mobile seminarians at the second annual Seminarian Summer Gala at Corpus Christi Parish in Mobile. About 30 priests from throughout the Archdiocese donned aprons and served as waiters for the dinner. Proceeds raised went towards seminarian education as it costs about $50,000 for one year of formation for each seminarian.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi made the following appointments: Rev. Christopher Matumbai Sialo, F.M.H. as pastor of Prince of Peace Parish, Mobile; and Rev. Alejandro E. Valladares as Vicar Forane of the Montgomery Deanery for a three-year term. He will also serve as a member of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council for a three year term.
Each school in the Archdiocese listed new upgrades in the form of new programs and personnel, facilities and security, and in curriculum, including Science and Technology for the 2019 -20 academic year.
Fr. Paul Zoghby, pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Foley, was keynote speaker at the Catholic School Orientation Day at Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery and St. Dominic Parish in Mobile. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated Mass at both locations. Numerous priests from the archdiocese concelebrated. Principals, directors and faculty were also commissioned during the Masses.
The Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary celebrated the 75th anniversary of their founding at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury. On August 17, 1944, Foundation Day, the foundress Mother Mary Dominic and Mother Mary of the Child Jesus left their Monastery in Cantonville, Md., to travel to Alabama and establish the first interracial cloister in the U.S. Archbishop Thomas J. Toolen, along with Fr. Harold Purcell of the City of St. Jude welcomed them. By August 28, 1944, “Enclosure Day,” the cloister of the new Monastery in Marbury was officially blessed. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the 75th Anniversary Mass with several other priests from the Archdiocese of Mobile concelebrating.
The Children of St. Elizabeth Parish in Greenville have enjoyed the presence of the Nashville, Tennessee based Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia at their Vacation Bible School for eight years. This year Sister Mary Celeste, O.P. and Sister Malia Grace, O.P. accompanied more than 50 children in prayer, songs, games and more, helping them become “Champions for Christ.”
Sister Mary Aidan Donaldson, R.S.M., celebrated her 111th birthday at the Convent of Mercy. Sister Mary Aidan was believed to be the oldest Sister of Mercy in the world and perhaps the oldest member of any Religions Order.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated Mass for the Archdiocese of Mobile permanent deacons who renewed their commitment to diaconal ministry.
The St. Serra Club hosted seminarians of the archdiocese with its annual Seafood Fest held at St. Bartholomew Parish, Elberta. The Serrans and seminarians were joined by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi.
St. Michael Catholic High School students and faculty began their fourth year by dedicating a statue of the school’s namesake led by St. Lawrence Parish Pastor Fr. Steve Williams. The statue was a gift from St. Lawrence parishioners Drs. Matt and Stephanie Barfield.
The Knights of Peter Claver 104th national convention was held in Atlanta with more than 800 Knights and Ladies from across the country attending. Grand Lady Yolanda Robinson of Court 345 received the 2019 KPC National Grand Lady of the Year Award and the Silver Medal of Merit (Gulf Coast District.)

September
Deacon Alexander F. Moore, a member of the first permanent deacon class of the then-Diocese of Mobile, Birmingham and believed to be the last surviving member of the class in the Archdiocese of Mobile, died Sept. 6 at the age of 81. Deacon Moore was also among the first African-American permanent deacons in the archdiocese. He was assigned to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Mobile.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception to recognize the members of 27 religious communities serving in the archdiocese.
The Archbishop of Mobile’s office for the Protection of Minors and Adults enhanced its child protection efforts by adopting Catholic Mutual Group’s Safe Environment Program. The new platform CMG Connect manages initial training and provides annual retraining for all volunteers planning to work with youth, all archdiocesan employees and priests, seminarians and deacons.
Several parishes in the Archdiocese of Mobile bonded together to sponsor “Be Prepared” apologetics series. The program is a 20-part monthly series over two years and includes the backbone for catechists in the Archdiocese to be certified.
Sister Almeda Golson, D.C., a native of Prattville who had served at St. Margaret Hospital in Montgomery, died at the age of 87 at Seton Residence in Evansville, Indiana. Sister Almeda twice served as Local Community Superior in Alabama.
Sisters of Mercy Elizabeth Ann Cannon Judith Dianne McGowin and Mary Eileen Wilhelm celebrated 60 years of religious life at Mass held at St. Mary Parish in Mobile. The three jubilarians embodied and modeled the vows they took including a 4th Vow of Service to those who are poor, sick and/or uneducated throughout their religious life.
St. Ignatius Parish, Mobile, took a significant step toward the future. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, St. Ignatius Pastor Fr. Bry Shields and others took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the parish’s new church building. The church is one part of a parish project that will include the current church building being converted into a parish hall, a new Early Learning Center, new cafeteria and the addition of a middle school building. Fr. Shields added that 640 people had pledged to the campaign for a total of $17.3 million. The new church’s project completion date is April 2021.
The Archdiocese of Mobile celebrated the annual Blue Mass for law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. An inaugural Blue Mass was held at St. Michael’s Parish, Auburn, celebrating First Responders. Rev. Msgr. Michael L. Farmer, pastor, said he hopes it becomes an annual event for the Catholic community in Lee County.
Sister Mary Fatima Starks, RSM, who was a Sister of Mercy for 72 years, died in Mobile at age 90.
More than 100 people took part in St. Michael Parish’s 7th annual Eucharistic Procession on the campus of Auburn University. Msgr. Michael Farmer, pastor of St. Michael’s, led the prayers and procession.
Blessed Trinity Shrine Retreat held its inaugural Family Fun Festival. About 200 families participated in the event.
Spring Hill College’s Peggy Martin became the women’s all-time winningest coach in women’s volleyball at any division in NCAA history. Martin is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Mobile Sports and McGill-Toolen Catholic High School hall of fame. Martin attended St. Catherine School and Convent of Mercy High School.

October
Units that are part of a 96-niche columbarium for cremated remains were installed at St. Margaret Cemetery in Montgomery. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed the niches.
In recognition of more than 70 years of service as well as to commence the 100 year anniversary of the worldwide Apostleship of the Sea ministry, Catholic Maritime Ministry Chaplain, Fr. Lito Capeding, celebrated Mass at Daphne’s Shrine of the Holy Cross Parish. About 30,000 people a year come through the Port of Mobile on an annual basis.
About 200 young people in grades six through eight participated in the ACYC Junior at Corpus Christi Parish in Mobile. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi welcomed the young people. Speakers included Maggie Craig of Maggie Craig Ministries and Father Victor Ingalls, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Mobile.
The Annual Red Mass for judges and members of the legal profession was held at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile and at St. Peter Parish in Montgomery. Archbishop Rodi was the celebrant and large numbers of members in the legal profession attended.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated the White Mass in celebration of the Healing Professions at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. McGill-Toolen’s Chamber Singers provided the music.
Over 100 million school children prayed for an end to abortion during the 40 days of life campaign. They also gathered at the Women’s Resource Center parking lot to pray before school. McGill-Toolen Catholic students Murphy Douglas and Smith Strain spoke about pro-life to the students. At Montgomery Catholic Prep 40 days of Life was kicked off by arranging a beautiful sidewalk Mass across the street from the abortion clinic.
About 100 Hispanic Catholic leaders from the Province of Mobile met at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Mobile to discuss the recommendations which arose from V Encuentro, or Fifth National Encuentro, a year-long nationwide process which aims to identify ways to better minister to Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi began the day by celebrating Mass.
The “Boxes of Joy” program which brings hope to children was begun in many parishes and schools in the Archdiocese. This ministry invites people to fill a shoe box size box with children’s gifts. The children who receive the boxes “live in abject poverty” according to Archbishop Rodi and the gifts bring them hope.
The Archdiocese’s permanent diaconate candidates are “in the midst of a challenging formation process” according to Deacon Ronnie Hathorne, director of the archdiocese’s permanent diaconate. The 19 men were officially installed as candidates earlier in the year. The process for their formation and studies was described in The Catholic Week. We are asked to pray for these men and their families during their journey to the permanent diaconate to serve our archdiocese.
St. Michael Catholic High School Model United Nations (UN) team hosted its inaugural Cardinal Model UN Conference involving more than 60 students and marking the arrival of the new St. Michael UN Program.
The ladies of the Montgomery Deanery Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women hosted the 84th annual convention at the Hilton Garden Inn – Eastchase in Montgomery. The convention theme was “Ordinary Women, Doing Extraordinary Work, Guided by Mary.” The keynote speaker at the banquet was Rebecca Goff, clinical chaplain at Baptist Health, Montgomery Cancer Center. The event was hosted by St. Jude Knights of Peter Claver, Ladies Auxiliary Court 148 and presided over by archdiocesan president Connie Seyler. The banquet concluded with the presentation of the Burse/SOS check in the amount of $403,486.98 to Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi.
2B Choices and To Be Options presented “Respect Life Recital” featuring violinist Matthew Madonia accompanied by Dr. Robert Holm, head of the piano division at the University of South Alabama, as well as being a professor of Music and principal pianist for the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.
Sister Mary Aidan Donaldson, RSM, the oldest Sister of Mercy in the World and probably the oldest living religious died at the age of 111 at the Convent of Mercy in Mobile.
Bishop Roger Paul Morin, third bishop of Biloxi, passed away returning after vacationing with his family in Massachusetts. His funeral Mass was at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biloxi with interment in the Bishops’ Cemetery and Memorial Prayer Garden.
Catholic Social Services of Dothan was recognized by the Charitable Foundation of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative and WTVY-4 as the “Silent Hero of the Wiregrass.”
The Archdiocese of Mobile staff of Hispanic Ministry bid farewell to Fr. Jose Luis Mesa, S.J., who had been the sacramental Minister for Hispanic Ministry since 2013. Fr. Mesa was transferred to El Paso, TX.

November
Fr. Stephan Sohe, S.S.J. was homilist at the fourth annual National Black Catholic History Month Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi was the main celebrant at the Mass. The Knights of Peter Claver participated as Honor Guards for the Mass.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrated All Souls Day Mass at the Catholic Cemetery of Mobile. Following Mass he placed white roses on the gravesites of priests buried in Catholic Cemetery of Mobile. Fr. Dan Good, pastor of St. Philip Neri Parish and St. Michael Parish, Heron Bay, celebrated the All Souls Day Mass at Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Deacon John Archer was named a finalist for Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi award and will receive $10,000 to support Catholic Maritime Ministry in Mobile.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi visited Archdiocese of Mobile seminarians studying for the Archdiocese at their seminaries.
The 72nd Toy Bowl festivities and games were reigned over by Queen Camille Dennis and King Payton Anderson of Corpus Christi School and Princess Maddie Mayhall and Prince Peyton Armstrong of St. Mary School. The 186 member Toy Bowl Court raised more than $72,000 for the CYO program. The McGill-Toolen middle school team won the inaugural Toy Bowl game against St. Michael Catholic 35-6.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi led the Christ the King Celebration procession from Bienville Square to the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Individuals from each parish of the Archdiocese were presented the Christ the King medal for selfless service to their parish by Archbishop Rodi.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi blessed the newly expanded and renovated CSS of Baldwin County. The $600,000 renovation project includes new work space for CSS to be options for Women which provides assistance and education for new and expecting mothers. The facility’s Thrift Shop has a new sorting/donation area. The facility located in Robertsdale serves about 2,500 people each year.
Fr. Matthew Sindik a longtime education and director of the City of St. Jude, died in Montgomery at the age of 92. Born in Mobile, Father Sindik was one of 10 children, including a brother, Msgr. George Sindik who was a priest in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Fr. Sindik’s Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Jude and he was buried in St. Margaret Cemetery in Montgomery.
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi joined with The Society of Saint Edmond in Selma and blessed the new $3.2 million Edmundite Missions’ Dr. Michael and Catherine Bullock Community and Recreation Center. The Edmundites have served the poor in the area for more than 80 years.
The St. Michael Catholic High School Boys cross-country team captured the schools first state championship by winning the Class 3A title at Oakville Indian Mounds Cross Country Course. The team was led by Michael Garriz, Jack Phelps and Nick Berrios.
Prince of Peace Catholic Church parishioner and McGill-Toolen Catholic High Senior, Mary Olivette Bookman, was one of 40 student leaders from across the state chosen for the Alabama Bicentennial Student Advisory Committee.

December
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi returned from his “ad limina” visit to the Vatican, which included a meeting with Pope Francis.
Archbishop Rodi joined other bishops from Region V — Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee — for the weeklong trip. Region V bishops and Region IV bishops met Dec. 3 with Pope Francis and Archbishop Rodi said Pope Francis answered all questions bishops had for him.
After nearly a year of planning and praying, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St. Ignatius Parish opened for perpetual Eucharistic Adoration on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Sunday, Dec. 8. A procession from St. Ignatius Catholic Church to the chapel located behind the rectory took place following the 10 a.m. Mass.
— Compiled by Anne Baggett.

By Editor

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