St. Mary to host open house Sunday

Published 12:01am Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Catholic community of St. Mary Basilica is offering a unique opportunity to the City of Natchez and surrounding area this Saturday and Sunday.

We are celebrating two very important events in the history of Catholicism in Southwest Mississippi. Not only will we be recognizing 300 years of a Catholic presence but also the establishment of the diocese of Natchez 175 years ago.

In addition, beginning Oct. 11, Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed 2012-2013 as the Year of Faith.

In recognition of that, this weekend celebration will mark the start of several events scheduled throughout the coming year recognizing his proclamation.

On Saturday, a nationally recognized lay evangelist, Gus Lloyd, will present programs on topics encompassing his faith journey, forgiveness and reconciliation, the Holy Eucharist and his own “Magnetic Christianity.” There are generous breaks and lunch is included in the registration fee.

Those who have heard his daily program on Sirius-XM radio channel 129 have praised his ability to communicate his faith. It is very exciting to be able to bring to our community someone of his caliber. If you are Catholic, this is not to be missed!

Following the 5 p.m. Mass, there will be a special youth gathering in their youth center. At last, the young people have their own space and they have big plans for its use.

On Sunday, the public is invited to a dedication ceremony conducted by Bishop Joseph Latino at 3 p.m., which will be immediately followed by an open house with refreshments and displays that portray who we are as a Catholic community.

Historical artifacts will be on display and information about current projects and activities will be available. Tours of the new facility will be available for any who are interested. Please make plans to come let us share with you.

Early in the planning process for the events of this weekend a theme was chosen.

It was “Reflect, Rediscover, Rejoice in Our Faith.”

It seems that reflection on our long history, rediscovery of our present faith, and rejoicing with the community in our future are truly the thread that sews this celebration together.

As a parishioner of St. Mary, I cannot express in mere words the excitement that I feel in being just one of so very many who have dedicated prayer, work, time and, of course, money to this project over the last several years.

I know many of you have monitored the work progress because I have heard comments about how nice the building looks as you go by.

Well, if you think it looks good from the outside, come to our dedication and open house, because, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” until you get inside.

See you at 3 p.m. Sunday.


Donna Martello is a parishioner at St. Mary Basilica.