Bishop’s Statement on Orlando tragedy

June 13, 2016

As Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, I ask all the faithful to offer prayers and acts of mercy on behalf of the lives of so many innocent people extinguished in the blink of an eye by a deranged and misguided gunman in Orlando yesterday morning. We pray for them and for their families and friends who are now facing an unimaginable grief.

This senseless act of hatred adds to the seemingly unending number of acts of violence in our world against the life and dignity of each and every human person. In the face of such evil, now more than ever, we must respond with the love and compassion of Christ in order to bring true and lasting peace in our families, our communities and our world.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

+Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop of Jackson


Frances Boeckman, retired diocesan archivist, dies

Frances Boeckman, the retired archivist for the Diocese of Jackson, died Thursday, Aug. 27 at the age of 93. Frances will be remembered for her dedication to the church and its history. Below is her obituary:

Frances Ford Blissard Boeckman was born on Dec. 10, 1921, in Houston, Mississippi, during the time her father was mayor of the town. Her parents were Thomas Lee Blissard and Lea Alta Ford Blissard.  She is descended from the Ford and Paden families of Montpelier, Mississippi, and the Blissard and Thorn families of Thorn, Mississippi.  All families settled there before Mississippi became a state.

She graduated from Houston High School in 1939, later graduated with high honors from Belhaven College, still later received an MA degree from Mississippi College and an MLS degree from the University of Mississippi.  She also studied at Colorado College and Arkansas State University.  She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

In 1942 she met the man she would later marry, Richard “Dick” Joseph Boeckman of Dayton, Ohio.  Stationed briefly at Camp Shelby, he went on to Aberdeen Proving Ground to be commissioned in the Ordnance Corps of what was then the Army Air Corps.

After his time in North Africa, Sardinia and Italy, they were married on June 30, 1946, in Jackson, Mississippi, at St. Peter Church, now St. Peter Cathedral.

When her husband’s retirement from the Army at Fort Carson, Colorado, she and Dick settled in Jackson.  They were active in St. Peter Cathedral.  She served as the first woman president of the parish council there and was one of the first women Eucharistic Ministers for her parish.

She was an early member of the Good Samaritan Center Board, was active for many years in the University Association of University Women and in the American Association of University Professors.  She was an early member of the Jackson Opera Guild, for which she did publicity when she was still a student at Belhaven College, and for the Jackson Ballet Guild.  She and her husband were active supporters of New Stage Theater in its early years.

Her interest in writing began early in her life when she wrote poems and stories and even edited her high school newspaper.  She edited her college newspaper for two years.  In 1950-52 she was in Jackson working at the Jackson Public Library and had weekly columns in the Jackson Daily News about new books in the library.

She published seven volumes collecting her poems for friends and others.  She frequently read her poems for various groups.  At various times Frances taught at Belhaven College and Manitou Springs High School in Colorado.  Later she was Acquisitions Librarian for Jackson Public Library and was Catalog Librarian at Millsaps College, where she retired.  Still later she was Archivist of the Jackson Catholic Diocese.

Frances and Dick enjoyed giving dinner parties, particularly the ones with German food, recipes picked up during their four years in Bavaria.  All thru the military years she never had to identify herself to army friends on the phone.  Her Southern accent prevailed and survived, and she was known as Reb when she invited friends in for real honest-to-goodness Southern cuisine.

She was preceded in death in 1998 by her husband of 52 years, her son, Joseph Bernard Boeckman, her sisters, Thomasina Biissard and Jo Ann Bomar.

Surviving her are two nieces, Mandy Bomar Townend of Aurora, Colorado and Tammy Bomar of Birmingham, Alabama; numerous Boeckman nieces and nephews of Dayton, Ohio, and Omaha, Nebraska ; and many beloved first, second and third cousins.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, at 2 pm in the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle. Visitation will be from 5 – 7 pm on Sunday, Aug. 30 at Sebrell Funeral Home. Interment will be in the National Military Cemetery with her beloved, husband. The family would like to express its profound thanks to the staff, nurses and caregivers of Campbell Cove at St. Catherine’s Village, who so graciously cared for Frances over the last few years.

Memorials may be made to the Richard and Frances Boeckman Trust of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson Foundation, a trust established to help St. Peter Cathedral in campus ministry at Millsaps College.  The address is Catholic Foundation, P.O. Box 2248, Jackson, MS  39225-2248.




Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

In the Diocese of Jackson and the Province of Mobile, the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter. This transferral happens every year.

Therefore, Thursday, May 14 is the Feast of St. Mattias, Apostle, found in the Proper. This is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but it is a major feast day for an apostle. The Gloria is recited or sung, Vestment color is red. The readings are from #564 in the Lectionary: Acts 1:15-17,20-26; Psalm 113:1-8; John 15:9-17. Preface of Apostles I or II.

Sunday, May 17, is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. The Readings are from #58 in the Lectionary.

Please check the Ordo for further questions. Thank you.

Decrees on Suppression of St. Mary Parish, relegation of church

Bishop Joseph Kopacz announced the impending suppression of St. Mary Parish and merger with St. Therese Parish on Friday, February 20, at 5:30 p.m., during a meeting with members of the parish community. See previous post in Diocesan News for details. The merger and suppression are now complete with the publication of the following decrees. The community will gather for a final Mass at St. Mary Sunday, March 8th at 3 p.m.

St Mary Jackson – Suppression

St Mary Jackson – Relegating to Profane

2015 Confirmation Schedule

Below is the confirmation schedule for 2015. If a candidate is unable to attend the celebration in their local area, the pastor or confirmation coordinator should contact the parish where they would be able to receive the sacrament.

April 12 – St. Richard Parish, Jackson – 5 pm

April 19 – St. Joseph Parish, Gluckstadt – 5 pm

April 21 – Annunciation Parish, Columbus – 6 pm

April 22 – St. Elizabeth Parish, Clarksdale – 6 pm

April 29 – St. Francis Parish, Madison – 6:30 pm

May 2 – St. John Parish, Oxford – 11 am

May 2 – St. Francis Parish, New Albany – 4:30 pm

May 3 – St. Luke Parish, Bruce – 11 am

May 5 – St. Jude Parish, Pearl – 6 pm

May 9 – St. Joseph Parish, Greenville – 11 am

May 9 – St. Peter Parish, Grenada – 6 pm

May 10 – Immaculate Heart of Mary, Houston – 11 am

May 10 – St. Helen Parish, Amory – 4:30 pm

May 12 – St. Patrick Parish, Meridian – 6 pm

May 14 – St. Mary Basilica, Natchez – 6 pm

May 17 – Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland – 5 pm

July 25 – St. James Parish, Tupelo – 4:30 pm

Oct. 25 – Christ the King Parish, Southaven, 5 pm