St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church & Catholic Student Center, 721 N. College St., Booneville, MS 38829, [662] 728-7509 or [662] 728-2257
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St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church & Catholic Student CenterThe Catholic presence here in Booneville began in 1961 with Father Charles Reiner, O.S.B., Gladys Mitchell and six Catholic families. They met in homes or attended Mass in Corinth or Saltillo. Eventually, the Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church was built four miles south of town with the dedication services being held on Sunday, April 29, 1962.

The church began to grow as more families moved to the Booneville area: the Fulper family started a dairy farm; the Buchberger family established Marathon Cheese; the Lawyer family came here from American Seating, which later became Schweiger's furniture.

In 1967, Sacred Heart Southern Missions of Walls, MS. took on the responsibility of serving the spiritual and financial needs of the nine counties in northeast Mississippi. Prentiss County was served by Sacred Heart Southern Missions until 2009.

Father George Pinger, S.C.J. became the first full-time priest in 1977. Father Pinger made his home in the back of the church. Eventually a house was purchased in Booneville which, to this day, still serves as our Parish house.

In 1987, due to the shortage of priests, Sisters from religious communities began doing the day-to-day duties with a priest coming for the celebration of the Mass and Sacraments on Sundays.

In the fall of 1992, plans were made for a new church. Land was purchased in Booneville on College Street across from Northeast Mississippi Community College. At the direction of the Bishop, this was to be the location of the Catholic Church and Catholic Student Center.

This new church was made possible by Sacred Heart Southern Missions, a grant from Marathon Cheese in Wisconsin, and contributions both financially and through service by parishioners. The congregation moved to the new church facility in December 1993 and a beautiful dedication ceremony took place on April 10, 1994. The new church was named St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Father Tom Burns, SCJ served as Sacramental Minister from July of 1993 until his retirement in March of 2009. Upon Father Tom's retirement, Father Richard Smith joined us as our new Sacramental Minister. Sister Colette Fahrner, SLW, Sister of the Living Word, arrived in July, 2006 as our new Lay Ecclesial Minister. She took the place of Sister Dorothy Pashuta, who was with us for nine years. In 2010, Sheila Przesmicki became our Pastoral Minister. In 2014, she was appointed Lay Ecclesial Minister, and Father David Szatkowski, SCJ was appointed Sacramental Minister.

Church membership continues to steadily grow and members of the congregation are proud of caring for the present Church, Social Hall and grounds.

We dedicate our Infant Jesus of Prague Memory wall to Ludie Pietruszkiewicz, a convert to Catholicism, who joined Infant Jesus of Prague, along with her family, in the 1960s. Ludie was one of the many people who served in several ministries in the church, and after St. Francis of Assisi was dedicated in 1994, she wanted to ensure that Infant Jesus of Prague was not forgotten. Especially in an area where Catholics continue to be a minority, Ludie wanted very much to preserve HOW the Catholic Church came to Prentiss County, and how hard those first families worked to maintain a Catholic presence here.

We lost Ludie in February of 2012, but her memory and presence lives on in the prayers, work and mission we maintain here at the parish of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Student Center. We have been richly blessed and ask you to join us in thanking God for graces received through all these years.

Copyright © St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church 2002-2016