Our friars have been serving the people of St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, in Jonesboro (GA) since 1991. The parish’s first Mass was celebrated on September 12, 1965 and has grown from 35 to 2100 registered families over these 50 years. This vibrant faith community has over 65 structured organizations, groups and ministries, as well as countless more clubs and activities, producing a strong base for the spread of Franciscan Charism.
One such group is simply known as the “Craft Group.” The Craft Group was formed to not only promote fellowship among parishioners and non-parishioners, but to provide a forum through which members create handmade items such as clothes, blankets and crafts to parish ministries, organizations, and local hospitals. This year, St. Philip Benizi Craft Group partnered with a local chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), known as the Morrow Civic Woman’s Club, to support a special need of the international medical charity, Operation Smile. When a GFWC member was volunteering with Operation Smile, she witnessed children coming to the hospital for surgery in their best clothes; which would still be worn during surgery and recovery. In 1998 the GFWC began making children’s sized hospital gowns for Operation Smile and this year, the St. Philip Benizi Craft Group was able to sew and contribute 100 colorful and cheerfully designed gowns. These clean gowns brought as many smiles to the faces of the faithful at St. Philip Benizi, as they will to the children who will receive them and will be a reminder to each child that someone out there is thinking of and praying for them. Fr. John Koziol, OFM Conv., pastor of St. Philip Benizi, blessed the gowns and prayed for all those served by and involved with Operation Smile. (photo and information taken form the August 2015 Be-NEWS-Zi article by Mary Harmon & Lois Wolfe)
As the parish gathers for a September 12, 2015 Golden Jubilee celebration, that will include ~ 5:00 p.m. Mass with principal celebrant Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, the Our Lady of the Angels Province friars who serve the parish, Deacons, and former Pastors ~ a re-dedication of the parish hall to be named Founder’s Hall ~ and a large parish meal, please keep them all, and all who are serve by and through them, in your prayers.