From the Editor

by Jessica Rinaudo

You may have noticed that the cover of this issue of The Catholic Connection magazine looks a little different this month – it is an illustration of the five priests who died in serving the sick in the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. These are the same priests who are depicted in the stained glass windows inside Holy Trinity Church in downtown Shreveport.

This cover is the first of many illustrations you will see in The Catholic Connection in the coming months. The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, most notably Fr. Peter Mangum, Dr. Cheryl White and Ryan Smith, have embarked on a project to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the Shreveport Yellow Fever epidemic, and help make the faithful of our diocese more aware of the importance of these five martyrs, as well as the three Daughters of the Cross who died in the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1873. As part of their project, they have commissioned comic book artist and illustrator, Deacon Andrew Thomas, to draw a comic book of the events surrounding the lives of these priests in 1873, including their faith, service and deaths. One to two of those pages will be released each month in The Catholic Connection magazine as a serial, telling this important piece of Shreveport Catholic history. This project is sponsored by the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, and we are grateful to be able to share it with all the people of the Diocese of Shreveport.

With that in mind, there are several other articles in this issue that relate to this topic: an interview with the illustrator, Deacon Andrew Thomas; a story on St. Joseph Cemetery, where two of these priests are buried; information on martyrs in the Catholic church; and, of course, the main feature, which details the stories of these priests and how they shared their lives with the faithful of Shreveport in 1873. And don’t forget our Kids’ Connection this month ! There is also information about an upcoming podcast series on these priests that will debut the first weekend in November.

We hope you enjoy this special issue of The Catholic Connection, timed to print in conjunction with All Saints and All Souls days, and that you remember these martyrs in your prayers, especially during the month of November. •

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