St. Raphael signed a covenant with Holy Cross Catholic Church in September 2017, which makes Holy Cross our sister parish. We are bound together with promises that we make to pray for each other, to visit each other, and to offer support for each other as needed.
Holy Cross is in Jackson, Kentucky and part of the Diocese of Lexington. It is located in the Appalachian Mountain area and is the only Catholic Church in Breathitt County. Josh van Cleef and Ellen Salmi van Cleef served as Co-Directors of Parish Life at Holy Cross until May 2022. Kirsten Thorstad now serves in that role. She is responsible for all aspects of the leadership and management of the church in the absence of a full-time priest, acting in the capacity that Pastoral Leaders do in the Diocese of Green Bay. Of the approximately 13,000 people in Breathitt County, fewer than 50 are Catholic. As part of its ministry, Holy Cross partners with groups in the community to help them serve the people of Breathitt County by providing, for example, food and clothing. The parish also assists in paying gas and utilities bills, as well as operating a small pantry for those who need it. They are continuing to explore areas where they can most help to those in need in the broader community.
Please visit the Holy Cross parish website for more information: https://www.holycrossjackson.org/contact
St. Raphael hosts a “Giving Tree” during the Christmas season to benefit the children of Breathitt County. St. Raphael also sends mission teams to Holy Cross when conditions permit. An adult mission is typically held in spring and a youth mission is typically held in the summer. Mission trips to Holy Cross offer an opportunity to encounter the people of Breathitt County by providing service to them and receiving community with them. Watch the bulletin for details about upcoming mission trips.