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Fr. Gregory Plata, OFM, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary; Director of Franciscan Mission


"The Province's commitment to opening a mission in Mississippi materialized when it sent its first two missionaries, Frs. Bonaventure Bolda and Chrysostom Okon. They arrived in Greenwood on July 29, 1948.

"After an exhausting search they found a suitable location to set up a mission. The property consisted of 12.6 acres of land just outside the Greenwood city limits. It had two buildings, one of which was the Blue Moon, a once prominent Black nightclub. The property was bought for $22,000.

"Too much cannot be written about the wonderful generosity of some white folks in Greenwood. They donated money, landscaping, household appliances, and furniture to the mission without an appeal by the friars."

--The Pulaski Franciscans: A History of the Assumption Province 1887-2011 by Jerry Tokarz, OFM.

Br. Patrick McCormack, OFM, Staff, St. Francis Mission

Br. Craig Wilking, OFM, Staff, St. Francis Mission

St. Francis School and Mission, Greenwood, Mississippi

The Assumption Province began an out-reach to the poor of Greenwood, Mississippi in the early 1950s. This racially divided community has come to be more inclusive through the decades of work of the friars and most recently with the outstanding help of the Sisters of Charity from Manitowoc, Wisconsin (pictured right). The missions consists of St. Francis Parish and St. Francis School and three other parishes given to our care. The Sisters have made St. Francis School one of the most outstanding grade schools in the state of Mississippi.