In Memoriam: Father Patrick McDermott


Father Patrick McDermott died on September 17 in Ocean Springs.
Father McDermott, 77, a native of Donegal, Ireland, was ordained at St. John College in Waterford on June 14, 1964. He served as assistant pastor of Nativity BVM Parish, Biloxi; St. Elizabeth Parish, Clarksdale; and St. James Parish, Gulfport. His assignments as pastor included St. James Parish, Gulfport; Our Lady of Victories Parish, Pascagoula; Sacred Heart Parish, D’Iberville and a second stint as pastor of Our Lady of Victories Parish in Pascagoula, where he served until his retirement in January 2010. In retirement, Father McDermott resided at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Biloxi.​

Funeral arrangements for Father Patrick McDermott are as follows:

Monday, September 25 – Our Lady of Victories Church, 503 Convent Avenue, Pascagoula, ​

Visitation – Noon to 3pm

Mass – 3 pm

Reception to follow in Cafeteria

Father McDermott will be buried in Ireland.


Msgr. Francis Farrell, a priest of 62 years, dies in Gulfport


50th Anniversary 3


Msgr. Francis Farrell, who celebrated 62 years of priestly ministry in June, died Saturday in Gulfport. Msgr. Farrell, 86, a native of Lacanvey, Westport County, Mayo, Ireland, was ordained at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow, Ireland, for the Diocese of Natchez on June 5, 1955. His appointments included: Liturgy Commission chair; member, Board of Advisors to Liturgical Apostolate, Diocese of Biloxi’s Board of Consultors and Diocesan Building and Real Estate Committee chair. He served as assistant pastor at St. Richard, Jackson, and at St. Paul, Vicksburg, and as pastor at Assumption, Natchez; Sacred Heart, North Biloxi; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis, and Our Lady of Fatima, Biloxi. Visitation will be on Thursday from 6pm to 8pm at Our Lady of Fatima and on Friday from 10 am to 11am, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11am, with burial to follow at Biloxi City Cemetery.

New Permanent Diaconate class to commence in 2018

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Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III has authorized information sessions to be held across the diocese which will begin the implementation of a new Diaconate Formation Class.

The selection process will begin in the fall of this year and classes would commence in the fall of 2018.
Pre-selection information sessions will be conducted from 8:30 until Noon on the following days:

Saturday, August 19th at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Hattiesburg
located at 3117 W. 4th Street
Saturday, September 9th at St. Joseph Parish, Gulfport,
located at 12290 DePew Road (Orange Grove)
Saturday, September 16th at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Ocean Springs,
located at 4900 Riley Road

For interested men, attendance at one of these sessions is mandatory, and your wife is required to attend. Please see your pastor, and for further information, call the Diocese of Biloxi, Office of the Diaconate, (228) 702-2107.

For more on the Permanent Diaconate, see PP???

Msgr. Flannery’s book tells the history of the Saltillo Mission

Fr Flanntery and His Book

MADISON – Msgr. Michael Flannery has written a definitive history of the Saltillo Mission, which was established by the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson in 1969.
In his book, “Saltillo Mission,” Msgr. Flannery, who served in the mission from 1971-74, tells how the Catholic Church in Mississippi came to serve the people of Mexico and delves into the life and ministry of the mission’s founder, Father Patrick Quinn, who faithfully served the people of this poor, mountainous region until his untimely death in 1997.
A native of Ireland, Msgr. Flannery, 77, was ordained to the priesthood in 1964. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Jackson. In 1968, he was appointed associate pastor of Our Lady of Victories Parish in Pascagoula, one of the earliest and staunchest supporters of the Saltillo mission.

Saltillo Summers
“Actually, Pascagoula was the first group that went down there,” said Msgr. Flannery, alluding to the genesis of the Saltillo Summer Experience.
“I was teaching the seniors religion and I challenged them to do something for the poor. There were three guys – Robbie Goff, Cary Olsen and Donald Martin – who volunteered to drive a nine-ton U-Haul truck filled with clothes and medicine to the Mexican border. We gave them $50 a piece for their own expenses and a credit card to pay for their gas and hotels. They were to leave the truck in Laredo. Father Quinn was on his way to Ireland for vacation and was going to meet them at Christ the King Church in Laredo. Well, they decided to go into Mexico and visit the mission. Father Quinn was not going to be there, but they went in anyway by bus. They came back to Laredo and had enough money to buy a bus ticket to New Orleans. When they got to New Orleans, they met a lady who gave them a dollar, which was enough money for bus fare to Hwy 90. From there, they hitchhiked to Bay St. Louis. Cary Olsen had an aunt in Bay St. Louis who fed them and got them bus tickets for the rest of the way back to Pascagoula.”
By the time the three boys returned to Pascagoula, Msgr. Flannery said, the three boys hadn’t shaved in a week and were barely recognizable to their own parents. However, there beards weren’t thing to grow out of that initial trip.
“OLV was actually the first parish to send a group of kids down there and that’s what started the summer program,” he said.
“That really took off and became the best program that we actually had for youth. Conservatively, there were over 20,000 kids from all over the country who visited the mission during Father Quinn’s time. It was a game changer for most of those kids who went down there.”
According to Msgr. Flannery, the first high schoolers to visit the mission were OLV students Pat Stone, Mary Evans, Kathleen Moore and Genevieve and Yvonne Walker. In addition, Dr. Matt Kuluz, a Pascagoula pediatrician and OLV parishioner, solicited donations of supplies such as vitamins, proteins, baby food, bandages, antibiotics and antihistamines to take along on the maiden voyage.
In fact, Msgr. Flannery dedicated his book to Dr. Kuluz, “who has supported the Saltillo mission more than anyone I know.”
Msgr. Flannery notes that Dr. Kuluz has visited the mission more than 30 times and “inspired other medical doctors to join him in reaching out to the poorest of the poor.”

Serving the poorest of the poor
In the book, Msgr. Flannery discusses his decision to volunteer for service in the Saltillo Mission.
“I had been before and was inspired by what was going on there,” he said.
“I came to Mississippi from Ireland looking for missionary work. If I had stayed in Ireland, the probability is that I would have ended up teaching high school for 25 years. That did not appeal to me. There was more variety in the work here. There was also a shortage of priests here and that’s why I volunteered to come to Mississippi. Most of my contemporaries went to places like California and Florida because those were the popular places to go. I chose Mississippi because it was the poorest state in the union.”
The difference between Mississippi’s poverty and Saltillo’s poverty, however, was very stark.
“In Mississippi, you have some resources. You can call on welfare and get state and federal assistance,” he said.
“In Mexico, there’s none of that. A lot of people would live from hand to mouth. They didn’t know where their next meal would come from, particularly in these mountain villages. They were the poorest of the poor. The lived in adobe mud huts. They had no running water and no basic amenities of life.”
One thing they did have was a deep faith in God. So, whenever a priest would visit – sometimes just once a month – the people would turn out for Mass and other sacraments. In 1969, Father Quinn reported just over 500 baptisms. In 1978, he reported 1,416 baptisms, 1,200 First Communions and 256 marriages.
“The mountain villages had been neglected,” Msgr. Flannery said. “Some of these villages hadn’t seen a priest in ten years, yet the faith was alive, which was strange enough. Mexicans are religious people, basically. They might live in a mud hut, half the size of my living room. But, generally, in the corner there is a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s a sacred space. That’s very important to them. They have a deep faith response. It’s very different from ours, but, if you could take the best of their faith response and add it to ours, you’d really have something going.”

Father Quinn
By the time of his arrival in 1971, Father Msgr. Flannery said the number of villages being served by the mission had grown from 44 in its infancy to 62.
“Father Quinn could never say no to anyone,” Msgr. Flannery said.
“Initially, Father Quinn made a commitment to staying in Mexico for five years and ended up staying for 30 years. After five years, Bishop (Joseph) Brunini asked him to stay on and he was happy to do that. By the time of his accident (which is detailed in the book), he was so enamored with the people that he didn’t want to go back to the United States for medical treatment. He nearly died down there because he got two pulmonary embolisms”
Father Quinn initially refused to go to the United States for treatment, Father Flannery write, “on the grounds that this service was not available to the people he served and he should show good example by staying and accepting what was available to a regular patient.”
Msgr. Flannery remembers Father Quinn as a visionary.
“He could look at any situation and know how best to approach it,” he said.
“During his time there, the city quadrupled in size. It went from 400,000 to 800,000 people. Part of that was caused by drugs in the mountain villages. If you lost a crop for two years in a row, you had nothing. You had no seeds to sow. So, people moved at that point and a lot of them became squatters on the side of the mountain. A lot of the growth happened to be at Perpetuo Socorro (Perpetual Help). He responded to that need. He could see that people were living in cardboard boxes. So, he started this program of building cinderblock homes and he ended up building 2,250 of them in his time.”
Msgr. Flannery came back to Mississippi in 1974 and ministered to the poor in the Mississippi Delta. He retired from active ministry in 2014 and currently resides in Madison.
He continues to visit Saltillo on an annual basis.


Copies of Msgr. Michael Flannery’s book, “Saltillo Mission,” ($15) are available at in the offices of the Gulf Pine Catholic, located inside the Diocese of Biloxi’s Pastoral Center, 1790 Popps Ferry Rd, Biloxi. Msgr. Flannery is also planning to bring the book to the Diocese of Bioxi later in the fall to offer at several parishes. Check the Gulf Pine Catholic for more details. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit St. Anthony School in Madison.

Priestly Ordination of Colten Symmes set for June 24 at 10am

untitledc.pngBishop Louis F. Kihneman III will ordain Deacon Colten Symmes to the priesthood on Saturday, June 24 at 10 a.m. at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral, 870 Howard Avenue, Biloxi. A reception will fall in the Nativity BVM Parish School, 1046 Beach Blvd.
Masses of Thanksgiving
He will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at 6 pm. at Our Lady of the Gulf Church, 228 South Beach Boulevard, Bay St. Louis. Father James Wehner, rector of Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans will be the homilist.
He will also celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on July 2 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Victories Church, 503 Convent Avenue, Pascagoula.

Sacred Heart Honors Life of Pat Sanchez at Mass of Christian Burial Feb. 27




HATTIESBURG – Patricia “Pat” Sanchez touched lives not only through the written and spoken word, but also in her selfless devotion to her faith, family, friends and parish community.

Those are the sentiments expressed by many about Sanchez, a widely acknowledged expert on scripture and longtime member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg, who died Feb. 23 after a lengthy illness. She was 70.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Sacred Heart Feb. 27, with Sacred Heart Pastor Father Ken Ramon-Landry and Associate Pastor Fr. Ignacio Jiménez Morales joined by brother priests Father Tommy Conway, Father George Murphy and Father Godfrey Andoh as concelebrants.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Sanchez was born into a military family and lived in various places across the U.S. and in Japan following WWII, where her father was stationed as part of the post-war Allied occupation forces. In Japan, she assisted burn victims injured during the war. For the last several decades, she made Mississippi home with her children and husband, retired Southern Miss foreign language professor and Sacred Heart Music Minister Dr. Rafael Sanchez, whom she met during mission work for the poor in Uganda. The couple moved to the Magnolia State shortly thereafter to marry and raise their family.

Sanchez initially pursued a pre-med education in college, but her passion for the Bible re-directed her studies, as she went on to earn an M.A. from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York, mentored by noted scripture scholar Father Raymond Brown.

Her love for God’s word is reflected in her inspirational writing that has influenced and shaped homilies and inspired Christians around the globe, including through her longtime work as a scripture editor and contributor for Celebration magazine, a sister publication of National Catholic Reporter. Through her commentaries she shared her talents for putting the issues of the day in biblical context.

“She is a treasure – such a gentle, quiet leader,” said friend and fellow Sacred Heart parishioner Sandy Kinnan. “Her heart was in everything she did.”

Approximately two decades ago, Pat Sanchez was diagnosed with kidney disease. In need of a kidney, she found what many believed both a miraculous and ironic match for a donation from a live donor – Father Ramon-Landry. Tests for the procedure found the Sacred Heart pastor as nearly compatible with that of a relative.

He reflected on this close bond with his friend and parishioner during his homily, as he also recounted a life well-lived in her tireless passion for God’s message to mankind. “Pat knew God, and shared God with anyone who would listen,” he said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to celebrate Pat’s life with her.”

Borrowing a phrase spoken often by Sanchez when she sought to reassure and comfort others – “Everything’s going to be alright” – Father Ramon-Landry bid his friend farewell. “My sister, rest in peace. Everything’s going to be alright.”

In addition to her husband, Pat Sanchez is survived by her children, Paul; Rafael, Madalena; and Patrick; a brother, Gregory; and five grandchildren. Memorials to Sanchez can be made to the Pat Sanchez Sacred Heart Catholic Church Hispanic Fund.                                                                         ####


Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Kihneman III rescheduled for Friday, April 28, 2pm

dsc_3406The Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Bishop-elect Louis F. Kihneman III as Fourth Bishop of Biloxi has been rescheduled for Friday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Biloxi, 870 Howard Avenue.
Vespers will be held on Thursday, April 27 at 7pm.
Pope Francis named Msgr. Louis Kihneman to serve as the fourth Bishop of Biloxi on Dec. 16, 2016 and Bishop-elect Kihneman’s ordination and installation was originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 17, but had to be postponed due to health reasons.

Reason for the season found in St. Francis Xavier parishioner’s hobby


Reason for the season found in St. Francis Xavier parishioner’s hobby


WIGGINS -Krystyna Korba’s hands have done much in her lifetime – from making string musical instruments in high school in her native Poland to milking cows at her family’s scenic dairy farm in the Wiggins, Miss. area.

Then, there was the time she shook the hand of Pope Saint John Paul II, who was also on hand for her confirmation in 1969 when he was still Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła.

In recent years, the wear and tear on her hands and back have limited what Korba can do around the house and farm. Still, with a strong desire to remain as active as possible and be creative, she’s painted Christmas tree ornaments over the last two years, many depicting primarily nativity scenes, as well as some that capture idyllic images of the farm life she’s known for so many years.

With no formal art education, she’s produced more than a 100 of the ornaments that have been a hit with family, friends and fellow parishioners at Saint Francis Xavier. She has also engaged in beadwork, inspired by the art and dress of Native Americans.

“I helped milk cows for about 20 years, but I had to quit because of issues with my back and hands,” she said. “So I sat down one day and decided to take up painting. It’s truly a gift from God and one that I’ve really enjoyed.”

Her husband Danny, who also has Polish roots (his parents left Poland for the U.S., settling in Vancleave before moving to Wiggins), helps in prepping the ornaments, cleaning and spraying them with primer before Krystyna goes to work on the small round canvases, painting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger, or of wise men traveling from afar to pay their respects and brings gifts to the newborn King, among others variations on the theme.

“Too often when you go to a store, you’ll see ornaments that just portray snowmen or reindeer, but rarely any featuring what she does, which reminds us of why we celebrate this holiday,” he said.

When one meets Krystyna Korba, it soon becomes obvious her faith is an integral part of her of her life. She speaks fondly of John Paul II, especially when recalling the time she stood in line to shake his hand after he transitioned to the papacy from the Cardinal Wojtyła she knew as a young girl.

“It was a wonderful moment when it was announced he was elected. We (Poles) felt a great sense of pride when we heard the news,” she said. “It made me feel even closer to my faith.

“He was such a great man. When you looked him in the eye, you felt like you were with your best friend.”

Korba says she’ll continue pursuing her passion for painting Christmas ornaments as she is able, inspired by her faith and love of the season known best for the gift of God’s son.

“I don’t advertise my hobby to make money. I do it mainly because it brings me joy and I believe captures the spirit of my love for my faith and this wonderful time of year,” Korba said. “I’ve often thought, how fortunate I’ve been to live and work on a farm, often working in a stable like one Jesus was born in.”

Rev. Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman, III named Fourth Bishop of Biloxi


Pope Francis has named Msgr. Louis Kihneman, a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, to serve as the fourth Bishop of Biloxi. The appointment was announced today, December 16 in Washington, D.C. by the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.

Bishop-elect Kihneman, the new chief shepherd of the 58,000 Catholics in South Mississippi, succeeds Bishop Roger Morin, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on March 7, 2016. Bishop-elect Kihneman was introduced at a news conference today, Friday, December 16,  at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Biloxi.

Bishop Morin called the appointment of Bishop-elect Kihneman “a wonderful early Christmas gift from Pope Francis” for the people of the Diocese of Biloxi.

Bishop-elect Kihneman, no stranger to the Gulf Coast region, said he is both honored and humbled by the Holy Father’s appointment.

“It is with great joy and deep humility and faith that I accept the appointment by our Holy Father to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi. I have been deeply touched by the welcome and hospitality that I have already received, especially from Bishop Morin and my brother priests,” he said. “As a son of a family of the Gulf Coast I have fond memories of summers and summer camp as a boy in the area and thus I feel as if the Lord has led me full circle in some ways back home. I look forward to getting to know you and growing with you in the love of Jesus Christ and together sharing that love with all our brother and sisters. We have a deep call to share the Word of God, the Good News with all and to bring them to Christ. I look forward to building on all the good work that has already been done. May our loving God bless us as we build up his kingdom together.”

Bishop-elect Kihneman was ordained to the priesthood on November 18, 1977 at the Corpus Christi Cathedral by Bishop Thomas J. Drury.  Presently, Bishop-elect Kihneman serves the Diocese of Corpus Christi as Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia while also serving St. Philip the Apostle Parish as Pastor.

Bishop-elect Kihneman was born in Lafayette, LA on Feb. 17, 1952 and baptized at Our Lady of Wisdom Parish. He received First Holy Communion at St. Andrew’s Parish in New Orleans in 1958 and was confirmed at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Corpus Christi, TX in 1963. On March 26, 1977, he was ordained to the transitional diaconate and on November 18th of that same year, was ordained to the priesthood.

His first assignment in 1977 as Parochial Vicar to San Isidro Labrador Parish in Artega, Mexico was followed by Parochial Vicar assignments to St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Robstown, TX (1978-1980), Christ the King Parish, Corpus Christi, TX (1980-1981), and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Corpus Christi, TX (1981-1983).  Bishop-elect Kihneman’s assignments as Pastor began at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Alice, TX (1983-1986) then Sacred Heart Parish, Rockport, TX (1993-2011) and St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Corpus Christi, TX (2014 to present).

Bishop-elect Kihneman has served the following diocesan offices; Diocesan Director of Religious Education (1978-1983); Director of Vocations (1986-1993); Director of Seminarians (1986-1993); Director of  Ministry to Priests (1986-1993); Director of St. John Vianney House of Studies and Christian Leadership Vocations Program (1986-1993); Associate Vicar for Clergy (1988-1995); Tribunal Advocate (1983-1987); Chancellor (2013-2014); and Vicar General (2010-present).

Over the years, Bishop-elect Kihneman has served and continues to serve on many diocesan boards. He is currently a member of the Priest Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Finance Council, Diocesan Deposit and Loan Board, the Priest Pension Plan Board and is Chair of the Perpetual Benefit Endowment Fund of the Diocese.

Bishop-elect Kihneman is the son of Louis Kihneman, Jr. & Bernadine Kihneman (both deceased).  They were natives of Morgan City, Louisiana and raised Bishop-elect Kihneman along with his brothers, Kenneth (Donna) and David (Hilda) in the gulf coast from Clearwater, Florida to Corpus Christi, Texas with Pecos, Texas and Calgary, Alberta, Canada in between. Bishop-elect Kihneman’s family includes a nephew, several nieces, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Bishop-elect Louis Kihneman attended the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary from  1966 -1972 during which time he graduated from high school in 1970 and also attended Del Mar College from 1970-1972.  He then attended  St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas from 1972-1977.  He received his Liberal Arts degree in 1974 Summa Cum Laude. He completed a Masters of Religious Education degree in 1976 and a Masters of the Arts in Theology degree in 1977.  He has taught Scripture and Liturgy in the Diocesan Pastoral Institute and the St. Paul School of Catechesis of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He has also taught Homiletics in the Permanent Diaconate program of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He is the 2011 recipient of the NCEA Distinguished Pastor Award in recognition of his outstanding support for Catholic Education.   Bishop-elect Kihneman has served as a priest for the Diocese of Corpus Christi for the past 39 years.

Bishop-elect Kihneman will be ordained and installed as the Bishop of Biloxi on February 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Nativity of the BVM Cathedral, Biloxi.

Until that time, Bishop Morin will serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Biloxi.

#iGiveCatholic day of online giving slated for November 29 in Diocese of Biloxi


DIOCESE OF BILOXI — The Diocese of Biloxi has joined forces with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Diocese of Baton Rouge, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, and Diocese of Jackson to participate in #iGiveCatholic, a Catholic giving day on #GivingTuesday, November 29. 

The #iGiveCatholic campaign is a 24-hour online crowdfunding effort organized by The Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans to support the work of parishes, schools, and other diocesan ministries, affiliated with the participating dioceses. Throughout the giving day, from midnight on November 29 until the stroke of midnight on November 30, Catholics can go to the home page and click on a specific ministry listed there to make a donation with their credit card. 

Last year, The Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans launched #iGiveCatholic, the first-ever online giving day by Catholics for the works of the Catholic Church in the history of the U.S., and raised an unprecedented $1.3 million in 24 hours to benefit 112 parishes, schools, and ministries in the Greater New Orleans region. This year, #iGiveCatholic has set a goal of 200 participating organizations and $1.5 million to be raised within the 24-hour period.

#iGiveCatholic is held each year in conjunction with #GivingTuesday, which is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

All parishes, schools, and diocesan ministries affiliated with the Diocese of Biloxi (i.e. included in the Catholic Directory) are invited to participate as recipients of donations if they meet the three requirements: 1) complete and submit a commitment form; 2) attend an #iGiveCatholic training session; and 3) beginning September 1, register their organization online at

The #iGiveCatholic campaign wants to target people who have not given to Catholic institutions before and create relationships with them, especially with the younger generation.  Non-Catholics who believe in the work of the various Catholic ministries in the area are invited to give as well.

Our parishes, schools, and other diocesan ministries in the Diocese of Biloxi have been finding different ways to publicize their organizations, and the #iGiveCatholic hashtag will be a great way to spread the word about our local ministries.