Biloxi Diocese History

About the Diocese of Biloxi

Founded: June 6, 1977, in ceremonies at Nativity BVM Cathedral, Biloxi.

Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze, D.D., installed as first bishop of diocese.

Geographic Area: The Diocese of Biloxi encompasses the 17 south Mississippi counties of Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Greene, Perry, Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Walthall, Lawrence, Jeff Davis, Covington, Jones and Wayne.

Demographic Data: 58,600 Catholics, in an overall population of 767,375.

Parishes:     42  parishes and 11 mission churches.

Catholic Schools: 16 schools.

  • Resurrection High School, Pascagoula;
  • St. Patrick High School, Biloxi;
  • Our Lady Academy High School, Bay St. Louis; and
  • Sacred Heart School in Hattiesburg (pre-K3- 12 grades);
  • St. John Elementary, Gulfport,
  • St. Vincent de Paul, Long Beach/Pass Christian;
  • Holy Trinity Elementary, Bay St. Louis;
  • Resurrection Elementary, Pascagoula
  • Nativity BVM Elementary, Biloxi
  • Sacred Heart Elementary, D'Iberville
  • St. James Elementary, Gulfport
  • St. Alphonsus Elementary, Ocean Springs
  • St. Charles Borromeo Elementary, Picayune;
  • St. Stanislaus (located in Bay St. Louis is not a diocesan school)

Some office space in the Barq Building in Biloxi served as the first Chancery Office of the Diocese of Biloxi.

In 1979 we purchased the office building at 198 Reynoir Street which became our new Administration Building while some of our offices remained in the Sacred Heart School building.

In December 1980 the diocese obtained new property for the future growth of the diocese through the purchase of 24 acres of land on Popp's Ferry Road.

Years later a new administration building was finally built at that site and dedicated June 25, 2000.

That office building houses all diocesan administration offices except Emergency Assistance and Migration and Refugee offices which are located at Our Mother of Sorrows School building on Division Street in Biloxi, our Catholic Social Services offices in Pascagoula, Waveland and Hattiesburg, Morning Star Pregnancy Care Center in Gulfport, and de l'Epee Deaf Center in Gulfport.