Who Is The New Biloxi Bishop?

Thomas Rodi was ordained a priest in 1978 after attending Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He grew up Catholic in the "Crescent City," but he shocked his parents when he decided to enter the priesthood because he had been working toward a career as an attorney.

"As I was finishing law school, I imagine I gave real serious reflection as to what I wanted to do with my life and as much as I enjoyed the study of law and looked forward to being an attorney, I just felt there was something missing in my life," Rodi said.

The 52-year-old Rodi now serves as vicar general for the archdiocese of New Orleans, which means he is the chief administrator. He says leaving New Orleans will be tough because this is where his lifelong friends and family live.

But he says he is ready for new challenges in Biloxi, even if he doesn't know what they are yet.

"That's what I want to find out and I want to find that out by listening to the people over the next many months and meeting them and hearing that from them," said Rodi.

Rodi says he enjoys traveling. In 1987, he met Pope John Paul II during a trip to Rome.

"I was awed," Rodi explained. "As much as he has tremendous charisma when he's on television or in the news to see him in person is very impressive and just the spirit that he demonstrates, it was really quite an honor to meet him."

WLOX will broadcast the installation of Thomas Rodi live from the Biloxi Cathedral at 3 p.m. on July 2nd. Beginning at 2 p.m., there will be a one hour special report including an extended interview with the incoming Bishop.

The farewell mass for Thomas Rodi is June 12 at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.