Volunteers Help Restore Piece Of Biloxi History - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers Help Restore Piece Of Biloxi History

"The community here is so stable that well over half of the parishioners are the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the men and women who literally built this church," said Father Steve Wilson.

Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Biloxi has a lot of history behind it, being that it is the second oldest Catholic church in the city which was built for African-American catholics.

Hurricane Katrina put this history in jeopardy until a group of volunteers stepped in to restore it to what you see today.

"There was a lot of heartache because it means so much to so many people, so to have it rebuilt like this was just a God send. It was great," said Father Wilson.

The church, along with the rectory, is being rebuilt thanks to a group of volunteers like these from Our Lady of the Lake in Holland, Michigan.

Various members of the church, including some as young as 12, have made four trips to Biloxi to help out fellow Catholic members in need.

"We were watching the news and we were just devastated, just awe-struck by what we were watching and you feel so helpless when you're 17 hours away," said Michigan volunteer Carolyn Stich.

This particular group arrived Sunday afternoon, and the volunteers will stay for a week cleaning, rewiring, and rebuilding the Biloxi church and its rectory.

This group joins people from about 30 different churches who have helped Our Mother of Sorrows Church in one way or another.

And for Father Steve Wilson, who was assigned to this church only days before the storm, the generosity pouring in is just an example of a divine intervention...

"It makes me feel wonderful. It takes a huge load off of my mind, it certainly reduces my stress level and really, it's wonderful to be the recipient of mission as well as giving so it's great," said Father Wilson.

The Michigan group is also helping to rebuild the parish of Blessed Francis Seelos.

By Karla Redditte

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