Read Bishop Thomas Rodi's Statement On His Appointment As Archbishop - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Read Bishop Thomas Rodi's Statement On His Appointment As Archbishop

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Bishop Rodi released the following statement Wednesday morning to the people of the Biloxi Diocese:

I am both honored and humbled by our Holy Father's appointment to serve as Archbishop of Mobile. Mindful of my own limitations, and relying upon the help of God, I look forward to serving the people of the archdiocese. I pray that the Good Shepherd will guide me in my new ministry.

I am already aware of the deep faith among the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Mobile. For almost 52 years the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile have been most fortunate to enjoy the ministry of Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, first as a priest and then for the past 28 years as archbishop. I respect and admire Archbishop Lipscomb and am grateful for his ministry. I intend to rely upon his good judgment as I become acquainted with the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile.

The Archdiocese of Mobile is an extraordinary community of faith. Although I have not lived in Alabama, I feel a bond to the State and her people.  Having been born and raised in Louisiana, and having served as a bishop in Mississippi, I am familiar with the wonderful people and culture of the South. Alabama has a proud and rich heritage. Part of that heritage is the ability to offer a gracious welcome. I have already felt very welcomed and I look forward to meeting the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile.

At the same time, I wish to offer a word to the people of the Diocese of Biloxi. For almost seven years I have had the privilege of serving as bishop for the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Pine Belt. Together, we have faced many challenges but always, with the help of God, we have gone forward.

The Holy Father is aware of the continuing efforts of the people of the Diocese of Biloxi to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Promptly after Hurricane Katrina, Pope Benedict sent a personal envoy to the Diocese of Biloxi as a sign of his prayers and support.

The decision of the Holy Father, that I am to continue as administrator of the diocese until a successor is appointed, is another visible sign of the Holy Father's concern for the people of the Diocese of Biloxi.

I am most grateful for the Holy Father's sincere interest in the welfare of the people of Mississippi and, with God's help I will serve you as administrator until the Holy Father appoints a new bishop.

The Diocese of Biloxi is vibrant. This is a testimony to the character, love, and faith of the laity, religious, and clergy. I thank you for your kindness to me and for your witness as members of the Church and followers of the Lord Jesus.

I am sad that I will soon be leaving Mississippi once a new bishop is appointed. However, I am confident that, with God's help, the Diocese of Biloxi will have a bright future.

Click here to read more from the Archbishop of Mobile Oscar H. Lipscomb.

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