BILOXI (WLOX) -- The line was long as Archbishop Thomas Rodi greeted the faithful at Sacred Heart Center after mass at the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Biloxi. Although the event was held in his honor, he showed appreciation to his Catholic congregation on the coast.
"Today is a day I am able to thank the people of Nativity Parish of the Diocese of Biloxi for their kindness of me. It's also a way for people to say good luck to me as I prepare to go to Mobile to serve as Archbishop," Archbishop Rodi said.
There were plenty of hugs, kisses and handshakes, a testimony to the lives Archbishop Rodi has touched during his nearly seven years in South Mississippi.
"It's an emotional time for me because the people of the Diocese of Biloxi have just been extraordinarily kind to me, just inspirational to me, to my witness of faith," Archbishop Rodi said.
Archbishop Rodi will be officially installed as the Archbishop of Mobile on June 6, but he says you can still expect to see him active in South Mississippi.
"I will still be administrator of the Diocese until a new bishop is picked, so I'll still have a presence here in the Diocese of Biloxi," Archbishop Rodi said. "Right now, I'm getting to know the people of the diocese of Mobile and getting to learn more about the archdiocese in Mobile. And I'm getting to learn a lot more about the Diocese I've been assigned to."
While many look up to this Catholic leader, he says he's been deeply touched by those he's served here in South Mississippi.
Archbishop Rodi is a native of New Orleans. He earned a law degree from Tulane University in 1974. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1978.