Volume 34 No. 24www.biloxidiocese.org
July 28, 2017
Redemptorist Fathers to leave Diocese of Biloxi at year’s end
BY TERRY DICKSON
BILOXI -- The Diocese of Biloxi has been richly
blessed by the ministry of the Redemptorist Fathers who
arrived after Hurricane Katrina and helped rebuild and
revitalize Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos and Our Mother
of Sorrows Parishes in East Biloxi.
However, as the saying goes, all good things must
come to an end. It was announced at all the Masses the
weekend of July 15-16 that the Redemptorist Fathers
will be leaving the Diocese of Biloxi at the end of the
year. Their last day will be December 31.
“The evangelizing mission of the Redemptorists in
the Church has two major dimensions: we proclaim
Christ’s plentiful redemption, particularly to the poor
and abandoned, inviting individuals to make a radical
choice to place Christ at the center of their lives; and
since this radical choice in favor of Christ needs to be
nurtured and sustained within a community of believers,
we work to form communities of faith in which this can
effectively happen,” said Father Stephen Rehrauer, C.
Ss.R., Provincial Superior of the Redemptorists of the
Denver Province. “It was for this reason we came to
Biloxi in 2005 with an initial agreement that we would
stay for 5 years. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,
we made the decision to extend our stay in Biloxi in
order to accompany those devastated by loss and offer
practical help as well as spiritual guidance when these
were most needed. Working in conjunction with the
Diocese of Biloxi during these past 12 years we have not
only rebuilt the churches, but have fostered vibrant par-
ish communities that will continue to thrive.
“But as a mis-
s i o n a r y
the Church, we are
also required to
to discern when
our mission has
plished in a place
so that we are free
to move and
respond to the
most urgent needs
of the Church and
the call of the Holy
Spirit in another.
In June our leader-
arrived at the deci-
sion that our mis-
sion in Biloxi has been successfully completed, and our
men currently working there are needed to serve the
mission in other places. We leave Biloxi with gratitude
for having had the opportunity to serve the poor and
abandoned of the Diocese. We also leave with confi-
dence, knowing that our good work there will be carried
forward by the Diocese.”
Bishop Louis Kihneman said the Redemptorist
Fathers will be sorely missed.
“The Redemptorist Fathers have been a blessing to
the Diocese of Biloxi,” he said.
“We will particularly miss Father Stephen Benden
and Father Gilbert Enderle who have been a very posi-
tive addition to our presbyterate.”
Father Benden is currently pastor of both parishes
and Father Enderle is in residence but assists in both
parishes. The two priests also serve as supply priests
throughout the diocese and have also conducted parish
“We are deeply grateful for their ministry and service
to the people of the Diocese of Biloxi these past 12
years,” Bishop Kihneman said.
“The Redemptorists arrived in the Diocese shortly
after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and
Father Steve Wilson was instrumental in the physical and
spiritual recovery of the parishes he served.”
Father Wilson was assisted by Father Chuong Cao,
who is now the pastor of St. Gerard Majella Church in
Father Wilson is the provincial treasurer and is based
out of Denver.
Father Warren Drinkwater and Father James Keena,
who both served in Biloxi are now retired.
In 2009, the Redemptorist Fathers took over the
administration of Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Biloxi,
which was pastored by Father Jimmy Pham and Father
Joseph Ngo. Administration of the parish was turned
back over to the diocese in 2015.
According to Bishop Kihneman, “Work has already
begun to find a new pastor for Our Mother of Sorrows
and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos parishes.”
New Permanent Diaconate class to commence in 2018
Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III has authorized information sessions to be held across
the diocese which will begin the implementation of a new Diaconate Formation Class.
The selection process will begin in the fall of this year and classes would com-
mence in the fall of 2018.
Pre-selection information sessions will be conducted from 8:30 until noon on the
Sat., Aug. 19
, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Hattiesburg, located at 3117 W. 4th
Sat., September 9
, at St. Joseph Parish, Gulfport, located at 12290 DePew Road
Sat., Sept. 19,
at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Ocean Springs, located at 4900 Riley
For interested men, attendance at one of these sessions is mandatory, and your wife
is required to attend. Please see your pastor, and for further information, call the
Diocese of Biloxi, Office of the Diaconate, (228) 702-2107.
For more on the Permanent Diaconate, see pages 10-13.
Wyrwich named Diocesan Director of
Stewardship and Development
DIOCESE OF BILOXI -- Bishop Louis
F. Kihneman has announced the hiring of
Dave Wyrwich as full time Director of
Stewardship and Development for the
Diocese of Biloxi, effective August 1.
Wyrwich replaces Deacon Roberto
Jimenez, who is retiring.
Bishop Kihneman thanked Deacon
Jimenez for his good work as Director of
Stewardship and Development.
At the same time, Bishop Kihneman wel-
comed Wyrwich, who he called “a family
man and dedicated Catholic.”
will lead a team commit-
ted to advancing the
Gospel of Christ and
teachings of the Catholic
gelization, and Disciple-
SEE WYRWICH, PAGE 4