P ine C atholic Gulf FEBRUARY 21, 2020 > VOLUME 37, NO. 13 > BILOXIDIOCESE.ORG THE NEWSPAPER OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BILOXI Father Mike Kelleher, longtime pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Pascagoula, dies at the age of 78 EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Kelleher died just as the Feb. 21 issue of the Gulf Pine Catholic was going to press. A feature story on Father Kelleher will appear in the March 6 issue. Father Mike Kelleher died on Feb. 13 at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. Father Kelleher, 78, was a native of County Limerick, Ireland. He was ordained on June 13, 1965, and arrived in Mississippi the following August. He served as assistant pastor of Nativity Parish, Biloxi; Our Lady of Victories Parish, Pascagoula; Annunciation Parish, Columbus; St. Therese Church, Jackson, and St. Mary Cathedral, Natchez. Father Kelleher served as pastor of St. Peter Parish; Bassfield; St. Mary Parish, Gautier, and Sacred Heart Parish, Pascagoula. He was also an avid supporter of Resurrection Catholic School in Pascagoula. Father Kelleher retired in 2019. A funeral Mass for Father Kelleher was celebrated on February 17 at Sacred Heart Church. 2020 Catholic Sharing Appeal to kick off the first weekend of Lent DIOCESE OF BILOXI – The 2020 Catholic Sharing Appeal will kick off the first weekend of Lent, Feb 29-March 1. This year’s theme is “Bringing Christ to the World.” “Each year, every Catholic family throughout our local Church is asked to participate in our Catholic Sharing Appeal,” said Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III. “This is an essential sign of our unity in Christ as we reach out in faith and love to one another constantly in Jesus’ name. Supporting this special appeal is also a very meaningful way of expressing our gratitude to God for His many blessings.” Bishop Kihneman said that, as the Church enters into the holy season of Lent, a gift to the Catholic Sharing Appeal is the perfect way to carry out the great commission. “In the Gospel, Jesus Christ gives us His great com- mandment and His great commission: to love one another and to proclaim the Good News of salvation the world over. Offering a generous pledge to the Catholic Sharing Appeal is an excellent means of helping to bring Jesus’ love, hope and healing to our brothers and sisters in South Mississippi,” he said. “There are a number of priorities and needs facing our diocesan Church that no one parish alone can address. Some require the strength and resolve of our entire Catholic community working and sacrificing as one body. That is why every parish is asked to participate in the Catholic Sharing Appeal so that we -- through our collective efforts -- can continue building the Kingdom of God by advancing the work of the Church. “We are blessed to be the generation that is leading the Church in this new century. Yet, with this opportunity, comes significant responsibility. Each of us is called, through baptism, to be a light to the world and do our part to ensure that the diocesan Church is strong, vibrant and able to meet the needs of so many in the years ahead. While we cannot always be present to comfort the grieving, feed the hungry, teach the young and minister to those in need -- we can -- through our generosity, be more fully united to these crucial ministries in our diocese.” As we continue to journey into fuller discipleship in Christ Jesus, Bishop Kihnemen would ask these 3 things of all parishioners: Pray -- please join me in praying the rosary for the suc- cess of this year’s appeal, for the people that it serves, for those who currently support the appeal, and for those who will, one day, support the appeal. Give -- Please continue to give to the annual appeal this year. Consider what you have given in the past and ask how the Lord is calling you to give this year. Lead -- Please encourage those around you to support the appeal. People will ask you what you think of the appeal -- use this as an opportunity to invite your family, friends, and fellow parishioners to further their journey into disci- pleship with Christ by supporting the appeal in word and in deed.