Gulf Pine Catholic

Volume 40, Issue 23 July 7, 2023 G ulf P ine C atholic Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Biloxi Special collection for those affected by recent tornado in Moss Point Bishop Kihneman asks pastors of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi to take up a special second collec- tion the weekend of July 8-9, to be used by the Catholic Charities of South Mississippi to assist those affected by the recent tornado in Moss Point. Eighteen hundred people were affected by an EF-2 tornado Monday, June 12, with 500 people becoming homeless. More than 100 homes and busi- nesses were damaged or destroyed. Parishes are asked to please forward proceeds of the collection as soon as possible to the Department of Finance, Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, 1790 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS 39532. Anyone else wishing to donate may forward their contribution to the same address. Checks should be made payable to the “Diocese of Biloxi,” with the words “Moss Point Tornado” in the memo. Catholic Charities of South Mississippi provides long-term recovery assistance following a disaster. The main goal is to help people return home again, whether that is in their same home or a different one. Most of the time, the assistance provided is in the form of deposits to help those whose homes have been heavily damaged or destroyed move into an affordable, safe rental. Rental deposits, first months rent, utility deposits, and some personal property replacement may be available depending on the amount of donations and grants that are available. Those affected are also provided with mental health first aid, counseling, infant items, and food if needed. All services are provided after the client participates in the case management process which helps deter- mine strengths and challenges, assesses need, con- nects with other resources, and sets goals for recov- ery. Catholic Charities of South Mississippi is proud to be one of very few agencies that provides long- term recovery in undeclared disasters! They work very closely with State and County Emergency Management and stay around after all of the attention moves to another disaster. If anyone has been affected by the recent tornado, please contact Catholic Charities of South Mississippi at (228) 701-0555 Schmidt named new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry BY TERRY DICKSON (Diocese of Biloxi) -- Marianne Schmidt hails from the Lone Star State but she has always been a Mississippi girl at heart. Now she will have the opportunity to pour her heart and soul into serving the youth and young adults in the Diocese of Biloxi. Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III has appointed Schmidt to serve as the new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Schmidt replaces Ray Lacy, who transi- tioned into the role of Director of Evangelization. A Houston native, Schmidt is no stranger to the Diocese of Biloxi, having previously served as youth minister at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Picayune and as Director of Campus Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Hattiesburg, which ministers to the Catholic population at the University of Southern Mississippi. Growing up, Schmidt was active in the Life Teen program and attended Life Teen Camps in middle school through high school. She also served as a missionary with Life Teen for three summers and went on their Haiti Mission Trip. She attended Ole Miss for her undergradu- ate degree in Business Administration. After college, she went back to Texas, but Mississippi and ministry was calling her back. She was the youth minister at St. Charles Borromeo in Picayune and then the Campus Minister at Southern Miss while attending Grad school with USM. She graduated with her Masters in Human Capital Development from Southern Miss in December of 2022. She stepped away from ministry, but the Lord called her back into ministry, specifically to youth and young adults. Schmidt said she is an adherent to the Rule of St. Benedict and the concept of “radical hospitality.” “Living hospitable looks like so many things,” she said. “It’s like opening the doors to bring everyone in from the cradle Catholics to the friend of a friend that showed up because they wanted something to do. Being radically hospitable isn’t about having the most lavish set-up or the best food. It just asks us to open the doors and open our hearts to receive people where they are at and love them as Christ asks us to love. There are also incredible saints in the church with different back- grounds culturally and spiritually which is why I always like to invite the saints in and read their stories.” Schmidt said she wants to create an environment where youth and young adults can encounter Christ. “I cannot make anyone encounter Christ or grow spiritually but what I can do and what I strive to do is always create a space for them to encounter Christ,” she said. “Creating a space means both physical- ly (what is the environment) and spiritually (how am I leading and growing as an example). I always remind myself that I am a vessel, and it is not because of me but because of Christ. When organizing anything my approach is prayer and leading with a servant’s heart. When I doubt it is always good to go back to the basics and lead from there. And of course, having fun! As JPII says ‘Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.’” In addition to providing spiritual nourishment, Schmidt realizes that part of Southern hospitality also involves providing physical nourishment. “One way I like to live hospitable is through food. If cooking/baking is a love language it is mine. There is so much goodness that happens when we come around the table to share a meal with one another so anyway I can incorporate that,” she said. “Plus, if you tell young peo- ple there is food they will almost always show up. Another method is the one Bishop Kihneman is cultivat- ing in this Diocese. If we can create intentional disciples that can go and make more disciples then we can con- tinue to build up the Kingdom.” Schmidt said she will seek greater involvement of parents and other adult mentors. My parents, priests, and youth ministers played a huge role into the person I am today and sometimes I didn’t see the value in their example as a teenager but now I see the impact it has made,” she said. SEE NEW YOUTH DIRECTOR, PAGE 7 Schmidt