Gulf Pine Catholic

Volume 41, Issue 12 February 2, 2024 G ulf P ine C atholic Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Biloxi 2024 Catholic Sharing Appeal to launch on First Sunday of Lent DIOCESE OF BILOXI -- “Go and make disci- ples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) “Missionary Discipleship” is the theme of the 2024 Catholic Sharing Appeal. Catholics in South Mississippi should be inti- mately familiar with this scripture verse, also known as the Great Commission, because it has been the central focal point of Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III’s episcopacy. “We can grow in our own discipleship in Christ by witnessing to Him through our acts of forgive- ness and mercy, by demonstrating our love for Him through our actions towards our brothers and sisters, and by sharing the blessings and graces that God has given us. Our lives should be a living testimony to our Lord Jesus,” said Bishop Kihneman. “Today, I ask you to join me in our journey of discipleship by making the decision to support our work, and the ministries of the Church by making a gift to the 2024 Catholic Sharing Appeal. When we support the CSA, you are joining hundreds of other faithful Catholics in our diocese in support by work- ing together to make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters. With your intentional decision to support our appeal, you witness to the Lord by helping in the creation of pathways of love and compassion through the ministries and programs that bring the Good News of Christ to others, sup- port our retired priests, seminarians, those strug- gling to put food on their tables and those in need of housing. “Our annual appeal also helps lay the pillars of evan- gelization through the formation of our priests, deacons and lay leaders. It assists in training our religious educa- tion catechists and adult faith formation leaders who educate our youth and parish families and assists pro- grams that promote the sanctity of life at all stages.” In 2023, the Catholic Sharing Appeal raised over $1.5 million in support of 17 different diocesan ministries. Here are just a few examples of how these funds were distributed: • $180,000 gave care for retired and infirmed priests and continuing education for clergy. • $210,137 will help to provide formation and educa- tion for priests, deacons and seminarians. • $233,421 directly fund evangelization, mission advancement and diocesan-wide communications efforts, including the Gulf Pine Catholic newspaper, digital offerings and social media. • $182,443 supports the ministries and programs that provide vital spiritual growth for people of all ages and in various stages of their faith formation, including Hispanic Ministry, Youth Ministry, Marriage and Family Life, Scouting and Faith formation for parishioners. • $439,000 was raised for individuals and fami- lies who rely on Catholic Charities of South Mississippi to help meet their physical and spiritual needs. One such person directly impacted by the Catholic Sharing Appeal is Sandra, who said that, “because of Catholic Charities of South Mississippi, there is light at the end of this tunnel.” “I was a victim of rape. A child resulted from that rape. I was not in any position to have a child, but at the same time abortion was not an option for me personally. I was pregnant, in an abusive mar- riage, and without a job or a vehicle. I finally had the courage to leave my abusive husband and got a job, a car and my own apartment. I saved so that I could stay home with my baby for three months without working, but due to serious birth complica- tions, I was not able to return to work. Soon my utility bills were seriously overdue, and I was late on rent,” said Sandra. “I sought help with Catholic Charities. They provided diapers, wipes, clothes for the baby, and emergency assistance with my energy bills, all of which allowed me to pay what I had saved on my rent. I am still trying to get back on my feet, as I juggle my bills to be paid on time.” Sandra’s story is just one of many illustrating how lives can be transformed through the Catholic Sharing Appeal. Your faithfulness and generosity truly expresses the spirit of our appeal, to be one in Christ in service to our brothers and sisters. Together, we can be the example of Christ to our those in the communities in which we live, work and serve. Your gift, no matter the size does make a difference in someone’s life.” To donate and for more information, visit www.bilox-