After delay for surgery, Bishop Kihneman takes helm of Biloxi diocese

By David Tisdale
BILOXI – For those in the capacity crowd attending the installation of Bishop Louis F. Kihneman III as the new bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi, the general sentiment was he’s well worth the wait.
Bishop Kihneman, 65, former vicar general of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, was appointed by Pope Francis to replace retired Bishop Roger P. Morin and was supposed to be ordained and installed in February. However, the ceremony was delayed while the new bishop recovered from surgery for diverticulitis.
Bishop Morin welcomed his successor near the start of Mass in the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral. He told Bishop Kihneman he hoped the memory of the installation, the prayers for his success from the people who attended the ceremony, and the celebration to follow would “be a source of support for you in the years ahead.”
Prior to his reading of the pope’s letter announcing the selection of Bishop Kihneman, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, called on the new church leader to be a “father, pastor and good shepherd, a brother who, in his faithful episcopal ministry, will continue to build up this portion of the Lord’s flock into a vibrant communion of charity.”
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, who served as the second bishop of Biloxi after it was created from the Diocese of Jackson, offered Bishop Kihneman encouragement during his homily. He cited the liturgy’s reading from the first book of Kings in which God exhorts Elijah to help turn people’s hearts to God and gave the new bishop a similar charge.
“God sends you, my brother, Louis. In this age where, as in the time of Elijah, many have turned from God, he sends you to renew the faith of the people. Into an increasingly secular and disbelieving society, he sends you to shepherd his people as bishop of Biloxi,” the archbishop said.
“There will be joyful times as you serve as a bishop,” he said. “There will be grace-filled successes and uplifting moments. May you know many of these moments and may you savor them. But there will also be times when you, as did Elijah, may want to flee from your ministry and tell God this is too much. You, like the apostles in the Gospel of Luke just proclaimed, may want to stop fishing because of disappointing results.”
Archbishop Rodi continued, “In those times the message of God to you will be the same as the message to Elijah: ‘Go back!’ And the same as to the apostles in today’s Gospel: ‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets again for a catch.’ Renew the faith of your people.”
During the ordination ceremony, Archbishop Rodi asked Bishop Kihneman about his resolve to uphold the faith and discharge his duties as head of the diocese. The archbishop then invited the congregation to stand and pray for the new bishop as he began his ministry of serving the church in a new capacity.
Following the presentation of the Book of Gospels, ring, miter and crozier, both archbishops led Bishop Kihneman to the cathedra, marking his official installation as Biloxi’s fourth bishop.
Bishop Kihneman walked through the cathedral after Communion, greeting people in attendance and in a brief address to the congregation, he offered thanks for the support of his family, friends, and to God for getting him to Biloxi. He also expressed gratitude to the doctors and nurses who aided him in his recovery and to the children of the diocese who sent him get-well cards.
“It’s been quite a journey,” he said.
In thanking his late parents, he humorously remarked that his father was surely looking down and taking note of the timing for the installation.
“I express much love and honor to Pope Francis,” Bishop Kihneman said in thanking the pontiff for choosing him to lead the diocese. “This is a tremendous honor, but also breathtaking at the same time.
“I thank the people of the Diocese of Biloxi for praying for me, and I look forward to working with each of you.
“As I am called to be the bishop, the invitation for us is to take to heart the words of Jesus: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might and love your neighbor as yourself.’
“We take that as our theme,” Bishop Kihneman said. “We are in his image, we are the body of Christ. My brothers, and sisters, God loves you, I love you. As one of the little signs in our Corpus Christi paper said, ‘From Corpus Christi to Biloxi, with love.'”
(David Tisdale is a freelance writer for Gulf Pine Catholic, the newspaper for the Diocese of Biloxi.)

Surgery postpones Biloxi ordination for bishop-designate

msgr-louis-kihneman-iiiDue to health reasons, the Ordination and Installation of Bishop-designate Louis F. Kihneman as Fourth Bishop of Biloxi has been postponed. A new date for the Ordination and Installation will be announced at a later date.
On the advice of medical staff, Bishop-designate Kihneman will be undergoing surgery for diverticulitis and will be unable to travel to Biloxi for the 17th of February.
Please pray for our bishop-designate for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.
In lieu of flowers and plants, please send a spiritual bouquet or make a donation to your parish or school.

Pope names Texas Msgr. Bishop of Biloxi, accepts Bishop Morin’s resignation

BILOXI — Pope Francis named Msgr. Louis Kihneman III, 64, as Bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Roger Morin, 75, from the pastoral governance of that diocese on Friday, Dec. 16. Msgr. Kihneman is a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, and currently serves as vicar general.msgr-louis-kihneman-iii
He will be installed at a Mass at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Biloxi on Feb. 17, 2017, at 2:30 p.m..
Msgr. Kihneman III, was born on Feb. 17, 1952, in Lafayette, Louisiana. He holds a bachelor of arts degree and master degrees in religious education and theology from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He attended St. Mary’s Seminary, Houston, and was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi on Nov. 18, 1977.
“I would like to personally welcome Monsignor Louis Kihneman to Mississippi and wish him all the best as he makes the transition to the episcopacy. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having served in many churches in the Gulf South as well as in Mexico. I will keep him in my prayers and I look forward to serving with him in the Magnolia state for many years to come,” said Bishop Joseph Kopacz of Jackson. “I would also like to thank Bishop Roger Morin for his many years of devoted service and wish him a peaceful and prayerful retirement.”
Assignments after ordination included, parochial vicar at San Isidro Labrador Church, Arteaga, Mexico, 1977; St. Anthony of Padua Church, Robstown, Texas, 1978; Christ the King parish, Corpus Christi, 1980; Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Corpus Christi, 1981. Pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Alice, 1983; diocesan director of vocations and seminarians, 1986-1993; director, St. John Vianney House of Studies, 1986-1993; director of Christian leadership vocations, 1986-1993; pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Rockport, 1993-2011; vicar general, 2010-present; pastor, St. Philip Church, Corpus Christi, 2014 – present.
Other assignments include marriage tribunal advocate, diocesan director of religious education, priest personnel board, associate vicar for clergy, presbyteral council member and as chancellor.
Bishop Roger P. Morin was born on March 7, 1941, in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was ordained a priest on April 15, 1971; he was appointed auxiliary bishop of New Orleans on February 11, 2003, and ordained a bishop on April 22, 2003. He was appointed bishop of Biloxi on Feb. 23, 2009.
The Diocese of Biloxi, originally part of the Diocese of Jackson, comprises 9,653 square miles in the state of Mississippi. It has a total population of 818,801 people of which 57,912 or seven percent, are Catholic.