2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Peranich, Simpson

House Concurrent Resolution 75

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


     WHEREAS, this year marks a milestone in the history of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, as it embarks upon a journey of reflecting upon its rich legacy as it celebrates its centennial anniversary on July 3, 2005; and

     WHEREAS, the missionary fathers of the Congregation of the Mission, founded by St. Vincent de Paul and known as Vincentians, accepted an invitation in 1905 from Bishop Thomas Heslin of the Natchez Diocese to establish a mission in Long Beach, Mississippi, to care for the spiritual needs of the Catholic residents of Long Beach, Mississippi City, Perkinston and Wiggins; and

     WHEREAS, the Vincentians, after acquiring forty acres of land on the Gulf of Mexico, built a forty-room, two-story vacation retreat house for priests known as St. Thomas Villa; and

     WHEREAS, a church with 13 altars and seating capacity for 500 people was constructed on the property and dedicated as St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on July 19, 1905; and

     WHEREAS, the mission church, having grown as the population of the City of Long Beach increased, was designated as a parish church by Bishop John Gunn in 1915 with Father Joseph Hagar, C.M., serving as the new parish's first pastor; and

     WHEREAS, St. Thomas Elementary School, staffed by the Daughters of Charity, opened September 3, 1922; and

     WHEREAS, the original church of the 13 altars was destroyed by Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969; and

     WHEREAS, Bishop Joseph B. Brunini dedicated a new church on August 20, 1972; and

     WHEREAS, the Vincentians ceded the parish, which had grown to over 1,000 families, to the Diocese of Biloxi in the summer of 1993 and Father Louis Lohan was named pastor of the congregation; and

     WHEREAS, to meet the needs of a growing parish, a Parish Life Center was dedicated on the property in November 2002; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize such outstanding and contributory religious institutions as St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, which continues to be a vital part of the Long Beach Community, serving over 1,700 families:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the diligence of the pastors and parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church upon the occasion of the church's 100th year anniversary and extend our warmest wishes for continued prosperity, spiritual growth and success.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, the Diocese of Biloxi and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.