We are happy Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman has fully recovered and is ready to lead the Diocese of Biloxi as its fourth bishop.
And we thank Bishop Roger Morin for his years of service to the diocese and wish him the best in retirement.
Kihneman, who most recently was a priest in Corpus Christi, Texas, will be ordained at 2 p.m. Friday at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in downtown Biloxi. The Louisiana native, like so many who have visited the Coast, is returning here to live.
“I used to spend the summers down here when I was a child and I would go to camp and go water skiing,” he said. “After all of these years, I’m glad to be back here.”
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Running a diocese that is connected to so much of Coast life is a huge responsibility. He will oversee 42 parishes in 17 counties and will help lead Our Lady Academy in Bay St. Louis, St. Patrick Catholic High School in Harrison County, Resurrection High in Pascagoula and Sacred Heart High in Hattiesburg. He deserves and needs the help and support of parishioners and non-Catholics alike.
At a news conference after Pope Francis picked him, Kihneman showed humility and humor, two traits that should serve him well in the challenging job. And he promised to get to know the people of the diocese and to listen to them. That, we said at the time, is a great way to start.
Communication will be vital. One way he plans to connect with people is through social media, which Pope Francis also values as a means of communication.
And we’re glad he doesn’t have plans to make any sweeping changes.
“There are a lot of great programs already in place that do great work to help the poor,” he said, and we support his plan to emphasize this important work.
We look forward to hearing more from the new bishop Friday. We expect we’ll like what we hear and are pulling for him to succeed.
Welcome to the Coast, Msgr. Kihneman.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.