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DeLisle Catholic Church


DeLisle Catholic Church

     DeLisle, during its period as a Catholic Mission was served by priests from Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian and Jourdan River.
     Our Lady of Good Hope Parish at DeLisle was established in 1872, when Father Theophile Meershaert was appointed its first resident pastor.  In 1873, its first church was built.  Father Alphonse Ketels served as resident pastor from 1886 to 1890.  He was succeeded by Father Henry Mortier from 1894 to 1896.  Long serving Father RJ Sorin was named pastor in 1896, to serve 56 years until his death on February 6, 1955.
     Responding to a  request for relief by Father Sorin, the Josephite Order established St Stephen Mission Church by segregating the Black parishioners.  The church was built by Father Stephen Sweeney in 1922, while he was still pastor of St. Philomena’s Black Catholic Church in Pass Christian.
     Among other new church constructions throughout the area, a new Our Lady of Good Hope church building had been dedicated at DeLisle by Father Sorin on December 10, 1905
     During Father Sorin’s illness before his death, Father John O’Brien was named administrator in 1953, and was appointed pastor on February 21, 1955.  Father O’Brien made many capital improvements during his term of service.

Josephites to Trinitarians
     In 1963, the Josephite Order was replaced by the Trinitarian Order with the appointment of Father Hubert Wolf as pastor.  Through 1984, Father Wolf was followed by Fathers Owen Farrell, Joel Bladt, Mitchell Gilbride, Nathan Kay, Abram Dono, Regis Dowd, and John McSpiritt.  In August 1985, Father Randall Woods was appointed pastor.
     During this period, in August 1969, due to the destructive forces of Hurricane Camille, the Our Lady of Good Hope Church was destroyed beyond repair and many of the congregation started participating at St. Stephen’s Colored Catholic Church.  When it was decided not to rebuild the White church by Bishop Joseph Brunini, St. Stephen’s status was changed in January 1973 from a mission to the mother church of the Catholic Church of DeLisle, merging the three Catholic communities of the area into one unified parish.
     While Father Woods was pastor, a new 250-sq.-ft. rectory and parish office was constructed and dedicated by Bishop Howze on July 26, 1987.


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