Ash Wednesday message points to need for God, says Biloxi bishop
Published: March 1, 2006
BILOXI, Miss. (CNS) -- At an early morning Ash Wednesday Mass, Biloxi Bishop Thomas J. Rodi urged the congregation at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral in Biloxi not to waver in their reliance on God. "If anything, Katrina has taught us these past months how much we need God," he said in his homily March 1. The bishop said the ashes used to mark the foreheads of Massgoers on the first day of Lent likewise bring home the message that "we are dust of the earth" and only "alive because of the breath of God." As he anointed foreheads with the words "remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," it seemed as if many in this congregation of all ages hardly needed reminders of life's fragility. The Biloxi cathedral was spared serious damage from Hurricane Katrina six months ago and sustained only damage to shingles, a stained-glass window and the bell tower, which have since been repaired. But one needs only to walk around the corner of the church to see the extent of Katrina's fury. Stores, restaurants and casinos along the coast remain in shambles alongside telltale piles of debris, and construction crews go about the task of rebuilding.
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