St Michael's - Biloxi's Point Cadet

St. Michael's Catholic Church is known as the fishermen's church. It sits proudly on Hwy 90 at the tip of Point Cadet and faces the Gulf of Mexico. It is a round church that is famous for it's stained glass and it's seashell roof. The fishermen of the Point raised the money to build it.

"...That church (St. Michael) was built on shrimp pennies and women picking shrimp and shucking oysters. Yeah, all these people were Catholics. Most of the Slavonians were Catholic..." --Louis Trebotich Ole MIss

The Ole Miss article tells beautifully the history of the church and of the proud fishermen who have longed called the Point their home. Father John Kelly is currently the priest of St. Michael's and is from Ireland. He is humble and full of laughter. He baptized my son when he was the priest at the Catholic church I used to go to. Knowing him, he is busy comforting those on the Point and busy making plans with Biloxi diocese to restore the wonderful stained glass and to get the church operational to hold Mass.

It was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

This a view of the back of the church. The stained glass windows used to extend all the way down.

This statue of the archangel Michael used to sit on top of the church.

Normally, this statue of St. Joseph would be in an alcove and not at the foot of the alter. The members of the church with help from out of state Catholic youth groups are salvaging what they can.

A brief sample of the stained glass that encircles the church. (Clicking on the images will enlarge them)

A lot of people who want memories of St. Michael's have taken some of the shards of the borken stained glass. Those bits and pieces are needed back in order for the church to be restored to it's former glory. Father Kelly has put out a plea to have those shards returned.

"We want our stained glass back," said Belinda Ryle, St. Michael's secretary.

"The church is going to be rebuilt and we want to get as close to what it is like before Katrina. I know people want tokens, but we need all that to recreate the church in its original appearance."

St. Michael's pastor, the Rev. John Kelly, describes the rebuilding, "like a crossword puzzle. You have to piece things back together."

The church address is 190 East Blvd., across from Casino Magic. Details: (228)435-5578. (ed-inserted area code)SunHerald

Please, if anyone has taken some as a momento, return them. They are needed to match the colors, tints, texture, and depth of the glass in order to restore.

St. Michael's holds a place in my heart because I work in the seafood industry. It is a symbol of the hope that we all share that it like the seafood industry will soon be restored.


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