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Pioneering black Catholic bishop buried in Mississippi

January 16, 2019

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners are saluting the legacy of the first African-American to lead a Catholic diocese in the 20th century as he’s laid to rest in Mississippi.

WLOX-TV reports the Diocese of Biloxi held a funeral and burial Wednesday for Bishop Joseph Howze, who died last week at age 95.

Born in Daphne, Alabama, Howze led the diocese from 1977 until 2001.

First a Baptist and then a Methodist, Howze said he was drawn to Catholicism by a student he taught at Central High School in Mobile. Ordained in 1959 as a priest in North Carolina, Pope Paul VI appointed Howze as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson. When split into dioceses of Jackson and Biloxi in 1977, Pope Paul VI named Howze to lead the Biloxi church.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com

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