Why a new Catholic Church here?
The Bellevue and Oak Grove areas have enjoyed tremendous growth in their residential neighborhoods over the past 25 years. A new church will meet the needs of the burgeoning Catholic population in this region. Pine Belt priests, Catholics, and the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi have been interested in building another church in the area for the past 30 years. The Diocese of Biloxi identified a need in the community based on the continued growth and development in the region, so it made sense to establish another church. The generosity of one man has made that possible. Richard Fabian McCarthy donated the property on which the church will be constructed. This community will always be indebted to Richard McCarthy for his foresight and benevolence. Hence, Saint Fabian Parish was born.
Why Saint Fabian?
The name Fabian is significant to the McCarthy family. Richard McCarthy received the middle name Fabian from a close friend of his parents, Sister Fabian, a Mercy Sister. He requested that the church be named in her honor.
Who is Saint Fabian?
Fabian was a Roman layman who came into the city from his farm one day, as clergy and people were preparing to elect a new pope. He wanted to observe and experience the election of a pope. Eusebius, a Church historian, says a dove flew in and settled on the head of Fabian. This sign united the votes of clergy and laity, and he was chosen unanimously as the new Pope.
He led the Church for 14 years and died a martyr’s death during the persecution of Decius in 250 A.D. St. Cyprian wrote to his successor that Fabian was an “incomparable” man whose glory in death matched the holiness and purity of his life.
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
In the catacombs of St. Callistus, the stone that covered Fabian’s grave may still be seen, broken into four pieces, but still bearing the Greek words, “Fabian, bishop, martyr.”
We can go confidently into the future and accept the change that growth demands only if we have firm roots in the past, in a living tradition. A few pieces of stone in Rome are a reminder to us that we are bearers of more than 20 centuries of a living tradition of faith and courage in living the life of Christ and showing it to the world. We have brothers and sisters who have “gone before us with the sign of faith,” as the First Eucharistic Prayer puts it, to light the way for us.
Saint Fabian Parish welcomes you to home like no other! We hope you will join us soon.