Bishop Roger Paul Morin was installed as the third Bishop of Biloxi on April 27, 2009, at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Metropolitan Archbishop of Mobile.
A native of Dracut, Mass., he was born on March 7, 1941, the son of Germain J. and Lillian E. Morin. He has one brother: Paul; and three sisters: Lillian (Pat) Johnson, Elaine Joncas and Susan Spellissy. His parents and his brother James are deceased.
After high school and college studies, he earned a bachelor’s in philosophy in 1966 from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., and continued theology studies at St. John’s for two years of graduate school. In 1967 he went to New Orleans to work in its new summer Witness program, conducted by the archdiocesan Social Apostolate. When he returned to New Orleans in 1968, he became director of The Center, a neighborhood social service organization run by the Social Apostolate. He enrolled at Notre Dame Seminary, studying in the evenings and on Saturdays in addition to his full time position at The Center. Bishop Morin has a M.Div., Theology from Notre Dame Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Hannan on April 15, 1971, in his home parish of St. Therese in Dracut, Mass. His first parish assignment was at St. Henry Parish in New Orleans. In 1973, he was appointed associate director of the Social Apostolate and in 1975 became the director, responsible for the operation of nine year-round social service centers sponsored by the archdiocese. Bishop Morin holds a master of science degree in urban studies from Tulane University and completed a program in 1974 as a community economic developer. He was in residence at Incarnate Word Parish beginning in 1981 and served as pastor there from 1988 through April 2002. Bishop Morin is the Founding President of Second Harvest Food Bank. In 1978, he was a volunteer member of Mayor Ernest “Dutch” Morial’s transition team dealing with federal programs and then accepted a $1 a year position as deputy special assistant to the mayor for federal programs and projects. He served the city of New Orleans until 1981, when he was appointed archdiocesan vicar for community affairs, with responsibility over nine agencies: Catholic Charities, Social Apostolate, human relations, alcoholics’ ministry, Apostleship of the Sea, cemeteries, disaster relief, hospitals and prisons.
He was named a monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
One of the highlights of his priesthood came in 1987 when he directed the archdiocese’s preparations for Saint Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to New Orleans. The visit involved thousands of community volunteers and coordination among national, state and local religious and political leaders. He also coordinated the events of the bicentennial of the archdiocese in 1993. In 1995, Bishop Morin received the Weiss Brotherhood Award presented by the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his service in the field of human relations.
Bishop Morin was a member of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development 2005-2013, and served as Chairman 2008-2010. During that time, he also served as a member of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the Committee for National Collections. In 2011, Bishop Morin received the Sister Margaret Cafferty Development of People Award from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for his work with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Bishop Morin serves on the Jesuit Social Research Institute Board, Loyola University, New Orleans.
Bishop Morin was appointed by Pope John Paul II as Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans on February 11, 2003, and his Episcopal ordination was on April 22, 2003. He served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of New Orleans 2001-2009. Bishop Morin was named Bishop of Biloxi by Pope Benedict XVI on March 2, 2009. Bishop Morin’s episcopal motto is “Walk Humbly and Act Justly.” Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 on March 7, 2016, Bishop Morin submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis. The Holy Father accepted his resignation on December 16, 2016.
Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 on March 7, 2016, Bishop Morin submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis. The Holy Father accepted his resignation on December 16, 2016 and appointed Msgr. Louis Kihneman, III as his successor. Archbishop Rodi will install Bishop-elect Kihneman on February 17 at 2:30 p.m. at Nativity BVM Cathedral. Until then, Bishop Morin will serve as Apostolic Administrator.