BILOXI – The priests and staff of Our Lady of Fatima Parish will soon move into a new office building.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on the 3,000 sq-ft building which will provide much needed office space for four priests, paid staff and volunteers, as well as meeting space for parish organizations.
Pastor Father Paddy Mockler and retired pastor Msgr. Francis Farrell each have offices in the current rectory, which also serves as living quarters for the priests. However, the parish also has two parochial vicars on staff – Father Sergio Balderas and Father Satish Adhav.
“What brought about the need for the new offices is that neither Father Sergio nor Father Satish had an office and Father Satish wasn’t living with us. He was living in another house that a parishioner let us use temporarily,” Father Mockler said.
“To have more room in the rectory, we had to do something, so rather than having the rectory include office space and living space, (Archbishop Thomas Rodi) liked the offices and living quarters to be separate, so this was an opportunity to separate them and provide more living quarters by turning the existing offices into living quarters and having offices separate in the new building.”
Father Mockler said the new building is very nice and very inexpensive.
Shaughnessy Homes of Biloxi is the contractor and Wayne O’Neil designed the building. Father Mockler said that architect Michael LeBatard has also been heavily involved with the project as an advisor and diocesan construction manager Steve LaBarre assisted with the layout.
Father Mockler said the building is nearly finished and, once the building clears inspection with the city of Biloxi, the tenants will be ready to move in.
Father Satish said he is looking forward to living on the premises and to having an office space to call his own.
“Now it is so congested,” he said. “This will be good because the offices will be separate from the living quarters and will give us private spaces where we can meet with people and provide counseling,” he said.
OLF secretary Gladys Simmons is also looking forward to moving into the new offices.
“I am very excited about the new space,” she said.
“There will be more privacy for the priests when they talk with people, more room for the many devoted volunteers that help out at the rectory and the parochial vicars will finally have their own offices and computers that they don’t have to share because of a lack of office space in the current building.”