Here’s a Franciscan Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break Adventure

Paul Keggington

April 01, 2013

In an ongoing effort to learn more about the South, the cultures served at St. Francis of Assisi, Greenwood and the state of Mississippi, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity blessed to serve in this part of the country set off from Greenwood, MS for this state’s gulf coast. Sister Annette Kurey, Sister Francis Mason, Sister Kathleen Murphy, Sister Mary Ann Tupy and Sister Mary Beth Kornely all contributed to the story.

The first stop of our spring break adventure was Biloxi. Here the Visitors’ Center was a wealth of historic and cultural information as well as beauty.  Large graceful driftwood sculptures were crafted from pieces washed ashore during Hurricane Katrina.

The many faces of the Biloxi shore lighthouse were also highlighted.  This beacon steadfastly withstood the battering of many hurricanes over the decades.

On the shoreline drive one readily spots houses and even a restaurant built on stilts which reach as high as 29 feet above the ground.  These structures aim to rise above the next storm surge during future hurricanes.  Another trademark of the coastline drive are all the empty lots where it is clear that once there were parking lots, businesses and homes which were not rebuilt after Katrina.  The boat harbor is bustling with fishing boats showing that the seafood industry is thriving.

Another day brought another adventure as we ventured out on the trails of the National Beach in Ocean Springs, MS. The park revealed a wealth of beauty and variety of creatures from the stately egret to this alligator snoozing in his natural habitat.

The next phase of the adventure took us to Moss Point.  Have you heard of the television show entitled “Gator Boys”?  It is filmed in this alligator park.  Here we got an up close and personal look at some very large gators, had a ride on an airboat over the bayou, observed the activities of some “tween” aged gators in their enclosure and learned a great deal of information about alligators and their ways.

In quieter moments of the trip, we enjoyed reflective time spent on the long boardwalks at the beach.  One such walk was shared with a small heron who seemed to be having a “bad hair day”.  The time passed quickly and we felt blessed to ride into the sunset enriched with the varied and splendid beauty of the Gulf Coast as it bears the fingerprints of God! (Click here for your photos!)

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