HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hundreds of members of one Hattiesburg church gathered Saturday night to show their gratitude to a beloved local pastor who's moving on to a new ministry, but not moving far away. They held a thank you party at St. Thomas Catholic Church for Fr. Tommy Conway, who's served as the priest of that Hub City church for 13 years.
Conway is moving to Lamar County to become the founding priest for the new St. Fabian Parish in West Hattiesburg.
Conway has also served the church in Columbia, Tylertown and Gulfport and he recently returned from a sabbatical in Italy.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us in the Pine Belt to expand and to grow and I'm looking forward to leading that effort," Conway said. "And my hope is that Lamar County will be a better place because we're there," he said.
Conway first came to the Diocese of Biloxi from his native Ireland in 1986.
The new priest at St. Thomas will be Fr. Mark Ropel, who's spent the last year in Gulfport.