On December 28, 1965, Fr. Joseph Howze became pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Asheville. Four years later St. Anthony’s was combined with St. Lawrence Church (now a minor basilica) and Rev. Howze became the first African-American pastor of that parish. In 1972, Pope Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Natchez-Jackson and in 1977 he was appointed Bishop of Biloxi.