Suspect arrested in priest's murder
WAVELAND, Miss. - Waveland police say a suspect has been arrested in Polk County, Fla., in the death of a Catholic priest from Louisiana whose body was found a beachfront home.
Police Chief James Varnell said the suspect was arrested around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Media outlets in Mississippi are reporting the suspect is Jeremy Wayne Manieri, 31, of Waveland. He's a registered sex offender that reportedly worked as the maintenance man at the Dominican Retreat House where the priest's body was found.
Varnell identified the victim as the Rev. Edward E. Everitt, who was pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Hammond, La.
The church is a member of the Dominican Order and also operates a school in the community about 50 miles northwest of New Orleans.
Varnell said the body of the 70-year-old Everitt was found about 4:30 p.m. Monday by a caretaker at the house, which was serving as a weekend retreat.
Diocese of Baton Rouge Robert Muench released the following statement on the murder of Father Edward Everitt, O.P.
"Weep with those who weep." (Romans 15:15b)
I express my utter shock and profound mourning over the news of the murder of Father Edward Everitt, revered pastor of Holy Ghost and Our Lady of Pompeii Churches.
This tragic loss of Father Ed's life leaves a deeply-felt void in all our lives.
Together we pray to the Author of all life to provide Father Ed with the peace of eternal life.
May our grief be seen in that perspective as we thank God for his valued life and priestly ministry.
May the words of Jesus proclaimed in the Sunday Gospel two weeks ago resonate in our hearts: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."(Mt. 11:28).
And may we be consoled by the words of St. Paul in the second Scriptural reading for this past Sunday's liturgy: "I consider that the sufferings of the present time are as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
A Mass of Remembrance will be held for Fr. Ed Everitt tonight at 7 pm at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond.