Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998

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~f Bishop John Baptist Morris: Catholic institutions flourish The third bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock came to Arkansas as coadjutor bishop in line to succeed Bishop Fitzgerald. John Baptist Morris was born June 29, 1866, near Hendersonville, Tenn. His father was from Galway, Ireland. John and Anne Morris had nine children, the future bishop being the eldest. In 1882, young John was sent to St. Mary College in Lebanon, Ky. In 1887 he received his degree and returned to Nashville, where the family had moved after his mother's death. Bishop Joseph Rademacher accepted John as a candidate for the diocesan priest- hood and sent him to study in Rome at the College for the Propagation of the Faith. He was ordained a priest June 11, 1892. For nine years he served as assistant pastor, the bishop's secretary, and rector of the cathe- dral. In 1900, the bishop made him vicar general of the diocese and he received the title of mon" signor. It was while serving as As the third bishop of Little Rock, John Baptist Morris remains the longest serving prelate in the histo- ry of the diocese. His tenure lasted 39 years. 12 Arkansas catt~aliC