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

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In an outdoor celebration on the h on of St. John Seminary, Bishop Morris observed his silver anniver- Sary of ordination to the episco- Pate on May 7, 1931. What the bishop couldn't remain neutral about was the Var effort when the United itates entered the war in 191Z 0ined with the other Catholic ishops, he supported the war arid helped create the National atholic War Council. The dio- CeSe b , acked war bonds and sold larld Surrounding St. Joseph Orphanage to build Camp Pike here troops were trained. The iishop was also sympathetic to e plight of fellow Arkansans of MSS-German origins, particu- October 24, 1998 larly in the northwest part of the state, where they were looked upon with suspicion by patriots. Post-war years brought changes in the composition of the Arkansas clergy. There was a move from immigrant to native bred. Also, in 1909 there had been a 36 diocesan priests to 36 order priests ratio; by 1929, diocesan priests outnumbered order priests two to one, thanks to the establishment of the diocesan seminary in Little Rock. Throughout Bishop Morris' ministry to the diocese, there were evangelization efforts toward the black Arkansans and the small black Catholic corn- munities. In the years of segre- gation, the hardship of financ- ing separate worshipping com- munities and schools were felt. In 1929, the bishop opened a black parish in North Little Rock, St. Augustine. The Society of the Divine Word staffed the parish and also took over the black parish in Pine Bluff in 1928. Bishop Morris delved into the area of Negro mission work, wanting to provide personnel and worship space across the state, wherever possible. A failed experiment was St. Raphael Orphanage in Pine Bluff. It was never filled to capacity because as Bishop Fletcher learned, the black 15