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

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Father Albert Lewis Fletcher offi- cially became the fourth bishop of Little Rock on Feb. 11, 1947. He remains the only native Arkansan to serve the diocese as bishop. population had different ideas about orphaned children, pre- ferring to raise them in their own homes rather than turn them over to institutions run by white people. Bishop Morris served under four popes. He deak with nation- al crises of depression and war as they affected his flock. His strat- egy for helping needy parish- ioners during the Great Depression was to provide finan- cial assistance quietly through the parish priest, thereby saving the dignity of individuals and families concerned. The death of his vicar gener- al, Father Winand Aretz, caused him to look for another trusted aide. He found it in Albert L. Fletcher, whom he would recom- mend to Rome to be his auxiliary bishop. In December 1939 Rome sent word that Father Fletcher was its choice. For the next seven years, Bishop Morris turned the day-to-day running of the dio- cese over to Bishop Fletcher. On the weekend of May 6-7, 1931, the elder bishop was hon- ored at his 25th anniversary of 16 consecration as a bishop. In 1942 he celebrated the 50th year of his ordination to the priesthood. He kept an ongoing communica- tion with other prelates in the United States, including Archbishop Stitch, Cardinal Dennis Dougherty, and Arch- bishop Rummel, taking counsel on important matters that impacted Catholic life. Bishop Morris marked the 100th anniversary of the diocese on Nov. 30, 1943, with Mass at St. Andrew Cathedral. 1946 was a year of declining health for the bishop. He died on Oct. 22, hav- ing served the diocese as bishop for nearly 40 years. Many mile- stones stand as tribute to his tenure as third bishop of the diocese. Bishop Albert Lewis Fletcher: Center stage at critical times On Feb. 11, 1947, Fatl Albert Lewis Fletcher officially became Little Rock's fourth bistl" op. He was the first of the bisla" ops who was a native ArkanS#' With the death of Bishop Mot#, the auxiliary bishop who laad ably covered for his ailing prede" cessor and earned his full respeCt, now moved into a 25-year epiS" copacy that would place him ceg" ter stage at some of the most c#" cial times in the civil liberti0 struggle going on in the nati# and in Arkansas. Albert Fletcher was borri Little Rock to Thomas and i4ele Fletcher on Oct. 28, 1896' His parents were converts to Arkansas Catt~ol