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

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IMPLEMENTING VATICAN II J " 000 Expanding Ministry- Sisters and Nuns realize emerging role in Church By Sister Maxine Vogan, DLF t was 1972. Bishop Albert L. Fletcher had retired and the Diocese of Little Rock waited for Rome to fill the vacancy in the chancery. Breaking news on television in the summer of 1972 informed most of us in Arkansas that a new bishop had been appointed to the Diocese of Little Rock. He was from Savannah, Ga., and had to be ordained a bishop before coming west to his new home. The gener- al reaction to this news was that the incoming bishop was a Southerner and would under- stand the Southern Church and culture. It seems Msgr. Andrew J. McDonald was the youngest of a large family that boasted several religious, including himself. One sister was a cloistered Poor Clare nun and two others were in active orders. The next bishop of Ar- kansas would evidently be quite at home in the presence of women religious. Bishop McDonald was amon seV" eraI of the 12 McDonald childre who chose the vocation of a rdi" 1 gious life. Interaction with his sis- ters" no doubt prepared him for advancement of religious in the Diocese of Little Rock. This was born out in Dis first year in office. The Sisters' Senate, formed in 1968, was experiencing growing pains and new guid# was needed. The bishop provide this in a talk he gave the sisters a Senate meeting held in Co aY on Dec. 15, 1973. He stated, "When someth g i5 at a survival level, the com der-in-chief does the talking:' lie provided the sisters the oppOrt " nity to attend an MDI course to Bishop McDonald was not hesitant to employ religious on the dioce" san level and named Sister Henrietta Hockle, OSB the firsl and only female superintendent o] Catholic schools. 7 4 Arkansas catl~olig