Pope Francis Tuesday appointed Msgr. Francis Malone, pastor of an Arkansas parish known for having generated many priestly vocations, as the next bishop of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Malone, 69, is the pastor of Christ the King in Little Rock, Arkansas, a parish which has produced at 6 priests and 6 seminarians since 2006. Before he became pastor in 2001, the parish had not had any vocations.
“Msgr. Francis Malone ... showed me how pure joy can be infectious, and that made me want to be a priest from an early age,” Daniel Wendel, a seminarian from Christ the King parish, wrote on the Diocese of Little Rock website this year.
Other seminarians and parishioners pointed to Msgr. Malone’s example as among the reasons why their parish has drawn many men to the priesthood. Malone himself credited Eucharistic Adoration.
“Our parish had no seminarians until after we inaugurated perpetual adoration,” Msgr. Malone told Arkansas Catholic in 2013.
“There can be no coincidence that since PEA [Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration] began, we have had 11 men step forward to begin the process of discernment that leads to the altar, one of whom is now ordained,” he said.
As bishop-elect of the Diocese of Shreveport, Malone will succeed Bishop Michael Gerard Duca who led the diocese for ten years until Pope Francis appointed him bishop of Baton Rouge in June 2018.
Born in Philadelphia on Sept. 1, 1950, Malone was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Little Rock at the age of 26. Before becoming pastor at Christ the King, Malone served as pastor at Immaculate Conception Church, St. Anne Church, St. Michael Church, St. Mary of the Mount Church, and rector at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock, among other assignments.
Malone is a canon lawyer, who earned his J.C.L. at the Catholic University of America in 1989. He is also holds multiple degrees from the University of Dallas, where he studied history as an undergraduate, and went on to earn master’s degrees in both divinity and education.
He has served as Chancellor of Ecclesial Affairs for the Diocese of Little Rock since 2008. Previously he was vicar general 2002-2006, managing editor of Arkansas Catholic Newspaper & director of communications in 1995, and chaplain of Rogers Memorial Hospital in 1983.
He was named a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in 2002 and a protonotary apostolic in 2010.
Malone will be the third bishop of Shreveport, a diocese created in 1986. The Diocese of Shreveport has a total population of 812,200, of which 41,335 are Catholic.