Msgr. Bernard G. Malone, the oldest and longest-serving diocesan priest, died July 19. He was 93.
The Philadelphia native was a priest for 67 years.
Msgr. Malone was born Jan. 23, 1924, and was part of a migration of priests that traveled from Philly to Little Rock in the 1940s and 50s to enter the seminary. Msgr. Malone entered St. John Home Mission Seminary and was ordained by Bishop Albert J. Fletcher on June 3, 1950.
He served in Blytheville, Bella Vista, Carlisle, Crawfordsville, Dermott, Dumas, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Marche, McGehee, North Little Rock, Paragould, Pine Bluff, Tontitown and West Memphis. Msgr. Malone spent his final years as a pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Hot Springs Village.
Msgr. Malone served on almost all diocesan boards, directed the Marian Year in 1987 and in 1994 and served as a diocesan consultor. In 1995, he was given the title of monsignor.
He retired after 60 years of active ministry in 2010. Even in retirement, Msgr. Malone served as the confessor of the House of Formation in Little Rock until December 2016. He had resided at Parkway Village in Little Rock.
When he visited Christ the King Church in Little Rock to visit his nephew Msgr. Francis I. Malone after his retirement, he was given the name “Msgr. Senior.” Msgr. Francis I. Malone said his uncle was “a humble and gentle servant, self-effacing and loved being a priest. Among his last words, he proclaimed his love of the Church, and his joy in being able to say what a happy life he had been given.”
At his 90th birthday Mass in 2014 he said as a priest, “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I didn’t do anything exceptional, I just did my duty. Whatever success I’ve had in my ministry and my faith, I credit to the Blessed Mother. Without her, I couldn’t have made it.”
A vigil service and rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 23 at Christ the King Church in Little Rock with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle presiding. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 24, also at Christ the King Church, with Bishop Anthony B. Taylor presiding. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock.
Memorials can be made to the Seminary Endowment Fund, Diocese of Little Rock, 2500 North Tyler, Little Rock, AR 72217.
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