The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Archbishop Sartain receives distinguished alumnus award

Class reunion leads to honors for former Ark. bishop

Published: August 15, 2023   
Courtesy James Paquette
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain is presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, Aug. 1 at the Saint Meinrad Alumni Reunion in St. Meinrad, Ind.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was honored Aug. 1 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the annual St. Meinrad Alumni Reunion in Indiana. He graduated from St. Meinrad College in 1974. He retired to Arkansas in 2019 after leading the Archdiocese of Seattle for nine years. Before that, he served as bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill,, for four years and as bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock for six years.

The award was established in 1990 to honor alumni who exemplify the Gospel values and have provided exemplary service in their lives or professions. 

Archbishop Sartain, a native of Memphis, came to St. Meinrad as a college student in 1971, earning a bachelor’s degree in English in 1974. He earned his next two degrees in Rome: a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1977 and a licentiate in sacred theology with a specialization in sacramental theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum San Anselmo in 1979.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1978. In the Diocese of Memphis, he served at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and St. Louis Parish. He also served as chancellor, vicar general and vocations director.

In his acceptance speech, Archbishop Sartain said, “The foundation that developed while I was here taught me to strive for humility, to strive for respect of every other person you come into contact with, and most of all to strive to be united with God. I will never ever forget that foundation that was given to me.”

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