Msgr. Friend to receive top missionary award


Msgr. R. Scott Friend

Msgr. R. Scott Friend, a diocesan priest well known for his work in Hispanic ministry and vocations recruitment, was named the winner of the Lumen Christi Award handed out each year by Catholic Church Extension Society in Chicago to the top missionary in the United States.
Catholic Extension announced that Msgr. Friend was given the award for “radiating the light of Christ” to Hispanics and the poor. With the honor comes a $50,000 prize — $25,000 for the priest and $25,000 for the Diocese of Little Rock.
Father John J. Wall, president of Catholic Extension, will present the award to Msgr. Friend at a special Mass and reception in Chicago Sept. 22.
Msgr. Friend, the current diocesan vocations director, celebrated his 20th anniversary as a priest June 20. He previously served as the director of Hispanic ministry twice and was pastor in at least 10 different parishes, most recently at St. Raphael Church in Springdale. In the 1990s he helped start Catholic Immigration Services in Little Rock.
The 46-year-old priest is a native of Little Rock. In 2003 he was named a monsignor.
“I am both deeply humbled and honored to represent all those who strive to spread the Good News of our faith,” Msgr. Friend said. “I believe that what is being honored by me receiving the Lumen Christi Award is how God has been true to his Word in my life. Often Hispanics will remind me after we plan something, ’Si Dios quiere’ (’God Willing.’ ) In my life he has been, and for that I am grateful.”
Bishop J. Peter Sartain, bishop of Joliet , Ill., and former bishop of Little Rock, said, “Msgr. Scott is a man of love, and a man of humility. He speaks simply and unashamedly of his relationship with his friend, Jesus, and it is clear to those who know him that his relationship with God motivates all he does. He desires, above all else, to bring people to Jesus Christ, The impact of his ministry is incalculable.”
For the complete story, see the June 30 issue of Arkansas Catholic.

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