A century of faith in news

The following stories appeared in special section March 26, 2011 celebrating the centennial of Arkansas Catholic and its predecessors, The Southern Guardian and The Guardian. The first issue of the diocesan newspaper was published March 25, 1911.

Letter from the publisher
Bishop John B. Morris is known for establishing many Catholic institutions in his 39 years as bishop of our diocese

Ink on paper
From an office at 315 West Markham Street in downtown Little Rock, the first issue of The Southern Guardian was published on the Annunciation, March 25, 1911.

First digital archive issues now available
The first volume of The Southern Guardian has completed scanning, and every issue from the year 1911 is now available to read online.

Three leaders brought newspaper to reality on Arkansas’ Catholic frontier
Bishop sees need for Catholic press for the people of Arkansas
Bishop John Baptist Morris, third bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, founded a diocesan newspaper to communicate more widely with Catholics throughout the diocese.
First editor taps literary talents to bring diocesan paper to life
When The Southern Guardian debuted March 25, 1911, as the newspaper for the Diocese of Little Rock, Msgr. John Michael “J.M.” Lucey agreed to become its first editor.
Second editor commutes from Subiaco Abbey to lead paper for 11 years
Father Augustine Stocker, OSB, came to Arkansas in 1887 at the age of 19 from Switzerland, and later became the second editor of The Guardian.

Priests, lay people serve as editors for the first hundred years

Pray for us
Prayer for The Guardian Press

Time Capsule series to begin April 9
Each year Arkansas Catholic’s issues are bound into a hard-backed volume.

Approbation of the Bishop, Little Rock, Ark., Feast of St. Joseph, 1911
The appearance of the first number of the Southern Guardian marks the realization of a hope cherished since my coming to the diocese of Little Rock.

What else happened in 1911?
In the Catholic Church

Then & now
The Church in Arkansas

Arkansas’ 1911 parishes and missions
As is done today, the Diocese of Little Rock collected data on the state of the Catholic Church in Arkansas and reported it for the Official Catholic Directory.

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