A message from Bishop Ronald Herzog:
It is with a heart filled with grateful joy that I welcome Coadjutor Bishop David Talley to the Diocese of Alexandria. His knowledge and experience is sure to complement the many treasures we already hold in this small mission diocese of Central Louisiana. I am sure that you will welcome him with open hearts as you did with me more than 11 years ago.
As most of you know, the past few years have been an uphill struggle for me as I have worked diligently to regain the physical strength after my stroke two years ago. What has been especially difficult for me is having the will and heart to improve, but -- try as I might -- it hasn’t been enough to keep me consistently going the way I want to and need to.
Knowing my limitations, I had a conversation with the Papal Nuncio Christophe Pierre several months ago about my upcoming mandatory retirement in April 2017 (when I turn 75 and by canon law, am required to retire). He asked if I considered requesting a coadjutor bishop to assist me until my retirement. At the time, I was not aware that a coadjutor bishop could be assigned to an incumbent bishop. He assured me that by requesting a coadjutor bishop, who would automatically become bishop after my retirement, the diocese could avoid a long period of time (sometimes 1-2 years) waiting for a new bishop to be named.
Requesting a coadjutor bishop seemed to be the best decision for everyone.
As coadjutor bishop, Bishop Talley will assist me in the every day duties and responsibilities of shepherding the diocese. From making decisions at the Chancery Office to celebrating Masses around the diocese, and conferring sacraments like Confirmation, Bishop Talley will be a constant figure in the parishes and at diocesan events.
While the major decisions will need my final approval, I plan to give Bishop Talley more and more decision-making authority as my retirement in April draws near. At the point of retirement, my new title will be Bishop Emeritus. I look forward to the care-free days of my retirement.
In the meantime, I am now a resident at a local retirement home in Alexandria, where I will be conducting diocesan business and continuing physical therapy. I welcome cards, letters, emails, and phone calls -- and occasional visitors if you call ahead!
We still have important business to attend to in the diocese and, with me as your bishop and with the help of Bishop Talley, we can move forward with strength and a new vision.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusted and found help.
So my heart rejoices; with my song I praise my God.” -- Psalm 28:7-8 NAB
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Ronald P. Herzog