LEFT: Lumen Christi Award recipient Monsignor Scott Friend pictured with Diocese of Little Rock staff, seminarians and long-time friends.
RIGHT: Monsignor Friend greeting attendees after an ordination ceremony in Little Rock in 2007.
"A Friend to All"
Monsignor Scott Friend was honored for his thriving ministries to Hispanic Catholics and his vocations efforts. In the late 1980s, shortly after he was ordained, Monsignor Friend was appointed coordinator of Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Little Rock. He crisscrossed the state gauging the needs of Hispanic communities, and although his Spanish was limited at the time, he found there was a common language that could be spoken with warmth, laughter and love. Monsignor Friend worked diligently to invite Hispanics into the Church. He even went door-to-door, persuading people to come to Mass. He used this same personal approach when he later became pastor of his own church, St. Raphael’s in Springdale. Due to his efforts, it became the fastest growing parish in Arkansas.
Later, when a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis made the demands of St. Raphael’s more challenging, Monsignor Friend became director of vocations and formation for the permanent diaconate in Little Rock. Once again, he found that reaching out to people directly made a difference. Following the ordination of one of his seminarians, he “worked the steps of the cathedral like a campaigner, greeting several young men who were thinking about the priesthood.” It seems that Monsignor Friend’s name was more than a coincidence. He was a friend to all.