Bishop Ronald P. Herzog, 11th Bishop of Alexandria
On November 4, 2004, Msgr. Ronald Paul Herzog of the Diocese of Biloxi was appointed the eleventh bishop of the diocese by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained and installed at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral by Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans on January 5, 2005.
Bishop Herzog was born on April 22, 1942 in Akron, Ohio. He studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana and completed his theological work at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson on June 1, 1968. He was incardinated in the Diocese of Biloxi on March 1, 1977. Fr. Herzog served as director of the diocesan office of liturgy and worship from 1980 to 1985. He was named a monsignor and assigned as pastor to Immaculate Conception parish in Laurel, Mississippi in 1988. He served as a military chaplain in the Mississippi National Guard and received the rank of brigadier general. Bishop Herzog brought a renewed interest in the sacred liturgy and music to the region. In conjunction with the diocesan office of worship, workshops have been held throughout the diocese focusing on sacred music, proclamation of the Word and the training of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. A new formation program for the permanent diaconate was established in conjunction with St. Meinrad’s Seminary College and 22 candidates were received into the program. Two new parishes were established, Mary, Mother of Jesus, in Woodworth in 2009 and Sts. Francis and Anne, Kolin in 2010.
To highlight the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the diocese in 2010, Bishop Herzog petitioned the Holy See to elevate the church in Natchitoches to the rank of a minor basilica. In a decree dated February 22, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI granted the request elevating the Natchitoches church proclaiming it to be “for all north Louisiana, a head and mother.”
On January 10, 2010, the dedication mass for the new minor basilica was celebrated by Bishop Herzog together with bishops from throughout the province. The symbols of the basilica were received and placed in the sanctuary. Lay representatives from all the parishes and missions of the diocese marched in the opening procession and received a candle as a symbol of the faith to be placed in their respective churches throughout the year. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans preached the dedication sermon and concelebrated the mass together with bishops and priests from throughout the state.
In February 2013, Bishop Herzog suffered a minor stroke. Not one to let health issues stop his ministry, Bishop Herzog worked through physical therapy and recovery. A multimillion dollar project was begun to renovate the old and outdated Maryhill Renewal Center facilities. The project was completed in 2015 and breathed new life into the retreat campus. On September 27, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Bishop David P. Talley, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Atlanta, as coadjutor with the right of succession and full administrative powers . Still struggling with health issues, Bishop Herzog submitted his resignation in last 2016 and Pope Frances accepted it in February 2017. On February 3, 2017 and Bishop David Prescott Talley became the 12th Bishop of Alexandria.