Bishop William B. Friend, 8th Bishop of Alexandria and 1st Bishop of Shreveport

1983-1986


Due to the growing population of northern Louisiana, the Diocese of Alexandria was reorganized as the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport in 1977. St. John Berchman’s Church in Shreveport was designated as the co-cathedral. On August 31, 1979 William Benedict Friend of Mobile was named as auxiliary bishop of the diocese. He was appointed ordinary of the diocese by Pope John Paul II on November 17, 1982 and installed as the eighth bishop of Alexandria on January 11, 1983. Bishop Friend was born in Miami, Florida on October 22, 1931. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham on May 7, 1959. In 1986, the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport was reorganized. The northern half of the state was formed into a new diocese, the seventh in the Louisiana province, and designated the Diocese of Shreveport on June 16, 1986. Bishop Friend was installed at St. John Berchmans Cathedral in Shreveport as their first bishop on July 30 of that same year.