Bishops of the Diocese of Baton Rouge

Posted July 6, 2018 at 12:00 am

Bishop Robert E. Tracy was appointed the founding bishop for the newly formed Diocese of Baton Rouge in 1961. The bishop was installed Nov. 8, 1961 and served until his resignation on March 21, 1974.

Bishop Tracy, born Sept. 14, 1909, in New Orleans was educated in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and ordained a priest on June 12, 1932. From 1962 to 1965 he participated in the Second Vatican Council in Rome. Bishop Tracy oversaw the construction of the Catholic Life Center and the renovation of St. Joseph Cathedral. He died April 4, 1980.

Bishop Joseph V. Sullivan, born Aug. 15, 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri, was appointed the second bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge by (Blessed) Pope John Paul VI on Sept. 4, 1974. Bishop Sullivan was a prominent leader in the pro-life movement and committed to the doctrines of the Catholic faith. He was vigorous in his promotion of Catholic schools within the diocese.  Bishop Sullivan died on Sept. 4, 1982.

Bishop Stanley J. Ott was born June 29, 1927 in Gretna and installed as the third bishop in the Diocese of Baton Rouge on March 25, 1983. He was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on Dec. 8, 1951.

Bishop Tracy had previously appointed Bishop Ott judicial vicar of the diocese and he later became chancellor. On June 29, 1976 (Blessed) Pope Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and he served there for more than six years. In 1991 Bishop Ott was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and gave a unique personal witness to the faith in the way he accepted his illness and pending death. He died on Nov. 28, 1992.

Bishop Alfred C. Hughes was appointed the fourth bishop of the diocese on Sept. 7, 1993. Born Dec. 2, 1932, Bishop Hughes was educated in public schools in his native Boston until he entered the seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston on Dec. 15, 1957 and ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Boston on Sept. 14, 1981.

Bishop Hughes was installed in Baton Rouge on Nov. 4, 1993 and later appointed the Archbishop of New Orleans in 2002. Under his episcopal leadership in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, special emphasis was given to promoting the new Catechism of the Catholic Church in parishes and schools. He initiated a comprehensive Strategic Planning Process, the successful Campaign for Tomorrow, renovation of the Tracy Center into an overnight retreat facility and expansion of the Catholic Education Trust Fund. ​

Bishop Robert W. Muench, a native of Louisville, Kentucky and raised in New Orleans, was appointed the fifth Bishop of the diocese on Dec. 15, 2001 and installed March 14, 2002. Bishop Muench was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1968 and to the episcopacy as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans on June 29, 1990.

He was installed as Bishop of Covington, Kentucky on March 19, 1996, where he served until being installed in Baton Rouge. Through his words, actions and many appearances, Bishop Muench has used his characteristic good humor and enthusiasm to spread the message of Christ’s redeeming love. He has displayed a unique ability to touch the lives of young people and families through his ministry.

Bishop-designate Michael G. Duca –  was appointed the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge by Pope Francis on June 27, 2018. Bishop-designate Duca was born in Dallas, Texas on June 5, 1952. He attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas from 1970 to 1978 and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Dallas on April 29, 1978. After serving in several parishes in the Dallas area and as vocations director for the diocese, he served as rector at Holy Trinity Seminary from 1996 to 2008. On May 19, 2008, Bishop-designate Duca was installed as the second bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport.

He presently serves as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops and immediate past president of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference. He serves as a trustee to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and St. Joseph Seminary in Covington. His installation as bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 24, the Feast of St. Bartholomew, at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.