Bishop Robert Marshall, AFSC (’80)
“From the Brothers at both CBHS and CBU, I learned to always remember that we are in the holy presence of God. We may forget God from time to time, but God never forgets us. The final phrase of the Lasallian prayer — Live Jesus in our hearts — has been so meaningful to me that I selected it as my episcopal motto. If Jesus dwells in our heart, then we will never be alone.”
Bishop Robert Marshall is a native Memphian and a proud alumnus of its Catholic schools, graduating from St. Michael School and Christian Brothers High School before enrolling at Christian Brothers College in 1977. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1980 and then entered the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he completed his Juris Doctorate in 1983.
Bishop Marshall practiced law for 12 years in both St. Louis and Memphis. Discerning a call to the priesthood, he entered Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans in 1995. He received his Master of Divinity degree and was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Memphis by the Most Reverend J. Terry Steib on June 10, 2000.
As a priest of the Diocese of Memphis for 20 years, he served as pastor at the Church of the Ascension, St. Francis of Assisi Church, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He also served as associate pastor of the Church of the Incarnation in Collierville, and as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Humboldt and St. Matthew Mission in Milan, TN.
In addition to his work in parishes, Bishop Marshall also served the Diocese of Memphis as a Master of Ceremonies for Bishop Steib, a member of the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors, the Priest Personnel Committee, the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Committee, and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal Steering Committee. He was the delegate of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz who served as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Memphis for five months, and he served Bishop David Talley and the diocese as Vicar General until April 21, 2020.
On that date, Pope Francis named him the thirteenth Bishop of Alexandria. The Diocese of Alexandria is comprised of 11,108 square miles in the State of Louisiana and has a total population of 389,837 of which 35,402 are Catholic. The Ordination and Installation Mass took place at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Alexandria on August 20, 2020 with consecration by Bishop Gregory Michael Aymond of New Orleans, Bishop Emeritus J. Terry Steib of Memphis, and Bishop David Talley of Memphis.
Bishop Marshall has served his alma mater as a member of the CBU Board of Trustees and as a member of the Mission and Identity Committee. He was named to the Christian Brothers High School Hall of Fame and has been recognized by the Vatican as a Knight Commander with Star of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. In November 2021, he was honored by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools for having served its mission and ideals in an extraordinary way and made an affiliated member (AFSC) of the Institute.
I enjoyed every class I had with Brother Anthony Pisano and Dr. Margarette Sather, both of whom have passed away. When I talk to groups or write something (both of which bishops do every day), I often think of one or both of them. I spent many happy days in the theater, working onstage and behind the scenes as a member of the Theatre Guild. We produced a variety of shows, not all top notch, but all quite fun. I made some good friends that I still have to this day.