Accepts honor during Aug. 8 graduation exercises on Alabama campus
JACKSONVILLE, ALABAMA—Auxiliary Bishop F. Richard Spencer has been awarded an honorary doctorate from his college alma mater, Jacksonville State University (JSU), in Jacksonville, Ala. JSU is the same institution where Bishop Spencer earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement in 1973 before entering the U.S. Army. Later he would enter the seminary to prepare for ordination as a Catholic priest and eventual services as a U.S. Army chaplain. He was ordained a bishop in 2010 and currently serves as an auxiliary to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services of the USA. He is Episcopal Vicar for the installations in Europe and Asia. JSU President Dr. William A. Meehan presented the honorary degree to Bishop Spencer during Aug. 8 graduation exercises on Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.
On accepting the degree, Bishop Spencer said:
“It was with great joy to be honored with the doctorate degree and to deliver the commencement speech to the 2014 graduation class. I encouraged the new graduates to spend time volunteering in civic and church organizations as mentors to the youth in our Country. Every day each person is gifted with 86,400 seconds of time and can expend some of that time away from the electronic tablets and smart phones to be a mentor to youth and make a great contribution to our society.”
Bishop Spencer was born in Sylacauga, Alabama. He holds a Master of Education Degree in Counseling from theUniversity of Wisconsin, and a Master of Divinity Degree and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) Degree from fromMount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
Bishop Spencer was commissioned an Army Officer in 1973 and began serving active duty in 1974. After serving as a Military Police Officer, he was released from active duty in 1978 to pursue theological studies. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Md. in 1988 and began serving with the U.S. Army Reserve in Maryland. Father Spencer returned to active duty ministry in 1999 and served in Korea, Bosnia, Egypt, the Pentagon at the time of 9/11, and Germany.
During his military career, Bishop Spencer has earned numerous decorations, including: the Legion of Merit, theMeritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters), an Iraq Combat Medal, and the Korean Service Medal. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge for specific combat actions in Iraq in 2004. Bishop Spencer retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army, February, 2014.
As part of his fraternal activities in the Church, Bishop Spencer is a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and a member of theKnights of Columbus (KoC), Fourth Degree. He is a member of the Kappa Sigma Social Fraternity.
Bishop Spencer shares the joys of priesthood with his brothers, Father Robert Spencer, a U.S. Navy Chaplain; Jim Spencer, a Methodist Minister; and Bill Spencer; his sister, Peggy Spencer Fetyko; and their father, Frank S. Spencer.