Remembrances of Archbishop Lipscomb

The current and many prior State Deputies of the Alabama State Council share memories about Archbishop-Emeritus Oscar H. Lipscomb. Archbishop Lipscomb passed away on the morning of July 15, 2020. He was the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mobile, its eighth bishop, a life-long native of Mobile, and had been retired since 2008.

Joseph E. Flaherty, III – State Deputy

Dear Brother Knights and Ladies in Christ,

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Archbishop-Emeritus of Mobile Oscar H. Lipscomb on Wednesday morning. On behalf of my brother Knights and Ladies across the State of Alabama I would like to express our shared sincere condolences on his passing. Archbishop Lipscomb was a very well respected and beloved person in the Archdiocese of Mobile and in the State of Alabama. Many emerging leaders and seminarians in our church benefited from his wisdom and generosity.

I extend my sympathy most especially to our brother and sisters who make up our extended Knights of Columbus family in the Mobile area who are in mourning. We all pray for the repose of his soul, and that the peace and comfort of Christ that is beyond all understanding console us at this difficult time.

Our assurance lies in the promises of Christ as we completely surrender to an infinite God who has promised everlasting life in response to our faith, which Jesus has said could be “the size of a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20). May we all have such a faith.

Even though we cannot attend his funeral service in person, all members of the KofC family join together in celebrating the life of Archbishop Lipscomb, keeping his memory and vision before us.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Yours in Christ,

Joseph E. Flaherty III, State Deputy
Alabama State Council
Knights of Columbus

Jason Esteve – State Deputy, 2018-2020

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Archbishop Lipscomb is what a joyous, spiritual soul he had. He was constantly smiling and always quick with a compliment or bit of wisdom. Most of my interactions with him were at the State and Supreme Conventions, which meant that they were brief. His time was spoken for weeks before he arrived, but he always took the time to stop, truly listen, respond from the heart, and thank me for what I do for the Knights of Columbus.

I was blessed to spend time with him in Washington, D.C. while we were attending the Supreme Convention. Our annual State Dinner was at a restaurant across town and my family had a minivan with an open spot. My wife Kristen drove, Archbishop Lipscomb was in the front passenger seat and our daughters and I were in the back seat. I was navigating and Archbishop Lipscomb spent the time between me giving directions asking questions of everyone in the car and telling stories of his life and his interactions with the Knights. He took the time to get to know us all a little better and made what could have been a stressful rush-hour trip in an unfamiliar city into a calm, enjoyable voyage.

His gentle manner, his spiritual joy, and his constant support of the Knights will be missed by me, my family, and the entire state of Alabama.

Jason Esteve
Immediate Past State Deputy

Griffin Shreves, Jr. – State Deputy, 2016-2018

Archbishop Lipscomb was a major figure of our Archdiocese of Mobile family. He will be forever remembered for his contributions to this community both Catholic and non-Catholic. We are all incredibly sad, but he now resides in the glory of the Lord so may he rest in peace. Right now, the sorrow fills our hearts, but now that he has departed, we remember his great teachings and influences. His Excellency will be missed for all that he taught us and for all those beautiful moments we lived with him. 

Pete Parrish – State Deputy, 2014-2016

My memories of Archbishop Lipscomb primarily go back to the interesting homilies that he gave at State Conventions when I was serving in the various offices of the Alabama State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Stephen Koach – State Deputy, 2012-2014

In 1995, Council 11480 in Enterprise was chartered.  The charter was presented to the council by then State Deputy Charlie Hedrick, what was most memorable was that Archbishop Lipscomb made the trip from Mobile to be present at the ceremony.  As the charter Grand Knight, I accepted the charter on the council’s behalf and the Archbishop gave some remarks and blessed the council and its members.  It was a memorable occasion. 

Archbishop Lipscomb enjoyed coming to St. John’s for Confirmation, he always provided a “lengthy” Q&A session to the candidates, we in the honor guard endured these with no complaints, after a few years we even learned most of the questions.  But true to form, at the end of mass, during his closing remarks, he always recognized the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, he thanked us and told those in attendance that “they are the only ones as uncomfortable as I am dressed like this”.  Everyone got a good laugh at that.  He loved the Knights!

Ray Carney – State Deputy, 2010-2012

The Archbishop always supported the Knights of Columbus.  The Knights always hold their Supreme Convention the first week of August each year.  When I was the State Deputy for Alabama, Archbishop Lipscomb was the only Bishop in attendance one year. It’s a tradition that we always have a State Dinner and we invite all the State Delegation to attend, including the Bishops.  Archbishop Lipscomb attended our Dinner and enjoyed it so much that he invited us to join him the next night, his treat! He was a very generous man. Also a joy to sit and listen to as he was so knowledgeable about Mobile’s history.  He would share tidbits about some of his travels also.

He will certainly be missed.

May he RIP.

Maurice Dupont – State Deputy, 2008-2010

I loved Archbishop Lipscomb the best. He was a great bishop and was especially good to the Knights of Columbus. He will be sorely missed.

G. V. “Skip” Gentle – State Deputy, 2002-2004

During the 2004 State Convention, my last as State Deputy, I was waiting at the hotel lobby in Huntsville for the Archbishop to arrive. It was around midnight when he came into the hotel and the fire alarm went off as if the say Welcome to Huntsville. Out of nowhere, the lobby started to filling up with people thinking the hotel was on fire. It turned out to be a welcome party for the Archbishop!

You never know… skip

Milton Larche – State Deputy, 1992-1994

Being members of the same local council, Archbishop Lipscomb and I knew each other before I ever took office as State Deputy. He was very passionate about the Knights of Columbus and extremely supportive, not only of the organization and its programs, but of the individual knights as well. Archbishop Lipscomb was always the friend you needed. He had a way of reassuring you that everything would be okay when it didn’t always appear that way. He could admonish just as easily when deserved. Case in point: When I was installed as State Deputy, Archbishop Lipscomb presided. He also put on a dinner party for me and the newly installed officers that evening at his residence. Traditionally a dinner for the officers and their significant others follows the installation. When he realized that I had not also invited the Fourth Degree members who had provided the honor guard that afternoon to the dinner, I was duly admonished.

Gregory Troncale – State Deputy, 1991-1992

Archbishop Lipscomb was a great Shepherd to the people and to the Knights of Columbus. He was an incredible orator and historian. He had an innate ability to keep your attention. As State Deputy, some of my fondest memories of him was his hospitality and graciousness at the rectory to me and my family on state KC trips to mobile. We also, looked forward to his Christmas card with a special message, which came every year without fail. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

If you have a memory you’d like to share, please add a comment below.

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