William Lawrence Adrian
|The Most Reverend
William L. Adrian, STL, DD
|Bishop of Nashville|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|In office||February 2, 1936—September 4, 1969|
|Predecessor||Alphonse John Smith|
|Successor||Joseph Aloysius Durick|
|Ordination||April 15, 1911|
|Consecration||April 16, 1936
by Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
April 16, 1883|
|Died||February 13, 1972
William Adrian was born in Sigourney, Iowa, to Nicholas and Mary (Paulus) Adrian. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa in 1906. He studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and was there ordained to the priesthood on April 15, 1911. Following his return to the United States, he served as a professor at St. Ambrose College for twenty-four years and as its vice president from 1932 to 1935; Adrian also coached American football and baseball, and taught Latin and manual training. He then became pastor of St. Bridget's Parish in Victor, Iowa in 1935.
On February 2, 1936, Adrian was appointed the seventh Bishop of Nashville by Pope Pius XII. He learned of his appointment by a letter from the Holy See: "among [his] letters...With trembling fingers [he] opened it and read...and was so overwhelmed with wonder that [he] could read no farther." Adrian received his episcopal consecration on the following April 16 from Archbishop Amelto Cicognani at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Bishops Henry Rohlman of Davenport and Moses E. Kiley of Trenton served as co-consecrators.
The Bishop, who became known as a "man who gets things done," oversaw the creation of several parishes, acquisition of a new episcopal residence in East Nashville, remodeling of the Cathedral, and establishment of a diocesan newspaper and the National Council of Catholic Women. He attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, and retired as Nashville's ordinary on September 4, 1969, after thirty-three years of service. He was also named titular bishop of Elo on that same date, resigning the post on January 13, 1971.
Adrian later died at the age of 88.
|Catholic Church titles|
Alphonse John Smith
|Bishop of Nashville 1936-1969||Succeeded by
Joseph Aloysius Durick