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FRIEDL, Francis (Msgr.)

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
FRIEDL, Francis (Msgr.) (Waterloo, IA, Sept. 25, 1917--Dubuque IA, Sept. 18, 2017). Friedl accepted the presidency of Loras in 1971. As its twentieth president, he witnessed the start of the college as a co-educational institution. Friedl believed his accomplishments as president lay in the areas of providing the college with financial stability, re-emphasizing the Catholic identity of the college, creating a climate that would encourage future growth, and structuring an outstanding board. He had also served as a psychology professor, public relations director, academic dean, and executive vie president. (1)

Monsignor Francis Friedl graduated in 1939 from Loras College. His theological training was at Mount St. Mary of the West Seminary in Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained April 26, 1943, at Sacred Heart Church, Waterloo, by Archbishop Francis J.L. BECKMAN. After a brief assignment at St. Francis Parish, Dumont, he was named associate at Nativity Parish, Dubuque, in 1943. He returned to the Archdiocese in 1954 to become director of public relations at Loras College, where he was appointed vice-president in 1956. He was named a monsignor in 1956. In 1965, Msgr. Friedl became dean of studies at Loras and served as acting president from 1966 to 1967. In 1971, he was appointed president of the college and dean of the Loras Deanery. (2)

Friedl was appointed pastor of St. Joseph, Elkader, in 1977 and St. Columbkille, Dubuque, in 1984. He retired in 1987. During his Loras years, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

After his Loras presidency, Monsignor Friedl served a parish in Elkader. He returned to Dubuque as pastor of ST. COLUMBKILLE CATHOLIC CHURCH before retiring in 1987. He then traveled and served as the acting chaplain on four cruise ships.

Named the recipient of the 2008 FIRST CITIZEN AWARD, Monsignor Friedl stated that he wanted to be remembered for his preaching and writing. He was asked by George FREUND, general chairman of the Loras sesquicentennial activities, to write the history of Loras College which becameThe Loras College Story-150 Years. (3) He also wrote Homilies Alive: Creating Homilies that Hit Home, with former professional basketball star and inspirational speaker “Easy Ed” Macauley; Extraordinary Lives, the story of 34 priests, and two books of stories – One Good Shoe, One Bad Shoe and To Make a Long Story Short. In “Loras Luminaries,” “Legends of Dubuque” and “’Doc Kammer Lives,” the former Loras College president told the stories of many remarkable people considered local legends. (4) In 2013 with Loras celebrating its 175th anniversary, Friedl presented a check to the school---$1,000 for each year of Loras' existence. (5)

In addition to the First Citizen Award, Friedl was named Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Sigma X, and was included in Outstanding Educators of America.


1. Stanley, Mary, "Former Loras President Chronicles Last Fifty Years in College's History," Telegraph Herald, October 17, 1989, p. 15

2. Obituary. Leonard Funeral Home and Crematory. Online: http://www.leonardfuneralhome.com/notices/MsgrFrancis-Friedl

3. Stanley, Mary, "Former Loras President Chronicles Last 50 Years in College's History, Telegraph Herald, October 17, 1989, p. 15

4. Russo, Dan, "Msgr Friedl Celebrates 73 Years," The Witness, May 20, 2016, Online: https://www.thewitnessonline.org/vocations/msgr-friedl-celebrates-73-years-as-a-priest/

5. Hogstrom, Erik," Friedl Leaves 'Extraordinary' Legacy at Loras," Telegraph Herald, September 20, 2017, p. 1A

"175 Years" Vol. II Telegraph Herald, p. 104