Pope Francis Names Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (Class of 1973) as New Cardinal

Posted on October 26, 2020

On Sunday, October 25, Pope Francis announced his intention to create 13 new cardinals, including the Archdiocese of Washington’s Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (Mundelein Seminary Class of 1973). Previously serving as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Cardinal-designate Gregory celebrated Mass at the USCCB Retreat held at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in January 2019. Italian Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household who led the USCCB retreat, will also join the College of Cardinals at the consistory on November 28.

Cardinal-designate Gregory is the first African American cardinal from the United States of America. A native Chicagoan, he is an alumnus of the Chicago seminary system, having attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College and Mundelein Seminary. He completed pastoral work at Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge, Ill. and served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, Ill. after his ordination in 1973. He served on the faculty of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary as an instructor in the department of systematic theology from 1977-1984.

He was ordained as an auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1983 and later was made bishop of the Diocese of Belleville. He was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington in April 2019.

Congratulations to Cardinal-designate Gregory! Let us continue to keep all of the new cardinals in our prayers, as well as our Holy Father’s intentions.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrating Mass at the USCCB retreat on the USML/Mundelein Seminary campus in January 2019. On the right is Italian Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, who led the USCCB retreat. Both of them will join the College of Cardinals on November 28. (Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service/Robert Roller)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis announced he will create 13 new cardinals Nov. 28, including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington.

The pope made the announcement at the end of his Angelus address Oct. 25, telling the crowd in St. Peter’s Square the names of the nine cardinals under the age of 80, who will be eligible to vote in a conclave, and the names of four elderly churchmen whose red hats are a sign of esteem and honor.

In addition to Cardinal-designate Gregory, who will be the first African American cardinal from the United States, the pope chose as cardinal electors two officials of the Roman Curia and bishops from Italy, Rwanda, the Philippines, Chile and Brunei.

Speaking soon after the announcement with the Catholic Standard, Washington’s archdiocesan newspaper, Cardinal-designate Gregory said he was “deeply humbled.”

“I am reaping a harvest that millions of African American Catholics and people of color have planted. I am deeply grateful for the faith that they have lived so generously, so zealously and with such great devotion.”

Read more of the CNS article.