The Grand Master

John Patrick Cardinal Foley
John Patrick Cardinal Foley
Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien
Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

BIOGRAPHY

Edwin Frederick O’Brien was born April 8, 1939 in the Bronx, New York, son of Mary Winifred and Edwin Frederick O’Brien, Sr. He was one of three children, including brothers Ken and Tom (now both deceased). He attended St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961, a Master of Divinity in 1964, and a Master of Arts degree in 1965. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York on May 29, 1965 by Francis Cardinal Spellman.

His first assignment was as a civilian chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He would later be commissioned to become a military chaplain and in 1970, he officially became an Army Chaplain with the rank of Captain, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. From 1971 to 1972, he served a tour of duty in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and then the 1st Cavalry Brigade. From a base of operations in the middle of a jungle, he and a Protestant minister flew by helicopter to defensive outposts where they would provide for the spiritual needs of the soldiers.

In 1973, he left the military and began his doctoral studies at Rome’s Angelicum University. While preparing for his doctorate in sacred theology, Archbishop O’Brien was a graduate student at the Pontifical North American College. He studied moral theology and completed his doctoral dissertation, entitled The Origin and Development of Moral Principles in the Writings of Paul Ramsey, in 1976.

He returned to continue his service to the Archdiocese of New York, serving as vice-chancellor for the Archdiocese and associate pastor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In 1979 he coordinated Pope John Paul II’s visit to New York and for two years served as communications director for the Archdiocese. In 1986, he was elevated to Monsignor and served two terms as rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary from 1985-1989 and 1994-1997. From 1990-1994, he served as rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

On February 6, 1996, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of New York and bishop of the titular see of Thizica. He was consecrated by Cardinal John O’Connor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on March 25, 1996. On April 7 of the following year, he was named co-adjutor bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services and on August 12, 1997, he succeeded as archbishop. The Archdiocese for the Military Services serves 1.5 million Catholics including all U.S. Armed Forces and their families as well as 170 Veterans Administration hospitals and U.S. Government employees overseas. From September 2005 to June 2006, he served as the Holy See’s coordinator for the Papal Visitation of Seminaries and Houses of Priestly Formation and in 2007 was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries.

On July 12, 2007, his appointment as Archbishop of Baltimore by Pope Benedict XVI was announced. He succeeded Cardinal William H. Keeler, who had served as the 14th Archbishop of the nation’s oldest diocese from 1989 to 2007. Archbishop O’Brien was installed on October 1, 2007.

During his tenure as the 15th Archbishop of the nation’s oldest Catholic diocese, Archbishop O’Brien focused the Church’s ministry in several key areas, including the promotion of vocations, fostering a culture of respect for the dignity of every person, improving the quality of life in Baltimore City, and to help Catholics in the Archdiocese—young, old, and those who may have left the Church—renew and strengthen the bonds of their faith.

Confronted by the disturbing trend of declining Catholic school enrollment, Archbishop O’Brien initiated an unprecedented review and strategic planning process for the entire school system. These efforts led to the creation of a long-term strategy for strengthening Catholic schools. As well, a number of new educational initiatives to help Catholic schools remain competitive were developed.

On August 29, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop O’Brien the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. His predecessor, Cardinal John Foley, resigned the post in February, 2011 due to reasons of health.

On January 6, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop O’Brien to the College of Cardinals.

EDUCATION

  • S.T.D. Angelicum University, Rome, 1976
    (Dissertation: The Origin and Development of Moral Principles in the Theology of Paul Ramsey, Angelicum U. Press, 1976)
  • M.A. St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y., 1965
  • M.Div. St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y., 1964
  • B.A. St. Joseph’s Seminary and College, Yonkers, N.Y., 1961
  • St. Mary’s High School, Katonah, N.Y., 1957
  • Our Lady of Solace Grammar School, Bronx, N.Y., 1953

PRIESTLY MINISTRY

    • 2012: Named to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI.
    • 2011: Named Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem by Pope Benedict XVI on August 29, 2011, succeeding Cardinal John Patrick Foley.
    • 2007: Named 15th Archbishop of Baltimore on July 12, 2007, upon the acceptance of the resignation of Cardinal William H. Keeler by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Installed as Archbishop of Baltimore on October 1, 2007.
    • 1997: Named Archbishop for the Military Services on August 12, 1997, upon the acceptance of the resignation of Archbishop Joseph Dimino by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
      Named as Coadjutor Archbishop for the Military Services on April 8, 1997 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
    • 1996: Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of New York and Titular Bishop of Tizica on March 25, 1996 by John Cardinal O’Connor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, N.Y.C.
    • 1994-1997: Appointed Rector, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, N.Y.
    • 1990-1994: Appointed Rector, Pontifical North American College, Rome
    • 1985-1989: Appointed Rector, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, N.Y.
    • 1986: Elevated to Monsignor (Prelate of Honor)
    • 1983-1985: Secretary of Cardinals Terence Cooke and John O’Connor
    • 1981-1983: Director of Communications, Archdiocese of New York
    • 1976-1981: Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York and Associate Pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    • 1973-1976: Pontifical North American College

Doctoral Study: Angelicum University, Rome

  • 1972-1973: Post Chaplain, Fort Gordon, G.A.
  • 1971-1972: Chaplain, Vietnam – 173rd Airborne Brigade, 1st Cavalry Brigade
  • 1970-1971: Chaplain, Fort Bragg, N.C. – 82nd Airborne Division
  • 1970-1973: Army Chaplain, rank of Captain
  • 1965-1970: Parish Priest/Chaplain (Civilian) – United States Military Academy, West Point
  • 1965: Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York, May 29, 1965

Grand Masters of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepluchre of Jerusalem

In 1949, Pius XII decreed that the Grand Master of the Order should be a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church and assigned the position of Grand Prior to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Nicola Cardinal Canali 1874-1961†, he was elevated to Cardinal in 1935 and became Grand Master 1949 and in 1960 he retired.

Pope Pius XII
Grandmaster Canali in Rome
He is buried in the Church of Sant' Onofrio
Pope Pius XII
He is buried in the Church of Sant’ Onofrio

Grandmaster Canali in Rome

 


Maximilien Cardinal de Fürstenberg
Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Cardinal Tisserant 1984-1972†. Born in Toul, France he
became priest in 1907 and elevated to Cardinal in 1937.After he retired as Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches he was appointed Grand Master in 1960 up to when he died in office in 1972

Giuseppe (Joseph) Cardinal Caprio
Maximilien Cardinal de Fürstenberg 1904-1988†. Born in Holland he was ordained priest in Belgum, he worked hard as an Apostolic Delegate in the Far East until his elevation to
Cardinal in 1967 and Grand Master in 1972.He died in office an was buried in the crypt that his great-grandfather, Count Franz Egon von Fürstenberg-Stammheim Mont-Apollinaris, Germany.

Cardinal Caprio

Giuseppe (Joseph) Cardinal Caprio 1914-2005†. Born in Italy and in 1938 he was ordained priest in Benevento worked as first as an Apostolic Internuncio the as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in China.He was elevated to Cardinal in 1979 and was appointed President first to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and later of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

In 1988 he was appointed Grand Master until 1995 he retired and ten years later he passed away to the Risen Lord.

 


Cardinal Furno.
Carlo Cardinal Furno 1921-. Born in Bari near Turin he was ordained priest in 1944.He
served as Apostolic Nuncio to Peru, Abari, Lebanon, Brazil and finally to Italy.Elevatedto
cardinal in 1994 and a year later he was appointed to Grand Master and retired in 2007.
John Patrick Cardinal Foley
John Patrick Cardinal Foley
His Eminence John Patrick Cardinal Foley
Cardinal-Deacon of St. Sebastian in Palatino
Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem

BIOGRAPHY

Born on the 11th November 1935 in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, John Foley was ordained to the priesthood by the late John Cardinal Krol on May 19, 1962, for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and celebrated his first Mass the next day at Holy Spirit Church in Sharon Hill, PA. He received his Licentiate degree in Philosophy in 1964 and his Doctorate cum laude in 1965 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). He served as assistant editor and Rome correspondent for the archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times. From 1970 to 1984 he was the newspaper’s editor, and in 1976 he became a Monsignor.

On April 5, 1984, Foley was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Titular Archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari by the late Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration the following May from Cardinal Krol, with Bishops Martin Lohmuller and Thomas Welsh serving as co-consecrators. Upon the death of John Paul II on April 2, 2005, Foley and all major Vatican officials, in accord with custom, automatically lost their positions during the sede vacante. He was later confirmed as the Council’s president by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21 of that same year.

Pope Benedict XVI named him as Pro-Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre on June 27, 2007, replacing the retiring Carlo Cardinal Furno.

Foley, as the Council’s president, was the longest-serving head of a Curial dicastery until receiving this appointment; Archbishop Claudio Celli, former Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, was appointed as his successor.

The Cardinal Grand Master has sat on various organizations, including the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, and National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On October 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would make Archbishp Foley a
Cardinal. Foley was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory at St. Peter’s Basilica on November 24, 2007 and thus was confirmed as Grand Master. Cardinal Foley was named the Cardinal-Deacon of San Sebastiano al Palatino.