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Archbishop O’Brien – A Kennedy Catholic Alum

The following text was taken from the September 8th edition of Catholic New York.

Archbishop O’Brien to Head Knights of Holy Sepulcher Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Edwin • F. O’Brien of Baltimore, a former New York auxiliary bishop and priest, as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order (Knights) of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, based in Rome, it was announced Aug. 29. The oraer, which dates to the First Crusade, is a chivalric organization dedicated to promoting and defending Christianity in the Holy Land, supporting the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and responding to the needs of Catholics in the region. The Bronx-hom archbishop Archbishop Edwin succeeds U.S. Cardinal John P. F. O’Brien Foley, who resigned for health reasons and retired in February as head of the international order. It is not known when Archbishop O’Brien will take up his new post in Rome. Though he ceases to be archbishop of Baltimore effective with the appointment, the pope named him as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese until his successor is named. “It has been a singular privilege to serve as archbishop of Baltimore,” Archbishop O’Brien said. “It is with a heavy heart that I will be departing .. .! pray that I will carry out the will of God and that of (the pope) in preserving the faith in the Holy Land.” As pro-grand master of the order, Archbishop O’Brien will travel extensively, visiting lieutenancies (local chapters) of the order throughout the world, as well as often visiting the Holy Land and Jerusalem to provide witness for the Church’s presence and support. The head of the order is usually a cardinal. By naming Archbishop O’Brien “pro-” grand master, Pope Benedict seemed to indicate that he would be named a cardinal during the next consistory, which has not been scheduled. At that time, the “pro-” would be dropped from his title. Archbishop O’Brien, 72, was appointed archbishop of Baltimore in 2007. For the previous 10 years, he was archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1965 after studies at St Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, where he would later serve two assignments as rector: 1985-1989 and 1994-1997. His first assignment after ordination was as a civilian chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 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 in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and then 1st Cavalry Brigade. After leaving the military in 1973, he earned a doctorate in sacred theology at Rome’s Angelicum University and was a graduate student at the Pontifical North MetUfe Bank. N.A. American College in Rome, where he would later return as rector, 1990-1994. He was director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York in the early 1980s and was instrumental in the establishment of Catholic New York. In 1996, he was named an auxiliary bishop for New York. Nationally and internationally, he has been involved in seminary visitations in the United States and Ireland, and in the past few years has spoken in several venues on the need to move toward a world without nuclear weapons. -CNS Enrollment Increase Catholic elementary schools in Indiana are experiencing increased enrollment this year in part because the state’s new school voucher program has enabled more than 3,200 students to attend religious or private schools. The educational scholarship program, described as the nation’s broadest, was passed by the state Legislature in the spring. Since then, the state Education Department approved about 250 religious or private schools for the program, allowing them to enroll students who are given scholarship aid based on family income. The program is being challenged in court by a group of teachers and religious leaders who claim it violates separation of church and state. -CNS

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