WASHINGTON (November 17, 1998)--The Catholic Bishops of the United States today elected Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Illinois to a three-year term as Vice President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference (NCCB/USCC).
Bishop Gregory, 50, is the first Black to be elected Vice President of the Conferences.
He succeeds Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston who was elected President.
Wilton D. Gregory was born December 7, 1947, in Chicago, the son of Wilton and Ethel Duncan Gregory. He attended Carthage grammar school, Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College of Loyola, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. Three years after his ordination to the priesthood he began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant' Anselmo) in Rome. It was there that he earned his doctorate in Sacred Liturgy in 1980.
Bishop Gregory was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. He was ordained a Bishop on December 13, 1983, after having served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, as a member of the faculty at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, and as a Master of Ceremonies to Cardinals Cody and Bernardin. Bishop Gregory was installed as the Seventh Bishop of Belleville on February 10, 1994, following ten years as Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago.
As a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served one term as Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. He is currently a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine, Committee on the Third Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000, and Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, as well as the United States Catholic Conference Committee on International Policy.
He has written extensively on the subject of liturgy, particularly in the African-American community, for a variety of publications.