WASHINGTON (December 8, 2004) —Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Archbishop John F. Donoghue of Atlanta and appointed Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville to succeed him.
Archbishop Gregory, 57, recently completed a three-year term as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, and named Monsignor Michael J. Bransfield, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, as his successor.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcements.
Wilton Gregory was born in Chicago, December 7, 1947. He attended St. Carthage Grammar School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College (now St. Joseph's College Seminary) of Loyola University, 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 he earned a doctorate in Sacred Liturgy.
Bishop Gregory was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Oliva and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on October 31, 1983, and ordained on December 13, 1983.
Appointed Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, December 29, 1993, Bishop Gregory was installed on February 10, 1994.
Bishop Gregory served as Vice President of the Bishops' Conference from 1998 to 2001 when he was elected President, serving until November 2004. Previously he served as Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy and as a member of the Committee on Doctrine, the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, and the Committee on International Policy.
John F. Donoghue was born August 9, 1928, in Washington, DC. He studied at the Catholic University of America and at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, June 4, 1955. He was appointed Bishop of Charlotte on November 6, 1984, and appointed Archbishop of Atlanta, June 22, 1993.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta comprises 69 counties in the northern part of the State of Georgia. It has a Catholic population of approximately 371,000 in a total population of nearly six million.
Michael J. Bransfield was born in Philadelphia, September 8, 1943.
He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree, and the Catholic University of America, where he earned a Masters in Philosophy.
He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 15, 1971.
Bishop-designate Bransfield was Parochial Vicar of St. Albert parish, Huntington Valley, from 1971 to 1973, and Chairman of the Religion Department at Lansdale Catholic High School from 1973 to 1980.
He served as Assistant Director and Master of Ceremonies at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception from 1980 to 1982, and as Director of Finance from 1982 to 1986. He was appointed Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1986.
Bernard W. Schmitt was born August 17, 1928, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He studied at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wheeling (now Wheeling-Charleston) on May 28, 1955. Appointed Titular Bishop of Walla Walla and Auxiliary Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston May 31, 1988, he was appointed Bishop of that diocese on March 30, 1989.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston comprises the State of West Virginia. It has a Catholic population of about 100,000 in a total population of 1,800,000.