WASHINGTON (July 12, 2007)—Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Cardinal William H. Keeler from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and named Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien for the Military Services, U.S.A. to succeed him.
The announcement was made in Washington, July 12, by Msgr. Martin Krebs, Chargé d'Affaires of the Vatican nunciature.
Cardinal Keeler, 76, had submitted his resignation as required by Canon Law when he turned 75.
Archbishop O'Brien, 68, was born in New York City on April 8, 1939.
After completing elementary and secondary schools, he attended Cathedral College, St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, where he earned B.A., B.D. and M.A. degrees, and the Angelicum in Rome, where he earned his S.T.D. in Moral Theology.
Archbishop O'Brien was ordained a priest, May 29, 1965. Following ordination, he was named assistant pastor, Most Holy Trinity church, in West Point, New York. He became a military chaplain in 1970.
From 1970-1973, Archbishop O'Brien served as Army chaplain with the rank of Captain at the 82nd Airborne Division, Fr Bragg, North Carolina, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 1st Cavalry Brigade, Vietnam and Post Chaplain, Fort Gordon, Georgia.
From 1973 to 1976, he pursued graduate studies at the Angelicum in Rome.
He was appointed Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York and assistant pastor, St. Patrick's Cathedral, in 1976.
Archbishop O'Brien was named Archdiocesan Director of Communications in 1980, and appointed secretary to the cardinal in 1983. In 1985, he was named Rector of St. Joseph's Seminary.
He was rector of North American College in Rome from 1989-1994, when he again became rector of St. Joseph's Seminary. On March 25, 1996, he was ordained a bishop and named an auxiliary bishop of New York. On April 8, 1997, the Vatican announced his appointment as Co-Adjutor Archbishop for the Military Archdiocese. On August 12, 1997, he became Archbishop for the Military Archdiocese.
Cardinal Keeler was named Archbishop of Baltimore, April 10, 1989, and named a cardinal in 1994. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, attended schools in Pennsylvania and studied at St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Pennsylvania, and the North American College, Rome, and was ordained a priest in 1955. From 1962-1965, he served as a peritus (expert) at the Second Vatican Council. He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
in 1979, and named Bishop of Harrisburg in 1983.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore was established as a diocese on November 6, 1789, and as an archdiocese on April 8, 1808, and is the senior metropolitan see in the United States. It has a Catholic population of 517,679 persons in a total population of approximately 3,055,407.