Pope appoints Most Reverend Edwin Frederick O'Brien
to be Pro-Grand Master of the
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
August 29, 2011
The letter of notification of Most Reverend O'Briens's appointment: August 29th, 2011 Prot. 590/2011 Ns. Rif. AB/gt To the Members of the Grand Magisterium To the Lieutenants and Magistral Delegates To the Grand Priors of Lieutenancy and Magistral Delegation Your Excellencies, Your Eminences, We have the honor and pleasure to inform your that today His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Most Reverend Edwin Frederick O'Brien to the charge of Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. On behalf of all we wish to express to the new Pro-Grand Master our warmest congratulations: we are confident that thanks to his experience, wisdom and prudence, he will lead our organization to reach even higher goals. In the meantime and starting from now, we place ourselves and the whole Order at the entire disposal of the Most Reverend Edwin Frederick O'Brien for the implementation of his directives. During this moment of common joy, we are sure we can express to the Grand Master Emeritus, His Eminence Cardinal John Patrick Foley, your sentiments of heartfelt gratitude for the generous commitment and dedication in the exemplary fulfillment of his high duties. We gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity to reiterate to all of you the expressions of our highest consideration and esteem. Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea Agostino Borromeo Assessor Governor General
Most Rev. Edwin Frederick O'Brien Motto: Pastores Dabo Vobis "I will give you shepherds" 'Jeremiah 3:15Edwin Frederick O'Brien was born April 8, 1939 in the Bronx, New York, son of Edwin Frederick O'Brien, Sr. and Mary Winifred O'Brien. 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 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.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop O'Brien Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, effective August 29, 2011. The Archbishop was concurrently appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
EDUCATIONS.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., 1965M.Div. St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y., 1964B.A. St. Joseph's Seminary and College, Yonkers, N.Y., 1961St. Mary's High School, Katonah, N.Y., 1957Our Lady of Solace Grammar School, Bronx, N.Y., 1953PRIESTLY MINISTRY2011: Appointed Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.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, Rome1985-1989: 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'Connor1981-1983: Director of Communications, Archdiocese of New York1976-1981: Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York and Associate Pastor of St. Patrick's Cathedral1973-1976: Pontifical North American CollegeDoctoral Study: Angelicum University, Rome1972-1973: 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 Division1970-1973: Army Chaplain, rank of Captain1965-1970: Parish Priest/Chaplain (Civilian) - United States Military Academy, West Point1965: Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York, May 29, 1965