Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory
Presentation: “The One and the Many: Priests and the Local Presbyterate”
50 years after the establishment of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, you should rejoice and take some pride at the spirit of fraternity that Priests’ Councils have been able to help develop across the country. In addition to the ministerial collaboration that our councils have striven to establish with the local bishop, there is also the equally important strengthening of the bonds of fraternity that these bodies have created. I would like to reflect on 50 years of this development and to raise some of the challenges that we still face as bishops and priests working together for the mission of the Church and the development of closer unity among those who share the Ordained Priesthood of Jesus Christ in our local Churches.
Biography: The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, S.L.D.
Born December 7, 1947 in Chicago to Wilton Sr. and Ethel Duncan Gregory, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory attended St. Carthage Grammar School, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College (now St. Joseph’s College Seminary) of Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. Three years after his ordination he began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome. There he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980.
After having served as an associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, IL as a member of the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and as a master of ceremonies to Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago on December 13, 1983. On February 10, 1994, he was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL where he served for the next eleven years. On December 9, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Gregory as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005.
In the time since Archbishop Gregory’s arrival, the Archdiocese has:
- Grown to approximately 1.2 million Catholics
- Elevated nine parishes and established six missions resulting in 103 parishes and missions
- Ordained 64 priests and 152 permanent deacons
- Baptized nearly 150,000 infants, children, and adults; and brought over 16,000 people into full communion with the Catholic Church