NCEA Celebrates the Appointment of Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory to Cardinal

Archbishop Gregory was past chair of the NCEA Board of Directors.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) congratulates Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory upon his appointment by Pope Francis on October 25 to be raised to the status of cardinal. The consistory is scheduled for November 28, 2020. Archbishop Gregory is among 13 new cardinals and the first African-American cardinal.

Archbishop Gregory is the Archbishop of Washington, which includes the District of Columbia and the Maryland counties of Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and Saint Mary's. He was the Archbishop of Atlanta, 2005 to 2019; the Bishop of Belleville, IL, 1994 to 2004; and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, 1983 to 1994. Archbishop Gregory also was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004 and was chair of the NCEA Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013.

As an 11-year-old boy in 1958, Archbishop Gregory attended St. Carthage Grammar School in Chicago. The story told is that he decided to become a priest before he converted to Catholicism in 1959. He was ordained in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1973.

The cardinal-designate hosted the NCEA Convention & Expo in 2006 in Atlanta and was the recipient of the 2013 NCEA Seton Award. He is a staunch supporter of Catholic education and recently was the keynote speaker for the NCEA Catholic Leadership Summit 2020 on October 20. "Our schools are the privileged places to learn the Gospel. We cannot shy away from the hard questions and conversations our children bring to the classroom," Archbishop Gregory said. "We have to give them the tools to develop their consciences, to grow in compassion and to see with the eyes of faith."

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.