Former Archbishops

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick

Archbishop of Washington, 2001-2006

Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick was born in New York City on July 7, 1930 to Theodore Egan McCarrick and Margaret McLaughlin. The young McCarrick attended Catholic elementary school and Fordham Preparatory School. He studied in Europe for a year and a half before returning to Fordham University, his mind already made up to study for the priesthood. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, where he earned a BA in 1954 and a Master’s Degree in History in 1958. Francis Cardinal Spellman ordained him to the priesthood on May 31, 1958 in New York City. He went on to earn a second Master’s degree in Social Sciences and a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Father McCarrick’s first assignment was as assistant chaplain of Catholic University where he went on to serve as dean of students and as director of development. He was named president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce in 1965, where he was responsible for the intense development of the school as a major institution. That same year he received the title of monsignor from Pope Paul VI. In 1969, Terence Cardinal Cooke recalled Msgr. McCarrick to New York to serve as associate secretary for education and an assistant priest at Blessed Sacrament parish from 1969-1971 and then as the Cardinal’s Secretary from 1971-1977.

In 1977, Pope Paul VI named Msgr. McCarrick Auxiliary Bishop of New York. While auxiliary bishop, he served as Vicar of East Manhattan and the Harlems. In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed him to be the first Bishop of Metuchen, a newly-established diocese in New Jersey. From 1986 until his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, he served as the fourth Archbishop of Newark.

In 1986 and again in 1992, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elected then-Archbishop McCarrick to head its Committee on Migration. In 1992, he also was named to head the Committee for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe; in 1996, as chair of the Committee on International Policy; and in 2001, as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee. Other USCCB committees on which the Cardinal has served are Administrative, Doctrine, Laity, Latin America and the Missions. He was elected one of 15 U.S. bishops to serve as a member of the Synod for America held in 1997. At the conclusion of that Synod, the bishops elected him to serve on the Post Synodal Council.

A founding member of the Papal Foundation, he has served as its president since 1997. Archbishop McCarrick also is a member of the Board of Catholic Relief Services. For the Vatican, he serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

He has visited many nations as a human rights advocate and to survey humanitarian needs. These include China, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Rwanda and Burundi. He also has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and Central America. In November 1996, then-Archbishop McCarrick was invited to serve on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad and from 1999-2001, he was a member of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom.

In January 2000, the President of Lebanon named him an Officer of the Order of the Cedars of Lebanon and in December 2000, the president of the United States presented him with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, just two of many honors he has received.

On January 2, 2001, he was installed as Archbishop of Washington, a position he held until May 16, 2006.


James Cardinal Hickey

Archbishop of Washington, 1980-2000

A priest for 58 years, James Cardinal Hickey served as Auxiliary Bishop of Saginaw (Michigan), rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome and Bishop of Cleveland before Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Washington. During his two decades in Washington, Cardinal Hickey oversaw a significant expansion of social services, a renewal of Catholic elementary schools in the District of Columbia and the establishment of 16 new parishes and missions as well as two schools. He retired as Archbishop of Washington in November 2000 and died on October 24, 2004.

Early Years

James A. Hickey was born in Midland, Michigan on October 11, 1920 to James P. and Agnes Hickey. He entered the seminary at age 13, studying at St. Joseph’s Seminary and Sacred Heart Seminary College in Detroit. While still in the seminary, he was assigned to provide pastoral care to migrant workers, starting a lifetime of commitment to better the plight of immigrants. After receiving his license in theology from The Catholic University of America, James Hickey, then 25, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Saginaw on June 15, 1946.


He served briefly as an associate pastor at St. Joseph in Saginaw before earning a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1950 and a doctorate in moral theology at the Pontifical Angelicum University in 1951. Both universities are in Rome, Italy.

Father Hickey then became priest-secretary to Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki and rector of St. Paul Seminary in Saginaw. He attended the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965 in the role of theological expert. In 1967, Pope Paul VI named him Auxiliary Bishop of Saginaw. In 1969, Bishop Hickey, who had a lifelong interest in vocations, became rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he oversaw the formation of seminarians from 80 U.S. dioceses.

Cleveland and El Salvador

In 1974, Bishop Hickey was named the Bishop of Cleveland, with pastoral care for nearly one million Catholics. He chose the motto, “Veritatem in caritate,” or “truth in charity” for his coat of arms, a phrase that would well describe how he served the Catholic Church and broader community. In Cleveland, he became a leading advocate of racial unity in that city and became active in justice issues involving El Salvador. Just before Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop of Washington in 1980, he traveled to El Salvador to attend the funeral of the martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero. Later that year, two lay women whom Bishop Hickey had commissioned to serve as missionaries in El Salvador were murdered. He kept their photographs on the wall of his private chapel for the rest of his life, and called for an end to military aid to that nation.

Archdiocese of Washington: 1980-2000

James Hickey was installed as Archbishop on August 5, 1980 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew. Eight years later, on June 28, 1988, Pope John Paul II elevated him to the College of Cardinals.

During his two decades as archbishop, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington became the region’s largest private social service agency, serving 80,000 people each year. The Spanish Catholic Center provided social services and legal and medical assistance to 36,000 people annually by the time the Cardinal stepped down. Programs started under his leadership included the Archdiocesan Health Care Network and Archdiocesan Legal Network, which provide millions of dollars in pro bono care for the region’s low income residents; Birthing and Care, which provides pre-natal, delivery and post-natal medical care and other support to women in financial need; and Faith in the City, an initiative to revitalize inner-city Catholic elementary schools through new resources and partnerships with the business community.

To serve the region’s growing elderly population, Victory Housing, a non-profit agency that develops assisted and independent living for senior citizens and affordable family housing, was started. With Mother Teresa, he dedicated the Gift of Peace Convent, where the Missionaries of Charity care for the homeless and terminally ill, including those with AIDS, as well as two other programs with the Missionaries of Charity. In 2001, Cardinal Hickey’s special love for those in need was recognized when Catholic Charities’ named its new downtown headquarters, at 924 G Street, NW, the James Cardinal Hickey Center.

Under his leadership, adult religious education and faith formation flourished; thousands of parishioners participated in classes and faith-sharing groups. Cardinal Hickey published pastoral letters on nuclear weapons (1982), the sacrament of penance (1984), the Eucharist (1984), substance abuse (1989), evangelization in the schools (1993), young Catholics (1993), care of the sick and dying (1993, with the other bishops of Maryland) and on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), as well as a major document on combating racism (1991). Over 30,000 total people participated in an Archdiocesan Convocation (1998) and an October 2000 Eucharistic Congress to mark the Jubilee of Christ’s birth. The Cardinal also played an integral role in establishing the Council for Major Superiors of Women Religious. He received the Pope Pius XI Award (1993) and Karski Award (2000) from the Anti-Defamation League for his efforts to strengthen relationships between Catholics and Jews, and the Gaudium et Spes award, the highest honor given by the Knights of Columbus.

He established 12 parishes, four pastoral missions and two schools, including the Cardinal Hickey Academy in Dunkirk, as part of the Archdiocese’s largest building boom since the post-World War II era. At the time of his retirement, the Archdiocese of Washington had become a diverse community, with Mass offered in 25 languages, and 140 parishes and 106 schools serving more than 510,000 Catholics in the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties.

Roles with the Vatican and Bishops’ Conference

In addition to his local responsibilities, Cardinal Hickey served on a number of Vatican Congregations and Councils, including the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Congregation for the Clergy, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for the Family

He traveled to Central America to discuss human rights and policy, and testified before Congress on these issues. He served as chairman of committees of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), including Chairman of Priestly Formation (1968-1969), Chairman of Pastoral Research and Practices (1974-1977), Chairman of the Committee for Doctrine (1979-81), Chairman of the Committee on Human Values (1984-1987) and Chairman of the Committee on the North American College (1989-1991; 1994-1997).

How He will be Remembered

When asked 15 years ago by a Washington Post reporter how he would like to be remembered, Cardinal Hickey told her, “First, I’d like them to say he was always loyal to his church. Second, that he was a friend to Catholic education. And third, if they don’t want to say the first two, at least I would hope they would chisel on the stone, ‘He served the poor.’”

James Cardinal Hickey will be remembered for all of this and more.



William Cardinal Baum

Archbishop of Washington, 1973-1980

Cardinal William Wakefield Baum was born on November 21, 1926 in Dallas, Texas. His family moved to Kansas City when he was a young child and he began school at St. Peter’s Parochial School. He also began to serve as an altar boy at age ten.

He entered St. John’s Minor Seminary in 1940, then studied philosophy at Glennon College in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1947, he entered Kenrick Seminary, also in St. Louis.

He was ordained for the priesthood on May 12, 1951 by Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara, Bishop of Kansas City. Following ordination, Father Baum served at St. Aloysius parish in Kansas City and taught at Avila College, St. Aloysius Academy and Glennon High School. Under the sponsorship of Bishop O’Hara and Bishop John Cody (later Cardinal Cody of Chicago), Fr. Baum undertook studies in Rome, receiving a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Returning to Kansas City from Rome in 1958, he served as secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal. He also taught at Avila College in Kansas City and did parish work at St. Theresa’s and St. Peter’s.

In 1960, he was appointed administrator of St. Cyril’s parish in Sugar Creek, Missouri. The following year, in April, he was named a papal chamberlain by Pope John XXIII, with the title Monsignor.

When Vatican Council II convened in 1962, Bishop Charles Helmsing of Kansas City asked Msgr. Baum to accompany him as an adviser. Msgr. Baum was also named a peritus of the Council by the Holy See and was assigned to work with the Secretariat for Christian Unity. In this capacity, he participated in drafting the Decree on Ecumenism that the Council Fathers approved in November 1964.

That same year, the U.S. bishops formed the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, choosing Msgr. Baum as the committee’s first executive director. He served in that capacity for five years. From 1965 to 1969, he also served as a member of the Joint Working Group of representatives of the Catholic Church and World Council of Churches. From 1965-1966, he was a member of the Mixed Committee of representatives of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation.

In 1967, Msgr. Baum was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Kansas City; the following year, he was appointed pastor of St. James.

Pope Paul VI named Msgr. Baum as the third Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in February 1970. His episcopal ordination was held on April 6, 1970, and he chose “Ministry of Reconciliation,” reflecting the words of St. Paul (2 Cor. 5-18), for his episcopal motto.

The following year, the Pope appointed him an American delegate to the World Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. From 1972-1975, he also served as Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

On March 5, 1973, Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Washington. Archbishop Baum was installed as the second resident archbishop of Washington on May 9, 1973 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, DC. As Archbishop, he also served as Chancellor of The Catholic University of America.

On May 24, 1976, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals. From 1976-1979, Cardinal Baum served as Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine. He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education at the Vatican in 1980.

In 1990, he was named Major Penitentiary. In this role, he dealt with many confidential issues concerning matters of conscience as well as procedural matters involving indulgences. He also publicly promoted the frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance. In the early 1990s, Cardinal Baum served on a commission that drafted the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published in 1994. During the 2000 Jubilee Year, he helped design and explain the indulgences that were offered.

He served as a member of the Congregation of Bishops, Oriental Churches, Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Evangelization of Peoples.

Cardinal Baum retired on November 22, 2001, the day after his 75th birthday.


Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle

Archbishop of Washington, 1948-1973


The Most Rev. Michael J. Curley

Archbishop of Washington, 1939-1947

Coat of Arms of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick


Impaled Arms: On the dexter for the Archdiocese of Washington: Quarterly Azure and Gules, a cross botonny throughout quarterly Or and Argent between in the first quarter a crescent Argent, in the second quarter in chief three mullets of six points Argent, in the third quarter in chief three mullets of five points Argent, and in the fourth quarter a man’s face bearing two angels’ wings Argent. On the sinister for Archbishop McCarrick: Gules, on a cross nowy throughout Or, a crown Argent, between in the first quarter a rock Argent, in the second quarter a lion rampant Or, in the third quarter issuing from the dexter chief a sun rayonné Or, and in the fourth quarter three ermine spots, one over two Argent.


The dexter impalement, on the left of the viewer, displays the Arms of the Archdiocese of Washington. The Arms of the Archdiocese consist of a quartered shield blue and red, charged with a cross botonny—each limb ending in three knobs—and quartered gold (yellow) and silver (white). This symbolizes, together with the colors, the presence of the Catholic Church in the District of Columbia and the counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles in the State of Maryland.

In the first quarter (blue) is a silver (white) crescent, a traditional symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, is patroness of the United States. The “chief,” or upper portion, of the second quarter (red) displays three silver (white) stars of six points from the Arms of Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) reigning at the time of the Declaration of Independence. In the “chief,” or upper portion, of the third quarter (red) are three silver (white) stars of five points adapted from the Arms of George Washington. The fourth quarter (blue) is charged with a man’s face between two angels’ wings tinctured silver (white), an ancient symbol of Saint Matthew, the Evangelist, patron of the Cathedral.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, displays the Arms of Archbishop McCarrick. On the red field is displayed a gold (yellow) cross “nowy” (a circle at the intersection of the limbs) honoring Terence Cardinal Cooke, Archbishop of New York, under whom Archbishop McCarrick served as an auxiliary bishop. The silver (white) crown at the center of the cross honors the Queenship of Mary on whose feast day Archbishop McCarrick was ordained a priest.

In the first quarter is a silver (white) rock recalling the words of Christ to Peter, “upon this rock I will build by church” (Matthew 16:8), and it was on the feast of Saint Peter (June 29) that the Archbishop received episcopal ordination. The rock is the Gaelic root of the surname McCarrick and complements the gold (yellow) lion in the second quarter, honoring the Archbishop’s mother, who was a McLaughlin.

Issuing from the top left of the third quarter is a sunburst commemorating the early years of the Archbishop’s priesthood in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. In the fourth quarter three silver (white) ermine spots have been adapted from the Arms of Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, who ordained Archbishop McCarrick priest, May 31, 1958.

The motto “Come Lord Jesus” is part of the conclusion of the Book of Revelation 22:20, and reminds us that only through Jesus coming into our lives are we able to do good.

In pale behind the Arms is placed a gold archiepiscopal cross with double traverse, and ensigning the whole achievement is a cardinal’s hat with fifteen tassels on each side disposed in five rows, all red. These are the heraldic insignia of a cardinal archbishop in accordance with the Instruction of the Holy See, dated March 31, 1969. Before 1870 the cardinal’s hat was worn at solemn cavalcades held in conjunction with papal ceremonies. The colors of the pontifical hat and the number of tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

The personal Arms of Archbishop McCarrick were devised May 1977, by William F.J. Ryan (1903-1981). The Arms of the Archdiocese of Washington were devised December 1947 by William F.J. Ryan, and slightly modified September 6, 2001 by the Cardinal Archbishop in concert with the College of Consultors. The modification consists of the substitution of a cross botonny quarterly gold and silver (for the five counties of Maryland) from the original cross of silver chain links. The emblazonment of the Arms subsequent to the modification of September 6, 2001, was undertaken by A.W.C. Phelps, Cleveland, Ohio, and completed on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002.

Coat of Arms of James Cardinal Hickey

Traditionally bishops, archbishops, patriarchs and cardinals of the Catholic Church have a coat of arms bearing a motto and embossed with devices telling something about the individual.

Cardinal Hickey’s motto, displayed at the foot of the devoice, is “veritatem in caritate”, truth in charity. As in all cardinalitial coats of arms, a pontifical hat is placed above the central device and a cross is at the rear. The pontifical hat is low-crowned, flat and wide-brimmed. It is scarlet in color. Suspended from it, on either side of the central section, are fifteen tassels, five more than are used on an archiepiscopal coat of arms, and nine more than appear in the insignia of a bishop.

The central section of the coat of arms is divided longitudinally into two halves. Facing it, the left half (called the dexter impalement) depicts the Archdiocese of Washington. Its symbolism is drawn from the Archdiocesan coat of arms devised by William J.F. Ryan of New York in December 1947.

The right half is personal to the prelate. It too was devised by Mr. Ryan in March 1967 and modified in 1980.

The left half is surmounted by a cross of chains, united by a central link. Red, white and blue are the colors. The symbols suggest that the Archdiocese centers on the capital of the American nation, a country of states bound together by a central administration.

The left impalement has four quarters. The blue upper left quarter features a silver crescent, a traditional symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Under the title of the Immaculate Conception, Mary is considered by Catholics to be the patroness of the United States.

The other upper quarter, on the right, is in red. There are three six-pointed silver stars. These have been taken from the Arms of Pius VI who was Pope from 1775 to 1799, reigning at the time of the American Declaration of Independence.

The lower left quarter, also in red, has three five-pointed stars, adapted from the Arms of George Washington.

The final quarter, in blue, features a winged man’s head, an ancient symbol for St. Matthew the Evangelist for whom the Washington Catholic Cathedral is named.

The right half of the device, the personal one of the prelate, is red with an upper section in silver. These are the colors of the Arms of the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan. The reference is to the twenty-two years during which the Michigan-born James Hickey served as a priest of the Saginaw diocese, from 1946 to 1968, first as newly ordained, and finally as Auxiliary Bishop.

The right half of the shield (the “sinister impalement”) is divided into two sections. The shorter upper part features two griffins facing one another on either side of a black “cross crosslet” (a cross whose extremeties terminate in crosses). The griffins’ heads, in red are drawn from the Arms of branches of the Ryan family. The reference is to the prelate’s mother. Her maiden name was Agnes Ryan. The cross crosslet was taken from the arms of Lord Cleveland, a reminder of the prelate’s tenure as Bishop Cleveland, Ohio, 1973-1980.

Dominating the lower part of the right impalement is a golden lion, a feature of Arms of branches of the Hickey family.

After the original work of the Hickey and Washington coats of arms was done by William J.F. Ryan, the combination of the two was accomplished in June 1980 by Anthony W.C. Phelps of Cleveland.