His Excellency Edwin O’Brien Motto: Pastores Dabo Vobis “I will give you shepherds” –Jeremiah 3:15.
Pope Benedict XVI on Monday 29th August 2011 named Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, 72, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
He succeeded Cardinal John Foley. Archbishop O’Brien had served as Archbishop of Baltimore since October 1, 2007. Previously he had served as Grand Prior of the US Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy. He was elevated to the Sacred College in February 2012.
The Order enjoys the protection of the Holy See. The Vatican Secretariat of State, in the name of the Supreme Pontiff, approves all appointments and admissions to the Order.
Interview with Cardinal O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Edwin 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. 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. 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.