Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle (1896-1987)

Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle (1896-1987) August 10, 2009

Born in Scranton to Irish immigrants, Patrick Aloysius O’Boyle studied at St. Thomas College (now the University of Scranton) before studying at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New Yotk in 1921, he studied at the New York School of Social Work, followed by a career with Catholic Charities. In 1941 he was named a Monsignor and in 1947 director of Charities.In 1947 he was named Archbishop of Washington. In 1967, he was named a Cardinal (along with Archbishop Karol Wojtyła of Kraków (the future Pope John Paul II).In 1973, O’Boyle resigned as Washington’s archbishop after twenty-five years of service. Known for his opposition to racism, he led the way to desegregation of the American school system by racially-integrating the Catholic schools of Washington years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional. O’Boyle was also an ardent supporter of Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, and placed ecclesiastical censures on priests who dissented from its teachings. He died in Washington, D.C., at age 91. (In this 1958 photo, Archbishop O’Boyle is seen at Georgetown University with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Georgetown President Father Edward Bunn, S.J.)

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