Francis E. George was ordained a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on December 21, 1963, at St. Pascal Church in Chicago, by the Most Reverend Raymond P. Hillinger. He was granted a Bachelors in Theology from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 1964, and completed a Master of Arts in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, in 1965. From 1964 - 1967, he was an Instructor in philosophy at the Oblate Seminary at Pass Christian, MS.
Father George completed a doctorate (Ph.D.) in American philosophy at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1970, and he earned a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 1971. He also continued with his teaching assignments at Tulane University (1968 - 1969) and at Creighton University, Omaha, NE, (1969 - 1973). While at Creighton University, he served as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy.
Father George served as the Provincial Superior of the Midwestern U.S. Province for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St. Paul, MN, from 1973 - 1974. He was elected Vicar General for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1974, and served in that capacity in Rome until 1986. He earned a second doctorate degree in 1988. He was awarded a Sacred Theology Doctorate (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical University Urbaniana, Rome.
He was appointed the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Yakima, WA, on July 10, 1990, by Pope John Paul II. His installation took place at Holy Family Church in Yakima on September 21, 1990. Bishop George was appointed the ninth Archbishop of Portland in Oregon on April 30, 1996, by Pope John Paul II with his installation taking place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on May 27, 1996.
George was known for his work on behalf of people with disabilities and
served as the Episcopal Moderator and member of the Board of the National
Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities. Archbishop George
spent his eleven months in the Archdiocese of Portland visiting parishes,
meeting and listening to parishioners.
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Shortly before Archbishop George was appointed to Portland, the Archdiocese learned that the Lane County jail tape recorded a priest hearing the Sacramental Confession of an inmate. Once he was installed, Archbishop George led the Archdiocese's response to this incident. On January 29, 1997, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tape recording was an unconstitutional and illegal act.
Pope John Paul II, catching most people by surprise, appointed Archbishop
George to the vacant See of Chicago on April 8, 1997. Archbishop
said, I accept this appointment as I have others, with confidence in God's
Providence and hope for the future. Archbishop George was installed as
the Archbishop of Chicago on May 7, 1997. Archbishop George was elevated
to the honor of Cardinal on February 21, 1998 by Pope John Paul II.
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