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Avery Cardinal Dulles: 50 Years in the Priesthood


Cardinal Dulles with principal concelebrantsAvery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham, celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday, May 25, in the University Church. He was ordained a priest by Francis Cardinal Spellman (a 1911 graduate of Fordham) in the University Church in 1956, and was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in February 2001.

“The religious life and the priesthood, both of which I celebrate today as my twofold calling, ought never to be seen in isolation,” Cardinal Dulles said during the homily. “Every vocation in the church, as Paul reminds us in Ephesians, is for the sake of the whole body, so that all God’s people together may attain to the fullness of Christ, each contributing in his or her own way.”

Cardinal Dulles was joined by seven principal concelebrants at the Mass: Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York; Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, former archbishop of Philadelphia; Peter L. Gerety, former archbishop of Newark; Daniel A. Hart, former bishop of Norwich; Frank J. Rodimer, former bishop of Paterson; Josu Iriondo, auxiliary bishop of New York; and Abbot Gabriel Gibbs of St. Benedict Abbey in Still River, Mass.

Cardinal Dulles is the author of more than 750 articles interpreting church doctrine and the papacy. He has published 22 books, including A Testimonial to Grace (Sheed and Ward, 1946, 1996), a memoir of his conversion to Catholicism. He is presently at work on two more books.

The son of former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Cardinal Dulles is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Croix de Guerre for his liaison work with the French navy during World War II, the Cardinal Spellman Award for distinguished achievement in theology and 38 honorary doctorates. He is past president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society. He will celebrate his 88th birthday on Aug. 24.

Read the related Summer 2001 FORDHAM magazine article: “Avery Dulles, S.J. American Theologian and Cardinal


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