Cardinal Joseph BernardinCardinal Joseph Bernardin was born on April 2,1928, in Columbia, SouthCarolina. He was son of Mrs. Marie M. Simon Bernardin, and the late JosephBernardin.
Cardinal Bernardin attended Catholic and public schools and theUniversity of South Carolina in Columbia. He was later accepted as a candidatefor the priesthood by Most Rev. John J. Russell, then Bishop of Charleston.
Hestudied at the following Colleges: St. Mary’s, St. Mary, Kentucky, St. MarySeminary, Baltimore, Maryland, where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree inphilosophy.Order now
He also attended the Catholic University of America, Washington D. C. where he received the Master of Arts degree in Education in 1952. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John J. Russell on April26,1952, in St. Joseph Church, Columbia.
His administrative skills wereimmediately recognized. During his 14 years in the Diocese of Charleston, heserved under four bishops in many capacities, including the officed ofchancellor, vicar general, diocesan consular, and administrator of the diocese. On March 9,1966, Pope Paul VI appointed Msgr. Bernardin Auxiliary Bishopof Atlanta. In doing this he became the youngest Bishop in the county. On July10,1982, Pope John Paul II reappointed Archbishop Bernardin to Archbishop ofChicago.
His installation took at Holy Name Cathedral on August 25,1982. LaterArchbishop Bernardin went to the College of Cardinals. On February 2,1983 hereceived his “red hat. “On September 9,1996 President Clinton awarded Cardinal Bernardin thePresidential Medal of Freedom. In presenting the Metal, the President citedCardinal Bernardin’s work on behalf of racial equality and arms control andnoted he has been a persistent voice for moderation.
Cardinal Bernardin wasChancellor of the Catholic Extension Society and the University of St. Mary ofthe Lake,Mundelein,IL. He is a founding member and Vice-Chairman of the Religious AllianceAgainst Pornography. In the more recent years before his death, he was a memberof the Catholic Charities USA National Development Task Force and the Board ofTrustees of the Catholic Health Association as well as chairman of the ad hocCommittee on the Structure and function of the NCCB/USCC. Cardinal Bernardin received numerous honorary doctorates from collegesand universities in the US and Europe. Cardinal Bernardin’s extensive writingstouch open a variety of topics, religious, moral and social.
One of these isthe famous and challenging Consistent Ethic of Life, a collection of ten majoraddresses on the topic of the “Consistent Ethic.”He touched us all!