Chicago native Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington DC, named a cardinal by Pope Francis

Chicago native Wilton Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., was named a cardinal by Pope Francis on Sunday, becoming the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat.

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said 13 churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory was born in 1947 in Chicago to Wilton Sr. and Ethel Duncan Gregory. He attended St. Carthage Grammar School, where he converted to Catholicism. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College (now St. Joseph’s College Seminary) of Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.

Greogy was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1973, and three years after his ordination began graduate studies at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome. There he earned his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

After having served as an associate pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview, as a member of the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and as a master of ceremonies to Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1983.

In 1994, he was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, where he served for the next eleven years.

In 2004, Pope Saint John Paul II appointed Bishop Gregory as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Pope Francis appointed him as the seventh Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2019.