Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan Biography

February 15, 2012 at 7:33am

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

Archbishop of New York

President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Timothy Michael Dolan was born February 6, 1950, in St. Louis, the first of five children born to Shirley Radcliffe Dolan and the late Robert Dolan. He studied at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury, Missouri, and Cardinal Glennon College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome and earned a license in sacred theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas.


He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on June 19, 1976. He served in parish ministry until 1979, when he began his studies for a doctorate in American Church History at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He returned to St. Louis and parish ministry in 1983 and also served as the liaison to Archbishop John L. May in restructuring the college and theology programs of the archdiocesan seminary system.


From 1987-1992, he served in the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, followed by two years as vice-rector at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. In 1994, he was made a monsignor.


From 1994-2001, he served as rector of the Pontifical North American College. While in Rome, he served as visiting professor of Church history at the Pontifical Gregorian University and as a faculty member in the Department of Ecumenical Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.


Pope John Paul II named him an auxiliary bishop of St. Louis on June 19, 2001, and he was consecrated a bishop on August 15 of that year by then-Archbishop Justin Rigali. He chose for his episcopal motto: Ad Quem Ibimus, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:68)


He was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee on June 25, 2002, and installed on August 28 of that year.

On February 23, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him archbishop of New York, succeeding Cardinal Edward Egan upon his retirement. He was installed on April 15.

From 2009-2010, Archbishop Dolan served as the U.S. bishops’ moderator of Jewish affairs and the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services.


On November 16, 2010, he was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In 2011, he was appointed a member of the newly-formed Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


On February 18, 2012, he was elevated to the College of Cardinals.


Sources: USCCB archives, Archdiocese of New York