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Mercy Medallion



John Cardinal Dearden succeeded Edward C. Mooney as Archbishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit. During the course of his work in the Detroit community Cardinal Dearden was an instrumental force in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. He instituted the Archdiocesan “Liberty and Justice For All” Program to reflect on justice in our times and make recommendations to the Bishops of the United States for developing church policy designed to remove injustice for the world. He also instituted a major decentralization program to reorganize the Archdiocese into four regions and was personally responsible for shifting Archdiocesan funds to greater use for the poor.
Cardinal Dearden was born in Rhode Island in 1907 and attended Catholic schools there. His theological training was at St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland, and the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. Here he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1932 and began his ministry as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish, Painesville, Ohio. He came to Detroit in 1958 as Archbishop and was named Cardinal on April 28, 1969.
Cardinal Dearden served on the Administrative Board of National Catholic Welfare Conference and as Chairman of the Youth Department of the NCWC. He acted as Chairman of the Bishop’s Committee of the Liturgy, held various posts at the Second Vatican Council and was elected first President of the National Council of Catholic Bishop. In 1972, he instituted the Archdiocesan-wide education program: “Church, World and Kingdom” He served as Chairman of the NCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Observance of the Bicentennial, culminating in the Call to Action Conference held in Detroit in 1976. As Cardinal he was present as part of the conclave which elected Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II, He was recently reappointed a member of the Sacred Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship. Cardinal Dearden has received honorary doctoral degrees from various institutions, including University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, University of Detroit, Wayne Sate University, and University of Louvain, Belgium. Although Cardinal Dearden retired as Archbishop of Detroit in 1980, he remains an active religious leader in the Detroit community.
Award was presented at the Works of Mercy Dinner, 1985.

Mercy College of Detroit

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