By Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer | Published December 9, 2014
Ten years ago today the late Archbishop John F. Donoghue stood at the podium on the first floor of the old Chancery on West Peachtree in Midtown Atlanta, where he conducted an afternoon press conference to announce his successor, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.
The press conference took place on a Thursday. In those days The Georgia Bulletin was a weekly publication, and since our next issue would be published the following Thursday, we were in full reporting mode.
As the two editors, Mary Anne Castranio and Gretchen Keiser, and the two staff writers, Erika Anderson and Priscilla Greear, were reporting on that moment and the days to follow, I was trying to capture images of the unfolding events. We had to complete the stories and photos in a timely fashion, because not only were we trying to meet our own deadlines, but the Catholic News Service, the wire service for the Catholic press, was also waiting on our stories and photos. The announcement of Atlanta’s sixth archbishop and the additional reporting appeared across 13 pages of the Dec. 16, 2004, issue.
What is Archbishop Gregory doing today to mark the occasion? I’m not sure what he’s doing privately, but when we caught up with him earlier today he was leading an Advent Day of Reflection for the priests of the archdiocese at the Chancery in Smyrna. Unbeknownst to the archbishop, when the group reconvened after lunch, the priests presented him with a cake, decorated with his coat of arms, and a gift.