Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Milestones Highlight Archbishop’s Long Career

Published January 13, 2005


June 22: Most Rev. John F. Donoghue named fifth Archbishop of Atlanta by Pope John Paul II.

Aug. 19: Archbishop Donoghue installed as archbishop.

Sept. 30: Archbishop Donoghue publishes first pastoral letter, “A Call To Respect Life.”


April 13: Archbishop Donoghue installs Bishop William J. Curlin as bishop of Diocese of Charlotte.

April 14: Pope John Paul II issues the instruction that girls can be altar servers.

June 5: Perpetual adoration chapel established at Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta.

June 29: Archbishop Donoghue receives pallium from Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy.

Sept. 11: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Church, Atlanta, celebrates 125th anniversary.

Nov. 17: Atlanta’s Gift of Grace House, an AIDS hospice run by the Missionaries of Charity, opens.


Jan. 23: Despite snow, 2,000 people attend the March for Life in downtown Atlanta.

Feb. 7: Bishop J. Kevin Boland is announced as new bishop of Savannah.

March 6: Archbishop Donoghue introduces Project Aware in a pastoral letter.

March 17: Archbishop Donoghue serves as grand marshal of St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Atlanta.

April 19: Federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., is bombed.

June 12: Mother Teresa of Calcutta visits Atlanta.

July 23: Shrine of the Immaculate Conception hosts “World of Welcome,” marking the official beginning of local Catholic involvement in 1996 Olympic Games.


January: Archbishop Donoghue calls for Eucharistic Renewal in the archdiocese.

April 15: President Bill Clinton vetoes partial-birth abortion ban. Archbishop Donoghue urges Catholics to respond.

May 11: Several Atlanta Catholics die in the crash of Valujet Flight 592 in Florida.

June 9: Over 1,000 people attend Mass celebrating the opening of Eucharistic Renewal in the archdiocese at Holy Spirit Church.

July: The 1996 summer Olympic Games are held in Atlanta.

July 28: Archbishop Donoghue celebrates Mass for Olympic athletes and coaches in the Olympic Village, the day after a bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta.

Dec. 2: Archbishop Donoghue is the principal celebrant at a memorial Mass for Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, who served as an auxiliary bishop in Atlanta from 1966-68.


Jan. 16: Archbishop Donoghue condemns bombing of Atlanta Northside Family Planning Services.

Feb. 23: Archbishop Donoghue dedicates the Donnellan School, Atlanta.

March: Archdiocese announces sites for five new Catholic schools.

March 21: Archdiocese begins $50 million “Building the Church of Tomorrow” capital campaign.

June 1: 4,000 attend the first anniversary of Eucharistic Renewal held at Atlanta Civic Center.

July: Archbishop Donoghue attends “town hall” meeting with Catholic young adults at Holy Cross Church, Atlanta.

Sept. 5: Mother Teresa of Calcutta dies. Archbishop Donoghue celebrates Mass at Gift of Grace House a few hours after her death.

Sept. 5: RENEW 2000 launched in archdiocese.

Sept. 16-19: Archbishop Donoghue visits archdiocesan seminarians studying in Mexico.

Oct. 17: Archbishop Donoghue presides at funeral Mass for John Richard Sowa, an Atlanta police officer killed in the line of duty, at Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta.

Oct. 21: Archbishop Donoghue celebrates funeral Mass for archdiocesan benefactor and chairman of the board of Coca-Cola, Robert Goizueta, at Holy Spirit Church.

Oct. 31: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of orthodox Christians worldwide, visits Atlanta and leads a service at Centennial Olympic Park.

Nov. 24: Archbishop Donoghue breaks ground for new Pinecrest Academy facility in Cumming.


March 15-26: Archbishop Donoghue makes ad limina visit to the Vatican.

May: Midtown Hospital, Georgia’s largest abortion provider, is shut down after deplorable conditions are documented.

June 3: Archbishop Donoghue breaks ground for Our Lady of Victory School, Tyrone.

June 14: Eucharistic Renewal celebrates second anniversary at Cathedral of Christ the King.

July 17: Archbishop Donoghue breaks ground for Holy Redeemer School, Alpharetta, and Queen of Angels School, Roswell.

July 31-Aug. 2: Archbishop Donoghue presides at Mass for first Steubenville Atlanta Conference at Sun Valley Beach, Powder Springs.

Oct. 13: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims pack the 90-acre Conyers farm of Nancy Fowler for last alleged apparition of the Blessed Mother.


Jan. 29: Archbishop Donoghue breaks ground for Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell.

Jan. 29: Archbishop Donoghue elevates Latin Mass community of St. Francis de Sales to parish level.

March 2: Archbishop Donoghue breaks ground for Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fairburn.

April 5-6: Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, visits the archdiocese.

June 6: The third anniversary of Eucharistic Renewal is held at Holy Spirit Church.

Sept. 8: Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu visits Atlanta.

Sept. 16: Three new archdiocesan elementary schools open.

Sept. 29: Archbishop Donoghue installs Bishop Robert Baker as bishop of the Diocese of Charleston.

Oct. 18: Archbishop Donoghue dedicates Lyke House Catholic Center—Atlanta University Center.

Nov. 7: Georgians celebrate historic Catholic-Lutheran agreement, “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.”


Jan. 1: Archbishop Donoghue celebrates holy hour, 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., to mark the Jubilee year.

April 27: Archbishop Donoghue names Father Paul Reynolds and Msgr. R. Donald Kiernan vicars general of the archdiocese.

June 25: Archbishop Donoghue kicks off “Come to Me,” an evangelization effort aimed at bringing lapsed Catholics back to the church on Corpus Christi Sunday.

August: Archbishop Donoghue restructures the department of education for the archdiocese, separating the Department of Religious Education from the Office of Catholic Schools.

September: Archdiocese begins requiring catechists to take a course dealing with child abuse.

Sept. 5: Archbishop Donoghue writes letters to the editors of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, condemning full-page ad published in the Faith and Values section, attacking the Catholic Church. The newspaper’s publisher later apologizes.

Sept. 8: Archbishop Donoghue presides at Mass for Dom M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, the new abbot at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers.

Oct. 1: Archbishop Donoghue celebrates Mass in honor of the canonization of St. Katharine Drexel at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Atlanta.

Oct. 2: Archbishop Donoghue speaks at a press conference, apologizing for “deplorable” conditions at Crescent Hills Apartments, where Catholic Social Services had placed refugee families. The families are relocated.

November: Archbishop Donoghue encourages priests to speak out against the death penalty for Moratorium 2000.

Nov. 12: Former Atlanta Archbishop Eugene Marino, SSJ, dies of a heart attack.

December: Archbishop Donoghue establishes a Council of Deacons to serve as an advisory board and to provide communication for the permanent deacons within the archdiocese.


April 3: The archdiocese announces that it will create a regional school, St. Peter Claver, on the campus of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Decatur. Funding for Our Lady of Lourdes School and St. Anthony School is left to their respective parishes.

May 30: Eleven students graduate from St. Anthony School, and the school closes its doors.

July: Despite intense efforts by parents and the school community to raise the money needed to keep it open, Our Lady of Lourdes School closes.

September: Plans are underway for St. George Village, a retirement community in Roswell.

Sept. 11: The archbishop and the rest of the world mourn the thousands of lives lost in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Oct. 8: Archbishop Donoghue writes a letter encouraging Catholics to respond to the terrorist attacks with prayer and generosity.


January: The Office for the Ministry With Persons With Disabilities is created in the archdiocese.

January: The sacrament of confirmation will be routinely administered to students in 10th grade under new sacramental guidelines released this month.

March 26: Amid widespread sexual abuse allegations of Catholic priests around the country, Archbishop Donoghue affirms priests of the archdiocese at the annual Chrism Mass.

April 2: The archdiocese makes public a summary of all claims of sexual abuse of adolescent boys made against priests assigned to the Archdiocese of Atlanta since 1989.

April: Results of the first-ever survey of Hispanics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta are published.

April 30: Archbishop Donoghue stands with other bishops of the Province of Atlanta in recommending a policy of “zero-tolerance” regarding priests who have a confirmed or proven allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor child.

June 1: As many as 10,000 attend the Eucharistic Congress at the Georgia International Convention Center, College Park.

June 9: Patriarch Gregory III, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, presides at a Pontifical Liturgy at St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church, Atlanta.

June 13-15: At a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Dallas, U.S. bishops overwhelmingly approved a “zero tolerance,” charter, which requires that any priest or deacon who has sexually abused a minor be permanently removed from ministry.

Aug. 12: A new elementary school, St. Catherine of Siena School, Kennesaw, opens its doors.

Sept. 11: Archbishop Donoghue is among many dignitaries attending an ecumenical service commemorating the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Sept. 26: Archbishop Donoghue writes letter urging Catholics to prayerfully consider their stance on the war in Iraq and to encourage their representatives to pursue alternatives.

Oct. 27: Archbishop Donoghue leads annual archdiocesan Rosary Rally, where Catholics pray the new “Luminous Mysteries” proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in honor of the Year of the Rosary.

Nov. 11-14: At the annual plenary meeting for bishops of the United States in Washington, a revised “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” and revised norms to implement the charter are overwhelmingly approved by the bishops and emphatically defended.

Nov. 18: Jeremiah’s Call, the archdiocese-wide campaign to help fund Georgia Right to Life pro-life television advertising, raises more than $131,000, exceeding its campaign goal of $100,000.


March: Archbishop Donoghue asks for peace and prayers during Lent as war with Iraq grows closer.

May: Archbishop Donoghue attends ceremonies for first graduating classes of Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, and Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fairburn.

May 28-30: Archdiocese of Atlanta hosts the Catholic Press Association convention.

June 21: 15-20,000 people attend the eighth annual Eucharistic Congress.

August: On his 75th birthday, Archbishop Donoghue, in accordance with canon law, submits his resignation to the Holy Father.

Aug. 1: A new policy goes into effect governing the archdiocese’s response to sex abuse charges involving church personnel.

September: Archdiocese threatens lawsuit against the Capilla de la Fe network of nine churches in Georgia that falsely claim to be Catholic.

Sept. 12: Archbishop Donoghue dedicates Msgr. Donovan High School, Athens.

Sept. 22: Four lay Catholics receive papal honors.

Oct. 24: A Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Atlanta, celebrates the beatification of Mother Teresa.

Dec. 22: Archbishop Donoghue and Bishop J. Kevin Boland meet at the State Capitol with Gov. Sonny Perdue for a historic meeting to discuss their support for the Faith and Family Services Amendment, which the governor later introduced at the 2004 session of the Georgia General Assembly.


January: The Archdiocese of Atlanta is judged as being in full compliance, according to an audit by The Gavin Group, a national organization charged with evaluating the progress of Catholic dioceses across the nation in following the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Feb. 19: Archbishop Donoghue writes letter urging Catholics to see Mel Gibson’s new movie “The Passion of the Christ.”

February: The Archdiocese of Atlanta announces the results of a quantitative analysis of the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy from 1950 to 2002.

March 27-25: Archbishop Donoghue makes his ad limina visit to Pope John Paul II.

April 8: Archbishop Donoghue makes a controversial directive in which he details that only 12 men in a parish community may participate in the foot-washing ceremony on Holy Thursday.

April 13: Archbishop Donoghue announces that three Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia will come to teach at St. Catherine of Siena School in Kennesaw.

June 12: A record number of people—over 23,000—gather at the Georgia International Convention Center for the ninth annual Eucharistic Congress.

July 11: Archbishop Donoghue presides at the abbatial blessing for new abbot Dom Francis Michael Stiteler, OCSO, at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

August: Archbishop Donoghue, Bishop Robert Baker and Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte, N.C., issue a statement that Catholic politicians who do not vote in compliance with teachings of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of human life should not receive Communion without receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.

October: Archbishop Donoghue and Bishop Boland issue joint letter urging Catholic voters to vote in favor of an amendment banning same sex marriage.

November: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development announces the distribution of $115,000 to support 20 projects that address the root causes of poverty in the Atlanta area.

Dec. 9: Pope John Paul II accepts Archbishop Donoghue’s resignation. Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., is named the sixth archbishop of Atlanta.