Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Archbishop John F. Donoghue Biographical Information

Published November 24, 2011

Archbishop Donoghue, 83, was a Catholic priest for 56 years and a bishop for 27 years. Appointed the fifth archbishop of Atlanta, he served for an 11-year period from August 1993 to December 2004, when Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation. He was ordained a bishop in December 1984 in Charlotte, N.C., and served as the bishop of Charlotte for nine years until June 1993.

Family Background: Archbishop Donoghue was born on Aug. 9, 1928, in Washington, D.C., to Daniel and Rose (Ryan) Donoghue, Irish immigrants who met and married in Washington. He was one of four brothers and is survived by his brother, Edward.

Education: Bachelor of arts in philosophy, 1951, St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Md.; graduate degree in theology, 1955, St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park, Md.; licentiate in canon law, 1966, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Ordained a Priest: June 4, 1955, by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle in Washington, D.C. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness by the pope in 1970 and a Prelate of Honor by the pope in 1971, recognitions which also conferred on him the title of monsignor. He served in the Office of the Archbishop in the Archdiocese of Washington for 18 years, under three successive cardinals, including 12 years as the vicar general of the Washington Archdiocese.

Ordained a Bishop: Dec. 18, 1984, by Bishop Michael Begley in Charlotte, N.C., when he was installed as the second bishop of Charlotte, N.C. He chose as his motto, “To live in Christ Jesus.”

Installed as Archbishop of Atlanta: Aug. 19, 1993, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta. Archbishop Donoghue was the fifth archbishop of Atlanta.

Retired as Archbishop of Atlanta: Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation on Dec. 9, 2004, when Archbishop Donoghue was 76. In retirement Archbishop Donoghue served as a parish priest at All Saints Church, Dunwoody, until late 2010.

Priestly Service: 1955-61, assistant pastor, St. Bernard Church, Riverdale, Md.; 1961-64, assistant pastor, Holy Face Church, Great Mills, Md.; 1964-66, canon law study at The Catholic University of America; 1966, licentiate in canon law awarded; 1966-72, secretary to the archbishop and vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; 1972-83, chancellor, vicar general and secretary for support services of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; 1984, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., until appointment as bishop of Charlotte, N.C.