Archbishop Wilton Gregory takes questions from the press during a Dec. 9 press conference announcing him as the new archbishop of Atlanta. (Photo by Michael Alexander, The Georgia Bulletin 12/16/04)
Announcement at Sixth Archbishop of Atlanta Press Conference Statement
Catholic Center, Atlanta Thursday, December 9, 2004
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today I accept the appointment of Pope John Paul II to become the Sixth Archbishop of Atlanta with profound gratitude for the confidence he has placed in me. I consider it a particular grace to follow the careful and generous pastoral service of Archbishop John F. Donoghue and I look forward to working with him and learning from him. I am pleased to become a loyal citizen of Atlanta and a proud resident of the State of Georgia.
I leave the Diocese of Belleville in Illinois with deep gratitude for the support and collaboration of the extraordinary people of that local Church during these past 11 years. I enter this new assignment eager to learn about the people of the Archdiocese, to listen to their dreams and aspirations, and above all to encourage all of us toward a deeper love for Jesus Christ. I promise to work collaboratively with all of the citizens of this great community and to learn to reverence the rich traditions and heritage of all its people. I willingly place all my talents and energy at the disposal of the Catholic Church in Atlanta and I begin this new responsibility with humble and total reliance on God’s Grace and under the watchful patronage of Mary, according to two of her titles: her Immaculate Heart, Patroness of both the Diocese of Belleville and the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of America. I now welcome your questions.