a gregory meyer

Albert Gregory Meyer

Albert Gregory Cardinal Meyer (March 9, 1903April 9, 1965) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Chicago from 1958 to 1965, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1959.


Albert Meyer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the third son of Peter and Mathilda (née Thelen) Meyer, who were German immigrants. One of his sisters was a nun. His father was also a grocer, and as a child, Albert would pretend to say Mass with a toy altar and a glass of water for the chalice of wine. After attending St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Meyer traveled to Rome to study at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He was ordained to the priesthood by Basilio Cardinal Pompilj on July 11, 1926, and obtained a doctorate in Holy Scriptures in 1930 from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. Upon returning to the United States, he did pastoral work in Waukesha for a year, and then began to teach religion, Greek, Latin, Christian archeology, dogmatic theology and Holy Scriptures at his alma mater of St. Francis Seminary, of which he became rector in 1937. Meyer was raised to the rank of Monsignor on February 14, 1938.

On February 18, 1946, he was appointed the sixth Bishop of Superior by Pope Pius XII. Meyer received his episcopal consecration on the following April 11 from Archbishop Moses Kiley, with Bishops Aloysius Muench and William O'Connor serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. He was promoted to the seventh Archbishop of Milwaukee on July 21, 1953 before being named the fifth Archbishop of Chicago on September 19, 1958.

Despite skepticism, Meyer was created Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia by Pope John XXIII in the consistory of December 14, 1959. He later participated at the first three sessions of the Second Vatican Council, from 1962 to 1964, and sat on its Board of Presidency. During the Council, Meyer showed himself to be of liberal tendencies and was viewed as the chief intellectual among the participating American hierarchy. The scholarly and often shy prelate supported religious liberty, but strongly condemned racism, giving speeches alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and warning his clergy "not to foster the flame of racial hatred". Meyer was also one of the cardinal electors in the 1963 papal conclave, which selected Pope Paul VI.

He served as Archbishop of Chicago until his death from a heart attack after an operation to remove a malignant brain tumor in Mercy Hospital, at age 62. He is buried in the cemetery of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.

Meyer, an occasional fisher, once called fishing the "apostolic recreation", and was also known to attend a Milwaukee Braves baseball game.

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