The Archdiocese of Baltimore has been enormously blessed by the priestly and episcopal ministry of Bishop Fran Malooly. His long service and friendly demeanor have endeared him to so many in our Archdiocese, especially the faithful of the Western Vicariate. News of his appointment to the See of Wilmington leaves us all with mixed emotions: happiness for a well-earned honor bestowed on him today by our Holy Father, and sadness for the great sense of loss we will all feel by his departure.
For over 38 years, Bishop Fran has zealously and graciously served the people of this local Church in so many ways. As a newly-ordained priest, the St. Mary’s Seminary graduate served as an associate at St. Joseph in Cockeysville (1970-76) and then at St. Anthony of Padua in Northeast Baltimore (1976-1981). Father Malooly’s outstanding work with young people at St. Anthony caught the eye of Archbishop William Borders, who appointed him Associate Administrator at the Sparks CYO Retreat House in 1981 before naming him Administrator there just one year later. Excelling in this ministry, Father Malooly would be asked to take on a new challenge in 1984 when he was appointed Director of Clergy Personnel. In 1989, Father Malooly was appointed Chancellor and Vicar General of the Archdiocese, as well as Moderator of the Curia. One year later, he was named Prelate of Honor to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor.
On March 1, 2001 in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Cardinal William H. Keeler ordained Monsignor Malooly an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and appointed him to the concurrent position of Western Vicar.
In every position of responsibility Bishop Malooly consistently approached the task at hand efficiently, gracefully and humbly. Few know this Archdiocese as well as he. I witnessed this first hand over the past year and I am personally grateful for his dedicated service and most especially for his unwavering and supportive friendship. His seasoned, prudent counsel will be missed by so many of us.
It will come as no surprise to those who know him that Bishop Malooly’s episcopal motto is “Rejoice in the Lord.” With a bit of sadness for our own loss, we all rejoice today for Bishop Malooly, for the Church in Wilmington, and for all who have been touched by the ministry of a holy priest and bishop.