Baltimore bishops reacted positively July 12 to news of the appointment of Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien as Baltimore’s 15th archbishop, describing the new leader as “a good shepherd in the sense that he will be a good teacher, a good pastor of souls.”
“I’m just so happy that our Holy Father has called him to be the archbishop here,” said Bishop Denis J. Madden, urban vicar, of the archbishop of U.S. Military Services. He first met the New York native while working at the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
“Archbishop O’Brien is a man of balance, and he’s very knowledgeable about theology and the realities of people’s lives,” said retired Archbishop William D. Borders, who has known the incoming archbishop for many years. “His background in parish work and in the military has given him a broad understanding of people and their practice of religion and as citizens of the United States.”
According to Bishop W. Francis Malooly, western vicar, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has a relationship with the military ordinariate where some men who are ordained for Baltimore serve in the military, like Father Daniel Goulet who was ordained in June.
“We have always had a close relationship with the military ordinariate,” said Bishop Malooly, who has known Archbishop O’Brien since becoming a bishop of Baltimore in 2001. He said when the two attend baseball games, he roots for the Orioles while Archbishop O’Brien roots for “some other team that I’m not going to mention,” said Bishop Malooly with a chuckle.
Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, eastern vicar, has met the new archbishop through various meetings and conferences. He said that Archbishop O’Brien often exclaims how grateful he is for Baltimore’s support of the chaplaincy.
“I know that he has given many, many years in service both as chaplain and as archbishop to the Military Services,” said Bishop Rozanski. “It has to be a bittersweet day for him but it is a great joy to welcome him, and I think he will continue the wonderful tradition that we have of our Baltimore archbishops.”
Retired Bishop William C. Newman first met Archbishop O’Brien when he was rector of the seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
“He’s very well qualified. I’m happy also for Cardinal Keeler so that he can sort of catch his breath,” said Bishop Newman. “He’s done a great job and he has a great legacy, and he’s really extended the great history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.”
Archbishop O’Brien’s quick “New York wit” is what captured the attention of Bishop Madden, who said the new archbishop is a “fine man.”
“It’s a blessing for us and it’s a fine tribute to the cardinal to assure the many good works that the cardinal has begun in this archdiocese; Archbishop O’Brien will continue those and inaugurate his own as well,” said Bishop Madden. While Bishop Rozanski added, “It was a special privilege today for me and especially touching to see both Archbishop Borders and Cardinal Keeler here along with our new archbishop.”