Bishop’s world of experience

Ordination: The Rev. Denis J. Madden has worked in the Middle East, Africa, India and parts of Eastern Europe.
By Matthew Hay Brown
Sun Staff

Originally published August 24, 2005


For nearly two decades, the Rev. Denis J. Madden has worked in some of the most difficult places on earth.

As Jerusalem director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and then as second-in-charge of the agency, the conflict-resolution specialist tiptoed through the minefield of political, religious and ethnic sensitivities that is the modern Middle East.

The experience should prove useful to him in his return to Baltimore.

Madden, 65, a licensed clinical psychologist and Benedictine priest, is to be ordained bishop today during Mass at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen. He will serve under Cardinal William H. Keeler as auxiliary bishop and urban vicar, overseeing 50 parishes in Baltimore as well as archdiocesan schools and hospitals.

As associate secretary general of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Madden traveled regularly to the Middle East, Africa, India and parts of Eastern Europe to coordinate support for clergy, assistance to the poor, and the upkeep of schools and clinics.

Now he turns his attention to the urban portion of a multicultural archdiocese, where about half of Catholics are black and the Hispanic population is growing. It also is a city with large Jewish and Protestant populations.

Maher Turjman says Madden is up to the challenge.

“He is a respectful person — he listens well to people,” said Turjman, who succeeded Madden in Jerusalem as regio