Stunned Monsignor Parker prays ‘Thy will be done’ upon appointment as auxiliary bishop

By Christopher Gunty 

Throughout Monsignor Adam J. Parker’s priesthood, he has prayed “Thy will be done,” accepting where the Lord wants him to serve. He turned to that mantra again when Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, called to inform him Pope Francis had nominated him as an auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.

“I have to admit it took me a few moments where I just needed to sit down by myself here in the office and consider and pray about what had just happened,” Bishop-designate Parker told the Catholic Review a few days after he received the news.

Born Jan. 13, 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio, Adam John Parker is the son of George (now deceased) and Maureen Parker. He was raised in Severna Park, attending Severna Park High School.  

He spent a year at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., and received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Maryland, College Park.

He attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore for a year before completing seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, earning bachelor’s and licentiate degrees in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, also in Rome.

Monsignor Adam Parker (center) is pictured at the 2016 Chrism Mass, celebrated at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland. (CR File)
He served as associate pastor of St. Peter, Westernport, and St. Michael, Frostburg, 2001-2005. He was pastor of Church of the Ascension, Halethorpe, 2005-2007. He also served as associate director of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Team for the archdiocese, 2006-2007.

In 2007, Cardinal William H. Keeler appointed then-Father Parker as priest-secretary to Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, who had just been appointed the 15th archbishop of Baltimore, providing daily support to the archbishop. In 2012, when Archbishop O’Brien was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, based in Rome, and named a cardinal, Father Parker went with him as his secretary.

In a 2012 interview with the Catholic Review, he called the cardinal “a tremendous mentor.”

Monsignor Parker returned to the archdiocese in 2013 to become vice chancellor, and in July 2014 became vicar general and moderator of the curia, managing day-to-day activities of the Central Services of the archdiocese.  

Because of his duties at the Catholic Center upon his return from Rome, Bishop-designate Parker was not assigned to celebrate Mass at any one parish, but was in a different parish every weekend for several months. He eventually settled into the regular practice of celebrating one of the seven weekend Masses at Our Lady of the Fields Parish. The Millersville parish also happens to be the one in which he grew up.

“I would envision that is probably going to change now. While I’ll certainly miss being a regular at Our Lady of the Fields, I certainly won’t be a stranger there,” he said.

“Now, of course, in addition to my role as vicar general, as a vicar bishop, I would have the opportunity to do confirmations as well as other parish celebrations where a bishop might be invited,” the bishop-designate said. “My real desire is to have a real pastoral presence in the archdiocese in addition to my role here as vicar general and moderator of the curia.”

He said he is looking forward to continue living out his baptismal call as a disciple of Jesus Christ. “Now as a bishop, I’ll have the opportunity to accompany God’s people in a new and different way than I have up to the point of Jan. 19 (the date of his episcopal ordination), which is very exciting for me, especially at this moment where we as an archdiocese are really endeavoring to undergo the missionary conversion.” 


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.