His Eminence, Edmund Casimir Szoka became archbishop of Detroit at the appointment of Pope John Paul II in 1981. Prior to heading the Archdiocese of Detroit, Cardinal Szoka had been named the first-ever bishop of Gaylord, Mich.
Cardinal Szoka was instrumental in organizing the Holy See’s visit to Detroit in 1986 marking the first time in history a pope had visited Michigan. During the visit, Pope John Paul II visited Sacred Heart Seminary and the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, drawing thousands of pilgrims to the region.
The pope elevated then-Archbishop Szoka to cardinal in 1988. Two years later, Pope John Paul II called on Cardinal Szoka to join him at the Vatican as Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and later to serve in several governmental positions including president of Vatican City State.
Cardinal Szoka was born in Grand Rapids and later moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Marquette in 1954. He retired from active ministry in 2006.
Born: Sep. 14, 1927 (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Ordained Priest (Marquette): June 5, 1954
Appointed First Bishop of Gaylord: June 11, 1971
Ordained and Installed Bishop of Gaylord: July 20, 1971
Appointed Eighth Ordinary and Third Archbishop of Detroit: March 21, 1981
Installed Archbishop of Detroit: May 17, 1981
Created Cardinal Priest of SS. Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Cielo, Roma: June 28, 1988
Appointed President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See: April 28, 1990
Appointed President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State: Oct. 15, 1997
Appointed President of Vatican City State: Feb. 22, 2001
Resigned: Sept. 15, 2006
Auxiliary Bishops ordained under Szoka
Bishop Moses Bosco Anderson
Bishop Patrick Ronald Cooney
Bishop Dale Joseph Melczek