About John Cardinal Foley


The chair in Homiletics & Social Communications is named in honor of His Eminence John Cardinal Foley (1935-2011). 


full biographical data


A graduate of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1962.  After having earned a doctoral degree from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome), he completed a master’s degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.  He taught at Cardinal Dougherty High School and at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.  He served in editorial roles for the archdiocesan newspaper (The Catholic Standard & Times) for nearly twenty years, and as news secretary for meetings of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for fifteen years.  He was appointed by Pope John Paul II as President of the Pontifical Commission (now Council) for Social Communications in 1984 and was consecrated a bishop that same year.  Beginning in 1984 (until 2009), he was known the world over as the English voice of the papal midnight Mass at Christmas.  He served at the Pontifical Council until 2007, when Pope Benedict XVI named him pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  He was created a cardinal in the consistory of November 2007.

click on the links below to learn about his legacy

   tribute by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli
   President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

   reflection by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
   C.E.O. of the Salt & Light Catholic Media Foundation

   "A loving remembrance of John Cardinal Foley" (35 links)

VIDEOS about Cardinal Foley
(click on the image to view)


   (28 min.)   Witness
   (5  min.)   Looking Back & Ahead

   (5 min.)   Perspectives
   (3 min.)   Life of Work

   (6 min.)  Baccalaureate homily, Franciscan University

   (5 min.)   acceptance of Paul VI Award for Catechetics

   (2 min.)   conversation about the Catholicism project
   (10 min.)   "Good Night, Sweet Prince" ... tribute by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.
   (2  min.)   Funeral ... Letter from Pope Benedict XVI

   (14 min.)   Funeral ... Homily by Archbishop Timothy Dolan (link to text)

   (4 min.)   Funeral ... Remarks by Archbishop Charles Chaput
   (123 min. )  Funeral ... complete coverage

   (7 min.)  Funeral ... summary