He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 6, 1950, the eldest of the five children of Robert and Shirley Dolan. He attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and, later, Cardinal Glennon College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
In 1972, he was sent for theological studies to Rome where he resided at the Pontifical North American College and earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Thomas.
On June 19, 1976, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and for the next three years served as a curate in the Immacolata parish in Richmond Heights, Missouri. From 1979 to 1983, he studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a doctorate in Church history with a dissertation on the life of Archbishop Edwin V. O’Hara of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri.
From 1983 to 1987, he was a curate first at the Cure of Ars parish and later at Little Flower parish, both in St. Louis; and from 1983 to 1992, he worked in the office of the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C., as secretary of the Nunciature.
In 1992, he was appointed vice rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis and, in 1994, was named rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
On August 15, 2001, he was consecrated an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis; and on June 25, 2002, he was named Archbishop of Milwaukee by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.
His name is His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan; and today, February 23, 2009, the Holy See announced that he has been appointed Archbishop of New York by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. On April 15, 2009, he will be installed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Archbishop Dolan since the early 1990s and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pontifical North American College when he was named rector in 1994. We worked together; and I came to recognize him as a gifted writer, excellent preacher and a warm, wise and devout priest of Jesus Christ.
Some time ago, when I learned that the Archbishop would be assigned to New York, I wrote him a letter that said in part: "Heartfelt congratulations! The Holy Father has chosen well, and the People of God of the Archdiocese of New York are awaiting you with open arms."
Archbishop Dolan has told me how pleased he is to be coming to New York. He knows many of our clergy, religious and laity, and looks forward to being the spiritual shepherd of us all. I have assured him that he is in my prayers and in the prayers and hearts of all of us in the 10 counties of the State of New York that the Archdiocese serves.
Welcome, Archbishop Dolan! We look forward to being instructed in the faith by you, led in prayer by you and guided in the works of justice, charity and peace by you throughout the years that lie ahead. May they be for you and for all of us years filled with every grace and blessing.
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York