Cardinal Priest of St Prisca
Cardinal Rigali was born on 19 April 1935 in Los Angeles (USA), the youngest of seven children. One of his sisters is a nun, and one of his brothers is a Jesuit priest.
He studied in California before his ordination on 25 April 1961. He then undertook further studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and then attended the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome (the Church's elite school for diplomats).
He speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.
He began service in the English-language section of the Secretariat of State in 1964 and then served in the nunciature in Madagascar. He returned to Rome in 1970 where he was made Director of the English-language section. He also became Pope Paul VI's English translator, accompanying him on voyages to Iran, Dhaka, the Philippines, Australia, Samoa, American Samoa, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka. He also accompanied Pope John Paul II on several international trips, including his trips to the United States in 1979 and 1987.
He was chaplain to the cloistered Carmelite nuns in Rome for several years.
He became a member of the Order of the Knights of Malta on 25 October 1984 and of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre on 13 October 1986.
He was appointed President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy on 8 June 1985 and consecrated Archbishop of the titular see of Bolsena on 14 September 1985 by Pope John Paul II. He became Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops on 21 December 1989 and Secretary of the College of Cardinals on 2 January 1990.
He was appointed Archbishop of St Louis (USA) on 25 January 1994, and then transferred be Archbishop of Philadelphia (USA) on 15 July 2003.
Pope John Paul II elevated him to the College of Cardinals on 21 October 2003, with the title of St Prisca.