George Joseph Lucas
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|The Most Reverend
George Joseph Lucas
George Joseph Lucas (born June 12, 1949) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fifth and current Archbishop of Omaha, having previously served as Bishop of Springfield in Illinois from 1999 to 2009.
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Early life and education
George Lucas was born in St. Louis, Missouri, as the eldest of the four children of George and Mary (née Kelly) Lucas; he has one sister, Catherine, and two brothers, James and John. He attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South from 1963 to 1967, and then Cardinal Glennon College until 1971, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Lucas studied theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary from 1971 to 1975.
Ordination and ministry
Lucas was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Carberry on May 24, 1975. He then served as associate pastor of St. Justin Martyr Church in Sunset Hills until 1980, and of St. Dismas Church in Florissant until 1981. Whilst part-time associate pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in St. Louis (1981-1984) and of Ascension Church in Normandy (1984-1986), Lucas furthered his studies at St. Louis University from 1982 to 1986, there earning his Master's degree in History. He was a professor (1981-1987) and vice-principal (1982-1987) at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary North as well.
Lucas was also part-time associate pastor at St. Ann Church in Normandy (1986-1989) and St. Peter Church in Kirkwood (1989-1990). In 1987, he began teaching at the newly merged St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, becoming its Dean of Students that same year.
From 1990 to 1994, he served as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and private secretary to Archbishop John May. Lucas was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness on September 5, 1994, and was vicar general of St. Louis for a year before becoming rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 1995. He was a member of the Priests' Personnel Board of St. Louis from 1987 to 1990, being named its Secretary in 1988. He also sat on the editorial board of the archdiocesan newspaper The St. Louis Review (1988-1999), the Board of Directors (1990-1995) and Board of Trustees (1990-1999) of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and the Council of Priests of St. Louis (1994-1999).
Bishop of Springfield, Illinois
On October 19, 1999, Lucas was appointed the eighth Bishop of Springfield by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 14 from Francis Cardinal George, OMI, with Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera and Bishop Daniel L. Ryan serving as co-consecrators.
Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska
On June 3, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named Lucas the fifth Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska. He succeeded Elden Francis Curtiss, and was installed at St. Cecilia Cathedral on July 22, 2009, by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to the United States. In attendance was Archbishop Emeritus Curtiss (his predecessor in Omaha), and Their Eminences, Cardinals Francis Eugene George, OMI (of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the metropolitan see of Illinois, where Archbishop Lucas's previous post was) and Justin Francis Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (he had been Archbishop Lucas's superior when Lucas was a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis). As Archbishop, Lucas serves as the spiritual leader of 220,000 Catholics in Nebraska.
Archbishop Lucas suppressed the Association of the Faithful titled "Intercessors of the Lamb" in October 2010 after the civil board "Intercessors, Inc." opposed his request for reforms. This came after the initial report of a canonical visitation conducted by Father James Conn, a noted Canon Lawyer. The visit was a necessary step after a request by the founder, Nadine Brown, to have the group made a full religious institute. Many discrepancies and issues were uncovered during the visitation, which led to Brown's resignation. Currently, 56 of the 68 members are residing together under the protection and guidance of the Archbishop, known as Intercessor Relief. They are currently discerning their future and the possibility of beginning a new order/association with the guidance of Archbishop Lucas. Ten members continue to reside at their community of "Bellwether".
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|Catholic Church titles|
Daniel L. Ryan
|Bishop of Springfield in Illinois
Elden Francis Curtiss
|Archbishop of Omaha