Jonathan Morris (priest)

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The Reverend
Jonathan Morris
Ordination 24 December 2002
by Leonardo Sandri
Personal details
Born (1972-08-22) August 22, 1972 (age 44)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Occupation Catholic priest, author and television personality

Jonathan Morris (born August 22, 1972), is an American Roman Catholic priest currently serving in the Archdiocese of New York. Best known as a commentator on religious matters in the media, he has been a contributor and analyst for the Fox News Channel since 2005. He is currently a Religious Life Adviser (campus minister) at Columbia University.

Morris is author of the books The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts and God Wants You Happy: From Self-Help to God's Help. His newest book is The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer.


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the third of seven children, Morris studied business administration at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where he served as Vice President of the University Student Government.

After graduation, Morris entered the Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic religious institute founded by the now-disgraced Mexican priest, Marcial Maciel. He studied at their Center for Higher Studies in Rome, Italy, gaining degrees in the classical humanities and philosophy. Following a period of active service, he then studied theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, the seminary of the Legion of Christ, after which he was ordained a priest on 24 December 2002, and continued living and working in Rome. He continued his graduate studies in moral theology, and graduated magna cum laude.

Morris was then appointed as the Vice Rector of the seminary he had attended,[1] though he has been rarely identified with the Legion on camera.[2]

Morris moved back to the United States, where he became a parochial vicar of the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in the Soho neighborhood of New York City (not the same as St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Ave).[3] on 1 July 2009, taking up residence there.[4] He dropped his public affiliation with the Legion a year later, seeking incardination into the Archdiocese of New York.[5] He served there until 2013, when he was transferred to Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan. There, in addition to serving the parish, he continues his radio work and campus ministry.[6]

Work in the media[edit]

From 2002 to 2004, Morris worked as a theological adviser in the making of Mel Gibson's motion picture The Passion of the Christ. [7]

During the final illness of Pope John Paul II in March 2005, and his death the following 5 April, Morris provided reports and analysis for CNN, the Fox News Channel, the BBC, and Sky News, and he was interviewed by Bill Hemmer, Larry King, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper, and Christiane Amanpour, among others. Shortly thereafter, Morris received offers from several networks to contribute follow-up reports, and he began working for the Fox News Channel. In accepting the offer to work with the network, he proposed to cover not just Vatican news events, but to also analyze wider news stories from an ethical dimension.[8]

Since April 2005, Morris' work has expanded to include reports beyond the scope of the Vatican. He has been interviewed on several Fox News Channel programs, including Fox & Friends, Dayside, Hannity and Colmes, The Live Desk with Martha MacCallum, and The O'Reilly Factor. He has also contributed to the Fox Business Network and Fox's on-line news roundtable, "The Strategy Room."

Morris began a recurring segment for Fox News Channel's late night news/comedy show Red Eye in May 2009. For this segment, called Father Knows Best, Morris answers questions from viewers on religious and faith-related issues. He is also a regular news contributor for the show. That same year, he also became a contributor to The Wall Street Journal.[9]

In March 2010, Morris was interviewed as a theological adviser for the History Channel special The Real Face of Jesus?, a documentary that followed a team of computer and 3D specialists as they uncovered forensic data from the Shroud of Turin, extrapolating a new picture of the face of the man from the shroud.[10]

In 2012 Morris became the program director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, a position he held until 2015.[11]


  1. ^ Drake, Tim (October 16, 2005). "The Father on Fox Television". National Catholic Register. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ "International Probe Targets Secretive Catholic Group", AOL News., 14 March 2010, retrieved 27 Sep 2011 
  3. ^ St. Patrick's Old Cathedral Bulletin Retrieved 27 December 2009
  4. ^ "Bulletin for June 28, 2009" (PDF). St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. 
  5. ^ "Bulletin for May 23, 2010" (PDF). St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. 
  6. ^ "Meet our Staff". Corpus Christi Church in New York City. 
  7. ^ Behind the Scenes: At the Heart of 'The Passion' April 2, 2004 Retrieved March 2, 2007
  8. ^ Go Ahead. Be a Hero. Retrieved May 27, 2008
  9. ^ A Different Kind of Miracle on the Hudson Aug. 14, 2009 Retrieved May 19, 2008
  10. ^ 3D Tech Shows What May be Face of Jesus on Shroud of Turin Retrieved April 16, 2010
  11. ^ "Father Morris leaves helm of Sirius XM's Catholic Channel". CNS. The Catholic Sun. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 

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