Cardinal Francis E. George, O.M.I., was a model pastor and a heroic disciple of Christ. A native Chicagoan, he was told as a young man that he would never be a priest in Chicago because of a physical disability resulting from polio. He went on to be ordained a priest with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1963. He was appointed as Archbishop of Chicago in 1997, created a cardinal in 1998, and served in Chicago until 2014, just months before his death at the age of 78.
Cardinal George’s many gifts — including his superior intellect — made him a pivotal player in Church affairs nationally and internationally. He governed during difficult and challenging times, yet he always attempted to lead with the heart of Christ, living out his episcopal motto, “To Christ be glory in the Church.”
A man of pastoral availability, Cardinal George poured out his life in service to Christ and the Church, always attentive to the poor and those on the margins. Universally admired for his pursuit and proclamation of the truth, and his personal witness to the Gospel, Cardinal George remains a model for discipleship and leadership. By the time of his death in 2015, Cardinal George was regarded as one of the most respected bishops in American Catholic history. His fascinating and inspiring story reminds us that God’s ways are always better than our own.
“Cardinal George represented the best of Chicago; super smart, tough, direct, compassionate. It is important that his story has been well told by Michael Heinlein, for us and for future generations.”
Cardinal George Pell
Prefect Emeritus of the Secretariat for the Economy, Holy See
“Francis George was a personal friend; a mentor and adviser; a man of gifted intellect and wisdom; and one of the truly great American bishops of the last century. He is very sorely missed. But in capturing the fullness of Cardinal George’s life, ministry, and the meaning of his legacy in this superb biography, Michael Heinlein has done a service for the entire American Catholic community. I will treasure and share this book.”
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia
“This book is for the many who need reassurance today about ‘whether it’s possible to live this way.’ To live intelligently, unafraid of a changing world, capable of handling a lifetime of suffering, and throughout, to be person of unwavering faith, a Christian. Cardinal Francis George did it all by answering God’s call a day at a time, a task at a time, in the midst of frequent opposition and suffering. He can inspire us to do the same.”
Helen M. Alvaré
The Robert A. Levy Chair in Law & Liberty, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
“Cardinal George was courageous, brilliant, shrewd, holy, and 110% Catholic. Getting to know him through Michael Heinlein’s book will be a privilege for any reader — and ought to inspire the present and future leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States.”
Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV’s SimplyCatholic.com and a regular contributor to OSV’s periodicals. He earned a degree in theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is author of The Handy Little Guide to Spiritual Communion (OSV), Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood (OSV), and the Teeny Tiny Theology children’s series (OSV)
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