FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:February 2, 2012.
Brooklyn, N.Y., Feb. 1, 2012 – Together, with priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Brooklyn, I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, retired archbishop of Philadelphia. He was born in Brooklyn in 1923 and ordained a priest for our “Diocese of Immigrants” in 1949.
Cardinal Bevilacqua was a mentor for me, particularly as an advocate for immigrants. In 1971, he founded and established the Brooklyn Diocese Migration and Refugee Office, and served at its helm for five years. It was the first such office in the country. The model instituted by then-Father Bevilacqua is the same that the Archdiocese of Newark used when I served as Director of the Office of Migration. This model was also used when I was executive director for Migration and Refugee Services for the United States Catholic Conference and also when I chaired the Migration Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
By all accounts, Cardinal Bevilaqua was an advocate for the voiceless immigrants who sought to make a home in our Nation. He was a man who bore great responsibilities, but whose faith sustained him throughout each day.
May Cardinal Bevilacqua rest in the peace of the Lord.