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Archbishop John Vlazny Recognized with the Spirit of Holy Cross Award

Published: July 5, 2012

Author: Lucha Ramey

Father David Tyson presents Archbishop John Vlazny with the Spirit of Holy Cross Award

Portland, Ore - Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., outgoing Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, presented Archbishop John G. Vlazny with the Spirit of Holy Cross Award on June 19, 2012, during Provincial Chapter in Portland, Ore. (which took place June 10-22 on the campus of University of Portland).

The Spirit of Holy Cross Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Province to someone who exemplifies the vision of Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau.

The Most Reverend Vlazny has led the Archdiocese of Portland since December 1997.

In recognition of his many years of service not only to the Portland community, but also for his support of Holy Cross, Fr. Tyson presented Archbishop Vlazny with the Spirit of Holy Cross Award on behalf of the U.S. Province. It was presented during a Holy Cross Community Mass, of which newly elected Provincial Superior Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., was also in attendance.

Blessed Moreau’s educational vision was to educate both the hearts and minds. As the Spirit of Holy Cross award proclaims, the Archbishop has been “a willing and generous partner with Holy Cross in its mission of educating the mind and the heart, he has been a mentor to us, teaching us that Holy Cross higher education can truly be Ex corde ecclesiae (From the heart of the church).

The U.S. Province apostolates in Portland include the University of Portland, one of four Holy Cross institutions of higher education, along with Holy Redeemer Catholic Church and St. André Bessette Catholic Church.

By recognizing Archbishop Vlazny with the Spirit of Holy Cross award, the Province expressed profound gratitude and acknowledgement for his “tireless encouragement of vocations, and his dedication to Catholic higher education ... [these] are manifestations of fidelity to his Episcopal Office, and of generous support for the mission of Holy Cross in the Archdiocese of Portland and beyond.”

As the award also proclaims, “The life and ministry of John G. Vlazny, Priest and Bishop, reflect many of those things that mean the most to us in Holy Cross. As Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Portland, John G. Vlazny, he has embodied The Spirit of Holy Cross in his zeal for serving the faithful of Portland.”

Archbishop Vlazny was born on Feb. 22, 1937, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1958. He attended the North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a bachelor’s in Sacred Theology in 1960 and a Sacred Theology Licentiate degree in 1962 and earned a master’s degree in the classics from the University of Michigan in 1967 and a Master of Education in School Administration from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1972.

Archbishop Vlazny also has several honorary degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Portland which he received in 1999.

He was ordained a priest at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, on Dec. 20, 1961, and served in a number of capacities in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was named a Bishop by Pope John Paul II, and was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on Dec. 13, 1983. He was installed as the sixth Bishop of Winona, Minn., on July 29, 1987. On Oct. 28, 1997, he was appointed the 10th Archbishop of Portland.

Among the many boards on which he has served, Archbishop Vlazny was as a member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Notre Dame’s Erasmus Institute, another Holy Cross university, from 2001 to 2006.