John Francis


United States
Walk of life:
Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Atlanta
Biographical details:

Archbishop John Francis Donoghue was born in Washington, D.C. on August 9, 1928, the son of Daniel and Rose Ryan Donoghue. Both of his parents were natives of Ireland. He has three brothers, all of them in the Washington, D.C. area.

All of his studies were in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland area.. He attended Park View School, Washington; Sacred Heart School, Washington; Gonzaga High School, St. Charles College, Catonsville, Maryland, and St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. Following ordination, he did a year of graduate studies at The Catholic University of America School of Canon Law. He has the academic degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Bachelor of Canon Law and Licentiate of Canon Law.

Archbishop Donoghue was ordained to the priesthood in St. Matthew Cathedral, Washington, on June 4, 1955. He served as assistant pastor of St. Bernard’s Church, Riverdale from 1955-1961; as assistant pastor of the Holy Face parish, Great Mills, Maryland from 1961-1964. After a year of graduate studies in canon law, he joined the staff of the Archdiocesan Chancery (Washington) where he was Chancellor/Vicar-General and served there until his appointment as Bishop of Charlotte. He served successively with Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, now deceased, with William Cardinal Baum, now assigned to the Vatican, and with the present Archbishop, James Cardinal Hickey.

In 1970, he was given the papal rank of Chaplain to His Holiness with the title "Monsignor." A year later, he was raised to the additional monsignorial rank of Prelate of Honor.

Archbishop Donoghue became a bishop at his episcopal ordination in 1984, on the occasion of his being named the second bishop of Charlotte, succeeding Bishop Begley. He assumes the rank of Archbishop by virtue of his being assigned by Pope John Paul II to head the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

On August 19, 1993 he was installed the fifth Archbishop of Atlanta.

Each bishop has a coat-of-arms and a motto. As his motto, Archbishop Donoghue chose "To live in Christ Jesus."

Specific research interests