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His Eminence Adam Joseph Maida
Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit
Maida in 2004
Archdiocese Detroit
Appointed April 28, 1990
Enthroned June 12, 1990
Reign ended January 5, 2009
Predecessor Edmund Szoka
Successor Allen Henry Vigneron
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio e Protasio
Ordination May 26, 1956
Consecration January 25, 1984
by Pio Laghi, Aloysius John Wycisło, and Vincent Leonard
Created Cardinal November 26, 1994
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1930-03-18) March 18, 1930 (age 93)
East Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Previous post
  • Bishop of Green Bay (1984–90)
  • Superior of Cayman Islands (2000–09)
  • Facere Omnia Nova
  • (To Make All Things New)
Styles of
Adam Joseph Maida
Coat of arms of Adam Maida.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Detroit (Emeritus)

Adam Joseph Maida (born March 18, 1930) is an American cardinal prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Maida served as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in Michigan from 1990 to 2009, and was elevated to cardinal in 1994. Maida previously served as bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay in Wisconsin from 1984 to 1990.


Early life and education

Maida was born in East Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, to Adam and Sophie (née Cieslak) Maida. The oldest of three children, he has two brothers, Thaddeus (who also became a priest) and Daniel. His father immigrated from Poland at age 16, while his mother was the daughter of Polish immigrants. He and his brothers attended public schools in East Vandergrift since there were no local Catholic schools. Maida attended Vandergrift High School and Scott Township High School, each for one year.

During his sophomore year of high school, Maida decided to enter the priesthood. He entered St. Mary's Preparatory School in Orchard Lake Village, Michigan, graduating from there in 1948. He then entered St. Mary's College, also in Orchard Lake Village. In 1950, Maida transferred to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in 1952. He received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from St. Mary's University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1956.

Ordination and ministry

On May 26, 1956, Maida was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh by Bishop John Dearden at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Pittsburgh. After his ordination, Maida's first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania. He later served at Holy Innocents Parish in Sheraden, Pennsylvania.

In 1958, Bishop Dearden sent Maida to Rome to study at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he earned a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1960. He received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law in 1964; he was admitted to practice law for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Federal Bar in Western Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maida served as vice-chancellor and general counsel (1965–83) of the diocese. In 1968, he was elected president of the Canon Law Society of America. He served on a papal commission to draft a due process procedure giving the laity legal recourse within the church, and participated in the revision of the ode of Canon Law; for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, he worked on the adoption of a due process procedure and chaired the bishops' Canonical Affairs Committee.

Maida served as a member of the diocesan tribunal, assistant professor of theology at La Roche College in McCandless, Pennsylvania, and adjunct professor of law at Duquesne University Law School (1971–83). He was also chaplain of the St. Thomas More Society.

Bishop of Green Bay

On November 8, 1983, Pope John Paul II appointed Maida as the ninth bshop of the Diocese of Green Bay . He received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1984, from Archbishop Pio Laghi, with Bishops Aloysius Wycisło and Vincent Leonard serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in Green Bay.

During his tenure in Green Bay, Maida appointed the diocese's first female chancellor and first female parish director. He also established a diocesan planning council and ministry formation program, initiated a diocesan census, implemented the RCIA process, and raised $9 million through Lumen Christi education endowment campaign.

Archbishop of Detroit

Cardinal Adam Maida
The coat of arms of Cardinal Maida, as Archbishop of Detroit

On April 28, 1990, John Paul II appointed Maida as the fourth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was installed on June 12, 1990. On November 26, 1994, John Paul II elevated Maida to the Sacred College of Cardinals as Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio e Protasio. In 2000, Maida was appointed the first superior of the Mission Sui Iuris of Cayman Islands.

In April 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II, Maida traveled to the Vatican as a cardinal elector to participate in the conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. Maida is no longer eligible to vote in any future conclaves as he reached his 80th birthday. On March 18, 2005, Maida his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, have reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. The Vatican asked Maida to remain archbishop until further notice. On June 8, 2006 Maida celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

In January 2007, Maida relieved Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Thomas Gumbleton of his pastoral duties at St. Leo Parish in Detroit. ..... Maida claimed that he was following church rules on retirement of bishops.


On January 5, 2009, the Holy See announced acceptance of Maida's resignation and the appointment of Bishop Allen Vigneron, from the Diocese of Oakland, as his successor. Vigneron was installed on January 28, 2009, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit Maida became apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Detroit and assisted incoming Archbishop Vigneron with the transition.

Maida celebrated his final mass at the cathedral on January 25, 2009. This was also held in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his consecration as a bishop.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adam Maida para niños

  • Catholic Church hierarchy
  • Catholic Church in the United States
  • Historical list of the Catholic bishops of the United States
  • List of Catholic bishops of the United States
  • Lists of patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops
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