UNITED STATES−On Sunday, October 25, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Wilton Gregory to Cardinal making him the first Black Cardinal in the U.S.

Gregory was one of 13 Archbishop’s appointed by Pope Francis following midday prayers of the Angelus. Pope Francis announced the Cardinal-designate from his window on St. Peter’s square in Rome, Italy.

“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church,” stated Cardinal Wilton Gregory. He hails from the Archdiocese of Atlanta. After being appointed Cardinal, he was transferred from Atlanta to Washington D.C.

“As a former president of our national bishops’ conference, Archbishop Gregory displayed generous and principled leadership. The naming of the first African American Cardinal from the United States gives us an opportunity to pause and offer thanks for the many gifts African American Catholics have given to the Church, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB),” said Archbishop Jose’ Gomez.

In addition to Cardinal-designate Gregory, Pope Francis chose as cardinal electors two officials of the Roman Curia and Bishops from Italy, Rwanda, Brunei, Chile, and the Philippines.

Archbishop of Atlanta, Gregory Hartmayer, OFM offered a public statement of congratulations to Cardinal-designate, Wilton Gregory.

The following Individuals were appointed with Archbishop Gregory:

-Maltese Bishop Mario Grech, 63, Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops

-Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, 72, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes

-Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda, who will turn 62 on November 10

-President of the USCCB since 2001, Archbishop Gregory, 72

-Archbishop Jose F. Advincula of Capiz, Philippines, 68

-Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco of Santiago, Chile, 75

-Bishop Cornelius Sim, apostolic vicar of Brunei, 69

-Italian Archbishop Paolo Lojudice of Siena, 56

-Franciscan Father Mauro Gambetti, 33, custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi in Assisi Gambetti will be the first Conventual Franciscan to become a Cardinal since 1861.

-Retired Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, 80, of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

-Retired Italian Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, a former nuncio, 80

-Italian Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa,86, the preacher of the papal household

-Italian Father Enrico Feroci, 80, former director of Rome’s Caritas