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Bishop Francis J. Green, Tucson Diocese, Requiescat in Pace

Updated: Apr 4, 2019


Bishop Francis J. Green, Tucson Diocese.

Francis Green was born in Corning, New York, but moved with his mother to Prescott, Arizona, following his father's death in 1919. He there worked in the shops of the Santa Fe Railroad. The following year he entered St. Joseph's College in Mountain View, California. He completed his theological studies at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1932. He then returned to Arizona, where he later became pastor of the SS. Peter and Paul Church in Tucson in 1937. He was named both a Domestic Prelate and vicar general of the Diocese of Tucson in 1950.

On May 29, 1953, Green was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Tucson and Titular Bishop of Serra by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 7 from Bishop Daniel James Gercke, with Bishops James Peter Davis and Hugh Aloysius Donohoe serving as co-consecrators. He was named Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson by Pope John XXIII on May 11, 1960. Upon the resignation of Bishop Daniel James Gercke, Green succeeded him as the fourth Bishop of Tucson on September 28, 1960. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965, calling it "one of the great experiences of [his] life." He began major restoration on St. Augustine's Cathedral in 1966, completing the effort in 1968. He was instrumental in founding the Arizona Ecumenical Council, became an advocate of social justice, and provide ministries for African American, Native American, and Hispanic Catholics.

After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Green resigned as Bishop of Tucson on July 28, 1981. He later died at age 88.

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