Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden - Tenth Bishop of Harrisburg
Joseph P. McFadden was born in Philadelphia on May 22, 1947, the son of Thomas and Ellen (Griffin) McFadden. He lived with his parents and brother, John, and his two sisters, Jane and Ellen, in West Philadelphia and was baptized at Saint Rose of Lima Parish. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school from 1953-1961. He attended Saint Thomas More High School for Boys from 1961 to 1965. While in high school, he was a member of the Student Council, the Newspaper, the J.V. and Varsity Basketball teams and a member of the National Honor Society. He was also the Class Valedictorian. Following high school, he matriculated to Saint Joseph University majoring in Political Science. He graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Politics. While at St. Joseph, he played on the Freshmen Basketball Team and then embarked on a career of coaching basketball during his remaining years in college, first as the Freshman Coach at St. Thomas More High School and then as the Junior Varsity Coach at West Catholic High School for Boys.
On graduating from Saint Joseph University, Bishop McFadden was hired to teach at West Catholic Boys High School. While teaching, he also coached the J. V. Baseball Team, the J.V. and Varsity Basketball Teams becoming the Head Coach in 1973 and was Moderator of the Student Council. In 1972 he was appointed the Director of Athletics for West Catholic and served on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Catholic League.
In 1976 Bishop McFadden entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to study for the priesthood and was ordained a Deacon in 1980 and assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Secane. On May 16, 1981 he was ordained a Priest in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol. Bishop McFadden received a Master of Divinity Degree on completion of his studies at Saint Charles Seminary graduating Summa Cum Laude.
In June of 1981, he was assigned the Parochial Vicar at St. Laurence Parish, Highland Park. In 1982 he was appointed Administrative Secretary to Cardinal Krol and held that position from 1982 to 1993. On May 29, 1991, he was named an Honorary Prelate to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor.
In 1993, Bishop McFadden was named by Cardinal Bevilacqua to be the first President of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Springfield, PA. During his tenure as President, the school’s enrollment increased from 1540 students to 2000 students and he helped to initiate the innovative computer “Laptops for Learning” program in the school.
In 2001, Bishop McFadden was appointed Pastor of St Joseph Parish, Downingtown, where he ministered until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia in June 2004. Bishop McFadden was ordained to the Episcopacy by Cardinal Justin Rigali in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on July 28, 2004.
On June 22, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop McFadden the Tenth Bishop of Harrisburg. He was installed in St. Patrick Cathedral on August 18, 2010. On that date, he began his ministry as Bishop of Harrisburg.
Bishop McFadden has served on many Archdiocesan Boards and Committees:
President, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 2010 – present
Member, Board of Trustees, Saint Vincent Seminary, 2010-present
Chair, United States Conference of Bishops’ Committee on Education, 2011- present
Council of Priests, 1988 – 1993 ; 2004 – present
Priests’ Personnel Board, 1988 – 1993; 2004 – present
Archdiocesan Advisory Board for Renewal, 1991 – 1994
Chairman, Subcommittee for Clergy Renewal, 1991 – 1994
Diocesan Priests Continuing Formation Committee, 2002 – present
Archdiocesan Admissions Board for St. Charles Seminary, 2001 – present
Personal Spiritual Director for Seminarians – 2001 – present
Members, Tenth Synod of Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 2001 – 2002
Diocesan Priests’ Compensation and Benefits Committee, 2003 – present
Chairman, Pastor’s Committee for Elementary Schools, 2002 – 2006
Mentor, Pastoral Leadership Institute of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Member, Pastoral Formation Sub-Committee of the Strategic Plan Committee,
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Member, USCCB Committee on Education – 2006 – present
Member, USCCB Task Force Committee on Faith Formation and Sacramental
Preparation – 2008 – present
Advisor, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (CEIA)
Member, Episcopal Board of Advisors for the Cause for the Beatification of
Archbishop Fulton John Sheen – 2009 – present
Member, Episcopal Advisory Board for Catholic Athletes for Christ – 2010
Member, Board of Directors of the Heritage of Faith~Vision of Hope Campaign -
Honors and Awards
St. Thomas More Golden Bear Award – St. Thomas More Alumni Association,
Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Delaware County Man of the Year Award,
Honorary Member, Roman Catholic High School Hall of Fame, 2002
Cardinal O’Hara High School Hall of Fame, 2004
Inducted into Ring of Honor – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 2007
Named one of the 75 Greatest Living Philadelphians in celebration of the
Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary season – 2007
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa – Neumann College – 2008
Grand Marshall – Springfield Township St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 2008
Recipient of First “Shamrock Award” presented by Alumni of Saint
Thomas More and West Catholic High Schools – 2009
Chaplain, Philadelphia Serra Club, 1987 – 1993
Chaplain, Central Delaware County Serra Club – 1993 – 2001
Chaplain, Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 87 – 1986-1991
Chaplain, Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 65, 1993 – 1995
Member, Advisory Board of Bishop Shanahan High School, 2003 – 2007
Life-time Member, The Pennsylvania Society – 2005 – present
Board Member, Hero Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia, 2005 – present
Member, The Union League of Philadelphia – 2005 – present
Member, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick – 2007 – present