By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Archbishop George Lucas, who turned 60 earlier this month, will be installed in Omaha on July 22, becoming the 11th shepherd of the Nebraska archdiocese. Originally from St. Louis, he graduated from Kenrick Seminary in 1975 and was ordained a priest the same year.
While serving in a string of parishes, he also finished a master’s degree in history at St. Louis University. From 1990 to 1994 he was chancellor of the archdiocese under Archbishop John May, and then – fatefully, some might say – he served as vicar general under then-Archbishop Justin Rigali, who had just returned from Rome after a long Vatican career, which ended with Rigali as the number two official in the Congregation for Bishops. Rigali today is the cardinal of Philadelphia and a member of the Congregation for Bishops, which votes on recommendations to the pope for bishops’ appointments around the world.