Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, Archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles (USA), was born on 27 February 1936 in Hollywood, archdiocese of Los Angeles. He did his schooling at the St. Charles Grammar School, north of Hollywood, under the pastoral care of the late Msgr. Harry Meade.
In 1950 he entered Los Angeles College, the archdiocesan preparatory seminary of Los Angeles. Thereafter, in 1954, he was one of the first students to attend Our Lady Queen of the Angels Seminary at Mission Hills. After having finished his studies at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, he attended St. John’s Theologate.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Aloysius J. Willinger, C.Ss.R. on 1 May 1962. A few days later, he was assigned to the Cathedral of St. John of Fresno. The following autumn, Bishop Willinger asked him to perfect his studies at the National Catholic School of Social Services at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Shortly after his return to California in 1964, he was nominated diocesan director of the Catholic Charities and Social Service, a position that he held for 6 years. In 1964 he also became administrator, and thereafter parish priest, of the Parish of St. Genevieve in Fresno.
Among his many positions, he was Executive Director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau and the Infant of Prague Adoption Service, and Chaplain of the diocesan society of St. Vincent de Paul. During this period he also found the time to teach at the State University of Fresno and at Coalinga College. Deeply interested in the Spanish population, Father Mahony was a member of the West Coast Regional Office of the Bishops’ Committee for the Spanish Speaking.
He also was involved in civil problems: he was member of the Fresno Provincial Committee for Economic Opportunities, Committee of Alcoholics’ Rehabilitation, United Crusade, Community Workshop, Urban Coalition and Redevelopment Agency of Fresno.
In recognition of such work, in 1967 he received an award from the Youth Chamber of Commerce. In the same year, he was nominated Chaplain to His Holiness, Paul VI with the title of "Reverend Monsignor".
In 1970, shortly after the transfer of Bishop Hugh A. Donohue to Fresno, he was nominated diocesan chancellor, and on 7 January 1975 he was named titular Bishop of Tamascani and Auxiliary Bishop of Fresno. He received episcopal ordination on 19 March 1975. In 1973 he became rector of St. John’s Cathedral.
On 15 February 1980 he was transferred to Stockton as diocesan bishop, and there he was responsible for the pastoral care of a diocese of more than 10,000 square miles and of 6 districts.
He was promoted to the see of Los Angeles on 16 July 1985. Immediately thereafter he began a complete reorganization of the archdiocese’s 3 districts.
Archbishop Mahony participated actively in many committees within National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference. He also served as chairman of the Committee on Conciliation and Arbitration, Commission on Farm Labor, Committee on the Social Development and World Peace, ad hoc Committee on the HIV/AIDS statement, and ad hoc Committee on the Middle East statement.
He served as President-Delegate, Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops (Nov.-Dec. 1997).
Archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, 1 March 2011.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 28 June 1991, of the Title of Ss. Quattro Coronati (Four Crowned Saints).