Cardinal Adam Joseph Maida, Archbishop emeritus of Detroit (USA) and former Superior of Cayman Islands, was born on 18 March 1930 in East Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. He was the first of three sons born to Adam Maida and Sophia Cieslak Maida.
Archbishop Maida's father, now deceased, came to the United States from a rural area near Warsaw, Poland. His mother was born in the United States.
Archbishop Maida attended East Vandergrift public schools and Scott Township High School for two years. He completed high school and graduated from St Mary's High School, Orchard Lake, Michigan, in 1948. Following graduation he entered St Mary's College, Orchard Lake. In 1950, he transferred to St Vincent's College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1952 with a B.A. in philosophy. In 1956, he graduated with a licentiate in sacred theology (S.T.L.) from St Mary's University, Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1960, he received a licentiate in canon law (J.C.L.) from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. In 1964, he was awarded a doctorate in civil law (J.D) from the Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh. Archbishop Maida was admitted to practice law before the Bar of the State of Pennsylvania and before the United States Supreme Court.
On 26 May 1956, he was ordained a priest in St Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, by the late Bishop John Dearden (Cardinal Archbishop of Detroit). Following his ordination, Archbishop Maida served in the diocese of Pittsburgh as an associate pastor, vice-chancellor and general counsellor of the diocese, in the diocesan tribunal, and as assistant professor of theology at La Roche College.
On 7 November 1983 he was nominated the ninth bishop of the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin and on 25 January 1984, he was ordained and installed as bishop.
On 28 April 1990, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Maida Archbishop of Detroit and he was installed on 12 June 1990.
From 14 July 2000 to 5 January 2009 he was also the Superior of the Mission sui iuris of Cayman Islans.
Cardinal Maida has also served as chairman of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) Canonical Affairs Committee (1992); member of the NCCB Bishops' and President's Committee; member of the NCCB Economic Concerns of the Holy See; member of the NCCB Migration and Refugee Services; member of the NCCB Nominations of Conference Officers; member of the NCCB Pro-Life Committee; member of the NCCB Committe of the Polish Apostolate; member of the United States Catholic Conferences (USCC) Ex Corde Ecclesiae Committee; member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University of America; member of Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.; member of the Board of Directors of the Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Centre, Braintree, Massachusetts; Chairman of the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) Board of Trustees; member of the John Paul II Cultural Foundation, Rome; episcopal moderator and President of the John Paul II Cultural Foundation, United States.
He was Editor of the Tribunal Reporter - A Casebook and Commentary on the Grounds for Annulment in the Catholic Church, Vol. 1 (1970); of the Issues in the Labor-Management Dialogue: Church Perspectives (1982); and Author of the Ownership, Control and Sponsorship of Catholic Institutions (1975); and the Church Property, Church Finances and Church-Related Corporations, a Canon Law Handbook (1983).
Archbishop emeritus of Detroit, 5 January 2009.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 26 November 1994, of the Title of Ss. Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio e Protasio (Sts. Vitalis, Valeris, Gervase and Protase).