Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop emeritus of Milan (Italy), was born on 14 March 1934 in Renate, Italy. At the age of 11 he entered the diocesan seminary of Seveso San Pietro, where he began his studies. He then attended the Seminary of Lower Venegono until 1957 when he received a licentiate in theology. In the same year on 28 June, he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Milan. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
For over 20 years he taught fundamental theology a the major seminary of Lower Venegono and pastoral theology at the Priestly Institute of Mary Immaculate and the Lombard Regional Institute of Pastoral Ministry, Milan. He is also the author of many written works.
Even with an intense academic activity, he was able to participate at meetings, conventions, refresher courses, and televised debates. He has also contributed written works to the ‘Osservatore Romano’ and ‘Avvenire’. Aside from this, he still managed to maintain his pastoral activity in the parishes of Masnago, San Pietro martire in Seveso, Santo Stefano Arno, Turate. He has been very active in the Italian Confederation of Family Counseling Centers of Christian inspiration from 1979 to 1989, in Oari (a pastoral movement for the communion and hope for those who suffer) and in the Association of Italian Catholic Medical Doctors, Milan section for nearly 20 years.
Having been made Prelate of Honor of His Holiness in 1985, on 11 September 1987, he was called to serve as rector of the Pontifical Lombard Seminary. During this period he continued to offer his service to the CEI, the Holy See and to diverse theology institutes. On 28 April 1989, the CEI called him to be president of the board of directors of the newspaper ‘Avvenire’.
On 1 July 1989 he was elected Metropolitan Archbishop of Ancona-Osma. He received episcopal ordination on 23 September 1989. During this period he was president of the Episcopal Conference of the Marche region and in June 1990 was elected president of the Bishops’ Commission of the CEI for the Family.
On 14 March 1991 he was named Secretary General of the CEI and on 6 April of the same year he resigned from the see of Ancona-Osma. After 4 years of intense work of serving the Italian Church, on 20 April 1995 he was named Metropolitan Archbishop of Genoa. He also served as president of the regional episcopal conference.
On 25 May 1995 until May 2000 he was named vice president of the CEI. In January 1998, the Permanent Council of the CEI named him chaplain to the Italian Catholic Medical Doctors Association.
He participated as an expert at the Sinod of Bishops on the Family (1980) and on the Laity (1987) and as a synodal father at the two Special Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops for Europe (1991 and 1999) and the Synod on Consecrated Life (1994).
Archbishop of Milan, 11 July 2002 - 28 June 2011.
Appointed by Pope Francis, he participated in the XIV Ordinary General Assembly on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World (October 2015).
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 21 February 1998, of the Title of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo (Sts. Ambrose and Charles).
Dead on 5 August 2017.