Joseph Cordeiro

19 Jan 1918
11 Feb 1994
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Joseph Marie Anthony Cordeiro (January 19, 1918 — February 11, 1994) was the first Pakistani cardinal

Cordeiro was educated at St Patrick’s High School, Karachi, the University of Bombay, and Oxford University. He received his religious training at the Papal Seminary in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and was ordained a priest in Karachi, Pakistan on 24 August 1946.

From 1946 to 1948, he did pastoral work in Hyderabad and Karachi. He then went to Oxford University where he earned a Master of Arts degree. On his return in 1950, he was appointed as Vice Principal of St Patrick’s High School, Karachi. From 1952 he served as principal of St Francis Grammar School in Quetta and as rector of the St. Pius X Minor Seminary in Quetta. On 7th May, 1958 he was appointed Archbishop of Karachi, with his seat at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi.

He attended the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the First Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (29 September – 29 October 1967), the First Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (11–28 October 1969), and the Second Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City (30 September – 6 November 1971). He was elected a member of the Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on 6 November 1971.

He was the first Pakistani cardinal, a position to which he was elevated by Pope Paul VI on 5 March 1973. He attended both papal conclaves in 1978 and was mentioned as papabile by Time Magazine after the death of Pope John Paul I

He wrote a sers of articles for the Archdiocesan weekly Christian Voice called “Lessons of a Lifetime”, a reflection on his life experiences.

From 1958 until the time of his death, Cardinal Cordeiro was president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan

Cordeiro died on 11 February 1994 at Holy Family Hospital due to cancer. Cordeiro was succeeded by Archbishop Simeon Anthony Pereira

Cordeiro is immortalized with the Christ the King Seminary in Karachi hosting the Cardinal Cordeiro Cricket tournament to promote religious vocations since 2008.

On 6 May 2011, The Old Patricians (former students of St Patrick’s school) presented the Joseph Cardinal Cordeiro Gold Medal to the top student from the Cambridge A level section at the closing ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the school.

In 2012, the Cardinal Cordeiro High School was named in his honour. The school is located in the Good Shepherd Parish in Korangi Town, Karachi.

His Alma Mater, St. Patrick’s High School named the Cardinal Cordeiro Silver Jubilee Auditorium in his honour.

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