Biography for Bishop James A.
Griffin, Weekend Assistant
A native of Fairview Park,
Ohio, Bishop Griffin was ordained a priest by John Cardinal Krol on May 28,
1960, in St. John Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio.
Bishop Griffin spent one year as Associate Pastor at St. Jerome Parish, in
Cleveland. In 1961, he was sent to Rome to pursue graduate studies in Church
Law. He received his Licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L., magna cum laude) from
the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome in 1963. Upon his return to the
Cleveland Diocese, Bishop Griffin served as Secretary-Notary of the Marriage
Court of the Cleveland Diocese for two years. He was appointed to the Chancery
Staff in 1965, and served as Associate Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. During
that time, he attended night classes at Cleveland State University and
received his Doctorate in Civil Law (J.D., summa cum laude) in 1972. He passed
the Ohio Bar and is a licensed attorney. Bishop Griffin served as Chancellor
of the Diocese of Cleveland from 1973 until 1978.
In January 1978, he was appointed by Bishop James Hickey as Vicar General of
the Cleveland Diocese and Administrator Pro Tem of St. John Cathedral in
Cleveland. In April of that year, he was appointed pastor of St. William
Parish in Euclid, Ohio. In June of 1979, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of
the Diocese of Cleveland. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Griffin the tenth
Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio on February 7, 1983. Bishop Griffin
was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus on April 25, 1983.
While serving as Bishop of Columbus, James A. Griffin
established the Foundation of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus (1985);
inaugurated far-reaching planning processes for the Diocese; initiated the
Legacy of Catholic Learning (1989) and Challenge In Changing Times (2000)
campaigns to help meet the educational and future needs of the Diocese; and
helped initiate the community-wide, faith-based task force titled “Breaking
The Silence” that continues to work to reduce family violence. Bishop
Griffin also served on a number of committees of the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops and was President of Catholic Relief Services (1991-1995).