In the final two months of his life, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin made it his mission to share his personal reflections and insights in this book, The Gift of Peace. Using as a framework the previous three years, which included false accusation of sexual misconduct, diagnosis of cancer, and return of the cancer after fifteen months of being in remission, Cardinal Bernardin tells his story openly and honestly. At the end of his life, the Cardinal was at peace. He accepted his peace as a gift from God, and through this book, he shares that gift with the world. The Gift of Peace is part of the Cardinal's pastoral legacy; through this book his ministry lives on.
Joseph Cardinal Bernadin was born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1928. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Charleston in 1952 and served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta (1966-68), general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference in Wash., D.C. (1968-72), Archbishop of Cincinnati (1972-82), President of the bishops' conference (1974-77), and Archbishop of Chicago (1982-96). He became a cardinal in 1983. He chaired the U.S. bishops' committee that drafted a pastoral letter on war and peace and often articulated the need for a consistent ethic of life. Cardinal Bernadin was widely respected for his gentleness, his spirituality, and his ability to reconcile. He received the Medal of Freedom at the White House two months before he died of pancreatic cancer.