Oldest Archbishop Celebrates 103rd Birthday in Connecticut

The oldest Roman Catholic archbishop has celebrated his 103rd birthday with family in his native Connecticut.

Peter Leo Gerety, retired archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, had a party Saturday in New Canaan. His nephew, Connecticut defense attorney Miles Gerety, said about 15 relatives, including a baby great-grand-nephew, celebrated with the man they call "Father Leo."

Gerety was born July 19, 1912, in Shelton, and ordained in 1939. He spent 27 years in parish work in New Haven's African-American community, and has been an advocate for civil rights and social justice. He became bishop of Portland, Maine, in 1969, and archbishop of Newark in 1974, retiring in 1986.

Miles Gerety said his uncle continued to sail his 31-foot ocean sloop with family until he was 85.
His 100th birthday was celebrated with a Mass in Newark.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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