Paul Marcinkus Biography

Paul Casimir Marcinkus (January 15, 1922 – February 20, 2006) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. He was best known for his tenure as President of the Vatican Bank from 1971 through 1989.

Marcinkus was born in Cicero, Illinois, the son of an immigrant window washer who arrived in Cicero in 1914. His father, Mykolas, had left Lithuania to escape possible induction into the Russian army. Moving to the United States, he briefly lived in Pittsburgh before moving to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to work for a cousin as a farm hand, then moving to Cicero after finding work in a Chicago steel mill. By the time his fourth son, Paulius, arrived, he had started washing windows for the Leo Sheridan Co., a job he would hold for thirty years.

After attending Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Paul was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 3, 1947, and served parish assignments with both St. Christina's and Holy Cross church on the city's far south side. By 1949, he had been appointed to the archdiocese's matrimonial tribunal, which processed applications to have marriages annulled.