Stars Of The South - 2009

Monsignor Edward J. Dillon

Applying his passion for law and education and his undeniably strong faith, Monsignor Edward J. Dillon has worked to revitalize church law, educate countless students and shepherd a diverse parish of over 2,000 families. He has served at Holy Spirit parish in Atlanta, Georgia since his appointment in 1987, becoming its full-time pastor in 1997.

Since Edward was first ordained a priest in 1967 in his hometown of Carlow, Ireland, his service to the Archdiocese of Atlanta has been invaluable. After nearly two decades working in various offices in the Archdiocese, he served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Atlanta (1988-1997), and as Administrator of the Archdiocese following the death of Archbishop Lyke until the appointment of Archbishop Donoghue.
Edward has been actively involved in canon law, reflected by his membership in the Canon Law Society of America. The Society is active in the promotion of canonical and pastoral approaches to significant issues within the Roman Catholic Church and has been involved in the United States with the revitalization of church law. He has served in various capacities in the Society since he joined in 1968, including president. Nationally recognized for his expertise in canon law, Edward was a consultant for the Canonical Affairs Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (1974–1977).

A graduate of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Edward has published writings on his academic degree dissertations and edited a book on jurisprudence for the Canon Law Society of America. His articles on procedural law, marriage jurisprudence and Church administration have appeared in The Jurist, the Proceedings of the Canon Law Society of America and the Proceedings of the National Conference of Diocesan Attorneys.

Never forgetting his Hibernian roots, Edward has also been a staple in the Irish community in Atlanta.  He has been a developer and promoter of the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation (currently called the Shamrock Society), a group of Irish-American leaders in Atlanta who support Irish-related charities and charitable organizations. Also reflecting his passion for law, Edward is the co-founder, developer and promoter for the past 12 years of The Gold Shield Foundation, which raises money for the families of police officers and firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty. He is also Chaplain of the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society (MAPES), a society composed of policemen who trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle.