VATICAN CITY, AUG. 29, 2011 ( Benedict XVI appointed the archbishop of Baltimore to lead a Holy See organization that supports the Church in the Holy Land.

The appointment of Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order (Knights) of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem was announced today.

Archbishop O’Brien succeeds Cardinal John Patrick Foley, 75, whose resignation has been accepted by the Holy Father.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is the only lay institution of Vatican State charged with the task of providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and of activities and initiatives to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

The order’s grand prior is the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, who welcomed Archbishop O’Brien’s nomination with “pleasure and gratitude,” expressing “heartfelt congratulations ” to the new grand master.

Edwin O’Brien was born in New York on April 8, 1939. He was ordained a priest in 1965. He is a former rector of the Pontifical North American College and archbishop of the U.S. military. He had served as the archbishop of Baltimore since 2007.