How to Write a Letter to an Archbishop

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The Catholic Church in America has 35 archbishops as of 2009; the main role of the archbishop is to govern the church in his jurisdiction. (see ref 1) The archbishops are appointed by nomination or a direct appointment from the Pope. (see ref 2) If you have occasion to write to an archbishop, you should follow certain formalities in your letter to adhere to the proper etiquette for correspondence set forth by the Catholic Church. (see ref 3)

1 Begin your letter by typing your address

Begin your letter by typing your address. Skip a line and type the date. Skip an additional line and type "The Most Reverend (First and Last Name), Archbishop of (Name of Diocese)" followed by his church address on separate lines. If you do not know his address, look up the information on the website for your archdiocese.

2 Create the salutation

Create the salutation by typing "Dear Archbishop (Last name)" followed by a colon.

3 Write the rest of your letter

Write the rest of your letter. Take care to maintain a formal tone because he has a high office in the Catholic Church. Even if you are not Catholic, a person in this office should be respected if you would like to be correct in terms of etiquette.

4 Close the letter

Close the letter by typing "Yours very truly," and skip three lines. Type your name. Print the letter and sign in the space above your name.

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.