Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J. entered the Society of Jesus in English Canada in 1963, and was ordained in 1973. He did graduate studies at the University of Chicago in an inter-disciplinary programme in humanities, social thought and theology and earned the doctorate in 1978.
He was the founding director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, Toronto (1979 – 1989). After the 1989 assassination of the Jesuits at the Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador, he became Director of its Human Rights Institute (1990 – 1991) and Vice-Rector of the UCA (1991).
For 11 years he served as Secretary for Social Justice at the Jesuit General Curia, Rome (1992 – 2002).
In 2002, he founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), which assists Jesuits to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic; he directed AJAN for 8 years.
From 2010-2016, Fr. Czerny worked with Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as his advisor or counsellor.
From the beginning of 2017 he was one of the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
On October 4, 2019, Fr. Czerny was consecrated titular archbishop of Benevento by Pope Francis, who on October 5 created him cardinal deacon of St. Michael the Archangel.
Card. Czerny was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on 21 February 2020 and of the Council for Inter-religious Dialogue on 8 July 2020.
On 23 December 2021, the Holy Father appointed him as interim Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development as of 1 January 2022.
On 23 April 202s, the Holy Father appointed him as Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.