Chicago, IL (September 20, 2014) – His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Bishop of Spokane, Washington, Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich, as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago, the Vatican announced today. Archbishop Cupich will be installed as Archbishop of Chicago on November 18, 2014, at Holy Name Cathedral.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, retains the office of Archbishop until November 18, until Archbishop Cupich is installed.
Archbishop Cupich said, “The Holy Father’s appointment of me to Chicago humbles but also encourages me. I am grateful to God for giving me this blessed opportunity to be his servant in this great city and this great local Church. As Pope Francis began his new pastoral ministry in Rome by asking the people to pray for him, so too now I bow my head in the hope that everyone in Chicago will pray for me in the days ahead.”
Cardinal George remarked, “I am deeply grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for appointing Bishop Blase Cupich as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago. Bishop Cupich is well prepared for his new responsibilities and brings to them a deep faith, a quick intelligence, personal commitment and varied pastoral experiences.”
Archbishop Cupich was born on March 19, 1949, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Blase and Mary (Mayhan) Cupich. He is one of nine children, five sisters and three brothers.
Archbishop Cupich was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha on August 16, 1975, and was ordained and installed as Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, on September 21, 1998. He was officially installed as Bishop of Spokane on September 3, 2010.
Archbishop Cupich obtained his B.A. in Philosophy from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1971. He attended seminary at the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome where he received his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology in 1974, and his M.A. in Theology in 1975. Archbishop Cupich is a graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he received his License of Sacred Theology in 1979. He also holds a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in Sacramental Theology from the Catholic University of America awarded in 1987, with his dissertation entitled: ADVENT IN THE ROMAN TRADITION: An Examination and Comparison of the Lectionary Readings as Hermeneutical Units in Three Periods.
Additionally, Archbishop Cupich was the Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. He was pastor of two parishes in Omaha, Nebraska and also served as the Chair for the USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People from 2008 until 2011.