Pope Francis sends Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich to head Archdiocese of Chicago

Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich. Photo courtesy of the Catholic New  World

Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich. Photo courtesy of the Catholic New World

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash. as Archbishop of Chicago. He succeeds Cardinal Francis George, OMI whose resignation was accepted due to reaching the age limit. The cardinal turned 77 in January. The appointment was announced on Sept. 20 in Washington, DC by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the US.

Archbishop-elect Cupich, 65, is a native of Omaha, Neb. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975. In his ministry as a priest, he served as an associate pastor and pastor, rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum, and a member of the staff of the apostolic nuciature in Washington, DC. In 1998 he was ordained as a bishop and appointed to the Diocese of Rapid City, SD. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI named him Bishop of Spokane, Wash. 

As a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop-elect Cupich chairs the subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. From 2008 to 2011 he chaired the bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Since 2009 Archbishop-elect Cupich has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Catholic Extension Society, a papal society headquartered in Chicago since 1905. As Chicago archbishop he will become chancellor of the society. The Extension Society is a national organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the Catholic Church in the poorest regions of the United States.  As chairman of the society’s mission committee he has launched many unique national initiatives to strengthen the Catholic faith in under-served communities, including a $15 million-dollar Hispanic Lay Leadership Initiative, one of the single-largest investments in the Hispanic Catholic community today. 

Archbishop-elect Cupich is also president of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association.

His installation is scheduled for Nov. 18. 

We are posting a number of links to stories about Archbishop-elect Cupich’s appointment. In particular, we have links to his Keynote address to the 2008 National Ministry Summit held in Orlando, Fla., in which he offers a theological, sacramental, and ecclesial context for lay ministry.

Also, on June 3 Bishop Cupich gave a response to an address by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga at a conference in Washington, DC organized by The Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies on the topic of Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Libertarianism. We have posted a link to Bishop Cupich’s remarks. 

For the USCCB Media Release:


Statement by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Archbishop of San Antonio: http://www.archsa.org/UserContent/file/Archbishops%20statement_The_appointment_of_Bishop_Blase_Cupich11.pdf

America Magazine remarks:


Keynote address, National Ministry Summit, April 2008, Orlando, Fla.


Response to Cardinal Maradiaga, Conference on Economic Libertarianism, June 3, 2014, Washington, DC.


Catholic Extension Society announcement: