1971 Alumnus Named Archbishop of Chicago

Bishop Blase Joseph Cupich, a 1971 St. Thomas alumnus, has been named the new archbishop of Chicago by Pope Francis.

The appointment was announced Saturday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Cupich, 65, will be installed Nov. 18 as the ninth archbishop of Chicago. He succeeds Cardinal Francis George.

Cupich, an Omaha, Nebraska, native, is one of nine children and a grandson of Croatian immigrants. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from St. Thomas and went on to study at the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome. He holds a doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America.

He was ordained to the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975, became bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1998 and was named bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

Cupich chairs the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe and is a former chair of the Committee on Protection of Children and Young People.

Chicago is the third-largest diocese in the United States with 2.3 million Catholics. Outside of Minnesota, Chicago is home to the largest concentration of St. Thomas alumni (1,700) in the country.

Read more about his appointment in The New York Times.