1971 alumnus named bishop of Spokane, Wash.

Bishop Blase Cupich '71

Bishop Blase Cupich '71

Bishop Blase Cupich, a 1971 St. Thomas alumnus who since 1998 has been bishop of Rapid City, S.D., last week was named bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, Wash.

Cupich joins a list of at least nine other men named bishops in recent years who have St. Thomas and St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity ties.

  • Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, a 1966 St. Paul Seminary alumnus
  • Bishop Peter Christensen of Superior, Wis., a 1981 St. Thomas alumnus and a 1985 St. Paul Seminary alumnus
  • Bishop Paul Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., a 1986 St. Thomas alumnus who also studied at St. John Vianney Seminary on the St. Thomas campus
  • Bishop Arthur Kennedy, a former St. Thomas faculty member
  • Bishop John Kinney of St. Cloud, a 1963 St. Paul Seminary alumnus
  • Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, a 1965 St. Paul Seminary alumnus
  • Bishop Lee Piché of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a 1980 St. Thomas and a 1984 St. Paul Seminary alumnus who is a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees
  • Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Mich., who studied philosophy at St. Thomas during the 1986-87 academic year, after he had earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Michigan Technological University
  • Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth, a 1982 St. Thomas alumnus and a 1986 St. Paul Seminary alumnus.

An Omaha, Neb., native, Cupich, 61, earned a B.A. in philosophy from St. Thomas, then attended the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975. He later completed postgraduate studies at the Catholic University of America. He currently chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Protection of Children and Young People.

More than 101,000 Catholics live in the Spokane diocese.