Father Lee Piché was installed as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on June 29, the Feast of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Ten volunteers, led by St. Thomas alum Joe Conlon '95 of Town Square TV, taped the Mass. Their complete broadcast will be shown throughout the Twin Cities and suburbs on Metro Cable Channel 6:
- 2-4:30 p.m. on all Mondays in July
- 1-3:30 p.m. on all Sundays in August
Pope Benedict XVI named Piché a bishop on May 27, the day after Piché celebrated his 25th anniversary in the priesthood. (Read more about the appointment in The Catholic Spirit.) Piché replaces the Most Rev. Richard Pates, who was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, in May 2008.
Archbishop John Nienstedt presided at the liturgy. Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn and Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm co-consecrated Piché. Read a description of the ordination Mass and watch an abbreviated telecast of the celebration on YouTube.
An auxiliary bishop helps an archbishop with administrative and sacramental duties, which is especially needed in a large diocese. An auxiliary bishop may travel to parishes as a representative of the archbishop and preside at confirmations and other important liturgies. Historically, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has had two auxiliary bishops at one time.
Piché was born in Minneapolis, but his family moved to New Brighton in 1966. He is the son of LeRoy and Cecilia Piché and the oldest of seven children. After graduating from Irondale High School in 1976, he enrolled at St. Thomas and entered St. John Vianney Seminary. He graduated in 1980 and continued his formation at the St. Paul Seminary, earning an M.A. in theology. He was ordained a priest in 1984 at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Following his ordination, Piché served as parochial vicar at the Church of St. Mark in St. Paul for three years. During his last year, he taught religion to seniors at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. He spent one year as a visiting scholar at Princeton University before beginning studies at Columbia University in New York. He holds a master's degree in philosophy from Columbia.
He came back to St. Thomas to teach undergraduate philosophy from 1994 to 1997 before returning to Columbia.
He was pastor of the Church of St. Joseph in West St. Paul from 1999 to 2005 and pastor of the Church of All Saints in Lakeville from 2005 to 2008. From 2000 to 2008, he served as chair of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese. He also had been serving as pastor of St. Andrew's in St. Paul during the past year until the episcopal announcement.
Nienstedt appointed Piché as moderator of the curia and vicar general in 2008, the same year he was appointed to the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees.