Bishop Biographies

Biographies for current Catholic Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese and incoming Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades currently serving the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Diocese.

Biography for Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, as provided by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Most Reverend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Biography

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades is the son of Charles and the late Mary Rhoades, and the brother of Charles Roades and Robin McCracken.  He was borrn November 26, 1957, in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, located in Schuylkill County in the Diocese of Allentown, and baptized at Saint Canicus Church there.  He grew up in Lebanon, where he was a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.  He attended the former Saint Mary’s School in Lebanon and graduated from Lebanon Catholic High School in 1975.

He enrolled at Mount Saint Mary’s College (now University) in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in the fall of 1975, and studied there for two years.  in 1977, he  entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, and earned a bachelors degree in philosophy there in 1979.  He did his theological studies at the North American College and tthe Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome from 1979-1983.  He also studied Spanish at the University of Salamanca in Spain during the summer of 1982.

Cardinal Terence Cooke ordained Bishop Rhoades a deacon at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City in 1982.  He was ordained a priest of the Harrisburg Diocese on July 9, 1983, by then-Auxiliary Bishop William Keeler.  The ceremony took place at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon, and was the first ordination to take place in the county.

His first assignment in the diocese was a parochial vicar at Saint Patrick Parish in York from 1983-19985.  During this time, he also ministered in  the Spanish-speaking apostolates at Cristo Salvador Parish in York and Cristo Rey Mission in Bendersville.  in 1985, he returned to the Geogorian University in Rome, where he earned advanced degrees in dogmatic theology and canon law.

In 1988, he came back to the Harrisburg Diocese to serve as assistant chancellor under then-Bishop Keeler.  During this time, he also ministered as the director of the Spanish apostolate in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties, and as administrator pro-tem of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Lebanon.

Bishop Rhoades was appointed pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Harrisburg, in 1990.  He served there until 1995, when he accepted a full-time position with Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary.  While there, he taught courses in systematic theology, canon law and Hispanic ministry.

In March 1977, he was named rector of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, a role he fulfilled until his appointment by Pope John Paul II as Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg on October 14, 2004.

He was ordained a Bishop on December 9, 2004, by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia.  On that date, he began his ministry as Bishop of Harrisburg, a diocese which encompasses 15 counties of south-central Pennsylvania and which includes more than 250,000 Catholics.

Bishop Rhoades serves as President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, as Co-chair of the Pennsylvania Conference on Interchurch Cooperation, Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Task Force on Health Care, and as Episcopal Moderator of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf.  He is a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catechism, the Board of Trustees of Mount Saint Mary’s University, the Board of Trustees of Saint Charles Seminary, the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary, the Episcopal Advisory Board of the Theology of the Body Institute, and the Episcopal Cabinet for Catholic Charities USA.

Bishop Rhoades was appointed the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on November 14, 2009.

Statement in Harrisburg on his appointment to Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese

Biographical Data for Bishop John M. D’Arcy:

Most Reverend Bishop John M. D’Arcy, D.D., S.T.D.

  • born Aug. 18, 1932, Boston, son of two Irish immigrants
  • graduated from Boston College High School, 1949
  • studied for priesthood, St.  John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA
  • ordained to priesthood, Feb. 2, 1957; served in parish for nine years
  • studied at Gregorian and Angelicum universities, Rome, 1965-68
  • received doctorate in spiritual theology, 1968, from Angelicum
  • served as spiritual director, professor of spiritual theology, St. John’s Seminary, 1968-85
  • ordained Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Boston, Feb. 11, 1975; appointed Vicar for Spiritual Development
  • directed renewal, restructuring Office of Family Life, Office of Campus Ministry, permanent Diaconate
  • appointed Regional Bishop, Lowell Region, Archdiocese, July 21, 1981; continuing as Vicar for Spiritual Development
  • chaired committee of New England bishops that wrote significant pioneering “Letter on Priestly Formation” used worldwide to strengthen priestly formation
  • gave more than 50 retreats to bishops, priests throughout U.S., more than 30 retreats to college, university students
  • appointed eight Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Feb. 26, 1985; installed May 1, 1985, in Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne, IN
  • interviewed by National Lay Review Board, recognizing efforts in Boston as “a voice in the wilderness,” submitting letters to superiors raising concerns, making requests that actions be taken regarding misconduct of some local priests
  • Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend recognized as one of eight (arch)dioceses with exceptional, positive response to clergy sexual-abuse crisis
  • wrote series of op-ed columns, 2002, on sexual-abuse crisis in Catholic Church for secular newspapers; published in pamphlet titled, “Some Pastoral Reflections in a Moment of Crisis”
  • during his 24 years and nine months as Shepherd of local diocese, received numerous awards; recognized in particular for  efforts on behalf of young people, campus ministry
  • received St. Ignatius Award, April 2005, highest honor bestowed on graduate of Boston College High School
  • established many significant diocesan initiatives in areas of spirituality, catechesis, education, ecumenism, social services outreach
  • oversaw construction of eight new church buildings, more than 50 new buildings/additions/renovations

Related weblinks:
Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Diocese
The Church and the University – article in The National Catholic Weekly written by Bishop D’Arcy
Pastoral Letter on the Marian Year – written by Bishop Rhoades, referenced by Bishop D’Arcy in his statement


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