Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The appointment was announced Saturday, Nov. 14, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Rhoades will be installed at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne on Jan. 13, 2010.
Bishop Rhoades is the son of Charles and the late Mary Rhoades and the brother of Charles Rhoades and Robin McCracken. He was born Nov. 26, 1957, in Mahanoy City, Pa., located in Schuylkill County in the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., and baptized at St. Canicus Church there. He grew up in Lebanon, Pa., where he was a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. He attended the former St. 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, Md., in the fall of 1975, and studied there for two years. He studied for the priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pa., and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy there in 1979. He did his theological studies at the North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome, from 1979-1983.
Cardinal Terence Cooke ordained Bishop Rhoades a deacon at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City in 1982.
He also studied Spanish at the University of Salamanca in Spain during the summer of 1982.
Bishop Rhoades was ordained a priest in July 1983 by then-Auxiliary Bishop William H. Keeler of Harrisburg at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon.
Following ordination, Bishop Rhoades served in parish ministry as parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in York, Pa., from 1983-1985 and also worked with Spanish-speaking Catholics at Cristo Salvador Parish in York and Cristo Rey Mission in Bendersville.
In 1985, he returned to the Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned advanced degrees in dogmatic theology and canon law.
In 1988, he returned 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 St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Harrisburg, in 1990. He served there until 1995, when he accepted a full-time faculty position with Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary. While there, he taught courses in systematic theology, canon law and Hispanic ministry.
In March 1997, 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 Oct. 14, 2004.
He was ordained a bishop on Dec. 9, 2004, by Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia. The Diocese of Harrisburg encompasses 15 counties of south-central Pennsylvania and includes over 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 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Task Force on Health Care, and as episcopal moderator of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf. He is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on the Catechism, the board of trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 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.
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