Most Reverend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades January 13, 2010 – Installed as 9th bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades is the son of the late Charles and Mary Rhoades, and the brother of Charles Rhoades and Robin McCracken. He was born 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 the 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 as parochial vicar at Saint Patrick Parish in York from 1983-1985. 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 Gregorian 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-tie 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 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 was appointed the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend on November 14, 2009, by Pope Benedict XVI, and installed on January 13, 2010, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.
While serving as Bishop of Harrisburg, Bishop Rhoades served as President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and on the Board of Trustees of Saint Charles Seminary, the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary and the Board of Trustees of Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Presently (as of January 2014), Bishop Rhoades serves as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. He also serves as a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Bishop Rhoades is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Our Sunday Visitor. He also continues to serve as Episcopal Moderator of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Episcopal Advisory Board of the Theology of the Body Institute, the Bishops’ Advisory Council of the Institute for Priestly Formation, the Advisory Board of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, the Advisory Board of the Augustine Institute, the Episcopal Advisory Board of the Catholic Leadership Institute and the Board of Directors of Morality in the Media.
Previously, Bishop Rhoades served as Chair of the USCCB on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and Chair of the USCCB Task Force on Health Care. He also served as a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catechism, the USCCB Committee on Doctrine, and the USCCB Administrative Committee as well as a consultant to the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.