Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich was born on March 19, 1949, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Blase and Mary (Mayhan) Cupich. He is one of nine children, with five sisters and three brothers.
Cardinal Cupich was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha on August 16, 1975. He was pastor of two parishes in Omaha. He was appointed Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, on July 7, 1998, and was ordained and installed on September 21, 1998. He was appointed the sixth Bishop of Spokane, Washington, on June 30, 2010, and officially installed on September 3, 2010. Cardinal Cupich was appointed Archbishop of Chicago on September 20, 2014, and was installed as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.
On October 9, 2016, Pope Francis announced that he was cardinal-designate and would be among the seventeen new cardinals to be created at a consistory. Cardinal Cupich was elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City.
Cardinal Cupich obtained his B.A. in Philosophy from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1971. He attended seminary at the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome, where he received his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology in 1974, and his M.A. in Theology in 1975. Cardinal Cupich is a graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where, in 1979, he received his Licentiate of Sacred Theology degree in Sacramental Theology. He also holds a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree, also in Sacramental Theology, from the Catholic University of America, awarded in 1987, with his dissertation entitled: “Advent in the Roman Tradition: An Examination and Comparison of the Lectionary Readings as Hermeneutical Units in Three Periods.”
Additionally, Cardinal Cupich was the Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. He also served as Chair for the USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People from 2008-2011 and for the National Catholic Educational Association Board from 2006-2008.
In 2016, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops.
Cardinal Cupich also serves on many committees, including: the USCCB Communications Committee; the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, National Dialogue Initiative with Muslims, Co-Chair; the USCCB Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Chair; Catholic Church Extension Society, Chancellor; and The Catholic Mutual Relief Society, Executive Member. He is also Chancellor of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois.