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 by Pope John Paul II on July 7, 1998, and was ordained and installed on September 21, 1998. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the sixth Bishop of Spokane, Washington on June 30, 2010, and installed on September 3, 2010. Cardinal Cupich was appointed Archbishop of Chicago by Pope Francis on September 20, 2014 and installed as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago on November 18, 2014.
On October 9, 2016, Pope Francis named him a Cardinal and he was elevated to the College of Cardinals in a consistory on November 19, 2016 at St. Peter’s Basilica 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 he received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1979 and Doctorate of Sacred Theology in 1987, both in Sacramental Theology, 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 Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. from 1981–1987, and served as Chair for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People from 2008–2011 and for the National Catholic Educational Association from 2013–2015.
In 2016, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops. in 2017, to the Congregation for Catholic Education, and in 2020, to the Vatican Task Force to Assist Episcopal Conferences, Congregations of Religious and Societies of Apostolic Life in preparing and updating guidelines for the protection of minors. Cardinal Cupich also serves on USCCB committees: Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and is Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Initiative with Muslims; Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Chair; and the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. He is an Executive Member of The Catholic Mutual Relief Society and Chancellor of the Catholic Church Extension Society, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois.