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Charles Chaput

Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput was born September 26, 1944, in Concordia, Kansas. Chaput attended St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, Kansas, and then joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province. Chaput attended St. Fidelis College Seminary in Pennsylvania and graduated in 1967. Upon graduation Chaput earned a master’s degree at Capuchin College in Washington D.C.

Chaput was ordained to the priesthood August 29, 1970 and went on to acquire another master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in 1971. Chaput was an instructor in theology for three years before becoming the pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, Colorado. Chaput was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota on July 26, 1988, and on February 18, 1997 he was appointed Archbishop of Denver. In 1999, Chaput founded St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, and in 2002, he founded Centro San Juan Diego as a way to help the educational and pastoral needs of Hispanics in Colorado. From 2003 to 2006 Chaput served on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he made several missions to China and Turkey.

On July 19, 2011, Chaput was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia. Chaput has served on several boards throughout the years and has written two books: Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics, and Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life. Chaput is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, and was the second American Indian to be ordained a bishop and the first American Indian to be appointed archbishop.

Entry: Chaput, Charles

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2012

Date Modified: June 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.