The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap.
Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia
Charles Chaput
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was born September 26, 1944, in Concordia, Kansas, the son of Joseph and Marian DeMarais Chaput. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965, and was ordained a priest on August 29, 1970.

He received a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of San Francisco in 1971. He served as an instructor in theology and spiritual director at St. Fidelis from 1971-1974 and as executive secretary and director of communications for the Capuchin Province of St. Augustine in Pittsburgh from 1974-1977.

In 1977, he became pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, Colorado, and vicar provincial for the Capuchin Province of Mid-America. He was named secretary and treasurer for the province in 1980. He became chief executive and provincial minister three years later.

Archbishop Chaput was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, on July 26, 1988. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Denver on February 18, 1997, and he was installed on April 7, 1997. As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput was the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States, and the first Native American archbishop. He chose as his episcopal motto: “As Christ Loved the Church” (Ephesians 5:25).

Pope Benedict XVI subsequently appointed him Archbishop of Philadelphia on July 19, 2011. He was installed as the 13th bishop and ninth archbishop of Philadelphia on September 8, 2011.

As Archbishop of Denver, in 1999, building on the efforts of his predecessor, Archbishop Chaput founded St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, an affiliate of the Pontifical Lateran University. From 1998 to 2011, he ordained 71 men for the Archdiocese of Denver.

In 2002, Archbishop Chaput built Denver’s Centro San Juan Diego in response to the pastoral and educational needs of the growing Hispanic community in Colorado. He encouraged the founding of the national ENDOW apostolate in 2003 as an initiative by Catholic women who seek to “Educate on the Nature and Dignity of Women.” He was also instrumental in 2005 in the creation of the Denver-based Augustine Institute, an independent, lay-run graduate school for the formation of lay Catholic leaders, catechists and evangelizers.

Archbishop Chaput was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2003-2006. His duties included religious freedom fact-finding missions to China and Turkey, and annual reports monitoring global trends in religious liberty mandated by 1998 federal law.

In 2005, he was named a member of the official U.S. delegation to Cordoba, Spain, for an international “Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance,” sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation. The national Becket Fund for Religious Liberty awarded him the 2009 Canterbury Medal for his work in advancing religious freedom.

Archbishop Chaput served the Holy Father as an Apostolic Visitor to the Seminaries of the United States from 2005 to 2006, the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia, in 2007, and the Legion of Christ for Canada and the United States, from 2009 to 2010. He served as a delegate to the Holy See’s special assembly for America (1997), and the synods on the family (2015) and youth (2018), as well as a term on the Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops. He also chaired the USCCB’s Committee of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth (2016-2019)

He is the author of three books: Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics (Servant, 2001); Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life (Doubleday, 2008); and Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World (Henry Holt, 2017); as well as the Doubleday e-book, A Heart on Fire (2012) and numerous articles and public talks.