Bishop 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.
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
“Veritatem in Caritate” (Truth in Charity)
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Ninth Bishop of Harrisburg
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-time 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.
With the See of Harrisburg being vacant (sede vacante), Reverend Chester Patrick Snyder was elected Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Harrisburg by the College of Consultors. The function of a Diocesan Administrator ceases when the new Bishop, appointed by the Pope, has taken canonical possession of the Diocese (cf. canon 430 §1).
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 over 250,000 Catholics.
In November 2009 Bishop Rhoades was named the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana, home of the University of Notre Dame and four other Catholic colleges. At a special Vespers service at the Cathedral on Sunday, January 3, 2010, the Diocese of Harrisburg bade a formal farewell to Bishop Rhoades; on January 13, 2010, he was installed as the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
During his episcopacy as Bishop of Harrisburg, he served as President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, and as Co-chair of the Pennsylvania Conference on Interchurch Cooperation. In addition he is serving as Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Task Force on Health Care, and as Episcopal Moderator of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf. He is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on the Catechism, the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Board of Trustees of Mount Saint Mary’s University, the Board of Trustees of Saint Charles Seminary, the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary, the Episcopal Advisory Board of the Theology of the Body Institute, and the Episcopal Cabinet for Catholic Charities USA., and the Bishops’ Advisory Council of The Institute for Priestly Formation.
On December 9, 2004, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades was ordained as the Ninth Bishop of Harrisburg. The next year over 5,000 faithful joined with Bishop Rhoades in a Eucharistic Procession to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist, which had been designated by Pope John Paul II. The procession, which began at Annunciation BVM Church in McSherrystown, finished at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Conewago, the earliest mission site in the diocese. Also, in 2005 the Priests’ Retirement Residence was named in memory of Bishop Dattilo.
In the latter part of 2006, Saint Patrick Cathedral was closed temporarily for extensive restoration and renewal in preparation for its centennial anniversary. The Cathedral re-opened in December 2006, and in 2007 the year-long centennial celebration of the dedication of Saint Patrick Cathedral began. An anniversary Mass was celebrated on May 14, 2007, one hundred years to the day of the dedication of the Cathedral on May 14, 1907. Through March 17, 2008, a plenary indulgence in the name of Pope Benedict XVI is granted to all who make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral and fulfill the normal conditions for an indulgence.
In November 2009 Bishop Rhoades was named the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana, home of the University of Notre Dame and four other Catholic colleges. At a special Vespers service at the Cathedral on Sunday, January 3, 2010, the Diocese of Harrisburg bade a formal farewell to Bishop Rhoades; on January 13, 2010, he was installed as the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. During the interim as the Diocese of Harrisburg awaited the appointment of its tenth bishop, Father Chester P. Snyder served as administrator of the Diocese.