Bishop-CHARLES-CHAPUT_lgMost Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., CAP.

Sixth Bishop of the Diocese

Motto: “As Christ Loved the Church”

Native American name: Wamble Waste (Good Eagle)


  • Born on September 26, 1944, in Concordia, Kansas
  • Ordained to the priesthood, August 29, 1970
  • Appointed April 11, 1988; ordained and installed as the sixth bishop of Rapid City, July 26, 1988;
  • Served as bishop nine years
  • Installed as archbishop of Denver, April 7, 1996
  • Installed as archbishop of Philadelphia, September 8, 2011


After his ordination as a Capuchin friar, Chaput served his order in various positions, including vocations director, vice provincial, and provincial. He was the second man of Native American descent to be ordained a bishop and the first to become the head of a diocese. During his first year as bishop, he established the St. Francis fund to help the poor, formed a diocesan financial advisory board, and expanded the ministry to separated, divorced and widowed into the office of Family Life Ministries. During his second year, he formed the diocesan building commission, the Pro-Life Commission, and the Office of Native Concerns. The Western South Dakota Catholic Foundation was established in 1992. St. Thomas More High School in Rapid City was dedicated in 1995.