Augustinian Friar Archbishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A. Named a Cardinal

A member of the Order of Saint Augustine, Archbishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A., was among 21 bishops named cardinals this week. He will be created a cardinal on September 30 during the Vatican consistory.

Archbishop Prevost, O.S.A. is originally from Chicago, Illinois. An alumnus of Villanova University, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1977. Upon graduating he entered the novitiate in the Province of Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Louis and made his solemn vows in 1981. He studied at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, graduating with a degree in Theology.  After studying Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome, he received priestly ordination in 1982. He received his Licentiate in 1984, then was sent to work in the Augustinian mission in Chulucanas, Piura, Peru while earning his doctorate.

He served in Peru for a decade and a half before returning to the States to teach and become Prior Provincial is his native Province in the Midwest.  Shortly thereafter he was elected Prior General of the entire Augustinian Order (a role he served for two terms) and was later appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Chiclayo, Peru.

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Prevost, O.S.A. the Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops in January.  The Dicastery for Bishops is the department of the Roman Curia that oversees the selection of most new bishops, and traditionally has been considered one of the Vatican’s most powerful departments.

As to his new appointment, Cardinal-designate Prevost (how exciting it is to type that!) recalled the words of Saint Pope Paul VI, saying that “being a cardinal is a mission of love with Christ, our Savior,” and that “a cardinal is called to give his whole life in service to the Church.” He also says, “I just pray to the Lord that I will be faithful in trying to fulfill what Pope Francis and the Church is now asking me.”