Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was born September 26, 1944, in Concordia, Kansas, the son of Joseph and Marian DeMarais Chaput. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School in Concordia and St. Francis Seminary High School in Victoria, Kansas. He joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Fidelis College Seminary in Herman, Pennsylvania, in 1967, Archbishop Chaput completed Studies in Theology at Catholic University in Washington D.C., in 1969. He earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Capuchin College in Washington D.C., in 1970 and was ordained to the priesthood on August 29, 1970.
Archbishop Chaput 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, Archbishop Chaput 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, and 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 the same year. As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput was the second Native American to be ordained a 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 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. On January 23, 2020, Archbishop Chaput became Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia upon Pope Francis’ acceptance of his letter of resignation written when he reached the age of 75. Until February 18, 2020, when his successor was installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput served as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese.
He is author of four 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); Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World (Henry Holt and Co., 2017); Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living (Henry Holt and Co., 2021); and numerous talks, articles and pastoral letters. His writings, discourses, and homilies are available at www.archphila.org.