Richard Pates

Richard Edmund Pates (born February 12, 1943) is an American prelate of the Catholic Church who was Bishop of Des Moines from 2008 to 2019. He has been the Apostolic Administrator of Crookston since April 2021.

Richard Pates
Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines
Bishop Pates' Ordination.jpg
Pates' episcopal ordination in 2001
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
DioceseDes Moines
AppointedApril 10, 2008
InstalledMay 29, 2008
Term endedJuly 18, 2019
PredecessorJoseph Charron
SuccessorWilliam M. Joensen
Other post(s)Apostolic Administrator of Crookston (2021–present)
OrdinationDecember 20, 1968
by Francis Frederick Reh
ConsecrationMarch 26, 2001
by Harry Joseph Flynn, John Roach, and Frederick F. Campbell
Personal details
Birth nameRichard Edmund Pates
Born (1943-02-12) February 12, 1943 (age 78)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, US
Previous post(s)
Styles of
Richard Edmund Pates
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop


Early lifeEdit

The youngest of three sons, Richard Pates was born to Donald and Lenora Pates in Saint Paul, Minnesota.[1] He attended Nazareth Hall Seminary and St. Paul Seminary, from where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy and Latin in 1965.[2] He completed his graduate studies in Rome, where he resided at the Pontifical North American College and received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. On December 20, 1968, Pates was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis Reh at St. Peter's Basilica.[3]

Early priesthoodEdit

Upon his return to the Twin Cities, he served as associate pastor at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul from 1969 to 1970.[1] From 1970 to 1974, he was the vocation director of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a weekend associate pastor at the Church of the Annunciation[4] in Minneapolis. He also served as private secretary to Archbishop Leo Byrne and vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese from 1973 to 1975.[2]

Senior priestly postingsEdit

From 1975 to 1981, Pates was secretary of the Apostolic Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C.. During this time, he assisted at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament[5] in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and was raised to the rank of Chaplain to His Holiness in 1979.[1] Following his return to the Twin Cities, he served as rector of St. John Vianney Seminary (1981–1987) and chaplain of the Serra Club of Midway (1981–1990) in St. Paul. He became Vicar for Seminaries in 1987, and pastor of the Church of Saint Kevin and the Church of the Resurrection in Minneapolis. In 1991, the two parishes merged to form the Church of Our Lady of Peace,[6] where Pates continued as pastor until 1998.[2] He was also moderator for Minneapolis Deaneries Council of Catholic Women[7] (1990–1998) and founding pastor of the Church of Saint Ambrose of Woodbury[8] in St. Paul (1998–2001).[2]

Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and MinneapolisEdit

On December 22, 2000, Pates was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Titular Bishop of Suacia by Pope John Paul II.[3] He received his episcopal ordination on March 26, 2001 from Archbishop Harry Flynn, with Archbishop John Roach and Bishop Frederick Campbell serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.[3] As an auxiliary bishop, he served as vicar general, Vicar for Clergy, Vicar for Youth and Young Adults, and Vicar for Evangelization.[2]

Bishop of Des MoinesEdit

Pates was named the ninth bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, by Pope Benedict XVI on April 10, 2008.[3] Installed on the following May 29, he is the third consecutive Twin Cities' auxiliary bishop to be named ordinary of that diocese; his two immediate predecessors, Joseph Charron and William Henry Bullock, previously served the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese.[1]

On November 14, 2011, Bishop Pates was elected Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace at the 2011 Bishops meeting, on a 122–114 vote over Bishop Frank Joseph Dewane of Venice, Florida.[9]

He advocated lifting the embargo and the other restrictions the US has placed on Cuba, and for further dialogue between the two countries, earning some support from Florida-area Catholics.[10]

On February 16, 2018, Pates submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis having reached the canonical retirement age of 75.[11] His successor William M. Joensen was announced to succeed him in late July 2019.

Apostolic AdministratorEdit

On December 27, 2019, Pope Francis named Pates Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Joliet after Bishop R. Daniel Conlon took medical leave.[12] He continued in that role when Conlon retired on May 4, 2020.[13] His responsibilities there ended when Bishop Ronald Aldon Hicks was installed there on September 29, 2020.[14] On April 13, 2021, Pope Francis named Pates Apostolic Administrator of Crookston.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bishop's background, ministry". The Catholic Mirror. April 18, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Meet Bishop Pates". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Richard Edmund Pates". David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Minneapolis Catholic Church and School - Annunciation Church and School, Minneapolis".
  5. ^ "Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament".
  6. ^ "Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church & School". Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church & School.
  7. ^ NCCW. "Home".
  8. ^ "Saint Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Community".
  9. ^ "Catholic News Service".
  10. ^ "Catholic News Service".
  11. ^ "KCCI".
  12. ^ "Bishop Pates to lead Joliet, Ill., diocese temporarily during bishop's medical leave". December 28, 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  13. ^ "Pope Francis Accepts Bishop R. Daniel Conlon's Resignation as Bishop of Joliet". May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Jones, Bill (September 29, 2020). "Diocese of Joliet's newly installed Bishop Ronald Hicks has history in the Southland". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 13.04.2021" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. April 13, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph Charron
Bishop of Des Moines
Succeeded by
William M. Joensen
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Succeeded by