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Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Apostolic Administrator

Bishop Richard E. Pates was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota on December 20, 1968 by Bishop Francis Reh at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  In addition to his parish assignments, he served as Vocation Director for the Archdiocese as well as vice-chancellor and private secretary to Archbishop Leo Byrne.  Additionally, he was secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C. from 1975 to 1981 before returning to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and serving as rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, and later pastor to several archdiocesan parishes.

On December 22, 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Pates as an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese, and he was ordained on March 26, 2001 by Archbishop Harry Flynn, with Archbishop John Roach and Bishop Frederick Campbell serving as co-consecrators.  As auxiliary bishop, Bishop Pates served as the Vicar General, Vicar for Clergy, Vicar for Youth and Young Adults and Vicar for Evangelization.

Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Pates as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines in Iowa, where he was installed on May 29, 2008, where he served until his retirement in 2019. 

In addition to his work as a bishop in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Des Moines and now Joliet, Bishop Pates has served on numerous committees and boards with the USCCB and other organizations, most significantly as the chair of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace from 2011 to 2014.

Upon the notification that Bishop Conlon would take a medical leave, Bishop Richard E. Pates was appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Joliet on December 27, 2019 by Pope Francis. When the Holy Father accepted Bishop Conlon's resignation on May 4, 2020, he again appointed Bishop Pates as Apostolic Administrator until the appointment of a new bishop for the diocese.

Diocese of Joliet Bishops

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