Pope names MN priest as bishop-elect of Rapid City diocese

Capital Journal

May 15, 2020

By Stephen Lee

The Rev. Peter Muhich, a priest in Duluth, Minnesota, as been named bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City, which includes all of West River South Dakota. A date for his ordination as a bishop, then installation, hasn’t been set because of the COVID-19 pandemic has the church nixing most large public meetings.

About a year after Pope Francis appointed Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss as the new bishop in Saginaw, Michigan, the pope has named the Rev. Peter Muhich (MEW-itch), a priest in the Duluth, Minnesota, diocese as bishop-elect for the bishopric that covers West River South Dakota.

Gruss was ordained a bishop and installed in Rapid City in July 2011, serving until July 2019; he was named Saginaw’s bishop-elect in May 2019 and installed there last July.

That’s the typical time frame between the announcement and the installation of a Catholic bishop.


Muhich described his childhood faith and interest in the priesthood as happening well before the child abuse scandals in the church that came to public attention beginning in the 1980s.

Now that reality will be part of his work in Rapid City, he said.

“It has to be part of every bishop’s ministry,” Muhich told the Capital Journal. “To make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent the abuse of children by anybody, especially by priests, for God’s sake. Making sure the church is a safe place for all, working to prevent any abuse and, if, God forbid, it should happen, to cooperate with law enforcement and let them do their job.”

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