Iowa pastor named bishop of Rapid City, S.D.

Pope Francis has appointed Father Scott Bullock, pastor of St. Edward Parish in Waterloo, Iowa, as bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota.

The appointment was publicized in Washington June 25 by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Scott Bullock.  (OSV News photo/courtesy Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.)

A priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, Bishop-designate Bullock, 60, succeeds the late Bishop Peter Muhich, who died Feb. 17 at age 62 shortly after entering hospice care. He had esophageal cancer.

The bishop-designate in a statement said that on June 24, he made a pilgrimage to Bishop Muhich’s grave “when I commended him to the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and at the same time, asked his prayers on my behalf and the diocese that he served. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.”

“I come to you filled with joy at what has been and hope of what is to come!” Bishop-designate Bullock told the faithful of the western South Dakota diocese.

“In these last years, I have experienced an exponential growth in my confidence in the powerful, prayerful intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary,” he said in his statement. “It is with this confidence that I consecrate the ministry of Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City to the intercession of the Mother of God. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!”

The bishop-designate, whose episcopal ordination and installation will be Sept. 23, expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for naming him as Rapid City’s new shepherd. He also thanked Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis for offering him “a warm welcome … to this region — this very large region!” and for the “promise of his prayers.” The archbishop is the metropolitan of the province that includes the dioceses in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Bishop-designate Bullock was born Oct. 26, 1963, to Alexander and Mildred Bullock in Royal Oak, Michigan, the youngest of three children. He has a brother, Robert, and a sister, Christine. The family lived in Michigan until the summer before young Scott’s fifth-grade year, when the family moved to Elkton, Maryland, where he graduated from high school and began college the next year at the University of Delaware. Ultimately, he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering in 1985 from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, and then was employed as an engineer in the automotive industry.

“Around this time, an active consideration of the vocation to the priesthood arose in his heart and soul, prompted by the sincere invitation of some men and women in a Bible study group,” his bio says. “Rather than responding to the call at that time, he instead moved to Iowa to attend Iowa State University in the graduate program in statistics.”

Within the first semester of his studies he felt a calling to consider priesthood and entered the seminary as a candidate for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. After four years of study at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood June 22, 1991, by Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera.

After two parish assignments as associate pastor, he was sent to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, where he earned a licentiate degree in canon law in 1997.

Subsequent assignments included rector of the St. Pius X Seminary at Loras College in Dubuque (2002-2014); judicial vicar of the archdiocese (2010-2020); and two assignments as a pastor, including at St. Edward Parish in Waterloo, from 2014 to the present, and, concurrently, service as the pastoral coordinator of Cedar Valley Catholic Schools in Waterloo. He also currently serves as dean of the archdiocese’s Waterloo Deanery.

In his leisure time, he completed a master’s degree in English literature in 2015 and then taught literature and English composition classes at the college level for Catholic high school students through a local community college. Besides his avid reading and study of literature, he also is an enthusiastic long-distance bicyclist and student of world cinema.

“Above all, however,” his bio added, Bishop-designate Bullock “is an exceptionally happy priest of 33 years!”

The Diocese of Rapid City covers 43,000 square miles and has a Catholic population of 23,668 out of a total population of just over 230,000.

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Contributing to this story was Laurie Hallstrom, editor of the West River Catholic, the news outlet of the Diocese of Rapid City.

Author: OSV News

OSV News is a national and international wire service reporting on Catholic issues and issues that affect Catholics.

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