Bishop Campbell, seminary rector, to head diocese in Ohio

Pope John Paul II has appointed Bishop Frederick Campbell, the rector and vice president of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, to be the next bishop of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.

Campbell, 61, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will be installed in his new post early next year. Plans for appointing his replacement at the seminary have not yet been determined, according to the archdiocese.

Bishop Frederick Campbell

In his new post, Campbell will succeed Bishop James Griffin, 70, who is retiring. The announcement was made yesterday in Columbus.

Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, praised Campbell for his leadership as rector of the seminary and as a member of the President’s Staff at St. Thomas since June 2002, when he succeeded Father Phillip Rask.

“Bishop Campbell has been a thoughtful and tireless advocate for the seminary,” Dease said. “He cares deeply about the seminary community and the importance of providing the best possible education for men preparing for the priesthood as well as lay people who hold positions in the church. We will miss his wisdom and his insights, and we wish him the best in Columbus.”

“As a priest, seminary rector and bishop, Bishop Campbell has served our archdiocese uncommonly well,” said St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Harry Flynn, chair of the St. Thomas board of trustees. “The priests, the many people in parishes he has served, the seminarians he has guided and Bishop Richard Pates and I will all miss him and his wisdom and reverent leadership. The Diocese of Columbus has always had outstanding leaders and now they are getting another one.”

Campbell is a St. Paul Seminary alumnus who studied there from 1976 to 1980, when he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He served at parishes in St. Anthony, Hopkins and West St. Paul until his appointment as auxiliary bishop in 1999.

In addition to his responsibilities as seminary rector, Campbell was a vice president of St. Thomas. A 1987 affiliation brought together the seminary’s master’s programs in theology and divinity and St. Thomas ’ master’s programs in pastoral studies. The school, which also offers a doctorate in ministry, enrolls 122 seminarians and lay students.

A 1964 magna cum laude graduate of St. Lawrence University in New York, Campbell received a master’s and doctorate in history from Ohio State University. Prior to entering the seminary, he taught history at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio and at California State College at San Bernardino.

He also taught theology at St. John Vianney Seminary, the undergraduate-level seminary located on the St. Thomas campus, from 1993 to 1999.