John Stephen Cummins
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John Stephen Cummins

John Stephen Cummins
Bishop Emeritus of Oakland
ArchdioceseSan Francisco
AppointedMay 3, 1977
InstalledJune 30, 1977
Term endedOctober 1, 2003
PredecessorFloyd Lawrence Begin
SuccessorAllen Henry Vigneron
OrdinationJanuary 24, 1953
ConsecrationMay 16, 1974
by Alden John Bell, Floyd Lawrence Begin, and Hugh Aloysius Donohoe
Personal details
Born (1928-03-03) March 3, 1928 (age 92)
Oakland, California
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of Sacramento
Styles of
John Stephen Cummins
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

John Stephen Cummins (born March 3, 1928) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Oakland from 1977 to 2003.

Early life and education

John Cummins was born in Berkeley, California, to Michael and Mary (née Connolly) Cummins.[1] His parents were both Irish immigrants, and his brother Bernard was also a priest who served as superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.[2] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Augustine's Church in Oakland.[3] He began his studies for the priesthood at St. Joseph's College (California) in Mountain View, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949.[1] He completed his theological studies at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 1953.[2]


On January 24, 1953, Cummins was ordained a priest by Bishop Hugh Aloysius Donohoe at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.[4] His first assignment was as a curate at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco, where he remained for four years.[1] He also served as chaplain at the Newman Centre of San Francisco State University.[2] He taught at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland from 1957 until 1962, when he became chancellor of the Diocese of Oakland.[1] He was named a domestic prelate in 1963.[3]

In addition to his duties as chancellor, Cummins coordinated the Social Justice and Ecumenical Commissions, and oversaw the diocesan insurance program.[3] He also served as the diocesan liaison to the three Catholic theological schools (Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Franciscan School of Theology, and Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University) of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.[2] Cummins continued to serve as chancellor until 1971, when he was named executive director of the California Catholic Conference.[1] In that capacity, he channeled the functions of the conference by providing liaison with state departments and with the state legislature, disseminating information to Catholic associations and organizations and to other state conferences and the United States Catholic Conference, and coordinating interdiocesan activities in the areas of education and welfare.[3]



On February 26, 1974, Cummins was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento and titular bishop of Lambaesis by Pope Paul VI.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 16 from Bishop Alden John Bell, with Bishops Floyd Lawrence Begin and Hugh Donohoe serving as co-consecrators, at the Memorial Auditorium.[4] As an auxiliary bishop, he continued to serve as executive director of the California Catholic Conference, a position which he held until 1977.[2]


Following the death of Bishop Begin, Cummins was named the second Bishop of Oakland on June 30, 1977.[4] His installation took place on June 30 of that year.[4]

As a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cummins served as chairman of the Liturgy Committee (1981-84), Laity Committee (1988-91), and Migration & Refugee Services Committee (1995-98).[2] From 1992 to 1995, he was co-chair of the Roman Catholic-Reformed-Presbyterian Dialogue Commission and a consultant of the Ecumenical and Religious Committee. He was president of the California Catholic Conference from 1988 to 1997.[2] He was chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) from 1995 to 1999, and served as a delegate to several synods in Rome.[2]

After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Cummins resigned as Bishop of Oakland on October 1, 2003.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Most Reverend John S. Cummins". Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland. Archived from the original on 2010-09-25.
  3. ^ a b c d Weber, Francis J. (1982). California: The Catholic Experience.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop John Stephen Cummins".

External links

Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Floyd Lawrence Begin
Bishop of Oakland
Succeeded by
Allen Henry Vigneron
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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