Bishop Robert Francis Prevost OSA, ’77 CLAS, One of 21 New Cardinals Appointed by Pope Francis

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VILLANOVA, Pa.— Bishop Robert Francis Prevost OSA, ’77 CLAS, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, was one of 21 new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on Sunday, July 9 at St. Peter’s Square. He will be formally installed along with the other cardinal-designates on Sept. 30, during a consistory at the Vatican on the eve of the Synod of Synodality. Bishop Prevost is an alumnus of Villanova University, having earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1977.

Sunday’s announcement was made just months after Bishop Prevost was named Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops (formerly Congregation of Bishops) with the title Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Chiclayo. He was also appointed the President of the Pontifical Commission of Latin America. Bishop Prevost began both of these roles on April 12, 2023. He has been a member of the Dicastery since November 2020.

Born in Chicago, Ill., Bishop Prevost joined the Order of St. Augustine in 1977. Following his undergraduate studies at Villanova, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago in 1982 and was ordained a priest the same year. Bishop Prevost went on to earn both licentiate (1984) and doctorate (1987) degrees in canon law from the Pontifical College of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

After joining the Augustinian mission in Peru in 1985, Bishop Prevost worked predominantly in that country until the late 1990s. Nearly a decade of that time was spent leading the Augustinian seminary in Trujillo and teaching canon law at the diocesan seminary. Bishop Prevost returned to his hometown in 1999 after being named provincial of the Augustinian Province of Chicago. He was then elected in 2001 as prior general of the Augustinians and re-elected to a second six-year term in 2007.

In 2014, Pope Francis named Bishop Prevost apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Chiclayo in northern Peru and titular bishop of Sufar. He was elevated to bishop of Chiclayo in 2015, holding the position for eight years until his appointment in January as prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit