Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins
Appointed: May 3, 1977
Installed: June 30, 1977
Retired: October 1, 2003
Bishop John Stephen Cummins was born (1928) and raised in Berkeley, California, the second son of Michael and Mary Cummins, both natives of Ireland. His sister, Mary McCarthy, still lives in the family home. His older brother, Monsignor Bernard A. Cummins, was Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco until his death in 1974.
Bishop Cummins was ordained to the priesthood on January 24, 1953 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. His first assignment was as Associate Pastor at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco. He also served as Campus Minister (Newman Club) at San Francisco State University until he was transferred to Bishop O’Dowd High School, as faculty member, in 1957.
In 1962, while at O’Dowd, Father Cummins was named the first Chancellor of the newly created Diocese of Oakland. While serving as chancellor, Monsignor Cummins also served as the diocesan liaison to the three Catholic theological schools entering the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
In February, 1971, he was appointed Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops in Sacramento. On May 16, 1974 he was ordained Bishop and Auxiliary to Bishop Alden Bell in Sacramento.
Upon the death of Bishop Floyd L. Begin, founding bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, Bishop Cummins was appointed the second Bishop of Oakland and installed on June 30, 1977.
Education, Degrees and Committees
St. Joseph’s College, Mountain View, 1941-1947
St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, 1947-1953, B.A. M. Div.
Graduate Studies in History, University of California, Berkeley
National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB)
1981-1984: Chair, Liturgy Committee
1988-1991: Chair, Laity Committee
1992-present: Liaison, Federation of Asian Bishops Conference, Hong Kong
1992-1995: Co-chair, R.C. Presbyterian/Reformed Dialogue
1992-1995: Consultant, Ecumenical & Religious Committee
1992-1995: Member, Science & Human Values Committee
1995-1998: Chair, Migration & Refugee Services
1995-1999: Chair, CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.)
United States Catholic Conference (USCC)
1995-1999 Member, Administrative Board
1996-1999 Member, International Policy Committee
CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE (CCC)
Executive Director 1971-1977
Delegate: Synod of the Americas in Rome - 1997
Delegate: Asian Synod in Rome -1998
Delegate: IV Congress on Pastoral Care of Migrants – 1998