Facebook Twitter Contact Safe Environment Intranet for Staff and Parishes The Cathedral of Christ the Light

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


Archbishop Alex J. Brunett

You are here: Home / Diocese / Bishop of Oakland / Archbishop Alex J. Brunett

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett

Choir Dress Portrait, Archbishop Brunett




Archbishop Emeritus of Seattle
Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Oakland 2012-2013

Archbishop Alexander Joseph Brunett was born on January 17, 1934, in Detroit, Michigan, the second oldest of fifteen children born to the late Cecilia Gill Brunett and the late Raymond Brunett.

Ordained to the Priesthood:
July 13, 1958  (Rome)
Installed as Bishop: July 6, 1994 (Helena, Montana)
Installed as Archbishop:
December 18, 1997 (Seattle, Washington)
Retired: September 16, 2010
Served as Apostolic Administrator of Oakland: October 4, 2012 - May 24, 2013


St. Ambrose Grade School, Grosse Point Park, Michigan
Sacred Heart Seminary High School, Detroit, Michigan
Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, Michigan (BA and MA in Philosophy)
Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy (Bachelor of Sacred Theology)
Gregorian University, Rome, Italy (Licentiate in Sacred Theology)
University of Detroit, Michigan (MA in Education)
Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Ph.D.)
Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel (graduate work)
Institute Catholique, Paris, France (graduate work)
Goethe Institute, Radolfzell, Germany (graduate work)


1959-1961     Associate Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Detroit, Michigan
1961-1962     Associate Pastor, St. Alphonsus Parish, Dearborn, Michigan
1962-1964     Chaplain, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1968-1969     Chaplain, Easter Michigan University, Ypsilanti
1969-1973     Faculty Member and Academic Dean, St. John's Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan
1973-1991     Pastor, St. Aidan Parish, Livonia, Michigan
1991-1994     Pastor, Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan
1994-1997     Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, Montana
1997-2010     Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington
2010             Resignation accepted by Pope Benedict XVI
2012-            Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Oakland, California


Ecumenical Efforts:

  • Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
  • Founder and President of the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish/Christian Studies, Detroit, Michigan
  • Chairman of the National Workshop of Jewish/Christian Relations
  • Consultant to the Bishops’ Committee on World Religions
  • Founded the first Regional Islamic-Catholic Dialogues
  • Participated in several International Dialogues, including World Methodist/Roman Catholic
  • Co-Chairman of Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), developed Mary, Grace and Hope in Jesus Christ document.
  • President of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers (NADEO)
  • National Chairman of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue


  • Fitzgerald Award (1992) given annually by the Executive Committee of the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers to a person or institution in recognition of their achievement in ecumenism.
  • Dove Award, given by the American Jewish Committee
  • Leo Franklin Award, given by the American Jewish Committee
  • Elizabeth Ann Seaton Award, given by the National Catholic Education Association

Notable Achievements:

During Archbishop Brunett's term of office at the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers (NADEO), the number of Catholic dioceses belonging to the Association increased from 80 to 120.  He was responsible for the reorganization of NADEO; development of The Newsletter; development of the Institute for Ecumenical Leadership at Collegeville; development of several NADEO committees including:  Jewish/Christian, World Religion, EDEO liaison committee and several ad hoc study committees.  He developed and published the first edition of the NADEO Handbook and has participated and directed the publication of several NADEO studies, including:

The Lived Experience:  A Survey of U.S. ARC Covenants, 1979
Educating for Unity:  A Survey Concerning Diocesan Ecumenical Leadership, 1979
A detailed Survey of Three Special Areas in the U.S.  ARC Covenants, 1980
ARC Marriages:  A Study of U.S. Couples Living Episcopal/Roman Catholic Marriages, 1981
Educating for Unity:  A Survey Concerning Roman Catholic Seminary Education in the U.S.,
Pastoral Care for ARC Couples:  Models for Ministry to Engaged and Married Couples, 1982
Educating for Unity:  A Survey of Diocesan Vicars of Education, School Superintendents, Religious Education Directors, and Adult Education Directors, 1983
Pastoral perspectives on Baptism in ARC Families, 1983

In Seattle, Archbishop Brunett developed the Fulcrum Foundation, an endowment program to keep open Catholic schools and grant tuition to students in need.  He opened several new high schools and grade schools and no parish or school was forced to close. He increased the budget of Catholic Community Services, which doubled in size during his time as Archbishop of Seattle.  The archbishop also benefited from an increase of vocations to the priesthood and ordained several priests each year including the largest class since 1967.

Archbishop Brunett is presently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on Native American Catholics, and a Trustee of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

The archbishop speaks several languages.

Archbishop Brunett Resources

Homilies & Statements

Catholic Voice Columns

Official Portrait Download:
Medium Large