Pope appoints Mt. Vernon native as next Archbishop of Dubuque

DUBUQUE — Pope Francis has appointed the bishop of Davenport’s Diocese to serve as the Archbishop of Dubuque.

The Dubuque Archdiocese covers 30 counties in northeast and north-central Iowa where 18 percent of the population is Catholic according to an archdiocese news release. The Most Reverend Thomas Zinkula will be the 11th Archbishop of Dubuque when he’s ordained in the fall. The previous archbishop, the Most Reverend Michael Jackels, resigned in April for health reasons.

Archbishop-elect Zinkula, who is 66 years old, grew up on a farm near Mount Vernon. He graduated from Cornell College with a degree in math, economics and business in 1979, worked at an insurance company in Cedar Rapids, earned a law degree from the University of Iowa in 1983 and joined a law firm in Cedar Rapids. In 1990, Zinkula earned a masters in theology at Catholic University, the same year he was ordained as a priest at the cathedral in Dubuque.

Zinkula served seven parishes during his assignment in the archdiocese and was rector of the Catholic seminary in Dubuque for three years before his appointment as Bishop of the Davenport Diocese in 2017. 

In a written statement, Archbishop-elect Zinkula said he is humbled and overjoyed to receive the appointment to return to his home diocese and hopes being a native son of the area makes the transition somewhat easier and quicker. His ordination will be held in Dubuque on October 18th. Until then, the Most Reverend Richard Pates, who retired as the bishop for the Des Moines Diocese in 2017, will continue as the administrator of the archdiocese. 

Here’s the list of parishes where Zinkula served: 1990-1993 Parochial Vicar of St. Columbkille Parish, Dubuque; 1993-1996 Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Dubuque; 1998-2002 Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Rickardsville; Sacramental Priest for St. Francis Parish, Balltown and Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Sherrill; 2002-2005 Sacramental Priest for St. John Baptist de La Salle Pastorate; 2005-2007 Pastor of Holy Ghost Parish, Dubuque; 2007-2011 Pastor of Holy Spirit Pastorate, Dubuque; June-July, 2011 Parochial Administrator of Holy Spirit Parish, Dubuque; 2012-2014 Episcopal Vicar of Cedar Rapids Region.