Pope Francis Appoints New Bishops of Rapid City, Davenport Dioceses

The Davenport Diocese numbers 85,437 Catholics while the Rapid City Diocese has a Catholic population of 23,668.

Bishop-elect Scott Bullock (left) and Bishop-elect Dennis Walsh.
Bishop-elect Scott Bullock (left) and Bishop-elect Dennis Walsh. (photo: Diocese of Rapid City/Diocese of Davenport)

The Vatican announced on Tuesday that Pope Francis has appointed two new bishops to lead two U.S. dioceses in the Midwest. 

The Holy See said Father Dennis Walsh would head the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, while Father Scott Bullock would lead the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Bishop-elect Walsh was born on July 16, 1965, in Ohio. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, Connecticut, and later obtained a master’s of divinity from Washington Theological College. 

Bishop-elect Walsh entered the religious order of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1992 and was ordained a priest on May 27, 2000. In July of that year he was incardinated in the Diocese of Toledo.

Bishop Walsh has served a variety of priestly roles, including as parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish in Baltimore and as secretariat of finance for the Baltimore Redemptorist Province, both before his incardination at Toledo.

In the Toledo Diocese, the bishop-elect was pastor at several parishes; he also served as a member of the Catholic Foundation Board, a member of the diocesan Presbyteral Council, and as dean of the St. Junipero Serra Deanery.

The Davenport Diocese was previously headed by Archbishop Thomas Zinkula, who was appointed to lead the Archdiocese of Dubuque in 2023. Father Kenneth Kuntz has served as the apostolic administrator of the diocese since that time.

Bishop-elect Bullock, meanwhile, will go to Rapid City after serving as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, where he currently serves as pastor of St. Edward Parish in Waterloo.

Born on Oct. 26, 1963, in Royal Oak, Michigan, Bishop-elect Bullock earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Delaware and received an industrial engineering degree from the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan.

At Pontifical North American College in Rome, he earned a degree in sacred theology, after which he received a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America.

Ordained on June 22, 1991, he has held several pastorships and diocesan roles in Dubuque, where he served as director of seminarians for 14 years as well as director of the recently ordained program and judicial vicar for the archdiocese.

Bishop Peter Muhich had led the Rapid City Diocese until his death in February of this year. Father Daniel Juelfs administered the diocese in the interim.

The Davenport Diocese numbers 85,437 Catholics while the Rapid City Diocese has a Catholic population of 23,668.