Francis Joseph Schenk

Styles of
Francis Joseph Schenk
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none

Francis Joseph Schenk (April 1, 1901October 28, 1969) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Crookston (1945–60) and Bishop of Duluth (1960–69).


Francis Schenk was born in Superior, Wisconsin, to Nicholas and Frances Mary (née Fischer) Schenk.[1] He attended St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, from 1915 to 1918, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1922.[1] He then studied for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary, receiving a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1926.[1]

Schenk was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on June 13, 1926.[2] He continued his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a doctorate in canon law in 1928.[1] Following his return to Minnesota, he served as secretary to Archbishop Austin Dowling from 1928 to 1930.[1] He served as vice-chancellor of the archdiocese (1930–34) and a professor at St. Paul Seminary (1934–42).[1] From 1942 to 1945, he served as vicar general of the archdiocese and rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul.[1]

On March 10, 1945, Schenk was appointed the third Bishop of Crookston by Pope Pius XII.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 24 from Archbishop John Murray, with Bishops Thomas Anthony Welch and Aloisius Joseph Muench serving as co-consecrators.[2] During his tenure in Crookston, he established over 30 new churches, founded Our Northland Diocese newspaper, and organized diocesan offices of the Catholic Social Service Agency and the Catholic Youth Organization.[3] He also founded summer boarding schools for children of the thousands of Mexican migrant workers who worked in the diocese.[3]

Following the death of Bishop Welch, Schenk was appointed the fourth Bishop of Duluth by Pope John XXIII on January 27, 1960.[2] Between 1962 and 1965, he attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome.[2] He retired on April 30, 1969, and died six months later at age 68.[2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bishop Francis Joseph Schenk".
  3. 1 2 "History of the Diocese". Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Hubert Peschges
Bishop of Crookston
Succeeded by
Lawrence Alexander Glenn
Preceded by
Thomas Anthony Welch
Bishop of Duluth
Succeeded by
Paul Francis Anderson
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