Paul Peter Rhode was a Kashubian German-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, and the first to be elevated to an American bishopric.
Paul Rhode was born in the Kashubian town of Wejherowo (Neustadt), then located in Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, to Augustin and Krystyna Rhode. His father died while Paul was quite young, and he came to the United States with his mother at age 9, settling in Chicago, Illinois.
He was educated at St. Mary's College near Louisville, Kentucky, and at St. Ignatius College in Chicago, where he completed his classical and philosophical studies.
He served as bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin from 1915 until his death in 1945. Early life and education \r\n He completed his theological studies at St. Francis Seminary near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ordination and ministry \r\n Rhode was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Frederick Katzer on June 17, 1894.
His first assignment was as a curate at St. Adalbert Church in Chicago, where he remained for two years. In 1896, he became the first pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Church, a parish for Polish Catholics in the McKinley Park section of Chicago. He was named pastor of St. Michael Church in South Chicago in 1897.
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago \r\n On May 22, 1908, Rhode was appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago and titular bishop of Barca by Pope Pius X. Since he was the first Pole in America to be named a bishop, this occasion was celebrated with special joy by the Polish American community. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 29 from Archbishop James Edward Quigley, with Bishops Peter Muldoon and Joseph Maria Koudelka serving as co-consecrators. He served as vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago from 1909 to 1915.
Bishop of Green Bay \r\n Following the resignation of Bishop Joseph J. Fox, Rhode was appointed the sixth Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin, by Pope Benedict XV on July 15, 1915. During his tenure, he established 10 parishes and 19 parochial schools, and organized the diocesan Catholic Charities and a department of education. He died at Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh, at age 73.