Peter F. Christensen

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Peter Forsyth Christensen
Bishop of Boise
Peter F. Christensen.jpg
ChurchCatholic Church
AppointedNovember 4, 2014
InstalledDecember 17, 2014
PredecessorMichael Patrick Driscoll
OrdinationMay 25, 1985
by John Roach
ConsecrationSeptember 14, 2007
by Harry Joseph Flynn, Raphael Michael Fliss, and William Henry Bullock
Personal details
Born (1952-12-24) December 24, 1952 (age 66)
Altadena, California
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
ResidenceBoise, Idaho
ParentsRobert and Ann (née Forsyth) Christensen
OccupationCatholic bishop
Previous postBishop of Superior
Alma materUniversity of St. Thomas, and Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity
MottoTu es Christus Filius Dei Vivi
Styles of
Peter Forsyth Christensen
Coat of arms of Peter Forsyth Christensen.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Peter Forsyth Christensen (born December 24, 1952) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who serves as bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho.

On November 4, 2014, Pope Francis named Christensen the eighth bishop in the Diocese of Boise, Idaho. He was installed as bishop in Boise on December 17, 2014, at St. John's Cathedral.[1]


Early life and education[edit]

Born in Altadena, California, he was the fourth of eight children[2][3] born to Robert and Ann (née Forsyth) Christensen. The family later moved to Palos Verdes, and in 1964, Robert and Ann obtained a divorce. Christensen attended Palos Verdes High School.

He moved to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1975 and there studied at the University of St. Thomas, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in art history. Christensen then worked as a graphic designer before entering St. Paul Seminary in 1981. During his seminary education, he studied in Israel for a semester.

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Christensen was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John Roach on May 25, 1985, and then served as assistant pastor of St. Olaf parish in Minneapolis before becoming spiritual director (1989) and rector (1992) of the archdiocesan minor seminary until 1995.

In June 1999, he was made pastor of Nativity of Our Lord parish in St. Paul, where he continued traditional practices, such as perpetual Eucharistic adoration. He also reconstructed the church and rectory.

Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin[edit]

On June 28, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Christensen Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin. After receiving a telephone call from Archbishop Pietro Sambi bringing news of his appointment, he "sobbed for about 15 minutes" as he had not sought the episcopal office.[4] During a press conference, Christensen promised to be a "good listener" in his new role as bishop.[3] Christensen was consecrated at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 14, 2007, and installed as Bishop of Superior on September 23, 2007.

Christensen joined with other Wisconsin bishops in issuing a warning against the use of POLST, Physician (or Provider) Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, in a statement published Wednesday, July 25, 2012. In “Upholding the Dignity of Human Life,” the bishops wrote that the use of POLST has grave implications for the dignity of human life and they “encourage all Catholics to avoid using all such documents, programs and materials.” In January 2014, Christensen announced that Common Core would not be allowed in the Catholic schools of his diocese.

Bishop of Boise, Idaho[edit]

On November 4, 2014, Christensen was named the new bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho. He was installed as the eighth bishop of Boise on December 17, 2014, in St. John's Cathedral.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Most Reverend Peter F. Christensen, M.A., D.D." Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Leibowitz's Canticle. Soon to be: His Eminence, Bishop Peter F. Christensen June 30, 2007
  3. ^ a b Catholic Herald. Christensen named Fliss' successor[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Duluth News Tribune. St. Paul priest chosen to take over Superior diocese[permanent dead link] June 29, 2007

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Michael Patrick Driscoll
Bishop of Boise
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Raphael Michael Fliss
Bishop of Superior
Succeeded by
James Patrick Powers