24 December 2007

Overview: Province of Illinois

The province consists of the metropolitan, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the following suffragan dioceses: Belleville, Joliet in Illinois, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield in Illinois.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois is led by Francis Eugene Cardinal George, O.M.I. who turns 71 in mid-January. It also has 6 Auxiliary Bishops ranging in age from 51 to 65 (plus an additional 4 retired Auxiliaries). Many of the 6 will likely be candidates for other appointments around the USA.

Bishop Edward Kenneth Braxton (63) is the ordinary of the Diocese of Belleville. Although the last two ordinaries of this diocese become Archbishops elsewhere, they were younger upon becoming the ordinary here. If the same fate befalls Bishop Braxton, it will likely not be for several more years.

The Diocese of Joliet is headed by Bishop James Peter Sartain (55). This diocese has never had an ordinary appointed to another diocese, but Bishop Sartain could well be the first. However, given his short tenure of about a year and a half, it would not be for many years.

Bishop Daniel Robert Jenky, C.S.C. (60), Bishop of Peoria, celebrated his 10th anniversary of consecration as a bishop just over a week ago. He is approaching the age and time in post where he seems a likely candidate for another appointment in the next few years.

The Diocese of Rockford is led by Bishop Thomas George Doran (71) who celebrated 46 years as a priest last week.

Bishop George Joseph Lucas (58) is the ordinary of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He celebrated his 8th anniversary of consecration to a bishop less than a fortnight ago. While no previous ordinary has been appointed elsewhere, he seems more likely to be the first - perhaps in the coming year or two.

Overall this province seems quite stable at the moment. However, it has a number of ordinaries and auxiliaries that are likely to be considered for other appointments in the coming years.
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