20 December 2009

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 73 in mid-January. The archdiocese also has six active Auxiliary Bishops: Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S. (53); Bishop Francis Joseph Kane (67); Bishop John Raymond Manz (64); Bishop Thomas John Joseph Paprocki (57); Bishop Joseph Nathaniel Perry (61); and Bishop George James Rassas (67).

All but the last on that list are at an age and length of service where they would likely be considered for other posts.

Bishop Edward Kenneth Braxton (65) 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 a couple more years.

The Diocese of Joliet is headed by Bishop James Peter Sartain (57). This diocese has never had an ordinary appointed to another diocese, but Bishop Sartain could well be the first, but it would probably not be for a few more years.

The diocese also recently received an Auxiliary Bishop: Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. His consecration is scheduled for January.

Bishop Daniel Robert Jenky, C.S.C. (62), Bishop of Peoria, celebrated 35 years as a priest earlier this year. He is at an age and time in post where he seems a likely candidate for another appointment in the next year or two.

The Diocese of Rockford is led by Bishop Thomas George Doran (73) who celebrated 15 years as a bishop earlier this year.

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is currently vacant, having lost Bishop George Joseph Lucas to the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. This vacancy is likely to be filled early in the coming year.

This province is likely to see one new ordinary in the coming year. It also could easily lose two or three bishops to other posts around the country in the next year or two.
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