Cardinal Blase J. Cupich to Ordain Three Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Chicago Today, Monday, September 17, 2018 at Holy Name Cathedral
Chicago, IL (September 17, 2018) – Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will ordain three auxiliary bishops – Mark A. Bartosic, Robert G. Casey and Ronald A. Hicks – at 2 p.m. today, Monday, September 17, 2018 at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 North State Street, Chicago. Cupich will serve as principal consecrator and main celebrant of the Mass. Co-consecrators of the three new bishops will be Auxiliary Bishops Francis J. Kane and George J. Rassas. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, will present the mandates from the Holy See at the Ordination Mass, which will be concelebrated by 26 bishops and 200 priests. Also attending will be deacons, members of religious orders, seminarians and honored guests from the ecumenical and interreligious community.
“We are blessed that our three bishops-elect have given their lives to walk with Jesus and have agreed to deepen their commitment to the church and her people by being ordained,” said Cupich. “As successors to the Apostles, they will continue to minister, heal and lead as humble servants of the Lord.”
An auxiliary bishop is a bishop assigned by the Holy See to assist the resident bishop or archbishop in the pastoral care and administration of a diocese. Auxiliary bishops also help the archbishop administer the sacraments, especially confirmation, and often represent him at various celebrations.
Bishops Bartosic and Casey will serve as Episcopal Vicars in Vicariates II and III, respectively. Bishop Hicks will remain in his role as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Alberto Rojas, current Vicar of Vicariate III has been assigned to Vicariate I.
“The outpouring of support from my brother priests has been overwhelming and humbling,” said Bartosic. “I’m so grateful for their support and confidence in me. The Archdiocese of Chicago is a beautifully diverse community and I look forward to serving our parish priests on this new journey together.”
The rite of ordination follows the reading of the Gospel and the singing of the “Veni Creator Spiritus,” a ninth century hymn, attributed to Rabanus Maurus, invoking the Holy Spirit during special liturgical celebrations. Rev. Louis Tylka, president of the Presbyteral Council will present Bartosic, Casey and Hicks for ordination on behalf of the Catholic community. Pierre will then read the Apostolic Letters of Pope Francis which authenticates the discernment process of the church and the Holy Father’s choice of these three priests for ordination to the episcopate.
After the homily, the principal consecrator asks the bishops-elect important questions to ascertain if the candidates are prepared to assume their sacred duties. Following the examination of each new bishop and his readiness for ordination, and after the bishops-elect express fidelity to the church, the candidates prostrate themselves (lie face down) on the floor, while the congregation chants a litany of saints, seeking their intercession for the candidates. All the bishops present then silently lay their hands upon the heads of each new bishop, one of the most important elements in the rite of ordination. This ancient gesture expresses the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The imposition of hands leads to the solemn prayer of consecration made by Cardinal Cupich and the bishops. During this time, the book of the Gospels is placed over the heads of Bartosic, Casey and Hicks, while they kneel.
Cupich then anoints the head of each new bishop with the Sacred Chrism (oil) and presents each with ministerial symbols; a book of the Gospels, which represents their ministries of preaching and teaching; a bishop’s ring, which represents their fidelity and bond to the church; the miter, a liturgical headdress customary for bishops; and a crosier, also known as a pastoral staff, that reflects the role of a bishop who gathers and shepherds the people of God.
Finally, the kiss of peace is a gesture extended by the assembled bishops to Bartosic, Casey and Hicks, as a sign of welcome into the episcopacy.
“I have enjoyed being a pastor because I have been blessed to walk with and care for my flock,” said Casey. “I’m grateful to God, who has always accompanied me as I have sought to accompany others. With God's continued guidance, I look forward to leading the pastors and their communities now under my care.”
Following the Mass, each auxiliary bishop will greet and bless the faithful in attendance.
“My ultimate desire in life is to do God’s will,” said Hicks. “In these challenging times, I still say ‘yes’ to leadership in the Church with an open heart. I am humbled by the call and hope to serve with integrity, respect and love.”
About the New Auxiliary Bishops
Bishop Mark A. Bartosic, 57, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on May 21, 1994. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish in Chicago from 1994 to 2000. From 2001 to 2016, he served as pastor of St. Frances of Rome Parish in Cicero, Ill. and from 2009 to 2016, he served as pastor of Our Lady of Charity Parish, also in Cicero, while maintaining his responsibilities as pastor at St. Frances of Rome Parish.
Since 2016, he has served as pastor of Assumption BVM, in Chicago, and director of the Kolbe House Jail Ministry.
Bishop Robert Casey, 51, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on May 21, 1994. He was first assigned in 1994 as associate pastor to St. Ita Parish in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. In 1998, Cardinal George appointed Fr. Casey as the associate director of Casa Jesus while he was serving in his last year at St. Ita. In 1999, Fr. Casey began his work with Casa Jesus as its full-time director.
In 2003, after completing a 40-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Fr. Casey began his service as pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. In 2008, Fr. Casey co-founded Taller de José, a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph that offers accompaniment to people in need.
In 2009, Fr. Casey became the pastor at St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield, Ill. and in 2016, Fr. the pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Chicago’s Scottsdale neighborhood.
Fr. Casey currently serves on the Placement Board of the Archdiocese of Chicago, assisting with the assignment process of priests to parishes. He has also been part of the Priest Steering Committee for Renew My Church.
Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, 51 was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on May 21, 1994. He worked as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Chicago from 1994 to 1996 and at St.Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills, Ill. from 1996 to 1999. From 1999 to 2005, he lived and ministered at St. Joseph College Seminary in Chicago as the dean of Formation.
In July 2005, with permission from Cardinal Francis George, Fr. Hicks moved to El Salvador to begin his five-year term as regional director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) in Central America. NPH is a ministry dedicated to caring for more 3,400 orphaned and abandoned children in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From 2010 to 2014. Fr. Hicks served as the dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary. During that time, he also assisted with weekend Masses at St. Jerome Parish in Rogers Park.
Fr. Hicks was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Cupich on January 1, 2015. Since then, it has been his practice to celebrate Mass in a different parish in the Archdiocese each weekend.