Vatican City, Sep 11, 2020 / 05:30 am
Pope Francis Friday appointed three auxiliary bishops to the Archdiocese of Chicago, including one of the founders of the religious community Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
Fr. Robert J. Lombardo, CFR, is the director of Our Lady of the Angels Mission Center in Chicago. He is the first Franciscan Friar of the Renewal to be named a bishop.
Known as Fr. Bob, Bishop-elect Lombardo, 63, came to Chicago in 2005 at the request of the late Cardinal Francis George, who asked him to set up a center for outreach to the poor on the West Side of Chicago.
From Stamford, Connecticut, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame University in 1979 and received two master’s degrees in theology and pastoral counseling before entering the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins in 1980.
Lombardo was a missionary in Honduras and Bolivia before returning to the U.S. to serve in New York, where he founded the Padre Pio Shelter for Homeless Men.
In 1987, he co-founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the South Bronx and in 1990 he was ordained a priest.
He went on to become the founder and director of other homeless shelters and free medical clinics in New York. He also founded the community of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago.
Pope Francis also named as auxiliary bishops of Chicago two priests of the archdiocese, Fr. Jeffrey S. Grob and Fr. Kevin M. Birmingham.