Pope Francis names three new auxiliary bishops for Chicago

Opening Mass for the synod of bishops on the family Oct. 8, 2015. Credit: Mazue/catholicnews.org.uk.
Opening Mass for the synod of bishops on the family Oct. 8, 2015. Credit: Mazue/catholicnews.org.uk.

.- The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis has named three new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Chicago, appointing Fr. Ronald Hicks, Fr. Robert G. Casey and Fr. Mark Bartosic to the positions.

The July 3 announcement of the priests' appointments coincided with the news that two of Chicago's six current auxiliary bishops, George Rassas and Francis Kane, would be retiring. With Hicks, Casey and Bartosic, there will now be seven auxiliaries serving in the archdiocese.

Born in Chicago in 1967, Hicks has until now served as the archdiocese's vicar general.

In 1985 he graduated from Quigley Seminary South, and obtained a bachelor's degree in philosophy four years later from the University of Chicago. He also has a master of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the the Lake in Mundelein.

Hicks was ordained a priest in 1994 for the Archdiocese of Chicago, after which he served in various pastoral roles throughout the diocese.

After a stint as dean of formation at St. Joseph College Seminary from 1999-2005, the bishop-elect received permission from his then-archbishop, the late Cardinal Francis George, to move to El Salvador, where he served a 5-year term as regional director of the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos home for orphaned and abandoned children.

From 2010-2014 he served as dean of formation at Mundelein Seminary, while also helping with weekend Masses at St. Jerome Parish in Rogers Park. He was named vicar general for the archdiocese by the current archbishop, Cardinal Blase Cupich in 2015.

Casey, also a Chicago native, was born Sept. 23, 1967, and is currently serving as pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Church in Chicago.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in English from Niles College of Loyola University Chicago in 1989, Casey went on to pursue a master of divinity, which he received from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein in 1994.

The bishop-elect was ordained a priest in 1994, after which he served as associate pastor of St. Ita parish in Edgewater until his 1998 appointment by Cardinal George as the part-time, associate director of Casa Jesus. In 1999, he was named the organization's full-time director.

After a 40-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 2003, Casey began serving as pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. In 2008, he co-founded the Taller de José ministry, which is sponsored by the Congregation of St. Joseph and provides accompaniment to those in need.

Casey then served in a number of other pastoral roles before being named to the Placement Board of the archdiocese, a role in which he helps assign priests to parishes.

The only non-Chicago native of the new appointments, Bartosic was born in Neehah, Wis., in 1961, and is currently serving as pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Chicago and as director and chaplain of the Kolbe House, Cook County Jail.

Raised in Ashland, Ohio, Bartosic obtained a bachelor's degree in theater from Ashland University in 1983, and went on to earn a both a master of divinity degree and a licentiate degree in sacred theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1994, and has served in several pastoral roles since, including his position as chaplain of the Kolbe House jail ministry.

Tags: Bishop Appointment, Catholic News, Archdiocese of Chicago, Pope Francis