||New auxiliary bishop for archdiocese
By Mary Claire Gart
When Father Jerome E. Listecki was officially installed as pastor
of St. Ignatius Parish just two weeks ago, parishioners expected
him to be heading the Far North Side parish for several years
What they didnt knowand he wasnt permitted to tell themwas
that he would soon be named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese
|Fr. Jerome E. Listecki
Just four days before his Oct. 29 installation, the 51-year-old
priest was informed that Pope John Paul II had chosen him as a
new auxiliary bishop.
When Cardinal George announced the appointment and introduced
the bishop-designate at a press conference Nov. 7, he said Bishop-designate
Listecki would remain at St. Ignatius for a few months at least,
then would take responsibility for one of the six vicariates or
geographical regions that make up the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Bishop-designate Listecki will be ordained to the episcopacy on
Jan. 8, when he will receive the office of teaching, governing
and sanctifying as a bishop. As an auxiliary bishop, he will assist
Cardinal George in the pastoral administration of the archdiocese.
He will also be titular bishop of the ancient see of Nara.
Asked about his reaction to the news, the bishop-designate said,
I was more in shock than anything else. But he was also humbled
and proud, he said.
Humbled, because he had the good fortune of studying in Rome
and being selected, knowing the goodness that is present in the
presbyterate of Chicago and proud to serve under Cardinal George
and to be formed by the other auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese.
Nonetheless, the bishop-designate said, he was more than content
in his former role.
I could have died a happy priest serving at St. Ignatiusa drop-dead
gorgeous church. I wanted to be a priest since I was 3 years
old and I would like to encourage other young men considering
the priesthood and tell them what a wonderful life it is.
The Chicago-born priest, of Polish heritage, grew up on the Southeast
Side. He attended St. Michael the Archangel School and then Quigley
Preparatory Seminary South. While studying at Niles College of
Loyola University, he spent his summers working in the steel mills.
He completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary of the
Lake Seminary and was ordained May 14, 1975.
His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Margaret Mary
Parish for a year. In 1976, he was appointed dean of students
at Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, and resided at Mater Christi
Parish, North Riverside.
From 1979 to 1983, he studied canon law and moral theology in
Rome, earning a licentiate and doctorate from the Pontifical University
of St. Thomas Aquinas. Bishop-designate Listecki also holds a
law degree from DePaul University.
Returning from Rome in 1983, he joined the faculty of the major
seminary and spent 17 years there teaching moral theology. He
has served as an appellate judge on the archdiocesan Matrimonial
Tribunal and as in-house counsel for the archdiocese.
He is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, the Chicago Bar
Association, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the
Canon Law Society and the Catholic Scholars of America.
Many television viewers of the Mass for Shut-ins remember him
as a frequent celebrant of the Mass when the program was aired
on WGN-TV. He also served as host for Catholic Conversation
radio program, which was broadcast by WIND, 1978-79.
Bishop-designate Listecki is chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve
as well as chaplain for the Catholic Physicians Guild of Chicago.
He serves on the Archdiocesan Medical Ethics Board and recently
was appointed as associate liaison for health care under Auxiliary
Bishop Edwin M. Conway.
He celebrated his 25th anniversary in the priesthood June 11 with
a Mass at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Orland Hills.
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