What is an auxiliary bishop?

By Chicago Catholic
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

An auxiliary bishop is a bishop assigned by the Holy See to assist a resident bishop or archbishop in the pastoral care and administration of a diocese. Auxiliary bishops help administer the sacraments, especially confirmation, and often represent the resident bishop  at various types of functions.

Although an auxiliary bishop has the fullness of holy orders, he does not have the same degree of jurisdiction or governing power as the resident bishop.

He does not have the automatic right of succession when the resident bishop dies, is transferred or retires.

In some dioceses, auxiliary bishops are given charge of either specific territories within the diocese or special areas of ministry, such as ministry to ethnic groups.

All auxiliary bishops are given what is called a “titular diocese.” This is a diocese that once existed but has since been suppressed by the Holy See. Thus, the auxiliary is bishop of a diocese in title only. The reason for this is that historically a bishop is supposed to be the head of a diocese. 

Like all bishops, auxiliaries are required to submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.

(From “Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia”)

Auxiliary bishops of Chicago

Alexander J. McGavick (1898-1921); 1921- bishop of LaCrosse; died 1948 

Peter J. Muldoon (1901-1908); 1908-first bishop of Rockford; died 1927 

Paul P. Rhode (1908-1915); 1915-bishop of Green Bay; died 1945 

Edward F. Hoban (1921-1928); 1928-bishop of Rockford; 1945-archbishop of Cleveland; died 1966 

Bernard J. Sheil (1928-1969); died 1969 

William D. O’Brien (1934-1962); died 1962 

William E. Cousins (1948-1952); 1952- bishop of Peoria; 1958-1977-archbishop of Milwaukee; died 1988 

Raymond P. Hillinger (1956-1971); died 1971 

Aloysius J. Wycislo (1960-1968); 1968-bishop of Green Bay; 1983-retired; died 2005 

Cletus F. O’Donnell (1960-1967); 1967-bishop of Madison, Wisconsin; died 1992 

John L. May (1967-1969); 1969-bishop of Mobile, Alabama; 1980-archbishop of St. Louis; died 1994

Thomas J. Grady (1967-1974); 1974-1990- bishop of Orlando; died 2002 

William E. McManus (1967-1976); 1976-bishop of Fort Wayne/South Bend; 1984-retired; died 1997 

Alfred L. Abramowicz (1968-1995); died 1999 

Michael R. Dempsey (1968-1974); died 1974 

Nevin W. Hayes, O.Carm. (1971-1988); died 1988 

Timothy J. Lyne (1983-1995); died 2013 

John G. Vlazny (1983-1987); 1987-bishop of Winona, Minnesota; 1997-archbishop of Portland; 2013-retired 

Placido Rodriguez, CMF (1983-1994); 1994-bishop of Lubbock, Texas; 2016-retired 

Wilton D. Gregory (1983-1994); 1994-bishop of Belleville; 2005-archbishop of Atlanta 

Thad J. Jakubowski (1988-2003); died 2013 

John R. Gorman (1988-2003)

Raymond E. Goedert (1991-2003) 

Edwin M. Conway (1995-2004); died 2004 

Gerald F. Kicanas (1995-2001); 2001-coadjutor bishop of Tucson; 2003-bishop of Tucson; 2017-retired 

George V. Murry, SJ (1995-1999); 1999-bishop of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; 2007-bishop of Youngstown, Ohio 

John R. Manz (1996-present) 

Joseph N. Perry (1998-present) 

Jerome E. Listecki (2000- 2005); 2004-bishop of LaCrosse; 2010-archbishop of Milwaukee 

Francis J. Kane (2003-2018) 

Thomas J. Paprocki (2003-2010); 2010-bishop of Springfield 

Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS (2003-2010); 2010-archbishop of San Antonio 

George J. Rassas (2006-2018) 

Alberto Rojas (2011-present) 

Andrew P. Wypych (2011-present)




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