Archdiocese of Chicago priest Father Michael McGovern named bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois

By Chicago Catholic
Friday, April 3, 2020

Pope Francis announced April 3 that he has named Father Michael G. McGovern, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, as bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. Pope Francis also announced that he had accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward K. Braxton, who was installed as the Bishop of Belleville in 2005.

Bishop-elect McGovern, 55, is expected to begin his ministry in the Diocese of Belleville later this year.

“We congratulate Bishop-elect McGovern on his appointment to the diocese of Belleville,” said Cardinal Cupich. “He has served the People of God and the church with humility and distinction for more than 27 years. We are confident he will be a strong and compassionate leader for the Belleville diocese, and we look forward to working with him.”

Bishop-elect McGovern has been serving as a pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, Old Mill Creek. In a letter to parishioners posted on the parish website, he wrote, “I am honored and humbled by this appointment; I thank the Holy Father for the confidence he has placed in me, and want to express my abiding respect and full support of him, who as the successor of St. Peter the Apostle, preserves the unity of love in the church.

“Since receiving news of this appointment last week, I have been praying for the people of St. Raphael and reflecting on the many faith-filled members of our parish. I am grateful for how you have shared your faith in Jesus Christ with me, sharing your stories of how you have encountered Jesus Christ in your lives and how much the Lord has done for you.”

Bishop-elect McGovern was born in Evergreen Park and attended Christ the King School and St. Ignatius College Prep. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1986, and from Mundelein Seminary/University of St. Mary of the Lake, earning a baccalaureate in sacred theology in 1993 and a master’s degree in divinity in 1994. He was ordained in 1994.

His parish assignments include being a resident at Immaculate Conception Parish, Highland Park, and St. Clement Parish and Holy Name Cathedral. He was associate pastor of St. Juliana; Queen of the Universe; and St. Mary, Lake Forest. He served as pastor of St. Mary, Lake Forest, before being named pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish.

Bishop-elect McGovern has served the archdiocese as secretary of the Archdiocesan Incardination Committee, associate and vice chancellor, archbishop’s delegate for lay ecclesial movements, archbishop’s delegate for extern and international priests and as the co-chair of the Chicago Priest Convocation. He has been a member of the Archdiocese Presbyteral Council, a dean in two Vicariate I deaneries and a member of the College of Consultors. He served on the Pastor Advisory Committee for the To Teach Who Christ Is Campaign and as a member of the Priest Placement Board. He has served as the interim episcopal vicar for Vicariate I since the 2019 appointment of then-Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Rojas as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.

Bishop-elect McGovern served as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Ignatius College Prep and is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

The Diocese of Belleville covers 28 Illinois counties and includes 11,678 square miles. It has a total population of 860,600 of whom 70,000 are Catholic.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest in the United States, serves more than 2.2 million Catholics in 316 parishes in Cook and Lake Counties, a geographic area of 1,411 square miles.


  • bishops

Related Articles