On the Nov. 13 feast day of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Cardinal Cupich ordained three new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Chicago — Bishops Kevin Birmingham, Jeffrey Grob and Robert Lombardo, CFR — during Mass at Holy Name Cathedral. With restrictions on the size of the congregation due to COVID-19, the two-hour Mass was attended by 20 bishops and archbishops, a few dozen priests, deacons and seminarians and a small number of friends and family of the newly ordained bishops. The Mass was livestreamed so those who couldn’t attend could watch the celebration. (See youtube.com/CatholicChicago to watch the Mass recording.) Auxiliary Bishops John Manz and Joseph Perry served as co-consecrators during the Mass. In his homily, Cardinal Cupich reflected on the life and witness of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, commonly known as Mother Cabrini, who came to the United States in 1889 at the request of Pope Leo XIII. At the time of her death, she had founded 67 institutions around the world, including Columbus Hospital, Columbus Extension for the Poor at Lytle and Polk streets, and Assumption School at 319 W. Erie St., all in Chicago. Mother Cabrini died in Chicago on Dec. 22, 1917. That day she had been wrapping candy for Christmas gifts for poor children. There is a national shrine to her across from the Lincoln Park Zoo at 2520 N. Lakeview Ave. While the cardinal delivered his homily, the three soon-to-be-ordained bishops sat in chairs at the base of the sanctuary steps listening to him. “As we reflect on the Word of God on this feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, whom Cardinal Stritch called the patron of Chicago, our attention is drawn to some core values and virtues that should shape all Christian lives and especially those of an ecclesial leader like a bishop,” Cardinal Cupich said. Jesus prayed that his disciples live in the world but not be of the world. This is a tension Mother Cabrini learned to live in, the cardinal said, and any earthly achievements she received meant nothing to her if she became disconnected with God. “Her main goal was not buildings or programs. These were important only if they helped bring about the salvation of humanity, which, she noted, does not depend upon material success but on Jesus alone,” Cardinal Cupich said. When Pope Leo XIII sent Mother Cabrini to America instead of China, where she wanted to go, she trusted in the successor of Peter and God’s will. So must the new bishops, Cardinal Cupich said. “There is great freedom that comes in realizing that we’ve been sent, for it liberates us from the trap of seeking the approval of others who measure success by a different standard. Mother Cabrini, was, surely, as they say, a ‘mulier fortis’ [‘strong woman’], but her dogged determination was not a matter of stubbornness, or perhaps I should say only stubbornness,” Cardinal Cupich said. “Rather, her tenacity was underpinned by an unwavering conviction and the eternal freedom of knowing that she was sent, that Jesus wanted her to succeed and Jesus wanted her happiness.” Her trust in divine providence flowed throughout her work, which should be an example to the new bishops, Cardinal Cupich said. “My brothers, Kevin, Robert, Jeffrey, you have responded to the call of the church to serve as successors of the apostles. And you have been called because you have been found worthy in the call of Christ to live as his disciples. Look to this good disciple Frances Xavier Cabrini to inspire you to live in the tension of remaining in the world but not being of the world, to cultivate the internal freedom that comes with being sent without the burden of succeeding on your own or making the success or failure in your ministry the gauge of your value or your worth in the eye of God. And always place your trust in God’s divine providence knowing that the grace bestowed on you today through the laying on of hands has been given to us before time began. Then take up the task of walking the streets of Chicago and its environs in her footsteps to care for God’s holy people.” After the homily, the cardinal examined the bishop candidates for their fidelity to the church and its mission. Next, the men lay prostrate before the altar while the congregation knelt and cantors chanted the Litany of the Saints. Then, the cardinal laid his hands upon the heads of the men and all of the bishops present followed suit. This is the same gesture the apostles used to express the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when they appointed their successors. Next, the book of the Gospels was placed over each of the new the bishops’ heads and the cardinal prayed the prayer of consecration. Their heads were then anointed with sacred oil and each bishop was presented with the symbols of the office: crosier, miter, ring and a book of the Gospels. Lastly, Bishops Birmingham, Grob and Lombardo were greeted with the “kiss of peace” by all of the bishops present. At the end of Mass, when the new auxiliary bishops headed out into the congregation to bestow first blessings on the people, the congregation cheered and clapped while musicians and the choir performed “Holy God We Praise Thy Name.” The cheers reached a crescendo when all three united at the back of the cathedral and processed up to the altar together. They processed alphabetically, as they appeared throughout the service, with Bishop Birmingham leading the way. Bishop Lombardo stopped several times to greet people he knew and Bishop Grob stopped to hug his mother, Bonnie Grob, who was sitting in a pew at the front of the church. Then all three made their way back to the sanctuary.