By Jim Fair
When Father Robert Lombardo, CFR. became Bishop-elect Robert Lombardo, CFR., it was a time of celebration and thanksgiving for the many in the Chicago Archdiocese who know and support the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and its Franciscan community.
But wait! They immediately wondered if the new Chicago auxiliary bishop would still be involved with the mission and its community.
The answer: YES.
Bishop-Elect Bob will stay at Mission OLA, remain the director of the Mission, continue as the superior of the Franciscans of the Eucharist, and become the vicar for Vicariate III in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In a brief video commenting on his selection as bishop, he recognized that these are challenging times. He said he hopes to be an instrument of peace and asked for prayers that he becomes a holy bishop.
Appropriately for someone who has lived a life serving the poor, he will be ordained on November 13, 2020, the Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Bishop-elect Lombardo came to Chicago in 2005 at the request of Cardinal George to establish a mission outreach to the poor on the city’s West Side. He is the founder and director of the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and founder and superior of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago. The mission, located in West Humboldt Park operates food and clothing pantries, conducts afterschool, family and senior citizens’ programming, and hosts retreats, Bible camps, and religious education classes.
Bishop-elect Lombardo has served the archdiocese as a member of the Human Dignity and Solidarity Office and Priest Advisory Board from 2006 to 2015, adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary from 2013 to 2015, member of the Institute on Religious Life board from 2010 to the present, dean of Vicariate III A from 2015 to the present and co-lead of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Initiative on Evangelization from 2016 to the present. He is involved in Chicago civic organizations, including his service as a board member of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless from 2008 to 2010 and as a current member of the YMCA of Metro Chicago board
In the past year, ZENIT has twice reported on the work of the sisters of the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago:
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