Four ‘Chicago guys’ mark 25 years as bishops

As The Georgia Bulletin in Atlanta notes in its latest edition:

There’s no place like home, and when you can’t live there perhaps the next best thing may be sharing memories of it with friends.

A cherished camaraderie has formed over the years for the four “Chicago guys” ordained auxiliary bishops together on Dec. 13, 1983. It continues even after they were sent by the church to serve in diverse places.

Two of the four are now prominent archbishops: Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta and Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Ore. The other two are Bishop Placido Rodriguez of Lubbock, Texas, and now-retired Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Timothy J. Lyne.

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One Response to Four ‘Chicago guys’ mark 25 years as bishops

  1. At what point does a reporter get too close to his source? Is it when he drives a bishop-designate to the bishop’s own ordination?

    25 years ago, I was working for The Chicago Catholic (now, again, the Catholic New World) and we decided to follow one of the four men to be ordained all day, from the very early morning until the evening. Just how does a man being ordained a bishop prepare himself for the day?

    Bishop Vlazny was selected for the profile, and I met him at 5 a.m. at the college seminary for vespers with the nuns who served there. After breakfast and a preliminary interview, we headed toward the Cathedral so he could meet up with the other new bishops, as well as multitudes of priests and ordaining bishops. But Bishop-to-be Vlazny’s car wouldn’t start on the cold December morning. As I waited for him to back out of the garage, he eventually came out and asked if he could ride with me, since he knew he could get a ride home with family at the end of the day.

    On the drive downtown, we talked some more about his ministry, his hopes, his trepidation at this new calling. I took what notes I could and jotted the rest (paraphrased) as soon as we got to the Cathedral. The ride added flavor to the story, which ended with the receptions late into the evening. I recall that Bishop Vlzany was still smiling at the end of a long day.

    And even now, when we encounter each other at USCCB meetings, he remembers: “You’re the one who got me to my ordination.”

    Christopher Gunty

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