JOLIET — Pope Francis announced Friday that he has named Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, as the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet.
Pope Francis had previously accepted the resignation of Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon and had named Bishop Richard E. Pates as Apostolic administrator of the diocese until a new bishop could be appointed.
Hicks, 52, will be installed on Sept. 29 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet.
“The Diocese of Joliet is most grateful to Pope Francis for the appointment of Bishop Ronald Hicks as its sixth bishop,” Bishop Pates said. “The bishop owns a reputation for pastoral leadership and is totally committed to the ongoing renewal of the Catholic Church. He is a worthy successor to Bishop Conlon and his predecessors.”
Hicks, a native of Harvey, grew up in South Holland, where he attended St. Jude the Apostle Parish and Grade School. He graduated from Quigley Seminary South in 1985. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Niles College of Loyola University Chicago in 1989 and his Master of Divinity degree in 1994 and his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2003, both from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.
Hicks served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Chicago from 1994 to 1996 and then at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills from 1996 to 1999. From 1999 to 2005, he lived and ministered at St. Joseph College Seminary as the dean of formation.
In July 2005, with permission from Cardinal Francis George, Bishop Hicks moved from Chicago to El Salvador to begin his five-year term as regional director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in Central America. NPH is a home dedicated to caring for more than 3,400 orphaned and abandoned children in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries.
From 2010 to 2014, Hicks served as the dean of formation at Mundelein Seminary. During that time, he assisted with weekend Masses at St. Jerome Parish in Rogers Park in Chicago.
He was appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese by Cardinal Cupich on Jan. 1, 2015. On Sept. 17, 2018, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.
The Diocese of Joliet serves 616,000 parishioners in 118 parishes and seven missions across DuPage, Will, Kendall, Grundy, Kankakee, Ford and Iroquois counties in Illinois.