CHICAGO (August 10, 2011) – Most Rev. Andrew P. Wypych and Most Rev. Alberto Rojas were ordained as auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Chicago today in a ceremony that took place at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior Streets.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, served as consecrator and principal celebrant of the Mass. Co-consecrators were the Most Rev. Józef Guzdek, Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Poland and the Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., Archbishop of San Antonio.
Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow in Poland in 1979, Bishop Wypych, 55, came to Chicago in 1983 and was incardinated in this Archdiocese several years later. Prior to becoming pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish in 2002, he served in a number of parishes in the Archdiocese, including Five Holy Martyrs, St. Giles, St. Ladislaus and St. Pancratius.
Bishop Rojas, 46, studied for the priesthood in his native city, Aguascalientes, Mexico, and in the Archdiocese of Chicago, where he was ordained a priest in 1997. He served at St. Gregory the Great and St. Ita prior to being named pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in 2010.
The rite of ordination took place after the Gospel of the Mass when Presbyteral Council Chairman Fr. Jeremy Thomas, in the name of the Catholic community, asked for the ordination of Father Wypych and Father Rojas to the Office of Bishop.
Rev. Msgr. John F. Canary, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago, then presented the Apostolic Mandate of Pope Benedict XVI, authenticating the discernment process of the Church and the Holy Father’s choice of these priests for ordination.
After examining each new bishop regarding his readiness for ordination, and after the new bishops expressed fidelity to the Church, Cardinal George silently imposed his hands on the candidates’ heads. The ancient gesture of the Church expresses the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and is the heart of the ordination rite. The other bishops present subsequently imposed their hands on the new bishops.
After the “laying on of hands,” Cardinal George and the attending bishops offered the solemn prayer of consecration. During the prayer, the book of Gospels was placed over the head of each new bishop, symbolizing the power of the Word of God over all. The scriptures are to be the foundation of the bishops’ teaching office.
As each new bishop’s head was anointed with chrism (holy oil), he was given objects characteristic of his ministry: the book of Gospels as a symbol of preaching and teaching; the bishop’s ring as a symbol of his espousal to the Church; and a miter (headdress) with a crozier (staff) reflecting the role of bishop as one who gathers and shepherds the people of God.
Following the Mass, the bishops received their guests at a reception held at Archbishop Quigley Center.
Both bishops have served as pastors and associate pastors. Bishop Wypych has also served as a Dean, and Bishop Rojas was a member of the seminary formation faculty at University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.
As new bishops, Wypych and Rojas enter the ranks of those who are successors of the apostles in the Church. At their ordination today, they received the office of teaching, governing and sanctifying as a bishop. They will exercise their ministry in union with the Pope and their fellow bishops throughout the world.
Bishops Wypych and Rojas now hold the title of auxiliary bishop, meaning they will assist Cardinal George in the pastoral administration of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Wypych, who was the pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish in Chicago, will serve as Cardinal George’s vicar for Vicariate V of the Archdiocese and as liaison to Polish Catholics; Bishop Rojas, former pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Chicago, will serve as the Cardinal’s vicar for Vicariate III of the Archdiocese and as liaison to Hispanic Catholics.
Additional biographical information for Auxiliary Bishops Wypych and Rojas can be found on the Archdiocesan web site, www.archchicago.org.