Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Pope Francis Appoints Sixth Bishop Of Evansville

Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel
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Oct. 18 introductory press conference for Bishop-designate Joseph M. Siegel, Diocese of Evansville

Pope Francis has appointed Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel, Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, Ill., as the sixth Bishop of Evansville. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., made the announcement at Noon local time in Rome (5 a.m. CDT in Evansville) on Oct. 18.

Archbishop Pierre will install Bishop-designate Siegel on Dec. 15.

The diocese held a press conference on Oct. 18 at St. Benedict Cathedral to introduce Bishop-designate Siegel. Bishop-emeritus Gerald A. Gettelfinger and Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis, the fourth and fifth Bishops of Evansville, respectively, attended. The Message will publish full coverage of the press conference in the Oct. 27 issue.

Following is a summary of Archbishop Pierre’s official announcement.

Bishop Siegel was named Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, Ill., by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 28, 2009 and was ordained a bishop on Jan. 19, 2010 by Bishop Peter Sartain.

He was born in Lockport Township on July 18, 1963, and is the youngest of nine children. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary, where he completed his college education.  He was then sent to the North American College in Rome (1984-1988), attending the Gregorian and Angelicum Universities.

Bishop Siegel was ordained a priest for the Joliet Diocese in 1988 and then completed his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ill.

Assignments after ordination include: associate pastor, St. Isidore Parish, Bloomingdale, Ill., 1988-1994; associate pastor, St. Mary Immaculate Parish, Plainfield, Ill., 1994-1998; parochial vicar, St. Mary Nativity Church, Joliet, Ill., 1998-2000; parochial vicar, Cathedral of St. Raymond, Joliet, Ill., 2000-2004; pastor, Visitation Parish, Elmhurst, Ill., 2004-2009. In July 2011, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon appointed Bishop Siegel as his Vicar General.

Bishop Siegel has served as a member and chairman of the Diocese of Joliet Presbyteral Council and was appointed to the Diocesan Board of Consultors. He also served as director of Continuing Formation for Priests, a member of the Diocesan Vocation Board, the Priest Personnel Board and Dean of Eastern Will County.  

At the Catholic Conference of Illinois, he served on the Executive Committee and was chairman of the Catholics for Life Department. He chaired the Steering Committee for the Joliet Diocesan Year of the Eucharist and Eucharistic Congress, and has been a member of the Bishops’ Respect Life Advisory Board. He is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provided information for this story.