Blanca Jara

Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, has announced the appointment of Auxiliary Bishop Robert G. Casey, 52, as vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective Sept. 12. 

Casey, episcopal vicar for Vicariate III will replace Bishop Ronald A. Hicks, who was named the sixth bishop of Joliet by Pope Francis in July. Cardinal Cupich will name an interim vicar for Vicariate III in the near future.

“Bishop Casey has served the people of the archdiocese as a pastor and leader in diocesan renewal,” Cupich said in a press release. “His love for our Hispanic faithful is evident in his work of forming priests from Latin America and his co-founding of Taller de José.”

Casey served as episcopal vicar for Vicariate III, a region serving South and Southwest side parishes. He is a native of Evergreen Park and grew up in Alsip where he attended public elementary schools. 

He was ordained to the priesthood May 21, 1994 and served as an associate at St. Ita Parish, in Chicago, where he served until 1999. Casey, who is fluent in Spanish was named associate director of Casa Jesús, a house of discernment for men from Latin America in 1998. In 1999, he became its full-time director. 

In 2003, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish in Chicago and in 2008, he co-founded Taller de José, a ministry sponsored by the Congregation of St. Joseph that offers accompaniment to people in need.

Casey served as pastor of St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield from 2009 to 2016, when he was appointed pastor of St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago. He also served on the priests’ placement board and the priest steering committee for Renew My Church. Casey was appointed auxiliary bishop by Pope Francis on July 3, 2018.


 North Riversider named leadership fellow

North Riverside resident Blanca Jara, who is the executive director of institutional advancement at Morton College in Cicero, is among 26 fellows selected for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ second cohort of its Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo.

The program is designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education. Fellows were named in August.

Jara, a 1997 graduate of Morton West High School and 2005 graduate of Morton College, has been working at Morton College since 2016, beginning her career as director of public relations.


On campus

Maclean Nolan and Bria Parker, both of Riverside, received their bachelor’s degrees from Northern Illinois University in August. Nolan received a B.A. in psychology and sociology while Parker earned a B.S. in human development and family sciences.

Among those receiving bachelor’s degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University on Aug. 2 during the institution’s first-ever virtual commencement ceremony were Brookfield resident Ryan Swift (accounting, magna cum laude); North Riverside resident Frances Urbanski (finance); and Riverside resident Dean Zigulich (business administration).

Brookfield resident Rachel Bast was named to the 2020 spring semester dean’s list at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights for earning a semester grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale.