What is the Catholic Conference of Illinois?

The Catholic Conference of Illinois (CCI) was created in 1969 to serve as the public policy voice of the Illinois bishops and lay Catholics. It interacts with the state legislature, the governor’s office and all elements of state government to promote and defend the interests of the Church.

What does the Illinois Catholic community look like?

The state is divided into six Catholic dioceses, or regions: Chicago, Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.

Illinois’ 3.5 million Catholics make up 27 percent of the total state population of 12.8 million. The Church serves her mission through various vocations and religious institutions. Figures are accurate for 2019.

  • 949 parishes
  • 18 missions
  • 2,215 priests
  • 260 brothers
  • 2,480 sisters
  • 1,372 permanent deacons
  • 46 Catholic hospitals, serving 11.7 million patients annually
  • 21 health care centers, serving 251,400 patients annually
  • 11 colleges and universities, with 63,500 students
  • 65 high schools, with 34,200 students
  • 359 elementary schools, with 92,600 students
  • 527 Catholic cemeteries

What is the mission of the Catholic Conference of Illinois?

CCI strives to uphold Catholic Social Teaching by advocating for favorable state legislation and regulatory policies. The Conference is composed of departments, or areas of interest, that focus on issues key to the Church’s interests: Catholics for Life, Marriage and Family, Education, Social Services, Health Care and other topics served by ad-hoc committees.

Catholic Social Teaching relies on basic Catholic truths, and can be generally summarized in the following principles:

  • Life and dignity of the human person
  • Protection of and participation in the family and the community
  • Rights of the human person protected, and each person’s responsibilities met
  • Care for the poor and vulnerable
  • Dignity of work and the rights of workers
  • Solidarity as one human family
  • Care for God’s creation

Are there Catholic Conferences in other states?

Yes. To learn about other Catholic Conferences, visit the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors.

Is there a national Catholic Conference?

The national organization representing U.S. bishops is called the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB. The organization is located in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credits

Catholic Conference of Illinois would like to thank the following people / organizations for photographs used on this website:

  • Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools
  • Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Charities
  • Diocese of Joliet Catholic Charities
  • Robert Powers