The following is from a press release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop R. Daniel Conlon from the Office of Bishop of Joliet in Illinois and has appointed Most Reverend Richard E. Pates as the Apostolic Administrator sede vacante.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 4, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Conlon has been on medical leave since December 2019 and Bishop Pates, who retired as Bishop of Des Moines in 2019, has been serving as Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois.
Following is a statement from Bishop Conlon:
“What a great privilege and blessing to serve as the Bishop of Joliet for the past nine years. Now I am grateful to Pope Francis for accepting my request to resign from that office and move into a new phase of life.
2019 was a challenging year for me. I experienced a lot of stress and fatigue, which I did not always handle well, along with some serious medical issues, plus the death of my best friend. I knew I needed a break. The leave of absence the Holy Father granted me at the beginning of this year was a huge blessing. I experienced personal healing and was able to recognize that, at 71, I am no longer able to carry the burden of leadership of a large diocese.
I am very grateful to the people of this diocese, for their faith and the generosity with which they use their gifts for the sake of the Gospel. We are blessed with wonderful priests and deacons, men and women religious and, of course, beautiful lay men and women, young and old. My hope is to continue to live and minister among you and even reside in one of our rectories.
Finally, I want to thank the members of the diocesan curia who have worked closely with me to provide leadership and service. They are talented and dedicated people. More recently on the scene is Bishop Richard Pates, who came out of retirement to serve as Apostolic Administrator during my leave of absence and is staying until the Pope appoints a new bishop for the diocese. Thank you, Bishop Pates.
Confident in the love, mercy and power of God, we are always able to ‘Take Courage.'”
The Diocese of Joliet serves more than 616,000 Catholics in 118 parishes and 7 missions in seven counties in Illinois: DuPage, Will, Kendall, Grundy, Kankakee, Ford and Iroquois Counties, a geographic area of 4,218 square miles. The diocese has more than 3,000 employees in its systems and ministries, including Catholic Charities. The diocese’s 53 elementary and secondary schools and three Catholic universities serve over 33,750 students and 38,929 religious education students.