The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee announced Feb. 14 that he will retire as Bishop of Chicago in August 2020, and called for the election of his successor.

“When I reflect on the work we have done together, I am most grateful for our shared success in focusing the work of my staff and the diocese’s leaders on congregational vitality,” Lee wrote in a letter to the diocese.

Lee was consecrated in February 2008 to lead a diocese that comprises 33,000 people in more than 120 congregations northern and west central Illinois. His tenure included the reunification of the Dioceses of Chicago and Quincy and a major renovation of St. James Commons, the diocesan headquarters in downtown Chicago, that created the Nicholas Center, a venue for retreats and meetings.

The Standing Committee will inform the clergy and people of the diocese about the search for Lee’s successor, which will begin soon.

“Over and over again during my years as your bishop, we have gathered around the table in places large and small to be sustained by the nourishment of Jesus’ body and blood,” Lee wrote. “As we travel together toward the place where our paths will diverge, I will cherish each remaining opportunity to celebrate the sacraments with you and to pray together for a time of transition filled with hope and trust in God’s never-failing goodness.”

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