Archbishop Blasé Cupich announced new appointments Friday, just days after his installation in the city.
Cupich named Rev. Ronald Hicks as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Rev. Francis Kane, who has been serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, requested to return to his role as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate II, the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a release.
Hicks has served on the faculty of St. Joseph College Seminary and currently serves as the Formation Director of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary.He speaks fluent Spanish and spent five yearsw working in El Salvador.
Some Chicago priests say the appointment of the new Vicar is shocking. They called Hicks “very organized and likable” and certainly a sign Cupich is “moving in a new direction.”
But, without any experience at the Chancery, the appointment is seen as “clearly outside the box.”
Priests say Hicks is in his mid-40’s, calling the move “a new generation of leadership” and said “it’s taking everyone by surprise how quickly Cupich is moving.”
As one Chicago priest put it “the clergy lines are burning up tonight.”
Hicks' appointment will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Cupich also named Rev. Kevin Birmingham as the Archbishop’s Administrative Secretary, which takes effect immediately.
Rev. Daniel Flens will continue working with Cardinal Francis George, the release said.