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Christmas greetings from Chicago! A charitable name for 2020 would be "The Year of Surprises." The biggest surprise of 2020 at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels was Pope Francis appointing me as an Auxiliary Bishop here in the Archdiocese of Chicago! I was ordained a bishop on November 13, 2020.

Receiving the decree of Pope Francis appointing me as bishop from the apostolic nuncio to the US, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, during my episcopal ordination.

I am now responsible for Vicariate III, the grouping of parishes and Catholic institutions directly surrounding (and including) the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. I will continue to live at the Mission and will remain the superior of the Franciscans of the Eucharist. Please keep me in your prayers as I take on these new responsibilities.

Due to the unprecedented demands of the pandemic, our relationships and presence to our neighbors are now more important than ever.

As neighbors have contracted COVID or have been laid off, we have been able to provide food, diapers, hygiene items, mattresses, and prayers to those who need them most. We have sustained a large senior citizen food delivery program (approx. 250 seniors a week) throughout the pandemic. Despite COVID, we are still planning to have a drive-thru Christmas party for over 1000 people. We pray that our neighbors can experience the hope, joy, and love of Jesus this Christmas.

The kitchen and dining room renovations have been completed and are ready for use.

Despite the slowdowns caused by the COVID pandemic, the school renovation project is moving along well. We're all hopeful that COVID restrictions will be lifted in 2021. When that happens, we plan to open the former school building for outreach to the neighborhood and to house volunteers and retreatants.

Our food pantry continues to be the driving force of our apostolic work during the pandemic. Unemployment and underemployment in our neighborhood have skyrocketed. We are now serving about 3000 families a month with a shopping cart full of food each time they come to the pantry. We are distributing 150,000 to 200,000 lbs. of food per month through the Mission. The need continues to grow and shows no sign of slowing. We are preparing for a long road ahead, with less government subsidized food and increasing need. To keep everyone safe, the pantry will remain outside throughout the winter and into spring 2021.

Neighbors can drive up to a table where the Franciscans and volunteers load cars with a week's worth of groceries

Your help is most needed and greatly appreciated at this time. If you are able to assist us with a donation, please donate.

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L > R: Sr. Jaime, Sr. Alicia, Sr. Emily, Sr. Stephanie, Br. Matt, me, Sr. Laura, Sr. Jess, Sr. Kate, and Sr. Macey at my Mass of Thanksgiving on November 14, 2020 at the mission.

Please remember us in your prayers and please be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones!

Thank you and God bless,


Most Reverend Robert J. Lombardo, CFR
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Bishop Bob blessing W. Humboldt Park the day after his ordination!