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Most Reverend Roger L. Kaffer
Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, 1985-2002

Bishop Fitzgerald


Bishop Roger L. Kaffer was born on August 14, 1927, to parents, Earl Louis Kaffer and Helen Ruth (nee McManus) Kaffer, in Joliet, Illinois.

He was baptized in St. Raymond Parish in Joilet, and also attended the parish's Catholic elementary school. He graduated from Joliet Township High School in 1945 and enrolled in Quigley Preparatory Seminary following his graduation from high school, before transferring to St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. He was formally ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on May 1, 1954, by then Bishop Martin D. McNamara at the Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus in Joilet. His first assignment as a priest was to the St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Joilet as an associate pastor.

Bishop Kaffer was appointed the assistant chancellor of the Diocese of Joliet in 1958 and was later appointed the first rector of the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville, Illinois. He also served on the seminary's board of directors from 1968 to 1974.  He also served as principal of Providence Catholic High School beginning in 1970.

Bishop Kaffer was named temporary administrator of the Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus in January 1985 and then named a full rector of the Cathedral just one month later, in February 1985.  Later that year, was named the auxiliary bishop of Joliet.  He was ordained by then Bishop Joseph Imesch on June 26, 1985, at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus. He held the position of Vicar General and Vicar for Priests in the Joilet diocese until 2002.  He also served as the chairman of the Second Synod of Joliet from 1986 until 1989. He retired as auxiliary bishop in 2002, remaining Bishop Emeritus thereafter.

Bishop Kaffer died May 28, 2009, in Joliet, Illinois, at the age of 81.

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