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Most Reverend Raymond J. Vonesh
Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, 1968-1991

Bishop Vonesh


Bishop Raymond James Vonesh was born January 25, 1916, in Cicero, Illinois, to Otto and Mary Vonesh.  He attended St. Leonard Elementary School in Berwyn, St. Philip High School, and Quigley Preparatory Seminary, both in Chicago, and  St. Mary  of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, where he earned a STL.

He was ordained to the priesthood by Samuel Cardinal Stritch at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary on May 3, 1941, and was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Chicago. He was later transferred to Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. From 1947 to 1949, he studied canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a J.C.L. On returning to Chicago, he became a notary and judge for the Archdiocesan Tribunal and later was named procurator of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. He was invested as a Papal Chamberlain in 1957 and a Domestic Prelate in 1959.

 In 1967, Bishop Romeo Blanchette asked Archbishop Cody of Chicago to lend him a priest experienced in canon law to work in the Joliet Chancery. Msgr. Vonesh arrived in Joliet on April 3, 1967 and was named Vicar General. On January 5, 1968, Pope Paul VI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Joliet and titular bishop of Vanariona. He was consecrated on April 3, 1968, at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet by John Cardinal Cody of Chicago.  He took as his motto, Faith Rooted in Love. As auxiliary bishop, he also served as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Joliet. Bishop Vonesh was vicar for Hispanics and vicar for permanent deacons.

 Bishop Vonesh turned 75 in January of 1991 and Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation on May 7, 1991, shortly after he celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination to the priesthood.  In June of that year, he was diagnosed with cancer and died on August 16, 1991. His funeral was celebrated by Bishop Joseph L. Imesch at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, and interment was in the mausoleum at Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville, Illinois.

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