Bishop Robert Finn Elected President of Institute on Religious Life

The Institute on Religious Life in Libertyville, IL has a new President – Most. Rev. Robert Finn.
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Libertyville - Illinois - US

Oct. 2, 2010 - PRLog -- LIBERTYVILLE, IL—The Board of Directors of the Institute on Religious Life (IRL) at their September annual meeting elected the Most Rev. Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City–St. Joseph as the organization’s new president. Bishop Finn succeeds the Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford, who served as IRL president since 1998.

“It is with a spirit of deep humility and sincere gratitude that I accept this position of leadership within the Institute on Religious Life. I appreciate the wonderful contribution the IRL makes to the Church, particularly in the United States, and am excited to be part of its mission,” said Bishop Finn. “Now, more than ever the world needs the witness of a stable life lived generously in accord with the Gospel and zealously dedicated to the evangelization and sanctification of souls given by religious and other consecrated persons.”

As IRL president, Bishop Finn will serve as the organization’s principal executive officer of its meetings of the Board of Directors and its executive committee. Bishop Finn’s primary task is promoting the mission of the IRL and the interests of its members among his fellow bishops in the United States. His Excellency will also preside over the annual meeting of the members of the IRL’s Episcopal Advisory Board during the week of the annual November meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“We look forward to Bishop Finn’s leadership to continue advancing the IRL’s mission, to ensure that it continues as a leader in fostering authentic renewal of the consecrated life, and to help young Catholics discerning the Lord’s call in their lives,” said Rev. Thomas Nelson, O.PRAEM., National Director of the Institute on Religious Life. “We are also most grateful to Bishop Doran for his continual support and encouragement for these past twelve years.”

Originally a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Bishop Finn studied for the priesthood at archdiocesan seminaries and in Rome. He received a B.A. in Philosophy at Cardinal Glennon College in 1975. At the North American College in Rome, he earned a Master’s in Theology in 1979 from Angelicum University. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese at All Souls Parish Church on July 7, 1979.

Bishop Finn’s first assignments were as associate pastor of two parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He later was appointed to the faculty of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington, Missouri, where he taught from 1983–1989.

In 1989, Bishop Finn received a Master’s in Education Administration from St. Louis University and was appointed administrator of St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon, Missouri. He served the St. Dominic High School community until 1996.

In 1996, he was appointed Director of Continuing Formation of Priests and, in 1999, while continuing as CFP Director, he was named editor of The St. Louis Review, a weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

On March 9, 2004, Bishop Finn was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, by Pope John Paul II. His ordination to the episcopacy was May 3, 2004, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Kansas City, Missouri. As Coadjutor, Bishop Finn succeeded the Most Rev. Raymond J. Boland as sixth bishop of the Diocese on May 24, 2005.

In his years serving the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, Bishop Finn has been known for strong, decisive leadership and for helping those within his diocese recover their Catholic identity and goals. His oft-stated message is that his principal job is to help Catholics respond to their baptismal call to holiness, to grow in the sacramental life and to be closer to God, in short, to help everyone become saints. He has also been a strong promoter of priestly and religious vocations, having established two institutes of consecrated life within his diocese.

The Institute on Religious Life ( was established in 1974 by Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J., Servant of God. As a national organization, it promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life—particularly vowed religious life—as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world. IRL associate membership includes bishops, clergy, religious and consecrated and lay faithful in a collaborative apostolate of prayer and service, guided by the magisterial teachings and rich heritage of the Church. Over 160 religious communities are affiliate members.

For more information, go to, or contact Michael Wick, IRL Executive Director, at (847) 573-8975, or

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The Institute on Religious Life (IRL) promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life—particularly vowed religious life—as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world.
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Location:Libertyville - Illinois - United States
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