Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville
Most Reverend Joseph M. Siegel, D.D., STL
Sixth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville
Born July 18, 1963
Ordained a Priest: Joliet Diocese, June 4, 1988
Named Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet: October 28, 2009
Ordained Bishop: January 19, 2010
Named Bishop of Evansville: October 18, 2017
Installed at Evansville: December 15, 2017
Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel, 54, was born in Joliet Ill., on July 18, 1963, and was raised on a farm in Lockport Township. He is the youngest of nine children of Francis and Marie (Wallace) Siegel. He received his sacraments and attended grammar school at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet.
After graduating from St. Charles Borromeo High School Seminary, he studied at Joliet Junior College and then completed his college education at St. Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad. He was then sent to the North American College in Rome for his theological studies, attending the Gregorian and the Angelicum Universities.
He was ordained a priest for the Joliet Diocese on June 4, 1988, and was assigned to St. Isidore Parish in Bloomingdale. While serving at St. Isidore, he completed his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill. Other parochial assignments in the Joliet Diocese include St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield, St. Mary Nativity in Joliet and the Cathedral of St. Raymond, where he also served as Diocesan Master of Ceremonies. In 2004, he was named pastor of Visitation Parish in Elmhurst.
Bishop Siegel was a member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council for nine years, including three years as chairman, and was appointed to the Diocesan Board of Consultors. He also served as Director of Continuing Formation for Priests, a member of the Diocesan Vocation Board, the Priest Personnel Board and Dean of Eastern Will County.
Within the Catholic Conference of Illinois, he served on the Executive Committee as a priest representative and was chairman of the Catholics for Life Department. He chaired the Steering Committee for the Joliet Diocesan Year of the Eucharist and Eucharistic Congress, and was a member of the Bishops’ Respect Life Advisory Board. He is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre (Knight Commander with Star).
On Oct. 28, 2009, Pope Benedict nominated Father Siegel as Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, and he was ordained a bishop at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus by Bishop J. Peter Sartain on Jan. 19, 2010. He remained pastor of Visitation Parish until June 2010, when he assumed his full-time episcopal responsibilities and was named Vicar General.
On Dec. 3, 2010, Bishop Siegel was elected Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Joliet when Bishop Sartain was installed as Archbishop of Seattle.
In July 2011, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon became the fifth Bishop of Joliet and appointed Bishop Siegel as his Vicar General. He also is Vice-Chair of the Joliet Catholic Charities Board of Directors and serves on several Diocesan committees and boards.
Bishop Siegel has been the Illinois State Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus since 2009 and High Spiritual Director for the Catholic Order of Foresters since 2011.
Bishop Siegel currently serves on the USCCB Committee for Divine Worship. Previously, he was the Chairman for Region VII and the region’s representative on the Board of Directors of the Pontifical North American College.
On Oct 18, 2017, Pope Francis appointed him to serve as the sixth Bishop of Evansville. He was installed on Dec. 15, 2017, at St. Benedict Cathedral.
Bishop Siegel has a reading knowledge of Spanish and Italian. He enjoys Cubs baseball, classical music, reading (especially history), and playing the piano and organ.
COAT OF ARMS
The bishop’s Coat of Arms is composed of a shield, which is the central and most important part of the design; a scroll with the bishop’s episcopal motto; and the external ornamentation. The design is described as if the description was being given by the bearer, from behind, with the shield being worn on the left arms. By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese, called an “Ordinary,” are joined with the arms of his jurisdiction, in this case the Diocese of Evansville, which are seen in the left side of the design.
The left side – Diocese of Evansville
The crescent in the Diocese of Evansville coat of arms symbolizes two important elements. Evansville is situated on a bend of the Ohio River. As a result, it can suitably be called a “Crescent City.” The crescent symbolizes the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the patroness of the diocese.
Appearing immediately below the crescent is the representation of a crenellated battlement or fortification wall. This represents the original Fort Vincennes, established as a trading post, which suggests that the diocese derives from historic Vincennes, Indiana, and that the Catholic Faith is a mighty fortress.
The two waves at the bottom of the shield represent the waters of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers. The Wabash forms the western boundary of the diocese, and the Ohio forms its southern boundary. Spiritually, the waves represent the cleansing waters of Baptism.
The right side – Bishop-designate Siegel
Bishop Siegel has adopted a design that reflects his heritage and his ministry as a priest and bishop.
These arms incorporate red, blue, silver and gold – the colors employed in the arms of the Siegel family. The shield is divided by a chevron, to be reminiscent of a “carpenter’s square,” to pay particular honor to the Bishop’s baptismal patron, Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
In the upper portion of the design is a rose, to honor both the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her title of Mystical Rose, and Saint Therese, the Little Flower, to whom Bishop Siegel has particular devotion. The rose also is the symbol of the Respect Life cause. in which the Bishop has been active as a priest and bishop. Also in the upper portion is a silver rampant lion that is taken from the arms of the Wallace family of the mother of the Bishop. The lion is also the symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, also a baptismal patron of the Bishop.
In the lower portion of the design is a gold Moline cross (each arm terminates in what looks like an anchor), which is classic charge used in Benedictine arms. By its presentation here, the Bishop calls to reflection his profound affection for the Order of Saint Benedict and Benedictine spirituality. The Moline cross is placed below and between two gold fleur-de-lis, the lily form that is often associated with the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, and which is found in the arms of the Diocese of Joliet, the local Church in which the Bishop Siegel was baptized, ordained and served as auxiliary bishop.
For his episcopal motto, Bishop Siegel has selected “In Te Domine Speravi.” This quotation is taken from the closing responsories of the Te Deum and is also alluded to in Psalm 33:22. In this phrase, “In you Lord, I have placed my hope,” Bishop Siegel expresses the faith of all Christians – that is, by placing our hope in Christ and in His Protection, all we are called to be can be achieved.
The achievement in completed by the external ornamentation, which are a gold processional cross that is placed in back of the shield and extends above and below the shield; and the pontifical hat, called a “galero,” with its six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop, by instruction of The Holy See, of March 31, 1969.
Original design and description by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Deacon of the Diocese of Providence, R.I. Design adapted by Dawn Evans. Design updated by Craig Miller.