Diocese of Chicago postpones Bishop-elect Paula Clark’s consecration

By Egan Millard
Posted Apr 19, 2021

The Rev. Paula Clark. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Chicago

[Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of Chicago has postponed Bishop-elect Paula Clark’s consecration and seating ceremony, which was scheduled for April 24, as she recovers from brain surgery.

Clark experienced a cerebral bleed while exercising on April 11 and underwent several procedures at an Illinois hospital, including surgery to remove an arteriovenous malformation – an abnormal cluster of blood vessels in the brain – on April 15.

“I am happy to report that the surgery was a success, and her recovery is proceeding smoothly,” the Rev. Anne Jolly, president of the diocesan Standing Committee, wrote to the diocese on April 17. “To give her ample time to regain her strength, the Standing Committee and Bishop-elect Clark, in consultation with the presiding bishop’s office, have decided to postpone her ordination, consecration and seating.”

A new date for the ceremony has not been decided yet, but Jolly said the diocese is hoping for mid-June, which would allow Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to participate as chief consecrator and possibly more people to attend in person if COVID-19 restrictions have changed.

“I am grateful for the prayers you have showered on our bishop-elect and her family this week, and I know that she is, too. I was able to talk with her by phone this afternoon, and I conveyed the diocese’s ardent wishes for her recovery,” Jolly wrote. “Please keep up your prayers for Bishop-elect Clark’s continued recovery, as we look forward to the joyful day when our presiding bishop will consecrate her as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Chicago.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.