School Priest & Chaplain Announcement

Jamie Lavigueur
Please join us in welcoming Fr. Bob!
St. Francis High School is thrilled to announce Fr. Robert Barko, O.F.M., will serve in the role of School Priest and Chaplain effective at the start of the second semester of the 2023-24 school year.

“Fr. Bob’s ministerial experience and dedication to the spiritual development of our students set him apart as an exceptional leader to build and maintain a distinctive Christian culture within our school,” said SFHS President Phil Kerr. “We look forward to welcoming him as a member of our community.”

Fr. Bob said he equally looks forward to becoming a Spartan.

"After my first meeting with the administration, I was walking to my car and felt as though 'This place is something that is right in our world,’” he said. “The students I encountered and the various members of staff could not have been more welcoming and hospitable.”

Prior to Fr. Bob’s start date, Fr. Jim Murphy, Fr. Ed Shea, and our other Pastoral Ministry partners will support our All-School Liturgies, confessions, retreats, and other spiritual development needs.

About Fr. Bob Barko
Fr. Barko, an alum of Marist High School, most recently served as Secretary of the Province at Franciscan Province of the Most Sacred Heart in St. Louis, Missouri, and from 2015 to 2020, served as Parochial Vicar at St. Francis Solanu Parish.

His Solemn Profession into the Order of Friars Minor was at St. John the Baptist in Joliet, and he was ordained to the Presbyterate at St. Peter’s-in-the-Loop in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Additionally, he received his Master’s in Divinity from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago in 2017.

On a personal level, he lists music and theatre as his many interests and hobbies, and he is looking forward to supporting our outstanding Performing and Visual Arts programs.
    • Photo Credit: Jared Holbrook | Pictured: Fr. Bob Barko, who will serve as the SFHS School Priest and Chaplain.

St. Francis High School