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Fr. James W. Keating, One of Oldest Priests in Archdiocese, Dies

Chicago, IL (January 20, 2005) – Fr. James W. Keating, ordained in 1934 and one of the oldest priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, died Wednesday, January 19, at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago of pneumonia. Fr. Keating suffered from emphysema and complications of a stroke. He was 97 years old and had been retired from active ministry for a number of years.

He was the only remaining member of his ordination class of 1934. There is believed to have been no older priest in the Archdiocese.

Fr. Keating, a Chicago native, attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools before entering the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. His first assignment was as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish on Chicago’s northwest side, where he served for eight years from 1934 to 1942.

For 13 years, beginning in 1942, Fr. Keating was the assistant pastor at St. Veronica Parish and then at St. Laurence Parish for four years. Both parishes are now closed. From 1959 to 1967, he was the pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish on the south side. In 1967, he became the pastor of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, where he served for 10 years until his retirement in 1978. He was made pastor emeritus of St. Hugh in 1978.

Visitation for Fr. Keating will take place on Friday, January 21, from 2 to 9 p.m. at St. Hugh Church, 7939 W. 43 rd St., Lyons. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Keating on Saturday, January 22, at 11 a.m. at St. Hugh. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chicago.


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