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South Side Pastor, Fr. James J. Martin, Dies Suddenly

Chicago, IL (September 16, 2005) - Fr. James J. Martin, pastor of St. Dorothy Parish and administrator of St. Felicitas Parish, both on Chicago’s south side, died Saturday, September 10, unexpectedly while on vacation. He was 63 years old. Appointed pastor of St. Dorothy Parish in 2001, Fr Martin also had been serving as administrator of St. Felicitas since October 2002.

Fr. Martin was born in Evergreen Park and attended Most Holy Redeemer elementary school. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory High School and the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He was ordained in 1968 and became assistant pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in Cicero.

In 1973, Fr. Martin was appointed assistant pastor of Presentation Parish on the west side, where he served for five years before his appointment in 1978 as pastor of St. Agatha Parish, also on the west side, where he served for 11 years. During his tenure at St. Agatha, Fr. Martin also represented a group of neighboring parishes, called a deanery, in Vicariate III, one of six larger geographical areas into which the archdiocese is divided.

In 1989, Fr. Martin began a six-year term as pastor of St. Benedict the African Parish East, followed in 1995 by a six-year term as pastor of St. Benedict the African Parish West. During this time, he again served twice as a Dean, representing a group of parishes, this time in Vicariate VI which serves the south side of Chicago.

Visitation for Fr. Martin will take place on Sunday, September 18, from 3 to 9 p.m. at St. Dorothy Church, 450 E. 78 th St., Chicago. Wake services will take place at 7:30 p.m. A funeral Mass for Fr. Martin will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 19, at St. Dorothy. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant. Fr. John Harvey, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Chicago, will be the homilist.

Interment will be in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Alsip. Fr. Martin is survived by a sister, Joan Leithelt, and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

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