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Former Northwest Side Pastor, Fr. John J. Cunningham Dies

Chicago, IL (March 21, 2006) – Fr. John James Cunningham, former pastor of St. Priscilla Parish on the northwest side for over 20 years, died Thursday, March 16, at Palos Community Hospital following a stroke. Fr. Cunningham was retired and living at Bishop Lyne Residence in Lemont at the time of his death. He was 75 years old.

A Chicago native, Fr. Cunningham graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He was ordained in 1956.

He served as assistant pastor for eight years at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish on Chicago’s south side beginning in 1956. From 1964 to 1973, he was assistant pastor at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Schiller Park and served in the same capacity at St. Hugh Parish in Lyons from 1973 to 1981.

Fr. Cunningham was a chaplain in the Illinois National Guard in the 60s and served for a year as chaplain at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park beginning in 1981.

His pastoral ministry included work as a counselor and advisor for drug abuse programs throughout Chicago and the suburbs. He served as Executive Director of the National Clergy Council on Alcoholism from 1968 to 1978.

In 1982, Fr. Cunningham was named pastor of St. Pricilla Parish on Chicago’s northwest side and remained there until his retirement in 2003. He was named pastor emeritus of St. Pricilla in 2003.

A funeral Mass for Fr. Cunningham was celebrated at Our Lady of the Woods Church in Orland Park on Monday, March 20. Interment was at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip. Fr. Cunningham is survived by a sister, Patricia Kindernay of Darien.

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