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Ordained on May 1, 1952

Chicago, IL (September 11, 2007) - Rev. William J. Shields, longtime pastor of St. Hubert Parish in Hoffman Estates, died at Resurrection Life Center in Chicago on Sunday, September 9, at age 82 of complications stemming from leukemia.

A Chicago native, Fr. Shields was born on August 29, 1925, and was baptized two weeks later at St. Mel Parish on the city’s west side. Fr. Shields graduated from St. Mel Catholic School in June 1940, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1945, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in May 1952. At Quigley, he was active in all sports and played saxophone in the orchestra. He pursued post-graduate studies at Loyola University in the late 1950’s.

Fr. Shields and his younger brother, James were both ordained on May 1, 1952, and Fr. Shields celebrated his first solemn Mass ten days later at the now-closed St. Mel/Holy Ghost Church on the city’s west side. On July 8, 1952, Fr. Shields was named assistant pastor at St. Gall Parish on Chicago’s southwest side. He remained there for eight years, and in July 1960, Fr. Shields was named assistant pastor of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.

In June 1964, Fr. Shields was named assistant pastor of west suburban Elmwood Park’s St. Celestine Parish, a position he would hold for five years. Between June 1969 and June 1975, Fr. Shields was assigned to an experimental parish at the Ford City Shopping Center on the city’s southwest side. Between June 1975 and June 1976, Fr. Shields briefly served as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in south suburban Palos Hills.

On July 1, 1976, Fr. Shields was appointed pastor of St. Hubert Parish in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, a position he would hold for fifteen-and-a-half years, until January 1, 1991. In June 1992, Fr. Shields was named associate pastor of Santa Maria del Popolo Parish in north suburban Mundelein. He retired on June 30, 1995, and resided at Santa Maria del Popolo.

Visitation for Fr. Shields will be Thursday, September 13, from 3 to 9 p.m. and again on Friday, September 14, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Santa Maria del Popolo Church, 116 N. Lake St., Mundelein. At 11 a.m. on Friday, September 14, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Shields. Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in west suburban Hillside.

Fr. Shields is survived by a sister, Mrs. Mary (Bob) Williams, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Fr. James Shields, who died on June 22 at age 80.

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