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Ordained May 1, 1963

Chicago, IL (October 17, 2007) - Rev. David J. Cortesi, pastor emeritus of Chicago’s St. Ferdinand Parish, died on Monday, October 15 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Hts. Fr. Cortesi was 70 years old and died due to complications from anemia while surrounded by his family.

A Highland Park native, Fr. Cortesi was born on March 11, 1937 and was baptized just over two weeks later on Easter Sunday at Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park. Fr. Cortesi graduated from Immaculate Conception Elementary School in June 1951, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1956, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in May 1963, where he sang in the choir and acted in plays.

Fr. Cortesi was ordained a priest on May 1, 1963, and four days later celebrated his first solemn Mass at Immaculate Conception Church. On July 9 of that year, he was named associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Evanston, where he served until May 1968. Fr. Cortesi then served a two-year assignment as associate pastor of Santa Maria Del Popolo Parish in Mundelein.

In August 1970, Fr. Cortesi began a seventeen-year assignment as associate pastor and resident at Divine Infant Parish in West suburban Westchester. During these years, Fr. Cortesi also served in various Archdiocesan agencies including: the Office for Lay Councils and Organizations, the Office for the Laity, the Office for Parish Councils, the Office for Education and Leadership, the Council of Catholic Women, Catholic Family Consultation Services and as chaplain of the Combined Counties Police Association.

In November 1987, Fr. Cortesi began an eighteen-year term as pastor of St. Ferdinand Parish on the city’s Northwest side. He was named associate pastor of Chicago’s St. Hilary Parish in May 2006. He retired and was named pastor emeritus of St. Ferdinand on July 1 of this year.

Visitation for Fr. Cortesi will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, at Immaculate Conception Church, 770 Deerfield Rd., Highland Park. Fr. William Mannion, a seminary classmate of Fr. Cortesi’s, will celebrate his funeral Mass at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 19 at Immaculate Conception Church. Interment will be at Ascension Cemetery in Libertyville.

Fr. Cortesi is survived by his sister, Teri McGillen, and several nieces and nephews.

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