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Ordained May 3, 1950

Chicago, IL (December 4, 2007) - Rev. Leonard Mezydlo, pastor emeritus of St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish in northwest suburban Des Plaines, died on Friday, November 30, at age 85. He had been living at Oakton Pavilion in Des Plaines, and died due to complications from cancer.

A Chicago native, Fr. Mezydlo was born on October 25, 1922 and was baptized at St. Michael Parish on the city’s south side. Fr. Mezydlo graduated from St. Michael Elementary School in June 1938, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1943 and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in May 1950. While at Mundelein, Fr. Mezydlo was on the volleyball, baseball and tennis teams and also played violin in the orchestra.

Fr. Mezydlo was ordained a priest on May 3, 1950, and the following Sunday, celebrated his first solemn Mass at Chicago’s St. Michael Church. On August 5, he was named assistant pastor of St. Constance Parish on the city’s northwest side where he served until July 1960. From December 1955 until June 1960, he served as spiritual guidance counselor at Chicago’s St. Patrick High School. Between July 1960 and September 1961, Fr. Mezydlo served as associate pastor of Summit’s St. Joseph Parish, before serving five years as assistant pastor of Chicago’s St. Casimir Parish.

Fr. Mezydlo fulfilled a six-year assignment as assistant pastor of Five Holy Martyrs Parish on the city’s south side that began in June 1966. He then served as assistant pastor of the now-closed St. Columbkille Parish from June 1972 to May 1974. Between 1972 and 1980, Fr. Mezydlo also served as chaplain at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and Medical Center as well as at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. In July 1980, Fr. Mezydlo was appointed pastor of Des Plaines’ St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish, where he served until his retirement on January 31, 1993 when he was named pastor emeritus.

Visitation for Fr. Mezydlo will be from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. wake service, on Wednesday, December 5, at St. Stephen Protomartyr Church, 1267 Everett Ave. in Des Plaines. At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 6, Most Rev. Thad J. Jakubowski, D.D., Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, a fellow seminary classmate, will celebrate a funeral Mass for Fr. Mezydlo at St. Stephen Protomartyr Church. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City. A brother, Eugene and a sister, Rosemary, and several nieces and nephews, survive Fr. Mezydlo.

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