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Served on Two Seminary Faculties

CHICAGO (July 13, 2012) – Rev. John R. Lynch, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 45 years, died on Tuesday, July 10, at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston as a result of a head injury received in a fall at his home on July 1.  Father Lynch had served most recently as associate pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Chicago.  He was 70 years old.

Fr. Lynch was born in Oak Park.  He received his elementary education in Catholic schools in Chicago and graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary in 1960.   He was ordained by Cardinal Cody in 1967, after graduating from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.

For nine years, from 1967 to 1976, Fr. Lynch was the assistant pastor of Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish on Chicago’s south side. During this time, he was a student at Roosevelt University, earning a masters degree in clinical psychology.  From 1976 to 1982, he was the associate pastor at Old St. Patrick Parish in Chicago. During part of this period, Fr. Lynch was the supervisor of deacons studying at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was also the field education supervisor from 1971 to 1983 and an instructor beginning in 1980 at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and from 1975 to 1977 served as a campus minister at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

Between 1976 and 1982, Fr. Lynch studied at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, earning a doctorate in clinical psychology.

From 1982 to 1992, Fr. Lynch was the associate pastor at St. Gertrude Parish in Chicago. Beginning in 1983, he took on additional duties at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, first in formation (1983-1986) and then as an adjunct faculty member (1986-1992).  During this same period, Fr. Lynch was associate formation director and an associate professor at Niles College Seminary at Loyola University.  From 1992 to 1994, he was on the staff of the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy, now called Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Fr. Lynch is fondly remembered at St. Gertrude Parish.  The pastor, Fr. Dominic Grassi says even after he left the parish, families often called on Fr. Lynch to officiate at weddings and funerals.  He also recalled that Fr. Lynch loved to say Mass and did so despite problems with balance and walking in his later years.

In 1994, he returned to St. Gertrude for one year before being named administrator in 1995 of St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park. The following year, he was named pastor, a position he held until 1999.   In 2000, he was named associate pastor at St. Gertrude, serving for a year.  In 2001, he became the associate pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Chicago, where he served until his retirement from active ministry in 2011.

Fr. James Barrett, pastor of St. Margaret Mary, served for three years with Fr. Lynch and described him as a good homilist and someone well liked in the parish, who led a men’s prayer and discussion group once a month.  “He was an avid photographer whose photos were professional looking,” said Barrett.  ”He used his photography skills to make his own Christmas cards each year that were treasured by the recipients,” Barrett added.

Fr. Lynch requested that his body be donated to science.  A memorial Mass for Fr. Lynch will be celebrated on Sunday, September 9, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Gertrude Church, 1420 West Granville Avenue in Chicago. Auxiliary Bishop Francis Kane will be the main celebrant. Father James Flynn will be the homilist.

A sister, Jeanne Bassie, and two brothers, Timothy and Thomas Lynch, survive Fr. Lynch.

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