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Retired Pastor of St. Therese Chinese Mission

CHICAGO (January 14, 2013) – Rev. Anthony K. Chen, a priest ordained for the Diocese of Shandong, China and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1984, died Monday, January 7, in Chiayi, Taiwan.  He was 87 years old and had been retired since December 1995.

Fr. Chen was born in the city of Cao-Xien, China in 1925.  His elementary and secondary education took place in preparatory seminaries in the Shandong Diocese, and he completed his seminary studies in the Philippines, where he was ordained in 1952 for the Diocese of Shandong.

Fr. Chen came to the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1954. He was a resident at Maternity BVM Parish on the northwest side from1954 to 1957, while studying at the University of Notre Dame and DePaul University, earning his M.A. in Education from DePaul in 1956. Fr. Chen could read, write and celebrate the sacraments in Mandarin and Cantonese in addition to English.

From 1957 to 1958, he was a resident at St. Richard Parish on the southwest side of Chicago.  For one year beginning in 1958, he served as assistant pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Parish on the north side, and during the years 1959 to 1964 he was a resident at St. Maurice Parish in Chicago.

Fr. Chen was named assistant pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Schiller Park in 1964 and remained there until 1967.  He served as the chaplain at St. Joseph High School in Westchester from 1967 to 1969, and from 1969 to 1972, he served on the faculty of Loyola Academy in Chicago.

In 1972, Fr. Chen was made assistant pastor of St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles.  When that appointment ended in 1978, Fr. Chen took a leave and returned to Taiwan for three years.  When he returned in 1981, he was named pastor at St. Therese Chinese Church and served that community for the next nine years.

In October 1990, Fr. Chen began a lengthy sabbatical at the Center for Continuing Formation in Ministry at the Holy Cross Brothers Center at Notre Dame, Indiana.  He retired from ministry in December 1995.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Fr. Chen on January 18 at St. John Cathedral in Chiayi, Taiwan.

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