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On Faculty of Mundelein Seminary and Pastor Emeritus of St. Celestine in Elmwood Park

CHICAGO (July 8, 2013) – Rev. Patrick J. O’Malley, pastor emeritus of St. Celestine, a former Vicar for Priests and faculty member at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, died on July 5, while visiting Florida.  Fr. O’Malley was 81 years old at the time of his death.

Fr. O’Malley was born in Chicago on April 27, 1932 and attended several Catholic elementary schools before graduating from Our Lady Help of Christians.  He was a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, where he earned a S.T.L. in Religion. He was ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1957.

He served as assistant superintendent at Maryville Academy in Des Plains for five years beginning in 1957.  For the next six years, from 1962 to 1968, Fr. O’Malley was the assistant pastor at St. Sebastian Parish (1962-63) and assistant pastor and then administrator at St. Jarlath (1963-68) Both Chicago parishes are now closed.

According to Fr. Larry McBrady, Fr. O’Malley always showed great interest in supporting priests and seminarians.  He was one of the founders of the Association of Chicago Priests, and in June 1968, Fr. O’Malley was elected the first president of the National Federation of Priests Councils. In 1970, he began serving as a part-time member of the Priests’ Personnel Board. He also served on the Pastors’ Review Board and as an Archdiocesan Consultor.

From 1970 to 1981, Fr. O’Malley was part of a new leadership model at St. James Parish on Wabash in Chicago that split the duties of pastor among three priests. In 1981, Fr. O’Malley was named pastor of St. Celestine Parish in Elmwood Park, serving in that capacity until 1991, the year he began a six-year stint as Vicar for Priests.  He took up duties as a faculty member at Mundelein Seminary in 1997, where he was involved in spiritual direction.

Fr. McBrady served with Fr. O’Malley at both St. James and St. Celestine and noted that he was an enthusiastic priest who loved being a priest and was open to new challenges. “He had a deep faith, made deeper by his study of the Bible.  Even in his advanced years, Fr. O’Malley was sought after as a spiritual director by priests and deacons alike,” McBrady said.  Fr. O’Malley also wrote “Perspectives on the Scriptures” a regular feature in the Archdiocese’s newspaper, Catholic New World until the time of his death.

Visitation for Fr. O’Malley will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 South Northwest Highway in Park Ridge.  Rev. Msgr. John Canary will be the main celebrant at a Funeral Mass for Fr. O’Malley at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, at St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish, 22333 West Erhart Road in Mundelein.  

Interment will take place at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.  Fr. O’Malley is survived by his brothers, Gerald and John.

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