ARCHDIOCESAN PRIEST, REV. VITO MIKOLAITIS, DIES
Pastor Emeritus of Lithuanian Parish
Professor at Quigley North and South Seminaries
CHICAGO (October 1, 2013) - Rev. Vito Mikolaitis, pastor emeritus of Holy Cross, formerly a Lithuanian Parish now consolidated into Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary, died on Sunday, September 29, at Holy Family Villa in Palos Park, where he was a resident. He was a professor at Quigley Preparatory Seminary for 17 years in the 40s and 50s, followed by a decade of teaching, beginning in 1961, at the newly established Quigley South campus. He was 93 years of age at the time of his death and had been retired since 1989.
Prior to moving into Holy Family Villa, Fr. Mikolaitis was a resident at Bishop Lyne Home and had the room next to Msgr. John McNamara. “He was a gracious man, who never sought the limelight,” said McNamara. “He was approachable and kindly and always interested in people. He served the Church faithfully.”
Fr. Mikolaitis was born in Chicago on November 3, 1919. His Lithuanian parents raised four children as members of Holy Cross Parish on 46th Street in Chicago that was consolidated into Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1983. He graduated from Holy Cross School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. Fr. Mikolaitis did post graduate studies at Loyola University, earning his MA degree in History. He was ordained by then Archbishop Samuel Stritch in 1943.
The first year following his ordination, Fr. Mikolaitis was the assistant pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Blue Island. In June of 1944, he began teaching at Quigley Seminary and continued there until July of 1961, when he was assigned to teach at the newly established Quigley Seminary South. Fr. Mikolaitis ended his teaching career in 1971, when he was named pastor of his home parish, Holy Cross.
Prior to being named pastor, he was assistant pastor for six months at All Saints Parish on State Street in Chicago, a Lithuanian parish that closed in 1989. After a decade at Holy Cross, Fr. Mikolaitis became the associate pastor of Nativity, BVM Parish on Chicago’s southwest side. He served in that capacity until his retirement from active ministry in 1989.
Visitation for Fr. Mikolaitis will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2, at Palos-Gaidis Funeral Home, 11028 South West Highway in Palos Hills, and from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 3, at Nativity BVM Parish, 6812 South Washtenaw Avenue in Chicago.
Most Rev. John Gorman, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Mikolaitis at 11 a.m., at Nativity BVM. Rev. Msgr. John McNamara will deliver the homily.
Interment will take place at St. Casimir Cemetery in Chicago.