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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. L. Jerome Parrish, Dies

Rev. Parrish was Associate Pastor of St. Denis Parish on St. Louis Avenue in Chicago

Chicago, IL (November 14, 2017) – Rev. L. Jerome Parrish, 62, died at his sister’s home on November 8, 2017. Rev. Parrish was on a medical leave from ministry and was the associate pastor of St. Denis Parish on St. Louis Avenue in Chicago. Rev. Parrish had been on a long-term medical leave since 2005 and he spent the last year of life with his sister, Addrene, on the south side of Chicago.

Rev. Parrish was born in Chicago on January 16, 1955. He attended Holy Angels Catholic School in Chicago and St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. Rev. Parrish went on to study at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee, Wisc. In 2002, Rev. Parrish earned a Master of Divinity degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein. He was ordained into the priesthood on May 22, 2004 by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Chicago on May 23, 2004.

Rev. Parrish overcame many medical obstacles on his path to ordination. Originally on track to be ordained in 2002, Rev. Parrish had what was scheduled to be outpatient surgery to repair a torn muscle in his leg in March of that year. Complications led to cardiac arrest, a stroke and kidney failure, leaving Rev. Parrish on dialysis and with neurological damage. After several months of treatment and recuperation, Rev. Parrish returned to Mundelein that fall. Then in April and May 2003, Parrish had two more surgeries to repair and replace two heart valves damaged by an infection. He suffered personal losses as well during this time, as his mother and brother died. However, with time his kidneys improved enough to allow him to stop dialysis.[i]

Due to his precarious health, Rev. Parrish could serve as associate pastor only at St. Denis Parish on St. Louis Avenue in Chicago from July 1, 2004 through March 23, 2005.

Rev. Lawrence M. Duris, pastor of St. Ailbe Church, met Rev. Parrish before he started studying for priesthood and lived with him at St. Philip Neri Parish during Rev. Parrish’s diaconate year (2003). That was the year when Rev. Parrish used to minister on Sundays as a deacon, “preaching often and giving practical applications of the Scriptures. People appreciated his intelligence, warmth and wit,” said Rev. Duris.

Vicar for Priests Msgr. Dennis Lyle taught Rev. Parrish at Mundelein Seminary in the early 2000s. “Although his health affected the way he related to people, my recollection of him from seminary is that he was jovial, friendly, inquisitive, caring and thoughtful,” said Msgr. Lyle.

Visitation hours will be from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Parish, 2132 E. 72nd Street in Chicago on Saturday, November 18 followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m.

Bishop Joseph Perry will be the main celebrant and interment will take place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip.        

Rev. Parrish is survived by his sister, Addrene Parrish, and brother, Maurice Parrish.