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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. James P. Roache, Dies

Fr. Roache served as Moderator of the Curia, Vicar General, and in other roles within the archdiocese

Chicago, IL (Nov. 21, 2018) – Rev. James P. Roache, ordination class of 1959, passed away on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. He was 84 years old.

Born on June 21, 1934, in Chicago, Fr. Roache attended St. Francis de Sales School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary, both in Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

Fr. Roache was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 20, 1959, in Vatican City and celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Chicago on July 17, 1960.

After ordination to priesthood, Fr. Roache served the archdiocese in a number of roles: He was assistant pastor at Holy Name Cathedral, communications representative for the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar General among others.

Msgr. Kenneth Velo, senior executive of Catholic Collaboration for DePaul University and president of the Big Shoulders Fund, had known Fr. Roache for about 50 years. “I worked with him when he was Vicar General and served in other capacities. He was a close friend and a great example. One of the great gifts Fr. Roache gave was to minister to the patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) for nearly 55 years.”

“Jim was an outstanding and dedicated priest. He had a very dry sense of humor,” said Very Rev. Gregory S. Sakowicz, rector of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. “Years ago, I used to play with him racquetball and I rarely won – I was a tough racquetball player, but Jim was better!” Fr. Sakowicz recalls how much Fr. Roache loved the people of God and being a priest. “Something most people would not know about Jim is that he celebrated Mass every Tuesday for over 50 years at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.”

Visitation hours will be on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 from 9 to 10 a.m. followed by the funeral Mass.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant while Msgr. Velo will be the homilist of the funeral Mass.

All funeral services will take place at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street in Chicago.