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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Leon R. Wagner, Dies

Wagner, who Retired in 1992, was Most Recently Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Ill.

Chicago, IL (March 13, 2019) – Rev. Leon R. Wagner, retired pastor of St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Ill., passed away on March 7, 2019. He was 94 years old.

Wagner was born on July 6, 1924, in Evanston, Ill., and attended St. Joseph School in Wilmette, Ill., and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. He graduated with a master’s degree and a licentiate of Sacred Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.

Wagner was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1949, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch, archbishop of Chicago, and celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Wilmette, Ill., on May 8 of the same year.

After ordination to priesthood, Wagner served the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes: St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Chicago, St. Joseph Parish in Waukegan, Ill., St. Matthias Parish on Ainslie Street in Chicago, St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles, Ill., Divine Infant Jesus Parish in Westchester, Ill., and Queen of All Saints Basilica Parish on Sauganash Avenue in Chicago. In 1975, he was assigned as pastor at St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Ill., where he served until his retirement.

Jack Wiaduck, long-life parishioner of St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Ill., said Wagner was “a wonderful pastor, a fine golfer and boater.” Wiaduck added that the parish flourished under his leadership.

All funeral services will take place in South Carolina at a later date.