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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John P. Finnegan, Dies

Finnegan was Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary of Vernon Parish in Indian Creek, Ill.

Fr. John Finnegan, Archdiocese of ChicagoChicago, IL (June 21, 2019) – Rev. John P. Finnegan, pastor emeritus of St. Mary of Vernon Parish in Indian Creek, Ill., passed away on June 16, 2019. Finnegan would have turned 91 in about three weeks.

Finnegan was born on July 8, 1928, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., while also earning post-graduate degrees at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Loyola University in Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Finnegan was ordained to the priesthood on May 5, 1954, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch and celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Mel-Holy Ghost Parish in Chicago, Ill., on May 16 of the same year.

Finnegan’s younger brother, Rev. William J. Finnegan, a retired priest and former pastor of Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park, Ill., remembered that his older brother saw himself as a parish priest from the very beginning and he was able to fulfill his dream for two years by working with the people of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Hometown, Ill., a few months after ordination to priesthood. Finnegan was then asked to become a full-time teacher at Quigley Preparatory Seminary and later at St. Mary of the Lake Junior College in Niles, Ill.

In 1978, Finnegan became founding pastor of St. Mary of Vernon Parish in Indian Creek, Ill., where he served until retirement and was bestowed the title of pastor emeritus. Finnegan’s younger brother added that “even after retirement he continued to offer liturgies there (St. Mary of Vernon Parish) and also always considered himself one of their family.”

Rev. Raymond J. Jasinski, retired priest, former pastor of St. John of God in Chicago and the last living priest of the 1954 ordination class, remembers how he used to be close to his classmate. “He was a good, hard-working priest.”

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will be the main celebrant while Rev. Joseph Curtis will be the homilist.  Visitation hours will be Friday, June 21, 2019, from 3 to 8 p.m. (a prayer service will conclude at 8 p.m.) and Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 9 to 11 a.m. The funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. All funeral services will be held at St. Mary of Vernon Church, 236 U.S. Highway 45 in Indian Creek, Ill.

Interment will take place at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Ill.