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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Anthony M. Talarico, Dies

Talarico was former pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in South Holland, Ill.

Chicago, Ill. (May 4, 2020) – Rev. Anthony M. Talarico, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and former pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in South Holland, Ill., passed away Thursday, April 30, 2020, at the age of 75. Talarico passed just short of the 50th Jubilee of his ordination.

Talarico was born on Aug. 9, 1944, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.

Talarico was ordained to the priesthood on May 13, 1970 by Cardinal John Patrick Cody, and he celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 16, 1970 at St. Clare of Montefalco in Chicago. 

After ordination, Talarico was assistant pastor at the following parishes: St. Priscilla Parish on Addison Street in Chicago and Immaculate Conception Parish in Highland Park, Ill.  He also served as chaplain at Columbus Hospital in Chicago.

He then served as pastor at St. Aloysius Parish on Le Moyne Street and Holy Rosary Parish on Western Avenue, both in Chicago, and Holy Ghost Parish in South Holland, Ill. He also served as an administrator at Cardinal Stritch Retreat House in Mundelein, Ill. and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on Spaulding Avenue in Chicago. He retired from the priesthood in 2018, where he continued to reside at the Holy Ghost Parish rectory.

Fr. William Veith, a part-time chaplain at AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., had known Talarico since their time at Quigley Preparatory Seminary. “He was someone who had a wonderful sense of humor and a spirit of life.” Veith added that he “always treated others as individuals worthy of respect.”

Earl Frye remembers his former classmate as a loyal churchman and friend who “related well to people with his humor.” Frye added that he was multi-lingual, speaking English, Latin, German Spanish, and Italian. “He was also an avid Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks fan,” recalls Frye, and that he regularly played baseball, hockey, golf, and tennis as a seminarian and priest.

Roman Szabelski, former Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries, remembers his friend “as a loving pastor who was always concerned for his parishioners.” Talarico cared for Roman’s brother, Fr. Joe Szabelski, who passed away three years ago and suffered from chronic health issues. “The same gentle kindness Fr. Tony showed his parishioners was the same gentle kindness that was applied to my brother.” Roman Szabelski also recalled how Talarico cared for a three-legged Irish wolfhound named Finn. “Whenever the shelter had a dog, they would always call Fr. Tony to adopt it. I guess he was always willing to take care of the abandoned.”

Talarico has been taken to Smits Funeral Home, 649 E. 162nd Place in South Holland, Ill. The memorial Mass will be set at a future date.

Interment will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park, Ill.