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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Joseph T. Cook, Dies

Cook was associate pastor of St. Linus Parish in Oak Lawn, Ill.

Chicago, IL (Aug. 21, 2020) – Rev. Joseph T. Cook, associate pastor of St. Linus Parish in Oak Lawn, Ill., passed away Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, a few days after turning 61 years old.

Cook was born on Aug. 14, 1959, in Evergreen Park, Ill. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South in Chicago, Niles College Seminary in Niles, Ill., and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.

Cook was ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 1986, by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, and he celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 26 of the same year at St. Walter Parish in Chicago.

After ordination, Cook was associate pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish on 137th Street in Chicago, and Holy Ghost Parish in South Holland, Ill. He then served as pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish on 137th Street in Chicago and St. Kieran Parish in Chicago Heights, Ill. He was most recently associate pastor of St. Linus Parish in Oak Lawn, Ill.

Cook’s classmate and friend Rev. James Presta, pastor at St. Emily Church had known “Fr. Joe” since they both entered Niles College Seminary in 1978 as freshmen. “Fr. Joe had a great smile and an infectious laugh, a deep, unwavering faith in the Lord and a passion for priestly ministry,” recalled Presta. “He has been a wonderful friend, a great classmate and brother priest to me. He will be sorely missed by his dear family and many friends, his seminary classmates and the many people whose hearts and souls he touched in parish life. May he rest in peace.”

Rev. Darrio Boscutti, also a classmate, used to travel with Cook for years venturing to Alaska, Niagara Falls, the Caribbean, England, France, and Italy. The pair also crossed the Atlantic by ship and traveling the Orient Express through the “Chunnel” from London to Paris. “I’m most grateful for his tremendous mentoring during our Mundelein Seminary years, befriending me, taking me under his wing and helping me pass my Theology exams,” said the pastor of St. Edna Parish in Arlington Heights, Ill.

“Fr. Joe was a great priest,” said Msgr. Michael Boland as he reminisced about his classmate. “Over the years he had many health challenges, but he always was a good and faithful priest.  Fr. Joe was very compassionate to the sick that he served in his parishes. I believe because he knew what it was like to have been sick, he was very sensitive to them and always had time for them.” 

Cognizant of social distancing guidelines, a private funeral Mass will be held for immediate family, close family friends and clergy on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. at St. Linus Parish, 10300 S. Lawler Avenue, Oak Lawn, Ill. The Mass will be livestreamed at

Interment will be private at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park, Ill., for those attending the funeral Mass.