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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John J. Bresnahan, Dies

Bresnahan was a retired archdiocesan priest and pastor emeritus of St. Beatrice Parish in Schiller Park

Chicago (Sept. 30, 2021) – Rev. John (Jerry) J. Bresnahan, pastor emeritus of the former St. Beatrice Parish in Schiller Park, passed away Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. He was 86 years old.

Bresnahan was born on April 13, 1935 in Chicago. He attended St. Ailbe Catholic School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein. Bresnahan was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1960, by Cardinal Albert Meyer, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 10 of the same year at St. Ethelreda Parish in Chicago.

After ordination to the priesthood, “Fr. Jerry” (as he was known by his parishioners) served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Homewood, St. Andrew Parish on Addison Street, in Chicago, St. Germaine Parish in Oak Lawn and St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville. He also served as a U.S. Army chaplain for five years. Bresnahan served later as associate pastor at St. Mary of the Woods Parish on N. Moselle Ave., in Chicago, and as pastor at St. Beatrice Parish for 22 years. He was bestowed the title of pastor emeritus in 2005.

"Fr. Jerry was well-loved and respected by the people he served,” said Rev. Robert Schultz, pastor of Holy Virgin Martyrs Parish in Schiller Park. “His influence on St. Beatrice Parish was felt for years after his retirement. He was known for being soft-spoken, a gentle soul and a true gentleman.”

Visitation hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Schultz will celebrate the funeral Mass on Friday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. All funeral services will be held at St. Beatrice, 4157 Atlantic Avenue in Schiller Park. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed. Interment will be private.