Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John J. Nicola, Dies
Chicago (Jan. 10, 2022) – Rev. John J. Nicola, former assistant pastor of St. Cecilia Parish on Wells Street in Chicago, passed away Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. He was 92 years old.
Nicola was born on July 10, 1929, in Evanston. He attended St. Thomas of Canterbury School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary both in Chicago, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein. In addition, Nicola received a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.
Nicola was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1955, by Cardinal Samuel Stritch, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 8 of the same year at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview.
Nicola served the Archdiocese of Chicago as assistant pastor at St. James Parish in Arlington Heights and later at St. Cecilia Parish on Wells Street. He taught at Quigley Preparatory Seminary for more than 10 years. In 1968, Nicola moved to the Archdiocese of Washington in Washington D.C. to serve as the assistant director of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. After that assignment, he taught at Georgetown Prep in Maryland and other Catholic high schools.
Rev. Roger J. Caplis (class of ’58) was a close friend of Nicola when they lived together at St. Basil Parish on Garfield Boulevard. During those years, Nicola was professor at Quigley Preparatory Seminary. “Over the years we became good friends and played golf on occasion,” said Caplis as he thought back to their early priesthood years. “He was very bright academically.”
Rev. William B. Gubbins (class of ‘55), retired archdiocesan priest, remembered his seminary classmate as a very smart individual. “He was the best golfer in our class. He was a very bright teacher, in fact, one might say that teaching was his second vocation.”
Visitation hours will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, followed by the funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. All funeral services will be held at the chapel of the former Holy Family Villa (now Symphony Palos Park),12220 S. Will-Cook Road in Palos Park.
Bishop Joseph Perry will be the main celebrant and homilist of the funeral Mass. Committal and interment will be at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines on a later date.