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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. James D. Beath, Dies

Beath was the associate pastor of Divine Savior Parish in Norridge

Chicago (Oct. 10, 2022) – Rev. James D. Beath, associate pastor of Divine Savior Parish in Norridge, passed away Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. He was 69 years old.

Beath was born on Sept. 3, 1953, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, Niles College in Niles and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 9, 1979, by Cardinal John Cody, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 20 of the same year at St. Benedict Parish in Chicago.

Beath served the people of the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes: St. Gertrude Parish in Franklin Park; St. Mary of Celle Parish in Berwyn; St. Peter Parish in Skokie; St. Albert the Great Parish in Burbank; St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield; Divine Infant Jesus Parish in Westchester; and Divine Savior Parish in Norridge. He also served in the same role at the following parishes located in Chicago: St. Mary of the Assumption Parish on 137th Street; St. Thomas of Canterbury Parish on Kenmore Avenue; St. Dorothy Parish on 78th Street; St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish on 64th Street and St. Edward Parish on Sunnyside Avenue. Fr. Beath was also pastor of St. Frances of Rome Parish in Cicero.

Rev. Alec J. Wolff, orat, STL, JCL, presiding judge at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the archdiocese, recalled that “under a stern façade, Beath had a gentle soul.” Wolff remembered his longtime friend had a heart of gold. “If somebody needed help, he was there. You didn’t have to ask – he was just there for you.” According to Wolff, Beath had numerous hobbies, but music was the one he treasured the most.

Rev. James F. Blazek, associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Deerfield, met his friend, Beath, in 1967 while attending Quigley Preparatory Seminary. “He loved being a parish priest and working with the people he served,” Blazek said.

All funeral services will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at St. Eugene Church, 7958 W. Foster Avenue in Chicago. Visitation hours will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., immediately followed by the funeral Mass. Rev. Henry Kricek will be the main celebrant and homilist. Interment will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery in River Grove.