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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Francis G. Scanlan, Dies

Scanlan was a retired Army chaplain, former associate pastor of St. Damian Parish in Oak Forest
Chicago - (Oct. 24, 2022) – Rev. Francis G. Scanlan, former associate pastor of St. Damian Parish in Oak Forest, and a retired lieutenant colonel and Army chaplain of the Illinois National Guard, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. He was 87 years old.

Scanlan was born on Sept. 15, 1935, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1961, by Cardinal Albert Meyer, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 7 of the same year at St. Gregory Parish in Chicago.

Scanlan served the people of the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes:

St. Eugene Parish on Foster Avenue, St. Mel-Holy Ghost Parish on Washington Boulevard both in Chicago, and Incarnation Parish in Palos Heights. He also served as associate pastor at St. Andrew Parish on Addison Street and St. Bede the Venerable Parish on Kostner Avenue, both in Chicago. He retired as associate pastor at St. Damian Parish in 2005. Scanlan also served as a U.S. Army chaplain for the Illinois National Guard for nearly 30 years, from 1966 to 1995.

“I was blessed to know him, celebrate Mass with him and pray with him,” said Rev. Michael R. Olson, current associate pastor at St. Damian Parish. “He radiated joy and laughter wherever he went and told everyone he met 'they were the nicest person.’ I have great respect for Fr. Jerry as he gave his life to the priesthood and served as a chaplain for the National Guard.”

Frieda Bertello, director of Healing Ministry at St. Damian Parish, knew Scanlan since he started at St. Damian. “He was able to relate to any age group, probably because of his wisdom and experience and his ability to be young in spirit,” Bertello said. “His homilies were brief, but always on point, and he usually squeezed in a humorous line or two. The parishioners loved it.”

Bertello added: “Fr. Jerry treated everyone with kindness and respect, and you usually left with a joke or a laugh. We expect there will be more laughter in heaven now that he's home with the Lord.”

Rev. Daniel J. Brady, pastor emeritus at St. Cecilia Church in Mount Prospect, remembered his classmate as a very good priest. “He was very generous with his time and helped people the best way he could. He was a blessing to the Church and to our class. I loved him dearly,” Brady said.

All funeral services will be held at St. Damian Church, 5300 W. 155th Street in Oak Forest. Visitation hours will be held from 2:30 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and from 9:45-10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. The funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27. Military honors will be rendered before the funeral Mass. Bishop Robert Casey will be the main celebrant of the Mass and Deacon Richard Korepanow will be the homilist.

The funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the St. Damian Church Facebook Page: