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Archdiocesan Bishop, Most Rev. Raymond E. Goedert, D.D., Dies

Goedert was former vicar general and auxiliary bishop emeritus

Chicago (Dec. 11, 2023) – Most Rev. Raymond E. Goedert, auxiliary bishop emeritus for the Archdiocese of Chicago and former vicar general between 1995 and 2003, passed away Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. He was 96 years old.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Lying in state will take place on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Barnabas, 10134 S. Longwood Drive in Chicago. A wake service will take place on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.

Visitation hours will be on Monday, Dec. 18, from 9 to 10 a.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street in Chicago. The funeral Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will preside and Rev. Scott Donahue will be the homilist. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed at:

Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in River Grove following the funeral Mass.

Goedert was born on Oct. 15, 1927, in Oak Park to Elizabeth A. Wink and John P. Goedert. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein.

Goedert was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1952, by Cardinal Samuel Stritch, and he celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 4 of the same year at St. Giles Parish in Oak Park.

He later attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he obtained a Licentiate in Canon Law in 1956. As he was returning to the United States from his studies in Rome aboard of the SS Andrea Doria, a transatlantic ocean liner of the Italian Line, the ship collided with another passenger ship, the Stockholm, and sunk 200 miles from New York. In a 2012 New World (now Chicago Catholic) newspaper article, Goedert shared his recollections of the collision and the “spiritual implications of what happened.”

“As we grieve the death of Bishop Emeritus Raymond Goedert, we thank God for giving his servant to us and the Church for 71 years,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “He served the archdiocese in a variety of roles: As pastor, notary, vicar general and as administrator of the archdiocese after Cardinal Bernardin died. A friend to me and to so many and a caring brother to his siblings, he leaves this earth to be at the banquet of Our Lord. May his soul rest in peace.”

After ordination to the priesthood, Goedert served as assistant pastor at St. Gabriel Parish on Wallace Street and Blessed Sacrament Parish on Millard Street both in Chicago, and Mater Christi Parish in North Riverside. He was also appointed as ecclesiastical notary, Vice Officialis and judge of the Tribunal, archdiocesan consultor, vicar for priests, archdiocesan director of a ministry for the widowed called NAIM, and pastor of St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago. He served as president of the Canon Law Society of America and received the Role of Law Award from the Canon Law Society of America in 1975. Among other things, Goedert was president of the Presbyteral Senate of Chicago and chairman of the Association of Chicago Priests.

On July 8, 1991, Goedert was appointed as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago and titular bishop of Tamazeni by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on Aug. 29, 1991.

Goedert served as vicar general of the archdiocese from 1995 to 2003 and again briefly on an interim basis from August 2004 to November 2004. Goedert retired on Sept. 1, 2003.

Rev. Scott Donahue was ordained in 1982 and his first assignment was at St. Barnabas Parish where Goedert was the pastor. “A very good man has been called home to God. As a priest I have received many blessings in my life. One of the greatest blessings in my 42 years of being a priest is my friendship with Bishop Raymond Goedert.”

Goedert had eight brothers and three sisters, none of whom survive him. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements will be shared when available.