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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. Donald J. Fenske, Dies

Fenske was pastor emeritus of Our Lady of Knock Parish in Calumet City

Chicago (Oct. 15, 2020) – Rev. Donald J. Fenske, pastor emeritus of former Our Lady of Knock Parish (now known as Our Lady of Knock Worship Site of Jesus, Shepherd of Souls Parish) in Calumet City, served in many parishes before retiring. Fenske, 88, passed away on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.

Fenske was born on Feb. 11, 1932, 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 April 12, 1958, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 11 of the same year at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Chicago.

After ordination, Fenske served at St. Bartholomew Parish on Patterson Avenue and St. Pascal Parish on Irving Park Road, both in Chicago, St. Raymond de Penafort Parish in Mt. Prospect, St. Beatrice Parish in Schiller Park, and Our Lady of Hope Parish in Rosemont. He became pastor of Our Lady of Knock Parish in Calumet City where he served until 2002.

Rev. Pat Lyons, retired archdiocesan priest, met Fenske more than 20 years ago when he arrived as associate pastor at Our Lady of Knock Parish. “He enjoyed taking care of the grounds around the parish and painted various rooms in the rectory. He will be remembered for his kindness, quiet side and his sense of humor,” Lyons said.

Visitation hours will be Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Our Lady of Knock Worship Site of Jesus, Shepherd of Souls Parish, 501 163rd Street in Calumet City.

Lyons will be the main celebrant and Deacon Thomas Knetl will be the homilist of the funeral Mass which will take place Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. in the same location.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral will be limited to clergy, family and invited friends. The funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the Jesus, Shepherd of Souls Parish’s Facebook page

Interment will be private and take place on a later date.