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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John J. Carolan, Dies

Fr. Carolan was Pastor Emeritus of St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park

Chicago, IL (February 22, 2018) – Rev. John J. Carolan passed away on February 15, 2018. He was 92. Fr. Carolan was pastor emeritus of St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park and retired in 1995.

Fr. Carolan was born on June 4, 1925 in Chicago. He attended St. Gabriel Catholic School in Chicago and Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1947 from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. Fr. Carolan was ordained into the priesthood on May 3, 1951 by Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Chicago on May 6, 1951.

After ordination to priesthood, Fr. Carolan served as the assistant pastor at the following parishes: Our Lady of Mercy Parish on Troy Street in Chicago (1951-57), Immaculate Conception Parish in Waukegan, Ill. (1957-64), St. Cajetan Parish on 112th Street in Chicago (1964-67) and Prince of Peace Parish in Lake Villa, Ill. (1967-72). Later he served as pastor of St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park, Ill. (1972-91) and as associate pastor of St. Juliana Parish in Touhy Avenue in Chicago for four years before he was bestowed the title of pastor emeritus of St. Catherine of Siena Parish-St. Lucy Parish, in 1995, the same year he retired.

“Because of his gentle spirit he was able to shepherd us through the merger of St. Catherine of Siena and St. Lucy in 1974,” said Valerie Jennings, parish vitality coordinator for Vicariate VI. She added that, in every homily she heard him proclaim, Fr. Carolan would “tie Old Testament stories and the Gospel together with Charlie Brown and Lucy as a backdrop.”

Rev. George J. Kane, pastor emeritus of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Schaumburg, Ill., had known Fr. Carolan since his high school days and they remained very close friends after ordination. According to Fr. Kane, Fr. Carolan “graciously handled” changes in the parish in Oak Park and a racially integrated faith community.

Visitation hours will be on Friday, February 23, 2 – 7 p.m. and Saturday, February 24, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

The Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, February 24 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Church, 38 North Austin Boulevard in Oak Park, Ill.

Rev. Daniel Whiteside will be the main celebrant of the Funeral Mass and Rev. George Omwando will be the homilist. Interment will take place at Holy Sepulchre in Alsip, Ill.