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FR. JEROME SIWEK DIES PASTOR EMERITUS OF ST. RICHARD CHURCH

Chicago, IL (February 12, 2004) – Fr. Jerome Siwek, ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1956, died Feb. 11 at age 73. Fr. Siwek died from an apparent heart attack at St. Benedict Home, Niles, where he resided. He was the pastor emeritus of St. Richard Church, a parish he served for 18 years.

A Chicago native, Fr. Siwek attended SS. Peter and Paul school. He entered Quigley Preparatory Seminary in 1949 and graduated from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, where he did post-graduate studies. Ordained in 1956, Fr. Siwek’s first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Simeon, Bellwood.

After serving nine years at St. Simeon, Fr. Siwek served as associate pastor at St. Roman Parish from 1965-66; Our Lady of Knock, Calumet City, from 1966-70; St. Martin, from 1970-72; and at St. Constance from 1972-75.

Fr. Siwek served as pastor at St. Josaphat from 1975-76, and then as associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary (N. Spaulding) from 1976-81. He was named pastor at St. Richard Church in 1981, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure at St. Richard,he also held the position of Dean of that deanery from 1990-96. Fr. Siwek was named pastor emeritus of St. Richard when he retired.

“He always supported the seminarians,” said Fr. Thomas Bernas, current pastor at St. Richard. “When I was a seminarian I had an internship with him. He supported me all through the seminary and then vested me at my ordination.”

According to Fr. Bernas, Fr. Siwek was proud of remodeling St. Richard to conform with the changes of Vatican II.

Fr. Siwek also liked to write music. He translated English liturgical songs into Polish and had them published.

Fr. Siwek’s body will lie in state from 2-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, at St. Richard Church, 5032 S. Kostner Ave., Chicago. The funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m., Feb. 14, at St. Richard. Interment will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Chicago.

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