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Pastor Emeritus of St. Raymond de Penafort, Fr. William Buhrfeind, Dies

Chicago, IL (September 19, 2004) – Fr. William Buhrfeind, pastor emeritus of the northwest suburban parish of St. Raymond de Penafort, died Saturday, September 18, following a brief stay at Franciscan Village in Lemont. He was 91 years old and had lung cancer.

Retired since 1979, Fr. Buhrfeind continued to serve parishioners at St. Gerald Parish in Oak Lawn, where he resided until his death. He also served for a time as chaplain at Monticello Americana Home in Oak Lawn.

Fr. Buhrfeind was ordained by George Cardinal Mundelein in 1938 after graduating from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. He served as assistant pastor at St. Matthias for three years beginning in 1938 and then served briefly at St. Joseph Parish in Waukegan.

In 1942, he began a 12-year term as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Chicago. The parish, now closed, served a predominantly German population at the time. In 1954, he became the assistant pastor of St. Mary Parish, in Des Plaines, where he served for seven years before being named to the same position at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Wilmette.

Fr. Buhrfeind was made pastor of St. James Parish in Maywood in 1965 and served there for six years before being named pastor of St. Raymond de Penafort in Mt. Prospect. He was pastor there for eight years prior to his retirement.

Fr. Buhrfeind loved being in a parish and doing parish work, and so after volunteering for a few years in Arkansas after as a retired priest, he spent the remaining 22 years at St. Gerald Parish, assisting wherever he could. His classmate, Fr. John Mackin, remembers his fondness for working with converts to Catholicism and for the meticulous attention he gave each of his Sunday homilies. He had a great tenor voice and was an avid golfer.

Visitation for Fr. Buhrfeind will take place on Tuesday, September 21, at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 8925 S. Kostner Ave., Hometown. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Buhrfeind at Our Lady of Loretto on Wednesday, September 22, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at St. Mary Cemetery, Evergreen Park.

Fr. Buhrfeind is survived by a sister, Genevieve Rafa, currently a resident at Franciscan Village in Lemont, and by many nieces and nephews.

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