Rev. RICHARD J. EHRENS, Archdiocesan Priest, Dies
Ordained April 12, 1958
Chicago, IL (February 1, 2008) - Rev. Richard J. Ehrens, pastor emeritus of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, died of natural causes at age 76 on Thursday, January 31, at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. Prior to his hospitalization, Fr. Ehrens had been living at Addolorata Villa in Wheeling.
A native of north suburban Highwood, Fr. Ehrens was born on Christmas Day, 1931 in Lake Forest and was baptized on January 10, 1932 at St. James Church in Highwood. Fr. Ehrens graduated from St. James Elementary School in June 1946, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1950, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in May 1958.
Fr. Ehrens was ordained a priest on April 12, 1958 and the following day celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. James Church in Highwood. On July 9, he was named assistant pastor of St. George Parish on the city’s near south side, where he remained until July 1959. Fr. Ehrens then fulfilled a three-year assignment as assistant pastor at St. James Parish in Chicago. In July 1962, Fr. Ehrens became a professor at Quigley South Preparatory Seminary, a position he held until June 1970. During this period, Fr. Ehrens was a resident at St. Leo Parish and also served as assistant pastor of St. Kilian Parish.
In June 1970, Fr. Ehrens became pastor of St. Malachy Parish on the city’s near west side, where he remained until June 1978. Between 1978 and 1983, he served as Archdiocesan Vic ar for Catholic Education, while also serving as associate pastor of Chicago’s St. Theresa Parish. In August 1983, he was named pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish
in Arlington Heights, a position he held until August 1989. Fr. Ehrens then served consecutive, six-year assignments, first as associate pastor of Chicago’s St. Eugene Parish and then at St. Rosalie Parish in Harwood Heights. He retired on December 31, 2001, and was named pastor emeritus of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish.
Visitation for Fr. Ehrens will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, February 4, at Addolorata Villa, 555 McHenry Rd., Wheeling, and from 5 to 9 p.m. that evening at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish, 450 S. Mitchell in northwest suburban Arlington Heights. Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, a seminary classmate of Fr. Ehrens, will be the main celebrant and homilist at a funeral Mass for Fr. Ehrens at 10 a.m., Tuesday, February 5, at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish. Interment will be at St. Mary Cemetery in Lake Forest.
A sister, Roberta Gridley of Deerfield, and several nieces and nephews, survive Fr. Ehrens.
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