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Ordained May 3, 1951

Chicago, IL (February 12, 2008) - Rev. James P. Keating, pastor emeritus of St. Francis de Sales Parish on Chicago’s southeast side, died of renal failure on Sunday, February 10 at age 83 at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights.

A Chicago native, Fr. Keating was born on January 4, 1925, and was baptized at St. Gabriel Parish on the city’s near south side three weeks later. For much of the 1930’s, Fr. Keating attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine Elementary School on the city’s southwest side before graduating from Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1944, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in May 1951.

Fr. Keating was ordained a priest on May 3, 1951 and three days later celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church. On July 3 of that year, he was named assistant pastor of St. Columba Parish in the city’s far south side, where he served until July 1952. He then became assistant pastor of St. Ailbe Parish on the city’s south side, and remained there until July 1956. Fr. Keating was then appointed assistant pastor of St. William Parish in the city’s northwest side, where he served until June 1964.

Between June 1964 and October 1968, Fr. Keating served as assistant pastor of the now-closed St. Patrick Parish on the city’s south side. In October 1965, Fr. Keating was appointed assistant port chaplain of the Lake Calumet Harbor, and in October 1968, he became a chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea, a ministry of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose mission is to minister to maritime professionals while in port. He remained active as a chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea until his death.

In October 1968, Fr. Keating was appointed assistant pastor of St. Kevin Parish in the city’s far south side, where he remained until August 1973. He was then assigned to St. Francis de Sales Parish, beginning a 27-year ministerial relationship with the southeast side parish, first serving as assistant pastor until January 1979, then as pastor until February 28, 2000 when he retired and was named pastor emeritus. Fr. Keating then became a senior priest at St. Michael Parish on Chicago’s south side where he was active in parish ministry until his recent hospitalization.

Visitation for Fr. Keating will be from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 14, at St. Michael Church, 8237 South Shore Dr., Chicago. Most Rev. Thad J. Jakubowski, D.D., Retired Bishop of Chicago will celebrate the funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 15 at St. Michael Church. Fr. Donald Ahern, a classmate of Fr. Keating’s, will preach the homily. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip.

Two sisters, Margaret Gaskin and Patricia King, survive Fr. Keating.

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