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Was Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove

Chicago, IL  (February 19, 2010) - Fr. Donald Duffy, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, died on Thursday, February 18, at the age of 91.  He was a resident of Resurrection Life Center in Chicago at the time of his death and was pastor emeritus of St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove, where he served for nearly 20 years.

It was during his tenure as pastor of St. Mary Parish that Fr. Duffy suffered a stroke and eventually moved to a nursing home. His classmate, Most Rev. Timothy Lyne, Retired Bishop of Chicago, describes him at this time and throughout the ensuing years as a man of courage, optimism and trust for the way he responded to this experience.  Fr. Duffy spent 11 years in a nursing home and kept his good spirits and his trust in God, according to Bishop Lyne.

Fr. Ed Pacocha, a retired priest who worked with Fr. Duffy at St. Mary’s, said that Fr. Duffy was determined to recover and, with the help of therapy, said Mass at Resurrection Life Center, heard confessions and anointed residents there during his stay.  Fr. Pacocha also  noted that Fr. Duffy let people know he relied on them and got their support during his years as pastor at St. Mary’s. While there Fr. Duffy put great emphasis on the school and the total formation of the students.

Fr. Duffy was a Chicago native who graduated from St. Angela Catholic School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was ordained by Samuel Cardinal Stritch in 1943.

Fr. Duffy had a brother, Robert, who was ordained a year before him as a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Fr. Robert Duffy died about five years ago.

For seven years, beginning in 1943, Fr. Duffy served as assistant pastor of Visitation Parish that later combined with St. Basil Parish to form St. Basil/Visitation.  For the next seven years, Fr. Duffy was assistant pastor of St. Christina Parish on South Homan in Chicago and then was named assistant pastor of St. Odilo in Berwyn, where he served for nine years.

He served for three years as assistant pastor at St. Barnabas Parish on Chicago’s south side before becoming pastor of St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove.  Fr. Duffy was pastor of St. Mary’s for 19 years before retiring from active ministry in 1988.  At that time, he was named pastor emeritus of St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove.  “He was a great parish priest and pastor, says Bishop Lyne, “and a very good administrator as well.”

Fr. Duffy served on the Archdiocesan School Board from 1969 to 72; as moderator of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (ACCW) District 3 Council from 1974-77, and as a senator of the Presbyteral Senate from 1987-89.

Fr. Duffy will lie in state beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, at St. Mary Church, 10 North Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove. Visitation will conclude with a wake service at 6 p.m.  Most Rev. John Gorman, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Duffy on Monday, February 22, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Parish.  Fr. Ed Pacocha will deliver the homily and Fr Timothy Lyne will give the final commendation.

Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. Fr. Duffy is survived by several nieces and nephews.

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