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Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of Hope in Rosemont

Chicago, IL (October 13, 2010) – Fr. Thomas E. Schwab, pastor emeritus of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Rosemont, died on Monday, October 11, following an illness. He was 82 years old and was living at Our Lady of Hope rectory at the time of his death.

Fr. Schwab was born in Chicago and educated at St. Lucy Catholic School. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. Samuel Cardinal Stritch ordained Fr. Schwab on May 1, 1956.

From 1956 to 1962, Fr. Schwab served as associate pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish on Chicago’s north side, where he worked extensively with youth. In 1962, along with the pastor, Fr. Stanley Shaw, he established a new parish in Oak Forest, St. Damian, serving as assistant pastor until 1964. In that year, he began a two-year term as assistant pastor at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.

In 1966, Fr. Schwab became a professor and spiritual director at Niles College Seminary, now St. Joseph Seminary at Loyola University. He earned a masters degree in religious education from Loyola University in 1972 and taught at the seminary until 1974. For the next four years, Fr. Schwab was the assistant pastor at St. Marcelline Parish in Schaumburg. During this time, he coordinated the West Suburban Parish Liturgy Training program and had the largest religious education program in the Archdiocese with 1,875 children.

Fr. Schwab served briefly as the administrator of Queen of Apostles Parish in Riverdale before becoming pastor in 1979 of Our Lady of Hope Parish. During his twenty years at Our Lady of Hope Fr. Schwab built a new church and, according to the current pastor, Fr. John Clemens, he built the community as well. “He was a friend and mentor to me,” said Fr. Clemens, and to the previous pastor, Fr. Mannion.” “He had a sense of the mission of the Church, and emphasized the importance of what’s in people’s hearts, not what’s on the outside, Clemens said, adding, “and he was brilliant in managing parish finances.” Fr. Schwab enjoyed being with his parishioners and was well known in the Rosemont community, serving as the town’s fire chaplain.

Visitation for Fr. Schwab will take place from 2 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Friday, October 15, at Our Lady of Hope Church, 9711 West Devon Avenue in Rosemont. Most Rev. Francis Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Schwab at 7 p.m. in the church.

Interment will take place on Saturday, October 16, at Holy Name of Jesus Cemetery in Wilmot, Wisconsin. Fr. Schwab is survived by his brother, Bill Schwab.

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