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Pastor Emeritus of Divine Providence in Westchester

CHICAGO (April 16, 2012) – Rev. John C. Rosemeyer, a priest of the Archdiocese for 54 years and pastor emeritus of Divine Providence Parish in Westchester, died on Friday, April 13.  He was 81 years old and was a resident of Saint Benedict Center in Niles at the time of his death.

Fr. Rosemeyer was one of three priests in his Chicago family that also included a sister of the Congregation of St. Joseph.  Fr. Rosemeyer was born in LaGrange.  The family belonged to St. Francis Xavier Parish there and Fr. Rosemeyer attended the parish’s school.  He received his secondary education at Fenwick High School in Oak Park and at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana for one year before entering the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1958.

For seven years following his ordination, Fr. Rosemeyer was the assistant pastor at St. Mary of the Lake Parish on Chicago’s north side.  According to his classmate, Fr. Dan Collins, who is currently a senior priest serving at St. Mary of the Lake, Fr. Rosemeyer combined a quiet personality with a penchant for standing strong on principle with the result that people appreciated his pleasant manner.  “He always supported the Hispanic community at St. Mary’s,” Fr. Collins said, “and he was effective in helping the parish regain its strength and grandeur by bringing people back to church and strengthening the parish finances.”

From 1965 to 1968, Fr. Rosemeyer served as assistant pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Wilmette, before joining a group of priests on a mission to Panama.  For four years from 1968 to 1972, Fr. Rosemeyer served the impoverished community at the parish of Cristo Redentor in San Miguelito, a Panamanian mission built by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

When he returned from Panama, he was named administrator for one year of Our Lady Gate of Heaven Parish in Chicago.  In 1973, Fr. Rosemeyer returned to St. Mary of the Lake as assistant pastor.  The following year he was named pastor and remained there for 13 years, until he was named pastor of Divine Providence in Westchester.

Fr. Rosemeyer was pastor at Divine Providence for 15 years, until his retirement from active ministry in 2002, when he was made pastor emeritus.  During that time he also served as Dean in the south section of this suburban area.  For ten years following his retirement, Fr. Rosemeyer continued to help out as a senior priest at Divine Providence.

Visitation for Fr. Rosemeyer will take place from 2 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, at Divine Providence Church, 2550 Mayfair Avenue in Westchester.  Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Rosemeyer at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at Divine Providence.

Interment is at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. Fr. Rosemeyer was preceded in death by his brothers, Fr. Richard Rosemeyer and William Rosemeyer and by a sister, Sr. Mary Ellen Rosemeyer, CSJ.  He is survived by another priest-brother, Fr. Paul Rosemeyer, a retired priest in the Archdiocese, and by seven nieces and nephews.

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