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Served Priests as Vicar for Priests and Head of Priests' Council
Pastor of St. Thaddeus and St. Joachim Parishes

CHICAGO (January 30, 2013) – Rev. John H. Collins, a Vicar for Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, died unexpectedly on Monday, January 28, at St. John de la Salle Parish rectory in Chicago, where he was in residence. He was 63 years of age and was a priest in the Archdiocese for 33 years.

Fr. Collins was born in Evanston on February 13, 1949.  He graduated from St. Eulalia Catholic School in Maywood and Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, Niles College at Loyola University, now St. Joseph College Seminary, and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was ordained by Cardinal Cody in 1979.

Fr. Collins’ classmate, Fr. Greg Sakowicz, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Evanston, described Fr. Collins as a good athlete.  “He played great defense as a basketball player in college.  He was quick and competitive” Sakowicz said.  “He also had a great sense of humor and he loved being a priest and was always there for people.”

For nineteen years, (1979 to 1998), Fr. Collins served at St. Thaddeus Parish on Chicago’s south side, first as associate pastor (1979-85), briefly as administrator for two months and then as pastor (1985-98).  He also served on the Priests’ Placement Board from 1989 to 1993.

In 1998, Fr. Collins became pastor of another south side parish, St. Joachim.  He also served briefly as administrator for St. Clotilde and then St. Ailbe during this time. His term as pastor was renewed in 2004 and in 2009 he was assigned to the Office of the Vicar for Priests.

Fr. Collins was also a member of the College of Consultors that provides counsel to the Archbishop on matters of pastoral concern, for five years between 2004 and 2009. He served on the Presbyteral (Priests) Council for six years beginning in 2001 and was elected Vice Chair and then Chair of this major consultative body to the Archbishop.

Visitation for Fr. Collins will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 1, at St. Joachim Parish, 700 East 91st Street in Chicago.  Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Collins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, at St. Joachim.  Msgr. Patrick Pollard will deliver the homily.

Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.  Fr. Collins is survived by a brother, William and a sister, Margaret Mular, four nieces and nephews and ten grand nieces and nephews.

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