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CHICAGO (February 21, 2013) – Rev. Charles Balskus, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 47 years, died unexpectedly on Monday, February 18, while traveling in Florida.  He was 73 years old and a senior priest at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish on Chicago’s southwest side.

Fr. Balskus was born in Chicago on June 23, 1939 and received his elementary education from both public school and Nativity of Our Lord elementary school. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  Fr. Balskus was ordained in 1965 by Most Rev. Cletus O’Donnell, an auxiliary bishop of Chicago from 1960 to 1967.

For six years beginning in 1965, Fr. Balskus was the assistant pastor of St. William Parish in Chicago, and from 1971 to 1978, he served as assistant pastor of St. Philomena Parish in Chicago.  Fr. Balskus was associate pastor at St. John Fisher in Chicago for one year before starting a six-year term in 1986 as associate pastor at St. Benedict in Blue Island.  During the year 1992-93, he served at St. John Bosco in Chicago, and for the next three years was associate pastor at St. Ann on Chicago’s west side.

From 1996 to 2001, Fr. Balskus was associate pastor at St. Linus in Oak Lawn and then at St. Christina in Chicago until 2008, when he retired from active ministry and took up residence at St. Mary, Star of the Sea in Chicago, serving as a senior priest there.

Fr. Jack Dewes, a classmate of Fr. Balskus, describes him as a great sports fan and avid reader.  “He talked with people about the issues of the day and about the Church, “Fr. Dewes said, “and he did his best to get people to the truth.”   “He loved to see and experience everything in life,” Fr. Dewes added.

Visitation for Fr. Balskus will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, February 25, at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish, 6435 South Kilbourn Avenue in Chicago. Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, Most Rev. Andrew Wypych, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Balskus at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 26, at St. Mary, Star of the Sea.

Interment will be at St. Casimir Cemetery in Chicago.  Fr. Balskus is survived by his sisters Jacqueline Mathys and Marytherese Patras and his brothers Bill and Mike Balskus.

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