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Pastor Emeritus of St. Pius X Parish in Stickney

CHICAGO (July 9, 2013) – Rev. Cornelius (Neil) Van Dyke, who began his ministry in the Catholic Church as a married deacon and was pastor emeritus of St. Pius X Parish in Stickney, died suddenly on Sunday, July 7, at his home in Stickney at the age of 72.  Fr. Van Dyke was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese after a long career in the plumbing and public works profession and following the death of his wife, whom he met in the Peace Corps in which he served from 1961 to 1963.

Fr. Van Dyke was born in Oak Park on December 10, 1940.  He graduated from St. Angela Catholic School and Austin High School. St. Mary Parish in Riverside was his family’s home parish and Fr. Van Dyke served St. Mary’s as a married deacon there following his diaconate ordination in 1987.   Following the death of his wife, Mary Lee, and after a career that included supervising staff, developing programs and negotiating union contracts as Director of Public Works in Riverside, he entered Mundelein Seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in 1994.  He was ordained by Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago in 1998.

Fr. Van Dyke served as the associate pastor at St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield for two years following ordination.  For the next two years, he served in the same capacity at St. Bede the Venerable Parish on Chicago’s southwest side.  In 2002, Fr. Van Dyke was named pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Stickney.  He was there eight years before retiring from active ministry in 2010, when he was named pastor emeritus. 

Fr. Dan Brandt, Chicago Police Department chaplain who took classes with Fr. Van Dyke at Mundelein Seminary, described him as a “down to earth guy” with a “tremendous sense of humor.”

Visitation for Fr. Van Dyke will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, at St. Mary Parish, 126 Herrick Road in Riverside.  Fr. Gerald Gunderson, pastor of Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge, will be the main celebrant at a Funeral Mass for Fr. Van Dyke at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, at St. Mary Parish in Riverside.

Interment is private at Resurrection Cemetery in Justice.  Fr. Van Dyke is survived by his children Trey (Jean), Meg, Kathleen (David) Deitz, and Keith Van Dyke.

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