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Professor and Dean at Minor Seminary and Co-Vicar for Senior Priests

CHICAGO (July 15, 2013) – Most Rev. Thaddeus “Thad” Jakubowski, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, died Sunday, July 14, at his home, located at St. Mary of Providence, a facility serving individuals with developmental disabilities on North Austin Avenue in Chicago.  Bishop Jakubowski was 89 years of age at the time of his death.  He was a priest of the Archdiocese for 63 years and an auxiliary bishop for 25 years.

Bishop “Jake”, as he was called, was born in Chicago on April 5, 1924, and grew up on Chicago’s southeast side, where he graduated from St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School.  He was a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, where he earned a Licentiate in Theology.  Bishop Jakubowski later completed a Master of Arts degree in Classics from Loyola University, Chicago.  He was ordained in 1950 by Cardinal Stritch.

His first assignment as a priest took him to St. Ann Parish on Leavitt Street in Chicago, where he served as assistant pastor for seven years before being assigned to Quigley Seminary as a professor of classical languages and Dean of Students. 

In 1966, Bishop Jakubowski was named assistant pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish on Chicago’s northwest side.  He served in that capacity until 1976.  In that year, he was made pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish on the city’s northwest side, where he served for 12 years.  During his tenure at St. Bartholomew and St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop Jakubowski was also the Urban Vicar for Vicariate IV (1977-1982) and a Vicariate IV Dean from (1984 to 1988).

In February 1988 Bishop Jakubowski was appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago.  Cardinal Bernardin ordained Bishop Jakubowski a bishop on April 11, 1988 and in May of that year he was assigned as Episcopal Vicar with responsibility for Vicariate IV, an area of the Archdiocese that includes parishes on the northwest side of Chicago and in the western suburbs of Cook County. 

Retired Auxiliary Bishop John R. Gorman was ordained a bishop with Bishop Jakubowski. “He was respected by the priests and he was very good in working with parishes,” Gorman said, “and he was dedicated particularly to the elderly and sick priests.”

During his years as auxiliary bishop, he served as the Cardinal’s liaison to the Polish community and was consistently involved with Chicago’s Polish Catholics. His work was recognized by that community first in 1997 with the Copernican Award and in 2009 with the Commander Cross with Star and White Eagle of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, the highest honor medal awarded to a non-citizen of Poland.  He served as the executive director of the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland.

Bishop Jakubowski retired in January of 2003 and in May was appointed a co-vicar with Retired Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Lyne, to serve senior priests in the Archdiocese.  Since that time and until his physical health prevented it, Bishop Jake visited elderly priests in nursing homes, hospitals and care centers and was a point of contact for many in planning visitation and funeral arrangements when they died.

Visitation for Bishop Jakubowski will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 4646 North Austin Avenue in Chicago. Francis Cardinal George will be the main celebrant at a Funeral Mass for Bishop Jakubowski at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 19, at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior streets in Chicago. Fr. Tom Mulcrone, chaplain to the Chicago Fire Department, who served at St. Robert Bellarmine with Bishop Jakubowski, will deliver the homily.

Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Calumet City. Bishop Jakubowski is survived by his brother, Edward, and nieces and nephews.

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