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Pastor Emeritus of St. Felicitas Parish

Chicago, IL (February 7, 2014) – Rev. Howard A. Tuite died on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He was 84 years old. 

Fr. Tuite was born in Chicago and attended St. Basil Elementary School in Chicago.  He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Master of Arts degrees. Fr. Tuite received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1954. Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, ordained him on May 5, 1954.

Throughout his priesthood, Fr. Tuite served many Chicago parishes and dedicated all of his life since his ordination to working with the African-American community. He had even enrolled at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana in the 1980s. His first assignment was at St. Martin Parish where he served as Assistant Pastor from 1954 to 1961. The parish was closed in 1989. Fr. Tuite was then assigned to Holy Angels Parish in 1961, where he spent seven years. In 1967, he became Assistant Pastor at St. Carthage Parish, which was closed in 1989. Four years later, in 1970, Fr. Tuite was named Pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish, and he led the parish until 1981. The parish was closed in 2002.

During his time at St. Leo the Great, Fr. Tuite was appointed Urban Vicar of Vicariate V, a position he held for almost ten years, from 1976 until 1984. He then moved to St. Felicitas Parish in 1981 and was the Pastor there for eleven years. Fr. Tuite was on the Board of Trusties for Seminaries for a three year term, during the mid-1980s. In 1993, he became a resident at Corpus Christi Parish in Chicago, where he remained for six years until 1999. During this time, Fr. Tuite was a chaplain at Provident Hospital of Cook County in Chicago. He retired from active ministry on December 31, 1999.

Rev. Kenneth Fleck, who was a longtime friend of Fr. Tuite’s and will be the homilist at his funeral, said, “Fr. Tuite was the epitome of the phrase ‘Walk the Talk’. He never drove a car. He walked the neighborhoods which he lived in and loved.” He goes on to say, “He was a true friend to the poor and the homeless. Through his ministry he gave the less fortunate of society a message of hope and the dignity of knowing they were truly children of God."

Rev. John Jamnicky, Pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Old Mill Creek, who was close with Fr. Tuite said, “Fr. Tuite was the greatest living example of what Pope Francis talks about – making your primary dedication to helping the poor. He gave his life to those with the greatest needs and he lived his life as all Catholic priests and people should, by making it his priority to serve the poor.”

Fr. Tuite will lie in state from 3 to 8 p.m., on Sunday, February 9, at Corpus Christi Parish, 4920 South King Drive in Chicago. A vigil service will take place at 7 p.m.  Visitation will be on Monday, February 10, from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m.  Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant and Fr. Kenneth Fleck will be the homilist at a funeral Mass for Fr. Tuite at 12 p.m., at Corpus Christi Parish. Interment will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago.

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