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Fr. Donald J. Headley

Pastor emeritus

Father Donald J. Headley, 89, died July 16. He was pastor emeritus of Our Lady of Mercy Parish.

Born in Chicago, he attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1958.

He served as assistant pastor of Old St. Patrick and St. Theresa, Palatine. He was a faculty member at Quigley Preparatory Seminary and director of the Cardinal’s Committee for the Spanish Speaking; he was chaplain at the St. Joseph Carondelet Child Center; and he was part of the San Miguelito Panama Mission from 1968 through 1980.

Father Headley also served as associate pastor of Mater Christi Parish, North Riverside, and St. Paul Parish (22nd Place). He was pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish from 1982 through 1997, and the title of pastor emeritus was bestowed on him in 2002.

Father Donald Nevins, pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish, first knew Father Headley when Nevins was a seminarian visiting the San Miguelito Mission.

“I remember one of the first weeks we were there, in 1973, he invited us to go with him to visit a community and its school,” Nevins said. “We piled into his Volkswagen Beetle, drove on dirt roads to a river crossing, left the car there and walked across the small bridge to get us close to the community. The kids rushed him as he got closer, and we all sat with them, disrupting their class for a good half-hour. My time there with him was really formational for me.”

According to Nevins, Father Headley’s passion was to teach laypeople, especially after the Second Vatican Council: He truly believed in the focus of Vatican II and did what he could in the archdiocese and other places to raise up the expectations of laypeople in the church to fulfill their call to leadership, Nevins said.

Father Gary Graf, pastor at Sts. Paul, Agnes and Kieran Parish in Chicago Heights, was the homilist at the funeral Mass for Headley. “Donald Headley set the bar for all priests to achieve in ministry,” Graf said. “He loved everyone he ever met. His life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ were perfectly compatible. He taught teachers, catechists, ministry leaders, priests and bishops how to live and serve as Jesus did. He did so in his every word and especially in how he lived and taught us how to live our lives.”

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Deacon Dennis Colgan

Class of 1985

Deacon Dennis L. Colgan, 77, died July 18. He was the retired associate director of the Office for the Permanent Diaconate and was ordained in 1985.

Deacon Colgan served at St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret; children Kevin Colgan, Daniel Colgan and Megan Black; six grandchildren; and siblings Laurene Strum, Thomas Colgan and Janet Lapen.

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Sr. Annette Schipp


Providence Sister Annette (Edna Carolyn) Schipp, 99, died July 14 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Indiana, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1940 and professed final vows in 1948.

Of her 81 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered for 49 years in education in elementary schools in Indiana and Illinois, before serving as a receptionist and parish and community volunteer.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Immaculate Conception (Talcott Avenue) (1948-1953). 

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Sr. Kathleen Smith

Educator, artist

Sister of St. Casimir Kathleen Smith, 79, died July 14 in Lemont.

Born in Chicago, she graduated from Maria High School in 1959. She made her first vows in 1962 and her perpetual vows in 1967.

She served as an elementary school teacher in Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio and California and as a high school art teacher in Illinois and Michigan, receiving awards for her work and that of her students. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she began her ministry teaching first and second grades at Sts. Peter and Paul (1962-1966, 1971-1973); Our Lady of Vilna (1969-1970); and St. Anthony, Cicero (1974-1977). She then taught art at Maria High School (1977-1995).

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Sr. Magdalene Kabat


Sister of St. Joseph-Third Order of St. Francis Magdalene Kabat, 86, died July 19.

She was in religious life for 67 years and had been a dedicated teacher in Indiana and Illinois, and she served as principal of St. Mary of Czestochowa, Cicero.

She is survived by siblings Lorraine Gorski, Melanie Cholewa, Robert Kabat and Patricia Harp.