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Fr. William J. Flaherty

Pastor emeritus

Father William J. Flaherty, 97, died Jan. 4. He was pastor emeritus of Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Flossmoor, now St. Veronica Parish.

Born in Chicago, Father Flaherty attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary, the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He also studied Shakespeare in England.

He was ordained in 1952 and served as assistant pastor at St. Lawrence O’Toole, Matteson. He was on the faculty at Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and served as associate pastor at St. Basil, Sacred Heart (May Street) and St. Nicholas, Evanston. He was pastor of St. Nicholas for 12 years, and then was appointed pastor of former Infant Jesus of Prague. He retired in 1996, and resided for 20 years at Sts. Faith, Hope and Charity Parish in Winnetka.

Father Martin O’Donovan, pastor of Saints Faith, Hope and Charity, remembered Father Flaherty as a great man of faith.

“He continued to read well into his 90s and was very curious about life,” O’Donovan said, noting that Flaherty was committed to social justice. “While he was a professor at Niles College, he was noted for saying ‘walk the talk’ very often.”

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Deacon Jesus Zeferino Ochoa

Class of 1972

Deacon Jesus Zeferino Ochoa died Jan. 1, his 88th birthday. He was ordained in 1972 and ministered at St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Roosevelt Road).

Born in Ocotlán, Jalisco, Mexico, he established a career in radio broadcasting before coming to Chicago in the late 1950s.

He worked in several jobs in the in the 1960s and became involved at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, where he met his wife of 56 years, Georgina Alvarez.

In the 1970s, he began working with the Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Charities, serving immigrants, refugees and the Hispanic community, and hosting the radio program “Pueblo En Marcha” for 30 years. He was one of the first permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and he participated in Pope John Paul II’s Mass in Grant Park on Oct. 5, 1979. He also served as an elected member of the Archdiocese’s Presbyteral Senate representing the Hispanic deacons.

He retired from ministry in 2017.

As a civil rights activist, he facilitated meetings for Cesar Chavez in Chicago and advocated for the Latino community.

He is survived by his wife; his children Cesar, Marisa, Jessica and Evangelina; and four grandchildren.

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Deacon Francis Gildea

Class of 1993

Deacon Francis Gildea, 92, died Jan. 2. He was ordained in 1993 and served at St. Theresa, Palatine (1993-1997), and St. Elizabeth Seton, Orland Hills (1998-2019).

Deacon Gildea served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and received a Purple Heart.

He was predeceased by his wives Sally Gildea and Betty June Howland-Gildea. He is survived by his children: Frank Gildea, Kathy Gascho, Jenny Hinrichs, Joe Gildea and Greg Gildea; stepchildren Edward Howland, June Gradman, Marianne McGlennon, Eileen Hurley, Michael Howland and Thomas Howland; 28 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Peggy Gildea.

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Sr. Lucille Nolan

Educator, musician

Providence Sister Lucille Nolan, 94, died Dec. 25, 2023, in Terre Haute Indiana.

She taught music for 33 years in schools in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina. In 1983, she moved from school music to church music, serving as director of music and liturgy at two parishes in the Chicago area for the next 23 years.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she ministered in church and school music at St. Isaac Jogues, Niles (1983-1985); as director of music and liturgy at St. Dismas, Waukegan (1985-1994); and as director of music and liturgy (1994-2004) and in religious education and children’s music (2004-2008) at St. James, Sauk Village.

After officially retiring, she remained in the Chicago area, ministering to the homebound and persons in hospice.

Beginning in 2022, she dedicated herself totally to the ministry of prayer.

Sister Lucille is survived by a brother, John Nolan, and a sister, Providence Sister Carol Nolan.

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Sr. Carolyn Glynn

Educator, parish minister

Providence Sister Carolyn (John Michael) Glynn, 88, died Dec. 28 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Massachusetts, Sister Carolyn entered the Sisters of Providence in 1953 and professed final vows in 1961. She ministered as a primary teacher for 22 years in Indiana, Massachusetts, California and Illinois. After completing a doctorate in ministry, she served in parish ministry for 12 years in the Archdiocese of Chicago before moving to Florida.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Mel (1956-1958); St. Genevieve (1969-1971); St. Athanasius, Evanston (1971-1974); and St. Gregory (1974-1977); was director of religious education at St. Mary, Riverside (1980-1987); and was a consultant on religious education and spirituality (1987-1992).

Sister Carolyn is survived by three sisters: Elizabeth Hannon, Rosemary Baglio and Florence Ryan; and two brothers: Timothy Glynn and Allen Glynn.

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Fr. Ramon Dompke

Parish priest, community leader

Redemptorist Father Ramon “Ray” Dompke, 85, died Jan. 7 in the rectory of St. Michael Parish in Old Town.

Born in Chicago, he was baptized at St. Michael and attended elementary school there before going to St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Kirkwood, Missouri, and entering the Redemptorist novitiate at Mount St. Clement in DeSoto, Missouri. He professed temporary vows in 1959, perpetual vows in 1962 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1964.

Father Dompke served as associate pastor of parishes in Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan, as well as St. Michael (1982-1993) and St. Alphonsus (Wellington Avenue, 1993, 1995) before being named pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish on the West Side (1995-2005).

Father Dompke was named bursar of the Villa Redeemer/North American Novitiate community in Glenview in 2005. He served as rector of the community from 2011 until 2015, when the property was sold.

He returned to the staff at St. Michael’s, where he felt blessed to be near his family, especially his elderly mother, whom he visited every week until she died at the age of 105 in 2019.

In addition to serving the parish community, he volunteered to preach foreign mission appeals throughout the Midwest until his health began to decline.