Retired bishop who served Chicago’s Polish community dies

Chicago, Ill., Jul 17, 2013 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Thaddeus J. Jakubowski, a retired auxiliary bishop of the Chicago archdiocese who worked with the city's Polish population, died July 14 at the age of 89.

“He was respected by the priests and he was very good in working with parishes,” Bishop John R. Gorman, a fellow Chicago auxiliary bishop emeritus, said the following day. The two were consecrated bishops together in 1988.

Bishop Jakubowski was “dedicated particularly to the elderly and (to) sick priests,” he added.

Bishop Jakubowski was 87, and had been a priest for 63 years and a bishop for 25. He was the Chicago archdiocese’s liaison to the Polish community and was executive director of the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland.

He won recognition for this work through his 1997 reception of the Copernican Award. In 2009, the Polish government awarded him the Commander Cross with Star and White Eagle of the Order of Merit.

Bishop Jakubowski was born in Chicago on April 5, 1924 and grew up on the city’s southeast side. He graduated from St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School and from Quigley Preparatory Seminary, which he later served as a professor of classical languages and dean of students.

He graduated from Mundelein Seminary, earning a licentiate in theology. He earned a master’s degree in classics from Loyola University.

Cardinal Samuel Stritch ordained him a priest in 1950 for the Chicago archdiocese. He served at St. Bartholomew parish and then became pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine parish.

Bishop Jakubowski was consecrated an auxiliary bishop of Chicago by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on April 11, 1988. He then served the parishes on the northwest side of Chicago and in the western suburbs of Cook County.

After the bishop’s January 2003 retirement at the age of 77, he became co-vicar, with retired auxiliary bishop Timothy Lyne, to serve elderly priests in nursing homes, hospitals and health care centers. He also helped plan deceased priests’ visitation and funeral arrangements.

The bishop is survived by his brother and nieces and nephews.

Bishop Jakubowski’s visitation will be held at St. Robert Bellarmine on July 18 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Cathedral at 10 a.m. on July 19. His body will be interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Ill.

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