Rev. Thomas J. McCormick, CSV, died on July 30, 1962 at Holy Family Hospital in Des Plaines, IL, from complications after a fall. At the time, he was reported to be the oldest priest in the United States. He was 102.
Fr. McCormick was born July 30, 1860 in Manchester, NH, but his family moved to LaSalle, IL when he was 7.
As a young man, Fr. McCormick entered the Clerics of St. Viator in September of 1886. He pronounced his first vows July 14, 1888, while studying at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, IL.
He was ordained to the priesthood July 2, 1894 by Archbishop Frederick X. Katzer in Milwaukee and offered his first Mass at his home parish, St. Patrick Church in LaSalle.
Thus began his long priestly ministry. His first assignment was as director of Holy Name School for Boys, before he became a professor of English literature at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais.
In 1899, Fr. McCormick founded St. Edward Parish and served as its first pastor until 1903, when he became pastor of St. Viator Church, both in Chicago.
As pastor of St. Viator, he moved the parish from its first location on the east side of Pulaski Road (Crawford) near Belmont Avenue to its present location on Addison Street, erecting the south part of the present school building as a combination church, hall, school and convent.
Over the years, Fr. McCormick also served as an assistant at both St. Viator and St. Edward parishes, as administrator of a parish in South Dakota, as rector of the Viatorian seminary at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC , and as provincial treasurer of the Viatorians.
In his later years, he served 14 years as chaplain to the Ephpheta School and finally as spiritual director of Viatorian novices.
Funeral services took place Aug. 2 at St. Viator Church, which was filled to capacity with hundreds of people, including former members of both St. Viator and St. Edward parishes.
The Rev. Emmett M. Walsh, CSV, celebrated the requiem Mass, while the Rev. John F. Brown, CSV, former provincial, preached the homily. Presiding in the sanctuary and giving absolution for the dead was the Rev. Aloysius J. Wycislo, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, representing Cardinal Albert G. Meyer, who was in Rome.
Fr. McCormick was laid to rest in the Viatorian plot at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL. The Rev. Michael J. Ranahan, CSV, conducted final graveside services, and thus ended a long, distinguished and dedicated career.
Compiled from a biography, author unknown and the cover obituary from the St. Viator Church Bulletin, The Viatorian, August 5, 1962