Rev. Thomas F. Wise, CSV, passed away at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2011 after an extended illness. He was 85. He had been in hospice care at the Province Center and died peacefully, with his family surrounding him.
Fr. Wise was born on October 25, 1925 in Chicago, the son of Bernard and Cecelia (nee Mulrenin) Wise. He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as two siblings, John and Bernard. His sister, Cecilia, survives him, along with many nieces and nephews.
He first professed his vows as a Viatorian in 1949. His decision to enter the community came after he had attended St. Ignatius High School and upon graduation, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a radar operator from 1942-1946.
After joining the Viatorians, Fr. Wise attended St. Ambrose College in pursuit of a degree in political science before earning an advanced degree in educational administration from Bradley University. His first teaching assignment took him to Cathedral Boys’ High School in Springfield from 1952-1953. For the next three years, Fr. Wise completed his preparation for the priesthood. He was ordained in Arlington Heights on August 15, 1956 by Cardinal Samuel Stritch and the next year headed to Spalding Institute in Peoria where he taught until 1961.
It was after teaching at Spalding that Fr. Wise accepted his landmark placement, in Bogota, Colombia, where he was one of three priests that founded the Viatorian Mission there. After completing a crash course in Spanish, they began ministering to families and within two years completed their goal of opening an all boys’ school. Fr. Wise served as assistant principal and dean of studies at Colegio San Viator until 1970. The mission they started will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September. Their legacy now includes 17 religious and an enrollment of more than 1,050 students in the school. When Fr. Wise returned to the United States, he taught at Saint Viator High School and studied at Loyola University in Chicago. In 1973, he went to St. Viator Parish in Chicago, before assuming the role of pastor, from 1979-1985. From there, Fr. Wise served at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas, from 1985-1988. His final assignment before his retirement was spent as an associate pastor at Holy Family Church in Granite City, IL.
Visitation took place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at St. James Church, 820 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL. A Mass of Christian Burial immediately followed the visitation. Interment was in the Viatorian plot at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL.
Please remember Fr. Wise in your Masses and prayers.
Taken from letter to the Viatorian Community, August 12, 2011, from the Provincial, Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV