God bless Father Donald Joseph Ahearn!
Love is the most powerful force in the world. It gives life. A man who loves, lives. And a man who loves a lot, lives a lot. Fr. Ahearn lived a good, long life (91 years) because he was a tremendously loving man. He was loved by so many people and it was your love, brothers and sisters, that allowed Fr. Ahearn to live as long—and as well—as he did.
Fr. Ahearn (aka,"Nubs") was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, along with 39 other men, on May 3, 1951. His first assignment was St. Gertrude Parish in Franklin Park, where he served as the assistant pastor for eight years. During his tenure at St. Gertrude, Fr. Ahearn also acted as a chaplain at St. Patrick High School on Belmont Avenue, in addition to being a specially appointed confessor for nuns. His next assignment, still as an assistant pastor, was at St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield, where he served for seven years. On the side during this time, the young priest was a Cana chaplain. Remaining an assistant pastor, in 1966 Fr. Ahearn transferred to St. David Parish on Union Street. After four years at St. David's, he was named the administrator at St. Nicholas Parish on State Street for five months before taking over as pastor at the same parish. Upon completion of three years as pastor, the Archdiocese named Fr. Ahearn administrator for a month of Holy Rosary Parish on 108th Street, before making him the assistant pastor of All Saints Parish on South State Street for a year. Then, from 1974-1975, Fr. Ahearn served as the associate pastor of Our Lady of Ransom parish not too far from here in Niles. Our beloved friend finally found his home here at St. Juliana Parish on Touhy Avenue in Chicago. He was named pastor on August 21, 1975 and retired on June 30, 1995, serving the parish for nearly 20 years! Among all the duties he performed in the parish, Fr. Ahearn was a member of the Pastor Review Board, the School Board Advisory Committee, and then an Assistant Vicar for Senior Priests. From 1995 until his death last Sunday, January 1, 2017, Fr. Ahearn lived at St. Juliana as the pastor emeritus.