Rest in Peace
Rev. Donald J. Ahearn
Born into life: March 1, 1925
Ordained a priest: May 3, 1951
Born into eternal life: January 1, 2017
Saint Juliana Church
Friday, January 6 · 2–9pm
Prayer Service at 2:30pm
Saturday, January 7 · 9–11am
Mass of Christian Burial
Saint Juliana Church
Saturday, January 7 · 11am
Celebrant: Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Homilist: Rev. Scott Donahue
Queen of Heaven Cemetery
Donald Joseph Ahearn was born to Helen (nee McDonough) and Daniel Ahearn on March 1, 1925. He and siblings Margaret, Eleanor, William and Marion were raised in Presentation Parish on the west side of Chicago. The soon-to-be-priest entered the Archdiocesan seminary high school, Quigley North in 1940, and major seminary, St. Mary of the Lake, in 1944. Father Don was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1951.
Parishes at which Father Don served as associate pastor include St. Gertrude (Franklin Park,) St. Barbara (Brookfield,) and St. David (Chicago.) His first pastorate was to St. Nicholas Parish in the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's south side, in 1970.
In answer to neighborhood changes and great growth, in 1974 Father Don moved northwest to Our Lady of Ransom Parish in Niles, where he served until his next (and last) appointment: Saint Juliana Parish. He served as our pastor for 20 years until his official retirement in 1995, after which he resided in our rectory as pastor emeritus until his recent passing. Our parish's September 7, 1975 bulletin article welcoming Father Ahearn closed with the following paragraph:
"We pray that Fr. Ahearn may share many happy and rewarding years as pastor of St. Juliana's and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide and grace us all."
Truer words were never spoken.
As the bookend to Father Don's presence in our parish, Father James closes a farewell bulletin article with this blessing: May he rest in heaven with perpetual light shining upon him.
Most recently, Father Don had become a popular resident of St. Benedict's Rehabilitation and Nursing Home, where a steady stream of visitors and dedicated friends kept him company morning, noon and night. Many who were unable to visit have been leaving warm words and fond memories of him on our Facebook page, which you can read here. Tip: You don't need to have a Facebook account to view our page and the posts so please visit and enjoy.