San Rocco Oratory

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Bishop Perry with his father
Most Rev. Joseph Perry, vicar of region VI of the Archdiocese, with his father on the left. It is Holy Thursday, 2002.

Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday
Father Ken Stewart, OFM Cap., makes ready for the washing of the feet, during Holy Thursday Mass.

Father Charles Faso, OFM
Father Charles Faso, OFM, who grew up in St. Agnes Parish, Chicago Heights. Formerly pastor of St. Peter's, Chicago, he now preaches and gives missions across the United States.

Father Andy Santos
Especially in 1999, when San Rocco had no priest assigned, Father Andy Santos helped out generously. At the time, he was an associate pastor at St. Lawrence O'Toole, Matteson, Illinois. His grandfather, with the name Santos, was Greek.

Father Michael Zaniolo
When he was in Calumet City, Father Michael Zaniolo helped out at St. Rocco. He presided at the San Lorenzo Festival Mass, speaking the collects in Italian. His grandparents were from Venice, Italy. But for this he can be forgiven. Currently, Father Zaniolo is chaplain at O'Hare Airport.

Father Tommaso Petrongelli
Here, with hands extended, Father Tommaso Petrongelli is saying the Prayer after Communion, at Christmas Mass during the Day.

Father Charles Baumann, S.J.
Father Charles Baumann, S.J., at the Opening Prayer. He is from Marquette University in Milwaukee. The server holding the sacramentary is Paul Rodriguez.

Priests (Presbyters)

Visiting Priests

Over the past several years, San Rocco has been fortunate to have had several visiting priests. Whether religious or diocesan, these priests have presided at Mass, Vespers, and other services.  Each one of them has been welcome, and his service has been appreciated.   In general, visiting priests should be in good standing with their bishop or religious superior and should be approved by the rector of the oratory.Bishop of Chicago, Cardinal Cupich

Each visiting priest comes as a presider of the liturgy. All the ministers and the entire congregation should follow his direction and give him their full cooperation.  By definition, a priest is a presider, who comes in place of the bishop, Archbishop Blase.  That is why priests owe him obedience and why he owes them support.

Religious Order Priests

A religious who is a priest has undergone a period of special training, a novitiate, during which he is inculturated into his specific order.  This period is usually one year.  For some, it is as long as two years.  Religious priests also have a distinctive habit, clothing which is customary.  You are able to recognize Dominicans and Franciscans, for example, by their habit.  Religious also take vows; most take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  Benedictines take a vow of stability and a vow of conversion of life.  Jesuits take a fourth vow of obedience to the Pope.  Perhaps most important of all, religious belong to a specific community and have some kind of common prayer, usually all or part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Office.  Monks, on the one hand, say all seven hours together, in common, each day. Religious have greater mobility and usually just say two hours together, morning and evening prayer. Jesuits, however, ordinarily do not celebrate the Office in common.

Father Paul Longo, a Comboni Father, helped San Rocco Oratory especially in 1999, when no priest was assigned.  His service and friendship were much appreciated.  Although he now lives in Italy, he is always welcome back home, here in Chicago Heights.

One welcome guest is another religious, Father Tommaso Petrongelli, who has two brothers living in Chicago Heights, Americo and Italo, as well as an extended family here.  He is fluent in Italian, his native tongue, with a Roman accent, as well as English.  On his extended visits to San Rocco Oratory, he has celebrated Mass, funerals, and baptism, providing valuable and appreciated service. In August, 2003, Most Rev. Joseph Perry came to celebrate Father Tommaso's 40th anniversary of ordination; it was a solemn and joyful liturgy. Father Tommaso  is a member of a religious order with headquarters in Rome.  He too is always welcome at St. Rocco, anytime.


Petrongelli Family
From the left are Americo Petrongelli, Rosemary, Father Tommaso, Phyllis, and Italo.

Diocesan Priests 

A diocesan priest, as you know, is also called a "secular" priest.  Normally, he belongs to a specific diocese, which is defined as a limited area of land or other easily recognized entity.  For example, most of the diocesan priests you know belong to the Archdiocese of Chicago, which includes Cook and Lake County in Illinois.

Diocesan priests do not undergo a novitiate, do not take vows, do not have any particular habit, and lack a community.  They pay taxes and cover their personal expenses on their own, with a salary or other income, like most people.   They also have no obligation, as monks and many religious do, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours together, in choir.  Instead, when possible, they pray Lauds and Vespers with people of their parish or other institution.

In the Eastern churches, diocesan priests are often married; in the West, this occurs only rarely, usually when a Protestant minister with a family has been ordained a priest.  Since the Council of Nicea, in 325, throughout the Church, it has been customary to avoid marriage after ordination.  In the various Eastern Churches, it has always been permitted to ordain married men.  This is possible because diocesan priests do not have a community to which they belong; they usually live alone. For religious priests, it would be impossible.  Similarly, even in the West, diocesan priests have adopted children, to raise as their own.  The  main point of this history is to make it clear that diocesan priests do not have anything like the community that religious have.

Father J.C. Murray

Father J.C. Murray is one of our diocesan priests; hower, for a long period of time, he was on leave from the diocese, to serve as a naval chaplain.  During that time, he was attached to the military Ordinariate, the equivalent of a diocese.  He came to St. Rocco after Father Gilligan arrived, at his request. Father Murray was well received by the people of the community.


Father Petrongelli's 40th Anniversary
Here, at Father Petrongelli's 40th anniversary celebration, from the left, are Jill Jacobucci, Bev Green, Most Rev. Joseph Perry, and Father Petrongelli.

San Rocco Oratory

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