Rev. James J. Cregan, CSV, died Jan. 22, 1916 at St. Edward Church in Chicago, where he served as pastor until one week before his death. He was 66.
Fr. Cregan was born Mar. 14, 1850 in Limerick, Ireland, but in 1863 he arrived in Canada and entered the teaching community of the Clerics of St. Viator in 1872, in Joliette, Canada.
Fr. Cregan made his first vows on Aug. 9, 1874, and his first seven years in the community were spent teaching at the Cathedral School in Ogdensburg, NY.
From there, he taught school in Mile End, Montreal, Canada until 1883, when his superiors called him to France to teach English to the French brothers in Vourles near Lyons.
After five years in France, he went to St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, where he studied philosophy and theology.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1892 by the Rev. Édouard-Charles Fabre, Archbishop of Montreal, who was visiting Bourbonnais.
Fr. Cregan remained on staff of the college as professor and prefect of studies until he was appointed director of the Holy Name Cathedral School in Chicago, an office he held with great success from 1897 to 1903.
In Aug. 1903, Fr. Cregan was appointed pastor of St. Edward Church in Chicago, where he opened its school in 1909 and entrusted the care of parish children to the Sisters of St. Dominic.
When Fr. Cregan passed away, the Sisters requested that a requiem high Mass be held at St. Edward’s, especially for the school children. It took place Jan. 22 and young students assisted and received Holy Communion for the repose of the soul of their good pastor.
Parishioners and numerous clergy attended a solemn requiem Mass on Jan. 23 at St. Edward Church, where the Rev. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV, president of St. Viator College, preached the sermon.
In the afternoon, Fr. Cregan’s remains were taken to Bourbonnais for a solemn requiem Mass at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church. It drew students from St. Viator College, Notre Dame Academy, the Village School, as well as parishioners and a large number of other lay and clerical friends of the deceased. Msgr. Gerasime M. Legris, DD, celebrated the Mass and the Rev. C.P. Conway of Chicago paid tribute to Fr. Cregan and his life’s work in the sermon.
Fr. Cregan was buried in the Viatorian Community plot at Maternity BVM Cemetery in Bourbonnais, with the prayerful wish that his soul may rest in peace.
Taken from the “The Viatorian,” newspaper of St. Viator College, dated Feb. 1916. pp. 6-10