Rev. Joseph E. Surprenant, CSV, died Dec. 26, 1965 at Loretto Hospital in Chicago following a short illness. He was 64.

Fr. Surprenant was born Jan. 22, 1901 in Manteno, IL and attended local schools there.  He graduated in 1925 from St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, before completing graduate work at the University of Illinois in Champaign and at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

He joined the Clerics of St. Viator in 1920, professing his first vows on Aug. 15, 1921 and his final vows on Aug. 16, 1924. Fr. Surprenant was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1931.

Fr. Surprenant spent the early part of his teaching career in secondary education. His early assignments included St. Viator College; Fournier Institute in Lemont; Cathedral Boys’ High School in Springfield; St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA; and St. Francis College in Joliet.

Subsequent posts included director of the Viatorian Scholasticate and Seminary, and chaplain at Presentation Convent and Scholasticate in Aberdeen, SD. From 1949 to 1953, Fr. Surprenant was a member of the Viatorian Mission Band and he preached at many parishes throughout the United States.

Fr. Surprenant later served in pastoral ministry at St. Anne Church in St. Anne, IL and at St. Joseph Church in Springfield. His last assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee.

Visitation took place Dec. 27 at Clancy Funeral Home in Kankakee, before the body was taken to St. Patrick Church and laid in state until the funeral service on Dec. 28.

The solemn high Mass was offered by the Rev. John W. Stafford, Provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator, and the Rev. Daniel A. O’Connor, CSV, pastor at St. Patrick Church, preached the homily. Burial took place in the community plot in Maternity BVM Cemetery in Bourbonnais.


Taken from obituary published in the Kankakee Daily Journal, dated 12/27/1965