Rev. Laurence F. Maddock died suddenly on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at Alden Estates of Skokie, a rehabilitation and health care center in Skokie, where he was recovering from a fall. He was 83 years old.
Fr. “Larry”, as he was affectionately called, was born in Oak Park on March 23, 1930 and attended St. Odilo Elementary School in Berwyn and later, Ascension Elementary School in Oak Park. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Bachelor of Sacred Theology degrees. Fr. Maddock also holds a Master of Divinity degree. Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, ordained him on May 1, 1956.
Fr. Maddock’s first assignment was at Queen of All Saints Parish in Chicago, where he was an Assistant Pastor from 1956 until 1964. That same year, he moved to Flossmoor, Illinois, to Infant Jesus of Prague Parish, and served as Assistant Pastor. Fr. Maddock also was an Assistant Pastor at other Chicago parishes, including Immaculate Conception Parish on North Park Avenue, St. Symphorosa Parish on Austin Avenue, and St. Gregory the Great Parish on Paulina Street.
He was named pastor of Maternity B.V.M. Parish in 1976 and remained there for twelve years. During this time, Fr. Maddock became a member of the Pastor’s Review Board. In 1988, he took a six-month sabbatical leave and was made pastor of St. Ita Parish in Chicago that same year, where he remained until 2001. While pastor of St. Ita, Fr. Maddock was named Dean of Deanery IV and later of Deanery II-B.
In 2001, Fr. Maddock joined the faculty of St. Joseph Seminary at Loyola University. While working at the seminary, he served St. Henry Parish in Chicago in the capacity of Administrator for four months. Fr. Maddock retired from active ministry in December of 2001 and was named Pastor Emeritus of St. Ita Parish. He remained on the faculty at St. Joseph Seminary as the Director of Spiritual Life until his passing. Fr. Maddock was also an active member of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development allocations committee for over 20 years.
Rev. James Presta, former Rector of St. Joseph Seminary, long-time friend and homilist at the funeral, describes Fr. Maddock as “the priest that never really retired until the end”, as he was still working at St. Joseph Seminary until his passing. Fr. Presta goes on to say, “Fr. Maddock is much like Pope Francis, a true shepherd. He is an iconic priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was truly a great model of what it meant to be a priest of Jesus Christ by giving himself generously and selflessly, by doing the work of the Church wherever he was needed, whether it was in parish life, in Hispanic ministry, or in the seminary system.”
Director of Liturgy and Pastoral Formation, Rev. Pawel Komperda, remembers Fr. Maddock fondly, “I met Fr. Maddock when I was a seminarian at St. Joseph College Seminary. Then, I was blessed to be with him once again, working with our seminarians. He lived out the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ authentically.” He recalls, “Once, Fr. Larry shared with us that the movie ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ inspired him as a young child to become a priest. He gave me an example of how to serve God, God's people, and he modeled for me a genuine care for brother priests. Even as he was slowing down he still thought of his classmates. While at the rehabilitation center, he asked for his copy of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary. He loved to celebrate the Holy Mass, to hear confessions and to offer spiritual direction. He was looking forward to resuming these duties. He tried to be resigned to the will of the Lord and to fulfill it with his whole heart.”
Rev. Msgr. John McNamara, long-time friend and classmate, said “Holiness comes in various shapes and forms and under various circumstances, my own reaction is that Fr. Maddock was a very holy man, dedicated to the Church, always on the forefront of making sure the Church was doing the right thing at the right time.” Msgr. McNamara goes on to say, “He was very good at being able to bring together a variety of people to form a Christian community; he worked with the Hispanic community at Maternity B.V.M. and at St. Ita’s. He was a mentor to many young seminarians and he made sure he was always available to them. He was personally a model for me. I am very privileged to have been a close friend of his for seventy years.”
Fr. Maddock is survived by his half-brother, James Ford, and his sister, Margaret Schorsch, as well as many nieces and nephews.Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Chicago.