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Obituary of Bishop Timothy J. Lyne

Most Rev. Timothy J. Lyne, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Vicar for senior priests, died Wednesday, September 25, 2013.  He was 94 years of age, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 70 years and an auxiliary bishop for 30 years.  Bishop Lyne passed away at his residence, named in his honor, the Bishop Lyne Rectory, at Holy Name Cathedral.

Bishop Lyne was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 21, 1919, and was baptized at St. Jarlath Parish (closed in 1969) on Jackson Boulevard in Chicago. The eldest of four children of Irish immigrant parents, two brothers and a sister, who grew up on Chicago’s West Side, Lyne attended Resurrection School and graduated from St. Mel School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary where he completed a MA in history and a STL degree in theology. He was ordained by then Archbishop Samuel Stritch in 1943.

Bishop Lyne’s first assignment was assistant pastor of St. Mary Parish in Riverside, a position he held for nineteen years.  During his tenure there, he was responsible for building a new elementary school and a convent.  He was then named assistant pastor at St. Edmund Parish in Oak Park from 1962 until 1966 followed by a one year assignment as assistant pastor at Holy Name Cathedral.  He then served as Rector/Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral for the next twenty-two years from 1967 until 1989. The Cathedral that he inherited as pastor was an 1874 structure that replaced the one destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire.  Bishop Lyne took on a major renovation project of the Cathedral during his tenure.

Bishop Lyne was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Vamalla on November 25, 1983. Cardinal Bernardin consecrated him a bishop in December and he chose as his episcopal motto the first three words of St. Paul’s epistle to Timothy, “Grace, mercy and peace …”. Earlier that same year he was named a Consultant for the Department of Financial Services.  In February 1984, he was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate II which encompasses parishes in the northern portions of Chicago and Cook County.  Bishop Lyne was appointed to the Board of Consultors in March of 1984.

Appointed Vicar for Senior Priests in 1988, Bishop Lyne retained this title and responsibility even after his own retirement in January 1995.  Catholic Charities’ Bishop Lyne Home for Retired Priests adjacent to Holy Family Villa is named in his honor.  Bishop Lyne remained active in several interreligious and ecumenical organizations including the Illinois Council of Churches, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religious. 

In a Catholic New World article by Dolores Madlener that appeared earlier this year, Bishop Lyne remarked that he had continued to say the divine office every day as well as the rosary and said, “I’m very grateful, not only that God gave me the priesthood, but gave me a love of it.  I think sometimes people find their vocation hard.  I’ve enjoyed mine.  I have always been very grateful to God for my priesthood.”

Such positive sentiments extended to his rather large family. “There were so many of us,” recalls Bishop Lyne’s nephew, Mike Lyne, “most people struggle to remember so many names, but he always remembered.”  Only once can I recall a big family party with kids everywhere when my uncle called me over and,  pointing to an unfamiliar face, asked “Is that one of ours?”  Turns out Bishop Lyne was not mistaken.

Visitation for Bishop Lyne will take place on Sunday, September 29, from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Monday, September 30 from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m., at Holy Name Cathedral, State and Superior Streets in Chicago.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at the funeral Mass for Bishop Lyne on Monday, September 30, at 10:30 a.m., at Holy Name Cathedral. Most Rev. Francis Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Archdiocesan Vicar General, will be the homilist.  Interment will be at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.

Bishop Lyne is survived by a sister, Mary (Paul) McCloskey, and a brother, Frank (Fran), many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.


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