Fr.. Peter J. Heidenrich died suddenly and unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at St. John Parish in Glenwood, where he served as Pastor. He was 64 years old.
Fr. Heidenrich was born on July 5, 1950. He was ordained into the priesthood on October 22, 1976, in the Diocese of Joliet. Fr. Heidenrich was a member of the Diocese of Joliet until 1980. He was a member of the Order of Preachers. He was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1999.
Fr. Heidenrich’s first assignment in the Archdiocese of Chicago was St. Benedict Parish on Irving Park Road in Chicago, serving as the Associate Pastor for two years. He also served in the same capacity at Incarnation Parish in Palos Heights from 1998 until 2000. That same year, Fr. Heidenrich was named Pastor of St. Walter Parish on 117th Street in Chicago, serving there until 2012. He then moved to St. Athanasius Parish, serving as Pastor for a year. Fr. Heidenrich was Associate Pastor of St. Norbert Parish in Northbrook before being named Pastor of St. John Parish in Glenwood in 2014.
Rev. Richard J. Lo Bianco, Pastor of Divine Savior Parish in Norridge, will be the homilist at Fr. Heidenrich’s funeral Mass. He said, “Fr. Peter was a wise and intelligent priest, a fabulous person, who was good-hearted and kind. And he was always a learner. Fr. Peter was a former Dominican, who then joined the Archdiocese and brought his Dominican charisms to the diocese; his great gift of preaching and teaching. He had such a tremendous respect for the liturgy and he truly saw the liturgy as a way to praise God for the beauty of creation.” He went on to say, “Fr. Peter was just a fabulous priest who had a great gift for bringing people together, creating communion and community. Even though he died too young, he was such a loyal son of the Church and served the Church well.”
Rev. Carl Morello, Pastor of St. Giles Parish in Oak Park, was a long-time friend of Fr. Heidenrich’s. He recalled, “Fr. Peter was a very private person. He loved being a priest and was a dedicated priest. He had a very deep spirituality and was very focused on his thoughts and what he wanted to say. Fr. Peter was well-respected by people who knew him and heard him speak.”
Fr. Heidenrich is survived by his two sisters, Rose Bosau and Mary Ann Rygiel.
Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Chicago