Fr,. Robert E. Ferrigan passed away on Thursday, October 8, 2015. Fr. Ferrigan was the Pastor Emeritus of Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka and a resident of Presence St. Benedict Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niles. He was 79 years old.
Fr. Ferrigan was born in Evanston on October 10, 1935. He attended St. Angela School in Chicago, St. Catherine of Siena School in Oak Park and Quigley Preparatory Seminary. Fr. Ferrgian graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. He also received a Master’s degree in Education from Loyola University Chicago. Fr. Ferrigan was ordained into the priesthood on May 1, 1961, by Albert Cardinal Meyer, Archbishop of Chicago.
Fr. Ferrigan served as Assistant Pastor at St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish in Des Plaines (1961-66); Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Chicago (1966-70); St. James Parish on Wabash Avenue in Chicago (1970-77); and St. Matthew Parish in Schaumburg (1977-83). Fr. Ferrigan served as Director of Cardinal Stritch Retreat House from 1983 to 1990 and as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka from 1990 to 2006, when he was named Pastor Emeritus. In addition, he served on the Diocesan Priests’ Personnel Board for one year (1984-85), as well as Spiritual Director at both Catholic Theological Union and Mundelein Seminary.
Rev. Kenneth Simpson, Pastor of St. Clement Parish, had been good friends with Fr. Ferrigan for many years and considered him a mentor. He reflected, “His own humanity really gave him a unique ability to engage people in the depths of their spirit. His deep sense of humanity was a source of his own passion and his great sense of humor.” Fr. Simpson added that Fr. Ferrigan, “was a great fan of Thomas Merton and spirituality.”
Rev. William Kenneally, retired Archdiocesan priest, was a great friend and classmate of Fr. Ferrigan, who had known him since high school. He recalled, “Fr. Ferrigan was an extraordinary pastor, someone who loved the priesthood and was a real character.” He went on to say, “He had a very distinct personality and many, many friends who are now mourning.”
Fr. Ferrigan is survived by several cousins.