Father James (Jim) Lennon

“I’m presently living at St. Anthony’s in downtown Joliet, with my dear friend and your pastor, Fr. Bill Dewan, who’s leaving this week for the Cathedral. But he’s also going to continue to be your pastor, for which he is very grateful and happy and we’re both happy that we’re not going to be too far from each other to visit and get together.”

“God has been so good to me. On June 7th, 1958 I was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of St. Raymond’s and  for these past 60 years, I’ve been blessed to work in the diocese, pastor in four parishes, associate in two when I was first ordained, and now I’m blessed to be able to work with the elderly and infirmed in the hospitals and nursing homes. And to be with our priests and sisters for spiritual direction is a great joy for me. And I’m so grateful and thankful to God for all of my blessings and for all of the wonderful people beginning with my Mom and Dad and my family who nurtured and sustained me over all of these years.”

“I went to St. Raymond’s grade school. The question was ‘How did I determine to be a priest?’ I went off to grade school at St. Ray’s then I went to Joliet Township High School. I was in public high school for four years, and it was after my high school years that I went to the seminary. I’d say the first spark came when I was an altar boy at St. Ray’s, maybe in fifth or sixth grade. When I saw the priest there working so faithfully with the people and with the youth, I was inspired. And said ‘Lord, I think I’d like to be a priest someday.’ And sure enough, after high school, I went out to the seminary, was there for eight years, four years at Illinois Benedictine, at that time it was St. Procopius, in Lisle and in my last four years I studied at the University of St. Mary’s in Baltimore, Maryland. Then came back to Joliet to begin my ministry. Blessed, happy, I’m so thankful to God.”

The Sacred Heart family has been blessed and thankful to have the opportunity to know Fr. Jim Lennon.