Lawrence Springer, priest for 65 years, dies

Chronicle Media

Rev. Lawrence Springer

Rev. Lawrence Springer, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who served in eight different parishes, including as associate pastor of St. Zachary Parish in Des Plaines, died Friday, June 28 at the age of 90.

He was born Sept. 18, 1933, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

Cardinal Albert Meyer ordained Springer to the priesthood on May 7, 1959. He celebrated his first Mass on May 10 of the same year at Sacred Heart Parish in Chicago.

After ordination to the priesthood, Springer was assistant pastor at St. Matthias Parish on Ainslie Street in Chicago, St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove, and Our Lady of Victory Parish on Agatite Avenue in Chicago.

He then served as associate pastor at St. Athanasius Parish in Evanston, St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville, St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles, St. Linus Parish in Oak Lawn, and St. Zachary Parish. He retired in 2003.

Rev. Ronald Kalas, vicar for senior priests and one of Springer’s classmates, recalled how his friend “loved the church from the time he was an altar server, then to the seminary days and then to his 65 years of priesthood.”

Kalas added that his classmate “served in many parishes and enjoyed carefully following the liturgical renewal and even donated vestments to the parishes he served.”

Rev. Edward McLaughlin, retired archdiocesan priest and another of Springer’s classmates, remembered him as a “very bright, intelligent man.”

Springer “was the kind of guy who poured himself 100 percent into anything he did, from preaching to learning to play tennis and to coaching basketball,” McLaughlin said.

Rev. Edward Salmon, retired archdiocesan priest, had been a friend of Springer’s since their first year of high school at Quigley. Salmon recalled Springer’s drive and zest for life, adding that “he was very serious about everything that he did and was totally dedicated to what he was involved in.”

All funeral services will take place at St. Zachary Parish Church, 567 W. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines. Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, July 9. The funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. and will be celebrated by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. Deacon Daniel Zajicek, Springer’s nephew, from the Diocese of Green Bay, will be the homilist.

Interment will occur at 1 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park.