The Rev. Bernard Pietrzak, priest of the archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of St. Anne Catholic parish in Barrington, died Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the age of 68.
Pietrzak was born Oct. 18, 1955, in Hammond, Ind. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and Niles College of Loyola University, both in Chicago, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.
Cardinal John Cody ordained Pietrzak to the priesthood May 13, 1981. Pietrzak celebrated his first Mass on May 23, 1981, at St. Florian Parish in Chicago.
After ordination, Pietrzak was associate pastor at St. Victor Parish in Calumet City, Holy Cross Parish in Deerfield and Church of the Holy Spirit Parish in Schaumburg. He then served as pastor of St. Raymond de Pentafort Parish in Mount Prospect from 1996 to 2009 and at St. Anne Parish, where he had been serving as pastor since 2009.
The Rev. Jerome Jacob, pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Mundelein, was a close friend of Pietrzak.
“Bernie was a good mentor and friend. He always saw the best in people. He would encourage young priests and welcome them,” Jacob said.
The two priests became friends at St. Raymond de Penafort Parish where Jacob joined the parish as associate pastor and Pietrzak was serving as pastor.
“The Sunday assembly was very important to him,” Jacob added. “He was very dedicated to adult formation, marriage preparation, etc. to help people grow in their spirituality.”
The Revs. Joji Thanugundla and Rodolfo Ramirez, associate pastors of St. Anne Parish, wrote a tribute to Pietrzak on the parish’s Instagram account, saying, “Father Bernie served our St. Anne community with unwavering dedication, compassion, and a profound commitment to his faith. He touched the lives of many with his inspiring homilies, guidance, and selfless service.”
All funeral services will take place at St. Anne Parish, 120 N. Ela St., Barrington.
Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. A vigil service will be from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5. Presider of the vigil service will be Thanugundla and the homilist will be the Rev. Ed Panek. The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant of the Mass and Jacob will be the homilist.
Interment will be private.