Rev. William Harold Sheridan passed away on Friday, December 9, 2016. For most of his priestly career, Fr. Sheridan was on the faculty of Quigley Preparatory Seminary North. He was 90 years old.
Fr. Sheridan was born in Chicago on November 9, 1926. He attended St. Nicholas of Tolentine School and Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. Fr. Sheridan went on to study at Quigley Preparatory Seminary North. He graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Arts degree in Theology. Fr. Sheridan completed his post-graduate studies at Notre Dame University in Indiana, receiving a Master of Arts degree in Classics. He was ordained into the priesthood on May 5, 1954, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago. He celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish on May 9, 1954.
Fr. Sheridan served in the Archdiocese in a number of different parochial roles. He served as Assistant Pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish on Diversey Parkway in Chicago, closed in 2008 (1954-57). Fr. Sheridan began teaching at Quigley Preparatory Seminary North in 1957, while residing at St. Philip Neri Parish, and served as a professor, spiritual director and athletic director. He continued to teach until his retirement in 1995. Fr. Sheridan also remained a resident of St. Philip Neri Parish, serving the parish community until his passing.
In a 2011 interview with the Catholic New World, Fr. Sheridan reflected on the importance of his vocation, “I can say without a doubt, the greatest blessing of my life has been the gift of priesthood.”
Rev. John Finnegan, retired Archdiocesan priest, was a classmate of Fr. Sheridan. He said, “He was a dear, dear friend. We had known each other since our 3rd year of high school in 1945. Later, we went to Notre Dame together because we were both Latin teachers at Quigley.” Fr. Finnegan added, “Bill was always a builder, he built communities and he was the glue that held people together. We always had fun times together.”
Msgr. Dan Mayall, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wilmette, taught at Quigley with Fr. Sheridan. He poignantly said, “In more than one way, he taught hundreds of us how to be a priest.” He continued, “Fr. Sheridan taught me when I was a sophomore, and later we taught together at Quigley. He was also the athletic director, and although I was never officially part of the department, he always included me! We were very good friends.”
Fr. Sheridan will lie in state on Friday, December 16, from 3 to 6 p.m., at St. Philip Neri Parish, 2132 East 72nd Street in Chicago. The Rosary and Wake Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, December 17, at 10 a.m., followed by the Funeral Mass that will be celebrated at 11 a.m., also at St. Philip Neri Parish. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will be the main celebrant and Rev. John Finnegan will be the homilist.