Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago


Pray For Them

Fr. William Topmoeller


Jesuit Father William G. Topmoeller, 86, former theology professor at Loyola University and St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, died June 13. Father Topmoeller entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1939 in Milford , Ohio. He was ordained a priest in 1952.

He earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. In 1956, after completing his doctorate in sacred theology from Gregorian University in Rome, he began teaching dogmatic theology at St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, where he taught until 1967. From 1968-70, he taught theology at Loyola University Chicago.

During the late 1960s, Father Topmoeller directed Loyola’s Ecumenical Institute, was appointed to the Cardinal’s Committee on Human Relations and Ecumenism, and authored the Archdiocese’s Directory for Ecumenism.

In the 1970s, he served as the chair of the theology department at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He also served at St. Xavier High School.

In the 1980s, Father Topmoeller served as a retreat master. In 1990, he joined the Faber Jesuit Community in Cincinnati where he served as community librarian and continued to direct retreats. He retired to Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich., in 1997.

Fr. Paul Cull


Father Paul Cull, 86, pastor emeritus of St. Dismas Parish in Waukegan, died June 19 at the Vista Medical Center East, Waukegan. Cardinal George was the main celebrant at a June 26 funeral Mass at St. Dismas Church.

A native of Chicago, Father Cull attended St. Columbanus Elementary school, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. Father Cull was ordained a priest in 1945 and celebrated his first Mass at St. Columbanus.

He served as assistant pastor at St. Genevieve (1945-50), the now closed Holy Family in North Chicago (1950-55), Immaculate Conception in Waukegan (1955- 68) and the now closed St. Attracta in Cicero (1968-70). In 1970, he became pastor of St. Dismas, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1992.

After retiring, Father Cull assisted at St. Dismas, St. Anastasia Church in Waukegan, Precious Blood Convent in Lake Villa and St. Peter’s Church in Antioch. He was also involved in the Serra Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Oak Plain Council of the Catholic Youth Organization.

Sr. Matthias Michels


Dominican Sister Matthias Michels, 95, died June 16 in Sinsinawa, Wis. She professed final vows as a Sinsinawa Dominican in 1939. She served as an art teacher. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Visitation Grade School (1944 - 45) , Visitation High School (1945-48), Trinity High School in River Forest (1950-54) and Rosary College, now Dominican University (1950- 55). She also studied and was later the administrator at Villa Schifanoia in Florence, Italy.

Fr. Roman Zbieranski


Franciscan Father Roman “Paul” Zbieranski, 73, administrator at St. Isaac Jogues in Niles, died June 21. A funeral Mass was held June 26 at St. Isaac Jogues. Father Zbieranski was ordained a priest in 1961. He served as an educator, parochial minister and as definitor for his province. He also served as guardian at Holy Name Friary in Chicago.


Father James P. Shields, 80, a retired military chaplain, died June 22 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood . Cardinal George was the main celebrant at a June 27 funeral Mass at Santa Maria del Popolo Church, Mundelein.

Born in Chicago, Father Shields was baptized at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. He attended St. Mel School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained a priest, along with his older brother William, on the same day in 1952. Father Shields celebrated his first Mass at the now closed St. Mel/Holy Ghost Church.

He served as assistant pastor at Ascension Parish in Oak Park (1952-60) and Mary, Queen of Heaven Parish in Cicero (1960- 62). He began a 24-year career as a U.S. Air Force chaplain in 1962. He retired as a colonel in 1987.

He returned to Chicago to serve at St. Hubert in Hoffman Estates, where his older brother, Father William Shields, was pastor. For six months of the year, Father James Shields would serve as an extern priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, while spending the remainder of the year living and working at St. Hubert. He also served at St. John in Streamwood, Transfiguration in Wauconda and Santa Maria del Popolo in Mundelein.

Up until his recent hospitalization, Father Shields and his brother William both lived at Santa Maria del Popolo.

Sr. Lorraine Tierney


BVM Sister Lorraine Tierney (LeRoy), 91, died June 19 in Dubuque, Iowa. She entered the BVM congregation in 1933 and professed final vows in 1941.

She served as an educator in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. In Chicago, she taught at Our Lady Help of Christians, Presentation, Our Lady of Angels, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Callistus.

She was also an English as a Second Language teacher for 15 years in Chicago public schools, the Chicago Urban Skills Institute and Chicago city colleges.