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Pray For Them

Fr. Joseph Austin Graff


Father Joseph Austin Graff, 96, former pastor of Chicago’s St. Martin Parish, died Nov. 30.

A Superior, Wis. native, Father Graff was baptized at that city’s Sacred Heart Church. After relocating to Chicago, he graduated from Holy Cross Elementary School (1925) Quigley Preparatory Seminary (1930) and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in 1936.

Father Graff was named assistant pastor of Chicago’s St. Francis Xavier Parish, where he served until 1942. He then began 24 years as a professor and teacher at both Quigley North and Quigley South high school seminaries. While an educator, he enrolled in postgraduate studies at DePaul University, the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and the American Academy of Art and Georgetown University. He lived at the following Chicago parishes: St. Martin, St. Anthony, St. John Berchmans, St. Gertrude and Christ the King.

In 1963, he was appointed pastor of the now-closed St. Martin Parish, where he remained until 1970. Father Graff then taught art at Quigley South before serving as associate pastor of St. Thomas More Parish from 1973-76. In 1978, he was named associate pastor of Park Forest’s St. Irenaeus Parish and retired in 1981. He then assisted at various parishes before returning to St. Thomas More to live as a resident in 1998.

He is survived by two brothers.

Fr. Leonard Mezydlo


Father Leonard Mezydlo, pastor emeritus of St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish in Des Plaines, died Nov. 30. He was 85.

A Chicago native, Father Mezydlo was baptized at St. Michael Parish on the city’s South Side. He graduated from St. Michael Elementary School in 1938, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in 1943 and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in 1950. While at Mundelein, Father Mezydlo was on the volleyball, baseball and tennis teams and also played violin in the orchestra.

He was named assistant pastor of St. Constance Parish, where he served until 1960. From 1955 until 1960, he served as spiritual guidance counselor at Chicago’s St. Patrick High School. Between 1960 and 1961, Father Mezydlo served as associate pastor of Summit’s St. Joseph Parish, before serving five years as assistant pastor of Chicago’s St. Casimir Parish.

Father Mezydlo fulfilled a sixyear assignment as assistant pastor of Five Holy Martyrs Parish that began in June 1966, then served as assistant pastor of the now-closed St. Columbkille Parish from 1972-74. Between 1972 and 1980, he also served as chaplain at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and Medical Center as well as at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. In 1980, Father Mezydlo was appointed pastor of Des Plaines’ St. Stephen Protomartyr Parish, where he served until his retirement in 1993, when he was named pastor emeritus.

He is survived by a brother, Eugene and a sister, Rosemary, and several nieces and nephews.

Fr. Edwin Bohula


He baked cakes, loved balloons and wore a beretta. He was larger than life to those he served. He knew what it was like to celebrate Mass in a submarine, flying in a C5A to Vietnam or in a foxhole. That’s probably why, after 28 years in the military, he enjoyed coming out of “retirement” to serve in the oldest parish in the archdiocese, with the smallest church, St. James at Sag Bridge. He called it “The Jewel of the Archdiocese.” It was the last of his many “tours of duty” for the Lord.

He died Dec. 2 at age 77.

Father Edwin Bohula entered St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, from St. Salomea Elementary School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He was ordained by Cardinal Samuel Stritch in 1955.

His first assignments were at Immaculate Conception Parish in South Chicago, 1955-1959, and St. Fidelis Parish 1959-1964. He entered chaplain school in Newport, R.I., in 1964 and after graduation was sent to Vietnam, where he served three tours of duty. He served as unit, base, force and command chaplain and earned 18 service medals, including the Navy/Marine Corps medal for heroism. He retired as a captain.

While stationed in Spain and then Hawaii, he became an accomplished chef. With Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s permission, he retired in Hawaii and moved back to the archdiocese. After volunteering at St. James from 1991- 94, Cardinal Bernardin appointed him pastor in 1995. Cardinal George accepted his retirement in 2003.

A sister, Pauline, and brother, Joseph, survive Fr. Bohula.

Sr. Alicia Miller


Sister Alicia Miller, a Daughter of Charity, died Oct. 29 at Anna House in St. Louis. She was born in New Orleans and was baptized Margaret Augusta.

She entered the community of the Daughters of Charity in 1930 at Normandy, Mo., and a year later began work at St. Patrick High School in Chicago, where she spent eight of the 33 years she was to teach.

From 1964-1994, she worked in Normandy in various administration roles at Marillac College and at the Provincial House. She retired in 1994.

Her sister, Alice Gelpi, survives her.

Sr. Joan Schmid


Dominican Sister Joan Schmid (Barthélemy), 75, died Nov. 6 at the Dominican Motherhouse, Sinsinawa, Wis. She was born in Minneapolis and made her first religious profession in 1960.

Her ministry spanned 47 years in elementary and secondary education, development, ecumenical and pastoral ministries, grant writing/research and as secretary of the congregation. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Joan taught at St. Thomas More (1962- 1966).