The Rev. Eugene J. Faucher ~ 1925-2012
By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald correspondent
A longtime Catholic priest, who served at two Northwest suburban parishes during his 61 years in the priesthood, has died.
Fr. Eugene Faucher, a senior priest in residence at St. Edna Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, passed away on Sunday. He was 86.
"He was the happiest, most loving priest," said Fr. Jerry Jacob, pastor at St. Edna's. "He loved being a priest, he loved saying Mass and he loved ministry and preaching."
In fact, he preached his last homily on May 3 at St. Edna's, on the 61st anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Faucher's first assignment at a parish was in 1967 to St. Colette's in Rolling Meadows. He served there for six years, and also helped teach religion and lead retreats at Sacred Heart of Mary High School, whose campus was adjacent to St. Colette.
Fr. Brian Simpson remembers arriving at St. Colette in 1972 as a newly ordained priest and serving on staff with Fr. Faucher.
"He had a bout with tuberculosis before he came and lost a lung, so his voice always sounded sort of frail," says Fr. Simpson, who returned to St. Colette in his retirement. "But his voice was a fooler. He had this incredible energy and his real love of people was obvious in everything he did."
Simpson recalls Faucher's last year at St. Colette, when it seemed as if he helped to minister to the entire city of Rolling Meadows. There was a double murder in March of 1973, when a mother killed her two daughters, and later that spring a student at Rolling Meadows High School shot his girlfriend.
"It was a difficult time for the parish, but (Fr. Faucher) was such a comforting presence," Simpson added. "He had a great way of reaching people and making them feel he was sharing in their experience." Fr. Faucher later served as an assistant pastor at St. Bernadine Church in Forest Park and at St. Martha's Church in Morton Grove, where he was pastor for 20 years before retiring in 1995.
He spent his retirement years at St. Edna, at the invitation of his longtime friend, Fr. John Hurley, a former pastor. He also helped out at Addolorata Senior Living Community in Wheeling.
Visitation will take place at 11 a.m. today before a 2 p.m. funeral Mass, all at St Edna Church, 2525 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. Bishop George Rassas will be the main celebrant, with Fr. Jacob delivering the homily.