Former Arlington Heights pastor dies

  • The Rev. Peter Bowman, a former pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, passed away over the weekend.

    The Rev. Peter Bowman, a former pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, passed away over the weekend.

 
 
Updated 4/18/2011 10:15 AM

Longtime pastor of Arlington Heights' St. James Church and onetime high-ranking administrator in the Chicago Archdiocese Rev. R. Peter Bowman passed away over the weekend.

Bowman, who is credited with leading the St. James parish as it grew exponentially during his 17-year tenure, died Saturday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He was named to a top administrative post in the Chicago Archdiocese in 1995. As Moderator of the Cuia for the archdiocese under Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Bowman became part of a five-member senior administrative team overseeing offices in the archdiocese's pastoral center in Chicago.

Bowman was extremely popular while pastor to about 4,500 families while at St. James in Arlington Heights. He received a standing ovation at a special mass celebrating the church's 100th anniversary and is credited with being the driving force as the parish doubled in size over a 30 year period.

Parishioners and clergy were shocked in 2001 when Bowman was accused of sexual misconduct. In 2002 Bowman was removed from public ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy while he was an associate pastor at St. Denis on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s.

Bowman was ordained in 1955 and had served in Chicago area parishes until 1978 when he became pastor at St. James.

Visitation is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Holy Family Villa, 12220 S. Will Cook Road, Palos Park. Visitation also will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday morning in the Mausoleum Chapel at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Road, Hillside.

A funeral Mass will take place following Tuesday's visitation at Queen of Heaven.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bowman's favorite charity, the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607.