Lester: Convicted priest moving to Mount Prospect parish
Pope Francis has proclaimed 2016 the "Year of Mercy" for Catholics, and that theme is being vividly demonstrated at a Mount Prospect parish.
In the coming weeks, St. Raymond de Penafort parish will begin housing a retired priest who was convicted of theft in 2008 for stealing roughly $40,000 from a Chicago church and using the money on vacations, laptops, massages and personal training sessions.
Cook County prosecutors said the Rev. Steve Patte, who formally retired last year, issued checks and wired money to his personal accounts as reimbursement for expenditures that never occurred. He was sentenced to four years of probation.
Love and support
An announcement in the parish bulletin about Patte's arrival made no mention of the crime, but said he was in need of love and support from parishioners.
Pastor Ed Panek tells me he was asked about bringing Patte on board by a senior priest at St. Raymond, who pointed to the parish's largely empty rectory. "I interviewed him and talked to him twice already," Panek said. "It's something in his past and a bad time in his life."
Panek says Patte attends regular meetings and is in a program to address emotional issues he's being treated for.
"I look at our parish ministry as a kind of mutual thing," Panek said. The church's motto has long been "all are welcome."
Panek says he expects Patte will have a supportive role at the parish that involves saying Mass.
Carl Miller, 17, of Downers Grove, left, has made it his mission to meet every presidential candidate. His grandfather, Art Siml of Wheaton, right, made the signs that Carl takes to events with candidates.
- Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Remember Carl Miller, the Downers Grove teen who's made it his mission to meet every single presidential contender? Well, the Timothy Christian Academy student checked in this week to let me know he's in Iowa working as a Ted Cruz volunteer for caucuses today. Interactions with the Texas senator who he describes as a "friend" include three personal meetings, to date. Miller's met every candidate except Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul.
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The busy kitchen of Tasty Catering in Elk Grove Village.
- Daily Herald file photo
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Open meetings violation
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