Quinn, Bill



Quinn, Bill

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One-line bio

Chicago priest, Fr Bill Quinn was a chaplain to the YCW, YCS and CFM movements before becoming executive secretary to the US Bishops Committee on Migrant Workers.


Born in north-west Chicago in 1915, Msgr William J. Quinn was a long time chaplain to the Cardijn movements.

He attended Resurrection School before entering Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He graduated from the University of St. Mary the Lake Seminary in 1941 and was ordained by Cardinal Stritch that year.

After his ordination, he served for five years as an assistant pastor at St. Gall Parish in Chicago before being named chaplain to the Catholic Action Federation, which comprised the Young Christian Workers, the Young Christian Students and the Christian Family Movement. He remained chaplain to these groups for 14 years, from 1946 to 1960.

In 1950, at the request of the State Department, Msgr Quinn spent three months in Germany studying the problems of German youth. He traveled primarily in the Western zone, but also spent some time in Berlin. In 1957, he was a delegate for the Archdiocese of Chicago to the World Congress of the Lay Apostolate in Rome.

Msgr Quinn lectured extensively at universities and colleges throughout the country and was an instructor for a summer in 1959 at the Social Action Institute at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

In 1960, he was appointed Executive Secretary of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee for Migrant Workers. He continued to reside at St. Gall Parish during his seven-year tenure as director of that committee.

In 1962, he was named co-director of the Latin America Bureau of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That bureau was the liaison office between the U.S. bishops and the bishops of Latin America. Its work encompassed coordinating the U.S. Catholic assistance program for the Latin American Church, including the lay volunteer program known as the Papal Volunteers for Latin America (PAVLA).

He attended the Second Vatican Council as a staff member of the National Bishops Committee where he facilitated dialogue between the U.S. Catholic Church and the bishops of Latin America.

In 1967, he became pastor of St Eulalia Parish, and served in that capacity for 19 years, until his retirement in 1986.

He died on 19 November 2004, aged 89.

Country of origin

English USA

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Death date

November 19, 2004

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