Mary Jule Greeley Durkin, pastoral theologian, author, mother of 7 and grandmother of 18 died on November 29, 2017 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mrs. Durkin was a native of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and longtime resident of Park Ridge, IL where she and her husband Jack raised their children.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from Mundelein College in 1956. In 1965, she was the first woman admitted to the Christian Theology graduate program at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she received her Master of Arts Degree and her Doctorate of Ministry. She held faculty positions at DePaul University Department of Religious Studies and The School for New Learning, was a Visiting Faculty member at Loyola University of Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies, and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director Office for Moral and Religious Education at University of Dayton.
Mary authored 10 books including Suburban Women: Their Changing Role in the Catholic Church, Marital Intimacy: A Catholic Perspective and Making Your Family Work. She also co-authored a number of books with her brother Fr. Andrew M Greeley most notably How to Save the Catholic Church, Angry Catholic Women, and The Book of Love: A Treasury Inspired by the Greatest of Virtues.
Along with her husband, Mary Jule was active in many Chicago Catholic Organizations including CANA Conference of Chicago and Chicago Area Lay Movement (CALM). In the 1960s she founded Ladies Theology, an educational and speaker series. She was also instrumental in the revitalization of Old St Patrick’s Church.
As the grandchild of famine surviving Irish immigrants and devotee of Catholic Social Justice ideals, Mary Jule supported the efforts of ConcernUSA, a global humanitarian organization.
According to her daughter Julie Durkin Montague, “In addition to her academic and literary accomplishments, Mom was the consummate party planner, seamstress and advice giver. She had an amazing ability to balance her professional life with being a wife, mom, grandmother and friend.”
Mary Jule was preceded in death by late John "Jack" Durkin; She was the loving mother of Laura (Brian Friedler) Durkin, Julie (Wayne) Montague, Eileen (John Goebelbecker) Durkin, Sean (Molly) Durkin, Daniel Durkin, Anne Durkin and Elizabeth (Patrick Murphy) Durkin; fond grandmother of Kyle Friedler, Andrew, Neil and Liam Montague, Nora, Brigit, Sean, Roisin and Colum Goebelbecker, Jack and Patrick Durkin, Katie (Paul Glatt), Krissy and Kelly Durkin, Conor, Eoin, Sheila and Anna Murphy; dear sister of the late Rev. Andrew M. and Grace Anne Greeley; cherished sister-in-law of Maureen (Ted) Lucore, Peggy (Terry) Becker and the late Marty (the late Marcianne) Durkin; beloved daughter of the late Andrew and Grace; fond aunt of many nieces and nephews.
Visitation Monday 3-9PM at Gibbons Family Funeral Home 5917 W. Irving Park RD (½ Block East of Austin) and Tuesday 4:45 PM until time of Mass of the Resurrection 6 PM at Old St. Patrick’s Church (Adams & Des Plaines). Family and friends will meet Wednesday 10 AM at Gibbons Family Funeral Home and will process to Queen of Heaven Cemetery for interment.