Rev. Gerardo M. García G., O.S.A. (1924 - 2007)
Rev. Gerardo M. García G., O.S.A. entered eternal life on July 19, 2007, following a lengthy illness.
Gerardo M. García García was born on November 12, 1924 to Miguel B. García V. and María Dominga García B. in Ecuador, South America.
He received his primary and secondary education in Santiago, Ecuador, and worked there at several jobs, including barber, tailor and teacher. He was a Jesuit Brother in Ecuador for a few years.
Gerardo was received into the Augustinian Novitiate in Ecuador on September 21, 1961. He professed simple vows in the Order of Saint Augustine on September 22, 1962 and solemn vows on September 4, 1965. He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1969.
Gerardo was sent to the United States by the Augustinian Province of Ecuador for studies. He earned a B.A. in 1966 from Tolentine College, the Augustinian Major Seminary in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He also did his theological studies at Tolentine College.
After his ordination and completion of the program of theological studies, Father García returned to Ecuador, where he did parish work in Salinas-Lita, Ibarra. He served as a member of the Council of his Ecuadorian Province from 1971 to 1976, was Director of Novices there in 1973 and 1974, and Province Bookkeeper from 1976 to 1980.
Father García was granted a leave of absence by the Augustinian Province of Ecuador in 1982. During this time, he did priestly ministry at San Felipe Parish, Tepic Nayarit, Mexico (1982-83); at Our Lady of Grace Parish, Chicago (1983-86); at Maternity B.V.M. Parish, Chicago (1986); and at Epiphany Parish, Chicago (1986-87). He was also a part-time chaplain at Saint Anthony Hospital, Chicago, in 1986 and 1987.
In 1987, Father García returned from his leave of absence. He requested to change his affiliation from the Augustinian Province of Ecuador to the Province of the Midwestern United States. This change became effective in 1989. Father García resided in the Augustinian community of Saint Rita of Cascia Parish, Chicago. He continued his chaplaincy at Saint Anthony Hospital until he was appointed Associate Pastor of Saint Rita in 1988.
Father García was given permission to live and minister at Saint Joseph Parish, Waukegan, Illinois, where he worked from 1991 to 1996.
In 1996, he moved to Saint Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago, where he was semi-retired. There he provided sacramental ministry as needed. He also provided sacramental ministry at Saint Adrian Parish, Chicago, during this time.
Father García retired in 2001 to Our Lady of Grace Community at Marian Village, Homer Glen, Illinois. In 2003, he moved to Saint Rita Parish, Chicago. During these years, he continued to provide sacramental ministry at various locations.
In 2005, he was assigned to the Assisted Living Program at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields. Because of deteriorating health, Father García received care in nursing homes during the last two years of his life. He was at Crestwood Care Center, Midlothian, Illinois, at the time of his death.
Father García is remembered for his love for his native Ecuador, as well as for his sense of humor and love of puns. Members of the parishes where he labored appreciated his sensitive and caring ministry. He entered into the lives of the people he served in order to make their lives better.
He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.