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Bishop Timothy Lyne remembered by priests, parishioners at visitation

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Updated: November 1, 2013 10:11AM

Decades ago at a family party, Bishop Timothy Lyne did a double take on a young face he didn’t recognize and wondered for moment if the boy was a nephew who had slipped under his radar.

“He waved me over,” recalled Bishop Lyne’s nephew, Michael Lyne, now 54, but a youngster at the time. “He said, ‘Michael, pssst, come here. Who’s that one there? Is he one of ours?’ And I said, ‘No, he’s not.’ And he was relieved. He thought maybe somehow he’d forgotten one, but he never forgot people.”

It was one of many tales told about Bishop Lyne Sunday during visitation at Holy Name Cathedral.

Bishop Lyne, who died Wednesday at 94 in the nearby rectory bearing his name, lay in a casket near the altar clad in white vestments and miter.

He spent 70 years as a priest in Chicago. He served as pastor of Holy Name from 1967 to 1990, during which time he administered last rites to Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1976.

“He didn’t run the city, he ran people’s hearts and souls,” Michael Lyne said. “And that’s just as important to a good healthy city as the police chief, the fire chief or the mayor.”

Dozens of priests and parishioners attended the visitation.

“I had the honor of posing in a picture with him,” said Annie Jopson, 57, a nurse who seized the photo op last spring at a mass celebrating his 70th year as a priest, the last mass Bishop Lyne presided over. “That felt good.”

Bishop Lyne, who was ordained in 1943 and most recently served as the vicar for senior priests, grew up near Garfield Park on the West Side, the son of a police officer. His parents were Irish immigrants.

His Irish roots were on display always, from his mannerisms to his love for Notre Dame football, friends and family said.

“He was just a world-class Irish gentleman,” said Cathy Gatley, a Holy Name regular.

Cardinal Edward Egan, who retired as archbishop of New York in 2009, a close friend of Bishop Lyne who once lived alongside him at Holy Name, also attended Sunday’s service.

Bishop Lyne celebrated mass until the day before he died, but his nephew could offer no secrets to his longevity.

“God just thought that there was work to be done. And he was the man to do it,” he said.

Cardinal Francis George will celebrate a funeral mass for Bishop Lyne at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Holy Name. Burial will be at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.

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