The name on the building at 40 E. Burlington St. in Riverside says “Lyne Pastoral Center.” What’s Lyne? Wasn’t that building a bank? Yes, it was MidAmerica Bank and then PNC Bank, and now it is the pastoral center – the parish office — for St. Mary Church, where good things are happening.
The Lyne on the sign was the late Bishop Timothy Joseph Lyne, the son of Irish immigrant parents, born on March 21, 1919. He had two brothers and a sister, was educated in the Chicago Archdiocese Catholic Schools, and attended Quigley Seminary and Mundelein College leading to his ordination as a priest on May 1, 1943.
His first assignment was St. Mary Church in Riverside, where he was an associate priest to the Father William Murphy, the pastor. To see them was reminiscent of the movie “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald.
At the time St. Mary’s comprised the church and attached school building. Across the street sat the rectory for the priests and the convent for the nuns who taught at the school. Both were old Victorian buildings.
In no time, young Father Lyne began to ingratiate himself with his new parishioners and the community. First, he focused on the school, constructing a new school building joined to the original by a breezeway, since removed. He requested there be no tuition increase but asked parishioners to contribute to the support of the school.
Every year he would give the parish financial report, always apologizing for any requests for money. He was the life of the parish while always being respectful of his boss, Father Murphy.
When Father Murphy’s passed, it was believed Father. Lyne would be pastor, but it didn’t happen, much to the disappointment of all. So after 19 years, he was assigned to St. Edmund Church in Oak Park, where he was associate pastor from 1962-66. His next assignment was Holy Name Cathedral as associate pastor from 1966 to 1967 and then its pastor until 1990. In 1983, he was named Bishop Lyne.
But, Bishop Lyne never really left St. Mary’s. He kept in touch with his many friends and returned for many occasions, including the rededication of the church in 2003, after its renovation.
Because he always remembered everyone’s name, a group of present and past parishioners wanted Bishop Lyne remembered at his first parish. It also gave newer parishioners a chance to know the young priest with the dark wavy hair, smiling eyes and bright smile who left his mark on St. Mary’s. That’s who Lyne is.