Reverend William P. Collins, a priest of our diocese for the past 60 years, died Dec. 31, 2016 at Presence Cor Mariae Center, Rockford, where he was a resident. Father was born on August 17, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois, to Thomas Collins and Katherine Kennedy Collins.
Father Collins was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956, by The Most Reverend Martin McNamara, Bishop of Joliet, at St. Joseph Church in Aurora.
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, January 6, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church Street, Rockford. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 5th at the church with rosary at 7:30 p.m. and visitation from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the church prior to the Mass. Private interment will be at St. Mary Cemetery, Evergreen Park on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
He attended Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Chicago, St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, then St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein. Father’s first assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Church, McHenry. His other assignments were as Parochial Vicar at St. Edward Church, Rockford; Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Aurora; Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford; Pastor of St. Wendelin Church, Shannon; Director of the Cursillo Movement; Director of Catholic Information and Counseling; Moderator and Chaplain of the Interracial Council and Catholic Inner-City Ministry; Pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Church, Rockford; Director of the Legion of Mary and all Marian Programs for the Diocese; Pastor of St. Mary Church, Rockford; Pastor of St. Patrick Church, Rockford. Father retired from active ministry in May, 2002, but continued his ministry to protect women who had been sexually abused.
Father is survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He is predeceased by his parents, sisters Julie Condon, Ann Murray, Kathleen Quinn and brother Thomas.