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St. Margaret Priest Says Masses at STM

The Rev. Daniel Mallette is hoping to return to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish after being severely beaten last December in his rectory bedroom.

But, in the meantime, the 80-year-old priest has found a home away from home.

Mallette, who is now known as the pastor emeritus at St. Margaret’s, 9800 S. Throop St., has returned to the altar but at another church.

He has been saying Masses at St. Thomas More Church, 2825 W. 81st St.

The Rev. Charles Fanelli, pastor at St. Thomas More, confirmed that Mallette, who is currently living in Oak Lawn, has indeed celebrated Mass at the church the past couple of weeks.

Would Mallette, who has been at St. Margaret’s for 35 years, be asked to stay at St. Thomas More?

ÒNo, just when we need him,” explained Fanelli. ÒI’ve known him for several years. When he was meeting with the Cardinal regarding the situation at St. Margaret’s, I gave him a call and asked if I could help in any way.”

Mallette was awakened nearly a year ago from his sleep by pair of intruders who demanded money. When the priest did not respond quickly enough, they began beating him. They left with some money. One of the offenders reportedly asked the priest to pray for him, for which he did.

He reportedly suffered several broken ribs and contusions to his head. While he is frail and needs caregivers 24 hours a day, Mallette is still mentally sharp and known for a sharp tongue and a sense of humor.

But since his long recovery, Cardinal Francis George has since appointed a new pastor, the Rev. William O’Donnell, to take his place. Mallette would serve as pastor emeritus.

However, the transition has not gone smoothly as some parishioners have said that O’Donnell is not sensitive to their needs and has been disrespectful of Mallette.

Mallette, who has never been at a loss for words, has referred to O’Donnell as a Òpain in the ass.”

The archdiocese has said that Mallette had to leave St. Margaret’s for at least six months, as long-needed repairs were going to be made to the rectory.

Reportedly, he would be welcomed back as long as caregivers were at his side. It was not known if he would continue to say Mass at St. Margaret’s.

But for Fanelli, Mallette is welcome at St. Thomas More anytime. Mallette decided to live in Oak Lawn because he was able to bring his pet Scottish Terrier.

ÒHe has said the last two evening Masses (7 p.m. on Sundays),” said Fanelli. ÒHe is a senior priest, so he is available. Sometimes we need help. So, it’s great that he can help us.”

St. Thomas More also has another senior priest. The Rev. John Frawley, who is in his early 90s, says Mass regularly at St. Thomas More and lives at the parish.

The word of Mallette celebrating Mass at St. Thomas More has been spreading. He has been met by a group of parishioners from St. Margaret’s the past couple of weeks.

So, will Mallette be celebrating future Masses at St. Thomas More?

ÒAbsolutely,” said Fanelli.

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