Beloved Southwest Side priest moves into new home
By Mitch Dudek Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 10, 2012 9:40PM
The Rev. Daniel Mallette retired Sunday as pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, 9837 S. Throop Street. | John H. White~Sun-Times
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:19PM
Father Dan Mallette finally has a new home.
The 80-year-old Southwest Side Catholic priest, who publicly quarreled with church leaders after being ordered to leave the rectory at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, moved into a private residence in Oak Lawn on Sunday, according to Mallette’s cousin, Kevin Werner.
Church leaders want Mallette — a beloved figure for 35 years at his church in the Longwood Manor neighborhood — to steer clear of the parish for six months to give the pastor who replaced him time to put down roots. Archdiocese officials also say the rectory needs repairs and is unsafe for Mallette, who was brutally beaten during a robbery there earlier this year.
The archdiocese wanted Mallette out by last Monday, but it took him a few extra days to find a place to stay.
Parishioners —many who believe Mallette is being disrespectfully nudged into a retirement home — helped Mallette move books, stacks of letters and framed pictures, including one of the colorful and pugnacious priest’s favorites: a glossy of Mike Ditka with his middle finger raised, said Werner.
Mallette, who signed a one-year lease, will continue to receive 24-hour medical assistance provided by the archdiocese.
Mallette has been working with his friend Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart at the county jail where he counsels inmates.
“On Monday it was the happiest I have seen him in months,” said Werner. “He was talking about writing a book on his life.”