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Published: Thursday, 1/27/2005

Priesthood was preceded by a career in business

The Rev. Thomas S. Quinn, 70, former communications director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo who became a priest nearly 20 years ago after a business career, died of a heart attack Tuesday in the rectory of Blessed Sacrament Parish, of which he was associate pastor.

He was chaplain of the Ursuline Community in Toledo and taught at St. Francis de Sales High School.

As director of communications from 1999 to 2003, Father Quinn often was the public voice and face of the diocese. Much of his last year was spent responding to inquiries about the sexual abuse scandal. Bishop James Hoffman died Feb. 8, 2003, after 22 years leading the 19-county diocese.

"As spokesman, it certainly hasn't been pleasant," he told The Blade in June, 2003.

He was a graduate of Central Catholic High School, the University of Notre Dame, and was an Army veteran. He was in management at Lasalle's department stores. He later was a member of the administration at Cardinal Stritch High School. He sold real estate and became a branch manager of a realty firm.

He entered a Wisconsin seminary in 1982. He was ordained a priest Nov. 29, 1985.

In the end he had one career, albeit with several faces, said his cousin, the Rev. Martin Donnelly, chaplain of St. Martin de Porres and St. Mary parishes.

"It all had to do with selling, and he wound up selling the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Father Donnelly said.

Father Quinn's combination of business world skills and the maturity of age, "allowed him to help people and have insights that maybe those of us who entered [the priesthood] very young would not have," said the Rev. Robert Reinhart, pastor of Blessed Sacrament.

Father Quinn was Outstanding Young Man of Toledo in 1966 and president of Toledo JayCees in 1968.

For more than a dozen years, he took part in plays staged by the Cathedral Players and the Village Players.

There are no immediate survivors.

The body will be in Coyle Mortuary after 4 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Rosary Cathedral, where the body will be after 9 a.m.



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