Sunday, 09 August 2020 16:47

Msgr. Holinga, diocesan priest for 46 years, passes away

Holinga Thomas 267Msgr. Thomas P. Holinga, 71, pastor emeritus and senior priest of St. Peter Parish in Petersburg and Holy Family Parish in Athens, died on July 22, at his residence.

Born in Springfield on Aug. 13, 1948 to John and Anne Marie Lebel Holinga, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on May 25, 1974. He received the Papal Honor of Chaplain to His Holiness (Monsignor) on Feb. 19, 2002.

Msgr. Holinga served as assistant (parochial vicar) of several parishes in the Springfield diocese, including St. Peter Parish in Quincy, St. Anthony Parish in Effingham, Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Alton, and Little Flower Parish in Springfield. In 1995, he was parochial administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, both in Springfield. Over the years, he was pastor at St. Mary Parish in Greenview, St. Peter Parish in Petersburg, St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, Holy Cross Parish in Auburn, St. Patrick Parish in Girard, and Sacred Heart Parish in Virden. He spent the last five years of his active ministry as pastor of St. Peter in Petersburg and Holy Family in Athens.

Additionally, Msgr. Holinga was director of the Office for Vocations from 1984 to 1988 and then Vicar General and Director for Clergy Personnel from 1989 to 2001. He was Dean of the Springfield Deanery from 2005 to 2011.

Msgr. Holinga is survived by his brother, Michael (wife, Donna) Holinga; sister, Sue Cobb; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A private funeral Mass was held on July 27 at St. Peter Parish in Petersburg. The Mass was celebrated by Father Richard Chiola and Father Paul Habing was the homilist. A private burial took place at Auburn Cemetery. Plans for a memorial Mass for the presbyterate are forthcoming.

Memorial donations may be made to the Commission for Priests’ Benefits, c/o The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, 1615 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62702.

The family of Msgr. Holing was served by Butler Funeral Home-Springfield. Please visit to offer your condolences.