Fr. Marchulones, 82, dies; longtime pastor in East Peoria, was principal of 3 schools

Father Kenneth Marchulones

A funeral Mass will be offered at St. Monica Church in East Peoria at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, for Father Kenneth Marchulones, who served as pastor of the East Peoria parish for 26 years and is a former principal of three Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Peoria.

Father Marchulones, who has been on senior status since 2010, died in Peoria on Friday, July 29, 2022. He was 82.

Bishop Louis Tylka will be principal celebrant of the funeral Mass. Bishop Emeritus Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, is the scheduled homilist.

Visitation will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4, at St. Monica Church, 303 Campanile Dr. in East Peoria.

A private family burial is planned for a later date.


Born Feb. 24, 1940, in Peoria to John and Marie (Stenger) Marchulones, he attended St. Boniface School on the city’s south side and Spalding Institute. He went on to St. Bede College in Peru for one year, then studied philosophy and theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

While at St. Paul, he had the opportunity to become involved in a master’s program in education at St. Thomas College. That training would shape the early years of his priesthood.

Father Marchulones was ordained on May 23, 1965, by Bishop John B. Franz at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, and was named parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Westville. .

In 1967, he was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Danville and the faculty of Schlarman High School. The next year, Father Marchulones became Schlarman’s principal. He would later serve as principal of Marquette High School in Ottawa from 1974 to 1979, and as principal of the former Bergan High School in Peoria from 1979 to 1984.

“When I was a principal I think I taught everything but girls PE, one day or another,” Father Marchulones told The Catholic Post in 2015 as he observed the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Latin was a favorite subject.

“To get out of the office and into the classroom for an hour — it was a release from administrative things,” he said.


In 1984, Father Marchulones was appointed pastor of St. Monica Parish in East Peoria. It would be his first and only assignment as a pastor.

His background as a school administrator taught him to surround himself with “good, competent people,” which he found at St. Monica’s, a parish he labeled “a great community.”

Among the activities that brought him joy as a parish priest was receiving new Catholics into the church at the Easter Vigil and baptizing babies.

After receiving senior status in 2010, Father Marchulones moved to downtown Peoria and continued to assist in parishes around the diocese and to volunteer in the community. He enjoyed traveling and was able to tour and visit much of the world. In addition to his love of travel, Father Marchulones was also a licensed small aircraft pilot.

He is survived by two siblings, Joseph (Diann) Marchulones of Metamora and Mary (Don) Polson of Arizona; a sister-in-law, Judy Marchulones; and seven nieces and nephews — Chris Marchulones, Jamie (Matt) Hallam, Brian (Heather) Marchulones, Stacey (Damien) Bessert, David (Sara) Marchulones, Tim (Leigh) Polson, and Shelley (Ric) Reyna.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, William Marchulones; and a niece, Kathy Marchulones.

Memorials may be made to Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.

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