Chicagoland

Archdiocesan priests celebrate silver and golden anniversaries

By Chicago Catholic
May 8, 2019

Priests join Cardinal Cupich in renewing their commitment to priestly service during the chrism Mass at St. John Brebeuf Church in Niles on April 16, 2019. Priests around the world renew these promises each year during the chrism Mass, which is traditionally celebrated on Holy Thursday. During the chrism Mass, the cardinal blesses three oils which are used throughout the year in sacraments and other rituals. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

Each year we honor the archdiocesan priests celebrating special jubilees. They have dedicated themselves to serving the Lord through his church in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and they often wear many hats, such as administrator, maintenance man, cook, accountant, friend. They have been parish priests, but also teachers, chaplains and counselors. Chicago Catholic congratulates and thanks them.

50 years

Father Michael P. Ahlstrom, 77, was associate pastor of St. Bernadette, Evergreen Park (1969-1975); St. Gertrude, Franklin Park (1975-1981); Mary Seat of Wisdom, Park Ridge (1981-1987); and Immaculate Heart of Mary (1987-1989). He was pastor of St. Colette, Rolling Meadows (1989-2003). From 2003-2013, he was a spiritual director at Mundelein Seminary and vicar for deacons. He has resided at St. Barbara, Brookfield, since 2003. He also has served as associate director of the Office for Divine Worship; instructor and chairman of the board of the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein; instructor in medical ethics, Little Company of Mary School of Nursing; priest presenter for Engaged Encounter and Marriage Encounter; pastor in residence and liturgy instructor at Mundelein Seminary; board member of Chicago Studies; instructor in the deacon formation and lay ministry programs; member of the Annual Catholic Appeal board; and member of Catholic Charities’ Parish Outreach Committee.

Monsignor John Canary, 76, was born in Chicago and attended Christ the King School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a doctorate in pastoral theology. He served as associate pastor of St. Irenaeus, Park Forest (1969-1972). He was a faculty member at Niles College (1972-1975) and Mundelein Seminary (1975-1992), vicar for priests (1992-1995), rector of Mundelein Seminary (1995-2006) and vicar general of the archdiocese (2006-2013).

Father Bronislaw Chmiel, 75, was born in Poland. He was educated and ordained there. He ministered in Poland and Brazil before coming to Chicago. He was associate pastor of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Lemont (1985-1994) before being incardinated into the archdiocese in 1994. He was associate pastor of St. Constance (1994-1995) before being named pastor of St. Helen (1995-2001). He was named pastor of St. Pancratius Parish in 2002.

Father Joseph C. Curtis, 75, was born in Oak Park. He attended St. James School, Maywood; Quigley Preparatory Seminary; and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He served as associate pastor of St. Thecla (1969-1975); Santa Maria del Popolo, Mundelein (1975-1980); and Our Lady of Humility, Beach Park (1980-1984). He was pastor of Our Lady of Humility (1984-1997) and St. Mary of Vernon, Indian Creek (1998-2019).

Father Edward D. Gleeson, 76, was born in Evergreen Park and attended Christ the King School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He served as associate pastor of St. George, Tinley Park (1969-1972); St. Kilian (1972-1978); and Sts. Peter and Paul (1978-1979). He was chaplain for several nursing homes (1979-1989), administrator at Assumption BVM/St. Catherine of Genoa (1989-2003); and pastor of Holy Cross (69th Street) (1979-1990) and St. James, Lemont (2003-2013). He is retired and lives at Franciscan Village, Lemont.

Father Robert J. Heidenreich, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Andrew School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a doctorate in pastoral theology. After being ordained, he was associate pastor of St. Martha, Morton Grove (1969-1974); St. Joseph, Libertyville (1974-1979); St. Zachary, Des Plaines (1982-1983); and St. Edna, Arlington Heights (1983-1991). He resided at Our Lady Help of Christians (1979-1982) while serving as executive secretary of the Clergy Personnel Board (1979-1983). He was pastor of St. Benedict (Irving Park Road) (1991-2005), and Sacred Heart, Winnetka (2006-2014). He also served as associate director of the Center for Pastoral Ministry (1984-1990) and as the archbishop’s delegate for extern and international priests (2014-2015) and serves as coordinator of ministerial review and other priests’ programs (2015-present).

Bishop Francis J. Kane, 76, was born in Chicago and attended Our Lady of Peace School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. John Fisher (1969-1975) and St. Nicholas of Tolentine (1975-1979). He was associate director of the Center for Pastoral Ministry (1973-1983), director of the Office for the Ministry of Peace and Justice (1979-1985) and director of the Department of Evangelization and Christian Life (1982-1993). He was pastor of St. Joseph, Wilmette, and dean of Deanery A of Vicariate II (1993-2003). He was ordained a bishop in 2003 and served as the vicar for Vicariate II. He also was the episcopal liaison to the Annual Catholic Appeal (2003-2018), the Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry (2003-2018) and the Office of Asian Catholics (2011-2014). He served on the St. Joseph College Seminary board of directors (2004-2018) and was general chairman of the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign (2012-2015). He served as vicar general of the archdiocese 2013-2015. He also has served on several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Father Valerian Laini, 77, was born in Moshi, Tanzania. He attended St. Joseph School and St. James Seminary there before attending the Propagation of the Faith College in Rome. He holds a doctorate in communications from Northwestern University. He ministered until 1986 in Tanzania. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was associate pastor of St. Mary, Evanston (1986-2000), and St. Joseph, Libertyville (2000-2012). He ministered as a retired priest at Our Lady of Humility, Beach Park (2012-2014).

Father Kenneth Kiepura, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Kilian School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of Queen of All Saints (1969-1976) and Immaculate Heart of Mary (1977-1982). He served at St. Mary, Buffalo Grove, as associate pastor, administrator and pastor (1982-1999), before serving as associate pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation, Mundelein (2000-2002), and St. Joseph, Libertyville (2002-2013).

Father Medard P. Laz, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Peter Canisius School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of Our Lady of the Brook, Northbrook (1969-1974); St. Francis Borgia (1974-1979); and Our Lady, Mother of the Church (1980-1984); a member of the ministry team at the Ford City Catholic Community (1979-1980); and founding pastor of Holy Family, Inverness (1984-1995). He served as administrator of Our Lady of Charity, Cicero (1996-1999). He was co-founder of Rainbows, a support group for children in single-parent homes, and founder of Joyful Again!, a retreat for the widowed.

Father Thomas Libera, 77, was associate pastor of St. Ladislaus (1969-1976); St. Eulalia, Maywood (1976-1983); and Our Lady of Mercy (1983-1984). He was pastor of Resurrection (1984-1988) while residing at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. He was associate pastor of Our Lady pf the Woods, Orland Park (1995-1998) and then pastor of St. Athanasius, Evanston (1998-2012), and he is pastor emeritus there. Since he retired, he has been administrator of St. Martin de Porres (2012-2013); St. Joan of Arc, Evanston (2013-2014) and St. Matthias (2018).

Father Matthias E. Lorenz, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Agnes of Bohemia School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University; and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a doctorate in bioethics and medical ethics. He was associate pastor of St. Gregory (1969-1972) and St. Agnes (1972-1980). He also served at De La Salle Institute; as director of pastoral care and chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital; was a teacher and dorm counselor at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois; was an adjunct professor at DePaul University; and was a visiting professor and Newman Center associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Father Steven W. Patte, 75, was born in Chicago and attended Resurrection School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of Holy Name Cathedral (1969-1971); St. Joseph, Wilmette (1971-1976); Church of the Holy Spirit, Schaumburg (1976-1978); St. Zachary, Des Plaines (1978-1983); and St. Joseph, Round Lake (1983-1986). He was pastor of St. Helena of the Cross (1986-1996) and St. Ita (1998-2004), and he served as administrator of St. George (Ewing Avenue) (2014-2017). 

Father Leon J. Rezula, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Pascal School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University; and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. Ansgar, Hanover Park (1969-1972); St. Angela (1972-1978); St. Julian Eymard, Elk Grove Village (1978-1980); St. John the Evangelist, Streamwood (1980-1984); Ascension, Oak Park (1984-1990); St. Thecla (1991-1999); and Divine Providence, Westchester (1999). He was pastor of St. Julian Eymard (1999-2015). 

Father Richard E. Sztorc, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. John Bosco School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. John Berchmans (1969-1974); St. Martha, Morton Grove (1974-1980); St. Ann, Lansing (1980-1985); and Our Lady of the Brook, Northbrook (1985-1993). He was pastor of Our Lady of the Brook (1993-2004). He was associate pastor of St. Athanasius, Evanston (2005-2011); and St. Mary, Buffalo Grove (2011-present), where he continues to minister despite having retired in 2012. He was also supervisor of seminary deacons (1974-1980), was on the principal interview board for the Office of Catholic Schools (1981-1985) and participated in Catholic-Jewish-Muslim interfaith dialogues (1994-2004).

Father Raymond J. Tillrock, 78, was born in Chicago and attended St. Mary of Mount Carmel School, St. Rita High School, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. Francis Xavier, Wilmette (1969-1974); and St. Mary of Celle, Berwyn (1979-1987). He was on the faculty of Niles College Seminary (1974-1979). He was pastor of St. Barnabas (1987-2007) and now is pastor emeritus.

Father Edward Upton, 75, was born in Chicago and attended St. Helena of the Cross School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He holds a doctorate in pastoral ministry. He served as associate pastor of St. Alexander, Palos Heights (1969-1975); and St. Fabian, Bridgeview (1975-1978). He was a faculty member and director of interns at Mundelein Seminary (1978-1990), and then founding pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Orland Park (1990-2013), where he has been pastor emeritus since 2013.

Father Joseph J. Wojcik, 77, was born in Chicago and attended St. Hyacinth School, Weber High School, St. Louis University and the Jesuit School of Theology in St. Louis, and was ordained a priest as part of the Resurrectionist religious congregation. He was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1993. He has a master’s degree in educational psychology. He taught at Weber High School (1969-1971); was a guidance counselor at Gordon Technical High School (1971-1978 and 1984-1988); was pastor of Resurrection Parish in Fontana, California (1978-1984). While in California, he was a religious superior (1978-1981) and judge in the San Bernardino Matrimonial Court (1981-1984). In Chicago, he was associate pastor of St. Mary of the Angels (1988-1989); St. Gall (1990-1991); St. Turibius (1991-1993); St. Joseph, Libertyville (1993-1994) and Divine Providence, Westchester (1994-1999). He was a guidance counselor at Archbishop Quigley High School Seminary (1999-2002) while residing at St. Andrew Parish. He was pastor of St. Jane de Chantal (2002-2007) and then associate pastor of St. Louise de Marillac Parish (2007-2012).

Father William J. Zavaski, 75, was born in Waukegan. He attended St. Bartholomew School, Waukegan; Quigley Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. James, Arlington Heights (1969-1976); and St. Zachary, Des Plaines (1976-1979). He was pastor of St. Bartholomew, Waukegan (1979-1990); Transfiguration, Wauconda (1990-1995); and St. James, Arlington Heights (1995-2014), where he is now pastor emeritus. He also was dean for Lake County (1985-1995) and for the northwest suburbs (1998-2012).

 

25 years

Father John Atoyebi, 57, was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He attended primary and secondary school there and undergraduate seminary in Nigeria and Rome before coming to the United States, studying at a seminary in Texas and then entering the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. Benedict, Blue Island (1994-1999), and has been pastor of St. Clotilde since 1999. He was also pastor of Holy Angels (2006-2012) and St. Helena of the Cross (2013-2014). He was the first Nigerian ordained in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Bishop Mark Bartosic, 57, was born in Neenah, Wisconsin. He attended Edison Elementary School, Ashland High School and Ashland College, all in Ashland, Ohio; and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a bachelor’s degree in theater. He was associate pastor (1994-1999) and administrator (1999-2000) at St. Agnes of Bohemia; pastor of St. Francis of Rome (2001-2016) and Our Lady of Charity (2009-2016), both in Cicero; and pastor of Assumption BVM and director of Kolbe House Jail Ministry (2016-2018). He was ordained a bishop in 2018 and serves as vicar for Vicariate II.

Father Thomas Bernas, 61, was born in Chicago and attended St. Pancratius School, Quigley South High School and Loyola University Chicago. He worked for Jewel-Osco for 15 years before entering the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. Symphorosa (1994-1997) and St. Barbara, Brookfield (1997-1998). He was administrator (1998-1999) and then pastor of St. Richard (1999-2012), and pastor of St. Rene Goupil (2012-2018) before being named pastor of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, Tinley Park.

Bishop Robert G. Casey, 51, was born in Evergreen Park. He attended Stony Creek Elementary, Prairie Junior High, Marist High School, Niles College of Loyola University and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was associate pastor of St. Ita (1994-1999), director of Casa Jesus (1999-2003) and pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac (2003-2009); St. Barbara, Brookfield (2009-2016); and St. Bede the Venerable (2016-2018). He was ordained a bishop in 2018 and serves as the vicar for Vicariate III.

Bishop Ronald Hicks, 51, was born in Harvey. He attended St. Jude the Apostle School, Quigley South, Niles College of Loyola University and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a doctorate in ministry. After ordination, he was associate pastor of Our Lady of Mercy (1994-1996) and St. Elizabeth Seton, Orland Hills (1996-1999). He was dean of formation at St. Joseph College Seminary (1999-2005), before serving as Central American regional director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in El Salvador (2005-2010). He served as dean of formation at Mundelein Seminary (2010-2015) until being appointed vicar general of the archdiocese, a position he still holds. He was ordained a bishop in 2018.

Father Terry Johnson, 65, was born in Chicago Heights and attended St. Lawrence O’Toole School, Matteson; Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights; St. Xavier University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He served as associate pastor of St. Christopher, Midlothian (1994-1999); and St. Francis Xavier, La Grange (2002-2004); was on the formation team at Mundelein Seminary (1999-2007); and pastor of St. Irenaeus, Park Forest (2009-present). He also served in the Office of Catechesis (1999-2002) and as the director of the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program at Catholic Theological Union (2004-2009).

Father Slawomir Adam Kurc, 50, was born in Poland. He attended primary and secondary school in Ropczyce, Poland, and seminary in Przemysl, Poland, before being ordained for the Diocese of Rzeszow. He was a hospital chaplain in Gorlice, Poland (1994) and a priest working with young people at the Our Lady of Trust sanctuary and All Saints Parish in Kolbuszowa (1997-2000). He developed new youth groups at St. Hedwig Queen of Poland Parish (2000-2002) and was director of a Catholic radio station in Rzeszow and chaplain for the Rzeszow Police Department (2002-2004); he has ministered since 2005 at St. Daniel the Prophet Parish, where he is now associate pastor. He also celebrated Sunday Masses at St. Turibius (2007-2015).

Father Daniel W. Long, 58, was incardinated into the archdiocese in 2007. He has been administrator and pastor of Epiphany Parish since then.

 

 

Father Alejandro Marca Mansilla, 51, was born in Lima, Peru. He was educated and ordained in Peru and ministered there until 2006. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was associate pastor of St. Victor, Calumet City (2007-2012); St. Mary Star of the Sea (2012-2014); St. Agnes of Bohemia (2014-2016); and St. Odilo, Berwyn (2016-2018). He now is administrator of Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish.

Father Michael McGovern, 54, was born in Evergreen Park. He attended Christ the King School, St. Ignatius College Prep, Loyola University Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was a resident at Immaculate Conception, Highland Park (1994-1995); associate pastor of Queen of the Universe (1995-1998) and St. Mary, Lake Forest (1998-2000). At the same time, he was associate chancellor (1998-1999) and vice chancellor (1999-2001) of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He resided at St. Clement (2000-2001) and Holy Name Cathedral (2001-2002) while serving as the archbishop’s delegate for extern and international priests (2001-2002). He was associate pastor of St. Juliana (2003-2004) before being named pastor of St. Mary, Lake Forest (2004-2016). He has served as pastor of St. Raphael, Old Mill Creek, since 2016. He also has been the delegate for lay ecclesial movements, for Syro-Malabar Catholics and for Syro-Malankara Catholics; and dean of Deanery C (2008-2016) and Deanery A (2016-present) of Vicariate I, and he was a trustee of St. Ignatius College Prep (2013-2019).

Father Thomas Refermat, 50, was born in Chicago. He attended Queen of Martyrs School, Evergreen Park; Marist High School; Niles College of Loyola University; and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has a master’s degree in mathematics. He was associate pastor of St. Gilbert, Grayslake (1994-2000); and St. Cornelius (2000-2004). He was pastor of St. John Vianney, Northlake (2004-2016). He served as the archbishop’s delegate for extern and international priests and vicar for clergy (2016-2018) and now is associate pastor of St. Benedict (Irving Park Road).

Father Grzegorz Warmuz, 53, was born in Nowytarg, Poland, and attended elementary and secondary school there. He attended seminary in Katowice, Poland. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was associate pastor of St. Florian (1996-1999); St. Odilo, Berwyn (1999-2001); St. Fabian, Bridgeview (2001-2007); St. Priscilla (2007-2009); and St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, Tinley Park (2009-2018). He has been pastor of St. Fabian since 2018.

 

Topics:

  • priests
  • retired priests

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