Follow Us!

NWICatholic Look for the Summer Fun Guide section inside this weekend's Northwest Indiana Catholic for information on parish fe…
NWICatholic Count your Blessings! With Thanksgiving approaching, our minds are focused on gratitude. Tell us what you are thank…
NWICatholic The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will host a virtual rosary event today on Oct. 7, the Memorial of O…
NWICatholic Bishop McClory encourages Catholics to embrace the Pope's new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. “Our love of God, and His…
NWICatholic Do you have a faith-filled father? Tell us about him in 75 words or less, and your comment may be included in the N…
NWICatholic Friends, please set a reminder to join Bishop McClory via livestream at 12:30 p.m. this Sunday for Mother's Day Fam…
NWICatholic Bishop letter regarding the reopening of public Masses ...

Newly-ordained priest shares passion for ministry with his deacon father

 061721ordination fatherson krilich

Deacon Paul Krilich and newly-ordained Father Joseph Marie Krilich hold up the consecrated bread and wine during his first Mass following his ordination to the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance of the Friars of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. on May 22 at Franciscan University In Steubenville, Ohio. (Provided photo)



NWIC correspondent


        When you have grown up with seven sisters, it is nice to find some brothers.

        Father Joseph Marie Krilich, TOR, the seventh of eight children, said he loves being part of a large family. They grew up in Dyer, were active in sports, and attended St. John the Evangelist School and Church. “Northwest Indiana was always home base for me,” he said.

        Having sisters and a loving family helped Father Krilich prepare for the priesthood. “It really helped with my sensitivity and my awareness of others’ feelings,” he said. “I am more in tune with the needs of others, spoken and unspoken.”

        Having his parents as positive role models was also extraordinary because they put faith first, Father Krilich recalled. His family would volunteer at soup kitchens in Chicago, participate in prayer meetings and attend Catholic conferences on a regular basis.

        When Father Krilich was less than two years old, a charismatic healer told his mother, Jackie, that he would one day be a priest.

        “It’s a bit surreal to me,” said Father Krilich who was ordained last month with his father, Deacon Paul Krilich, by his side.

        Father Krilich recalls fondly how his dad was instrumental in his interest in the priesthood. When Father Krilich was young, his dad would always introduce him to people as a future priest. He did not get his calling until college, however, so it was an ongoing joke. “I never thought I really felt God’s calling back then,” he said.

        Father Krilich said it was his sophomore year at Franciscan University of Steubenville when he began considering a vocation to the priesthood. He recalled feeling a “personal encounter with Christ” and thought he would do a “brief discernment before getting married and moving on with my life.” He graduated in 2013 from Franciscan with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in biology

        Before entering seminary with the Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 2014, a mission trip to Belize further opened his eyes and heart to a priestly vocation. He volunteered as a missionary and teacher with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and was still considering a career as a medical doctor or medicinal chemist, but went on to receive his master of divinity from the Catholic University of America.

        “It’s been a step-by-step process,” Father Krilich said.

        After being a novice for a year with the Third Order Regular (TOR) Franciscan Friars, Father Krilich professed his simple/temporary vows in 2016, followed by his solemn vows in the summer of 2020. This solemn profession for the “whole of his life” was completed just prior to his diaconate ordination a year ago. He was ordained to the priesthood in Steubenville on May 22 by Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton, the main celebrant of the Mass.

        “I would always joke that I wanted a brother,” said Father Krilich, whose formation took seven years. Now he has some 100 brothers in his religious community.

        During his time at Franciscan, Father Krilich was a member of the Disciples of the Word Household, captain of the men’s soccer team and a volunteer on several mission trips. All seven of his sisters also graduated from Franciscan.

        TOR ordinations are typically held at the motherhouse in Loretto, Penn. However, because of his connection to Franciscan University, Krilich’s ordination was held there. “Franciscan played a significant role in my discernment journey,” Father Krilich said. “I feel honored to have my ordination take place where, in some respects, my intentional discernment journey began.”

        A deacon for more than 10 years, Deacon Krilich said his son’s ordination was special for so many reasons. “We are so full of thanksgiving that this has been allowed to happen to our family,” he said.

        In accordance with Catholic procedure, Deacon Krilich asked for his son’s blessing in order to proclaim the Gospel at Father Krilich’s ordination Mass. Following the request, Father Krilich responded according to rutual, “May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

        “It was definitely very touching for me,” Father Krilich said. “It was humbling for me for my dad to be in that role, knowing what it means to be in that role of total service. There is nothing I earned to be in that place, in that very special place.”

        The next day, when Father Krilich said his first mass, the father-and-son duo was able to offer the Eucharist together. The next time they will say a Mass together will be the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, July 18 at St. John the Evangelist, St. John.

        Father Krilich is now teaching at the motherhouse in Loretto and will be delving further into sacramental ministries within the next couple of years and as he pursues a doctorate in physical therapy.

        Deacon Krilich could not be more thrilled. “People in this ‘everything in an instant’ society have to take it all in and realize it is not their time, but God’s time,” he said. “God answers your prayers…even before we have prayed about it.”

Join The Flock

Flock Note