30 Jun 2018

This Week Letter – July 1, 2018

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From the Pastor’s Desk…

 Fr Rich Milek

Dear Parishioners,

My name is Fr. Richard Milek. In my previous assignments, I was known to parishioners as Fr. Rich, and I liked that. And be sure to tell me your names as we meet.

I was born and ordained in Poland, and then I chose to come here to serve the Church in Chicago. I have been in the USA for more than 29 years. I became an American citizen through the naturalization process and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago through the incardination process a long time ago. I thank God every day for this excellent opportunity to be here and serve the people of this local Church, who are for me a beautiful example of faith.

My first assignment for over five years was Holy Innocents, a trilingual parish in Chicago. Then, I served in two parishes on the north side: St. Luke in River Forest, and St. Ita in Chicago.

After becoming a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, I was appointed the first Rector of Bishop Abramowicz Seminary in Chicago. After completing a three-year term at the Seminary, I was made pastor at St. Helen Parish in Chicago for six years. In 2008, I celebrated my 25th Ordination Anniversary and was sent to St. Albert the Great Parish in Burbank to serve as an Administrator for almost three years. Then I was asked by Cardinal Francis George to serve at St. Francis Borgia Parish as a pastor for six years. After finishing my term, I took a six month Sabbatical, during which time I did a retreat, some studies, and went to Poland to celebrate the Mass on my Mother’s 3rd death anniversary. After coming back I was waiting for my new assignment by helping at St. John of the Cross Parish in the Western Springs.

Recently I was asked by Cardinal Blase Cupich to serve as a pastor at St. Constance Parish. I said “yes” in the spirit of accepting God’s will, and because I heard wonderful things about the parishioners and priests at St. Constance Parish. I’m aware that I have big shoes to fill. Our goal and challenge at the same time will be to build unity in diversity. I recall the words of St. Paul who described the Church as “the house of prayer for all peoples.”

In every Parish I have been at so far, I was trying to give everything I have, hoping that my parishioners would notice my efforts and that they would support me with their dedication and generosity. It worked, and I believe and pray that by working together we will make our parish grow and it will continue to make us very proud. I come to serve children, youth, families, and especially the seniors, and the sick, who are the treasures of the Church.

I support Catholic Education with all my heart because the Catholic School is the heart of the Parish and the children are our future. I’m looking forward to working with the School and the Religious Education Program.

I want to thank Fr. Ted for everything he has done for St. Constance Parish and for recommending me to the Placement Board as a future pastor of St. Constance Parish. I want to thank him, Fr. Paul, Fr. James, Deacon Jim, Sisters, and the Parish Staff for their assistance during this transition time. I ask all of you for patience, understanding, and direction at the beginning of my ministry here at St. Constance Parish.

You are always in my prayers, and please keep me in yours.

                                                                                                                                              Fr. Rich Milek