Archdiocese NAMES New Director
For Office for European Catholics
CHICAGO (October 6, 2004) – The Archdiocese of Chicago has named Fr. Casimir Garbacz, S.V.D., a native of Poland and a priest of the Society of the Divine Word, to direct the Archdiocese’s Office for European Catholics. Fr. Garbacz’s new ministry falls under the Archdiocesan Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Worship, headed by Fr. Thomas Franzman.
Fr. Garbacz will work part-time in the Office for European Catholics, which serves the pastoral needs of European ethnic communities present within the Archdiocese of Chicago, including Poles, Italians, Lithuanians, Croatians, Irish, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians, Hungarians and Latvians.
Fr. Garbacz will also continue to minister part-time to Polish Catholics in two local parishes he has served since 2002: St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wheeling, and in the Diocese of Rockford at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Algonquin.
Fr. Garbacz brings 16 years of missionary experience in Ghana, West Africa, to his new position. He was born in southern Poland near the birthplace of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, whom he has met several times during his missionary career, and became the youngest Divine Word Missionary ordained in Poland in 1970.
The following year, he began his missionary life in Ghana, West Africa as an associate pastor in charge of 40 chapels and 32 Catholic schools. In 1977, he became a pastor in Ghana’s Accra Diocese in charge of a main parish, 25 chapels and 14 schools.
After 16 years of missionary work, Fr. Garbacz joined the S.V. D. community in 1987 Techny, Illinois, taking charge of the Development Office, where he served for nine years. From 1996 until 2002, he served as rector of that community.
Fr. Garbacz resides at the Society of the Divine Word headquarters in Techny, Illinois.