Q & A with Father Rafal

By Father Rafal, Holy Trinity Pastor

What other parishes have you served at?

The first parish I served at was St. John the Baptist Parish in Johnsburg, Illinois. I spend over a year there as a transitional Deacon and newly ordained Priest. The people there were very supportive and welcoming. The parish had a school where I would always visit classrooms and get to know the little ones. Between my parish ministry, I became an assistant coach to 5th grade boys’ basketball team, even though I’ve never played the sport before. It was fun to be a part of the team and I learned a lot about basketball.

How much time do you spend in quiet prayer in a typical day?

I always try to be faithful to my Liturgy of the Hours and daily morning Rosary. That means, I should say the Office (after my 6:15am breakfast), Morning Prayer (in the Church with a few parishioners at 7:45am before daily Mass), Midday Prayer (in the Adoration Chapel), Midafternoon Prayer (in the Rectory Chapel), Evening Prayer and Night Prayer (with Isaiah in the Rectory).

As you can see, that’s a lot of time to find to pray. If you know me, I’m a very busy Pastor these days. There are days that I am so overwhelmed with my ministry that I forget to say some of my prayers. It’s unrealistic for me to stop a meeting and tell the people that I have to stop because it’s time to pray. I believe in my heart that God knows I’m doing His work and sometimes it’s OK to forget. However, I always find time to do my examinations of conscience. It’s a great way to look back on the day and say, “When was I Jesus to the people I’ve met today.”

Those of you who don’t have a prayer life set in the busyness of your calendar, I would encourage you all to learn how to pray with the Liturgy of the Hours. You can meet me, along with other members of the parish Monday-Saturday at 7:45am in Church by the Baptismal Font.

What do you miss most about Poland?

I love to travel and visit cities especially, old town squares. When it comes to Poland, I think it’s no secret that Poland excels at public transport; trains, buses, and trams normally run on time. So, I miss taking a train from Białystok (my home town) to Gdynia, Poland, a 200 miles trip to visit my aunt. I miss homemade Polish food prepared by my maternal grandmother (Babcia Czesia). Yes, you can get Polish food here in the United States and also similar food, but let’s be honest – it’s just not the same.

What is your favorite summer time food?

If you don’t know by now, I love to grill on my Big Green Egg. During summer months you can find me or just let you nose lead you to the front of the rectory, grilling. One of my favorite summer time foods would be a bloody juicy burger. And you can’t have a burger without your favorite beer, Guinness. I like everything on my burger, I’m not a picky person. However, when it comes to meat, I like them mooing.

What songs or artists are in your playlist?

I enjoy a variety of music. It depends on the mood that I am in. My iPod is filled with lots of music even from my early high school days. We all go through phases in our life and it’s the same with music. Some of those phases of musical genres include: hip hop, alternative rock, pop, techno, country, 80’s, and I can go on and on. More recently, since I met Father Michael about 5 years ago, my interests are in Broadway Musicals. Whenever I prepare my Sunday homily, I enjoy listening to some classical music, Chopin or Vivaldi, for example. However, when I’m in the car, I enjoy listening to Christian music, KLOVE 97.9FM.

What is your favorite Church hymn?

One of my most favorite Church hymns would be The Summons. Why? It’s because it reminds me of my first profession of vows and my Priesthood Ordination. Here’s part of it:

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

The entire hymn touches my heart because here I am, laying down my whole life for Jesus and the people I’ll be ministering to.

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Sun: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am

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Holy Trinity Catholic Parish
25 East Richmond Street
Westmont, IL 60559