Since it was established in 1873, St. Mary Parish in Riverside has seen many priests serve the congregation in the capacities of pastor and associate. In 2012 another name will be added to its lists of associates.

Beginning this summer the parish will be home to Father Krzysztof (Christopher) Swierczynski. Born in Jedrzejow, Poland and educated there through grammar school and high school, he began to study robotics at an academy in Krakow when his life took a turn.

He changed his vocation, entering the Major Seminary in Kielic and earning a Master of Arts in liturgy. Many of his friends also found their vocations and were already seminarians in Chicago.

Encouraged by his friends, he arrived in Chicago and entered Bishop Abramowicz Seminary and prepared for entrance into St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, which prepares men for ordination to become archdiocesan priests

Swierczynski on Oct. 29, 2011 he was named a deacon upon his Ordination to the Diaconate. He will remain a deacon until May 12, 2012 when he will be ordained as an archdiocesan priest at ceremonies to be held at Holy Name Cathedral, officiated by Cardinal George.

While not a permanent resident of the parish yet, Deacon Chris has been visible on weekends assisting at Mass, learning from the pastor, Father Tom May, and the current associate pastor, Father Michal Lewon, and greeting the parishioners.

We can presume he has already received a map of Riverside and been given “the tour” so he can navigate his way around the town before becoming a resident. At his first “appearance” at Sunday Masses, Deacon Chris expressed his pleasure at being appointed to St. Mary Parish as his first assignment, and he said he looked forward to getting to know the parishioners and working with Father Tom.

Welcome, Deacon Chris!

Happy birthday: Belated birthday greetings to former Riverside Village President Jack Wiaduck who recently celebrated a special birthday. I will not mention his age, because you probably wouldn’t believe it anyway, he seems just like a kid and since I will be the same age as he this year. Hope your birthday was as special as you are.

As a testament to his youth, Wiaduck was seen helping out around the village on their Saturday “weeding day” mainly around the museum and serving chicken at the Riverside Township Lions Club Chicken Dinner. Ah, youth!