Congratulations, Fr. Tom!
On Tuesday May 10, we joyfully honored our very own Father Tom Rzepiela’s (pronounced zippy-ella) 50th anniversary of ordination. After celebrating Mass, Father went to each dining room to give a chocolate treat to our Residents and staff. Later that afternoon, we gathered to celebrate. Father shared his vocation story and as a small token of our appreciations we presented him with a gift, flowers, and a card. We ended the afternoon by enjoying cake and root beer floats (our favorites)!
Fr. Tom knew he wanted to become a priest since he was an altar boy in second grade, and wasted no time studying to become one. He was ordained at just 26 years old. Coming from a family of devout Catholics, he had great support. His family was not only faithful to the Church, but also to sports. Many of us are aware of Fr. Tom’s great love for the Chicago Bears. He would attend Sunday games with his father who worked for a company that made helmets for pro football teams. In the 1980s, Father’s love of sports led to him becoming the chaplain for the Bears, where he’d celebrate Mass for the team the morning of home games. Not only was he chaplain for the Bears, but also for the Knights of Columbus and the Christian Family Movement.
Father was very blessed when it came to his assignments, emphasizing that “each one had been a good and satisfying experience, and not a lot of priests can say that.” We are very blessed to have him as a member of our St. Joseph Home family.