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St. Joseph Parish helps Rev. Jarosewic mark 50 years in the priesthood

On Sunday, May 16, members of the Parish of St Joseph in Homewood will join with Rev. Daniel Jarosewic when he celebrates a 10:30 a.m. mass marking his 50 years in the priesthood. St. Joseph will continue to be his home parish. After 15 years in Homewood, he has no intention to leave and no desire to retire.

Rev. Daniel F. Jarosewic

On Sunday, May 16, members of the Parish of St Joseph in Homewood will join with Rev. Daniel Jarosewic when he celebrates a 10:30 a.m. mass marking his 50 years in the priesthood.

After studies through the Archdiocese of Chicago’s seminary from high school through college, Jarosewic was ordained on May 12, 1971.  During his time in training, the Catholic Church went through a radical redirection after the Second Vatican Council from 1962 through 1965.

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The Catholic Church turned away from a Latin mass to one that would be said in worshipers’ native language. Altars would now have the priest face the people. The church also changed rules on receiving the Eucharist, and it gave church members a chance to participate directly in the service. The church invited married men to serve as deacons taking on some of the work of priests, such as visiting the sick and leading prayers.

“That was a big cultural shift, but it brought the church into the modern world,” Fr. Jarosewic said.

The strict measures of seminary training also were loosened, he said. Seminarians were able to stop wearing cassocks and move to street clothes with clergy shirts and Roman collars, and they were granted more free time away from the seminary. 

Before ordination, Jarosewic served as a deacon at Holy Name Cathedral. He brought communion to the sick and visited nursing homes. He also got the chance to spend time in a mental institution “so we would be exposed to what they were suffering from and the theories (doctors) were using to try and restore them to normal life. You could tell these people were suffering, and you treated them like you’d treat your sister. It really helped me.” 

Over all these years, Jarosewic said one thing that has changed is society’s sense of morality.

“It’s loosened up,” he says. What once was foul language is now commonplace, he said, and what’s shown on TV and in movies presents less respectful behaviors and too much violence. And, he stresses, none of it sets good examples for children.

Jarosewic said he appreciates that the church has asked its members to apply common sense and kindness to everyday life.

“You shouldn’t treat people unkindly, even if they’re wrong,” he said. “Stand back, think and say ‘I think I disagree with that’ but don’t get all excited about something and it gets to an argument stage. Sometimes people can’t agree.”

These past 15 months of life during a pandemic has led to changes not only in people attending mass, but in needing the church.

Jarosewic said: “The pandemic has made my job a fine-tuning of what I learned in my past that I never had an opportunity to use. The people are calling for confessions today. A lot of what people are talking about isn’t confession material. It’s counseling. And I think it’s helping people that want to talk that are too shy to go to a stranger. Now, after all the years that I’ve been here, my reputation is of someone to talk to.”

During his 50 years of religious life, Jarosewic has stayed in the Chicago area serving at St. Linus, St. Camillus, St. Albert the Great, St. Catherine of Alexandria and Mary Star of the Sea parishes in five- or six-year assignments before coming to St. Joseph’s in 2006.

St. Joseph will continue to be his home parish. After 15 years in Homewood, he has no intention to leave and no desire to retire.

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