Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ
“I see provincial administration as a ministry of service.”
-Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ
A Buffalo native, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, felt called to the priesthood for as long as he can remember. There is an often-told story of him as a child about when he let his parents know that not only did he want to be a priest, but perhaps he was pope material as well.
“When I was seven years old Pope John XXIII died and on the radio they said that he wanted to be a priest when he was 11 years old,” said Fr. Ed. “I said to my mom and dad that, ‘I’m only seven and I want to be a priest, does that mean that someday I’ll be the pope?’
“They laughed as everyone does when I tell the story but somehow I knew that one day I would be a priest.”
Fr. Ed now serves as provincial superior of the US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians).
Fr. Ed professed his first vows in 1975 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1983. His first assignment was as a parish priest but after six months, he was asked to do vocation ministry.
“I drove the entire United States meeting and interviewing young men who were interested in the priesthood or religious life,” he said. “I did this for seven-and-a-half years, becoming the director in 1985.” Although many of the men he met did not pursue a vocation with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Ed said that he always felt as though he was doing an important service for the Church. “As an SCJ, I helped others discern their own vocation – wherever it might be – and help them find the path the God was leading them on.”
After vocations, Fr. Ed had a number of ministry assignments. In 1996 he moved to northern California, where he edited a newsletter and served as parochial vicar at St. Philip of Jesus in Occidental and St. Teresa of Avila in Bodega. It was in Bodega that he first felt called to Hispanic ministry. He began yearly visits to Oaxaca, Mexico, to study Spanish.
In 2004 he moved to Houston and ministered at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish. After a six-month study sabbatical in Mexico, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston in 2008. He served there until his election as provincial superior in 2015.
“I see provincial administration as a ministry of service,” said Fr. Ed. “In Spanish, there’s an expression that is used everywhere in Mexico which says, ‘Para servirles,’ in order to serve you. I have been called to serve in many assignments, including vocations and as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Now my call – my ministry – is with our province.”