Fr. Greg Schill ordained!

On Saturday, May 21, Gregory Schill, SCJ, was ordained to the priesthood at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Helotes (San Antonio), Texas.  Bishop Oscar Cantú, auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, presided.

“I have always felt that I was called to priestly ministry,” said Fr. Greg.  “And the welcoming spirit and presence of the community attracted me to the Priests of the Sacred Heart.”

Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ

Originally from San Antonio, Fr. Greg, 35, first professed vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ) in 2006. Before entering candidacy with the community in 2003, he served in the U.S Marine Corps for four years.  Following an honorable discharge, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.  In 2010, Fr. Greg received his Master’s of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.

In 2008, he completed a CPE Program (Clinical Pastoral Education) and did a pastoral year of ministry in northern Mississippi.  In 2010, he spent two months in Argentina doing an intensive Spanish language course.

As a student in Chicago, Fr. Greg was active with Chicago Lighthouse, an organization that assists people who are visually impaired.  In 2009 he was named “Volunteer of the Year.”

In 2010, Fr. Greg was ordained to the diaconate.  Since November he has been a part of the pastoral team at St. Martin of Tours parish in Franklin, Wis.

“I never considered diocesan priesthood,” said Fr. Greg about his vocation. “I looked at a few other religious communities but felt right at home during my first encounter with the SCJs at a Come and See Weekend in Chicago. I never turned back. [Come and See is a vocational education and discernment weekend for men interested in learning about the Priests of the Sacred Heart.]

“The Priests of the Sacred Heart have a strong desire to aid the poor and marginalized,” added Fr. Greg.   “This is critical in the postmodern era. The more marginalized and the less important people feel they are, the more alienated they become.

“When Fr. Leo John Dehon founded the Priests of the Sacred Heart, he did so in part as a response to the urgent need to help the factory workers of France during the peak of the Industrial Revolution. Many of these laborers were working 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, always with the risk of serious injury on the job.  These workers felt alienated in their situation. Our founder recognized this and responded.

“I hope to have the same determination in my ministry to follow in Fr. Dehon’s footsteps and help those who feel alienated, or marginalized.”

Fr. Greg with his parents after the ordination

Although it is often the economically poor who are thought of as alienated, Fr. Greg notes that “the population of alienated people ranges from poor to wealthy, young to elderly. People feel alienated for different reasons and for them to receive pastoral care is critical.  That is important to me.”

Fr. Greg has enjoyed his first months in parish ministry at St. Martin of Tours.  “The parish is wonderful; there are so many wonderful people and so many wonderful ministries,” he said. “There are many ministerial needs –– as in any parish –– and the challenges have been a great asset to my ministerial development… and I love to preach.  I have enjoyed that and look forward to continuing this as a priest.”

“As I reflect on my upcoming ordination, I want to give my thanks to all of those who have supported me in my vocation throughout these years,” added Fr. Greg.  I’d especially like to honor the late Fr. Charles Bisgrove, SCJ who made so many connections with so many people.”  [Fr. Charlie died April 10]

“Last summer during the Provincial Election Assembly he took me out for dinner and gave me endless advice for my future ministry, something I will never forget,” continued Fr. Greg.  “Fr. Charles was gifted in many areas of ministry and he will be missed.”

Fr. Greg will continue in ministry at St. Martin of Tours.

SCJs from throughout North America attended Fr. Greg's at OLG in Helotes, Texas. Fr. Greg's family has been a part of the parish community since Fr. Greg was a toddler. Msgr. Carlos Davalos is now OLG's pastor.

Click here to go to a photo album from the ordination.

Click here to go to photos from Fr. Greg’s first Mass