Father Rafal was born to Jan and Danuta Wasilewski in Bialystok, a city in northeastern Poland, on January 7, 1982. He is the youngest of three children and the only boy. In 1992, when he was ten-years-old, his family left everything behind and emigrated to the United States, to the city of Chicago, with the hope of having a better life.
Father Rafal’s vocation story began with his faith-filled upbringing in a Polish Roman Catholic family. He recalls how his family always attended Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. He first felt called to the vocation of the priesthood and religious life when he was a young man growing up in Chicago around St. Hyacinth “Jackowo” Basilica area. While in Sunday school, he encountered a religious brother, Brother Thomas Iwicki, C.R., who encouraged him to become an Altar server at the parish. Brother Thomas was an influential person in his life and later became his first spiritual guide.
By the age of 23, ten years after serving by the Altar, and being around many positive models of good and holy priests, Father Rafal began seriously thinking about entering seminary. He believed it was not only important to live according to what he wanted, but according to what God wanted from him. He acknowledges serving at St. Hyacinth and growing up in that parish, which shaped his Faith in a very wonderful and profound way.
On January 6, 2007, Father Rafal entered novitiate in the Congregation of the Resurrection, a time of prayer, studies, and discernment. One year later, he professed his first vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Immediately after the profession of first vows, he moved to the Resurrection House of Studies in Saint Louis, Missouri where he studied philosophy at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit school, and theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican school. Father Rafal recalls feeling nervous upon entering the seminary, but with the support of his fellow brothers and prayer, he was able to jump over the hurdles that God set before him.
On August 15, 2011, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Father Rafal perpetually professed his vows. He was ordained a Deacon on May 29, 2012. As a Deacon, he was assigned to work at St. John the Baptist Parish in Johnsburg, Illinois.
On December 1, 2012, he was ordained a Priest of the Congregation of the Resurrection at St. Hyacinth Basilica and continued to minister to the people at St. John the Baptist, as his first assignment. A few weeks later, he graduated from Aquinas Institute of Theology, receiving a Master’s degree in Divinity.
Over a year later, he received obedience from the Provincial of the Congregation of the Resurrection to assist Fr. Michael Danek, C.R., at Holy Trinity Parish in Westmont, Illinois. On September 1, 2013, Father Rafal began ministering to people at Holy Trinity. After three years, on July 23, 2016, he was installed as the thirteenth Pastor at Holy Trinity Parish. Father Rafal is grateful for the wonderful support he received at Holy Trinity over the years, and he is honored to continue to serve the people at Holy Trinity.
Sun: 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 7pm
Daily Mass - Mon-Sat: 8:15am
Confession - Sat: 3:15 - 4:15pm
Holy Trinity Catholic Parish
25 East Richmond Street
Westmont, IL 60559