Stories of Stewards: Edda Hackl

As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Edda Hackl:

It was a very cold Sunday morning in January of 1964, when I landed in Chicago to start my pediatric training at Children’s Memorial Hospital. I immediately looked for a Catholic church knowing that I would feel at home there in a strange city. I found Saint Clement Church and never looked elsewhere.

Over the years the parish has changed in many ways, and I became more and more involved in parish activities, especially after I retired.

It was there that I met my husband, Leon Krzoska, who was then the Saint Clement’s organist and choir director, planning to retire. We married in a modest ceremony on a Monday at noon, and entered a bond that lasted 37 years, supported and enriched by the community.

For 27 years I have been actively engaged in our Centering Prayer Group, an ecumenical group, started by Fr. Joe Ruiz after Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O, spent a day at the parish teaching us about this form of silent, receptive prayer. Among the many forms of prayer, this was the one where I felt most at home.

I have been privileged to facilitate Focus on Sunday Scripture for about 18 years. I have learned a lot about scripture preparing for the weekly meetings. I discovered that the cultural background is very helpful in coming to a better understanding of scripture and discerning ways of applying it to our lives.

Over the years I have participated in a variety of programs and opportunities to serve. Among them, serving as Eucharistic Minister and weekday sacristan has been especially enriching. It is a joy to share the Eucharist with my community.

Saint Clement has become my home in many ways, giving me a sense of belonging. I was so very grateful and deeply moved by the support offered during the last months of Leon’s life.

I consider it very important to support our parish financially by pledging to the Sunday Giving Commitment. The parish needs this tangible support for its many activities and its mission to help the poor. I am convinced that the money is used in a most responsible way.

I am happy to have found this vibrant parish community with its opportunities to “pray, serve, give, learn and belong.”