Msgr. Maurilius Bilskie
Msgr. Maurilius E. Bilskie, founding pastor of Holy Rosary Church, died at age 92.He is best remembered for his half-century of service to one church in the Diocese of Evansville. He was named pastor of Holy Rosary in 1950, before the church was constructed, and nearly 52 years later, at age 87, he retired.He had the reputation of being a gifted storyteller, and delivered his homilies without the use of a microphone.Throughout his life, his material needs were simple. He lived for years in the basement of the parish office building. When a new home was built for the priests at Holy Rosary about two blocks from the church, he decided not to move. He told a parishioner, "No priest should be that far from the church.He was born Sept. 13, 1914, in Vincennes, the son of Leo C. and Catherine (Kassens) Bilskie. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes.He studied at Saint Meinrad Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1943, by Bishop Joseph E. Ritter. He said his first Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Evansville on June 6, 1943.His first assignment, in June of 1943, was as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Church, Jasper.His subsequent assignments included parish ministry at St. Boniface and St. John the Apostle churches, both in Evansville; teaching at Memorial High School in Evansville, and various diocesan positions including director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.He was named a Prelate of Honor, with the title, Reverend Monsignor, on Oct. 21, 1980. He retired as pastor of Holy Rosary, continuing his ministry as Pastor Emeritus, July 1, 1982, a position he held until March 1, 2002.A brother and sister preceded him in death. His survivors include nieces and nephews.Published in the Evansville Courier Press on 11/19/2006. "