I grew up in Poland with my brother George. My sister Kathrin was born when I went to seminary. My family life was marked with deep devotion and practice of Catholic faith. I became an altar boy when I was seven years old and it made a big impact on the future choice of my vocation. I grew up in a parish ran by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Religious Order with missionary charism. The example of the Oblates and the stories of the visiting missionaries in my parish inspired me to become one of them.
After my ordination to priesthood I spend two years working in a big parish in Poland, where I was involved in work with children choir, altar boys, family Mass and teaching Religious Education in public school.
In 1991 I had left Poland and joined the U.S. Oblate Province in Chicago. Since then I worked mostly in parishes in Minnesota, Saint Paul and Duluth, in Sisseton, South Dakota on Indian Reservation. From there I was assigned to St. William’s of York parish in Tewksbury, MA and my last assignment, before coming to St. Michael’s, was at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL as the director. I was also a vocation director for six years.
My assignment at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows was a great opportunity for me to connect even more with the devotional side of our Catholic faith, especially Marian devotion, and offer the opportunity for many pilgrims visiting the Shrine to express their faith in this way.
In my past life I played soccer for many years and now playing guitar is my hobby among other interests.
I am glad to go back to a parish ministry to share my faith and to work together with all of you as we continue here our journey to the house of our Heavenly Father.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Andy Knop, omi