Staff Member: Fr. William Hritsko
Fr. William Hritsko
Father William A. Hritsko was born in Akron, Ohio in May of 1963 and attended St. John the Baptist, Goodrich Junior High, and Garfield High School in Akron. He received a BS degree in Industrial Management in 1987 from the University of Akron with additional studies in Voice, Music, Theatrical Performance, and Accounting. In 1994 he received a BA in Philosophical Studies, and the Master of Divinity in 1998 from the Pontifical College Josephinum with additional studies in Scripture, Greek, Spanish, Stained Glass, Liturgical Music, Art & Environment, Gregorian Chant, and Spiritual Direction. He was ordained to the Diaconate in 1997 and to the Priesthood in 1998.
While in high school and college Fr. Bill was a member of the Croatian Kolo Club (folk dancing) the Akron Junior Tamburitizans, and active with the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. He had the opportunity to play with a variety of composers including David Haas, Marty Haugen, Fr. Michael Joncas, Bernadette Farrel, Christopher Walker, and Kevin Kyle. Prior to becoming a Priest, Fr. Bill worked as a Director of Music/Liturgy, and as an Academic Research Secretary. He directed the Free Spirits, a free-lance choir that often sang for the televised Mass when it was broadcast through the Diocese of Columbus, is well connected to the Croatian Fraternal Union of America, and a member of the Tamburitza Association of America.
While studying to be a Priest, he had internships at St. Philip the Apostle, JOIN and St. Joseph Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Columbus, St. Mary’s in Marion, St. Michael’s in Worthington, and at St. Edward the Confessor in Granville. Prior in coming to the cluster of St. Leonard Church and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, his Priest assignments included: The Associate Pastor at St. Francis de Sales of Newark(1998-2002), Parochial Vicar at St. Paul the Apostle(2002-2006), Westerville, Pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Coshocton (2006-2014), and Priest Administrator at St. Francis de Sales in Newcomerstown, Ohio(2013-2014).
As the Pastor of Sacred Heart, he directed the Sacred Heart Children’s Choir and Ensembles from 2007-2014. The children learned to sing in up to seven languages, play a variety of instruments including dulcimers, ukuleles, autoharps, and bells. They were member of the American Federation of Pueri Cantores and participated in three choral festivals singing and playing in Pittsburgh, PA, Cincinnati & Youngstown, Ohio.
In addition to music, Fr. Bill makes many of his own vestments and has done several commissioned pieces as well. His sewing, baking and other artistic endeavors have accorded him numerous awards at fairs. His sporting interests include wrestling, gymnastics, track & field, ice skating, swimming and several other Olympic sports.