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Obituary: Fr. Neri Greskoviak, OFM

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Fr. Neri Greskoviak, OFM

Known for his creativity and humor, Fr. Neri Greskoviak, OFM, died Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, at St. John the Baptist Friary in Cincinnati. Fr. Neri was 85 years old.

Born on March 23, 1936, in Minonk, Ill, Richard Greskoviak was one of four children of Joseph and Proxida (Smolinski) Greskoviak. He attended St. Patrick Parish Elementary School and then graduated from St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati before entering the novitiate on Aug. 15, 1954, and receiving the religious name “Neri” Professing his First Vows in 1955, he entered Dons College in Southfield, Mich., where he made his Solemn Vows in 1958. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1963, at St. Leonard College in Centerville, Ohio.
Fr. Neri spent his entire ministerial life in parish ministry. His first assignment was as Associate Pastor at St. Mary Parish in Farmington, N.M., and then at St. Peter Parish in Roswell, where he was named Pastor in 1974. After a year at St. Stephen Parish in Hamilton, Ohio, Fr. Neri returned to the Southwest as Associate Pastor at St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, N.M.

In 1977, Fr. Neri returned to the Midwest to serve as Associate Pastor at St. Mary Parish in Bloomington, Ill., for three years. After a year in Oldenburg, Ind., as chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters, he returned to Illinois in 1981, remaining there for the rest of his active ministry. He was Associate Pastor and then Pastor at St. Mary Parish in Metamora and St. Elizabeth Parish in Washburn for 18 years before moving to Roanoke as Pastor at St. John and St. Joseph Parishes. In 2001, Fr. Neri went to St. Mary of Lourdes Parish in Metamora to serve as Pastor. He retired from full-time ministry in 2014, and went to St. Mary Friary in Bloomington. At St. Mary, while semi-retired, Fr. Neri served as Parochial Vicar. In 2016, he fully retired to Holy Family in Oldenburg, still offering assistance in the parish and surrounding area as needed.
Fr. Neri was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Jerome and Arthur, and his sister, Roselyn Renner. He is survived by his sisters-in-law, by friar classmate Dennet Jung, and close friend Sr. Mary Ellen Gillman, OSF. Fr. Neri’s body will be received at Holy Family Church in Oldenburg, Ind., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 9 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Interment will take place following Mass in the friars’ plot at Holy Family Cemetery.

Memorials may be made in care of FriarWorks, 1615 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.

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