As most of you know, our very own Deacon Jerry Hilfiker was scheduled to have been ordained to the priesthood on Saturday April 18th in Erie, PA. Because of the current health crisis, the official action has been indefinitely postponed. However, the ceremony will just be the icing on the cake for a man who has spent many years of his life helping others.
Deacon Jerry grew up on a farm in Clarendon, NY and graduated from Holley High School. He attended SUNY Brockport, working as an orderly at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester to put himself through college, and upon graduation joined the East Aurora School District as a science teacher. Teaching is definitely a calling, and he loved it so much that after a short stint in administration, he took a pay cut to be back in the classroom with the students. He received a second master’s degree and a PhD in mental health counseling, and went into private practice, also in East Aurora.
In 1999, Jerry retired from teaching, and he answered another calling, studying to be a deacon, becoming ordained in 2001. He has served at St. Paul’s since then, and after Fr. Gary Schindler’s retirement has continued on, all the while working toward the ordination that will allow him to become our very own priest.
Deacon Jerry and his wife Karen have been married almost 50 years, and live in Boston, NY. They have 4 children – Elaine, Laura, Mark, and Dan, and are proud grandparents of 6 – Samuel, Aaron, Allison, Audrey, Martin, and Jack.
Bishop Sean Rowe has said that at some point in the near future, he may come to Springville and perform the ordination with just a few people in attendance, but a date has not been confirmed. We are all looking forward to this event, and couldn’t be prouder to have Deacon Jerry become Fr. Jerry.