Rev. Richard Skriba, Longtime Priest

By Joan Giangrasse Kates
Chicago Tribune
March 15, 1998

Rev. Richard Skriba, 74, of Riverside, a priest with the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago for nearly 50 years, died Wednesday in Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood.

Most recently, Rev. Skriba served as pastor of Queen of the Universe Church, 7114 S. Hamlin Ave., Chicago. Before coming to the Southwest Side parish, he had been associate pastor of St. Simon the Apostle Church in Chicago, Holy Rosary Church in Roseland and Assumption Church on South California Boulevard in Chicago.

Rev. Skriba was prominent in Chicago's Slavic community as a cultural and spiritual leader. He founded and sustained the activities of the Slovak Catholic Charities as its president.

Born in Chicago, Rev. Skriba grew up in Cicero and graduated from Mary Queen of Heaven School. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, and was ordained a priest in 1949.

Rev. Skriba was chaplain to the Benedictine Sisters living at the Our Lady of Sorrows Convent in Oak Forest. In his retirement, he also celebrated the Latin Tridentine mass at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago.

"He prayed that he might live another year to see the 50th anniversary of his ordination," said his brother Louis Skriba. "He was planning the grandest celebration centered on a solemn high Tridentine mass. This was the religious expression he so loved from his youth. In his honor, I have dedicated the family to seeing that such a celebration take place in his memory."

Throughout his life, Rev. Skriba was involved with classical music, boating and flying. He helped organize a priest-pilot association that called itself the Flying Padres.

Other survivors include another brother, Rev. Raymond Skriba, and a sister, Marianne Koys.

Rev. Skriba will lie in state from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday in St. Mary's Church, 126 Herrick Rd., Riverside. Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Monday in the church.


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