Rev Jonathan Kalisch – Bio

Fr. Jon Kalisch, O.P. was born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ. After majoring in American Studies with a concentration in Government and History at Georgetown University, he moved to Warsaw, Poland to work for Price Waterhouse in 1994.  

Fr. Jon Kalisch, O.P.

While living in the former Warsaw Ghetto, Kalisch discovered the moral and spiritual roots of those who resisted the totalitarian evils of the 20th century.  He understood what St. John Paul II writing in Gift and Mystery, would recall as the debt he owed to Providence “I was spared much of the immense and horrible drama of the Second World War…sometimes I would ask myself: so many young people of my own age are losing their lives, why not me?” 

While on pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray about his own future in Poland, Kalisch felt called to the priesthood on the Sea of Galilee where the Gospel of John Chapter 21 occurred.  He then met the Dominicans in Krakow and began to discern a religious vocation.  Encountering the writings of St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy with its words “Jesus, I trust in you,” gave him the courage to follow his vocation.

Kalisch returned to the United States and joined the Dominican Order (Province of St. Joseph) in 1996, completing his formation in Cincinnati, OH, Berkeley, CA, and Washington, DC.  He spent the summer of 2000 in Krakow, studying the thought of Pope John Paul II, eventually, writing his STL thesis on John Paul II’s Jubilee Plea for Forgiveness and the theology of healing of memories.  

Ordained a priest in 2003, Fr. Jon spent nine years serving in campus ministry at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.  In 2013, he began serving at the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, CT as the Director of Chaplains and Spiritual Development for the two-million member organization. 

In 2014, Fr. Jon was asked to assist in the final preparations for the opening of the new National Shrine of St. John Paul II in Washington, DC.  His work with the Knights of Columbus included serving as Co-Executive Producer of the World Youth Day 2016 Mercy Centre at the Tauron Arena, the international English-language catechesis and youth festival site that drew over 100,000 pilgrims during the WYD Krakow.  Most recently, he has been assisting with pastoral and humanitarian work at the K of C Mercy Centers sponsored by the Ukraine Solidarity Aid Fund for war refugees at the Polish-Ukraine border.

Fr. Jon regularly speaks on college campuses, to gatherings of Knights of Columbus, and preaches retreats.  Along with his work with the Knights, he serves as Director of Peaching for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (NY), is an elected member of the Provincial Council, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Ministry with Young Adults, and has been appointed a Eucharistic Preacher for the National Eucharistic Revival in the United States Of America.

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