By age 85, most people have earned the right to just sit back, relax and enjoy their days of retirement. That is just not the case with Fr. Hilarion Kistner, OFM. He is a very energetic and busy friar who still works hard spreading the Gospel of Jesus in a variety of ministries.
In 1970, Hilarion got involved as a Scripture exegete in Sunday Homily Helps, a product of St. Anthony Messenger Press. In 1986, he was appointed editor of Sunday Homily Helps and he continues to work for St. Anthony Messenger Press in various capacities. He offers his services to check various publications for doctrinal orthodoxy and continues to stay involved with the Homily Helps. His book, The Gospels According to Saint Francis, blends the teachings of Jesus and Francis in a unique way and is appropriate for Catholics as well as those of other faiths. On weekends, Hilarion celebrates Mass at St. Stephen’s Parish in Cincinnati. Once a month he has Mass at Eastgate Nursing Home and visits the sick. He has also become an active volunteer once a week at Our Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen here in Cincinnati, where he buses tables after the noon meal.
Hilarion considers himself semi-retired, but when you look at all the work he does in a week, you wonder what he means by “retired.” He enjoys sports and roots for the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, Xavier basketball and the University of Cincinnati basketball and football teams. Though he claims no expertise, he spends some time on weekends playing the violin. His health is quite good. A setback in recent years was a stroke that has affected his left peripheral vision and his ability to drive. Fortunately, generous friars and lay people are willing to take him where he needs to go.
Hilarion finds his greatest joy in celebrating the Eucharist. We thank you, Hilarion, for your faithful service to the Church and for the efforts of evangelizing and your commitment to bringing the message of the Gospel to many men and women.
May the Lord continue to bless you with good health!