Jesuit Father Philip J. Grib died on Friday, February 8, 2019, at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. He was 80 years old.
Father Grib was born on April 27, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. He entered the Society of Jesus on July 30, 1964, at Milford Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on March 19, 1972, at St. Thomas More Church in Chicago. He pronounced final vows on January 1, 1989.
Before entering the Society, Father Grib graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago (1956). He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin, Greek, and philosophy from Xavier University in Cincinnati (1960) and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Chicago (1963). While in the Society, Father Grib earned a master’s degree in theology from the Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Illinois (1973) and a doctorate in moral theology from Catholic University in Washington D.C. (1983).
During regency, Father Grib taught U.S. History and English at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. He taught theology and worked in campus ministry at Loyola University Chicago for one year after his ordination before beginning doctoral studies. After earning his doctorate in moral theology, he returned to Loyola University Chicago for 11 years where he taught law and moral theology while working as a chaplain in the School of Law (1983-1994). During this time, he was also superior of the Ignatius House Jesuit Community on Albion Street in Chicago (1986-1992).
After a sabbatical, Father Grib moved completely into pastoral ministry. For a year he was a spiritual director and administrative assistant for development at the Heartland Center in Hammond, Indiana (1995-1996), before becoming an associate pastor at St. Constance Parish in Chicago (1996-1999). In 1999, Father Grib moved to St. Eugene Parish in Chicago and spent the rest of his life there as an associate pastor (1999-2008) and a priest in residence (2008-2019).
Father Grib is proceeded in death by his brother, Fr. Robert I. Grib, SJ (PAT), who spent over 30 years as a missionary in India. Father Grib was an excellent musician and clarinet player. In 2004, Father Grib, his brother Bob (on drums), and some friends started a polka band, “The Brighton Park Connection.” The group brought much joy—and opportunities for dance—to many people in Chicago as they played at different polish events and gatherings. They also released an album entitled “Introducing Chicago’s Brighton Park Connection.” For a while, Father Grib served as the chaplain for the International Polka Society. Because of his great love of music, Father Grib would attend the symphony whenever possible.
Father Grib was a kind and empathetic man and a very devoted friend. These qualities helped him to be beloved by the parishioners he ministered to (especially at St. Eugene’s Parish) and by the priests and staff he worked with. Although he was incredibly gracious and kindhearted, the lawyer in Father Grib would often come out during discussions and he would argue a point or push those in the discussion for the logic or the “truth” behind a statement. But throughout these discussions, he maintained an attitude of kindness and respect regardless of the topic.