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Former Footballer-turn-Priest returns to his home fans as their Parish Priest

Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck who use to be a professional footballer for the Ñublense Football team in Chile have returned to the Ñublense home town in Chile after nine years to grace the lives of his old fans, family and friends, this time not as a footballer that he was popular as in Chile but as a Priest.

Fr. Chase is an America, who grew in Chile, played for the First division team known as Ñublense Football Club in Chile, he played as a professional footballer there for three years and became very popular, given that he was a very talented footballer.  But he had his calling to Priesthood and left the Football Club. He was later ordained as a priest in 2014,in the diocese of Peoria, Illinois, where he currently serves.

“Everything I learned in sports – such as the sacrifice of training hard, solidarity, working as a team – are things I also have to do in the Christian life. What I experienced in soccer helped me a lot to have all the virtues to lead a good Christian life,” Father Chase told the daily Crónica Chillán after Mass was over.

“When we make a commitment to something important in life everything is going to change. When you get married, life changes. The change isn’t bad, it’s something natural; if we’re not committed, life has no joy or sacrifice to it,” he added.

“Although a lot of years have gone by, the people still remember Chase with a lot of affection. The community welcomed him with a lot of joy and gratitude because they had already known him as a lay person, and he actively participated in the Liturgy of the Word at the Sunday Masses,” Father Luis Rocha, pastor of San Juan de Dios parish, where the Santa Ana chapel is located, told CNA.









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