Funeral Arrangements set for Father Robert A. Balog
Father Balog’s Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, April 10 at 11 a.m. in the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 9 at the church with the rosary prayed at 7 p.m. Visitation will also be held on Tuesday, April 10 from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in the Cathedral before the Mass. Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Aurora.
Father Robert A. Balog died in the Pine View Care Center in St. Charles, April 5. He was 74.
Father Balog was born in Aurora June 4, 1943 to Stephen J. and Teresa Kabai Balog. He graduated from Marmion Academy in 1961, and attended St. Ambrose College (now University) in Davenport, Iowa; Mount St. Bernard Seminary and Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque, Iowa.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill at St. Joseph Church, Aurora, May 28, 1972.
After ordination, Father Balog’s first assignment was as parochial vicar for Holy Family Parish in Rockford. He also served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, McHenry; St. Bernadette Parish, Rockford; and at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford.
From 1983 to 1994, he served as Secretary to the Bishop and Diocesan Master of Ceremonies. During those years, he also served as administrator of St. Mary Parish in Tampico (September-November, 1983) and at St. John the Baptist Parish in Johnsburg (August-November 1994).
He became pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Johnsburg, on Nov. 11, 1994, and served there until June 2006 when he became pastor of St. Mary Parish in McHenry where he served until his retirement July 1, 2014.
In 1974 Father Balog began a new ministry when he founded a local group of divorced and separated Catholics, one of 20 being formed in the entire country. In 1986, he began many years of service as diocesan director of Phoenix Ministry, a ministry specific to divorced and separated Catholics. He later served on the professional advisory board of the North American Conference for Separated and Divorced Catholics and represented that organization in 1987 at a Synod of Bishops in Rome. He also sponsored retreats for divorced, separated and widowed persons called the Beginning Experience. He was presented with the Father James Young Award in 1993 by the Archdiocese of Chicago for his work in the ministry to divorced Catholics.
His additional service has included being chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Council 653, Freeport, and as State Retreat Chairman for the Knights. Father Balog continued to assist as needed at diocesan parishes during his retirement.
Father Balog is predeceased by his parents and brother Stephen, Jr. He is survived by his brother Ron (Dianne Thomas), sister-in-law Marlene Balog, nephews Greg (Chris) Balog and Rick (Lorie) Balog, several great-nieces and great-nephews. He also leaves behind many close brother priests and friends.
Arrangements are being completed by Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Rockford.