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About the Author

Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck
Contributor
Vocations Director
Diocese of Peoria

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck grew up in Bloomington, Illinois, where his parents – Mike and Kim – raised him and his brother, Blaise, in the Catholic faith. Fr. Chase was a two-sport athlete at University High School, playing varsity basketball for three years, and varsity soccer for four years. He was a high school All-American in soccer while at U-High and was chosen to represent the United States on the Under-17 National Team before moving on to play Division I soccer at Clemson University in the Atlantic Coast Conference. While at Clemson, he was a four-year starter, helping the Tigers win the 2001 ACC Championship and four NCAA tournament berths, including two Elite-Eight appearances.

After graduating from Clemson in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Trade, Fr. Chase signed to play professional soccer with Huachipato of the Chilean First Division. He then spent four years playing in the Chilean league, winning a league championship with Ñublense in 2006. Fr. Chase played the 2007 season in the first division while completing his fourth and final year in Chile. During two of those years, he was selected as the league’s most valuable player at the left fullback position. He later signed with the New England Revolution in the United States’ Major League Soccer before retiring in 2008.

Fr. Chase left his professional soccer career to enter the seminary and to become a Catholic priest. He was ordained for the Diocese of Peoria on May 24, 2014. As a priest, Fr. Chase has spent two years in Hispanic ministry and high school chaplaincy, four years as an Assistant Chaplain at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois, and is now the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Peoria.

Published Pieces

A soccer player preparing to kick the ball

Finding God's Greatness

Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck, a priest and retired professional soccer player, spoke with Fr. Craig Vasek, Athletics Chaplain of the University of Mary, on virtue, greatness, and sport.

Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck
Fr. Craig Vasek
Feb 25, 2021