New priest ready to serve Diocese of Gary and U.S. Air Force

HIGHLAND – Growing up, Zachary Glick considered joining the U.S. military, especially while pursuing an engineering degree at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Once he discerned a vocation to the priesthood, Deacon Glick found a way to blend his aspirations.
Once ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Gary on June 1, he will begin his first assignment, effective July 1, as associate pastor of Queen of All Saints and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parishes in Michigan City.
But Deacon Glick, 29, is also a member of the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps. After serving three years with the Gary diocese, he will begin a five-year commitment to the U.S. Air Force, serving on a base in this country or abroad as a military chaplain before returning to his home diocese or re-enlisting with the military, contingent upon approval of his bishop.
As of 2017, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services had 208 priests on active duty serving around 1.8 million people, but Deacon Glick says there is a need for many more. “Catholic chaplains are considered in ‘high demand, low density’ around the world, so serving the military fits together with a discernment to the priesthood,” he said.
“The Diocese of Gary is like my family, so it seems like home to me … but (while I’m an Air Force chaplain) I will bring the Mass and other sacraments to Catholics who might otherwise not have access to baptism and the anointing of the sick. We serve not only the enlisted, but their families, too.”
After graduating from Our Lady of Grace School in Highland (2009), Highland High School (2013) and Rose-Hulman with a bachelor’s degree (2017) and a master’s (2019), both in Mechanical Engineering, Deacon Glick entered the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Illinois for two years, then earning a Philosophy degree from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit after four years of study.
Restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic summer of 2020 to St. Thomas More in Munster, he worked with Deacon Steven Caraher on live streaming Mass and developing a podcast to keep in contact with parishioners, which led him to produce an online Bible study series.
Having enrolled in the USAF ROTC program at Rose-Hulman with the intent to become an Air Force engineer before discerning to enter the seminary, Deacon Glick applied to become a chaplain candidate as a co-sponsored seminarian. He spent two summers at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., then served part of the summer of 2022 at Francis E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and last summer at AFB Eielson in Fairbanks, Alaska. “It was like a parish internship, but with a chaplain on base,” explained Deacon Glick.
Deacon Glick also joined Deacon Caraher during the summer of 2021 serving the homeless in Michigan City as volunteers with the Christ in the City program. “We were living in a diverse group of 8-10 people and meeting with the homeless at a food pantry and talking with them at a homeless shelter,” Deacon Glick explained.
The most impactful summer assignment for Deacon Glick, he believes, was the time he spent in 2023 at St. Mary in Crown Point under the tutelage of Father Kevin Huber, pastor and chancellor for the diocese. “He put a big emphasis on preaching and gave me posters and suggested books to read,” said the mentee. “I visited nursing homes, took Holy Communion to a homebound couple and worked with participants at an Acts XXIX weekend retreat, facilitating a small group of teens.”
Officiating at about 30 baptisms as a deacon was one of his most important responsibilities during the past year. “It was the first time I ministered a sacrament, and it is really joyful, such a big event for those children, eternally impacting them as an instrument in God’s hands,” Deacon Glick said.
As a deacon, he led a period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament almost every weekend at the seminary and assisted at daily Masses.
“Listening is important as we practice imitating Christ as deacons, facilitating personal interaction with Jesus,” Deacon Glick added. “People need to know they are heard and understood by someone who cares. Not every minister likes that aspect of their vocation, but it comes naturally to me.”
The deacon looks forward to “meeting the physical needs” of his flock through corporal works of mercy, but also concentrating on spiritual works of mercy through “burying the dead, counseling people and ministering to the soul.”
He admits to being a bit anxious “about unexpected situations I’ll come across in my ministry, but you just need to think on your feet.”
He will be ordained on Saturday, June 1 at the Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary, where he looks forward to “saying the Eucharistic prayer” for the first time.
He will celebrate his first Mass at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, at his home parish, Our Lady of Grace in Highland. “I have asked Father Ted Mauch to preach,” said Deacon Glick. “I have spent a lot of time with him – a full summer and since then two Christmas and two Easters with him while home from the seminary, and we have become close. He was open to me and hospitable and he is knowledgeable – I always learn from him.”
Also sharing his first Mass will be his family and friends, which he has been grateful to have in his corner throughout his schooling, military service and seminary studies. “I think my six years of seminary has been a blessing for my family because they have grown in their faith and been very supportive and happy for me,” said Deacon Glick. 


Caption: During Mass marking his 25th anniversary of priestly ordination, Bishop Robert J. McClory (right) joins other clergymen in applauding then-Deacon Zachary Glick (front, center) on the transitional deacon's final weeks before being ordained to the priesthood, on May 10 at the the Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary. Glick, a native of Highland and alumnus of Our Lady of Grace school, completed studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)