Father George L. Krock, MM
Born: March 27, 1908
Ordained: June 11, 1939
Died: August 4, 1955
George L. Krock was born in Kirly, Ohio on March 27, 1908. He first heard of Maryknoll by chance when an elderly English lady gave him several issues of The Field Afar for his sister. He entered Maryknoll in September, 1929.
After his ordination on June 11, 1939 his first assignment was to Bishop Ford’s Vicariate in Kaying. Completing a year of language study in Hong Kong, he was sent to assist Fr. William O’Brien at the new and busy parish of Chungsin. Here his talent for putting a keen sense of observation to good use took shape in a series of fine stories published in the Field Afar. Later, in 1947, with the encouragement of the Publications Department, he exploited his flair for writing with the production of Stop Killing Dragons, an entertaining account of China as seen through Western eyes. With that love for people which is characteristic of all real missioners, he portrayed in an attractive manner the people of China, their cheerfulness, sense of dignity, customs and respect for the arts.
In the fall of 1944, Father George was recalled to the States to take up an assignment as Econome at the Junior Seminary in Akron, Ohio. When this house became the Brothers’ Novitiate, he was transferred to Promotion until 1948, when he received a second mission assignment, this time to Guatemala. In writing to the Superior General to thank him for the assignment, Father declared: “It is a wonderful thing to be off once more to the missions.” For seven years he labored among the 31,000 Indians in the Cuchumatanes Mountains. His mission term completed, Father Krock returned to the United States for his furlough.
While on vacation, Father George went to visit an old friend and benefactor in Springfield, Missouri in an effort to get him back to the Church. On August 4, 1955 the plane in which he was traveling from Springfield to St. Louis crashed and all on board were killed.
Fr. John Lenahan, Group Superior for Guatemala, preached the eulogy for Father Krock at the funeral Mass which was celebrated at Glen Ellyn on August 8th. In this final tribute Father Lenahan expressed these thoughts on Father Krock’s devotion to Our Lady: “His parish in Chiantla had a famous shrine to Mary which Father loved. A few years before his death Father had written a story about a little old lady called Maria who spent much of her time at the Virgin’s shrine. She used to say to Fr. Krock, ‘I would like to die so I can see the Virgin, not dimly as I see her now, but clearly; not her statue but her in person. So when I die ring the bells loudly so people will know that I have gone home.’ I think we can say that the bells are ringing because Father George has gone home.”