Gregory Laka - East Troy 1958 - 1962

A Product of the SVDs

From 1958 to 1962 I attended Divine Word Seminary in East Troy, Wisconsin. Leaving home at the age of 14 to attend seminary was a blessing in my life.  During those formative years all of us in East Troy were given the opportunity to build our individual core values, build strong relationships and responsibilities that don’t normally come until later but the SVDs helped us grow into manhood. 

A group of alumni from East Troy participated for 28 years in a yearly weekend retreat taking place the first weekend in March at the retirement facility in East Troy.  We each would take turns in picking a topic and leading sessions starting on Friday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon.  Every year was a new topic and new leader when each of us would portray our skills learned from the SVDs.

At the age of 24, my business career began within the executive employment industry.  My first 5 years were working for a firm learning the industry and running the Chicago office.  That experience gave me the confidence to start my own recruiting firm where in 17 years we grew to 4 offices and over 70 employees, becoming one of the top recruiting firms in the Chicago market.

During my business career I joined a business club, The Union League Club, and got involved for 41 years working with the kids of our Boys and Girls Clubs in 17 locations in the city of Chicago.  Seeing these young people develop their skills in sports and studies and values was quite rewarding.  My wife joined in and ran a charitable ball for a few years to raise money to help support the Boys and Girls Club of the Union League Club.

Today, I have been married to my wife, Carole, for 56 years. We had 3 children and five grandchildren. Several years ago, I almost lost Carole to a deadly lung disease.  At the intensive care unit of the hospital, I was told her vital signs could not be any lower.  She was going to die in a matter of a few hours.

I went to the Adoration Chapel at our parish and prayed to God for a miracle to save her life.  I felt she had so much more to give.  When I returned to the hospital, the nurse couldn’t wait to tell me she just experienced a miracle with Carole.  Her vitals had returned to normal and she was going to be fine. WOW the power of prayer!

Today we are living in LaPorte, Indiana, in our third phase of life.  We travel and are getting more and more involved in our parish and we hope to see some of you this summer in our travels.