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Mike Krecioch

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Sergeant Mike Krecioch, LAPD (ret.) retired after a 28 year career with the Los Angeles Police Department. “During his twenty-eight years with the LAPD, he worked such assignments as patrol, vice, complaint coordinator, assistant watch commander, and strike force commander. But by far, the most challenging was being raised in an orphanage knowing that both parents were still living.


When Mike had children of his own and they were old enough to start asking questions, the subject of his past orphanage life was a forbidden topic. His children wanted to know more about their father and his past. After many years, he decided to honor his children’s requests by writing his memoirs entitled Orphan’s Asylum. It ultimately took Mike ten years to put the past into words. By doing so, it has not only helped him to come to terms with what had transpired those many years ago, but has also linked him to the many other orphanage alumni and their families. His unique style of writing from the perspective of a child adds to the credibility of his book. Mike was born in Chicago, Illinois. From the age of seven to fifteen, he was raised at Saint Hedwig Orphanage located in Niles, Illinois (just north of Chicago), under the supervision of Felician nuns.


Upon leaving the orphanage, he lived with his father and stepmother for a short time before entering the United States Army in 1958.  Mike Krecioch was posted at Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Sill and Ulm Germany.  He was honorably discharged at the rank of Specialist (E4).  After retiring from the LAPD, Mike and his wife moved from Los Angeles to Florida and then to North Carolina. While in Florida, Mike became greatly involved in the community—mentoring with Take Stock in Children and working as a literacy tutor and coordinator of social community tennis. He has held membership in ProLiteracy, Friends of the Library, Advocates of Citizens with Disabilities, Inc., Experimental Aircraft Association (board member), Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Jacksonville Performing Arts Center, the local homeowner’s association (board member), the Los Angeles Police Protective League, and Rotary International. Mike and his wife (along with their therapy dog and cat) moved to North Carolina. He’s currently active in the Guardian ad Litem program (a child’s advocate in the court system), Rotary International, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Western North Carolina Writer’s Guild, and the Western North Carolina Tennis Association (board member). More books are in the works, along with some LAPD tales. Mike has previously been published in a national magazine.” Sergeant Mike Krecioch is the author of Orphan’s Asylum.


One reader of Orphan’s Asylum said, “A powerful read from beginning to end. I could feel the life as if I were there as well as experience the sounds and tastes. It truly brought to life the confines of an orphan going through the daily routines. Krecioch has embarked on a life journey and introduced us all to his pain and hardship, as well as triumph. A must to read by anyone who's ever wondered what orphanage life was all about.”


One reader of Orphan’s Asylum said, “Orphanages such as St. Hedwig are a thing of the past. There they practiced a "tough love" that would probably bring a lawsuit today. Nevertheless, they turned many a youngster into an upstanding citizen, something that many of today's intact families have failed to do. Mike Krecioch has written a great memoir about his youthful trials at St. Hedwig. It is funny, sad, and altogether honest. It's a great read.”

Orphan's Asylum
Mike Krecioch  More Info

According to the book description of Orphan’s Asylum, “Welcome to Orphan’s Asylum by Mike Krecioch. The author has experienced orphanage life and now has written his story. How the author and his two siblings wind up in a large orphanage—while both parents are alive—is the central issue of the story. You will be transported back to the early 1950s to experience the orphanage life with all its smells, sounds, and tastes. What was it truly like to live within the confines of an orphanage with all the daily routines? This is a story about another time and place, told with grace and honesty. Saint Hedwig Orphanage (1911—1961), located in Niles, Illinois, at Harlem and Touhy avenues, was more than an orphanage to more than seven thousand children. It was a family—a family of predominantly Polish children. Some were true orphans; others were children of broken homes. Under the direction of Monsignor Francis S. Rusch (1884—1959), the task of parenting and educating the children was entrusted to the Felician Sisters. The site of Saint Hedwig Orphanage, is now comprised of modern multifamily condominiums. But to those who attended Saint Hedwig, their time there will never be forgotten. All the children who called Saint Hedwig their home from 1911 to 1961 will always be remembered. Saint Hedwig alumni and their families continue to keep in touch through a newsletter entitled The Hedwigian II, which is published three times a year. When Saint Hedwig Orphanage was established, it consisted of one building. On July 12, 1911, sixty-three Polish children were transferred from Saint Joseph’s Orphanage to Saint Hedwig. Further construction took place, and ultimately, Saint Hedwig consisted of ten buildings on more than forty acres of land. These buildings remained the orphanage home up until 1961, when the buildings were renovated to become the junior college department of University of Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary. In 1968, the school became a four-year college and was renamed Niles College of Loyola University. The Archdiocese of Chicago ultimately sold the site to developers, who razed the orphanage buildings and constructed multifamily condominiums. For those who would like to find out what orphanage life was like during those times, you must read Orphan’s Asylum.”


One reader of Orphan’s Asylum said, “I couldn't put it down! I particularly loved the way Krecioch voiced the stories with a cross between a 12 year old boy and a grown man. It was a wonderful "double image." I'm impressed that he took the opportunity to showcase his "school" experience as good and bad. So many people would have taken this platform to orchestrate one huge self pity party. The situation struck a chord with me. I went to private catholic school and even though we didn't live there, Krecioch managed to give that exact atmosphere through his writing. I could almost smell the weird combination of burned candle wax, the green crumbly stuff they buffed the floors with and kick balls.”

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