Date of Birth: 13/09/1913
Date of Death: 25/03/1987
Date of Ordination: 29/05/1938
Date of Installation: 30/11/-0001

Fr Ivan Mihalic


Early Life

Ivan Mihalic was born on September 13, 1913 at Novo Selo in Cakovec, Croatia. He was educated firstly at the Government School at Novo Selo and then by the Franciscan Fathers at Varardin. His ecclesiastical studies were undertaken at the Zagreb and Senji diocesan seminaries. He was ordained priest for the diocese of Senji in their Cathedral on May 29, 1938.

Work in South Australia

He arrived in Adelaide on May 29, 1957, having previously worked as a chaplain to the Croatian Community in Melbourne, and was appointed Chaplain to the Croatians here in Adelaide. On January 1, he was appointed part-time Assistant Priest in the St Peters Parish, while continuing to work among the Croatians.

On April 23, 1962 he moved to Dulwich Parish, again as Part-time Assistant Priest as well as Chaplain to the Croatians. Later that year, in December, the moved to Parkside to work full time among the Croatians and living at a house next to St Raphael’s Church, Parkside, which was designated as a Croatian Centre.

On October 20, 1965 he was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Adelaide from the diocese of Senji in Croatia. In January 1970 Fr Mihalic suffered a heart attack, after which he was granted a period of leave. By this time there was another Croatian priest, Fr Nicika Dusevic, who had come to Adelaide as a student and was ordained on June 29, 1963. He was appointed, firstly to St Peters Parish, working mainly among the Italian, but then as full-time chaplain to the Croatians on May 11, 1970.

At the end of March 1970 Fr Mihalic was granted long service leave and he went to California where he had a sister living. He stayed away for about 12 months, but did not return to Adelaide to work as chaplain. He went to work among the Croatian people in Melbourne where he had worked when he first came to Australia.


However, he was still a priest of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, so on his retirement he returned to Adelaide in January 1985 to take up residence at Villa Beovich at Myrtle Bank where he lived for the last two years of his life.

Having suffered ill health for the last 16 years of his life, he died on March 25, 1987 at Lourdes Valley. There was a concelebrated Mass in the Lourdes Valley chapel on March 28 followed by his Funeral Mass, celebrated in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on the March 30. In accord with the wishes of his sister, his body was sent to the United States for burial.

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