Ilija was born in Kamena, Herzegovina on July 26, 1941, Fr.
Ilija completed grade school in his home town and then finished
high at the Franciscan Seminary in Visoko. His completed his
studies of philosophy and theology in Sarajevo. He was ordained
a priest on July 26, 1969 in Frohnleiten, Austria. That same
year he arrived in the United States and studied English at
Dayton, Ohio. Fr. Ilija became assistant pastor at St. Mary's
in Steelton where he spent five years. He then went to Assumption
Parish in Thunder Bay and became their first pastor (1976-1980).
After this he was appointed pastor at St. Leopold Mandić
in London, Ontario (1980-1982), St. Anthony's in Sharon (1982-1984),
Sacred Heart in Milwaukee (associate pastor 1984-1985, pastor
1985-1986), SS . Cyril and Methodius in New York (1986-1989)
and St. Leopold Mandic in London, Ontario (1989-1994). For
a short period of time he was at Sacred Heart in Chicago after
which he was named pastor of St. Mark's in Sudbury in 1995
where he served until 2001. For the next two years he
was pastor of St. Nicolas Tavelic Parish in Montreal.
Since May 2003, he returned to Sudbury where he served
as assistant pastor at St. Mark in Sudbury, and since 2006 he was a pastor for St. Mark's and Trinity parishes in Sudbury. In 2008 he became assistant pastor Queen of Peace in Norval, Canada, and in 2013 he left for New York Croatian parish, where he is today.