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Lifetime of social work led 39-year old to Catholic clergy

.- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, will ordain 39-year-old Deacon Mark Kovacik to the Catholic priesthood on Saturday, December 1 at 10 am in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.  Kovacik’s ordination will culminate nearly eight years of Catholic study at the Archdiocese of Denver’s Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary.
 
Kovacik, a native of Denver, spent two years teaching in Chuuk, Micronesia, and one year of Catholic missionary work in Israel. Upon returning to Denver, Kovacik continued to serve the poor and less fortunate, working five years with the Stout Street Clinic to provide medical care for the homeless.
 
Kovacik’s extensive travel, missionary work, and involvement with the Neocatechumenal Way, a Catholic movement, eventually revealed a call to the priesthood. He entered the seminary in 1999. His studies have specifically prepared him to be a missionary priest for the Denver Archdiocese, meaning the archbishop may assign him to serve as a priest anywhere in the world.
 
Kovacik’s journey reflects a common trend in men currently entering the priesthood. A national survey, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, revealed a national average age of 35 for those entering the Roman Catholic priesthood in 2007. Analysis also revealed a highly educated class of ordinands, with more than 60 percent completing college before entering seminary. Many of the men went on to complete advanced degrees in law, medicine, and education before even considering the Catholic priesthood.


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