The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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August 10, 2001 Issue
Local News

Heart leads to the seminary

After more than 20 years in the work force, David Duffek answers the call

By Sarah Malcore

After more than 20 years in the work force, David Duffeck knew something was missing - especially since he felt that God was calling him to a different type of life.

Now, "Follow your heart," is Duffeck's mantra as a first-year theology student at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.

Duffeck grew up in the Kewaunee area, graduating in 1975 from Kewaunee High School, then earning a degree in marketing at Fox Valley Tech. In 1988 he received a bachelor's degree from Marian College in Fond du lac.

After completing his degree at Fox Valley Tech in 1979, Duffeck became a retail manager at Race Office Products in Oshkosh, where he sold art supplies for the next 15 years.

"I worked in the commercial art sector, so I had an opportunity to deal with the creative aspects of people," Duffeck said. "The part I enjoyed most was working with people."

Duffeck also volunteered for various organizations, and in 1989 he served as facility chairman for the Humane Society and helped in the renovation of their premises.

"I was able to deal with people on a much deeper level, issues closer to their hearts. Although I had a little of that in sales, there was always the money-driven push," said Duffeck in explaining why his work on the animal shelter was different from his job.

In 1994, Duffeck started to notice that something was missing from his life, so he decided to make a change.

He accepted a job in commercial wire fabrication sales for Wald Wire in Oshkosh, working with clients across Wisconsin.

In 1996, he also got more involved in his church and the community.

"I started teaching religious education at my home parish, St. Raphael Church, and working on teams for various retreats," said Duffeck.

"I also worked for the Habitat for Humanity in 1996 and was on the board of directors for a year. I was also blessed to work with the Boys and Girls Club Alumni with their tremendous dedication to the youth," Duffek said. "This was a point in my life where I started to do the things that were closer to my heart."

In 1998, Duffeck was offered a job as the facility manager at St. Raphael Church.

"My pastor, Fr. Dan Felton, felt this would be a great opportunity to get a real inside look at church life and to better discern my calling to the priesthood," Duffeck said.

"The experience taught me a lot about people and their faith in their relationship to the church," he said. "There is a breadth and a depth that while complex is also very exciting. I wanted to assist people in their spiritual journeys of faith. To bring the message of Christ into the joys and trials of life through the sacraments of the church was a strong desire."

Then Duffeck decided it was time to take his calling a step further so he met with Fr. Doug LeCaptain, diocesan director of vocations, and elected to enter the seminary. He started last January at St. Meinrad Seminary.

Duffek said he is thankful for his experiences, because they have prepared him for what is to come.

"I have been encouraged by many people such as priests, deacons and friends," Duffeck said. "Although there may be some who question my going, it ultimately lies between God and me."

(Malcore works in the diocesan Vocations office.)


Who: David Duffeck.

What: First year theology student.

Where: St. Meinrad Seminary.

Home Parish: St. Raphael in Oshkosh.

E-mail: [email protected]

Interested: For more information on vocations to priesthood or religious life, phone Fr. Doug LeCaptain at (920)437-7531 or toll-free at 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8293, or by e-mail, [email protected]; or visit the vocations section of the diocesan web page.

To learn more about the diocese's other seminarians, please e-mail your name and address to [email protected] or call (920)437-7531 or toll-free, 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8287, to receive a free book about all the seminarians.

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