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
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
"I started teaching religious education at my home parish, St.
Raphael Church, and working on teams for various retreats," said
"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
In 1998, Duffeck was offered a job as the facility manager at St.
"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.