Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Deacon David Dudinsky retires

by Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the August 20, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Deacon David Dudinsky (IR file photo)

Deacon David Dudinsky, ordained June 24, 1999, has retired from active ministry, effective July 1 of this year.

Deacon Dudinsky most recently served at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Spokane. That followed assignments at St. John Vianney Parish, Spokane Valley; St. Patrick, Spokane; and Our Lady of the Lake, Suncrest.

Dudinsky, 75, will be celebrating 50 years of marriage with his wife, Cathy, on Aug. 21.

The couple will be honored with a family gathering in Lincoln City, on the Oregon Coast. “We’re very fortunate,” he said in a phone interview recently.

Deacon Dudinsky came to the diaconate after a career in education, including three years in the Catholic school system as principal of Cataldo School in Spokane, 1992-95.

After that he retired from education and looked for a new direction for his life. He ended up getting a job doing deliveries for a pharmacy, “and I loved it.” From there he branched out into a side business doing lawn care and “a little bit of everything. Got to the point where I was working 70 days straight, no days off – and I loved it.

“I loved education, being with the kids, but it was a chance to do something totally different and unrelated to what I had been doing.” That continued until about three years ago.

Since then, he and Cathy have “concentrated on spirituality more,” including their involvement with the Secular Franciscans at St. Francis of Assisi.

The best part of diaconal ministry, he said, has been “being able to be so closely associated with a lot of special people,” Deacon Dudinsky said.

He has preached at least once a month, he said, which meant “constant study. I’m not an intellectual.” Were it not for diaconate, “I wouldn’t have learned so much about my faith.” He found that his past “spiritual hunger and emptiness” led to a closer relationship with God, “in a special ministry. God allowed me to do that.”

He will continue to minister through Communion services at Catholic Charities’ O’Malley Apartments, as he has for two years now.

Bishop William Skylstad, bishop emeritus of the Spokane Diocese, who ordained Deacon Dudinsky in 1999, spoke briefly about the deacon’s ministry via an email interview.

“Just two weeks ago as I write this, I was at Xavier University in Cincinnati for the National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education, to give a talk and preside at the final Mass for the gathering. Present were some 350 deacons and wives from all over the country. What an impressive group! That gathering also reminds me of the community of deacons and their wives here in our diocese who have so generously offered their service and the deacons their ministry. Their presence here, too, has been a remarkable journey.

“Deacon Dave Dudinsky, who will now retire as a deacon, has been a part of that story of grace and blessing for our diocesan family. May the Lord bless him and Cathy, his wife, with peace and joy as he enters these golden years of retirement and slowing down. We are profoundly grateful to them both.”

“I’m so very thankful because I’ve been given much more than I’ve given to others,” Deacon Dudinsky said. “I’ll never ever forget all the people in my life. When it comes time for the last roundup, I’ll have had a rich life, and no regrets. It’s been a good ride. God’s been riding right along with me all the way. And he’s let me have more than I was ever deserving of having.”

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