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A Divorced Father of Two Becomes Seattle’s Newest Priest
The Deacon's Bench ^ | June 30, 2013 | Deacon Greg Kandra

Posted on 07/01/2013 11:49:42 AM PDT by NYer

Amazing but true. Details:

There aren’t a whole lot of priests in the Latin Church with two grown sons, but the Archdiocese of Seattle’s newest priest, Father Mark Kiszelewski, is one of those few. He was ordained to the priesthood June 8 by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain at St. James Cathedral.

From an early age, Father Kiszelewski, now 58, felt a tug toward the priesthood, but his path to ordination was obviously not a direct one.

From seminary to ‘real world’

Growing up in Merrick, N.Y., he admired the priests at Cure of Ars Parish, where he also attended the parish school.

“I oftentimes got called out of the classroom to serve Masses and funerals and things,” he said. “There were a lot of good priests in my parish that were very holy men, and I think they gave good example to a number of us.”

He was soon on track to become one of them. He graduated from Pius X Preparatory Seminary in Uniondale and Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, Queens, and even did a year of theology training at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, on Long Island.

But in the post-Vatican II ’70s, many seminarians were encouraged to “step back” and experience the “real world,” he said.

He decided to take some time off, and was soon enjoying the excitement of working and dating in New York City. But “I still thought that I would go back” to the seminary, he said.

He worked in paper sales, and job transfers took him to California, but he always planned to return to the seminary eventually — until he met the woman he would marry.

A divorced priest?

Father Kiszelewski got married in 1984 and had two sons, Alex and Andrew, now 24 and 21, respectively.

More job changes led his family to Seattle, where he worked as a financial adviser and became a member of St. Therese Parish. Eventually, his marriage ended in divorce, and he received an annulment in 2001.

His advocate in the annulment process was his pastor, Father Paul Magnano, now pastor of Christ Our Hope Parish.

“After the annulment was over, (Father Magnano) asked me, ‘So now what?’ And I said, ‘In my prayer, some things keep coming back up about serving the church in some form or another.’ And he said, ‘Well, keep praying about it,’ and I decided to pursue it further.”

Find out what happened next.

Meantime, congratulations, padre — and ad multos annos!


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: or; priest; seattle; vocations

1 posted on 07/01/2013 11:49:42 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/01/2013 11:50:07 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Notable points are that he is not just divorced, but has a decree of nullity; and that his children are adults.


3 posted on 07/01/2013 11:54:34 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: NYer
When I was in the Seminary one of my closest friends there had 2 children and 3-4 grandkids. He had entered the seminary at age 20 but took some time off and ended up married. His wife passed away and it was his children that encouraged him to look into the seminary again.
4 posted on 07/01/2013 11:59:23 AM PDT by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: iowamark

Your points are good ones, yet this story doesn’t make me happy. An annulment means the sacrament was invalid, but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t some type of marriage in the first place. I think it’s unfortunate that the details of this man’s life before the priesthood had to be made public. I don’t doubt the goodness or sincerity of this new priest, but I think it sets a bad example for a priest to be someone who was married, had two children — who, I’ll concede are now adults — and got a civil divorce and an annulment before becoming a priest. People in pews whose marriages are in crisis could reasonably look at this priest and think, “There were ground for him to get an annulment and start over. Why not for me, too?”


5 posted on 07/01/2013 12:04:05 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: verga

I think a priest who is a widower sets a very different example for married people in the pews than does a priest who is divorced (see my other post).


6 posted on 07/01/2013 12:05:09 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: dansangel

*Ping* to myself for later contemplation.....


7 posted on 07/01/2013 12:10:58 PM PDT by dansangel (Rest in peace, .45MAN)
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To: NYer

Not saying that other priests don’t know what they’re talking about, but here’s a guy with a lot of real-world experience with dating, and I think that would help innumerable amounts of young adults experiencing problems with dating, whether it’s with their current boy/girlfriend, or just someone they’re interested in, but aren’t sure how to go about pursuing that person. He could also help very many married couples with his experience.


8 posted on 07/01/2013 12:16:37 PM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a gamer not because I choose to have no life, but because I choose to have many.)
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To: utahagen

I think a priest who is a widower sets a very different example for married people in the pews than does a priest who is divorced (see my other post).
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
I agree with you in regards to if one had his ‘druthers’. However, my own personal take on it is once married, you forfeit your chances of becoming a Priest.

I had broken away from the Church for many years and went back and didn’t ‘like’ the new Mass, Lay People distributing Communion, Enlish rather than Latin etc etc.
So I guess I have committed my soul to Purgatory - I should be so lucky BUT the heat doesn’t bother me all that much.
(Divorce, marrying a non Catholic, not partaking Sacraments for long while)... Just like your ‘mainstream C Politician, all the rules don’t apply to them.) I am waiting (hoping) for the Church Hierarchy to tell Pelosi and Biden (for starters) to take a hike and quit receiving Communion, which must just be for photo ops anyhow.

Just my take on it but we looked at things differently when I was an altar boy (1953 or so).

I was married 43 years and got a divorce, that was official in ‘07 and I haven’t really dated or been looking since but enough of the ladies I have talked to didn’t (don’t) think that the 43 years was considered sticking to a commitment - we were ‘over’ long before that but ‘stuck it out’ till both daughters were established with their own families.


9 posted on 07/01/2013 12:20:34 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 --Inside every 'older' man there is a 'younger' man wondering "WTF happened")
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To: utahagen

Is an annulement like a hafqa’at kiddushin?

(Essentially a forced get because there was something not valid in the marriage.)

Or do you know what that is?


10 posted on 07/01/2013 12:20:51 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Jewbacca; utahagen
Is an annulement like a hafqa’at kiddushin? (Essentially a forced get because there was something not valid in the marriage.)

Yes. Annulments are granted, for example, when, if after marriage, one of the pair changes its mind about having children ... or ... is physically abusive towards the other. These are just a few examples.

11 posted on 07/01/2013 12:28:30 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Divorce is a civil matter.

An annulment is an ecclesial matter. It signifies that the elements necessary for a truly sacramental marriage did not exist. It asserts that no sacramental marriage occurred. Hence, he was not married in the way the Church looks upon marriage.


12 posted on 07/01/2013 12:33:52 PM PDT by veritas2002
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To: NYer

Thank you. Learn something every day on FR.


13 posted on 07/01/2013 12:34:14 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: NYer
The examples you cite are not grounds for annulment. An annulment means the marriage was invalid at the outset, not that something went wrong after the wedding. If a person tesitifes in an annulment proceeding that he or she NEVER intended to have children (and perhaps lied about it before the wedding), this would be grounds for an annulment. However, if someone said, “I fully intended to have children, but changed my mind a year after the wedding”, that would not by a valid ground for an annulment. (Of course, most such people would simply lie and claim to never have wanted children.)

Also, abuse is not grounds for an annulment; it’s merely justification for separating from the abusive spouse. Now, abuse may be cited as evidence that the abuser lacked the psychological maturity to marry in the first place, but abuse alone would not be ground for annulment.

An annulment means that something at the outset of the marriage made the marriage invalid. For example, a man who knew he was homosexual when he dated and married a woman would not be someone who could be validly married. However, a heterosexual man who married his wife with the intention of being faithful to her, but after the wedding, wanted to have an open marriage, should not be granted an annulment.

OF course, AS I write above, some people fudge and lie when trying to get an annulment, but objectively, a change of heart about having kids or abuse themselves would not be grounds for annulment.

14 posted on 07/01/2013 12:41:38 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: veritas2002
Hence, he was not married in the way the Church looks upon marriage.

With two adult children. You can see why Protestants sometimes look at us and find us Monty Python-esque.


15 posted on 07/01/2013 12:52:21 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: utahagen

He is no longer married, at least in the eyes of the church. Without knowing the specifics of the annulment it is not ours to judge. This does not seem like a “Kennedy Annulment” to me.

I think its guys like this who make the best priests. They know life and they know God.

If he is truly repentant of any sins he committed prior to taking his vows...he is fine with me.


16 posted on 07/01/2013 1:28:49 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?)
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To: utahagen; Jewbacca

I don’t know if this will help but: An annulment doesn’t say the sacrament was “invalid” (or in any way defective) it says it never occured in the first place. The marriage never occured in the eyes of God.

This is how it’s different than a “simple” divorce. A divorce is man saying (or trying to say but failing miserably), “This marriage no longer exists. It’s terminated.”

No one has the power to do that. “What God has joined no man can separate”. This is always true.

So the good Father here is in no way lessening the sacramental vow and bond. It never existed in the first place for him, or his wife.


17 posted on 07/01/2013 1:33:53 PM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven

Does this make the children bastards in the church which annulled the parents marriage?


18 posted on 07/01/2013 1:39:58 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

I don’t know the answer to that question, as a matter of fact, to be honest.

However if one accepts the definition of “bastard child” as one concieved as a result of willful fornication I would say “no”, as, at the time, (I think it’s safe to assume) the two believed they were married so they did not “willfully” commit fornication.

This is my opinion of the situation.


19 posted on 07/01/2013 2:00:56 PM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: xrmusn

Please find a Latin Mass nearby and worship Our Lord on Sundays and Holy Days. Purgatory is a very painful and lonely place according to those who have been given a look. Even if you can find a less offensive NO, go. It is far better than the alternative.


20 posted on 07/01/2013 2:07:20 PM PDT by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: FourtySeven

Ok. I was always curious about that.


21 posted on 07/01/2013 2:09:40 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

No it does not. The parents had a civil marriage, the Church is dealing only with the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.


22 posted on 07/01/2013 2:09:58 PM PDT by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: pbear8

So why offer religious annullments if there are children from the marriage?

Again I am curious. I’m not a Catholic and just want info.


23 posted on 07/01/2013 2:13:38 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: Vermont Lt

I do not think for a minute that this is a “Kennedy Annulment” and I certainly don’t judge this man; I didn’t even opine that he should not be ordained. Further, I didn’t imply he had done anything sinful. For argument’s sake, let’s assume he was the innocent party in a marriage that was sacramentally invalid through no fault of his own. I simply said I wished his personal history were not public because it is confusing to see a priest who has been divorced. It is because this is undoubtedly a good, devout man that it is troubling: people in troubled marriages see in a position of authority a manifestly good person whose marriage failed, but who went on to good life without his spouse. It may be demoralizing to married people.


24 posted on 07/01/2013 2:20:14 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: utahagen

Fair ‘nuff.

I should have cleared your name out of the reply to. My response looked as though I was addressing you, when I was speaking in general.

I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


25 posted on 07/01/2013 3:06:59 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?)
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To: RginTN
Originally there were only a couple of grounds for the Church to annul the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The three that I can think of were homosexuality, impotence and being too closely related by blood (degree of consanguinity).

In the 70s, in this country, liberals came up with all sorts of fake reasons to annul, the favorite being 'lack of discretion', lack of maturity to make a sound decision about marriage. Naturally that made a joke of the sacrament and they were ordered by the Vatican to tightened things up. Things are better and they are no longer passing annulments out like M&Ms, but these actions cannot be pleasing to Our Lord.

Why offer them if there are kids? There may be a good reason in a rare case here or there, but I cannot think of any. Recall how scripture says that our hearts would become hardened. Ultimately this is all due to our sin and that is the bottom line. Remember though, the right of the children to inherit, etc. are not affected by the annulment of the parents. The children are innocent victims.

26 posted on 07/01/2013 3:24:46 PM PDT by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: Vermont Lt

No problem!


27 posted on 07/01/2013 4:30:18 PM PDT by utahagen
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To: pbear8

Thank you.


28 posted on 07/01/2013 6:30:58 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

Ok, if you want to put it that way. That’s kind of a mean slur on innocent children, though. The parents were also considered married according to the civil laws of the state, so the kids are not the children of unwed parents under the civil laws.


29 posted on 07/01/2013 9:56:10 PM PDT by married21
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To: RginTN

No


30 posted on 07/01/2013 10:11:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: married21

Sorry. Old school lingo slipped out.

But how does the Catholic church view children from marriages they annulled? That has me curious.


31 posted on 07/02/2013 12:21:14 AM PDT by RginTN
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To: Salvation

Thanks.


32 posted on 07/02/2013 12:21:51 AM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

The Church doesn’t have a particular view of them that is different from any other kids. The kids of parents who have had an annulment are going to church, attending Catholic school, etc., as far as I know, without any stigma.

The folks at the diocesan marriage tribunal tell me that every year, when adult converts are getting baptized at Easter, there are some annulments of prior marriages that are completed in time for the baptism. I doubt any of those converts are experiencing any stigma toward their kids from their annulled marriage, or they would not be so eager to join the church.


33 posted on 07/02/2013 12:45:35 AM PDT by married21
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Babies don’t seem intrinsic to marriages these days when 50% of all children are born out of wedlock. Contraception helped promote the hook-up culture and that’s why marriage is in a free-fall. It’s only the Catholic Church that has the consistent teaching about what marriage is and what marriage is not. Sticking your dick into some someone and popping out a baby does not constitute marriage.


34 posted on 07/02/2013 3:41:50 AM PDT by veritas2002
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To: married21

Ok you answered my question.

Thank you!


35 posted on 07/02/2013 12:51:52 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN; FourtySeven
Does this make the children bastards in the church which annulled the parents marriage?

NO, it does not. Legitimacy for children is imparted by the STATE by way of the marriage license. If a couple has children and is divorced legally, that doesn't make their children 'bastards', so why should the statement of nullity of a Sacrament, which had nothing to do with 'legitimacy' of any children born in that marriage?

36 posted on 07/02/2013 6:45:54 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: NYer

The cause of the annulment needs to exist at the time of the putative marriage—something that springs up out of nowhere after the wedding day (e.g. a change of mind about kids) doesn’t suffice.


37 posted on 07/04/2013 1:54:05 PM PDT by Hieronymus ( (It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. --G.K. Chesterton))
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