Michael Kolakowski

Date of Ordination: May 30, 2009 (for the Archdiocese of Phila)
Current Assignment: Our Lady Star of the Sea , Cape May

Formation began early. Growing up in a home with loving parents and siblings, the virtue of love was real and to always be worked at attentively and diligently. It was so natural, but not always easy. Prayer was part of home life: mornings, before meals, evenings, Mass, the sacraments, serving others. Growing up meant growing in responsibility: Friendships, sports, community groups – all opportunities to serve others. The good habit of trying to love as Christ loves us was expressed in the ordinary encounters, routines and chores of the day. Attending Catholic school through grade 12 deepened my understanding of faith, my relationship with Jesus. Work life was so significant in my formation.

My career with the School District of Philadelphia was a powerful opportunity to grow in love and service. Teaching severely handicapped students and serving as an elementary principal in areas of the city that posed great challenges for children and their families taught me charity and zeal.: to love as Christ loves us.

Ultimately, the vocation of marriage and family became the strongest pillar of my formation: Practicing and growing in faith with my wife, and passing on the faith to our children. Serving in our parish and neighborhood community with my wife, Maureen, and our children became the guiding experiences that led to inquiry about the emerging call of Jesus to serve him as a deacon.