By Victoria Miller
Get to know the newest member of DeSales, Vice President for Missions Father Kevin Nadolski. This new position involves inspiring the collaboration of the university as a community to incorporate Catholic and Siegen identity. The representatives for this mission gather to discuss what makes DeSales relate to a mission. The most important aspect of the school’s mission, “Be who you are, and be that well,” should not only focus on people being their best individual selves, but also working together as a community. One way to start incorporating the mission into this community, according to Nadolski, is through dialogue.
With dialogue, people can further their understanding of this community by discussing real world opinions such as gun control, capital punishment, LGBT+ and voting. By having two well-educated individuals commenting on these topics, they will incorporate different opinions and open up discussion among the students.
“One of the real difficulties of our present moment in society and even the church is that we don’t know how to talk to each other,” Nadolski said. “Furthering dialogue can help us communicate with each other in the future. Understanding how the community feels about important topics now, can better prepare us to disagree in a more civilized manner.”
Nadolski came about his position after working as the assistant provincial to Father Greenfield at the Administration of the Oblates. After his term there ended, he knew he wanted to work on a college campus. He attended graduate school for a PhD in Catholic higher education. Through studying Catholic identity, he knew how needed his position was at DeSales. A Cabinet level professional on the administration for mission was a recommendation of the Middle States. Because of his educational background and experience, he was able to land the position.
Nadolski always admired the priests and seminaries who taught at his high school, Father Judge. Being able to see how the priests live their lives outside of school, how down to earth they were and how approachable they were inspired him to join the seminary after graduating from Temple University. After his first two years with the Oblates in Washington D.C., he noticed he was becoming a better version of himself. Another fond experience for him was working at a high school as an Oblate seminarian. While teaching there, many of his faculty members found that he was an excellent and capable worker. That gave him the encouragement he needed to continue in the seminary.
Throughout Nadolski’s time in the seminary, he learned to be approving toward others and to be grateful for what God had given him in his life. Not everyone on the planet has access to food, education or shelter. It made him realize that everything he had was thanks to God. He is inspired by his parents for giving him a great life that he can now cherish and really appreciate.
“I’d like to think I’ve never lost that sense of utter gratitude for every last blessing that I have,” Nadolski said. Throughout his trip to Haiti and seeing the poverty and a successful student of his, Nadolski became a victim of gun violence. He is reminded of the power of grace and how everyone should choose to be people of hope and joy each day.
“I’m inspired by the generosity and the energy of the students here at DeSales,” Nadolski commented in regards to what he thinks of DeSales. In addition to developing dialogue throughout the community, Nadolski also wants to look into the core curriculum to integrate Catholic tradition into the student’s academic lives.
“In this new role that has never existed here I think there is an openness to what I can bring with my gifts, and I think that goes with the heart of our mission,” Nadolski added. “That each person, each student, each staff member, each faulty member is really respected as somebody who is literally graced by God with gifts to deploy amidst this community.”