About the Author

Fr. Derek Sakowski

When parishioners ask me where I grew up, I like to quip that I am still figuring out the whole growing up thing. I was raised by my mother and stepfather in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, together with my four other siblings. We are all grateful for our upbringing, but admit that it wasn’t always easy. In more recent years, I’ve embarked on a journey of deeper emotional and spiritual healing, which I believe has enriched my ministry as a priest, not to mention my identity as a beloved child of God. I look forward to sharing parts of my story in this blog.

I will also share what I have learned academically. I was truly blessed with top-rate teachers every step of the way: the faculty at Assumption High School, the Catholic Studies program at  the University of St. Thomas, the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, and the Theology Faculty at the Pontifical College Josephinum.  Students often look back and remember one or two brilliant teachers who stood out as extraordinary. I can think of at least of at least twenty! God was good to me.

My seminary formation also included some unique pastoral opportunities: serving the poorest of the poor with the Missionaries of Charity, street ministry in the neighborhoods of D.C., helping regularly with a post-abortion healing ministry in Columbus, and much more.

During my first five years of priesthood I served at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point as chaplain and instructor of theology and Latin. Those were fun years! In 2008, my bishop sent me to the Gregorian University in Rome to pursue a Doctorate in Sacred Theology, which I completed in 2012, with a specialization in Ecclesiology. Since returning to the diocese, I’ve been Pastor of St. Mary’s in Altoona and St. Raymond of Peñafort in Southern Eau Claire County. The people of both parishes will always have a special place in my heart.

Aside from writing, my hobbies include playing nerdy board games and dabbling with a reef aquarium.