The Reverend James Edward Novakowski, age 67 of North Platte, passed away at his home on Wednesday April 25, 2018.
Fr. Jim was born December 4, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA to Edward and Regina (Mulvey) Novakowski. His mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he helped care for her until her death in 1986. His father was married to Clare and she became a much loved step-mother to him. He attended St. Anne Elementary School and Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia. After graduation in 1969 he worked in the direct marketing field for 20 years, prior to entering the seminary. In 1988 he enrolled at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He completed his studies in 1992 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He then transferred to St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver, CO where he studied for the Diocese of Grand Island and received his MA in Theology in 1995. Beginning in the summer of 1993 he served in many capacities, with field experience at St. Mary Cathedral in Grand Island, NE and St. Pius X in Aurora, CO. He received the Ministries of Acolyte and Lector on October 1, 1993. In October of 1994 he was admitted to Candidacy for Orders and on October 21, 1994 was ordained to Diaconate. He earned clinical pastoral experience at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver from September 1994 thru March 1995. On June 2, 1995 he was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Lawrence J. McNamara at St. Mary Cathedral in Grand Island, NE. On July 1, 1995 he became the associate pastor at Holy Rosary Church in Alliance, NE where he served for a year before becoming the pastor of St. John Evangelist in Stapleton, St. Agnes in Arnold, and St. Boniface in Callaway. He served at these churches until July 1, 2001 when he became the pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Sidney, NE. On September 25, 2006 he was appointed Consultor and February 21, 2007, in addition to his other duties, he became Associate Director of Vocations. On July 1, 2007 he became the pastor at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in North Platte as well as Sacred Heart in Sutherland and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hershey. On July 1, 2009 he accepted an additional assignment as Associate Director of Vocations for the North Platte Deanery. On September 1, 2011 he was reappointed to the College of Consultors; July 1, 2013 he was named Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, and March 24, 2015 was reappointed Vicar for Clergy by Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt. May 7, 2015 he was reappointed to College of Consultors through August 31, 2016. Fr. Jim led a life of service to God and his church families and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Fr. Jim was preceded in death by his mother Regina (Mulvey) Novakowski; father Edward Novakowski; step-mother Clare Novakowski; and brother Edward.
Memorials are suggested to Holy Spirit Catholic Church and online condolences may be shared at www.adamsswanson.com. Christian Wake Services will be 7:00 p.m. Sunday April 29, 2018 and Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Monday April 30, 2018 both at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with The Most Reverend Joseph Hanefeldt, Bishop of Grand Island Diocese as Celebrant. Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday April 29, 2018 at Holy Spirit. Burial will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA. Adams and Swanson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.