Candidates are slated to join the priesthood in 2020
By Jill Kruse-Domeyer & Dan Russo
DUBUQUE — Two men from the archdiocese who are currently studying at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois will be ordained transitional deacons May 24 at the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque. They will become priests in 2020.
Nick Radloff, 33, is the son of Ron and Mary Radloff. He was born in Cascade and spent his grade school years in Charles City, before the family relocated to Dyersville. The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville is his home parish. Radloff has one sister who lives in Minnesota with her husband and two children.
Radloff graduated from Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville in 2003 and went to St. Louis University to study aerospace engineering. He was part of the Air Force ROTC program there.
Though the priesthood had been something he had thought about since childhood, it wasn’t until college, after a trip to Rome, that Radloff said he began to discern a vocation to the priesthood more seriously. Because of his commitment to the Air Force, however, seminary wasn’t an immediate possibility.
Radloff received his B.S. degree and was commissioned as an officer in 2008, becoming a navigator in the 79th Rescue Squadron. His discernment continued, and he began graduate theology studies while flying full-time. He was deployed three times with the 79th. He left the Air Force when his commitment was complete in 2015 and began seminary the following January. He completed his B.A in philosophy from Loras College in 2017 and his M.A. in theology from Catholic Distance University in 2018. He currently attends Mundelein Seminary, where he has one year of formation remaining.
Outside of his seminary studies, Radloff said he still likes to fly as much as possible. He has a private pilot license and wishes to incorporate aviation into his ministry through membership in the National Association of Priest Pilots.
As he prepares for his diaconate ordination and moves a step closer to the priesthood, Radloff said one priest in particular has played an inspirational role in his life — his former pastor, Msgr. Edward Petty. “He taught me what a priest should be and was constantly happy in his life as a priest,” Radloff reflected. “His death in 2007 was a great loss for me, but if I can even be half of what he was to me to other people, I’ll consider that a success.”
Joseph Sevcik, 27, is the son of Joe and Lisa Sevcik. The young man grew up as a member of St. Patrick Parish in Cedar Falls. After graduating from Cedar Falls High School, Sevcik pursued a degree in exercise science from Iowa State University, which he completed in 2014.
During his first year of college, Sevcik recalls that he “experienced this strong and sudden call to priesthood.” He took some more time to discern his vocation before entering the seminary at Loras College shortly after finishing at ISU. He studied philosophy at Loras, completing the program in 2016 before moving on to Mundelein.
“All these years of study have taught me so much appreciation for all of the Catholic tradition throughout the centuries,” he said.
Outside of his studies, Sevcik is an ISU Cyclones fan who enjoys following college basketball. He also likes running, hiking, and searching for bakeries with quality donuts and other pastries.
Sevcik has had many positive influences on his journey of faith, including the Scripture professors at his seminary and Father David Schatz, a priest of the archdiocese. He also credits the work of Bishop Robert Barron, St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed John Henry Newman for enhancing his spiritual life. During his final year of formation, Sevcik is striving to prepare well for his first assignment to a parish as a priest, where he looks forward to “being able to invest in people’s lives.”
“I know people appreciate good preaching, so I’m hoping to practice a lot and be a good preacher,” he said. “I want to grow into the role of being a priest and spiritual father.”