Mason County News
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St. Joseph Catholic Church Welcomes Father Melvin Dornak
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 • Posted July 20, 2011

Bishop Joe Vasquez, of The Austin Diocese, assigned Father Melvin Dornak to serve Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Llano and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mason, effective July 1, 2011.Father Melvin’s former parish was St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Franklin, Texas. He served that parish for seven years.The parishioners at St. Joseph’s have been busy extending their hearts and hands to say “Welcome” to Father Melvin. A few parishioners remembered him when he spent some time at St. Joseph’s as a seminarian in the summer of 1990.Some of his life history includes: Born in Waco on September 11th, growing up in a military family and that life provided him with his earliest memory being that of living in Libya. Other stops stateside include Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma and several locations in Texas. Father’s last name of “Dornak” will tell you that he has a Czech background. His father, Leo C. Dornak, was from Hallettsville and his mother, Willie Mae Marek Dornak, was from West. Father Melvin received his BA in Economics from the University of Texas in 1976.Following college, Father Melvin joined the military as he didn’t have his heart set in any one direction at that time and he has fond memories of the military. Thus, the Navy was the next piece of his life’s puzzle. He attended submarine school and still holds a very special fondness for this part of his naval education.In light of what would be his future calling, a chaplain corps LCDR gave him a statute, the Pieta, at this time for his role as Sunday lector. The statute sits on his desk to this very day. Once Father returned to civilian life, he entered the retail jewelry business field. Once, again, he didn’t feel like this was meant to be his life’s work. However, during these years, he continued to feel like he was being called to the priesthood; he had been serving in different ministries of the churches where he had been a parishioner during his travels.In 1985, he made the final decision to begin the process to join the priesthood. He spent two years in the seminary at St. Thomas University in Houston and, in 1987, he entered the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. During his years of study and preparation, he also served as a hospital chaplain, a jail minister and continued his love of studying history.Graduation and ordination was celebrated in December 1992 at St. Louis Catholic Church in Austin!The parishes he has been blessed to serve for over eighteen plus years have all helped to form him into the priest that we are excited to welcome to our parish.

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