Monsignor Eugene Lozinski began his ministry service in 1972.
“That was the year I was ordained,” Lozinski said.
Having grown up in St. Leo, Lozinski said his local church had a very good pastor, and it was during that time when he felt God was calling him to ministry.
“I have always wanted to serve God and help others,” said Lozinski, adding that was confirmed when he was in high school.
Lozinski began pursuit of his calling to ministry at St. John’s Prep School and then attended a junior college before completing his education at St. Paul Seminary ultimately earning a Master of Divinity.
More than four decades later, Lozinski continues to serve God and the church, and earlier this month during the Bishop Lucker lecture event he was one of four individuals who was presented the 2019 Diocesan Distinguished Service Award.
“I feel very honored and humbled,” said Lozinski, adding, however, he knows there are many others who are very “much more worthy” of this recognition.
Lozinski began his ministry in New Ulm as an associate priest, and over the past 46 years he has served in a number of communities within the New Ulm Diocese, including a period of ministry during the late 80s and early 90s at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls.
He is currently serving as pastor of the Mercy Area Faith Community, which includes the Church of St. Paul in Comfrey, the Church of St. Michael in Morgan, the Church of the Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth and the Church of St. Mary in Sleepy Eye.
“I have always enjoyed what I do,” said Lozinski, adding it has been a privilege to serve. “I still enjoy it tremendously.”
Lozinski, who has also taken on a number of leadership roles within the New Ulm Diocese over the years, said that has given him the chance to have a greater impact on the lives of people and the church as a whole.
Having studied church law in college, Lozinski has been able to be involved in that aspect of ministry. Today he serves as chancellor of the New Ulm diocese as well as in the role of associate judge of the diocesan tribunal office.
Lozinski said over the past 15 years he has also been involved in working with couples as they prepare for marriage.
In 2005, Lozinski was named a chaplain to the pope and was given the title of monsignor. Lozinski said the church has definitely changed in a lot of ways over the years. Yet, he added the basic message of the cross has remained the same.
“The purpose of the church continues to point people to Christ,” said Lozinski.
The church itself in rural areas where Lozinski has ministered is changing rapidly in terms of demographics, and that is leading to fewer people and more challenges for the church.
Priests, he said, are serving more parishes at one time making ministry more of a challenge. Yet, he added, he also sees a spiritual awaking happening in the church, and he just wants to be able to be a part of that the best way he possibly can.
Lozinski said he is very grateful for the privilege he has had to serve people and to answer the call of God as a minister.
Lozinski knows there is still much work to be done, adding it is critical that the church continue to be involved in the culture and to have an impact on people helping them to understand and grow in their faith.