After a divorce, it may feel like your life is over or that the future that you had envisioned is gone. However, one father in Seattle is proving that divorce can open doors and take you to the most untraditional places. In fact, it can lead you down a path that you hadn’t considered in years.
Seattle’s newest Catholic priest, Father Mark Kiszelewski, isn’t exactly what most people picture when they think of the traditions of the church. Kizelewski isn’t just a Father, he’s also a father of two and a man who sought a Seattle divorce and an annulment after 17 years of marriage.
Kiszelewski grew up attending a parish school in New York and afterward attended seminary school in order to become a priest. However, after being encouraged to take some time off from his pursuit, he moved to New York City, started dating, and met his future wife. He married in 1984 and had two sons, now 24 and 21 years old. He moved to Seattle, became a financial advisor, and started a new life – though he still attended Catholic Church as a member.
In 2001, his marriage ended and he and his wife went through the annulment process. After his marriage was over, he once again heard the calling of the church. Even though his friends and family were baffled by his decision, and even though he doubted the church would have a divorced man as a priest, he began once again to pursue his original dream.
Now, at age 58, he has been ordained by the church. He believes that although he has a non-traditional past, his status as a divorcee and a father can help him lead his parishioners and identify with their struggles.