Kamsack is the first posting for new Ukrainian Catholic priest

            A man who has spent several years as a youth missionary and who was ordained a priest this summer, arrived in Kamsack this summer to begin serving the district’s Ukrainian Catholic parishioners.

            Rev. Warren Dungen, who was ordained a deacon on January 8 in Ottawa, was ordained a priest on July 20 at the Cathedral of St. George in Saskatoon by Bishop Bryan Bayda.

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            Succeeding Rev. Ivan Derkach, Dungen came to Kamsack this summer and began working from the St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on August 2.

He arrived with his wife Lori-Lou, and with three of the couple’s four sons: Andrew, 15, a Grade 10 student; James, 13, in Grade 8, and John, 11, Grade 6. Their eldest son Peter, 18, has moved to Prince Albert where he has started work with a Forbes Brothers powerline crew.

Dungen and his family had spent the previous three years in Ottawa where he was attending the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary.

Born in Edmonton and raised in Calgary, the son of a banker, Dungen lived in several locations throughout his youth, including Toronto and Medicine Hat. He graduated from St. Francis High School in Calgary in 1988 and then was hired for several jobs including as a banker, butcher and beekeeper.

“You could add candlestick maker to that,” he said, referring to beeswax.

Dungen spent five years in missionary work with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate which was based in St. Albert, Alta. and worked on obtaining his bachelor of arts degree from Concordia University of Alberta in Edmonton. He also worked in Mission, B.C. in a program operated by Benedictine monks. In 1993 he served his “novitiate year” in Godfrey, Ill. and then returned to St. Albert when he “felt called to serve the church,” particularly its youth.

 Because he did not feel he had the “grace of celibacy,” Dungen left the oblates in good standing and moved to Calgary where he became involved in youth ministry and worked for the Roman Catholic diocese of Calgary and was active in St. Michael’s parish doing youth work.

He married Lori-Lou, his best friend’s sister, and the couple moved to Alexandria Louisiana, where he was a director of youth ministry. Three years later they moved to Alabama where he worked as the youth minister in the Archdiocese of Mobile.

Returning to Canada, Dugen discovered that the cost of living in Calgary had doubled, so in 2003, the couple moved to Prince Albert, where former Kamsack priest Rev. Ivan Nahachewsky was his parish priest.

Dugan explained that although he had been raised a Roman Catholic, upon his marriage he had switched rites to be a Byzantine Catholic, like his wife, in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

In Ottawa, Dungan attended the University of St. Paul where he obtained his master of divinity degree in Eastern Christian studies.

While living in Kamsack, Dungen will be serving the congregations at Vesna, Madge Lake, Dneiper, Glen Elder, Ponass Lake, Swan Plain, Rose Valley, Wadena, Benito and Swan River.

“Saskatchewan has always been my home,” he said. “During my time in Ottawa, I couldn’t wait to return to Saskatchewan.

“Kamsack and area will be perfect for the family,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to being able to spend quality time with his family.

“While here, our boys are eager to hunt and do outdoor stuff.

“There’s something about Saskatchewan people that we love,” he said. “Is it that they’re down to earth?

“I’m looking forward to a routine,” he said, explaining that the parish council had done much for their arrival and members were very helpful with the unloading of their container of possessions.

In addition to being a priest, husband and father, Dungan said he loves to cook and explore his creative side. He enjoys movies, calls himself a “techy” and says he loves to fish.