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Father Norbert (James) Novak, OSB, a Benedictine Monk of the Monastery of the Ascension near Jerome, Idaho, passed away peacefully on November 27, 2017, three days after suffering a stroke. He was 80 years old.
"Our God is above all a loving God." A deeply devout and faith-filled man, Fr. Norbert affirmed these words in every homily and throughout his varied ministries. As a teacher, ethicist, church pastor, administrator, hospital chaplain, spiritual director and counselor, and guest master, he fulfilled these roles with diligence, sensitivity, and filled with God's grace. Fr. Norbert also had a heart for peace and justice. He made a real difference in the lives of many.
Though he was an outstanding athlete in high school, he became afflicted with several life-long medical problems, and was confined to a wheelchair for the last several years of his life. He referred to his ailments as his "companions" and nevertheless lived a full life of prayer and service right up until his death.
James Novak was born in Portland, Oregon of Czechoslovakian-American parents, Frank and Berta Novak, in 1937. He was preceded in death by his parents and his twin sister, Janet Rusch. He is survived by his sister, Carol Apple; and brother, Richard Novak of Portland, Oregon.
He received his B.A. at Mount Angel Seminary, where he also joined Mount Angel Abbey in 1957 and made final profession in 1961. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1965. He received advanced education, including a Master of Theology, at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and Anselmianum (Rome). He arrived here at the Monastery of the Ascension in 1997.
He will be sorely missed by many people. However, we take consolation by the end of his lengthy physical suffering, and by knowing that he was fully prepared to meet his Maker.
A vigil service will be held at 7:00 pm, Sunday, December 3, 2017 at St. Jerome's Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 am, Monday, December 4, 2017 at St. Jerome's Catholic Church with burial concluding at the Monastery Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared on Father Norbert's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Starts at 7:00pm
Monday, December 4, 2017
Starts at 10:30am
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