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Father Huber uses knowledge of leadership to help others

101321Huber priest appreciation 

 

BY ERIN CISZCZON

Northwest Indiana Catholic

 

      CROWN POINT – Sitting in a four-ton vehicle, driving down the open road, enjoying the countryside and seeing much of the U.S. firsthand. That’s how a young Father Kevin Huber saw his future as he considered a career as a long-haul truck driver.

      Father Huber, pastor of St. Mary in Crown Point, chuckles now when he reflects on what he expected to do when he "grew up.”

      Father Huber was the second child in a family with four boys. His parents had moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Portage in 1973 where they remained for more than 40 years. His mom, Judith, passed away in 2014 and his dad, Deacon Richard Huber, continues to serve Nativity of Our Savior in Portage. 

      “Truth of the matter is, I was not looking to be called, but God had other plans,” he said. “Often, men expect to be doing something else, but life presents another option.”

      While attending St. Meinrad College, Father Huber was forced to think about what he wanted to do next. He felt the Lord moving him to discern the priesthood and asked then-Bishop Norbert Gaughan for permission to enter the seminary. After receiving the option to attend one of three seminaries, Father Huber chose to continue his studies at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

      During the next two years, Father Huber began to take his future more seriously.

       “I had been there six years and just thought to myself, ‘I love the Church, I love the Lord and I love ministry,’” he said. “I would be able to share the love of Christ with others (as a priest).”

      Father Huber was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 1991 at St. Patrick in Chesterton. His background includes a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, a master’s in divinity and a doctorate in ministry and preaching.

      One of the aspects of priesthood Father Huber enjoys most is being able to assist couples through the sacrament of marriage. He enjoys working with the bride and groom during marriage preparation classes because he looks at marriage as “one of those powerful moments for evangelization.”

      “It’s an opportunity for me to reconnect them to the Church,” he explained, “and help them in their relationship with the Lord.”

      Father Huber calls himself an informal student of leadership. He has read many books and taken several courses on the subject. He has a strong interest in the topic because he said he wants “to help people be the best they can be – as Catholics and as followers of the Lord.”

      Father Huber said sometimes people can lack vision or an end game, and without that, he suggests, it can be hard for people to reach their goals because they are just reacting from one thing to the next. “Life is (just) one distraction, one thing after another,” he said.

      Earlier this year, Father Huber completed a Dream Manager certificate program by Matthew Kelly, an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and business consultant. He said he hopes to use what he learned to one day, develop specific techniques that would empower people and help them in fulfilling their own dreams.

      “I just really want to help people be the best they can be, and just be happier,” he said.

      As far as his own personal goals, Father Huber is learning to play bass guitar and contemplates riding his bicycle from Los Angeles to Boston in the future. He enjoys cycling when time allows and has taken advantage of less populated southern Lake County to ride on the rural roads.

      Father Huber also enjoys playing golf. He picked up the sport as an eighth grader, and although admittedly is “not very good,” he enjoys the social aspect of the game. He will occasionally meet others at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth to play a few rounds and spend part of the weekend there 

      “I’m never lonely. I find the vocation of the priesthood very satisfying,” he said. “I know people can have a fear of living alone, but I’ve never had any of that. I’ve had a lot of support, and that lifts me up to be the person God needs me to be.”

      Father Huber became the pastor of Queen of All Saints in Michigan City in 2013 and was there until being reassigned to St. Mary in Crown Point last summer. He continues to learn about how the previous pastor, Father Patrick Kalich, formed their Catholic community so he can build upon its strengths. He is grateful for the people at St. Mary for being receptive and engaging upon his arrival.

      Father Huber calls his time at Queen of All Saints “very formative for me” as it was his first experience as a pastor. He is most proud of the hospitality he and others created at the Michigan City parish, which he feels changed a lot of lives and brought happiness to the congregation.

      “The building is beautiful and functional,” he said, referring to QAS and its Legacy Center. “But I’m more proud of the community of people who really embraced hospitality, service, worshipping and faith formation.”

      Father Huber believes there are three things that can lead to a pastor’s success - remembering people’s names, taking time to say thank you and being proactive instead of reactive. “I think these things set up a priest to become a pastor who cares and one who pastors after the heart of Jesus,” he said. 

      Father Huber also serves as chancellor for the Diocese of Gary. It’s a role which he said challenges him to view the diocese from a much wider perspective. He admits it can be tough to deal with a lot of the difficult questions that come along with examining how the faithful might begin to re-envision the Catholic Church.

      “My hope for the local Church is that people find joy in the love of Christ," he said, "and for an increase in the number of people who are smiling (when) leaving church, knowing that Jesus suffered and died for their salvation, and that they experience joy in being a community of believers.”

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