Rev. Raymond J. Novak, died on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, following complications after a heart attack suffered late last month. He was 67 years old.
Fr. Novak was born in Chicago and graduated from Holy Innocents School, Quigley North Preparatory Seminary and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. John Cardinal Cody ordained Fr. Novak on May 9, 1973. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from St. Mary of the Lake.
Fr. Novak’s first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Christopher Parish in Midlothian from 1973 until 1976. He then served as a faculty member at Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, where he taught English, from 1976 until 1991, while serving as associate pastor from 1976 to 1990 and as a resident until 1991 at St. Catherine of Siena – St. Lucy Parish in Oak Park.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin granted Fr. Novak an academic leave in July 1990 to pursue a Residency program in Clinical Pastoral Education at Stanford University Hospital in Stanford, California. In February, 1991, Fr. Novak requested permission to apply for the chaplain position at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. A Leave of Absence was granted to Fr. Novak in August 1991, after which he served in a number of non-parochial positions in hospitals and schools in California and Arizona. In April of this year, Fr. Novak requested and was granted an assignment in the Archdiocese of Chicago and was appointed as associate pastor at Holy Name Cathedral by Cardinal George.
When asked about Fr. Novak, Rev. Msgr. Daniel G. Mayall, Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral, he remarked that “Fr. Ray was a valuable addition to Holy Name Cathedral with his eagerness to learn, his compassion and his excellent preaching – no surprise given his penchant as a poet.”
Visitation for Fr. Novak will take place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, at Holy Name Cathedral, 725 North State Street in Chicago. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated immediately following the visitation at 10:30 a.m. Msgr. Daniel Mayall will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Most Rev. Francis J. Kane, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will be the presider. Interment will be private.
Fr. Novak is survived by his sister, Loretta (Michael) Mercola, a niece and nephew, grandnieces and great-grandnephews.