MUENSTER, Sask — After spending 21 years as parish priest at Annaheim, the parishioners gave Rev. Rudolph Novecosky, OSB, a farewell plaque which read: “Fr. Rudolph, thanks for being the pillar of morality in our community from 1987 to 2008. We thank you and we will miss you.”
It was fitting, then, that the former pastor died on Thanksgiving Monday in St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon. He died due to organ failure resulting from cancer of the bladder. The community was thankful that he was finally freed of pain and also thankful for the many gifts he brought to the community.
Born to Joseph and Anne Novecosky of Burr, Sask., on Oct. 27, 1936, he joined the monastic community of St. Peter’s Abbey in 1955. After studies at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., he was ordained on June 9, 1962. He taught at St. Peter’s College High School from 1963 until 1972, when it closed. Having a love for sports, Novecosky served as sports director at St. Peter’s.
In 1972, he began doing pastoral work in St. Gregor and Muenster. Starting in 1987 he became pastor, residing in Annaheim for 21 years and serving the neighbouring parishes of St. Gregor and Naicam. He was always supportive of church and community events. While serving as pastor he developed an expertise in wine making. He retired to the abbey in 2008, where he served as prior, treasurer and novice master.
In 2008 he published Homilies for Everyday Life, a collection of his homilies over the years. The book was well received.
Novecosky suffered a life-changing accident on Nov. 3, 1977, when he was injured in his back by his own shotgun while hunting ducks. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.