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2014 Distinguished Achievement in Public Service

Kevin DeCleene '12 M.T.S.Kevin DeCleene ’12 M.T.S.

Perusing the list of Diocesan committees on which Kevin De Cleene has served, the causes to which he has lent his support, and the good works he has performed, one is moved to think that yes, it is an impressive list of accomplishments – for four or five people. That a single individual has been able to give so much of himself is remarkable.

Kevin’s ordination as deacon in 2008 was the extension of a longtime commitment to faithful service, and has enabled him to continue to enrich the personal and spiritual lives of those around him. Now privileged to preach homilies, baptize babies and officiate the right of marriage outside Mass, Kevin also makes his mark in innumerable other ways among the faith community.

He is chaplain for the Knights of Columbus; a leader of prayer services; a minister to those in nursing homes; a fixture on community service and outreach committees.

Kevin is a Confirmation teacher; sponsor of a Guatemalan child; harvest donor to Paul’s Pantry; Habitat for Humanity volunteer; board member of the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing. He has met the poor and vulnerable through Street Lights Ministry; he has been a mentor to teens, a minister to the elderly, and a counselor to families and individuals in crisis.

What he does not do through his church and the Diocese, Kevin often does alone. Stories abound of him quietly helping the indigent and the homeless, offering friendship and companionship to physically and mentally challenged members of the community, counseling and consoling friends and coworkers.

To put it simply, Kevin DeCleene spends much of his life being there for others.

To that he adds the estimable credential of being a lifelong learner. In the midst of a long and successful career with Schneider National, and at a time in midlife when many are content to know what they know and learn nothing more, Kevin achieved a bachelor’s degree from Silver Lake College, then completed five years of Deaconate studies and formation leading to Ordination, then earned a Master of Theological Studies degree from St. Norbert.

For his lifelong commitment to grow in faith, in knowledge and in good works, Kevin DeCleene is justly recognized with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service.

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