By Owen Phelps, Ph.D.

Director, Yeshua Institute

This isn’t patting ourselves on our back or feathering our own nest – although we are incredibly blessed to have Father David Beauvais on our Yeshua Team.

The truth of the matter is that his selfless service over more than 50 years of priesthood would have brought him his most recent reward – and a host of others – even if he wasn’t part of our team. Still, I feel honored to report on the latest recognition he has received for his incredible service to his church, its people and the larger world.

From my perspective, he is a model Jesus-like Leader as Servant, Steward and Shepherd.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, Father Dave was presented the Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award by the Loras College National Alumni Board during the school’s homecoming celebration. He’s a 1958 graduate of the school, where he earned a BA in history and philosophy.

After graduating from Loras, the native of Mundelein, IL, completed seminary studies at St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, MD. He was ordained a priest of the Rockford (IL) Diocese on June 2, 1962.

After ordination Father Beauvais served as assistant pastor at St. James Parish in Rockford; Holy Family Parish in Rockford; St. Patrick Parish in McHenry, and St. Mary Parish in Freeport.

Upon obtaining a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University in Chicago, he was assigned to direct Catholic Charities of the Rockford Diocese. He later served as the diocese’s Episcopal Vicar for Social Ministries and then Episcopal Vicar for Administration and Finance.

In 1990 he became pastor of St. Thomas Parish in Freeport, after which he served as chaplain at St. Anne Nursing Center and later as pastor of St. James Parish in Rockford from 1994 to 2006.

Father Dave was on the board of the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Rockford for over two decades, a member of the Priests’ Senate, a member the Council of the Administration & Executive Committee at Boylan Central Catholic High School, and a member of the board of the diocese’s Priest Wellness Committee.

All the while, he has been active in the larger community and is well-known for his accessibility and service to people of all faiths. In 2016, he received the Rockford community’s Excalibur Award – presented to individuals in honor of their lifetime of devotion to making the community a better place to live and work.

In addition to serving on the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, he has also:

  • worked with Hope for Haitians over the last 15 years -- traveling to that country numerous times to directly help struggling people there; his leadership, compassion and kindness have touched the lives of nearly 300,000 individuals living in Haiti;
  • served on the boards of Carpenter’s Place, a nonprofit homeless shelter; Family Counseling Services; and Janet Wattles Mental Health Center -- all in Rockford.

Although he officially retired from active ministry several years ago, he continues to provide regular assistance with Mass and other sacraments throughout the area and maintains an active counseling practice.

Father Dave is also a Facilitator for the Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus Encounter and has co-facilitated various Encounters -- including one for priests in the Kampala Archdiocese in Uganda and another for priests in the Diocese of Superior (WI).


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