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NOMINEE

Deacon Kevin Endres

Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan

Kevin Endres was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Gaylord in November 2015, but he has served the diocese and his community in Traverse City, Michigan, ever since he was a student volunteering in the Grand Traverse Area Catholic School System, where his eight children now attend.

 

As a former civil engineer and current owner of the largest commercial real estate firm in northern Michigan, Kevin brings his skills in business and finance to his parish, Christ the King, and other Catholic organizations. The bishop of Gaylord, Most Reverend Steven Raica, said, “As a young man with a growing family and an unwavering love of Jesus Christ, and His Church, he offers a stellar model of faith and hope to many others and to me.”

 

As the director of sports ministry at the Grand Traverse Area School System, Deacon Kevin is responsible for overseeing the implementation and execution of the Sports Leader program, a virtue-based faith program within their athletic department. This program gives Deacon Kevin unique access not only to the student athletes but also with coaches and parents to share the faith and strengthen families.

 

He also is one of the founders and a managing member of a group called Absolute Catholic, an evangelization apostolate in the diocese. This ministry just completed their 8th Catholic Men’s Conference with an average yearly attendance of 300 men and their 3rd Catholic Women’s Conference with an average attendance of 225 each year. As a result of Deacon Kevin's efforts, total attendance for these events has marked a total of over 3,000 men and women over the past eight years. These conferences have changed lives and put people back on a trajectory to having a relationship with Jesus Christ. They have experienced participants going back to the sacrament of reconciliation after decades of being away from the Church.

 

Deacon Kevin began his involvement at Baraga Radio, a Catholic radio station, as a supporter back in 2013 to help bring a signal to the Traverse City area. He joined the board of directors in 2015 and became the chairman of the board in October 2016. Since his involvement, Baraga Radio has made many important advancements in staffing, fundraising, and signal reliability. Radio listenership is increasing, with pledge drives up more than 20 percent. Deacon Kevin also launched his own weekly radio show in 2016 called "The Cross Walk with Deacon Kevin Endres," which has a large consistent listening audience.

 

Deacon Kevin has inspired thousands of Catholics in his tireless work. “Over the years I have surrendered to Christ and learned to trust in His Divine Providence,” he said. “How else can you explain a civil engineer, who now owns a real estate firm, who was ordained a permanent deacon and now has a Catholic radio show? We all need to be open to the calling and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and trust that God truly can do extraordinary things with ordinary people. For all things are possible with God.”