- Reverend William P. Lesak, USN (Ret.)
- State Chaplain
Reverend Lesak is the State Chaplain to the North Carolina Knights of Columbus and the District Friar to the North Carolina Fourth Degree District Assembly. He is the founding father, charter member and the first Post Commander of American Legion Post 539 in New Bern, North Carolina. He is also a member of Rotary International and past President of the Havelock/Cherry Point Rotary Club, Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Reverend William P. Lesak was born in Summit, New Jersey on November 18, 1947. In December 1971 he earned his undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. On May 31, 1975 Reverend Lesak was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. In May 1976 he was awarded a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Theology from The Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University. In May 1989 he received his certification in Theological Studies in Religious Education at The Jesuit School of Theology at the University of California, Berkeley. In May 2002 he was awarded a Master of Education in Counseling, Seton Hall University.
In addition to his parish responsibilities he worked extensively with married couples as a canonical consultant and advocate on the Archdiocesan Matrimonial Court and Tribunal. He devoted most of his pastoral ministry as spiritual director to youth renewal programs conducting high school retreats throughout the Archdiocese. Reverend Lesak ministered for 11 years as parochial vicar before entering the Navy and served in the following parishes: Immaculate Conception Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey; Our Lady of the Lake Church, Verona, New Jersey and Saint Genevieve’s Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Reverend Lesak's Service:
- Commissioned Lieutenant Junior Grade on September 1, 1982.
- In August 1983 he completed the Basic Course at the Naval Chaplains School at Newport, Rhode Island before returning to his parish duties as a Reserve Chaplain.
- In October 1986 he was recalled to active duty.
- His active duty assignments include:
- Oct 1986 - Jul 1986: Third Force Service Support Group, Fleet Marine Force, Okinawa, Japan
- Jul 1988 - May 1989: Post Graduate School, University of California Berkeley
- May 1989 - Feb 1992: Naval Support Activity, Holy Loch, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Feb 1992 - Jul 1992: Pre-Commission, USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CVN 73
- Jul 1992 - Aug 1994: Plank Owner, USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CVN 73
- Aug 1994 - Oct 1996: Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan
- Oct 1996 - Dec 1996: Senior Supervisory Course, Naval Chaplain School, Newport, Rhode Island
- Dec 1996 - Dec 1998: United States SIXTH Fleet, Gaeta, Italy
- Dec 1998 - Dec 2000: Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that included 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, 6th and 10th Marine Regiments
- Dec 2000 - Jan 2002: Marine Corps Base, Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan
- Jan 2002 - Apr 2003: OPNAV (097), Director, Plans and Policy for the Chief of Chaplains, Washington, DC
- Apr 2003 - Sep 2005: Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC
- Sep 2005 - Nov 2009: Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina
- Reverend Lesak officially retired on November 1, 2009 after 27 years of Naval Service.