The Catholic community in the Black Hills is mourning the loss of a well-known parish leader.
Father Peter Kovarik died after his plane crashed this weekend near the Montana town of Alzada.
Bishop Robert Gruss with the Diocese of Rapid City says that Father Kovarik was loved everywhere he went.
Kovarik served as a pastor at numerous parishes throughout Black Hills communities.
Bishop Gruss says Father Kovarik was in love with his priesthood and he will be dearly missed by his parishioners.
Bishop Gruss says, "I think he'll be remembered as someone who was deeply loved by his parishioners. He also had a passion for all he did; he had a passion for flying, a passion for priesthood, a passion for the outdoors. I think every part of his life he was passionate about and I think he'll be remembered in that way as well, as someone who really embraced life as best he could in ministry and he was serious but he had a lot of fun."
Father Kovarik's wake is set for Thursday at 7pm and the funeral is scheduled for Friday at 6:30pm, both will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City.