God’s blessing and peace be upon you!
It is with true joy that I begin my time of ministry as priest and spiritual father for you! As I mentioned last week during a homily, to me a good father is one who provides what is needed, protects with care, and leads the family to the best life possible. This is the kind of father that I will strive to be for you. It is a true joy for my heart to help souls grow and draw deeper in longing for life with God in Heaven. Please pray for me that I will always be a good father.
Just a little introduction…I grew up in rural Pesotum, just south of Champaign. My parents (John and Donna) now live near Hidalgo, IL, on the farm where my mom grew up. My dad is a retired farmer and a carpenter and mom is a retired teacher. Both keep themselves very busy through their generosity and passions. I have 2 younger siblings: Rebekah (deceased) and Jacob. My sister’s husband (Mark) and their 2 children (Kate and Matthew), as well as my brother’s family (wife-Lacy, Madison and Kyndall) all live in the Teutopolis, IL area.
Growing up I loved working on the farm with my grandpa, my dad, and my uncles, and also spent several years working for the township patching potholes in the country roads of our area. I graduated from Villa Grove High School in 1994 and University of Illinois in 1998 with a degree in Landscape Architecture (if anyone asks, I’m officially retired from landscaping!). I went on to seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland and was ordained in 2003 (It was during the seminary years that I got to know Fr. Anthony). I’ve been a priest of the Diocese of Peoria for 16 years — all very full and joyful. My previous assignments include: 4 years at Carthage, Nauvoo, Dallas City, and West Point, IL...3 years at St. John’s Newman Center at the University of Illinois as Assistant Chaplain (where Fr. Anthony and I worked together and became great friends) and then another 3 years as Head Chaplain. I also had a short campus stint at WIU in Macomb and St. Patrick’s in Raritan, IL. In between, I was stationed at one of our largest parishes in the Diocese (St. Patrick of Merna in Bloomington) and one of our most active (St. Patrick in Urbana).
In every stop along the way, I have enjoyed sharing with people the gift of living in Christ and growing together as a family in faith. I look forward to growing with you all during my time in the Quad Cities! As I get settled in and learn my way around, know that I am already thankful for the blessings of the months and years ahead!