30 priests of diocese begin new assignments June 15

Eighteen parishes and missions in the Diocese of Peoria will receive new pastors in clergy assignments affecting 30 priests announced this week by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

Among the appointments, which take effect June 15, is the move to senior status of Msgr. Jerome N. Ham, 71, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Ottawa.

The changes, listed in full in this week’s Catholic Post (available online by clicking the e-Edition link at left, see page 3) also include new chaplains for the John Paul II Catholic Newman Center in Normal, Marquette Academy in Ottawa, and Alleman High School in Rock Island.

In addition, two priests have been released for service elsewhere — Father Douglas Grandon to the Archdiocese of Denver and Father Kenneth Hummel to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The diocese is also welcoming two priests — Father Michael Adrie, SMA, a member of the Society of African Missions, and Father Thomas Gibson, who is returning after having been released for discernment in religious life.

Receiving new pastors are the following parishes and missions:
St. Mary’s, Champaign; St. Edward’s, Chillicothe; St. Anne’s and St. Mary’s, East Moline; St. Patrick’s, Elkhart; St. Mary’s, Hampton; St. Thomas Aquinas, Mt. Pulaski; Immaculate Conception, Ohio; St. Mary’s, Ottawa (Naplate); St. Patrick’s, Ottawa; St. Mark’s, Peoria; St. John the Baptist, Rapids City; St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart, Rock Island; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Silvis; St. Michael the Archangel, Streator; John the Evangelist, Walnut; and St. Patrick’s, Washington.

The new pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Champaign is Father Joseph Hogan, who will continue as pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Urbana, where he has served since 2004. Father Hogan succeeds Father Tom Royer, who was granted senior status in March, and will be assisted at both parishes by Father Alphonso Espino Garcia, who has been named parochial vicar.

In Chillicothe, Father Keith Walder has been named pastor of St. Edward’s Parish, succeeding Father Glenn Harris, who had served there for eight years. Father Walder, ordained in 2003, had been pastor of parishes in East Moline and Silvis since 2008, and had previously served as pastor of parishes in Philo, Bongard, and Pesotum.

Father Harris, meanwhile, will become pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Rapids City and its mission, St. Mary’s in Hampton. Prior to his service in Chillicothe, Father Harris, ordained in 1992, had served as pastor of parishes in Ransom, Marseilles, and Bloomington.

Succeeding Father Walder as pastor of St. Anne’s Parish, East Moline, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Silvis, is Father Gregory Jozefiak, who had been pastor of St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart parishes in nearby Rock Island since 2007. Father Jozefiak, ordained in 1992, has also served as pastor of parishes in Oglesby, Delavan, and Hopedale.

The new pastor of St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart parishes in Rock Island will be Father Steven Loftus, who will also succeed Father Jozefiak as chaplain of Alleman High School. Father Loftus, ordained in 2002, has served on the Alleman faculty since 2009, and for the last four years has guided the Rapids City and Hampton faith communities.

In Streator, the Diocese of Peoria’s newest parish — St. Michael the Archangel, formed last summer from the merging of the city’s four historic churches — will be served by two new priests.

Father Philip Halfacre has been named pastor of St. Michael the Archangel, succeeding Msgr. John Prendergast, who had served in Streator since 2002 and had guided the formation of the new parish. Ordained in 1991, Father Halfacre has been pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Ottawa for 13 years, and has also guided St. Mary’s in Ottawa (Naplate) since 2003. He is a former chaplain of Marquette High School and also served as pastor in Utica.

Father Halfacre will be assisted in Streator by Father Dustin Schultz, who has been named parochial vicar of St. Michael the Archangel as well as the new chaplain of Marquette Academy.

Meanwhile, Msgr. Prendergast — who served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army for 22 years prior to his time in Streator — has been named to succeed Father Joseph Donton as pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, Washington.

Father Donton, who had guided the Washington parish for eight years, will succeed Father Halfacre as pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Ottawa. Ordained in 1991, Father Donton is a former diocesan director of vocations and rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. While in Washington, he also served briefly as pastor in Eureka.

Father Jules Adator, SMA, has been named administrator of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Mary’s (Naplate) parishes in Ottawa.

In Peoria, Father Brian Brownsey has been named pastor of St. Mark’s Parish, succeeding Father Charles Klamut, who will become assistant chaplain of St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Father Klamut had served St. Mark’s for five years.

Father Brownsey will continue as diocesan director of priestly vocations and chaplain/director of St. Joseph’s Newman Center at Bradley University. Since his ordination in 1996, Father Brownsey has also served as pastor of parishes in Utica and Peoria, including three years as rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral. He is a former diocesan director of Cursillo/TEC and chaplain of Marquette High School in Ottawa.

Becoming pastor of two additional faith communities is Father Jeffrey Laible. The pastor of Holy Family Parish, Lincoln, and St. Mary’s Mission, Atlanta, since 2007, Father Laible will now also guide St. Patrick’s, Elkhart, and its mission of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mt. Pulaski. In addition, he will share chaplain duties at Logan Correctional Center and Lincoln Correctional Center with Father Glenn Fontana, who will become parochial vicar of the churches in Lincoln, Elkhart, and Mt. Pulaski.

The former pastor in Elkhart and Mt. Pulaski, Father Thomas Shaw, has been named pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Walnut, and Immaculate Conception, Ohio. He succeeds Father Daniel Wilder, who is being assigned to a special ministry of prayer and evangelization.
Ordained in 2011, Father Shaw had served in Elkhart for eight years as parochial vicar, administrator, and pastor, and has been chaplain of the correctional centers in Lincoln since 2007.

Father Peter Zorjan has been named chaplain of the John Paul II Catholic Newman Center serving Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities and Heartland Junior College in Bloomington-Normal. He has served as parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island since his ordination in 2007. Father Zorjan will also serve as administrator of St. Patrick’s Parish, Bloomington.

In his new assignments, Father Zorjan succeeds Father Kevin Lucas, who will become parochial vicar of St. Mark’s Parish, Peoria, and assistant chaplain at St. Joseph’s Newman Center at Bradley University.

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