Four new priests are ordained for the Diocese of Peoria

Photo Caption: Newly ordained Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, Father Matthew Hoelscher, Father Corey Krengiel, and Father Kyle Lucas with Bishop Jenky and Msgr. James Kruse, left, and Msgr. Paul Showalter.

By: By Tom Dermody

Challenging them to serve “with constant joy and genuine love” and to imitate “those selfless priest heroes who came before you,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, ordained four new priests for the Diocese of Peoria during a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on May 24.

The newly ordained, followed by their first assignments, are:

— Father Chase Michael Hilgenbrinck, who will serve as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish, Moline; St. Mary and St. Anne parishes, East Moline; Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Silvis; and as a member of the chaplain team at Alleman High School, Rock Island.

— Father Matthew Robert Hoelscher, newly appointed parochial vicar of St. Matthew Parish, Champaign; St. Boniface Parish, Seymour; and chaplain of The High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign.

— Father Corey John Krengiel, parochial vicar at St. Columba Parish, Ottawa, and St. Mary Parish, Grand Ridge, and

— Father Kyle Anthony Lucas, who will serve as parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Morton.

Biographies of the newly ordained were published in the May 11 issue of The Catholic Post.

On a picture-perfect, sunny spring day, the cathedral’s balconies and side chapels were filled with well-wishers. The parents of the priesthood candidates and their family members were seated in the front pews. Those on folding chairs in the Lady Chapel followed the ancient rites in the sanctuary via a series of television screens.

In his homily following the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Jenky three times endearingly addressed the new priests as “my dear sons.” Encouraging them to “meditate on the law of the Lord,” he challenged them with familiar, yet powerful words.

“See that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach,” said the bishop. He urged them to “impart to everyone the word of God you have received with joy” and to “strive to put to death whatever in your members is sinful and walk always in the newness of life.”

The bishop concluded by offering examples the new priests would do well to imitate, including several from diocesan history. He mentioned the “missionary zeal” of pioneer priest Father Jacques Marquette, SJ, and Father Gabriel de la Ribourde, OFM, believed to be the first martyr for the faith in Illinois. The bishop also mentioned St. Jean Marie Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests; Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, the founding Bishop of Peoria; Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was ordained in the same sanctuary and whose cause for beatification is advancing; and “especially those selfless priest-heroes who came before you and labored so hard to build up this Church of Peoria.”

The candidates entered the cathedral as part of a long procession that included dozens of permanent deacons, more than 100 priest-concelebrants, papal knights, and Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey. Finally, Bishop Jenky entered through an 18-member Knights of Columbus Honor Guard as a combined choir — accompanied by majestically swelling organ, timpani and brass — led the assembly in “O God, Beyond All Praising.”

Following the Gospel reading, the candidates were presented to Bishop Jenky by Msgr. Brian Brownsey, diocesan director of priestly vocations. When the bishop formally accepted them for the order of the priesthood, the assembly responded with sustained applause.

During the rite of ordination, the candidates as a group and individually made a series of promises, including to be “united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest” and pledging obedience to the bishop and his successors.

For nearly 10 minutes they prostrated themselves on the cathedral sanctuary floor as the assembly was led in the Litany of the Saints. The candidates then knelt as Bishop Jenky, followed by all priests present, laid hands on their heads.

After a prayer of consecration, the new priests were assisted in vesting with stole and chasuble by priests they had selected for the honor. Father Hilgenbrinck was vested by Father Robert Rayson; Father Hoelscher by Msgr. Eric Powell; Father Krengiel by Father Daniel Gifford; and Father Lucas by Msgr. Gregory Ketcham.

The ordination rites concluded with Bishop Jenky anointing their hands with Sacred Chrism. After the gifts of bread and wine were brought forward by their mothers, the newly ordained joined Bishop Jenky and all priests present in concelebrating the Mass.

Following the Mass, the newly ordained posed for photographs with Bishop Jenky on the cathedral rectory steps. At a reception that followed at the Spalding Pastoral Center, lines were long to receive ordination day blessings from the new priests.

They celebrated their first Masses the following day. The Mass locations included Holy Trinity Church, Bloomington, for Father Hilgenbrinck; Epiphany Church, Normal, for Father Hoelscher; St. Patrick Church, Lemont, for Father Krengiel; and St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Peoria Heights, for Father Lucas.

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