24 to be ordained permanent deacons, two transitional deacons on May 20

The 24 men to be ordained permanent deacons for the Diocese of Peoria are shown in this photo collage. (Photos by Jennifer Willems of The Catholic Post)

Twenty-four men will be ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Peoria on Saturday, May 20, during a 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria celebrated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

During the liturgy, Bishop Jenky will also ordain seminarians Andru O’Brien and Ryan Mattingly to the transitional diaconate. (See story below.)

Because of the number being ordained, the Mass is by invitation only.

(Related story: Sister Diane to change ministry after ordination of deacon class.)

(Related story: Meeting set June 3 for men interested in diaconal ministry.)

The candidates for the permanent diaconate and their wives have been preparing for ordination for five years, including two years of discernment/evaluation and three years of formation. They represent the diocese’s 10th deacon class.

Among them are the first brothers to be ordained deacons for our diocese in the same class, Faustino Lopez of Champaign and Guadalupe Lopez of Rantoul. One deacon candidate couple, Daniel and Verene O’Connor of St. Joseph Parish, Peru, are the parents of a priest, Dominican Father Michael (Kevin) O’Connor, while Robb and Mary Jean Caputo are parents of a diocesan seminarian, Taylor.

The father of Michele Nickrent, wife of deacon candidate Tony Nickrent of Mahomet, is Deacon Ed Mueller, who served Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Mahomet until being granted senior status in 2012.

Members of the ordination class range in age from 41 to 63. While two are retired, the others are active in careers that include farming, banking, sales, pastoral care, education, engineering, and others.


Deacons are one of three orders of ordained ministers, the others being priests and bishops. Those who are studying for the priesthood are known as transitional deacons prior to their ordination as priests.

The Second Vatican Council cleared the way for the diaconate to be restored as a permanent order of ministry, with an emphasis of living a life of service in imitation of Jesus. Permanent deacons may assist the priest in preaching, the conferral of baptism, performance of marriage, the administration of parishes, and other ministries as necessary.

The last class of permanent deacons for the Diocese of Peoria, 30 in all, was ordained on May 19, 2012.

Following are the members of the ordination class of 2017. The candidate’s name is followed by the name of their wife, number of children, the parish or parishes they will serve, and occupation.

  • Robb Caputo (Mary Jean), 4; Sts. Peter and Paul, Leonore, and Holy Family, Oglesby; reactor operator and farmer
  • Robert DePauw (Pam), 3;  St. John the Baptist, Rapids City, and St. Mary, Hampton; organic dairy farmer/soil consultant
  • Hector Diaz (Maria), 4; Holy Cross, Mendota, St. Theresa, Earlville, and Sts. Peter and Paul, Peterstown; auto sales
  • Michael Driscoll (Mary), 2; St. Patrick and St. Francis, Ottawa; chemical engineer
  • Michael Evers (Patricia), 4; St. Theresa, Earlville, Holy Cross, Mendota;, and Sts. Peter and Paul, Peterstown; sales manager
  • Michael Harris (Brenda), 2; Blessed Sacrament, Morton; bridge inspection specialist
  • Mark Jackson (Karen), 2; Christ the King, Moline; agronomist with the U.S.D.A.
  • Joe Knapp (Jodi); Holy Trinity and Historic St. Patrick, Bloomington; pastoral care, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria
  • Jack Kusek (Sue), 3; Nativity of Our Lord, Spring Valley, engineer
  • Faustino Lopez (Josefa Lazcares), 3; St. Mary, Champaign, and St. Patrick, Urbana, building service worker
  • Guadalupe I. Lopez (Ramona L. Flores), 5; St. Malachy, Rantoul, and St. Elizabeth, Thomasboro; driver
  • Wendell J. Lowry III (Brenda), 2, Holy Family, Lincoln, St. Patrick, Elkhart, St. Mary, Atlanta;, and St. Thomas Aquinas, Mt. Pulaski; business manager
  • Albert Lundy (Sharon), 1; Holy Trinity and Historic St. Patrick, Bloomington; retired
  • Edmund Mallow Jr. (Cathy), 2; St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights; retired manufacturing engineer
  • Tom Mann (Linda), 2; Immaculate Conception, Monmouth, St. Patrick, Raritan, and St. Theresa, Alexis; owner and operator of Pepperidge Farm Route
  • Joe McCleary; Immaculate Conception, Monmouth, St. Patrick, Raritan, St. Theresa, Alexis; assistant cashier, Raritan State Bank
  • Daniel Moffitt (Deb), 2; Hancock County Catholic Churches with Sts. Peter and Paul, Nauvoo (home parish), St. Mary, Hamilton, Immaculate Conception, Carthage, Sacred Heart Dallas City, and Sacred Heart, Warsaw; retired teacher
  • Tony Nickrent (Michele), 3, Our Lady of the Lake, Mahomet; general contractor
  • Daniel O’Connor (Verene) 3; St. Joseph, Peru; retired teacher
  • Marshall Plumley (Valerie), 3; St. Anthony, Atkinson, Sacred Heart, Annawan, and St. Mary of the Field, Hooppole; water resources planner with U.S.A.C.O.E.
  • Mark H. Scamp (Margo), 1; St. Joseph, Pekin; U. S. District Court
  • Michael Sigwalt (Barbara), 2; St. Malachy, Geneseo; risk management specialist
  • Ron Wackerlin, 7; St. Joseph, Marseilles, St. Patrick, Ransom, chaplain, OSF St. Elizabeth Hospital, Ottawa; retired
  • Todd Weber (Kim), 3; St. Patrick, Wapella; business analyst for State Farm Insurance


Two seminarians of the Diocese of Peoria preparing for the priesthood at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate during the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Saturday, May 20, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

Ryan Mattingly

Andru O’Brien

Ryan Mattingly and Andru O’Brien are in line to be ordained to the priesthood in May of 2018.

Mattingly, the son of Troy and Ann Mattingly, entered the seminary after earning a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois in 2012. He lists St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign as his parish.

O’Brien, the son of Scott and Tera O’Brien, was raised in a suburb of St. Louis and lists St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington as his home parish.

The following Saturday, May 27, Deacon Lee Brokaw will be ordained to the priesthood.  A profile of Deacon Brokaw will appear in the next issue of The Catholic Post.


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