Six priests recall the blessings, lessons of 25 years since their ordination day

The celebrations have already begun for six priests of the Diocese of Peoria who are marking the 25th anniversary of their ordination in 2018.

Father Thomas Gibson, Father Michael Menner, Msgr. Mark Merdian, Father Jeffery Small and Father Stephen Willard were ordained on May 29, 1993, by Bishop (now Archbishop) John J. Myers at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. Also ordained that day was Father Peter Harris, who is deceased.

Father Deus-Dedit Byabato, who came to the Diocese of Peoria in 1999, was ordained Nov. 20, 1993, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich, Connecticut.

The Catholic Post invited the six priests to respond to five questions:

  • What drew you to the priesthood? How did you realize you were being called?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your vocation and why?
  • What has given you the most joy in your priesthood?
  • Memorable moment(s)?
  • What have been the greatest lessons from your first 25 years of priestly ministry?

To find the profiles of each priest, click on their names above. There are also details about their Masses of Thanksgiving, dinners and open houses, and where mail may be sent.

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