Joy fills cathedral at ordination Mass for Father Mattingly and Father O’Brien

Newly ordained Father Ryan Mattingly and Father Andru O'Brien join Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, on the balcony of the Bishop's Residence for the traditional photo after the Mass of Ordination at St. Mary's Cathedral on May 26. Also pictured are, from left, Msgr. James Kruse, vicar general; Father Timothy Hepner and Father Patrick Henehan, diocesan vocation directors of recruitment and formation; Msgr. Paul Showalter, vicar general; and Abbot Philip Davey of St. Bede Abbey. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Father Ryan M. Mattingly and Father Andru E. O’Brien were ordained priests of the Diocese of Peoria on May 26 in ancient rites celebrated before family, friends, nearly 100 priests, dozens of consecrated women, and hundreds of other well-wishers that filled St. Mary’s Cathedral.

“On this beautiful day there are a lot of happy people in this cathedral,” said Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, in welcoming remarks following a lengthy opening procession and the robust singing of “O God Beyond All Praising.”

Bishop Jenky lays hands on Father Ryan Mattingly during the Rite of Ordination. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

“But no one is happier or more blessed than I am to ordain two new priests for God and neighbor here in the heartland,” continued Bishop Jenky, principal celebrant of the Ordination Mass.

Father Mattingly, 28, the son of Troy and Ann Mattingly, entered the seminary out of St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign. He has been assigned as parochial vicar of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Streator and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Leonore.

Father O’Brien, 26, the son of Scott and Tera O’Brien, entered the seminary from St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington. He has been assigned as parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish, Peoria.


The priesthood candidates entered the cathedral in a procession of ministers that, in addition to Bishop Jenky and priest concelebrants, also included seminarians, several deacons, papal knights, a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, and Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey. For the introductory rites and Liturgy of the Word, the candidates stood or were seated in front of their families, who occupied the front pews.

The Rite of Ordination followed a Gospel reading from John 21:15-17, in which Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him and instructs Peter to “feed my sheep.” Proclaiming the Gospel in sung chant was seminarian Deacon Daniel McShane, who was ordained a transitional deacon the previous weekend and is in line to be ordained a priest in 2019.

Father Patrick Henehan, diocesan director of vocations for formation, presented the priesthood candidates to Bishop Jenky, testifying they were worthy for ordination.  When the bishop accepted them for the Order of the Priesthood, the candidates turned and faced the assembly, which responded with sustained applause.

“Carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of the Lord and those of whom you serve,” said Bishop Jenky in a homily instruction.

Father Johndamaseni Zilimu smiles as he assists newly ordained Father Andru O’Brien with his vestments. Looking on is Msgr. Jason Gray. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Referring to the candidates several times as “my dear sons,” the bishop urged them to model their priesthood after priest-heroes of the Diocese of Peoria and patron saints of our local church.

“Strive to imitate the missionary zeal of Pere Marquette,” said Bishop Jenky, “the heroic witness of Gabriel de la Ribourde, protomartyr of Illiinois, the generosity of Jean Marie Vianney, the patron saint of all parish priests, the determined energy of John Lancaster Spalding, our founding bishop, the manifest holiness of Venerable Servant of God Fulton Sheen, and the great and good example of the many priest-heroes who came before you and labored so hard to build up the holy Church of Peoria,” he said.

The bishop also asked them to honor diocesan patrons including St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Joseph the Worker, and the Blessed Mother.

“Keep always before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served, but to serve, and who came to seek out and save all those who were lost,” concluded Bishop Jenky.

The ordination rites continued with the candidates making several promises, including to celebrate the mysteries of Christ “faithfully and reverently” and to be obedient to Bishop Jenky and his successors.


Deacon Mattingly and Deacon O’Brien then lay prostrate on the sanctuary floor for seven minutes as the assembly was led in the singing of the Litany of the Saints. They then went to the Bishop’s Chair, knelt, and Bishop Jenky imposed his hands on their heads. The priests of the diocese then came forward and did the same.

Following the Prayer of Consecration, the newly ordained were then assisted with their vestments — a stole and chasuble — by priests they had chosen for this honor. Father Mattingly was vested by Msgr. Thomas Mack, while Father O’Brien was vested by Father Johndameseni Zilimu.

Bishop Jenky anointed their hands, the gifts of bread and wine were brought forward by the mothers of the newly ordained, and the bishop then embraced Father Mattingly and Father O’Brien, followed by all priests present.

Tera O’Brien and Ann Mattingly, mothers of the newly ordained, are pictured during the presentation of the gifts. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

The new priests then joined Bishop Jenky at the altar for the consecration as priest-concelebrants filled the sanctuary. Father Mattinly and Father O’Brien assisted in the distribution of Communion and, at the close of Mass, offered their first blessing — first to Bishop Jenky and then with him to the assembly.

Musical leadership was provided by Jon Kroepel,  director of sacred music at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Several choirs were present, including the St. Anthony Camerata Festival Choir, directed by Mary Ann Fahey-Darling, which sang from the sanctuary, while the second balcony was filled with vocalists from Immaculate Conception School, Monmouth, the Pueri Cantores Childrens’ Choir, and the cathedral choir. A wide range of accompanying instruments included organ, the Pontifical Brass, and woodwinds.

After Mass, the newly ordained posed for a traditional photo with Bishop Jenky and diocesan officials on the balcony of the Bishop’s Residence. A reception followed at the Spalding Pastoral Center, where lines were long to receive blessings from the newly ordained priests.

Father Mattingly celebrated his first Mass the following morning at St. John’s Catholic Chapel at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Later that afternoon, Father O’Brien celebrated his first Mass at St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington.

TO COME: Insights from the families of the newly ordained.

More photos from the Ordination Mass have been posted to The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook. 

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