‘Zealous’ men begin priestly ministry

Deacon Ignacio Cárdenas Morán, Deacon Patrick Wille, Deacon Daniel Dionesotes and Deacon Nathan Hopper receive a round of applause after being presented by Father Patrick Henehan, diocesan vocation director of formation, and chosen for the Order of the Priesthood by Bishop Louis Tylka. The four were ordained on May 27 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The Diocese of Peoria had four reasons to celebrate on May 27, as Bishop Louis Tylka ordained Father Ignacio Cárdenas Morán, Father Daniel Dionesotes, Father Nathan Hopper and Father Patrick Wille for priestly service. Not only was it the first time he ordained priests as the Bishop of Peoria, but it was the largest class of new priests since 2015.

The excitement was so great, in fact, that 125 people who were unable to be seated at St. Mary’s Cathedral watched the livestream of the Mass at the nearby Spalding Pastoral Center. They were first in line for blessings by the new priests at the reception that followed the liturgy.

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, diocesan vocation director of recruitment, said the newly ordained reflect the strong Catholic faith of the Diocese of Peoria, as well as the strong families and good Catholic education the diocese is known for.

“I think what people can expect are men who are very zealous,” he told The Catholic Post. “I’m seeing just how faithful, creative and on fire these men are to really evangelize and to really go after the lost.”

The men who are entering the seminary and being ordained are men who want to be heroic in the church, Father Hilgenbrinck said.

“They’re hungry for souls. In turn, as a vocation director, I know those are the men I’m looking for,” he said.

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