Seminarian Justin Ramza to be ordained transitional deacon in Streator Dec. 16

Justin Ramza

STREATOR — Bishop Louis Tylka will ordain seminarian Justin Ramza to the transitional diaconate during a 10:30 a.m. Mass on Saturday, Dec. 16, at St. Michael the Archangel Parish, 407 S. Park St. in Streator.

The public is invited to the ordination, but seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets may be obtained online here.

A reception will follow at St. Michael the Archangel School across the street from the church.

Ramza, 56, originally prepared for the priesthood as a seminarian for the Diocese of Peoria in the 1980s. He earned a master of arts in systematic theology from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, but discerned he was not ready for the commitment of Holy Orders prior to ordination as a transitional deacon.

He went on to studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine, graduating in 1998, and practiced medicine for more than two decades as an anesthesiologist.

Ramza, a native of Streator who lists St. John the Baptist in Rapids City as his parish, eventually “heard the Lord gently inviting me back to priesthood.” He contacted the Diocese of Peoria, was accepted as a seminarian by Bishop Tylka, and has spent the last 18 months at Mundelein Seminary.

During the Rite of Ordination, he will be assisted with his vestments of stole and dalmatic by Father Glenn Harris, pastor of the Rapids City parish.

Following his ordination as a transitional deacon on Saturday, Deacon Ramza will be in line for ordination to the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria next spring along with classmates Deacon Nicholas Conner, Deacon Jacob Martini, and Deacon Jack Swoik. They were ordained as transitional deacons on May 20.

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, the Diocese of Peoria’s vocation director for recruitment, said the uniqueness of Ramza’s vocation path led to the scheduling of his diaconate ordination in December. Father Hilgenbrinck added that having the ordination in Ramza’s hometown, where he still has friends and relatives, presents an opportunity for Catholics of the Streator area to witness an ordination Mass and promotes vocations to the priesthood.

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