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Celebrating 21 New Candidates for Holy Orders

Posted on September 5, 2019

The Church accepts your resolve with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.

Twenty-one seminarians from ten different dioceses declared candidacy for Holy Orders at the Mass of the Holy Spirit held in our Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich and our priest faculty. In addition to the seminarians’ Rite of Admission to Candidacy, new faculty members Dr. Debbie Armenta, Dr. Stephen Smith, and Fr. Maina Waithaka took the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity. The community also prayed, by name, for those who have left the seminary in the past year.

“Candidacy takes place during the Mass of the Holy Spirit because we’re asking the Spirit of God to remain with us in this process of advancing towards receiving the orders of the deacon and priesthood; that we remain faithful and committed to Jesus and the Church. I feel reaffirmed in my calling to the priesthood in having received candidacy,” said Jesus Raya Custodio, a first-year theologian studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders has two aspects. An aspirant publicly declares that he is committing himself to a program of formation for service to God and to the Catholic Church as an ordained minister, and the Catholic Church, represented by the Archbishop, publicly accepts the aspirant into the ranks of a candidate for Holy Orders.

Acceptance into the ranks of candidates does not constitute a right to receive ordination to the diaconate or priesthood. Rather, it is the first official recognition on the part of the church that there are preliminary signs of a vocation to Holy Orders that remain to be confirmed in subsequent years of formation.

Isaac Doucette, a first-year theologian studying for the Diocese of Davenport, IA, said, “Officially becoming a candidate for Holy Orders brings me a lot of joy around growing in my previous years of formation, appreciation and gratitude of being at Mundelein with my diocesan brothers and classmates, and excitement for the future to see what God has planned for my classmates and me.”

The men approved for candidacy are:

Cameron John Costello, Diocese of Davenport, IA
Dylan Stuart Crawley, Diocese of Lubbock, TX
Isaac Valentine Doucette, Diocese of Davenport, IA
Christopher Thomas Epplett, Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI
Jeffrey Isaac Frieden, Archdiocese of Dubuque, IA
Jesus Francisco Gomez, Diocese of Tucson, AZ
Kevin Michael Gregus, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Alfredo Jaras, Diocese of Las Cruces, NM
Daniel Joseph Korenchan, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Thomas Andrew Leah, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Michael Charles Mehringer, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Joshua Gregory Miller, Diocese of Fairbanks, AK
Duoc Hoang Nguyen, Diocese of Davenport, IA
Francisco Javier Pagan, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Jesus Raya Custodio, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Francisco Hector Rios, Jr., Diocese of Las Cruces, NM
Joseph Anthony T. Sales, Diocese of Las Vegas, NV
Jacob Richard Sevigny, Diocese of Yakima, WA
Alan Soto Hopkins, Diocese of Tucson, AZ
Patrick James Wille, Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
Jacob Michael Zemaitis, Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI