Stephen Durkee

Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan


December 14

Ordination Year

June 2017

Home Town

Caledonia, MI

Home Parish

Holy Family Catholic Parish


University of Saint Thomas (2013, Philosophy and Catholic Studies)

Graduate Degree

Bachelors in Sacred Theology




I love to play and watch sports. I grew up playing soccer, basketball and tennis and currently still play them recreationally. I also am a major coffee junkie. So, I enjoy making coffee and learning new ways to brew coffee (i.e. cold brew, french press, aero press etc). I also enjoy reading and blogging in my free time. Finally, I grew in a family that played a lot of board games and cards. So, one of the most relaxing things for me to do is to hang out with family and friends while playing cards.


My love for basketball in my youth was extreme. When I was in middle school I believed that I would be the next great Detroit Pistons guard. Almost every day after school the first thing I would do is shoot 500 free throws. I would end my shooting practice by practicing several buzzer beater plays as if I was actually Chauncey Billups (the PG who led the Pistons to an NBA championship in 2004).

Favorite Saint

I have two favorite/patron saints. I was named after my Dad's favorite Saints; Saint Stephen (the first Martyr) and Saint John (the beloved disciple). I am one of four children in my family and the only one specifically named after Saints. My Dad said his prayer was that I grow up to be a man of courage like St. Stephen and to be man of profound love as St. John the Apostle.

Vocation Story

These words from Saint Paul are very important for me. Saint Paul writes to Timothy, pray for each other because this is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved. Jesus was sent by the Father to bring us back into a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father, and so, God sends us to bring people to Christ, so that all people can come to know of God’s saving love in their lives. Very simply, this explains why I desire to be a priest.
But, When I was younger I never wanted to be a priest. My dream in life was very specific and simple. I wanted to be married to a beautiful wife and have 12 kids. I also wanted to be a Math teacher and to coach High School Basketball. But in my sophomore year of High School I returned to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Friends, it was that confession in the 10th grade that changed my life. It was my first encounter with the love of the Heavenly Father and it became the driving force behind my vocation to the priesthood. The experience of God’s love and mercy, through that priest, had changed my life, had given me hope, but it did more – it gave me a vocation.

Priest Aspirations

I look forward most to being with people. I have encountered Christ in so many that I have ministered and I look forward to being a window to Christ’s love for others.

How can Mundelein's donors and community pray for you?

Please pray for perseverance. I am a deacon who will be ordained this year. When it is all over it will have been 7 years of priestly formation. I am here definitely because I have been lifted up in prayer by so many. When studies are tough and the daily grind gets difficult the prayers of the people of God get us through – but it also gives a purpose. To be formed into good and holy priests for all of you- the people of God.