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Three men to be ordained priests for the diocese June 3

"...'put on Christ' and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life." - Pope Francis
 
With three ordination Masses in May and June we have much to celebrate in our diocese!
 
On Saturday, June 3rd at 10 a.m., Bishop Walkowiak will ordain Deacon Stephen Durkee, Deacon Steven Geerling and Deacon Kyle Kilpatrick to the priesthood and on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. he will ordain Dennis Rybicki, Dean Vernon and Lance Walters to the permanent diaconate.
 
Bishop David Walkowiak ordained Michael Steffes to the Order of Deacons on Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. - Links to the Mass video and photos may be found below.
 
Please continue to pray for these men as they respond to the call to serve the Lord and his people as priests and deacons.

Attending Ordination Masses at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew

All Masses will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The public is invited, but since the June 3rd Mass will be a highly attended, as an alternative, we encourage you to join the celebration by watching online. Details below. 

WATCH LIVE

All ordination Masses will be livestreamed at http://bit.ly/DOGRLivestream and on the diocesan Facebook page (Diocese of Grand Rapids). 
 

Ordination to the Presbyterate (Priesthood) - June 3, 2017 at 10 a.m.


Deacon Stephen J. Durkee
, 27, is the son of DouglasHeadshot: Deacon Stephen Durkee Durkee of St. Patrick Parish, Parnell, and Mary Szymczak Durkee of Holy Family Parish, Caledonia. He has three siblings: Erin, David and Holly.
 
He attended the University of Saint Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 2013. He received a Master of Divinity degree and baccalaureate in sacred theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., in spring 2017. He was ordained a transitional deacon on May 17, 2016.
 
Deacon Durkee completed his pastoral internship at St. Patrick Parish, Parnell, under the mentorship of Father Mark Peacock.
 
He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 9669 Kraft Ave., Caledonia.
 
On July 1, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, he will begin his appointment as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Rockford.
 
 
Headshot: Deacon Steven GeerlingDeacon Steven W. Geerling, 43, is the son of William (deceased) and Kay Geerling. He has two siblings: David and Susan.
 
Deacon Geerling attended Aquinas College, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1996. He received his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2017 from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill. In 2015, he completed his pastoral internship at St. Jude Parish, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father Tom Page and Deacon Larry Hoogeboom. He was ordained a transitional deacon on May 17, 2016.
 
He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 4 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2275 Diamond Ave. NE, Grand Rapids.
 
On July 1, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, he will begin his appointment as parochial vicar of St. John Vianney Parish in Wyoming. 
 
 
Headshot: Deacon Kyle KilpatrickDeacon Kyle J. Kilpatrick, 30, is the son of Kevin and Brenda Kilpatrick of St. Michael Parish, Coopersville. He has two siblings: Alex and Connor.
 
Deacon Kilpatrick attended Grand Valley State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2009. He received his Master of Divinity degree and a baccalaureate in sacred theology from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., in spring 2017. Deacon Kilpatrick completed his pastoral internship at the Shrine of St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father José Luis Quintana. He was ordained a transitional deacon on May 17, 2016.

He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at the Shrine of St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 250 Brown St. SE, Grand Rapids.
 
On July 1, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, he will begin his appointment as parochial vicar of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Holland. 
 

Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate - June 21, 2017 at 7 p.m.

 
Headshot: Dennis RybickiDennis J. Rybicki, 48, is the son of George and Barbara Rybicki. He has one sister Denise. He is a member of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. Dennis attended Aquinas College where he completed a bachelor’s degree in music education and liturgical music in 1993. He received his master’s degree in education from Calvin College in 1996. He completed his graduate studies for ordination through Aquinas College and the University of Notre Dame.
 
He currently serves as the director of sacred music for the Diocese of Grand Rapids as well as campus minister and choral director at Catholic Central High School.
 
Dennis is married to Annette and they have two children, Clare and Cecilia. He completed his pastoral internship at Holy Family Parish, Sparta, under the mentorship of Monsignor Terrance Stewart.
 
 
 
 
Headshot: Dean VernonDean M. Vernon, 53, is the son of Deacon Kenneth (retired, ordained in 1976) and Pauline (deceased) Vernon. Dean is originally from Milwaukee, Wisc. and grew up in a large family of seven brothers and six sisters. Dean is married to Lori and they have seven children and six grandchildren. He received a bachelor of science degree with a double major in psychology and communication from Carroll University. He completed a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. His studies for ordination were completed through Aquinas College and the University of Notre Dame.
 
He has worked as a school psychologist for Grand Rapids Public Schools for the past 29 years. He completed his pastoral internship at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Monsignor Ernie Schneider. Dean and his wife are members of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Grand Rapids.
 
 
 
Headshot: Lance WaltersLance A. Walters, 53, is the son of Alfred (deceased) and Marjorie Walters of St. John the Baptist Parish, Ypsilanti, Mich. He has five siblings: Edward, Carol, Kathy, Bob and Jim. Lance attended Michigan State University, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition in 1985. He completed his studies for ordination through Aquinas College and the University of Notre Dame.
 
Lance is married to Lynn and they have three children; Marcel, Leslie and Owen. Lance and his wife are members of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Grand Haven.
 
He completed his pastoral internship at St. Mary’s Parish, Spring Lake, under the mentorship of Father Dave Gross.
 
 
 
 
 

Ordination to the Order of Deacons  - May 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. 

 
Michael M. Steffes Jr., 28, is the son of Mike (Rhonda)Headshot: Seminarian Michael Steffes Steffes and Mary Kay (Tom) Schmitz of St. Patrick Parish, Portland. He has three siblings: Jacob, Joe, and Naomi. He attended the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2014. Michael will enter his final year of seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., in fall 2017 and will receive his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2018. He completed his pastoral internship at Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Rockford, under the mentorship of Father Anthony Russo. He was ordained a deacon by Bishop Walkowiak at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on May 9 and will be ordained to the priesthood in 2018. Congratulations and blessings Deacon Michael!
 
Read more of Michael's story from our March 2017 FAITH Grand Rapids magazine.
 
 
Resources
GR Priests (Priestly vocations in the Diocese of Grand Rapids)
About priesthood | About the diaconate (USCCB)