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Ordination 2016: View photos, watch video from June 4 ordination

We celebrate and give thanks to God for the gift in our diocese of four new priests and three new transitional deacons who were ordained at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in May and June!
 
Ordination of Priests
On Saturday, June 4, Father Tom Cavera, Father Jegar Fickel, Father Colin Mulhall and Father Dan Schumaker were ordained to the priesthood by Bishop David J. Walkowiak. See below for photos and biographical information.
(Photo album | Watch Mass video | Watch Bishop Walkowiak's homily)
 
Ordination of Deacons
On Tuesday, May 17, Bishop Walkowiak ordained Deacon Stephen Durkee, Deacon Steven Geerling and Deacon Kyle Kilpatrick as transitional deacons. See below for photos and biographical information.
(Photo album | Watch Mass video | Watch Bishop Walkowiak's homily | WZZM ordination coverage)
  
Please continue to pray for these men as they respond to the call to serve the Lord and his people as priests.
 
Those ordained to the priesthood on June 4 were:
 
Father Thomas J. Cavera, 52, is the son of David (Mary Margaret) Cavera of St. Robert of Newminster Parish, Ada, and Patricia (James) Knowles of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Grand Rapids. He has four siblings: David, Jo Ann, Daniel and Steven.
 
He attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1985. He earned his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2016 from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained a transitional deacon on June 6, 2015.
 
Father Cavera completed his pastoral internship at the Parish of the Holy Spirit, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father John Vallier, and a chaplaincy internship at Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Grand Rapids.
 
Mass of Thanksgiving: He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 628 Diamond Ave., NE, Grand Rapids.
 
Pastoral appointment: Effective July 1, 2016, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, Father Cavera is appointed parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish, Grand Rapids.
Father Patrick Jegar Nelson Fickel, 28, is the son of Daniel and Mary (deceased) Fickel of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Holland. He has ten siblings: Asya, Zach, Iern, Turan, Taeg, Ambrose, Chevron, Anna, Jacob and Aletta. He attended St. Louis University for three years.
 
After discerning a vocation to the priesthood, he entered St. John Vianney Seminary at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013. He earned his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2016 from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained a transitional deacon on June 6, 2015.
 
Father Fickel completed his pastoral internship at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Wyoming, under the mentorship of Father Stephen Dudek, and a chaplaincy internship at Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Grand Rapids.Fickel completed his pastoral internship at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Wyoming, under the mentorship of Father Stephen Dudek, and a chaplaincy internship at Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Grand Rapids.
 
Mass of Thanksgiving: He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 195 W. 13th St., Holland.
 
Pastoral appointment: Effective July 1, 2016, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, Father Fickel is appointed parochial vicar of St. John Vianney Parish, Wyoming.
Father Colin J. Mulhall, 26, is the son of Kevin and Dana Mulhall of Holy Family Parish, Caledonia. He has one sister, Shelagh.
 
He earned a bachelor's degree from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2011. He earned a Master of Divinity and Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in spring 2016. He was ordained a transitional deacon on June 6, 2015.
 
Father Mulhall completed his pastoral internship at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father Mark Przybysz, and a chaplaincy internship at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Grand Rapids.
 
Mass of Thanksgiving: He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 9669 Kraft Ave., Caledonia.
 
Pastoral appointment: Effective July 1, 2016, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, Father Mulhall is appointed parochial vicar of St. Robert of Newminster Parish, Ada.
Father Daniel P. Schumaker, 26, is the son of Kevin and Veronica Schumaker of St. Michael Parish, Coopersville. He has three siblings: Joshua, Courtney and Zachary.
 
He attended Aquinas College for one year before transferring to St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in spring 2012 from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2016 from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained a transitional deacon on June 6, 2015.
 
Father Schumaker completed his pastoral internship at St. Patrick Parish, Portland, under the mentorship of Father Lawrence King. Schumaker completed his pastoral internship at St. Patrick Parish, Portland, under the mentorship of Father Lawrence King.
 
Mass of Thanksgiving: He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 17150 88th Ave., Coopersville.
 
Pastoral appointment: Effective July 1, 2016, as announced by Bishop Walkowiak, Father Schumaker is appointed parochial vicar of the Basilica of St. Adalbert Parish and St. Mary Parish, Grand Rapids.
 
 
Our diocese's new transitional deacons are:

​Deacon Stephen J. Durkee, 26, was ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 17. He is the son of Doug Durkee of St. Sebastian Parish, Byron Center, and Mary Durkee of Holy Family Parish, Caledonia. He has three siblings: Erin, David and Holly. He is a member of Holy Family Parish, Caledonia.

Deacon Durkee attended the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013.  He will enter his final year of seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., in fall 2016 and will receive his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2017.

He completed his pastoral internship at St. Patrick Parish, Parnell, under the mentorship of Father Mark E. Peacock.

Deacon Steven W. Geerling, 42, was ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 17.  He is the son of William (deceased) and Kay Geerling. He has two siblings:  David, and Susan (Cesar). He is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Grand Rapids.

He attended Creston High School and Aquinas College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1996. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 13 years.

Deacon Geerling will enter his final year of seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in fall 2016, and will receive his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2017.

He completed his pastoral internship at St. Jude Parish, Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father Thomas P. Page and Deacon Larry Hoogeboom.

Deacon Kyle J. Kilpatrick, 29, was ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 17, 2016.  He 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 earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009. He will enter his final year of seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in fall 2016 and will receive his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2017. Kilpatrick attended Grand Valley State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009. He will enter his final year of seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in fall 2016 and will receive his Master of Divinity degree in spring 2017.

He 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.
 
Resources
GR Priests (Priestly vocations in the Diocese of Grand Rapids)
About priesthood | About the diaconate (USCCB)