Chicagoland

Six men ordained to the priesthood May 20

By Chicago Catholic
May 28, 2017

2017 priest ordination

Cardinal Cupich ordained six new priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20, 2017. They are Przemyslaw Tomczyk, Moises Navarro, Miguel Venegas Aceves, Timothy Anastos, Trenton Rauck and Radley Alcantara. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich (center) ordained six new priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. They are (from left) Przemyslaw Tomczyk, Moises Navarro, Miguel Venegas Aceves, Timothy Anastos, Trenton Rauck and Radley Alcantara. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich anoints the hands of newly ordained Father Timothy Anastos during the May 20 ordination Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. After ordination, the new priests will serve in parishes in Chicago, Niles, Park Ridge, Volo and Waukegan. The men, ranging in age from 27 to 44, come from the United States, Poland and Mexico. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Radley Alcantara receives the sign of peace from a fellow priest. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Priests lay hands on Przemyslaw Tomczyk. When the cardinal initially lays hands on a candidate he imparts the Holy Spirit. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich ordained six new priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. After ordination, the new priests will serve in parishes in Chicago, Niles, Park Ridge, Volo and Waukegan. The men, ranging in age from 27 to 44, come from the United States, Poland and Mexico. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich lays his hands on Radley Alcantara, one of six new priests were ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich anoints the hands of newly ordained Father Miguel Venegas Aceves during the May 20 ordination Mass at Holy Name Cathedral. Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Przemyslaw Tomczyk receives the sign of peace from Bishop John Manz during the ordination Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich ordained six new priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. After ordination, the new priests will serve in parishes in Chicago, Niles, Park Ridge, Volo and Waukegan. (Denise Duriga/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich prays the Eucharistic Prayer with six newly ordained priests at Holy Name Cathedral on May 20. (Denise Duriga/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Moises Navarro receives the sign of peace from Cardinal Cupich. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Moises Navarro and his friend Ned Hesser embrace as Navaro imparts his first blessing. Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic

The Archdiocese of Chicago welcomed six new priests on May 20. They hail from Mexico, Poland, Indiana and the archdiocese itself, and they range in age from 27 to 44. The men, who will take up their new assignments July 1, have walked varied paths toward ordination. Learn about them here, and join Chicago Catholic in congratulating them.


Radley Alcantara, 29

First assignment: St. Anastasia, Waukegan

Born in: Portage, Indiana

Education: Nativity of Our Savior School and Portage High School in Portage, Indiana; Indiana University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Renato and Dionisia Alcantara

First Mass: May 20 at Nativity of Savior Church, Portage, Indiana

When Radley Alcantara told his family and friends that he was going to be a priest, they thought he was crazy, he said. An active, even hyper kid, he’d gone to business school to learn how to make lots of money — not just for himself and his family, but also to help other people, he said.

"My parents came to the United States from the Philippines so that my siblings and I could achieve the ‘American Dream,’" he said. "My brother studied electrical engineering, my sister is a dentist, and I was going to be their business man."

But after just a few months working in commercial real estate banking in Chicago, he became restless.

"I soon realized that God was calling me to more than just the type of work that would put more money in my pockets," he said. "During this time, I went to daily Mass, adoration and joined a discernment group called InSearch. It was after a year of discernment that I strongly felt the call to apply to the seminary.

"I found myself being invited into a journey of true service. I was being invited to forego the treasures of our world: prestige, honor, fame, wealth and power, and instead, to seek the treasures of God’s Kingdom: a life of joy in service to others, especially the poor and marginalized."

 

Timothy Anastos, 28

First assignment: Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Park Ridge

Born in: Mundelein

Education: Santa Maria del Popolo School and Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Pontifical North American College, Rome

Parents: William and Kathleen (Myers) Anastos

First Mass: May 21, at Most Blessed Trinity, Immaculate Conception site, Waukegan

Timothy Anastos grew up across the street from Mundelein Seminary. During grade school, he said, he and his friends would sneak onto the seminary grounds and go fishing in the lake. "I never thought I would find myself back there preparing for the priesthood of Jesus Christ," he said.

Anastos said he first knew that he had a vocation to the priesthood when he was studying at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

"I went to the sacrament of confession for the first time in a long time," he said. "After receiving the amazing gift of God’s mercy, I left the confessional and found myself in front of Jesus in the exposed Blessed Sacrament. From that moment on, I began to think about the idea of the priesthood and couldn’t get it out of my mind. It kept increasing and increasing in my heart as time went on."

He discussed his vocation with friends, family members and other priests.

"One of the greatest pieces of advice I received was from the only other priest who grew up at my own home parish, like I did. I was nervous about so many different aspects of the priesthood, when he told me, ‘Tim, always remember that your vocation is to Christ Crucified and no one else. He is your strength and your joy and your peace.’"

 

Moises Navarro, 27

First assignment: Most Blessed Trinity, Waukegan

Born in: Guadalajara, Mexico

Education: Charles Gates Dawes School, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University Chicago and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Fortunato Navarro and Maria Aldaz

First Mass: May 21, at St. Francis of Assisi, 813 W. Roosevelt Road

Moises Navarro was born in Mexico and came to Chicago with his parents when he was a child. He was an altar server in his parish and began to think about a vocation to the priesthood when he was a sophomore in high school. His pastor recommended that he finish high school before making a decision, and he ended up attending Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Four years later, he had fallen away from the faith and was working toward a degree that was not bringing him joy, he said. At that point, he began to attend daily Mass on campus.

"I was filled with joy and fulfillment and finally after many years had peace in my heart," he said. "I wanted more."

During a summer youth retreat, he asked God what he wanted. "During prayer my memories of joyful priests kept coming back to me, and after returning home from the retreat I called my previous pastor and humbly asked for guidance in entering seminary," Navarro said.

That fall, he entered St. Joseph College Seminary and completed his philosophy degree in two years before moving on to Mundelein.

This year, his former pastor, Father Don Nevins, vested him for the first time as a priest.

 

Przemyslaw Tomczyk, 28

First assignment: St. John Brebeuf, Niles

Born in: Lodz, Poland

Education: Elementary and high school in Kolo, Poland; Pontifical University of St. John Paul II in Krakow, Poland; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Cezary and Ewa Michalska Tomczyk

First Mass: May 20, at St. Christina, 11005 S. Homan Ave.

Przemyslaw Tomczyk’s journey to priesthood started quite early, when he was an altar server in his home parish.

"It was natural for me to meet with priests, and their example led me to think about becoming one," he said.

But before entering seminary, Tomczyk decided to explore his passion for journalism, earning a degree in journalism from the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland.

"Over there I enjoyed the life of a student, but the Lord was continuously reminding me about priesthood," he said. "As the initial excitement about journalism was fading away, the passion for priesthood was growing."

He entered the diocesan seminary in Krakow. Two years later, he had the opportunity to come to Chicago through the Bishop Abramowicz Seminary program and serve here in the archdiocese.

"I decided to give it a try and I landed in O’Hare airport on Aug. 11, 2012. This date marked the beginning of an exciting journey, the five years of formation in Bishop Abramowicz Seminary and Mundelein Seminary, which led to this day, when I will begin to serve as an associate pastor of St. John Brebeuf," he said.

 

Trenton Rauck, 44

First assignment: St. Peter, Volo

Born in: Indianapolis

Education: St. Gabriel School and Cardinal Ritter Catholic High School in Indiana; Indiana University; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: William and Gail (Jones) Rauck

First Mass: May 21 at St. John Cantius, 825 N. Carpenter St.

Compared to some of his classmates, Trenton Rauck is a late vocation. He was attracted a new religious community of men, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago when he entered postulancy at age 32. He left the community after a year of novitiate and returned to his job as a sales representative while he continued to discern whether he was called to religious or married life.

After three years, he returned to the community to complete his novitiate. Then he was sent to Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut to begin his studies for the priesthood. With a year left, the Canons Regular began sending its seminarians to Mundelein, and Rauck was asked to retake his third year.

When he was ordained, he became the first member of the Canons Regular to be ordained to the diaconate and to the priesthood by Cardinal Cupich.

"My journey to the priesthood has been an amazing experience," he said.

 

Miguel Venegas Aceves, 28

First assignment: St. Agnes of Bohemia, 2651 S. Central Park Ave.

Born in: Guadalajara, Mexico

Education: Elementary and high school in Jalisco, Mexico; Guadalajara Seminary and University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Manuel Venegas and Maria Guadalupe Aceves Morales

First Mass: May 20, at St. Paul, Chicago Heights

Miguel Venegas Aceves knew early that he might be called to be a priest. His father had been a seminarian, and he was raised in a strong Catholic family. His Catholic elementary and high schools invited seminarians to talk about vocations, and his family was pleased when he entered the seminary after high school.

The surprise, then, is that he will be a priest in Chicago. Originally, he came for a visit, and spent time with a seminarian from Guadalajara who was at Mundelein. He ended up staying for four months, helping with the first Communion and confirmation classes at Our Lady of the Mount in Cicero. While he was here, several priests suggested he become a priest in Chicago.

"I was not interested," he said. "There was too much to overcome. The language, the weather … but then I thought about the people. I met a lot of Latino people who needed priests who know the language and the culture."

He went back to Mexico, worked for a bit, and returned to seminary in Chicago.

"In Mexico, we would have people come and talk to us about being missionaries, and I was interested," he said. "I want to be a missionary in Chicago."

Topics:

  • cardinal cupich
  • priests
  • ordination

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