Meet the Archdiocese of Chicago’s newest priests

By Chicago Catholic staff
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Meet the archdiocese's newest priests

Cardinal Cupich ordained four priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 18, 2024, at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., Chicago. Men become priests through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a celebration rich in symbolism and tradition. By ordination, priests receive a wide variety of responsibilities, particularly celebrating the Mass and granting forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Priests also preach the Gospel, and celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick. Diocesan priests make promises of life-long celibacy, prayer for the People of God, and obedience to their bishop at their ordination. It is also expected that priests will lead a life of simplicity consistent with the people they serve. (Karen Callaway, Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Ordinandi Juan Carlos Vargas Carrillo looks to the cross as he approaches the sanctuary during the opening procession of the ordination of priests on May 18, 2024 at Holy Name Cathedral. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The four ordinandi prepare to be ordained. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Archdiocese of Chicago ordinandi are acknowledged by those in attendance during the Election of the Candidates. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Ordinandi Martin Nyberg promises the cardinal his Respect and Obedience. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The four ordinandi lie prostrate during the Litany of Supplication while the congregation prays for them. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich hovers his hands over the head of Juan Carlos Vargas Carrillo during the Laying on of Hands portion this year’s ordination. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Priests make their way up from pews to lay hands on the ordinandi. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Canon Regular of St. John Cantius Albert Tremari lays hands on newly ordained Father Timothy Berryhill and Father Ryan Brady lays hands on Canon Regular of St. John Cantius Andrew Panzer. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich offers the Prayer of Ordination for the newly ordained priests while flanked by brother priests in attendance. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Priests from the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond stand at the altar following the laying on of hands, which is part of the ordination rite. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Derek Ho vests newly ordained Father Timothy Berryhill during the ordination. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Canon Regular of St. John Cantius Joshua Caswell, the community’s superior general, hugs newly ordained Canon Regular of St. John Cantius Andrew Panzer after vesting him during Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Martin Nyberg has his hands anointed with chrism oil by Cardinal Cupich. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Juan Carlos Vargas Carrillo receives a patten and chalice from Cardinal Cupich. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich shares the Kiss of Peace with newly ordained Canon Father Andrew Panzer. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Auxiliary Bishops Robert Lombardo, left, and Jeffrey Grob, right, offer the Kiss of Peace to newly ordained priests. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Father Timothy Monahan, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Chicago, shares a lighthearted moment with newly ordained Father Timothy Berryhill during the sign of peace. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Robert Casey, vicar general for the Archdiocese of Chicago, shares a lighthearted moment with newly ordained Father Timothy Berryhill during the sign of peace. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Gift bearers present the bread and wine to be consecrated. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
The new priests join Cardinal Cupich for the Eucharistic prayer. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Family and friends of the ordinandi pray during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Fathers Timothy Benjamin Berryhill, left, and Martin Konrad Nyberg distribute Communion for the first time as priests. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained priests, from left, Fathers Timothy Berryhill, Andrew Panzer, SJC, Juan Carlos Vargas Carrillo and Martin Nyberg offer their first blessing to Cardinal Cupich. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
The new priests share a laugh with Cardinal Cupich after they gave him their first blessing following Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
The new priests process out of Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Father Timothy Benjamin Berryhill offers a first blessing to an attendee. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Father Martin Nyberg receives congratulatory hugs from Catholic University of America college friends who came to support him at the ordination. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Newly ordained Canon Father Andrew Panzer, 33, gives a blessing to Father Miguel Martínez, pastor of Santa Maria Del Popolo Parish in Mundelein. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Juan Carlos Vargas Carrillo offers a first blessing following Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)

The Archdiocese of Chicago welcomed four new priests on May 18. Most are from Chicago, and one is from Pennsylvania. 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.

Father Timothy Berryhill, 35

First Assignment: St. Paul VI, Riverside

Born in: York, Pennsylvania

Education: Elementary and high school in Texas; Loyola University Chicago; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Kathryn and Kenneth Berryhill

First Mass: St. George, Tinley Park

Father Timothy Berryhill was already discerning a vocation to the priesthood when he came into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Berryhill, who holds a degree in marketing from Loyola University Chicago and was a medical evacuation helicopter pilot in the Illinois National Guard, had stepped away from the religion of his youth while he was in college, after a skydiving mishap in flight school.

After that, a friend introduced him to Bishop Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” series and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and he attended a Lenten Word on Fire series at St. George Parish. It was there that someone asked if he was a seminarian.

“That was the first time the thought of being a seminarian and a priest had ever entered my mind,” said Berryhill, who followed up by attending an “Exploring Priesthood” weekend at Mundelein.

After being received into the church, Berryhill joined the InSearch discernment program and then moved into an archdiocesan house of discernment, now known as the Bishop Quarter House for the Spirituality Year.

“Every step I took toward seminary and toward priesthood was confirmed by a variety of experiences that told me that I was on the right track,” Berryhill said. “The fraternity that I had with other discerners and seminarians oriented toward the same goal fortified my desire to be a priest of Jesus Christ.”

Father Martin Nyberg, 28

First Assignment: St. Josaphat Parish

Born in: Chicago

Education: St. Edward School; St. Ignatius College Prep; Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Branka and Stuart Nyberg

First Mass: St. Edward Parish

Father Martin Nyberg’s family was always active at St. Edward Parish, and several priests encouraged him to consider whether he had a vocation to the priesthood. He never took the idea very seriously until deep into his undergraduate years at Catholic University of America, where he was studying international economics and finance.

A group that encouraged prayer beyond going to Mass and his classes both influenced the direction his life took, Nyberg said.

“Developing prayer habits outside of Sunday Mass changed everything for me,” he said. “Through eucharistic adoration, I experienced God as a real person who wants to have a relationship with me, desires my full flourishing, and wants to show me the way to that end in and through my relationship with Jesus.“I also became more convinced of the truth of the faith through the intellectual life. I’ll never forget the experience of being convinced that God is real in a philosophy of religion course and the joy and excitement this realization.

Father Andrew Panzer, 33

First Assignment: St. John Cantius

Education: Elementary and middle school in Prospect Heights; Wheeling High School; DePaul University; Holy Apostles College and Seminary; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Miguel Angel Cabrera and Laurel Panzer

First Mass: St. John Cantius

Father Andrew Panzer’s vocation journey started with his family, especially his grandfather, who would take him to daily Mass when he was too young to attend school and read to him from the Bible.

“All this left a strong impression on me, and I can remember occasionally pretending to say Mass with bread at the family dinner table,” Panzer said.

He grew to love music, and studied music at DePaul University for two years after high school. While there, a priest recommended he seek spiritual direction at St. John Cantius, a parish that had also been recommended to him for its music program. The liturgy at St. John Cantius reawakened his early interest in priesthood. He approached the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, and, after a gap year, finished his undergraduate education at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

After a year at the Canons Regular apostolate in Springfield, Panzer entered Mundelein Seminary. He professed final vows in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in 2020, and graduated from University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in 2023.

Father Juan Carlos Vargas Carillo, 33

First Assignment: Our Lady of the Rosary Parish

Education: Orozco Academy; Cristo Rey Jesuit High School; Xavier University, Cincinnati; University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Parents: Maura E. Carillo and Leonardo Vargas

First Mass: Immaculate Conception-Five Holy Martyrs Parish in Spanish; St. Edward, 11 a.m. July 21 in English

The parents of Father Juan Carlos Vargas Carillo came to Chicago when his mother was five months pregnant with him. Vargas grew up in Pilsen and attended St. Pius V Parish, where his mother was very involved, and Vargas began working at the parish in high school.

He studied social work, advocated for social justice and traveled while attending Xavier University in Cincinnati. After graduation, he spent a year volunteering with Mercy Corps in Guyana, and then worked in the foster care system in Chicago.

“During my four years as a social worker I learned, after many mistakes, how to put my work in the hands of God,” Vargas said. “As I began to put my work and life in God’s hands, I realized that I had never given myself the opportunity to see how my relationship with God was. From then on, in my moments of prayer, the call to the priesthood was more consistent, knowing that I had glimpses of God’s call since high school. This time, instead of running away from it, I decided to run toward it and realized that my job as a social worker was only part of how much God wanted for me.”


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