The Mercy of Christ the King

Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht was ordained in June 2014 with his identical twin brother, from a family of 10 children. Twenty-two priests from their home parish, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler, MI have been ordained. Fr. Gary says being a priest is the greatest joy and honor of his life, especially at the hospital, seeing Christ working through him for those most in need. Fr. Gary is the Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Blanc, MI.

Holiness is in Our Daily Lives

Father Brad is Priest Administrator at St. Luke Parish in Shoreline, Washington. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2011 for the Archdiocese of Seattle. Father attended parochial grade school and Jesuit high school, Seattle Prep, Class of 2002. He went on to Gonzaga University, where he graduated in 2006, and applied to be a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Seattle at the beginning of his senior year in college. He was accepted by his home archdiocese and sent the following fall to Mundelein Seminary which is the major seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Fr. Brad was born in Seattle in 1983. He has an uncle who is a Jesuit Priest. Father is a huge Seattle Seahawks and Gonzaga Basketball fan. He played Rugby in college and enjoys cooking and downhill skiing.

Celibacy for the Kingdom

Fr. Jonathan Raia is the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin, Texas. He was born in Houston, Texas into a strong Catholic family, where he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord, Savior, and Friend. He felt a call to the priesthood as early as his First Holy Communion, but discerned the call most seriously while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating in 2002, he entered seminary and was ordained a priest in 2009. He served in a large suburban parish for four years, then was in campus ministry for a year before beginning in the Office of Vocations.

For more information on vocations in the Diocese of Austin, visit www.austinvocations.com.

Church, State, and the Moral Order

Fr. Phillip Tran grew up in South Florida (Boca Raton). After graduating from high school, he entered the University of Miami, with the intention of going into medicine as a physician. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience, and entered the seminary right after college. He credits his family, in particular his parents, for being excellent models of Christian virtue, and for nurturing his vocation. His interests include reading, fishing, watching movies of all genres, playing various sports, among many other things. Fr. Dolejsi completed his MDiv and STB from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. He has served as a parochial vicar in Tacoma, Priest Administrator in Issaquah and for the past two years has served as the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Seattle and chaplain of Kennedy Catholic High School.

Our Help is in the Lord

Fr. Jeremy Paulin, OMV is the Vocation Director for the St Ignatius Province (USA) of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. The 8th of 10 children, he was born and raised in Central Massachusetts. After graduating from Thomas More College in New Hampshire, he ran a construction company in Massachusetts and then a pilgrimage company in New York. While working on pilgrimages, he discovered his vocation to the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and entered formation in Boston in 1998. He made his perpetual profession of Vows in May 2005 and was ordained a priest at St. Peter Chanel OMV Parish, Hawaiian Gardens, California, in November 2006. He served as associate pastor there and at Holy Ghost OMV Parish in Denver, CO., before becoming Director of Vocations for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in 2009. When not traveling for vocation ministry, Fr. Jeremy lives at the OMV seminary in Boston.

The Promises of Faith

David A. Lopez is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, where he serves as Director of Deacon Formation and Chancellor, and as parochial deacon for the Cathedral of the Epiphany Parish. He knew from an early age that he was called to the vocation of marriage and family life. One of his early heroes was his 8th-grade teacher, Brother McHugh, FSC. Yet as a teenager he struggled greatly with the faith, having been too much formed by worldly assumptions, but returned in his twenties to the full practice of the faith. The key elements in his reversion were learning to pray, studying more deeply the authentic content and culture of Christianity as he earned a BA (University of Notre Dame, 1993) and Ph.D. (Yale University, 1999) in Medieval Studies, the witness of the martyrs (on which he wrote his doctoral dissertation), and above all, the graces of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony following his marriage to his wife, Cecilia, in 1994. He began volunteering for parish ministries once finished with graduate school, and has served variously as middle school catechist, RCIA catechist and sponsor, Confirmation catechist and sponsor, lector, cantor, altar server, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and in prison ministry. All this eventually led to receiving the call to the permanent diaconate. He was ordained on May 1, 2010. The most joyful aspects of his diaconal ministry include Adoration and Benediction, giving blessings, spontaneous evangelization, and the formation of future deacons. He lives in Sioux City with Cecilia and their three children.

The Intercessory Priesthood

Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht was ordained in June 2014 with his identical twin brother, from a family of 10 children. Twenty-two priests from their home parish, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler, MI have been ordained. Fr. Gary says being a priest is the greatest joy and honor of his life, especially at the hospital, seeing Christ working through him for those most in need. Fr. Gary is the Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Blanc, MI.

Unworthy but Called

Fr. Jonathan Raia is the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin, Texas. He was born in Houston, Texas into a strong Catholic family, where he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord, Savior, and Friend. He felt a call to the priesthood as early as his First Holy Communion, but discerned the call most seriously while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating in 2002, he entered seminary and was ordained a priest in 2009. He served in a large suburban parish for four years, then was in campus ministry for a year before beginning in the Office of Vocations.

For more information on vocations in the Diocese of Austin, visit www.austinvocations.com.

Bold Coworkers in Christ

Born and raised Catholic in the Seattle area, Fr. Bryan Dolejsi was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle in 2006. He completed his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University in Secondary Education and History. After serving as a Catholic High School teacher and basketball coach and serving internationally as a missionary he entered the seminary in 2000.

Fr. Dolejsi completed his MDiv and STB from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. He has served as a parochial vicar in Tacoma, Priest Administrator in Issaquah and for the past two years has served as the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Seattle and chaplain of Kennedy Catholic High School.

Fr. Jeffrey Gubbiotti

Fr. Jeffrey Gubbiotti is a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford (Connecticut), ordained by Archbishop Henry Mansell in 2004 after completing his undergraduate work at Boston University and his seminary studies and formation at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. After serving as parochial vicar of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Wallingford, CT; Administrator of St. Louis Parish in West Haven, CT; and pastor of the Assumption Parish in Ansonia, CT; he was named the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Hartford in October 2015. Fr. Jeff still enjoys giving Confirmation retreats to youth throughout the Archdiocese and prays that every Catholic will earnestly seek his or her vocation and live it courageously so as to find true peace, fulfillment, and joy in this life and in the life to come. He can be reached at vocations@aohct.org.

Fr. Phillip Tran

Fr. Phillip Tran grew up in South Florida (Boca Raton). After graduating from high school, he entered the University of Miami, with the intention of going into medicine as a physician. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience, and entered the seminary right after college. He credits his family, in particular his parents, for being excellent models of Christian virtue, and for nurturing his vocation. His interests include reading, fishing, watching movies of all genres, playing various sports, among many other things.

Fr. Dolejsi completed his MDiv and STB from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. He has served as a parochial vicar in Tacoma, Priest Administrator in Issaquah and for the past two years has served as the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Seattle and chaplain of Kennedy Catholic High School.

Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht

Fr. Gary Koenigsknecht was ordained in June 2014 with his identical twin brother, from a family of 10 children. Twenty-two priests from their home parish, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler, MI have been ordained. Fr. Gary says being a priest is the greatest joy and honor of his life, especially at the hospital, seeing Christ working through him for those most in need. Fr. Gary is the Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Blanc, MI.

Fr. Jonathan Raia

Fr. Jonathan Raia is the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin, Texas. He was born in Houston, Texas into a strong Catholic family, where he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord, Savior, and Friend. He felt a call to the priesthood as early as his First Holy Communion, but discerned the call most seriously while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating in 2002, he entered seminary and was ordained a priest in 2009. He served in a large suburban parish for four years, then was in campus ministry for a year before beginning in the Office of Vocations.

For more information on vocations in the Diocese of Austin, visit www.austinvocations.com.

Fr. J. Friedel

Rev. J. Friedel, M.A., M. Div., was ordained a priest for service in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri in December, 1986. In 2006, Fr. J. was named Director of Vocations and Seminarians for the diocese and was also assigned as pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Joplin, Missouri. He continues to serve as the Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry for the diocese and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Missouri Southern State University. Fr. J. is a former Chair of the Executive Board for the national Catholic Campus Ministry Association, and still serves that organization as the “Ambassador for Certification” on the Certification Committee, which assists the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in promoting and certifying campus ministers for the United States. Fr. J. is well known as a preacher and speaker and has given numerous national presentations for students, campus ministers, and higher education administrators, ranging from Ritual and Greek Life to Catholic Identity and Engaging the Academy. He laughingly reminds his students and parishioners, “I talk for a living!” After 28 years as a priest, his favorite work is still to preach and preside at Sunday Eucharist. Fr. J. says he has thoroughly enjoyed his time as a both a pastor and a campus minister and is grateful that he can remain active in both fields of ministry. Along with his responsibilities in the training of new priests for the diocese, the three areas of ministry provide a wonderful crossroads where his commitment to his faith and his love for learning and teaching come together in a rewarding manner.

Fr. Thomas Loya

Fr. Thomas Loya is pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois. He is host of two radio programs, “Light of the East” heard on the EWTN radio network and “A Body of Truth” which is broadcast by internet. (You can find it here.) Before entering the Seminary he earned a degree and pursued a career in Commercial Art and Design after which he worked for a church design firm. He completed his studies for the priesthood in Pennsylvania and Rome and was ordained a priest in 1982. In 1993, he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Counseling and Human Services. He has worked on iconography and has served in youth and young adult ministry and is currently the Eastern Church spiritual adviser. He blogs at Tabor Life.

Fr. John Moneypenny

Fr. John Moneypenny is a priest of the Diocese of Orange in California. Since his ordination in 1998, he has served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in La Habra, California and St. Norbert Church in Orange, California. He served as administrator and Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Santa Ana, California for 8 years prior to being appointed a Director of Vocations in July of 2012. He studied at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California and now serves on their Board of Directors.

Fr. Dolejsi completed his MDiv and STB from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA. He has served as a parochial vicar in Tacoma, Priest Administrator in Issaquah and for the past two years has served as the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Seattle and chaplain of Kennedy Catholic High School.

Fr. Peter Hannah, O.P.

Father Peter Hannah, OP, was born in Temple, Texas. His father was in the military and his mother was a teacher. He became passionate about golf in high school and college, and aspired to be a professional. He describes his radical turnaround from a fraternity party lifestyle to following Christ, all the way to the threshold of the altar as a Western Dominican Province of The Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Fr. James Gallagher

Fr. James Gallagher, C.S.C., has served in the Office of Vocations for the Congregation of Holy Cross, US Province, since 2008. He works with men around the United States assisting them as they seek to hear and answer the Lord’s call. In particular, Fr. Gallagher helps men consider entering into the undergraduate (Old College) and graduate (Moreau Seminary) formation programs for Holy Cross at the University of Notre Dame. In conjunction with serving as a director of vocations, Fr. Gallagher serves as the chaplain for Zahm House, a residence hall at Notre Dame.

Fr. Craig Vasek

Father Craig Vasek is a priest of the diocese of Crookston, Minnesota. Father is a graduate of the Pontifical North American College, obtaining a licentiate in Sacred Theology in 2011 from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Ordained in 2010, Father has served as an associate pastor in two parishes, as well as chaplain at a university and parochial school. He was recently named to his first pastorate. Father has also enjoyed working with the Missionaries of Charity throughout the world, giving them retreats on an annual basis. Father established a small blog devoted to the spiritual life in 2012, where he has recently started posting his audio sermons. The website for the blog is evangelicaldisciple.com.

"For me, it is a great joy to be together with priests." -Pope Benedict XVI