Preparing to enter priesthood in 2021
By Dan Russo
DUBUQUE — Four seminarians are being ordained in 2020 to the transitional diaconate for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. There will be four individual ordination Masses presided over by Archbishop Michael Jackels at the Cathedral of St. Raphael. Attendance will be limited due to the coronanvirus. The events will be broadcast live at dbqarch.org.
All of the candidates for the transitional diaconate are students at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois. After another year of formation, they are slated to enter the priesthood in 2021.
Jacob Dunne was ordained at 7 p.m. May 19.
Home Parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha
On his vocation: “My call developed in my later years of high school and began to grow and take shape in college. The best role models in my life, particularly my grandmother Laverne Dunne, instilled in me a desire to live a prayerful and meaningful life and that desire is the root of my call. In college as my personal relationship with Jesus Christ grew, through different experiences and maturity, the calling to the priesthood grew and became something that I had to respond to, and I did that after I graduated from Iowa State in 2014.”
Kyle Tietz was ordained at 7 p.m. May 20.
Home parish: St. Pius X, Cedar Rapids
On his vocation: “I was first asked to consider the priesthood toward the end of high school. At that time, I really didn’t know anything about seminary
or what a priest did outside of Mass. I put the idea in the back of my mind and started college at Iowa State. I was pretty stagnant in my faith during my first few years of college, but this time helped me grow and gain independence. More importantly, I started looking at the long-term plan for my life and asked myself what was really important to me. Around this time, I was invited to join a priesthood discernment group and was amazed to find so many guys that were asking themselves the same questions. This group helped me learn more about seminary and the priesthood and made me responsible for continually seeking out God’s call in my life.”
Eric Zenisek was ordained at 7 p.m. May 21.
Home parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha
On his vocation: “Many things motivated me to consider the priesthood.”
“Around the archdiocese, there are multiple examples of happy, healthy, and holy priests. Getting to know priests also helped peak my interest in the priesthood. Getting to know priests around the Cedar Rapids area helped me to eventually see myself in their shoes. Something else that peaked my interest in the priesthood is the joy exemplified by Pope Francis. The sheer joy on his face made me want the same joy.”
Martin Coolidge will be ordained at 7 p.m. May 22.
Home parish: St. Thomas Aquinas, Ames
On his vocation: ““We see ourselves as set apart by Christ to be his priests, but we’re not set apart from those we’re supposed to serve,” said Coolidge. “In the seminary here, our priests and our formators are really trying to tell us that we really need to be with the people serving them. … We’re called in a unique way to be a priest to sacrifice for them, to serve them. … In our formation, what we’re doing in our internships, in our ministries here in the Chicago area, in our prayer, we’re trying to learn to be with God’s people, to love them.”
Information and quotations for this article were taken from materials provided by the Office of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Dubuque and a February 2020 interview Martin Coolidge did with The Witness. The cover photo is from ordinations in 2019.