Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will confer the sacrament of priestly ordination on 10 men – eight from Minnesota – at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
They are members of the largest ordination class since 2005, when 15 men were ordained to serve as priests in the archdiocese.
All 10 attended the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and earned Master of Divinity degrees. Over the past four years they participated in the Teaching Parish Program, spending time in a parish each week to participate in various aspects of pastoral service.
Those who will become priests Saturday are:
Deacon Leonard Andrie, 36, of Inver Grove Heights. He and his mother, Sandy, are parishioners at Inver Grove Heights’ St. Patrick parish. Andrie earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame before working in the field for five years in Minneapolis. He was also a school teacher in Virginia for two years. He then attended the University of St. Thomas, where he earned master’s degrees in Catholic studies, theology and divinity. His teaching parish was St. Odilia in Shoreview, and he spent time in Omaha, Mexico and Venezuela during his summers while in seminary. Andrie will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at St. Agatha Church in Coates.
Deacon Andrew Brinkman, 27, of Ann Arbor, Mich. His parents, Ronald and Christine, live in Ann Arbor, and his home parish is Minneapolis’ Church of St. Stephen. An avid skateboarder, Brinkman spent his years prior to seminary enjoying his passion for skateboarding as well as working at a pastry shop. He is intrigued by the potential of evangelizing on behalf of the environmental movement. Brinkman’s teaching parish is also the Church of St. Stephen, and it’s where he’ll celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 26.
Deacon John Drees, 26, of Shakopee. He and his parents, John and Marie, are parishioners at St. Mary of the Purification in Marystown. Drees enrolled in seminary soon after graduating from high school, and spent one summer doing hospital ministry in Grand Forks, N.D. His teaching parish was St. Pius X in White Bear Lake, and he will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at St. Mary of the Purification in Marystown.
Deacon Joah Ellis, 26, of Blaine. He and his parents, Daniel and Carrie Ellis, are parishioners at the Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids. After graduating from high school, Ellis worked one summer for the Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department before enrolling in the seminary that fall. As a young boy, he got to know many priests over dinners at his home, which often were followed by games of pick-up basketball. His teaching parish was the Church of St. Timothy in Maple Lake, and he will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at the Church of the Epiphany.
Deacon Spencer Howe, 26, of North Oaks. He and his parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette, are parishioners at the Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake. Howe was raised in the Evangelical Lutheran tradition. He became curious about Catholicism after his grandmother returned to the faith in 1999. Two years later, he and his father were received into the Catholic Church together. Howe enrolled in St. John Vianney Seminary immediately after graduating from Mounds View High School. He spent his summers while in the seminary in Ethiopia and Rome, and his teaching parishes were St. John the Baptist in New Brighton and St. Stephen in Anoka. He will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at St. John the Baptist Church.
Deacon Andrew Jaspers, 34, of Lake Crystal, where his parents, Dr. Anthony and Mary, still live and attend Holy Family Church. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee and Fordham University in New York City, respectively, Jaspers taught at Creighton University in Omaha where he also wrote philosophical articles for various Catholic publications. His teaching parish was the Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids. Jaspers’ Mass of Thanksgiving will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
Deacon Luke Marquard, 33, of Faribault, where he and his parents, Stephen and Mary, are parishioners at Divine Mercy parish. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Butler University in Indianapolis and a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame, Marquard worked in public relations, marketing and communications in Indianapolis and Chicago. He then went on to teach Catholic elementary school in Denver as part of Notre Dame’s ACE program. His teaching parish was Forest Lake’s St. Peter Church, and he will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at Divine Mercy.
Deacon Brian Park, 32, of Fort Worth, Texas, where his parents, Paul and Mary Kay, still reside. Park began to consider the priesthood while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in history from Texas A & M University in College Station. After graduation, he traveled the country for three years as a team supervisor for NET Ministries, where he led retreats for Catholic teens. He entered the pre-theology program at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 2007. His teaching parish was St. Paul’s Church of St. Agnes. Park’s Masses of Thanksgiving are at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at the Church of St. Joseph in West St. Paul, and at his boyhood parish, where his parents still worship, St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Ft. Worth at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2.
Deacon James Peterson, 27, of Minnetonka. He and his parents, Jim and Ann, are parishioners at Chanhassen’s St. Hubert Church. He attended Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria before earning a bachelor’s degree in theology from St. John’s University where he also ran track and field. His teaching parish was Immaculate Heart of Mary in Minnetonka, and he spent his summers while in seminary in Mexico and Venezuela. Peterson will celebrate his Masses of Thanksgiving at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 26, at Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Deacon Andrew Stueve, 40, of Hanover. He and his parents, Bernard and Kay, are parishioners at Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers. He graduated with an associate degree in accounting from Hennepin Technical College before pursuing a 10-year career as an accountant. Stueve’s teaching parish was Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Maplewood. His Masses of Thanksgiving will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Mary Queen of Peace, as well as 10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 9, at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.