Kevin Ripley

Kevin RipleyParish: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Pulaski

Birth Date: October 10

Seminary: Mundelein Seminary

Seminary Address:
1000 E Maple Ave
Mundelein, IL 60060-1967

Theology I


Patron: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Proclaim the Good News:
It is time to accept the will of God, as He has redeemed every moment through His Blood.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2016.
After two weeks of studying Spanish in Guatemala, I heard much about an Oklahoma priest, Fr. Stanley Rother, who grew up on a farm. In 1968, he drove all the way to a town in Guatemala called Santiago (St. James) Atitlán to serve at his diocese's mission parish. During political turmoil, he stayed with his flock through persecution and faced his death as a martyr. Afterwards, the faith flourished. My classmates and I were able to visit his rectory, where he was martyred, and attend a joyful Mass with the parishioners who knew him.

When did your commitment to the Catholic Faith grow deeper?
Beginning in middle school, my faith began to become hollow as I lost sight of God's care for me. However, during that time I joined a youth group at my parish. Thus began a six-year journey of God continually drawing me back to Him, with me only stepping forward for moments at a time before turning away. In high school I went on a couple Catholic Youth Expeditions where I first recognized Jesus in the Eucharist. I also attended Teens Encounter Christ retreats where I found a sense of Christian community. These were beautiful glimpses of a deep love that I longed for. Yet, I was not ready for it all.

Not until going to college did I begin to discover the richness of the Faith, especially in Bible study, in the teachings of St. John Paul II, and in studying apologetics. I began to recognize the love of Christ in the preaching of the priests at UW-Madison, and especially in regularly going to Confession for forgiveness and receiving Communion afterwards. This transformed what would have been mere backward glimpses of Jesus into full turnabouts. Strengthened with that grace, I was able to walk in discipleship more seriously by intentionally trying to live out the Gospel, taking what Jesus says and acting on it throughout the week. My faith was deepening and affecting my entire life.

Offer us a few words about one Gift of the Holy Spirit and how it has helped you.
During college, I received the desire to see everything as Jesus sees, which means seeing things as they truly are. I wanted to know when something is of God or not. I would try and try on my own, until finally I realized I should pray for that. Little did I know, but I was praying for the gift of Wisdom. The answer to my prayer began to come in the Holy Spirit's guidance to spend time with Jesus, to get to know Him. Just like in any relationship, the more you get to know someone, the more you begin thinking and seeing like Him. When hearing of difficult situations, or being in them, God gives us this gift to see His love through it all.

Share an interesting fact about your high school years.
For all four years, I competed on the high school bowling team. It was a five-person team where each bowler takes two frames each of nine total games. Making it to the state tournament twice was exhilarating, although we were eliminated before the championship rounds, which were broadcast on ESPN.

Other than prayer, what is your fuel?
A cup of coffee with some cream while praying the Office of Readings helps in the morning, but in the afternoon I need to exercise.

As a priest, God willing, where would you most like to celebrate the Holy Mass?
My choice would be a place where my great-great-uncle Father Edward LeMieux celebrated Mass many times: a stone chapel in Bay Settlement built by my great-grandfather in 1925.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
Please ask St. Thérèse of Lisieux to intercede for the deepening of my vocation and for my formation to be a holy priest. She has already had much to do with me being in seminary and I know she will not let me down by her continued prayers.