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Meet the archdiocese’s newest priests — and where they’ll be assigned

On Saturday, May 13, three men were ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila. The men ordained were: Father Kevin Kasel, Father Anthony Phan and Father Patricio Chuquimarca.  

We asked the three new priests about their vocations to priesthood and what they’re most looking forward to. Read their responses below and be sure check out further coverage here and re-watch their ordination Mass! 

Father Kevin Kasel
Parochial Vicar, Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield 

What is one of the most valuable things you learned during your time in seminary?
A greater love and trust in Jesus and the constant intercession of Our Lady. 

What is one thing about the priesthood that you are most looking forward to?
Since before I came to seminary, I have been drawn to confession and the encounter of the Lord within the sacrament. While I do not yet know what that will entail as a confessor and I may have to constantly work at being a better confessor, I pray that God’s mercy may always be encountered in the confessional. 

Would you characterize God’s call to the priesthood for you as a whisper or a roar? Why?
God’s call to me to the priesthood has been gentle like a whisper, yet with the command of a roar. When I first thought about the priesthood in my high school years, I thought I had such a better plan for my life, especially in lieu of the scandals and media attention they received. I also did not understand the gift of the priesthood because I could not get past the sacrifice made by the priest. However, as I graduated college and entered the workforce, something particular in my life was unfulfilled. It wasn’t until I drew closer in prayer to Jesus with Mary’s help that I understood why I wasn’t being fulfilled.   

There were many times in my path to priesthood that the “roar” or command of Christ was what encouraged me to stay on the path, even if the Lord has had to refresh and refocus my gaze to his encouragement. I could never have imagined the trials which laid in store for me the day I turned in my application to seminary. Despite my own brokenness and need for healing, Christ has been steadfast in encouraging me and leading me to trust more perfectly in him as I come before the cathedral of the archdiocese to lay down my life as Christ wonderfully exemplifies.
 

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Father Anthony Phan
Parochial Vicar, Light of the World Parish in Littleton 

What is one of the most valuable things you learned during your time in seminary? 

One of the most valuable things that I learned in seminary is to be in a relationship with the Lord. I think a close relationship with God doesn’t happen by coincidence. We must choose it daily and intentionally. Moreover, St. Bonaventure inspires me a lot when he says: “If you have learned everything except Jesus, you know nothing. If you’ve learned nothing but Jesus, you have learned everything.” Jesus is all, all is Jesus.  

What is one thing about the priesthood that you are most looking forward to? 

I am most looking forward to celebrating the Holy Mass. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. It is the center of my life. I am also excited to hear confessions. God makes himself available to us in the confessional. God loves us and he is near us. 

Would you characterize God’s call to the priesthood for you as a whisper or a roar? Why? 

It is a whisper. God has invited me to be with him in prayer, peacefully and silently. God has known me before he formed me in the womb, he knows me from all eternity. I experience his mercy and love personally and deeply. As my relationship with Jesus grew deeper, I recognized his call to the priesthood. 

Father Patricio Chuquimarca
Parochial Vicar, St. John the Baptist Parish in Johnstown 

What is one of the most valuable things you learned during your time in seminary?
What I have learned in seminary is that the most important thing is to maintain communion with my brothers. Arguments are common in the seminary, but I have realized that conflict is only an occasion for us to deepen our brotherhood in Christ, not a reason to abandon it. Without the help of God, it would have been altogether impossible to live with one another. My time in the seminary has been an excellent opportunity to see God’s grace in action through mutual forgiveness among my brother seminarians. 

What is one thing about the priesthood that you are most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to preaching and teaching the people about God and announcing the Gospel to those far away. I always understood my vocation as fundamentally missionary, so I am excited to bring the word of salvation to everyone I meet. My greatest desire is to help the youth who are so attacked by the devil these days, because if it was not for the zeal of priests and catechists who encouraged me to be sincere with the call of God for me, I don’t think I would have ever answered it. 

Would you characterize God’s call to the priesthood for you as a whisper or a roar? Why?
Even though I always felt the call very strongly, the Lord allowed me to distance myself from his call for most of my adolescence. But even when I was far from the Lord, I was always sure of the call in the depth of my heart. Thanks to my catechists, formators and brothers and sisters of my Neocatechumenal community, God gave me the grace to say “yes,” and little by little, his call was confirmed throughout my years in the seminary. I think I could describe my vocation as both a roar initially and always a whisper.  

Aaron Lambert
Aaron Lambert
Aaron is the former Managing Editor for the Denver Catholic.
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