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Monsignor Stanley L.
Deptula

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Monsignor Stanley L. Deptula
Pastor

My new friends at Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Churches,

I thought I would take a moment to also tell you a little about myself. I have been active in the Peoria-area for going on 12 years and many of you may already know me from my days at the Bradley Newman Center or from my work as Bishop Jenky's Master of Ceremonies. I was born in New Jersey, raised in Florida, went to Minnesota for college seminary. There I fell in love with the Midwest! I got to know Peoria and the many Peorian seminarians who also attended college seminary in Winona, MN. I was ordained a priest in 1996. My first assignment was to Sacred Heart, Moline. After three years, I went to the Newman Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I fell in love with campus ministry. I spent two short years as pastor in Wenona and Lostant, near Streator. Afterwards, my zeal for Newman Ministry brought me to Peoria and the Newman Center at Bradley. I also began my work as Director of Divine Worship for the Bishop, another of my passions that I am delighted to continue to this day. After four years at Bradley, the Bishop asked me to take on leadership of the Cause for the Canonization of Fulton Sheen. While the Cause is still on hold due to some difficult misunderstandings with the Archdiocese of New York, Fulton Sheen has really become a friend and inspiration. He has changed my priesthood and it has been a blessing to meet so many people from around the world who have also been touched by his profound teaching and holy life. In addition to the Sheen Cause, a few years ago I was appointed pastor of Saint Bernard's and St. Peter's (which later merged into St. Bernard's) and rector of the Cathedral. While I am a little nervous about all that Our Lord and our Bishop have asked me to do with this new assignment, I know I have an amazing team of priests, consecrated, lay-staff, and parish leaders to begin this new adventure with me. I am honored, humbled, delighted and above all happy to serve as your pastor. I love being a priest and I hope I can share that joy with you everyday. I truly look forward to serving you and walking together our path towards heaven. Pray for me - as I do and will for you.

Peace,
Msgr. Deptula





Fr. Tom Gibson

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Fr. Tom Gibson
Parochial Vicar

Hello, friends and families of our St. Joseph – Sacred Heart – St. Bernard – and Cathedral of St. Mary parishes! With the addition of Sacred Heart parish and St. Joseph parish to our downtown “Cathedral family”, I thought I would join the other priests in introducing myself. I am Father Tom Gibson, the tenth child of a family of thirteen children, originally of Oak Park, Illinois, a near west suburb of Chicago. Yes, my devout parents, who have already passed away in the past two and half years, brought thirteen children into the world. Moreover, I am the youngest of four priests in our family. Also, two of my sisters are religious sisters. At eighteen years of age, I left my home for the last time for my studies in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame where I earned a philosophy degree from the department of the famed Dr. Ralph MacInerney. From there, I spent two years as volunteer with the sisters of Mother Blessed Teresa of Calcuta, the Missionaries of Charity, one year in the South Bronx, New York, and another year in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from San Diego, California. In Tijuana I learned the Spanish language that brought me, by assignment of our Bishop Jenky, to be working here in our parishes especially for the Hispanic community. I was ordained with 11 classmates by Bishop John Meyers here in the Cathedral of St. Mary in 1993. I have been a priest, then for 22 years. Seven of those years were spent in a contemplative monastery of the Carthusian Order in England. Otherwise, I have been chaplain for some years at the Newman Center at the U of I in Champaign, and parish priest in various parishes. These past three years have been, for the most part, engaged in the Hispanic ministry, first in Moline and East Moline, Illinois, and now here for the past year in Peoria. I engage in past-times of guitar-playing, ice-skating and jogging. My tongue loves eating Mexican Jalapeno pepper dishes, though my Irish stomach has varied opinions on the subject. I look forward to meeting all of you here in our Catholic community, and it is a deep pleasure to be serving for and with you.

May God bless you all!
Fr. Tom




Fr. Alexander Millar

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Fr. Alexander Millar
Parochial Vicar

I am originally from Urbana (not Champaign), though for the most part I grew up in Midland, Michigan. I returned to Illinois to study Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the University of Illinois. While there, I was introduced to the city of Peoria during an internship with Caterpillar. It was during my time at U of I that I first started discerning the priesthood and decided to enter the seminary while working for GE Aviation in Cincinnati. For the last six years, I have attended Mount St Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. Three years ago, now Fr. Jacob Valle (the new parochial vicar at St. Philomena’s in Peoria) and I were both assigned to Msgr. Deptula for a summer assignment, and were introduced to St. Bernard’s and the Cathedral. The following year, my classmate Fr. Joseph Baker and I worked with the Hispanic community at the Cathedral. I also had the great opportunity to serve as a deacon throughout this last Holy Week at the Cathedral.

As a result of my previous assignments, the city of Peoria and the people of these parishes have been close to my heart, and I am honored and excited to serve the Heart of Peoria Catholic Community.

Fr. Alexander Millar





Fr. Jim Pankiewicz

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Fr. Jim Pankiewicz
Parochial Vicar


Greetings dear friends of the Heart of Peoria Catholic Community! It is a true blessing to be here and serve at our four beautiful and historic churches. I am originally from St. Joseph, MO and one of five children. Both of my parents were high school teachers and instilled in me a life-long love of learning and reading (and for dogs!). During college, I attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, MO. I belonged to the campus Newman Center and was an active member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. To this day, I have a host of friends through the latter organization. In the summer of 2001 and 2002, I was a seasonal employee at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace in Hodgenville, KY, just south of Louisville. It was a wonderful experience and afforded me the opportunity to meet folks from all over the world. Literally. With a desire to continue working at a historic site and/or museum, and perhaps write one day, I entered graduate school at Western Illinois University. While studying in Macomb, I rediscovered my Catholic faith and was exposed to the amazing Diocese of Peoria. I eventually became acquainted with several priests and began to feel an urge to attend seminary. Consequently, in the fall of 2004 I journeyed out to Maryland and enrolled at Mount St. Mary’s University and Seminary. I spent six years at the Mount and was ordained for the diocese in 2010. My first assignment was at St. Joseph in Pekin for three years (2010-2013). I then spent the next three years (2013-2016) at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign before relocating to Peoria in June, 2016. The first six years of my priesthood have been a tremendous gift and I look forward to discovering what the future holds.

Fr. Jim Pankiewicz






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