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A New Priest and New deacon for the Canons Regular

Updated: Apr 23

We joyfully announce on Saturday, May 11, 2024 Br. Kevin Menard, SJC will be ordained a transitional Deaconat and on Saturday, May 18th, 2024 Dcn. Andrew Panzer, SJC will be ordained a Priest of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands by Cardinal Blase Cupich, at Holy Name Cathedral.

Please pray for Br. Kevin and Dcn. Andrew as they prepare for their upcoming ordinations.


Dcn. Andrew Panzer, SJC

Dcn. Andrew Panzer, SJC, who has been with the Canons Regular since 2011, will be ordained a Priest of Jesus Christ on Saturday, May 18th at 10:00am by Cardinal Blase Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Although the ordination attendance is limited to family only, you can watch the livestream here.

Fr. Andrew will celebrate his first Solemn Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 19th at 12:30 pm  at St. John Cantius Church. All are welcome to attend.

Dcn. Andrew Panzer, SJC was born in Michigan to his parents Laurie and Miguel and has two half sisters, Indra and Margarita. When Dcn. Andrew was young he and his mother moved to Chicago where he was raised by his mother and her family, Aunt (Lisa), Grandma (Bette) and Grandpa (Charles). He grew up in the North West suburbs and attended St. Joseph the Worker Parish, under the care of the SVD fathers for most of his life.

His journey to a vocation started with his family. He was raised in a Catholic household where Mass and prayers were a regular part of their lives. "My grandfather had a special interest in Sacred Scripture and would read to me from the bible often." Before he was old enough to go to school, his Grandpa Charles would take him to daily Mass. "All of this left a strong impression on me and I can remember occasionally pretending to say Mass with bread at the family dinner table."

Another strong attraction he had from an early age was a love for music. He played in school music programs from 4th grade onward and excelled so much that he decided to pursue a music degree after high school. "I entered DePaul University immediately out of high school. Through some very providential circumstances, a priest suggested that I seek spiritual direction at St. John Cantius Parish while I attended University."

During his two years of music school, he frequently attended Mass at St. John Cantius Parish which had in part been recommended to him because of the music program. "Being so immersed in the sacred liturgy of the church gradually reinvigorated my childhood interest in the priesthood and the life of the church in general. Eventually, I began to discern a vocation to the priesthood and religious life."

This led him to make a visit to the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. After a gap year Dcn. Andrew decided to enter the postulancy. After professing first temporary vows, he went to minor seminary at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and finished his undergrad as a philosophy Major. He then spent a year at the newest apostolate in Springfield and afterwards pursued theological studies at Mundelein Seminary and graduated in 2023.

Dcn. Andrew wants us to remember "So often it can be easy to get frustrated with what seems like slow progress in our life of prayer. The important thing to remember is that it is all God's work and the only thing that it requires of us is our persistence and patience, which themselves are gifts from God. The more we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the more we forget about ourselves and thus the more easily we are lead on the path to holiness."


Br. Kevin Menard, SJC

Br. Kevin Menard, SJC, who has been with the Canons Regular for eight years, will be ordained to the Order of the Diaconate on Saturday, May 11th at 10:00am by Cardinal Blase Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Although the ordination attendance is limited to family only, you can watch the livestream here.

Dcn. Kevin’s first Masses as a Deacon and when he will offer his first homilies, will be celebrated at St. Peter Parish in Volo, IL on Sunday, May 12th at the 8:30 am and 10 am Masses.

Br. Kevin grew up in Arlington Heights, IL with his two siblings. His parents are Byron and Mary and he has a brother Jim and a sister Mary Kelly. His brother Jim, is married to AnaMarie who have four children (Philomena, Jude, Gemma and Dominic) to which Br. Kevin a wonderfully loving and fun uncle. 

He graduated from Marquette University in 2011 with a business degree in marketing. He worked for a freight company doing data analytics for two and half years and then for a marketing firm designing emails for their clients for about a year and a half.

Br. Kevin's was first awestruck by the priesthood when he was in kindergarten while attending daily Mass with his mother in the morning before school. "I saw the priest celebrating Mass everyday and I told my mom one day when I grow up, I want to be a priest."

He always had a strong feeling that God was calling him to be a priest but he had a hard time figuring out how to make that decision. He still had a desire to go to school, to work, to hang out with my friends and even to get married. After college and spending a few years working in the field of data analytics and email marketing and after having experienced dating, he realized that nothing left him more fulfilled then when he was serving the Church and Our Lord in some capacity. "I began actively seeking out religious communities in 2015 knowing that I wanted to share this journey of faith and priesthood with other devoted men in the fraternity of the common life."

"God can use anyone, but especially the lowly and the weak,  and all He needs is your "Yes". I spent so much time worrying about my vocation and trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. Finally, after consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary, I told our Heavenly Mother that I am going to model my vocation after hers, simply to say yes to whatever path God offers: fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum, "be it done unto me according to your word." Six Months later, what had been years of stressful discernment, became clear, easy and peaceful with the help and guidance of our Mother Mary."

In 2016, Br. Kevin joined the Canons after spending a few months discerning with the help of Fr. Frank Philips and Fr. Joshua Caswell.

A piece of advice he gives to those in distress, discernment, trials, etc. is "Give everything to Mary! Give her your struggles, your worries, your doubts, and all that confuses you, and she will make the way straight and easy. She is your Mother."


About the Canons Regular: The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is a religious community of men dedicated to the restoration of the sacred. The community was founded in 1998 under Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. and now has 24 members from the United States, Canada, and Poland. Currently the Canons Regular serve in three parishes in two dioceses: St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago, St. Peter Parish in Volo, and St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Springfield, Illinois.

The Canons imitate Christ, live in radical opposition to the values of the world, and work to restore the sacred in the Church and in their own lives, seeking the sanctification of all.

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