Kevin Ripley

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

Birth Date: October 10

Seminary: Mundelein Seminary

Seminary Address:
1000 E Maple Avenue
Mundelein IL 60060-1967

Theology II


Patron: St. Thérèse of Lisieux


What do you want on your pizza?

I want tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage, onions, green peppers, and oregano, please.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2017.

Working alongside around 200 young missionaries on our local Love Begins Here mission trips, I served others day after day with love in an authentically Christian experience. We lived in classrooms for three to five days, had daily Mass, and visited people's homes, both noticing Christ in our neighbors and bringing His presence to them. Following the ways and teachings of St. Teresa of Calcutta, the smallest of actions -- when done with love -- could be offered to satiate Jesus' thirst for love and for souls. In that way every detail became important, even a tiny weed or unseen cobweb.

How would you describe the priesthood to a non-believer?

Imagine getting to the end of your life and wanting to ask the big questions once again: Who am I? What is the meaning of my life? What happens after death? You may consider discussing them with a close friend, but you also might think of engaging a priest. You probably have noticed priests silently going about their work, leading you to acknowledge the importance of such questions in the first place. If such a simple witness of a man fully giving his life to a way of living in accord with clear answers to those questions can lead you to ask them, then he might be able to help you with your own answers. The priesthood is basically that: a sacrificial giving of oneself as a living witness to eternity and as a spiritual leader. However, it is Jesus -- God made man -- in whom the priesthood exists and who offers Himself in a unique way through His priestly ministers for the good of all people and for the health and unity of all believers.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?

There are many things that I narrowly avoided in my life that probably would have done some damage. Whether it was a close call on the road or a misplaced step near a cliff, it became clear in a couple moments of grace that God seems to be saving me for something. Once in a while throughout middle school and high school I would notice coincidences. Later in college I experienced quite a bit of stress trying to do things on my own. Eventually that sense of Providence came back as my faith grew in the form of trusting God with my time. I took advice from others that when we give God time in prayer He always takes care of us. My worries began to wash away as everything worked together for my good. Not that I saw that all the time, but it was more often my mindset. School-wise, I could trust that I was studying what I needed to study. Actually, there was one occasion when I missed an exam. I had a hunch it would turn out fine, which was confirmed when I received an unexpected call from Rome right before going to the professor's office. Then, on a mission trip to Haiti, I scheduled the wrong flight home but ended up being invited to one of Mother Teresa's orphanages for the extra day. Now in seminary, I am beginning to see that Providence is not just the small or big coincidences but is every moment.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.

I got to play a newsboy in the musical Working, which meant I could sing while rollerblading around the stage and the aisles.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?

Catholic school, altar serving, choir, donuts and fellowship after Mass sponsored by the Holy Name Society, Penance services, the Little Books, parish fundraisers, Stations of the Cross, youth group, Catholic Youth Expeditions, Teens Encounter Christ, Spiritus, Knights of Columbus, adoration chapels, Esto Vir, Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.

Who are your teams?

Packers, Badgers, Brewers.

What is your favorite day on the Liturgical Calendar?

Christmas Day.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Thérèse of Lisieux.