Six Ordained Holy Cross Priests
Published: April 13, 2015
Author: Angela Knight
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Matthew Fase, C.S.C., Rev. David Halm, C.S.C., Rev. Timothy Mouton, C.S.C., Rev. Stephen Chase Pepper, C.S.C., Rev. Daniel Ponisciak, C.S.C., and Rev. Christopher Rehagen, C.S.C., were ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, bishop of Peoria in Illinois, conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., provincial superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, presented the six deacons for Ordination during the 2 p.m. Mass, and at the Celebration of Lucernaium on Friday prior to Ordination, he shared these words with the Ordinandi in the sight of their family, friends, and fellow priests and brothers: “You will have the deep privilege to help people see our God more clearly in their lives as you administer the Sacraments … it is surely an awesome privilege, a humbling experience that will forever change your life ... never lose that sense of awe at any point in your lives of having the privilege of celebrating the Sacraments and presiding at the Eucharist. God loved you from the moment He created you. God has been with you through all the ups and downs of your formation, is lovingly with you tonight, will be with you as hands are imposed tomorrow and all the days that lie ahead in your lives.”
Rev. Matthew Fase, C.S.C., is the second youngest of five children of Steve and Patty Fase of Rockford, Mich., and the first man from his home parish, Our Lady of Consolation, to be ordained a priest. He entered formation with the Congregation in 2006 and professed First Vows on July 30, 2011.
Prior to his Ordination as a transitional deacon, Matthew served in religious education at Christ the King Parish (2007-2008), Sunday hospitality at American College in Louvain, Belgium (2008), and tutor at the South Bend Juvenile Correctional Facility (2009). He also served as an RCIA team member at Christ the King Parish (2009-2010), hospital chaplain at Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in his Novitiate year (2010-2011), and served at Our Lady of the Road Drop-in Center in South Bend (2011-2012) as well as marriage preparation at St. Pius X Parish, Granger, Ind. (2012-2013) and as a grief counselor in Campus Ministry at the University of Notre Dame (2013-2014). Matthew earned his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame in 2014.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. Matthew is very much looking forward to spending his life in service of the Lord and His people. “I want the people of God whom I serve to know where to find me. My home is the Church, and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. This is my home, this is my life.”
Fr. Matthew served his diaconate year at Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore.
Fr. Matthew’s first Mass as a priest was April 12, 2015, at Moreau Seminary Chapel. (Read his first homily as a priest.) Other Masses include:
- Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford, Mich. – 11:00 a.m. April 19, 2015 with Rev. Anthony Russo, C.S.C.
- Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore. – 10:00 a.m. April 26, 2015 with Rev. John Dougherty, C.S.C.
Rev. David Halm, C.S.C., an Ohio native, is the only son of four children of Deborah Kuns and John Halm of Clyde, Ohio. Fr. David served his diaconate at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Goodyear, Ariz.
Prior to his diaconate year, David also served as a fifth-grade CCD teacher at Sacred Heart Church in Lakeville, Ind. (2000-2001), participated in the Notre Dame study abroad program in Rome (2001-2002), assisted with freshmen retreats for Campus Ministry (2002-2003), ministered to the sick at St. Joseph Parish, South Bend (2003-2004), tutored in math at Notre Dame High School, Niles, Ill. (summer 2004), and served in the Namaste Alzheimer’s Center in Colorado Springs during his Novitiate year (2004-2005). He also served at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Phoenix (2005) and as counselor at Stone Soup Center, South Bend (2005-2006). Before returning to formation and professing vows again on July 30, 2011, David left formation in 2006 and worked in Columbus, Ohio, at Huntington Bancshares, where he was a member of St. Andrew Parish in Upper Arlington, and a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus. Upon return, David served in St. Mark's Parish in Niles, Mich. (2011 - RCIA); marriage preparation at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Granger, Ind. (2011-2012); grief ministry for Notre Dame Campus Ministry (2012-2013); and assistant rector and rector of Fisher Hall at the University (2013-2014).
David earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 2004 and received his M.Div. in 2013. He entered formation with Holy Cross in Old College in 2000. He made his First Profession of Vows on July 30, 2005.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. David’s prayer is simple, “I pray that I will be a good priest, a priest who is always available and generous. It is Jesus who blesses and comforts His people through us. I cannot imagine a greater privilege and joy than to serve Him – and my brothers and sisters – as His priest.”
Fr. David celebrated his first Mass as a priest April 12, 2015, at St. Mark Catholic Church in Niles, Mich. with Rev. Thomas King, C.S.C., and his second at Fisher Hall, University of Notre Dame, Ind., April 12, 2015. Other Masses include:
- St. Andrew Catholic Church, Columbus, Ohio – 4:30 p.m. April 18, 2015 with Msgr. Stephan Moloney
- St. Mary Catholic Church, Clyde, Ohio – 9:00 a.m. April 19, 2015
Rev. Timothy Mouton, C.S.C., a Texas native, is the fourth of six children of Martin and Paula Mouton, and the third generation of his family to become a Holy Cross priest (following in the footsteps of his uncles, Rev. Jeffrey Allison, C.S.C., and Rev. Daniel Panchot, C.S.C.).
Tim spent his diaconate year as a campus minister at Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass., where he also lived in residence in a freshmen dorm, Holy Cross Center, or more affectionately known as “the Sem.”
Prior to his diaconate year, Tim served in Bible study at Holy Cross Parish, South Bend (2009-2010), as hospital chaplain at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs (2010-2011), as youth mentor at Rise Up Academy in South Bend (2011-2012); then marriage preparation at St. Joseph Parish, South Bend (2012-2013) and as student teacher at St. Joseph High School, South Bend (also 2012-2013).
Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in 2010 from the University of Notre Dame and received his M.Div. in 2014. He entered formation with Holy Cross in Old College in 2006. He made his First Profession of Vows on July 30, 2011.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. Tim is truly overjoyed and at peace: “I have come to learn that in the deepest recesses of my heart is a sense of joy; a sense of the joy and wonderment at the beauty of creation and all the incredible things that we can do with God’s help, a sense of joy and love shared between all the friends and family that I have been blessed to walk this journey with, and a sense of joy and peace in the realization that God truly dwells at the heart of my joy. Not a joy of action or of receiving, but simply a joy of being. A joy of being loved by God and called to follow Him in the way he wants me to.”
Fr. Tim celebrated his first Mass as a priest April 12, 2015, at Saint Joseph Parish in South Bend, Ind. with Concelebrants Revs. Jeffrey Allison, Daniel Panchot, C.S.C., and Rev. Kevin Russeau, C.SC. Other Masses include:
- Chapel of Mary, Stonehill College, North Easton, Mass. – 7:00 p.m. April 19, 2015 with Revs. Tony Szakaly (Pastor), John Denning, Jim Lies, Steve Wilbricht, Willy Raymond, and others
- Fr. Tim’s home parish, Saint Justin Martyr, Houston, Texas – 8:00 a.m. May 24, 2015 with Rev. Paul Chovanec
Rev. Stephen Chase Pepper, C.S.C., is the oldest of two sons of Barry K. and Lorrie S. Pepper of Huntsville, Ala. Chase served his diaconate year at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Prior to professing his Final Vows, Chase served in adult faith formation Bible study at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, Ind. (2009-2010), at St. Joseph Parish, South Bend, the following summer (2010), as well as parish ministry at Sacred Heart Church (2010-2011) and as a chaplain at Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs (2011-2012). He also served at the Catholic Worker drop-in center as a first-year professed seminarian (2012-2013) and at Our Lady of the Light Parish, Monterrey, Mexico the summer of his first year (2013). His second and third years as a professed seminarian, he served as a marriage prep minister at the University of Notre Dame (2013-2014).
In 2007, Chase earned a bachelor’s degree and graduated summa cum laude from Seton Hall University with departmental commendations in political science and Catholic studies. He received his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. He entered formation with Holy Cross as a Postulant in 2009. He made his First Profession of Vows on July 30, 2011.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. Chase keeps in mind Pope Francis’ three aims for the present Year of Consecrated Life: “Gratitude. Passion. Hope. These are the three directions I find my mind moving in. That is what is on my heart. That is what I want my priesthood to be about.”
Fr. Chase celebrated his first Mass as a priest April 12, 2015, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart with Rev. Tom Looney, C.S.C. (Read his first homily as a priest.) Other Masses include:
- Christ the King Chapel, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – 8:00 p.m. April 19, 2015 with Rev. Tom Looney, C.S.C.
- Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Huntsville, Ala. – 9:00 a.m. June 7, 2015 with Fr. Michael MacMahon and Fr. Vincent Bresowar
Rev. Daniel Ponisciak, C.S.C., is the middle of three boys of Dorothy and Michael Ponisciak of Fox Chase Manor, Pa. Daniel served his diaconate year at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas.
Prior to professing his Final Vows, Daniel served in the adult Bible study program at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, Ind. (2009-2010); as chaplain at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2010-2011); homeless ministry at St. André Bessette Catholic Church, Portland, Ore.; homeless ministry at HOPE Ministries, South Bend, the first of temporary vows; marriage prep at Christ the King Parish his second year; homeless ministry at André House in Phoenix late summer of his second year. Daniel also coordinated preparation of the Sacrament of Confirmation at Notre Dame in his final year as a seminarian.
Daniel earned a bachelor’s degree in 2002 from the University of Richmond, an M.Ed. from the College of William & Mary in 2005, and his M.Div. in 2014 from the University of Notre Dame. He entered formation with Holy Cross as a Postulant in 2009. He made his First Profession of Vows on July 30, 2011.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. Daniel is humbled unto the Lord and to the people of God: “Being called to be the instrument by which Jesus is made present to the people that he loves so very much is truly amazing. They come to the Lord in their suffering and in their pain. They come with everything they have and they lay it at the feet of the one who is able to heal them. It is a humbling experience and one that I will treasure forever.”
Fr. Daniel celebrated his first Mass as a priest April 12, 2015, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Ind. Other Masses include:
- St. Jerome Catholic Church, Newport News, Va. – 9:00 a.m. May 3, 2015
- St. Hilary of Poitiers Catholic Church, Rydal, Pa. – 10:00 a.m. May 10, 2015
Rev. Christopher Rehagen, C.S.C., is a native of Jefferson City, Mo., a twin, and the oldest of four sons of Mark and Susan Rehagen.
Chris spent his diaconate year at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, Ind. Prior to this deacon assignment, he served as a team member for the Notre Dame Confirmation Program (2009-2010); chaplain at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, where he assisted with liturgies; and RCIA at Our Lady of Woods Parish, Woodland Park, Colo. He also assisted at St. John Vianney Parish, Goodyear, Ariz., during his Novitiate year (2010-2011); Stone Soup Community in South Bend, Ind. (2011-2012); St. André Bessette Catholic Church (summer 2012); and RCIA team member at Christ the King Parish (2012-2013). Chris also served as assistant director of the Old College Undergraduate Seminary at Notre Dame (2013-2014).
Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009 from the University of Notre Dame and received his M.Div. in 2014. He entered formation with Holy Cross through the Postulant Program in 2009. He made his First Profession of Vows on July 30, 2011.
Fr. Chris celebrated his first Mass as a priest April 12, 2015, at Christ the King Catholic Church, South Bend, Ind., with Rev. Neil Wack, C.S.C. He also plans a Mass at his home parish, St. Peter Catholic Church, Jefferson City, Mo.
As he begins his priestly ministry, Fr. Chris is able to trace exactly how Jesus Christ led him to where he is today: “I can see how He blessed me with a loving family who brought me up in the faith and taught me to pray. I can see how He brought me through my college years, putting mentors in my life who helped me grow in relationship with God and who encouraged me to think seriously about the priesthood. And I can see how He guided me through my seminary years, providing me with formators and resources that helped me conform my life to his and confirm that my calling was an authentic one.”
More about Holy Cross
The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837 by Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C. and has served the Catholic Church for more than 175 years. Today there are approximately 1,200 Holy Cross religious working to educate both the hearts and minds of believers of Jesus Christ in 16 countries and on five continents.
The United States Province of Priests and Brothers is a community made up of approximately 500 priests, brothers, and seminarians and is headquartered in Notre Dame, Ind. The United States Province fulfills Blessed Moreau’s vision in its education, parish and mission settings around the world.
The priests and brothers are educators in the faith at the Province’s four colleges and universities: the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind., 1842), University of Portland (Portland, Ore., 1901), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa, 1946.), and Stonehill College (Easton, Mass., 1948).
There are 13 parishes in the United States, from Vermont to Texas to Oregon to Florida, as well as 10 abroad.
The Province’s ministries/apostolates includesAndré House (Phoenix), which serves the homeless and working poor, and Saint André Bessette Catholic Church (Portland, Ore.), a parish which also provides a soup kitchen and other services to the marginalized. Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame, Ind., is one of the oldest Catholic publishing houses. Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., encompassing Family Theater Productions, Family Rosary and Father Peyton Family Institute, promotes the power of the Rosary and the spiritual well-being of the family. Holy Cross Retreat House, also in North Easton, is a retreat facility run by Holy Cross religious and lay staff.
The Province’s international mission work reaches into Districts of Chile, East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), and Perú, as well as the region of México. Globally, the U.S. Province’s Holy Cross Mission Center supports the international mission work of the worldwide efforts of the Congregation of Holy Cross, spanning 16 countries on five continents. But it also directly supports those international locations for which the U.S. Province has direct jurisdiction, and those countries with which the U.S. Province has a special relationship.
To learn more about Holy Cross, visit www.holycrossusa.org.
To learn more about discerning a call to religious life, please visit www.holycrossvocations.org.