On Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m., during Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Bishop David Walkowiak ordained Father Christopher Epplett and Father Jacob Zemaitis as priests for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. The public was invited to attend the Mass, or watch live online. The faithful of the diocese rejoice as we welcome Fathers Christopher and Jake as new priests for our diocese!
Celebration of the Eucharist with the Rite of Ordination of Priests
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, presiding
When: Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 10 a.m.
Where: Cathedral of Saint Andrew
Ordination Mass Coverage
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Please pray for our seminarians, the men ordained this year, and our priests celebrating ordination anniversaries as they continue to respond to the call to serve the Lord and his people.
Father Christopher T. Epplett, 39, is the son of Thomas and Mary Epplett of Spring Lake. He has nine siblings: Wendy, Delores, Tommy (deceased), Rebecca, Roberta, Joel, Jason, Ken, and Tim. He is a member of St. Mary Parish in Spring Lake and attended St. Mary Catholic School for grades K-8. After graduating from Grand Haven High School, Father Christopher received a Bachelor of Arts in theology from Aquinas College. He previously worked for several publications and newspapers as well as in parish pastoral ministry.
Father Christopher was ordained a transitional deacon on May 21, 2022. He received his Master of Divinity from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, in spring 2023. He completed his pastoral internship at St. Luke University Parish in Allendale under the mentorship of Father Bill Vander Werff.
Father Christopher will celebrate his Masses of Thanksgiving at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, at St. Mary Church, 406 E. Savidge St., Spring Lake, and at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 47650 N. Territorial Rd., Plymouth.
Father Jacob M. Zemaitis, 29, is the son of Mark and Marilyn Zemaitis. His siblings are Daniel and Laura. He is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Wright. After graduating from Coopersville High School, he attended Grand Valley State University before moving on to St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Father Jacob was ordained a transitional deacon on May 21, 2022. He received his Master of Divinity from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, in spring 2023. He completed his pastoral internship at Holy Spirit Parish in Grand Rapids, under the mentorship of Father Mark Peacock.
Father Jacob will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 at St. Joseph Church, 18784 8th Ave., Conklin.
Mass with Rite of Ordination to the Order of Deacon on May 20
Blessings and congratulations to Deacon Nick Baker, ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Walkowiak on May 20!
Learn more about:
New pastoral appointments announced in May by Bishop Walkowiak
Priestly vocations and formation
Communities of women and men religious serving in our diocese