Meet the Archdiocese of Detroit’s newest priests

Deacons Kevin Roelant, left, and Dominic Macioce process out of the chapel at Sacred Heart Major Seminary last year after being ordained transitional deacons. On May 14, 2016, Deacons Roelant and Macioce, along with their classmates Deacons Paul Graney, David Tomaszycki and Timothy Wezner, will be ordained priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. (Marek Dziekonski | Special to The Michigan Catholic)

Deacons Kevin Roelant, left, and Dominic Macioce process out of the chapel at Sacred Heart Major Seminary last year after being ordained transitional deacons. On May 14, 2016, Deacons Roelant and Macioce, along with their classmates Deacons Paul Graney, David Tomaszycki and Timothy Wezner, will be ordained priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. (Marek Dziekonski | Special to The Michigan Catholic)

DETROIT — They’ve studied, they’ve prayed, they’ve discerned, and now they’re ready to become servants at the altar of God’s table.

Five men will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Detroit at 10 a.m. May 14 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. When Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron lays his hands on Deacons Paul Graney, Dominic Macioce, Kevin Roelant, David Tomaszycki and Timothy Wezner, they will be imparted with an indelible spiritual mark that makes them “priests forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Find out more about the newly ordained below.


Deacon Paul Graney

Deacon Paul Graney

Deacon Paul Graney

Age: 31
Parents: Paul and Judy Graney
Education: Oxford High School; Oakland University; Elim Bible Institute; Nyack College; Sacred Heart Major Seminary (bachelor’s in philosophy, 2012; Master of Divinity, 2016; Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, SHMS/Angelicum, 2016)
Home parish: St. Joseph the Worker, Lake Orion
Masses of thanksgiving: St. Joseph the Worker, Lake Orion (3 p.m. May 15); National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, Royal Oak (12:30 p.m. May 22)
First assignment after ordination: Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington
Hobbies: Golf, hockey, brewing beer, and trying to learn to play guitar

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

I have been in school my entire life! I had been attending a couple Protestant evangelical colleges with hopes of one day being pastor/minister in a church. I eventually came back to the Catholic Church when I discovered its deeper spiritual life and through the Church Fathers that it is the one, true Church founded by Christ.

Briefly describe your route to the priesthood.

I had been going to school to be an evangelical minister, but along the way I wanted something deeper than what I had been experiencing. I needed a deeper spirituality than what evangelicalism could offer. But along with that desire I began to reflect on my own beliefs in order to figure out where to go after graduation. I realized it was impossible to know with just the Bible — I needed a guide. The Church Fathers seemed like a good place to start, as just about every Christian pointed to them as teaching the true faith. As I read through some of their writings, I realized that these people believed the same things that I was taught in catechism class as a child at St. Joseph Catholic Church. I was very surprised! So within a few months of continued investigation, I came back to the Church and quickly started thinking about the priesthood. The priesthood was very different from the life I had been thinking about, but after a lot of thought and prayer I decided to pursue it.

What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?

I had the privilege for two summers to visit a homebound elderly man almost every week. We talked about the Tigers, our families, we prayed, and he received Communion. He was always thrilled whenever I stopped by and we always had good conversations. Those times impacted me a lot seeing how a small visit can mean so much to people.

What excites you the most about becoming a priest?

Well, I guess I’ll say the stereotypical answer: saying Mass. In the Eucharist, we are all united as one body all around the world, becoming more and more like what we receive and offer — Jesus Christ. It’s the greatest thing on Earth to offer to the Father the sacrifice by which we are saved and to unite ourselves to that same sacrifice.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? What do you see as the solution to that challenge?

Our world is constantly growing more and more antagonistic against the Church. Much of what we hold to be very special and dear is being uprooted and disregarded by the world. As the Church we need to be courageous and wise to push back the darkness.

What saint has been your greatest inspiration and why?

I really like St. John Vianney because the man gave everything he had. He was sent to a tiny farming village in France whose faith had grown very cold. He grew the people’s faith and helped thousands all over France find healing and mercy in the confessional. To me it is the fact that by simply praying and hearing confessions, thousands of people found Christ.

How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?

Archbishop Vigneron once said along the lines that the New Evangelization is not a membership drive, but giving to Jesus what He wants. So I want to be able to lead people to find Christ in new ways and help them be able to find Him in everything they do. And by everything, I mean everything. In all things Christ makes Himself known to us, and by knowing Him we can make Him known to the world.


Deacon Dominic Macioce

Deacon Dominic Macioce

Deacon Dominic Macioce

Age: 30
Parents: Ronald and Dina Macioce
Education: Stevenson High School, Sterling Heights; Oakland University, Rochester Hills; Walsh College, Troy; Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit; Bachelor of Science in marketing; Bachelors of Arts in philosophy; Master of Divinity
Home parish: St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Sterling Heights
Masses of thanksgiving: St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Sterling Heights (May 15); St. Hugo of the Hills, Bloomfield Hills (May 22) SS. Cyril and Methodius (Slovak), Sterling Heights (May 29)
First assignment after ordination: St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Allen Park
Hobbies: Sports — especially soccer and golf — video games and movies

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

Before I entered seminary I was attending Walsh College working toward an MBA. I was also managing a sports/martini bar in Washington Township

Briefly describe your route to the priesthood.

I first considered a vocation to the priesthood while I was in college at Oakland University. Daily Mass, praying a Holy Hour and the rosary were instrumental in the development of my vocation. Also, my family’s support was pivotal, especially my father and mother, who instilled the faith within me and fostered it, and my brother’s encouragement while I discerned.

What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?

My internship at St. Hugo of the Hills made the greatest impact on me. Working closely with the pastor and staff helped me to develop a heart modeled after the Good Shepherd, pastoral attentiveness and administrative skills. Also, the parishioners and families of the parish strengthened my vocation, increased my desire for the priesthood and deepened my love for God.

What excites you the most about becoming a priest?

As a priest, I am very excited to be an instrument for God; to be a bridge between Jesus and His people. Specifically, I hope I can offer opportunities to experience God’s mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? What do you see as the solution to that challenge?

I think the greatest challenge facing the Church today is a widespread spirit of acedia and apathy. There is a prevailing worldview that everything is relative and people are “bored” with Jesus. I believe the solution needs to be rooted in an Apostolic Spirit of sharing the faith. Get back to the fundamentals. Preach, teach and show the Love of God and the Salvation that is offered to us only through Jesus Christ.

What saint has been your greatest inspiration and why?

There have been many saints who have inspired and deepened my faith and vocation. It is difficult to pick one as the greatest inspiration, but St. Gemma Galgani is close to the top of the list. Her example of loving God with all of her being is powerful and inspiring. Her heart is on fire with love for Jesus and that love is attractive, consoling and contagious.

How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?

In my priestly ministry I hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization by demonstrating the mercy of God. Talking about the saving work of Jesus, making known the power of forgiveness by personal testimony and allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest the Father’s love for us is the key. I hope to do this by the sacraments, preaching, teaching and personal relationships.


Deacon Kevin Roelant

Deacon Kevin Roelant

Deacon Kevin Roelant

Age: 26
Parents: Paul and Amy Roelant
Education: St. Thomas Aquinas School, Toledo, Ohio; St. Charles Borromeo School, Newport; St. Mary Catholic Central High School, Monroe; Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. (one year); Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit (B.A. in philosophy, 2012; Master of Divinity, 2016; Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, 2016)
Home parish: St. Anne Parish, Monroe
Masses of thanksgiving: St. Charles Borromeo, Newport (10:30 a.m. May 15); Our Lady of Sorrows, Farmington (11:15 a.m. May 29)
First assignment after ordination: National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, Royal Oak
Hobbies: Watching and playing sports

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

I entered seminary shortly after graduating high school in 2007. Immediately after high school I did a year of college at Ave Maria University in Florida. I then spent about a year with a religious community (Companions of Christ the Lamb) and then entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2009.

Briefly describe your route to the priesthood.

I was blessed to grow up in a very Catholic family and environment. I have had Catholic education my whole life. Growing up in this Catholic family and environment was foundational for my vocation. I was taught, especially by my dad, that God and our faith is what is most important. Prayer and living a Christian life are essential.

In grade school and early high school I grew up moderately Catholic and not fully alive in my faith. I was afraid to show my faith in front of my friends. I then attended a Steubenville Youth Conference at their university before I was a junior in high school and had a deep encounter with our Lord. My heart was set on fire with His love. I then started really living my faith. My prayer life increased and I started going to Mass several days a week and received the sacrament of reconciliation more often. I soon after noticed the desire to be a priest in my heart. I kept saying yes to this call and desire the Lord put on my heart and now I am here a few weeks from priestly ordination. The Lord is so good! Praise Him!

What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?

Praying outside of abortion centers in college and at seminary and giving witness to life were impactful experiences for me.

What excites you the most about becoming a priest?

I want people to come to a living and personal relationship with God. I want them to encounter the love of the Lord. As a priest I can let this encounter happen or their relationship with God increase by the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and reconciliation), giving counsel, teaching the ways of God, and trying to govern wisely.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? What do you see as the solution to that challenge?

I think the greatest challenge facing our Church today is the lack of faith and love in our hearts. We need to surrender our lives more fully to God and the Holy Spirit.

What saint has been your greatest inspiration and why?

Thank God, I have always had a devotion to the saints. They are our models and examples! I have always had a close relationship with our Blessed Mother. This was partly fostered by my raising. The Blessed Mother is our mother, our intercessor, and loves us so much.

How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?

As St. Pope John Paul II said, the New Evangelization must be new in its ardor, methods and expression. Giving and surrendering our lives more over to the Holy Spirit will let God’s will be lived in us. The Holy Spirit will set our hearts on fire, guide us, and give us the wisdom and love of God.


Deacon David Tomaszycki

Deacon David Tomaszycki

Deacon David Tomaszycki

Age: 30
Parents: Art and Joan Tomaszycki
Education: Washington Elementary School, Marysville; Palms Elementary, Ira; Marine City Middle School, Marine City; Marine City High School, Marine City; Macomb County Community College, Macomb; St. Clair County Community College, Port Huron; Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Fla. (bachelor’s in philosophy, 2010); Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit; Pontifical North American College, Rome; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (Bachelor of Sacred Theology, 2015); John Paul II Institute, Rome; Journeyman Plumbing License (2006)
Home parish: Immaculate Conception Parish, Anchorville
Masses of thanksgiving: Immaculate Conception Parish, Anchorville (May 15)
First assignment after ordination: Will finish studies in Rome
Hobbies: Baseball, music, traveling

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

I did plumbing from when I was 16 until I went away to Ave Maria University to discern the priesthood when I was 22. Directly before seminary, I was studying at Ave Maria.

Briefly describe your route to the priesthood.

The thought of the priesthood first came to me when I was 9 years old, but quickly vanished until I was about 20. When I was 22 I quit my job to go to Ave Maria University to get a good education and to discern the priesthood. The most pivotal thing by far was prayer. When I started to pray, I started to actually discern, and I started to actually live — as opposed to just existing. There were so many influential points and people. My folks, Fr. Colum Power, SHM, and going to Ave Maria University were some of the biggest.

What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?

A summer in India working with Blessed Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, and my two summer assignments at parishes back in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

What excites you the most about becoming a priest?

Celebrating the sacraments, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and confession.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? What do you see as the solution to that challenge?

Indifference. Showing people the love of God.

What saint has been your greatest inspiration and why?

St. John Vianney. He is such a great model for priests. And (though he is not yet canonized) the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. His writings really move me.

How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?

By bringing Christ to people, and people to Christ. First and foremost, I myself need to fall madly in love with Jesus Christ. Please pray for me.


Deacon Timothy J. Wezner

Deacon Timothy Wezner

Deacon Timothy Wezner

Age: 35
Parents: Christopher Wezner (deceased) and Diane Wezner
Education: St. Anne School, Warren; Sterling Heights High School, Sterling Heights (1999); Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit (B.A. in philosophy, 2012; Master of Divinity, 2016; Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, 2016)
Home parish: SS. Cyril and Methodius (Slovak) Parish, Sterling Heights
Masses of thanksgiving: SS. Cyril and Methodius, Sterling Heights (10 a.m. May 15); St. Edward on the Lake, Lakeport (11:30 a.m. May 22)
First assignment after ordination: St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, Bloomfield Hills

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

I worked in radio here in Detroit for almost 10 years before I entered the seminary. I started off at 104.3 WOMC-FM, and later moved to 760 WJR-AM. During that time, I also worked weekends at the Mariannhill Retreat Center in Dearborn Heights, helping lead overnight youth and confirmation retreats for parishes from throughout the archdiocese.

Briefly describe your route to the priesthood.

I first started to feel an attraction to the priesthood when I was a child. As I went to Mass every Sunday with my family and watched the priest up at the altar, I felt a desire to be up there celebrating Mass just like Father was. All through school my hope was to eventually enter seminary. After high school, I started working a few jobs: during the week I worked in radio, and on the weekends I worked at a retreat center. I worked for about 10 years, and during that time the call to the priesthood never went away. I loved what I was doing at both jobs, but I also kept praying about the priesthood, leaving myself open to whatever God was calling me to. I discerned religious life for a few years, but ultimately came to realize that God was calling me to stay here in the Detroit area. I entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2008, studying for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

What pastoral learning experiences made the greatest impact on you?

My parish internship at St. Edward on the Lake in Lakeport for the past two years has had a major impact on me. It has given me the opportunity to experience parish life in all of its many aspects. I have worked with school kids, ministered at nursing homes, and brought Communion to the homebound. I have experienced the lives of the people of God, both the good and the difficult. All of this has helped me to confirm that I am doing exactly what God is calling me to do.

What excites you the most about becoming a priest?

The most exciting thing that I am looking forward to is the celebration of the Mass. To lead the parish in the worship of the living and true God, to offer the Holy Sacrifice with and for the people, and to have a miracle take place in my hands on a daily basis … It is all so humbling, and so exciting.

What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Church today? What do you see as the solution to that challenge?

We live in a culture that does not know who Jesus Christ is, and is becoming more and more hostile to the Church, the truths she teaches, and those of us who hold to that truth. It’s becoming tough to be a Christian. But rather than focus on the negative, we need to see this as a great opportunity for evangelization! The apostles and the early Church faced a similar culture, and they were able to preach the Gospel throughout the known world. We need to boldly preach the joy of the Gospel to our post-Christian world, just as the apostles did 2,000 years ago.

What saint has been your greatest inspiration and why?

Throughout my discernment and time in seminary formation, I have turned to several saints and holy people for their help, particularly St. Anne, St. John Paul II, and Fr. Solanus Casey. One role model for me has been Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko. Fr. Jerzy was a parish priest during the Communist years in Poland. He did not back down from preaching the Gospel or helping his community, even when he was threatened for it. He was martyred by the Communist government in 1984.

How do you hope to answer the call of the New Evangelization in your priestly ministry?

A big part of the New Evangelization for me is preaching the truth in love. That means sharing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ with the people I encounter in ministry, to help them open themselves up for the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts, and draw them deeper into the love of God.