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Meet the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s New Priests

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A Q& A with Deacons Chris Komoroski, Benson Lokidiriyo and Andrew Reckers, who will be ordained to the priesthood on May 16.

Deacon Christopher Komoroski
Deacon Christopher Komoroski

DEACON CHRISTOPHER KOMOROSKI

Tell us a little bit about you personally.
I was born in Arkansas, but moved to Cincinnati when I was 10. My home parish is St. Cecilia in Oakley. I have two sisters, one nephew and one niece who was just born!

When did you first begin to discern your calling to the priesthood?
I didn’t even think about the possibility of becoming a priest until the last couple of years of college. During my junior year of college, I encountered a group called FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at my university. It was through them that I had a profound encounter with Jesus Christ and came back to practicing the faith fully. It was at that time that I first began asking God what His plan was for my life.

Who has been a mentor for you along the way?
My parents have been constant and generous as mentors throughout my whole life. So many priests, young and old, from all over the country, have been firm witnesses to the joy, fulfillment and totality of the priestly vocation. Many of them gave me great advice and direction and helped me to discern well. The mutual mentorship of my brother seminarians, as well, has been indispensable.

What are you looking forward to most about being a priest?
The celebration of the Sacraments is certainly at the top. But, more fundamentally, I would say that I look forward to the complete configuration to Christ to the whole rest of my life.

Do you have any particular favorite devotions or prayers?
I particularly enjoy prayer through music, especially through Gregorian chant and polyphony. The ability to pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times a day, as well, has borne a great deal of fruit in my life. In terms of specific prayers, St. Claude de la Colombiere’s “Act of Hope and Confidence in God” is beautiful and unparalleled.

What’s a hobby or activity you enjoy?
I play multiple musical instruments, enjoy most kinds of team sports, watch classic movies, read classic literature and I enjoy learning about and listening to various kinds of music.

Anything else you’d like to share with the faithful of our archdiocese?
Please pray for me, and pray for priests!

Deacon Benson Lokidiriyo
Deacon Benson Lokidiriyo

DEACON BENSON LOKIDIRIYO

Tell us a little bit about you personally.
I was born and raised in a remote area of Turkana, Kenya. I am the eldest of a family of four: my mother, brother, sister and myself. My father died when I was young, and only my younger sister is Catholic. My mother and brother are members of an evangelical church in Africa. I have eight nephews and three nieces. I am the only member of my family to attend any level of school. Despite my family’s poverty, I was blessed to receive a Catholic education and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in International Relations from an American university in Nairobi, thanks to the generosity of Catholic missionaries and well-wishers.

For a time, I worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). I also worked as an HIV/ AIDS testing and counseling officer in Kenya. I came to the U.S. in 2015 with the assistance of a Cincinnati aid worker I met in Nairobi. After multiple trips to the U.S., I began my studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Mt. Washington. My first parish contact was St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Milford. I am currently serving as a transitional deacon at St. Leo the Great Parish in North Fairmount. This is a diverse community of African refugees, Guatemalan
immigrants, African Americans and Anglos seeking to become one family of faith in worship and relationships.

When did you first begin to discern your calling to the priesthood?
I first began to discern my calling to the priesthood when I was 21-years-old. I was attracted to the Catholic faith and the priesthood by the lives of Catholic missionaries who evangelized and served my Kenyan community. Their ministries, the witness of their simple living, and their prayer life called me to investigate the priesthood.

Who has been a mentor for you along the way?
I have many mentors, including my Kenyan family, my host family and friends, St. Leo parish, and the seminary community. My late parish priest in Kenya, a German priest named Father Bernard Ruhnau, is definitely at the top of that list. He preached, educated, fed and mentored the marginalized in my home country, Kenya. I have also been blessed to become friends with some fine priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who have helped guide me over these five years. I continue to cherish their friendship, professionalism and the opportunities of learning from each
other, as I strive to serve others humbly in my ministry. I have been especially blessed and inspired by the faith of the entire community of St. Leo’s, with whom I have been privileged to work and share my faith. I believe a priest can both minister to and learn from the congregation.

What are you looking forward to most about being a priest?
I hope to be a priest who reflects the joy and hope of Christ through my actions, pastoral decisions and even in daily administrative tasks. I believe a joyful attitude, optimism and sense of
humor are good starting points for a priest. They can lead to humility and a willingness to admit that I do not have all the answers, but I will look for them and ask for help if needed. Such
understanding requires a commitment to daily prayer and the guidance of a wise spiritual director to help me continue to grow in knowing who I am as a person, putting all that I do in balance, and recognizing challenges that come my way. I also look forward to meeting and serving the people entrusted to my care – to celebrate, learn from and walk with them, supported by the Sacraments and ministries.

Do you have any particular favorite devotions or prayers?
Some of my favorite devotions include praying the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and silently repeated recitations of short scriptural verses or words as I go about my work, for example, “Be still and know that I am God.”

What’s a hobby or activity you enjoy?
I enjoy hiking, visiting friends and volunteering in community service projects.

Anything else you’d like to share with the faithful of our archdiocese?
I want to thank the faithful of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and my seminary community for their support. I am also grateful to all those who have led me to this place – those who encouraged and inspired me both in Kenya and the U.S. Let us continue to keep hope alive, have a strong faith, and support and pray for one another in these unique and challenging times.

Deacon Andrew Reckers
Deacon Andrew Reckers

DEACON ANDREW RECKERS

Tell us a little bit about you personally.
I was born in Cincinnati and baptized at St. Teresa of Avila Parish. St. Teresa was my home parish until I entered the second grade, at which point my family registered at Our Lady of the Visitation Parish. My current home parish is St. Jude the Apostle Parish, and I have been a parishioner there for about 13 years.

I am the first child born to my parents, and I have two brothers and one sister. My family has always been faithful to the teachings and precepts of the Catholic Church, and I always remember that attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation was a high priority. In addition, my parents taught me by word and example how to be a good Catholic and a solid foundation for the
meaning of Church teachings.

I attended Catholic grade school (St. Teresa for kindergarten and first grade; and Visitation for second through eighth grade) and high school (Elder High School) in Cincinnati. I then graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. I worked for my dad for a couple years in an embroidery franchise to help my family during the economic recession at the time. It was during these years that I discerned my call to the priesthood more seriously and intentionally. I joined the pre-theology program at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in 2013.

When did you first begin to discern your calling to the priesthood?
I first began discerning my call to the priesthood in about the sixth grade. I was positively influenced by the priests at my parish and their example to me as I assisted at Mass as an altar server.

Who has been a mentor for you along the way?
Many good priests have been mentors to me during my time of formation to the priesthood. These include but are not limited to:

• Father Bernard “Bernie” J. Weldishofer, the associate pastor at my home parish, who trained me to be an altar server and who was the priest I thought most of when I first heard my call to the priesthood during my childhood.

• Father David J. Endres, my formation advisor at seminary.

• Father Paul A. Ruwe, my spiritual director.

• Father James G. Reutter, my mentor during my pastoral internship.

• Father Thomas H. McCarthy, the pastor at whose parish I stayed during the summer of my transitional diaconate and during the time of “distance learning” at the end of my academic career.

What are you looking forward to most about being a priest?
I am most looking forward to celebrating the Sacraments. I especially look forward to celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and dispensing God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance.

Do you have any particular favorite devotions or prayers?
I find great benefit in praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary. I also like to pray litanies and novenas for special needs and occasions, especially for people in my life who would benefit from my prayers.

What’s a hobby or activity you enjoy?
I especially like outdoor activities such as walking/hiking and golfing. While outside, I enjoy identifying plants and animals I encounter, such as trees and birds.

Anything else you’d like to share with the faithful of our archdiocese?
I thank the countless people who have been praying for me during my years of formation, and I am praying for all those who support me as I prepare for my ordination to the priesthood.

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