by Joe Bollig
LEAWOOD — Thomas Doyle was working in the yard with his son Luke, then in his senior year of high school, when he asked Luke “the big question” dads must ask.
“Luke, what do you want to be when you grow up?” he said.
“I’m trying not to think about that,” Luke replied.
“Oh. Great,” said his father, who was hoping for something else.
And then, Luke said something that stunned him.
“I’m trying more to pray about what God wants me to do,” he said. “That’s my goal in life, not to do what Luke wants to do, but do what God wants Luke to do.”
Variations of that same prayer — What does God want me to do? — and the answers they received were what led three men to become the newest priests of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Father Keith Chadwick, Father Luke Doyle and Father Thomas Maddock were ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann on May 29 at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Leawood.
These were the first de facto “post-COVID-19 pandemic” ordinations for the archdiocese, signaled by the lack of social distancing in the pews and the absence of masks from faces. Archdiocesan safety protocols were rescinded on May 12. This crowded ordination contrasted sharply with the three men’s ordination to the transitional diaconate on May 16, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Kansas.
In his homily, Archbishop Naumann said, “I’d also like to say that this is a great day for our Catholic schools, because all three of our men today to be ordained are products of Catholic schools.”
St. James Academy in Lenexa may have a greater claim to that honor, because each priest has strong ties with the school — Father Chadwick (2012 graduate) and Father Maddock (2011 graduate) were students, and Father Doyle was a teacher there.
Andy Tylicki, president of St. James Academy, knows each of the three men very well. He remembers how Father Chadwick told him as a freshman in high school that he wanted to be a priest, for example. And he recalls Father Maddock’s integrity and faithfulness to God’s call and Father Doyle’s prayerfulness and impact on his students.
Currently, 10 young men who graduated from St. James are in the seminary — eight for the archdiocese and two outside the archdiocese. Three young women who graduated from St. James have become women religious.
Archbishop Naumann paid tribute to the parents of the ordinandi.
“A special word of thanks to our parents — Robert and Sheryl [Chadwick], Thomas and Jeanne [Doyle], and Mike and Bernadette [Maddock],” said the archbishop, “for cooperating with God’s grace and allowing God to use your love as the human instrument to give Keith, Luke and Thomas life. But even more, thank you because of your faith, bringing them to the waters of baptism and giving them the greatest of all gifts — greater than the gift of priesthood — giving them the very life of Jesus Christ, making them temples that carry the life of God within them and an eternal destiny to live with God and the saints.”
Each parent held many thoughts in their hearts during the ordination Mass.
“I guess I’m just really excited to see him finally get to this point in his journey,” said Sheryl Chadwick. “He’s wanted to be a priest since a very young age and was never shy about sharing that in school with his teachers and his family. I’m really excited to see him reach this lifelong goal of his.”
Mike and Bernadette Maddock thought about the focus of their parenting, which cultivated the Catholic faith.
“We wanted our children to continue in our Catholic faith, especially by receiving a Catholic education,” said Bernadette Maddock. “We wanted them to continue the spiritual and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and cultivate that culture in our home.”
“We pray for our children in all their vocations,” said Mike Maddock. “We know Thomas has chosen a path that is very much less traveled. We realize, as everyone does, the Marines are looking for a few good men — and so is God.”
Their son’s journey of discernment had twists, but Thomas and Jeanne Doyle had faith in their son and in God.
“I always thought God would win out,” said Thomas. “If God wanted him to have a vocation to the priesthood, Luke would eventually say yes.”
“When Luke was in utero, I consecrated him to the Blessed Mother and put him under her protection,” said Jeanne. “I always tried to stay open to whatever was on Luke’s heart in terms of going to the seminary.”
Each newly ordained priest has received an assignment as an associate pastor that will start July 1: Father Chadwick to Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Father Doyle to St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood and Father Maddock to Holy Spirit Parish in Overland Park.
To view more photos from the ordination, click here.