Get to Know Fr. Stull

Greetings! I am your new parochial vicar, Fr. Stull. I am excited to get to know you all and journey with you on the road to heaven! I was born in Wichita, Kansas and was raised in Burlington, Kansas. My parents still live in Burlington and I have one sibling, a sister, who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her two children.

Throughout my childhood, I was blessed with supportive and holy pastors at Saint Francis Xavier who celebrated my first Holy Communion (Fr. Ken Kelly), Confirmation (Fr. Mike Hawken), and my high school graduation (Fr. Marianand Mendem). In my middle and high school years, Frs. Hawken and Mendem were particularly encouraging to me regarding a vocation to the priesthood.

In middle school, I took a liking to music and played the trumpet beginning in sixth grade and played at Mass for special occasions like Christmas and Easter. After learning I was interested in the organ, Fr. Hawken took me under his wing and taught me to play for Mass—lessons which I continued even after he moved to Saint Joseph’s in Shawnee. Throughout this time, he encouraged me to consider the priesthood, though I would end up attending the University of Kansas to study organ prior to joining the seminary.

In college I was involved in various choral ensembles (Concert and Chamber Choir) at KU, as well as playing organ/singing in various churches/choirs around the Lawrence and Kansas City areas. Toward the end of my bachelor’s degree, I began a master’s study in church music at KU, but, after encouragement from the parochial vicar at the parish where I worked (Christ the King in KCMO), I decided to visit The Cincinnati Oratory and joined it in 2013. I attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology for my seminary studies and formation and graduated in May of 2021. I was ordained to the diaconate in April 2020 and to the priesthood in March 2021.

As far as “fun” things go, my hobbies really have not changed much since I was in high school! I am still totally in love with Church (and classical) music—particularly Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and French Baroque organ music. I also love cleaning and detailing cars—a hobby my dad instilled in me and my sister years and years ago—which is, perhaps, not an activity most would consider a hobby!

If someone asked me who my favorite saint is, I would initially probably say Saint Pius X—not because he and I agree on everything (ha!), but because of his love for the Church’s liturgy and her sacred music. But, on further reflection, it would have to be Saint Philip Neri—the saint of joy!

Being a former Oratorian, my favorite church hymn would have to be either Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All (by Fr. Frederick Faber, C.O.) or Firmly I Believe and Truly (by Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O.). The first because of its devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the second because of its very clear Church teaching.

I am not a big sports fan, but I loved watching tennis as a kid and now enjoy playing it with my nephew. Music, on the other hand, is a different story. I have too many favorite musicians to count. But, as I type this, I would tell you it is the famous dramatic soprano, Jessye Norman for her amazing voice, expression, and personality. However, depending on the day, that might change!

I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all of you and walking with you on the spiritual journey. I am sure there are things missing from this short column, but feel free to ask me any questions in person. Please continue to pray for me as I make the transition from religious life to diocesan life and as I take on new and exciting responsibilities at Church of the Ascension! See you at church!