Pastor: Fr. Robert J. Rayson
Fr. Robert Rayson was born in Northwestern Indiana on May 22, 1969. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph College, Rensselaer (Northwest Indiana Campus-Hammond, IN) with a major in theology and a minor in business. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for his pre-theology studies in philosophy. He completed his graduate studies earning a Master’s Degree in Theology at Kenrick School of Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminiary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John J. Myers on May 29, 1999.
Following ordination, Fr. Rayson has had the following assignments in the Diocese of Peoria:
- 1999-2001 Parochial Vicar: Sacred Heart Church, Moline
- 2001-2006 Pastor: St. Dominic, Wyoming, St. John the Baptist, Bradford, & St. Patrick, Camp Grove
- 2006-2012 Pastor: St. Hyacinth Church, St. Patrick Church, Resurrection Church, & Queen of the Holy Rosary Church, La Salle. While remaining pastor in La Salle, Fr. Rayson was also Pastor of St. Thomas More, Dalzell, St. Benedict, Ladd, & Sacred Heart Church, Dimmick. Fr. Rayson was responsible for implementing the restructuring of the La Salle Catholic Parishes and the school campus of Trinity Catholic Academy.
In addition to his parish responsibilities, Fr. Rayson has served on the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Peoria and was acting president from 2008-2010. Fr. Rayson also served as the Director of Continuing Education of Priests for the Diocese of Peoria, 2006-2016. He is a member of the personnel board for clergy assignments, and was appointed Vicar Forane of the Champaign Vicariate in 2016.
Parochial Vicar: Fr. Matthew R. Hoelscher
Fr. Matthew Hoelscher was born in Amarillo, Texas on May 22, 1982. This proved to be an exceptional year as our beloved Fr. Lampitt moved just across the river from St. Louis and the Cardinals not only signed future Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith but they also won the World Series! Other than a brief 4 years in St. Louis, MO Fr. Hoelscher spent his childhood in Amarillo with his parents and three sisters.
He attended the University of Dallas playing four years of baseball and earning a BA in theology. During a study abroad semester in Rome Fr. Hoelscher began to wrestle with the thought of God possibly calling him to the priesthood. Upon returning to Texas he quickly put this thought away and instead focused on batting averages and the hope of a large family.
Having not received the professional baseball contracts that he thought he was worth—well having not received any contract—he moved to Normal, IL to work as the youth minister for Epiphany Parish. As a parish employee he was asked to fill an open hour at the Eucharistic Adoration chapel and it was during the silence of this hour that the Lord started to personally call him to a greater openness to God’s will. After two years of youth ministry he knew that his relationship with the Lord could go no further if he did not respond to his vocation given to him by God. On account of the witness of so many exceptional priests that he had come to know over those two years he applied to be a seminarian for the Diocese of Peoria. Although his entire family, including 15 nieces and nephews, still live in Texas he is certain that God has both called him to the Diocese of Peoria and blessed him in being here.
Bishop Jenky sent him to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD for his seminary formation. He considers his six years at the Mount as some of the best years of his life. He earned a Master’s of Divinity and a Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology (STB) through the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He is excited to begin his first priestly assignment as parochial vicar to St. Matthew and St. Boniface as well as the chaplain at the High School of St. Thomas More.
Parochial Vicar: Fr. Lee W. Brokaw
Fr. Lee Brokaw was born on January 23, 1986 and he grew up on a family grain and livestock farm in West-Central Illinois near the town of Raritan with his parents, Patrick and Brenda, and his three sisters, Sarah, Theresa, and Mary.
He attended Joliet Junior College from 2004-2006 on a livestock judging and agriculture scholarship and then transferred to the University of Illinois where he earned his Bachelors in Agriculture Economics in 2008. It was during this time at the U of I, being involved in Nabor House Fraternity, the College of ACES, St. John’s Catholic Newman Center and focus (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) that Fr. Brokaw was first introduced to idea of God calling him to the priesthood after a few conversations with Monsignor Greg Ketcham and Fr. Luke Spannagel. This thought did not immediately strike a cord with him as his plans after college were fixed upon getting married and working for a seed company while farming. Following his graduation from the U of I, and considering the investment from the focus missionaries while he was a student, Fr. Brokaw accepted a position as a focus missionary and served a year at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS and then two years at Missouri State University. It was during his time with focus that Fr. Brokaw returned to the idea of the priesthood during daily holy hours with his team and he discerned God was indeed calling him to enter seminary.
Fr. Brokaw was blessed to be sent by Bishop Jenky to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD and he considers his six years at the Mount (2011-2017) as some of the best and most formative years of his life. He earned a Master’s of Divinity and a Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology (STB) through the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Brokaw enjoys helping on the farm, exploring the great outdoors, traveling with his family, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and the Fighting Illini! He is excited to be serving alongside Fr. Rayson and Fr. Hoelscher as he begins his first priestly assignment as parochial vicar to St. Matthew and St. Boniface.
Deacon Bill Scott
Bill was born on August 31, 1959 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He graduated from Villanova University in 1981; St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1985 and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences in 1993. He met Jacqueline D’Souza while in college in Pennsylvania and was married on August 1, 1987 at Exultation of the Holy Cross Church in Buttonwood, PA.
Bill completed his training in Family Practice at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 1989 and worked as a Family Practitioner in Boyertown, PA until December 1990. He then moved to Oklahoma City where he enrolled in a Fellowship program in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and earned a Masters in Public Health Degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1993. That same year he was hired by Carle Clinic in Urbana as head of the Occupational Medicine Clinic. In 2000 he joined OSF St. Francis Healthcare in Peoria, IL as Regional Medical Director of their Occupational & Preventative Medicine program. In January 2011 he returned to Carle Hospital in Urbana as Department Head of Occupational Medicine.
Jackie was born in Nairobi, Kenya. One of 11 children, she immigrated to the U.S. and attended Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in fine art. She worked for several years until having their first child. While raising their children she attended several bible studies and volunteered extensively in the schools as well as the parishes they attended. Jackie’s bible study experience included leadership and coordinating studies and she worked at St. Jude Parish in Peoria for three years as the coordinator of their Adult Faith Program until relocating to Champaign in 2011 for Bill’s job. She is blessed to be able to continue facilitating studies at St. Matthew Parish.
Bill and Jackie have two daughters, Sarah and Joella, both in college at this time.
Bill has participated in the Church as lector, Extraordinary Eucharistic minister, parish council member, Knights of Columbus, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He has an interest in missionary medicine and has made several medical mission trips to Central America (Nicaragua).
He looks forward to serving the Lord in the Church. His particular interest is in Health Care Ministry. Both Jackie and Bill are very interested and active in Adult Faith Education.