St. Teresa Catholic Church
St. Teresa became the first church dedicated in the newly formed Diocese of Joliet on October 12, 1949. Our diverse parish ministers to over 500 families. We are the spiritual home to majority of Hispanic families in Kankakee, as we have invited them to build community in this parish since 1990, when we first established our Hispanic Ministry. We are the parish with a considerable diversity of Anglos, Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians.
St. Teresa's campus includes a labyrinth for prayer and reflection, the Priest's Residence, the Parish Office, Hammes Hall which houses the Azzarelli Clinic and the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, and the Lisieux Pastoral Center, which hosts classes, interest groups, sports activities and community events.
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St. Therese, "The Little Flower" was a humble servant of God who entered religious life at the age of 15, unheard of in the 19th century. As a Carmelite nun, she defined her path to God and holiness as "The Little Way," which consisted of love and trust in God. She understood that what matters in the Christian life is not great deeds, but great love, and that anyone can achieve the heights of holiness by doing even the smallest things well for love of God. "All is well," she wrote, "when one seeks only the will of Jesus."
In October 1997, Pope John Paul II named St. Therese a Doctor of the Church. She became only the third woman in the Church to be so honored, joining St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila, Foundress of the Discalced Carmelites.
REV. SANTOS CASTILLO, or Fr. Sunny to most of those who know him, was born and raised in Northern Philippines, and worked as a philosophy teacher and television model and actor because he entered Mundelein Seminary and received his holy order in the Diocese of Joliet in June, 2004. Before becoming the pastor of Saint Teresa, he was the parochial vicar of Saint Mary Immaculate (Plainfield), Saint Michael (Wheaton) and Saint Dominic (Bolingbrook). He loves to sing and compose songs, dance, write poems, take pictures, cook fusion food, gardening, traveling and bringing people to Catholic pilgrimage destinations.
ASSOCIATE PASTOR REV. ROY JACOB KOCHUVELLI, "Fr. Roy Jacob" joined the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate at the age of sixteen, and after fourteen years of priestly formation and studies, was ordained in 2003. Since then he has served in four dioceses in three countries, India, Argentina, and the United States. He is happy and excited for his new assignment as parochial vicar in the parishes of Kankakee.
DEACON RON WHITMAN, a convert to Catholicism when he got married to his wife Joanne, was a former electronic technician and a musician before he got ordained a permanent deacon. Aside from enjoying his preaching, liturgical and sacramental roles, he is currently most involved in the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and the Lisieux Learning Link. He still enjoys music, and plays the guitar or the native American flute during his spare time. He is also a prolific bead artist.
DEACON DAVID MARLOWE, ordained a permanent deacon is 2008, is currently a Catholic chaplain at Presence Saint Mary's Hospital. Prior to his ministry in the hospital, he was also a high school teacher at Kankakee High School, and taught photography arts at Kankakee Community College. His African-American heritage, matched with his Third Order Benedictine spirituality, shines through in his homilies and in his ministry.
Fr. Sunny and Deacon Ron by the Sea of Galilee on a 2013 Lenten Pilgrimage.
Deacon Dave Marlowe and Fr. Sunny serving at Christmas Eve Mass
Fr. Santos Sunny Castillo (2011-present)
Fr. Tom Cargo (2006-2011)
Fr. Gregor Gorsick (2002-2006)
Fr. Anthony Taschetta (1990-2002)
Fr. Joel Fortier (1988-1990)
Fr. Roy Jacob with Hearts of Hope Youth Group Leaders, Michelle and Ken Barrie, July 2015
361 St. Joseph Avenue, Kankakee, IL 60901 / 815-933-7683
Fr. Sunny and Bishop Daniel Conlon during the bishop's pastoral visit weekend at Saint Teresa Church in December, 2014.