Father Sauppé made his way to the Diocese of Peoria through his interaction with seminarians from central Illinois while he was studying in Washington, D.C. Born in Milwaukee, Father Sauppé earned a degree in business administration from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. Thinking there must be more to life, however, he found himself seriously considering the priesthood and asked the Lord, “If you’re calling me to the priesthood let me know now and not 30 years from now.” “I had to give the Lord a good shot, the first chance,” he told The Post. He entered the Discalced Carmelite community at Holy Hill, Wisconsin, in 1982. After completing postulancy and the novitiate, he began his studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., in 1984, earning a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology and a master’s of divinity degree.
Father Sauppé left the Carmelite community in 1989, but continued his studies for a license in sacred theology at the Pope John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in the nation’s capital.
When the Diocese of Peoria kept coming up in prayer, he applied to Father (now Msgr.) Steven Rohlfs, the vocation director, to be accepted as a seminarian. He was sent to St. Pius X in Rock Island for pastoral experience in 1991, and was ordained a transitional deacon in August 1992. He has served as parochial vicar in Monmouth, Oquawka, Raritan, and Rock Island, and chaplain at Alleman High School, also in Rock Island. He was named pastor at Sacred Heart in Annawan and St. Mary in Hooppole in 1997, adding St. Patrick in Sheffield in 2004. He has been pastor in Westville since 2008 and Georgetown since 2013.
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