Name: Dcn. Michael Churchill
Home parish: Saint Finbarr, Grand Meadow MN
Home diocese: Winona-Rochester
What was the highlight of your time at Sacred Heart Major Seminary?
I don’t know if I could pinpoint a specific highlight of my time here at Sacred Heart, but the overall highlight here has been the friendships and the brotherhood that has been formed. I have been blessed to be a part of two different classes due to my pastoral year between second and third theology studies. Some of my closest friends have been brothers here at Sacred Heart. All of the highlights and memories made here are filled with joy because of the brotherhood.
What has been one or two highlights of your time serving as a transitional deacon?
Something that has been very special, that I did not quite expect, is being the minister for Exposition and Benediction for our community holy hours. I love leading my brothers in prayer, and bringing Jesus to them in this capacity. I cherish the opportunity to be the instrument that God uses to bless his people with himself in the Blessed Sacrament.
How are you preparing for your priestly ordination?
I am preparing for priestly ordination simply by continuing to be faithful to life here at the Seminary. We still have classes, formation, and Diaconal duties here and at the parishes we are serving. I am just trying to be attentive to what is expected of us day to day and living in the present. I am preparing by remaining faithful to our life of daily prayer and spending quality time with brother seminarians.
What kind of priest do you want to be?
Before my Seminary journey began in 2015, I was in nursing school and finished with my Registered Nursing degree. I have always wanted to bring a calming and peaceful presence to those who were struggling and suffering. Besides just being a good and holy priest, a shepherd after the Heart of Jesus, I desire to be a priest who is particularly attentive to people who are struggling and hurting and to bring the healing presence of Jesus Christ.
What are you looking forward to after being ordained?
With this desire to bring the healing presence of Jesus Christ to others, I am eagerly looking forward to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a privileged place where people are able to receive the healing grace of forgiveness and are restored to a relationship with Jesus. In addition I am looking forward to offering the mass with the desire to heal and restore through Christ's offering on the cross. I am also looking forward to the many surprises that lie ahead in the new and varied ways the Lord will use me as an instrument of his grace and mercy as his priest.
Deacon Michael will be ordained on June 24, 2022 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, MN.
Please join us in praying for him during his final months of preparation leading up to his ordination.