FATHER Michael Wilkes

Current Assignment: Our Lady of the Lakes

Past Homilies/Talks: Audio





Briefly describe your route to the priesthood (when you first began to think you might have a vocation, who - or what - were pivotal influences on you as you discerned your vocation?):
From an early age, I thought about being a priest. "Playing priest" was another childhood interest - along with astronaut, teacher, and detective. While in middle school, I took up an interest in meteorology and science. At the same time, I started to pray more often with the Scriptures and made myself available at my home parish to altar serve at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. Through prayer, I began to recognize that the Lord was leading me to seriously consider the vocation to the priesthood. After attending a seminary discernment weekend at the end of my sophomore year in high school, I intended then to enter the seminary after high school. The fall following my high school graduation in 2001, I entered Sacred Heart to begin my eight-year program of priestly formation.

Having decided you had a vocation, did you ever have second thoughts about it? How did you resolve any doubts or fears?
Although I never had any serious doubts or fears about my vocation, my eight years in the seminary were a time of balancing study, spirituality, and pastoral work. Each year presented new challenges and goals, and I can see now how each year was an opportunity for me to grow in the awareness that yes - God is calling me to the priesthood.

What are the greatest challenges you see facing the Church? Where do you see the greatest hope? 
One of the greatest challenges facing the Church - but one in which there is also the greatest hope - is in the formation of Catholic families. The family is the first community wherein the faith is sown and nurtured. If we seek to proclaim the goods news of Jesus Christ and of His Church to all parts of the world, it must begin in the family home. It is the challenge of the Church minister's to assist Catholic families in recognizing the power of Christian witness and evangelization. In recognizing its identity as witness and evangelizer, the Catholic family will be able to bring joy into the world by simply living out what the Lord has called it to be - a community of faith, hope, and love.

What are your hopes for your priestly ministry? 
I hope to simply be a priest after the model of Christ, our High Priest. To be faithful to the Father's will, obedient to the pope and bishops, in one accord with brother priests, and at all times - loving my brothers and sisters whom I have been called to serve.

What about your priestly ministry do you anticipate will be the most rewarding? 
A priest is a man for all people. It will be most rewarding to look back upon any given day in my life as a priest, and reflect upon all the people who came to the Lord that day through my ministry in service to the Lord and His Church. It is my prayer that in whatever service or action I perform in the person of Christ, those to whom I minister will be drawn into the all-embracing love of God.