Faith conversations with brother helped discern call

| May 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

4A Milless_webDeacon Marcus Milless, 26

Home parish: Epiphany, Coon Rapids.

Hometown: Coon Rapids.

Parents: Michael and Mary Jane.

Family: brothers and sisters: Melissa, Mindy, Mitchel, Matthew, Monica, Martin, Margaret, Marie, Mary Ann, Michael, Marshall.

Education: University of St. Thomas. B.A. in philosophy, minor in Catholic Studies.

Teaching parish: St. Francis Xavier, Buffalo.

Pastoral learning experiences: Visiting the Little Sisters of the Poor, religious education at Lumen Christi in St. Paul, working with the Missionaries of Charity as a part of the Rome program through Catholic Studies, Faith and Light program for those with special needs in West St. Paul, North Memorial Hospital chaplain training.

Hobbies: Camping, hiking, Frisbee and cross country running.

Favorite book: “Saint Among Savages, The Life of St. Isaac Jogues.”

Favorite movie: “The 10 Commandments.”

Person you admire most: My dad and mom. They qualify as one person due to Mark 10:8 — the two become one (in marriage). They have both been excellent witnesses of Christ’s sacrificial love. My dad always told us kids that he would rather have us then a nice car or a cabin in the woods. I knew he meant it, because he would go out of his way to be at my sporting events, stay at the hospital when I was sick or pick me up when I had fallen in sin. My mom taught me how to pray and how to have a real relationship with Christ and his Blessed Mother. She always said that her main priority was to get us kids to heaven.

Favorite saint: St. Phillip Neri.

Thanksgiving Mass: 11 a.m. Sunday, June 1, at Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids.

What were you doing before entering the seminary?

I entered seminary halfway through my freshman year of college. I was working with children with special needs and going to school full time at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

When was the first time you thought about the priesthood?

My senior year of high school.

Were there any reasons why you had not considered the priesthood earlier in your life?

I wanted to date and was afraid that I wouldn’t be happy until I had this experience in my life.

Who was instrumental in identifying and developing your vocation?

My brother Mitch helped me to see that I had what it took to be a priest. We often had conversations about the faith.

Was there an experience that was instrumental in identifying and developing your vocation?

There wasn’t “an experience” but many little experiences of joy that affirmed the call. I found that when I thought about being a priest there was a deep abiding joy, even in the midst of turmoil. When I thought about marriage, I would have a fleeting joy, which would give way to turmoil and sadness. Over time I came to be aware of this pattern.

What excites you most about becoming a priest?

Being a spiritual father to many souls, helping people encounter the Father’s love in and through the sacraments of Christ Jesus — this is how the priest participates in the creative act of fatherhood.

How would you like to answer the call to evangelization in your priestly ministry?

Sacramental preparation is the primary time to evangelize. This is truly the time to have them encounter Christ and his Church in an intimate way. Yet, the priest’s whole life should be evangelistic.

What concrete ways have you answered the call to evangelize up to this point?

I helped with the St. Paul Seminary’s evangelization effort at the University of Minnesota. I also did door-to-door evangelization at Ireland Hall on the University of St. Thomas campus when I was at Saint John Vianney. Through these experiences, I learned that it all starts with relationship. We have to listen to their story, so we can discern how the Holy Spirit has been preparing them in some mysterious way for this encounter.

What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young men who may be considering the priesthood?

You will have a bride (the Church), you will have children (the members of the Church), and you will be joyful! Spend time in adoration asking Christ and his mother if they want you to lay down your life.

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Category: Ordinations