‘Desire for holiness’ came from friends, St. Teresa of Avila

| May 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

7A Barsness_webDeacon Michael Barsness, 29

Home parish: Annunciation, Hazelwood.

Hometown: Northfield.

Parents: Joel and Ritva.

Family: Brother Ian and sister Hanna.

Education: Dana College in Blair, Neb.

Teaching parish: Holy Family, St. Louis Park.

Pastoral learning experiences: Teaching fifth-grade faith formation.

Hobbies: I watch movies and play basketball. I like to fish and desire to go hunting one day.

Favorite books: “The Soul of the Apostolate,” “Christ the Ideal of the Priest.”

Favorite movies: “Les Miserables,” “Lord of the Rings.”

Person you admire most: Pope Benedict XVI because of his holiness and great contribution to theology.

Favorite saint: Sts. Francis Xavier, Thomas Aquinas, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross. Of these, my favorite is probably Thomas Aquinas because I believe without his teaching and clarity we would have fewer saints.

Favorite Scripture verse: “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” — 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Thanksgiving Mass: 9 a.m. Sunday, June 1, at Holy Family in St. Louis Park.

What were you doing before you entered the seminary?

I worked the night shift at Gemini, a manufacturer, the year I got out of college.

When was the first time you thought about the priesthood?

My roommate in college told me one day that I should stop dating because I was going to be a priest. I was not open to it at the time so I told him that, if it were so, God would have to give me the desire to be a priest. I knew little to nothing about the priesthood.

Who was instrumental in identifying and developing your vocation?

My friends and especially Father Jay Kythe, who became my spiritual director that year out of college. He introduced me to the priesthood through Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s book, “The Priest is Not His Own.”

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

Several things happened, my good friends and Teresa of Avila taught me the desire for holiness. Daily Mass, prayer and reading “The Priest is Not His Own” were also instrumental.

What excites you most about becoming a priest?

I think the idea that I will take part in Jesus’ healing ministry as I hear confessions, teach and feed with his body and blood. I have received so much healing in my own life and want to share the healing of Christ.

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

Every encounter with people is a chance to evangelize. Share the joy of Christ by the love of each and everyone.

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

I try to make it a point to get to know people who work around the seminary, the Binz refectory, etc. It was a joy to go twice to the University of Minnesota campus to speak to students and get to know some people. The Gospel is spread through concrete relationships and natural conversations where Christ encounters the people through you.

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

Drawing close to Christ is the path to knowing yourself. This means prayer and spending time with priests! The priesthood is one of the most dynamic lifestyles. Get to know what their life is like.

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Category: Ordinations