I grew up in Dearborn Heights; graduated from Aquinas High School in Southgate. I graduated from Michigan State University, so I have a low tolerance for Maize and Blue - just kidding, all you Wolverine fans!
I worked as a pension specialist for an automotive supplier in the 1980s. I entered Sacred Heart Seminary in 1987 at the age of 29 - which was considered somewhat old at the time - and was ordained in 1993. My first assignment as an associate pastor was at St. John Neumann here in Canton. My pastor was the wise and very gifted Fr. George Charnley, who taught me a lot about being a parish priest.
After Neumann, I served as an associate pastor at St. Jude in Detroit for a couple years before I received my first assignment as pastor at St. Hedwig in Southwest Detroit. St. Hedwig is over hundred years old and started as a parish to serve the faith needs of Polish immigrants. In recent decades, it is the home of many Latin-Americans from a variety of countries. It is truly a melting pot. I learned a lot about the beauty and richness that various cultures bring to our Catholic faith.
My last assignment before coming to Becket was at St. Daniel in Clarkston in northern Oakland County. That was my longest assignment. I was there ten years. It is always a humbling, gratifying experience witnessing people grow up at the parish from baptism to first communion to marriage and beyond. In addition to wonderful faith-filled people, Clarkston was a very beautiful area with wooded areas, hills and lakes. Instead of mentioning what subdivision people lived in, residents would mention the nearest lake, so others would have an idea of their location.
All my assignments were different and I did not pick any of them myself. Yet, I have learned from all of them and have been blessed to have an opportunity to serve some awesome faith communities. The Holy Spirit has truly been at work in my ministerial experiences, and for this I am thankful.