Fr. Mike was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2007, currently serving as pastor of Our Lady of Grace in Parkton, Maryland for the past 4 years. Previously, Fr. Mike served as an associate pastor at Resurrection in Ellicott City and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex. For the past 10 years, he has served as associate, and then director, of Deacon Formation for the Archdiocese.He grew up in Reisterstown, as the perfect middle child (4th of 7). While his father Larry was on the other side of town (Hamilton), his mother Carol grew up at St. Mark’s in Catonsville, where his grandmother still lives, and graduated high school from Trinity. He attended Sacred Heart School in Glyndon and throughout high school could often be found at the parish where he was active as an altar server, sacristan, phone receptionist, and peer leader in Youth Ministry. With the encouragement of his longtime pastor, Msgr. Aiken, Sr. Jude, and many other priests and seminarians, in senior year at Calvert Hall, he applied to the Vocations Office and was accepted into the College Candidate program for the Archdiocese, attending La Salle University. After college, he attended St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Roland Park for a year, before studying five years at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. After studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, with a focus in Spiritual Theology, from the Teresianum University.
What do you love best about OLPH?
From the perspective of my first few weeks at OLPH, I love the work of the Holy Spirit, by whom the parish has been making great strides in forming wonderful missionary disciples. I am grateful for a wonderful and gifted staff and parish leadership, for having a committed and generous parish administrator (which I believe is the hope of Archbishop Lori for all our parishes so that pastors can stay focused), for a great coworker in our associate pastor, and a for wonderful opportunities to work in and with our school, our religious education, our youth, our families, and our adults.
What do you do in your free time?
While I am a poor planner (and often therefore not the initiator), I love spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy board games, basketball, and most other opportunities for competition. Through friends who are my regular cruise pals (since they do most the planning and execution), I enjoy a warm cruise in the cold of winter: balancing my time reading on the deck (I read a wide variety and do not leave home with out a whole library on my kindle and audio books on the ipad), eating great meals, and exploring the depths of the ocean while scuba diving (ok, I’ve not been that deep – with the biggest dive 60 feet below).
What is something quirky about you?
While Halloween is not my favorite holiday, I’ve been growing my collection of costumes since entering into ministry. Showing a bit of my “human” side, I have had a lot of fun dressing up as a cow, as a cow dressed up as Mr. Potato Head, as a duck (yes, I love the youtube video about the duck asking for grapes), as some wonderful saints (many of the biblical characters like Joseph in Egypt or Maximillian Kolbe), as “Cameo” roles in Youth Theater (most recently “Pops” in The Pajama Game and the Bishop in Shrek Jr.) and many others I hope to share as a surprise.
And yes, it is true. I did once “win” a fundraising competition and got the opportunity to kiss a cow! Somethings you only do once in life.