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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My name is Deacon Mike Engel. I was recently ordained on December 4th, 2022. I have spent the past 9 months at my home parish of St. Michael finishing the final aspects of formation – post ordination. As of this week, I received my official parish assignment here at The Church of Saint Henry, where I am so grateful to be serving you - the parishioners of St. Henry’s! My wife (Stacy) and I have been married for 26 years, and live in Maple Lake Township. I have 3 daughters – Kate (22) Olivia (18) and Elizabeth (17) and 2 Sons – Brendan Miller (23 - our son-in-law) and Peter (11). Finally, our first grandchild who is anticipated to be born in mid-October!
As I mentioned above, I am so grateful to be assigned to The Church of Saint Henry. It is for me, a bit of a coming home story. Stacy and I both grew up in Monticello, and a few years after graduation we moved to Maple Grove, and then to St. Michael where we lived for many years! Growing up I was not Catholic, but rather agnostic. When Stacy and I were engaged, I decided to become Catholic largely for her. I entered RCIA, and reluctantly went through the motions of becoming Catholic. In March of 1994, I entered the Church as a Catechumen. (Yes- that’s full initiation! Baptism, Confirmation, and my First Communion in one blessed night)! While I wish I could say that was the beginning of a life of faith – it was at the time something I did because Stacy was Catholic. Now, nearly 30 years later, I am coming home! You see, it was St. Henry’s in which Stacy received all her sacraments, and for me the Church I became Catholic and was married in!
It was many years later when our Catholic faith became important to us. You might say that I came to the faith kicking and screaming. I had so many questions, so much doubt about the Church even after I became Catholic. But, sometimes – that is the best way to discover the beauty of our faith. Sometimes you have to wrestle with it. For it was in this wrestling I discovered what I had always longed for! As I began to search, what I discovered was love, beauty and truth! Little by little, this led to a conversion of heart, and eventually to a call to Diaconate.
My favorite things in the world are spending time with my family, being outdoors in the field or on the lake. I enjoy various ethnic foods, home brewing, hiking in the mountains of Alaska (where my oldest daughter and son-in-law live), and most importantly discovering more about our faith!
I am excited to get know you all! I am excited to serve the parishioners of St. Henry’s with Father Barnes, and Deacon Rumpza and the entire parish staff! I look forward to running the race to sainthood with you!