Rev. Mr. William Evans

Dr. William EvansParish: St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay

Birth Date: August 29

Seminary: St. Francis de Sales Seminary

Seminary Address:
3257 South Lake Drive
St. Francis WI 53235-3702

Theology III


Patron: Blessed Solanus Casey


What do you want on your pizza?

Canadian bacon, pineapple, and extra cheese, please.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2017.

The journey toward priesthood is never a totally smooth, always straight, or completely predictable path. God in His wisdom offers challenging terrain and multiple points of decision when the route diverges. In time, our own understanding proves to be insufficient and we must abandon ourselves to the One who knows the way. My public declaration of candidacy for Holy Orders before Bishop Ricken this past May was a moment of abandonment into the sure hands of Christ Jesus and Holy Mother Church to guide me wholly in the Divine will.

How would you describe the priesthood to a non-believer?

The Catholic priesthood is frequently an enigma, even to many who claim to believe. It is a state of being, not a job description. Mere words yield an incomplete definition. The witness of a man under the mantle of the priesthood speaks more precisely and truly about the lived reality of his call than even the most eloquent language. The non-believer will be unmoved by Godly prose, but he will translate what he sees into a personal idiom. One who does not know Christ cannot begin to understand his priesthood. Therefore we must demonstrate such concepts as servant leadership, living for the good of another, self-sacrifice and all else that “means” priesthood. The definition becomes enfleshed in a relationship. The priest himself is ideally transparent such that the non-believer meets Jesus and, by grace alone, senses his own identity as a child of the Father, no matter how dimly. The priest leads others to Jesus only through Jesus and not by personal power or influence, describing the priesthood in his docility and obedience.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?

Our good God is constantly offering to make Himself known in our lives. Many instances of Divine Providence may go unnoticed or attributed to coincidence. Children are often the most receptive to divine presence.

My mother died when I was four. On the night she passed, my father sent me to the neighbor's house to sleep. In the morning, a very lovely woman, not the mother of the house, woke me up and told me it was time to go home. I did not know her, but I was not afraid to go with her. The lady walked me down the long street to my home. As we walked, she very gently told me that my mother had died during the night. She assured me that my mother was happy and that she wanted me to know how much I was loved. She told me that I would be safe and that I would never be alone. We arrived at my house. I found my father in the living room. He asked me how I got home. All I could say was that "the lady brought me." I turned to point out the lady, but she was gone. My father called the neighbors to ask about the lady. The neighbors knew nothing about her. To this day I do not know the identity of the lady. But I do know she brought great peace and comfort to a little boy who had just lost his mother.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.

"Live outside your comfort zone!" Middle school years are often marked by a desire to be unnoticed in one's adolescent awkwardness. In 8th grade, I just wanted to be in the chorus of Pirates of Penzance. I ended up being the Pirate King -- the first of many moments outside my comfort zone!

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?

Our Lord changed my life forever on Chambers Island men's retreats. He told me I would repay the Diocese of Green Bay. I gave money until I finally got a little gold plaque. Jesus still said I would repay the Diocese one day. He meant with my life.

Who are your teams?

Packers and Badgers, in that order.

What is your favorite day on the Liturgical Calendar?

Holy Thursday of the Triduum -- Institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood -- my reasons for being.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

Blessed Solanus Casey.