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MIichael Vance

Parish: St. Bernard Parish, Green Bay
Birth Date: May 17
Seminary: St. John Vianney College Seminary
Seminary Address:
2115 Summit Avenue,  Mail #5024, St. Paul, Minnesota 55105

College I

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Intercessor: Our Lady of Lourdes. Mary’s intercession is always awesome, and I like this particular apparition because of the mystery of the Immaculate Conception revealed by her words. I keep a statue of her in my dorm room.

What is your baptismal day and in which church?
I was baptized at St. Bernard Church in Green Bay on July 7, 2001.

What is your favorite devotional and why?
Liturgy of the Hours is absolutely awesome! If prayer is intended to be conversation with God (which it is), Liturgy of the Hours is like when your mother told you to call her every couple hours to check in while you are away from home for the first time. Morning prayer opens the day by offering it to God and night prayer ends it in thanksgiving. Throughout the day, office of readings, daytime prayer, and evening prayer continue these “check-ins.” It is my favorite devotion to keep my prayer life on track throughout the day

What was one misconception you had about seminary and how did that change?
Seminary has an ominous connotation akin to that of the cinematic representation of monastic life: constant Gregorian chant, friar haircuts, and perpetual seriousness and silence. I did not quite cultivate this belief myself, but I have definitely witnessed that it surely is not the case. Seminary is just a bunch of dudes together having a good time enjoying life and God’s creation and working to grow closer to him in all aspects of life. We also can have hair so that is a plus, too.

What would your life be like without a cellphone?
Without a cellphone, life would be just fine, if not better. Most of the features on modern smartphones are luxuries to have scaled into our pockets: Google, email, games, and plenty more. Not having access to these things 24/7 in the palm of our hands allows us to occasionally step away from technology, which, like all things, is great in moderation. Of course, the instantaneous and universal access of text messaging would be missed in communication with long distance friends but that would also cultivate social presence in the real world rather than burying our heads in screens. I appreciate my cellphone and the benefits thereof, but also know that I would be alright without it.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you in formation thus far?
We were staying at a hotel in La Crosse for a statewide seminarian event, and the shuttle bus was scheduled to depart at 7:30 a.m. the next morning. My roommate (politely unnamed) set the alarm clock respectively and went to sleep. Apparently, in his dream I had told him not to wake me so when I did not hear the alarm he turned it off and fell back to sleep. What did wake me, however, was the knocking at our door at 7:10. We quickly got up and made it to the bus on time, but needless to say, Fr. Mark kept a closer eye on us for the rest of the retreat. I told my roommate to stop listening to dreams.

Who or what was the greatest influence in your discernment of the priesthood?
My senior year of high school granted me a strange schedule in which my Thursday afternoons were totally free. I spent this time at the nearby perpetual adoration chapel where I could just pray in silence. This definitely was a huge influence because discernment happens not without prayer.

What does it mean to be a missionary disciple?
A missionary disciple is living out the call to share the Gospel with others in our day-to-day lives. It never needs to be something extraordinary like evangelizing thousands of people in one day just by saying a few things as the Apostles did (though that would be pretty cool), just living the faith is enough. St. Francis of Assisi is quoted to say “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”