Michael LawingerMichael Lawinger

Third Theology

Parish: St. Anthony, Menomonee Falls

Seminary:  St. Francis de Sales 

Birthday:  December 17

Intercessor:  St. Lucy, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Joan of Arc

Describe yourself:

I think I am a laid back geek who loves competition, and wants to do whatever I can to serve God and His people. I also normally have trouble describing myself.

Tell us your vocation story:

While growing up, I had great examples of faith in my parents and in many priests that were family friends. I saw priests give great examples of their work, mission, and love for God’s people and the church through their service and presence in their parishes and in my own life. I was naturally drawn towards this reality of the priesthood, and greatly admired who these priests were as men, and as men of God.  The first time I thought I heard God’s call to the priesthood was during my first communion. Afterwards I told my parents that I wanted to pray the rosary with them every day, and surprisingly I did! During middle school things happened that caused me to really question what God’s wanted from me, and what purpose He had for me. On one evening of questioning God, I came to experience an awareness of what I now think is my call to the priesthood, and the complete peace that followed it. Years later, here I am now still pursuing this call, living a dream I have had for a long while!

What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?

The challenge of feeling unworthy is one that I have personally faced. “Why choose me? Why not someone better? What gifts do I have that make me worth calling? How do I fit into the priesthood?” We are flawed and imperfect, no one can argue against that. However we have to look at a simple solution to these complicated questions. If God is God, and God wants you to be a priest, He will make you able! We must trust that.

What is your favorite psalm verse and why?

Psalm 51:7- "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7 carries so much meaning within it. This verse contains not only the faith that God forgives and heals, but also how. The hyssop branch was dipped in the blood of the first passover lamb, and sprinkled on the doors of the Israelite’s, so that the angel of death would pass over them. So also does the hyssop refer to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, as wine and vinegar were offered to Jesus  on a hyssop branch in response to His” I thirst”, which was for the salvation of us all. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can all cleansed to the utmost purity.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

I am a geek and gamer, so video production and editing, playing Counterstrike, Rocket League and other games, but not much beats a pickup game of volleyball.

Where do you like to go to pray?

Besides everywhere and anytime, my favorite time to pray is in the chapel somewhere around midnight. It is just so peaceful and quiet, and I can almost guarantee I will not be interrupted!

Where do you do your best studying?

My room. If it works, why move?

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

One in particular would be St. Josemaria Escriva. His love for the people of God, and his tenacity in service and love has been an irreplaceable example in my life. I hope that one day I can love God’s people with a fraction of St. Josemaria’s resolve, because that love can change the world for people.

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