Hello, my name is Michael Becker. I am 25 years old and was born and raised in Algona, IA. My parents are Ron and Rita and my siblings and in-laws are Matt, Laura, Val and Scott. I have four fantastic nephews who are Chase, Miles, Gavin, and Aiden. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2013 with a degree in Finance. From there, I moved to Omaha and accepted a job as a document processor for Bank of the West. The time at UNI and during my time in Omaha, I had pushed away the thought of discerning this call further. However, God kept inviting me to discern further and I am looking forward to finding out what God has in store for me. My hobbies include, Iowa State Athletics, golf, playing the piano, and fantasy football
Is there a model priest for you in your life?
During my time in Omaha, I really grew to admire Fr. Roza who was the associate pastor of my parish. At mass, I could see the jubilation that he had as he celebrated with the congregation. After I made my decision to enter the seminary, as I went to mass, I could see my ministry through him. In the last few months of being in Omaha, we had met to discuss the oscillation in my spirit. It was in the meetings that I continued to see how great a model he was for me. His ability not only to listen to my words and emotions, but to discern what my spirit was saying is something I regard as a great characteristic I want to embody.
What advice would I give to a man considering the seminary?
The key point that I would want to deliver to a man discerning his call, or anyone in life, is to work on your relationship with God. The conversations that I have when I sit with God in prayer are the times where I really discover what is on my heart. When I have a conversation in prayer, I envision Jesus and myself, in a peaceful place discussing what I am dealing with that day. I would stress to be honest in these conversations with Jesus, if you are angry that day, be angry with Him, if you are happy, express your joys to him. Essentially, think of Him as your friend, and have that dialogue with Him as your friend.
How did your friends and family react when you told them you were considering the priesthood?
My friends and family were all very supportive of my decision to follow what I believe may lead me to my vocation. I had to make some tough changes, and they have been supportive and tried to be with me as I make this life change. They stay with me on the rough days as well as the days when I feel more peace.
What do I feel the role of a priest is?
The role of a priest is to love his people, and to lead them to the ultimate goal of heaven. As in any vocation we are called to, we are called to help lead others to heaven. As a priest, you are called to help develop the souls of your community, to be there in the rough times to provide comfort, and to be there to celebrate in the joyous occasions.
What gifts might I bring to the priesthood?
What I would hope to bring the priesthood is a deep value on listening to the people and exploring their joys and struggles in life, bringing them closer to Christ through that personal interaction. In a conference, a priest said to us, “Bring people to Christ, and then get out of the way.” My hope is that I could do just that..