Hello, my name is Michael McAndrew. I am 26 years old and I hail from Coralville, IA. My parents are Matt and Marta and I have three sisters: Jackie, Sara, and Leslie. I graduated from Iowa City West High School in 2008 and then studied at the University of Northern Iowa where I received a degree in Choral Music Education. While at UNI I became very active in campus ministry and spiritual life at St. Stephen student center. During my final semester of college I began to more seriously consider a call to the priesthood because I felt that God could be calling me to serve in His church. With the help of good friends I discerned that seminary was the best place for me to further discern my call. I am currently in my in Second Theology at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. My hobbies include singing, reading, watching movies and exercising.
What do you feel the role of the priest is?
I believe the priest’s role is to be a window to Christ. The life of a priest is dedicated to preaching to God’s people and to bring them to see the face of Christ. A priest is supposed to be a teacher, one that can help people to find the Truth.
What gifts will you bring to the priesthood?
I have developed a love for ministry and liturgy. I hope to bring a spirit of joy and a personal touch to priesthood. I also hope to be able to use my musical gifts as a priest.
Were you hesitant or nervous to take the first steps to enter the formation process?
Yes, I was quite nervous. I think the most helpful part for me was talking it over with friends and loved ones. I also recognized that God had given me gifts and talents as well as a desire to serve His people which led me to consider priesthood. The first steps are not something to fret about, especially if one is confident in their call to discern further.
What kinds of apostolic/pastoral work have you done while in seminary, and how has it shaped your formation?
I have been blessed to be a teacher of religious education at Nativity Parish in Dubuque. Each Wednesday I discuss the Sunday’s Gospel with seventh graders. The experience as teacher has affirmed my gifts and stretched me to be a good educator. I have greatly enjoyed the time spent with my students and feel very blessed to be a part of their religious education.
What motivated your interest in the priesthood?
My experience at UNI and St. Stephen the Witness greatly helped in my formation and my interest in being a priest. The community and staff at St. Stephen was very vibrant and helped foster a great faith within me. I developed a love for liturgy and music, as well as a great appreciation for Church teaching. I was able to learn a great deal about the Catholic faith which helped me to discern priesthood.