Two men to be ordained June 29 Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
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MADISON -- With praise and thanksgiving to God, our Father, the Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, announces with joy the ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ of Rev. Mr. David Gabriel Johannes and Rev. Mr. Mark William Miller.

The ordination will take place on Friday, June 29, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison.

St. Maria Goretti Church is wheelchair accessible. There will be assistive-listening devices for the hard-of-hearing and a sign language interpreter for the deaf. Large-print leaflets will be available.

Deacon David Johannes
Deacon David Gabriel Johannes

Parents: Fred Johannes, Wautoma, Wis.; Azminda Jones, Darboy, Wis.

Home parish: St. Joseph Parish, Wautoma (parish of Baptism) and St. Raphael Cathedral, Madison (member during college and before seminary)

Educational background:

  • Seminary/degrees: St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo./Bachelor in Philosophy, Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), and Master of Divinity
  • College/degree: University of Wisconsin-Madison/Bachelor of Science in genetics
  • High school: Wautoma High School
  • Grade school: Mary Help of Christians School, Laredo, Texas; Shannon Estates Elementary School, Corpus Christi, Texas; Riverview Elementary School, Dafoe Middle School, and Parkside Middle School, Wautoma, Wis.

Intern experiences: Interned in schools, a hospital, jails, and shelters

Deacon placement: St. Bernard and St. Henry Parishes, Watertown, Wis.; St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Littleton, Colo.

First Mass of Thanksgiving: Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Monona

Assignment after ordination: Parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee

Rev. Mr. David Gabriel Johannes: Reflections on Ordination

Come and See. Seven years ago I felt Christ asking me to come and see, just as he called the Apostles at the beginning of the Gospel of John.

Honestly, I thought that once I went to the seminary to see what Christ was calling me to see, he would recognize my desire to be a doctor and married and he would then see things my way. Little did I know that I would find incredible peace and solace accompanied with immense joy in what God had in store for me. In my mind, I couldn’t see how I could possibly be happy not doing what I wanted, not being successful in the eyes of the world.

Little by little, the Lord revealed to me what he had planned from the beginning. In working with the poor, homeless, sick, imprisoned, and suffering, I began to find rest for my heart and soul. In offering Christ to people, I have seen them change for the better, not only were they changing, but I myself changed for the better.

My heart and soul began to see Christ more and more and in every situation. I began to desire the presence of Christ in my life at all times. It then became evident to me that not only was God calling me to serve as his priest, but it became very evident that I now wanted the same.

In my year as a deacon, I have been extremely blessed to share in the lives of God’s people. From the joy of birth, baptism, matrimony, and First Communion to the pain of sin, suffering, and death, I have been able to bring Christ to people and realize the joy that Christ then gives me and how he calls me to know him more and more.

One of the most significant things I have learned is that in order to offer Christ I need to know Christ myself. Dedicating myself to Christ each day when I wake is a good start, but it is the constant prayer that is in my heart that drives me to know the Lord and to serve his people.

I have found true love in God who is love himself. It is this relationship with the Lord that has drawn me closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. In this image of the Sacred Heart, our sin pierces the heart of Jesus and yet His love and desire to forgive radiates and burns beyond all that we do to transgress his love.

The call to priesthood has changed my life so radically that now I wish to share what I have found with everyone. The Lord calls each one of us in different ways. Not only does he invite us to “come and see” but we are always sent by the Lord after we have opened our hearts to him. In my preparation for priesthood, I came to see what God was trying to communicate to me, I changed my heart and fell in love with what he offered, and now I am being sent to offer the person of Christ, daily in the Eucharist, to all who seek the love of God.

Please pray for me and know of my prayers for you.


Deacon Mark Miller
Deacon Mark William Miller

Parents: Deborah and Jeffrey Miller, Sparta, Wis.

Home parish: St. Bernard Parish, Middleton

Educational background:

  • Seminary/degrees: St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo./Bachelor in Philosophy; North American College and Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce), Rome/Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.); Pontifical University of St. Thomas (the Angelicum), Rome/Working on Licentiate in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue
  • College/degree: University of Wisconsin-Madison/Bachelor of Science degree in religious studies
  • High school: Sparta High School
  • Grade school: Pecatonica Elementary School, Blanchardville

Intern experiences: Summer intern at St. Bernard Parish, Middleton, and Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Madison

Deacon placement: Loyola University-Chicago at Rome campus

First Mass of Thanksgiving: Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. at St. Bernard Church, Middleton

Assignment after ordination: Parochial vicar at St. Bernard Parish, Middleton

Rev. Mr. Mark William Miller: Reflections on Ordination

One of the most significant moments in my life took place at the end of a year which I spent discerning my vocation. I had come to the point where it was clear God was calling me to be a priest, but I hesitated. It seemed equally clear to me that I was simply incapable of living out that vocation and the sacrifice it demands, to love as Christ loved us. I just didn’t have that kind of love in me.

I brought my fears to prayer one day at the cathedral before Mass. I told God why I was reluctant to make such a commitment and opened my heart to him, filled as it was with anxiety.  As soon as Mass began, I felt an overwhelming peace, the kind of peace that only God can give. The first reading was from Ezekiel.  “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

In that moment, I knew the meaning of the peace I felt. God does know our weakness, but in his love chooses to recreate us, capable of anything and everything he could possibly ask. I knew that God would fill me with his own love, and I would learn to make it my own. Later, before the Eucharistic prayer, Fr. Paul Swain paused to mention his intension for that Mass — vocations to the priesthood.

God has been good to me. I’ve spent the last seven years looking forward to an event which will take place at the end of June, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, so it feels strange now to look back on all that has led up to this point, but I’m glad I’ve been asked to do so, because it has reminded me of something it does me good to recall — God has been good to me.

I grew up in a very close family, who taught me what it means to be loved. My parents showed me by their care for my brother and me and by their own devotion what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. During college I was gradually led to a deeper faith and experience of the significance of prayer. When later I was led to the Catholic Church, my family, who is Lutheran, were as supportive as they could possibly be.

When I discerned a vocation to priesthood, I was sent for the first three years to an excellent seminary where my faith in Jesus, my trust in the guidance of the Spirit, and my experience of prayer grew immeasurably. I was also blessed to spend that time with David Johannes, who has become one of my closest friends, and with whom I will be ordained. I was then blessed to spend the next four years studying and praying in Rome, the center of the Catholic Church.

God led me, despite myself, to the profound peace of knowing and choosing to live out the vocation to which he has called me. It is a peace I would not trade for anything in the world.

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