St. Michael the Archangel at 502 West Front Street, Monroe, MI 48161 US - Fr. Stephen Vileo, Pastor
Fr. Stephen Vileo, Pastor
My brothers and sisters in Christ! I cannot begin to thank almighty God enough for the gift of becoming your new pastor. I am looking forward to the many years we will have together; celebrating our faith, worshiping God, and learning of all the life he has in store for us. I realize that I am following in the footsteps of a very popular and a very competent pastor. I am grateful for all that Fr. Rooney has prepared for me as I now come to take leadership at St. Michael’s. Fr. Rooney has loved you for more than 13 years as your pastor and now, as with all of us formal ministers of Christ, it is time to allow him to move on to another assignment. Fr. Rooney, you will not be forgotten and we pray for you daily.
I thought I would take some space in this first article to introduce myself and to let everyone know a little about me. I say a little about me because over the years as I teach and preach among you I will use lots of examples from my life and you will come to know me best in those settings.
I was born in Detroit in 1958, so I am native to the Archdiocese: my home parish is St. Frances Cabrini in Allen Park. I am the eldest of six children; I was adopted by my parents about a year after I was born. I have 2 younger brothers and 3 younger sisters; and now thanks to the gift of marriage and procreation I have 16 nieces and nephews. My father still lives in the house I was raised in and my mother has been deceased for more than three years.
After I graduated from high school in 1976, I started out my college career studying chemistry at Wayne State University. I received a bachelor’s degree from that University in chemistry in 1980. Originally, my plan was to apply to medical school and train to become a physician. However, the Lord had other plans and through a long period of discernment I made the choice to enter the seminary and study to become a priest. I received a degree from Sacred Heart Seminary in 1983 at which point I was sent to Rome, Italy to do my formal training in theology. As it turned out, I spent almost 9 years in Rome, both preparing for priesthood and working on advanced degrees in theology.
I have been a priest for nearly 21 years: I was ordained on 14 November 1987. I have served in parishes both as pastor and as associate; St. Michael’s is my fourth pastorate. I come to you with a great deal of skill and seasoning. While much of the past 20 years in my ministry has been spent in parish work, my passion and my scholastic training has been geared toward theological education and so I have managed to dedicate a great deal of my time working with young people, teens and young adults. In addition to my work at St. Michael, I look forward to helping out wherever I can at St. Mary Catholic Central if I am asked. It is my deepest conviction that we have reached a point in our culture’s history where our young folks are starving for the knowledge that Jesus gives through the Gospel, so it is my intention to provide that service whenever possible.
Brothers and sisters, I am thrilled to be among you and to begin my work as your pastor. I look forward to whatever the Lord has in store for us as a community in the months and years ahead. Please know that once I received this assignment I began praying for all of you; it will always be that way from now on. Every morning when I take my life to God in prayer, you, my new parish family, will be first in line for consideration. Let us bless one another in Christ. I look forward to meeting all of you and coming to know you. Please keep me in your prayers and I will see you around the parish. God bless!