The men pictured below are currently preparing for priestly ministry in the Diocese of Gaylord. Diocesan priests commit their lives to serving the people of a specific diocese and generally work in parishes, schools, or other ministries as assigned by the bishop of the diocese.
Preparation for the priesthood typically requires eight years of education beyond high school, usually including a college degree followed by four or more years of theology study at a seminary.
We encourage you to pray regularly for these men and that others will also discern their call to the priesthood.
Deacon Michael Lingaur
Your faith journey doesn’t always look like you thought it would. Michael Lingaur, a self-professed “cradle Catholic,” knows this first hand. Michael had always thought he would marry and have a large Catholic family of his own, but now finds himself striving toward being “Father” for an even larger family.
Michael’s vocation trajectory changed the year his grandparents went to their eternal rest. “I was blessed to be able to witness how a priest is invited into the family at the very sacred moment that occurs during the passing of a loved one… Once I started to seriously consider the priesthood, most of God’s plan for my life was revealed.” Michael was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Gaylord in July of 2015 and is studying at Mundelein Seminary.
When asked about surprises on his journey through seminary, he indicated “It was a great relief to discover that most of the guys at the seminary are just normal men who have been called by God to an extraordinary vocation.”
In a unique twist, Michael and Father Ben Rexroat (who was recently appointed diocesan Director of Vocations) played on the same varsity baseball team for a year at St. Mary Lake Leelanau School. In that year Michael earned the distinction of achieving second place for a state record -- that of being “hit by a pitch” most often in a single season.
Michael was ordained to the transitional diaconate in June 2020 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. Michael’s home parish is St. Mary in Lake Leelanau.
Jake Belanger is the eldest of six children in his family, there being five boys and one girl. His parents raised all of the children in a catholic home and always encouraged them in their faith through prayer, specifically the rosary, holy hours and daily Mass.
Jake attended school at St. Mary Catholic School in Lake Leelanau through the 2nd grade. He was homeschooled from third grade through high school. During this period from third grade to graduation he played sports through his parish church and learned how to serve the Mass.
After graduation from high school Jake studied and taught English for two years in France at a boarding school. It was during last Christmas of 2018 that he made the choice to discontinue his education in France and return home and apply for seminary.
His vocation came through the influence of the many priests in his life that cultivated his vocation and helped and encouraged Jake to be where he is today.
Jake is currently in his second year of seminary at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
The first-born son of James and Dawn Feister, both parishioners of St. Ann Parish, Andrew James Feister was raised along with his three sisters in Cadillac, MI. Andrew received his sacraments from St. Ann Catholic parish and attended the parish school through the 7th grade.
When asked about his vocation, Andrew replied, “I remember my faith being catapulted into the next level after my father took me on retreat at the age of 15. I believe that was my first full realization that I could be called to something that most men don’t get to experience, that is, the life of a priest. My family has always been the driving force behind my vocation. Through their devotion to Our Lady and always wanting to dive deeper into the faith. Though it might have taken me some extra time getting to this point, Our Lord always seems to bring us back where He wants us."
In 2017-2018 Andrew was a seminarian with Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
In 2020 he was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Gaylord.
His home parish is St. Stephen, in Lake City, MI.
Andrew is currently studying at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.