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Catholic Diocese of Peoria : Office of Priestly Vocations
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Michael Best

Birth Date

July 31, 1996

Parish Location

St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria

Year entered the Seminary/Class of

Entered in 2018, Class of 2024

Studying at
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD

Why did you become a seminarian?

Going to confession anonymously for the first time my junior year of high school had a big impact on me, as I realized the priest was forgiving me not as a friend does for a friend or as one might do as a favor for someone, but as a man living in the place of Jesus Christ and spreading his mercy. This understanding of the priesthood and God’s love grew by the example of many holy priests, and especially through one very saintly one. Through the growth and healing that came from them, I became more and more free in my own heart to open myself up to God. In that developing relationship, my desire to give my life to God in the priesthood grew very strong and his invitation more persistent, ultimately to the point that I needed to take the next step, “put out into the deep,” and enter the seminary.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I was a student at the University of Illinois and an RA at the Newman Center there.

An interesting fact about you

I used to be a batboy for Javier Baez (MLB All-Star). He never spoke a word to me, but I’m hoping my impression as a batboy may lead him to donate to my parish someday if I become a priest. Pray for Javy!

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