UNI graduate thanks mentors, classmates

By Jill Kruse-Domeyer

Witness Editorial Assistant

CORALVILLE — Twenty-nine-year-old Deacon Michael McAndrew is the son of Matt and Marta McAndrew of Coralville. The future priest has three sisters, Jackie (Dave), Sara and Leslie.

Deacon McAndrew grad­uated from Iowa City West High School in 2008 and then studied at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), from which he graduated in 2013 with a degree in choral ­music education. During his time at UNI, Deacon McAndrew was active in campus minis­try and spiritual life at St. Stephen the Witness Student Center. A gifted singer, Deacon McAndrew was also a member of the UNI Varsity Men’s Glee Club and UNI Opera.

While in his final semesters at UNI, Deacon McAndrew began to discern a call to the priesthood. In the fall of 2013, he enrolled in the St. Pius X Seminary program at Loras College in Dubuque, and after two years there, continued with his studies at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois. Deacon McAndrew said that the opportunity to preach during his final year of studies at Mundelein had a significant effect on him and his formation.

“It’s impacted the way I read Scripture and view daily life,” he said.

When he hasn’t been busy with priestly formation, Deacon McAndrew said some of his favorite hobbies and activities have included singing, exercise, reading and watching movies.

He said he also always enjoys a cup of coffee with good friends.

As he prepares for his upcoming ordination to the priesthood, Deacon McAndrew said there are several people he feels have been exceptionally helpful in getting him to where he is today.

He credits his family; his good friend and longtime mentor Anastasia Nicklaus; Father Scott Bullock, who he said has been another supportive mentor to him; and Father Carlos Rodriguez, his spiritual director for four years.

Deacon McAndrew said he is also grateful to his fellow seminarians. “My classmates have been great companions and helpful in my discernment and formation,” he reflected.

Of his upcoming priestly ministry, Deacon McAndrew said, “I am most looking forward to celebrating the sacraments, especially Eucharist and reconciliation.”

“I am also very excited to be immersed in parish life,” he added, “getting to know families and walking with them.”

Deacon McAndrew said he wants his future parishioners to know, “I’m excited to get to know everyone!”

Cover: Deacon Michael McAndrew (far left) is pictured with classmates from Mundelein Seminary during a recent trip to the Holy Land. The men are pictured in front of a church in Ein Karem dedicated to honoring the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. (Contributed photo)

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