Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 6, 2002
Archdiocese embraces pony-tailed priest
Friends see Mireau as deeply loving person
By RENATO GANDIA
"He is very loving not just to his friends but with everyone else."
- Shawn Woodard
Woodard said he was skeptical when Mireau told him about entering the seminary. "I don't remember what my exact words were but it probably was along the line 'Yeah right.'"
"We started talking about it and then I heard from other people at Camp Encounter about him. I said 'Wow there's really a different side to Mike that I haven't seen before.'"
Woodard never doubted Mireau's devotion. "From the time I met him there has never been a doubt about his faith in the Lord, his dedication to the Church."
Mireau did not strike Woodard as a person to whom teenagers or young adults would gravitate.
"But it was there somewhere: I just never got to see it until a few other people mentioned it. Now I see it in everything that he does. And the best part is that he is very loving not just to his friends but with everyone else, from Catholics and non-Catholics to non-practising Christians and even devout atheists."
Betty Ann Laporte met Mireau at Camp Encounter when he was a counsellor.
"When I met Michael it was very obvious to me that he was special. He is his own person. He cares for young and old with such honesty, without mothering anybody, like a huggy-lovey kind of person."
"His love of God is with absolute honesty of who he is as a person. God's love has taught him exactly who Mike Mireau is. His true knowledge of himself I guess is a very strong point of Mike," said Laporte.
"He is so free in knowing that God loves him and that he loves God. I wish him all the blessings that God can give him and particularly that he continue to always know God loves him."
Three years ago, when Mireau spent a year of pastoral internship at Good Shepherd Parish he touched people's lives with his preaching.
Veronica Christian of Good Shepherd told the WCR, "You have to hang onto every word because his preaching relates to real life. He preaches how he sees Christ in your life and how he shares it with you."
"Father Michael is what you see is what you get. He is a straight from the hip kind of guy, a people person. Two weeks after my mom met him, she said, 'You know you even forget he has a ponytail.' Once you get to know him, you forget it's there and that definitely is the truth."
He meets people where they are and he comes across as someone who is easy to talk with and share things with.
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