William Evans

William EvansParish: St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay

Birth Date: August 29

Seminary: St. Francis de Sales Seminary

Seminary Address:
3257 South Lake Dr
St. Francis WI 53235-3702

Theology II


Patron: Venerable Solanus Casey

Proclaim the Good News:
"But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name." (Jn 20:31)

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2016.
The Institute for Priestly Formation, held in the summer on the campus of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, is an intensive immersion for seminarians in contemplative prayer and the unique charism of diocesan priesthood. Every seminarian is asked to communicate to Heaven a spiritual gift he would wish to receive during the nine weeks of formation. I asked for the gift of knowing God the Father as my true Father, a tangible reality rather than a distant spirit, my Father who waits for me, his beloved son, to reach out to Him in prayer. Our Father in Heaven poured himself out to me in a wellspring of mercy and love, offering a prayer space filled with His palpable embrace.

When did your commitment to the Catholic Faith grow deeper?
I fell in love with the Catholic Faith as a teenager. I grew deeper in love and I was sustained in love by Our Lord Jesus and his Holy Catholic Church during the trials and storms of life in the years thereafter when my own strength and will were wholly insufficient to keep from drowning. After many unsuccessful attempts to pilot my own boat, the barque of Peter offered unfailing security no matter the severity of the moment. When the sea is calm and inviting, human nature, aided by the devil's whisper, says: "You can do this on your own. Dependency is for the weak. Row your own boat and never ask for help." Such bad advice imperils souls.

In dark moments, when my soul was at risk of losing the Hope of Heaven, Christ's Church was the beacon of light that illuminated the path back to wholeness and holiness. No soul, upon receiving the gift of new or restored life in the Trinity, can fail to grow in love and commitment to the Faith, the One, Holy, Catholic Faith. I am a witness to the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God my Father, who has always seen me as a beloved son; who has always called me back into His embrace, even when I insisted that all was "fine" on my own.

Offer us a few words about one Gift of the Holy Spirit and how it has helped you.
FORTITUDE, as a Gift of the Holy Spirit, gives us the moral courage to combat the evil spirit of our present day. Fortitude is the virtue of the martyrs that allows each of us to stand up for what is right and ultimately to save our souls. I do not actively seek martyrdom, but in our current world, a "white" martyrdom is virtually assured for those who resist the devil and stand firm in the Faith. And "red" martyrdom, death rather than renunciation of Christ, is the supernatural stuff of sainthood to which we are all called to embrace.

Share an interesting fact about your high school years.
High school will always be remembered and treasured as the time when Jesus revealed the Truth of our Catholic Faith in the miracle of His Real Presence in the Eucharist. This happened to an unchurched teenage boy voicelessly aching to know the Christ who could fill the painful void in his heart.

Other than prayer, what is your fuel?
After six years of lay service to the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, I am convinced that prayer is best fueled by COFFEE, strong and in large quantities (www.mysticmonkcoffee.com)!

As a priest, God willing, where would you most like to celebrate the Holy Mass?
I pray for the opportunity to celebrate Holy Mass in Ballintubber Abbey, County Mayo, Ireland. Mass has been celebrated there, uninterrupted, for over 700 years, even during the times of persecution when priests were killed as soon as they stepped off the altar, only to have another courageous man take up his cross the next day.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
Please pray for the intercession (and for the timely beatification) of Venerable Solanus Casey, who began his formation for priesthood at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee. Fr. Solanus persevered steadfastly in his call to priesthood and spent himself entirely in service to Our Lord and to the countless souls who sought his simple, holy wisdom.