Fr. Michael’s Bio
Fr. Michael D. Schmitz has a very long distinguished career. He was born and raised on a farm near Currie, Minnesota. After graduating from Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, in Currie, he worked in the Currie Tile factory. On May 2, 1966, Fr. Michael enlisted in the United States Air Force. His assignments took him to Homestead, Florida, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, Vietnam, Bitburg AB, Germany, and Washington DC. While at these places, he was an office manager, in the police force, target intelligence, weather operations, and aircraft maintenance for Air Force One during the President Nixon and Ford’s administrations.
Throughout his active duty career, Michael worked part-time in the restaurant management and night club business. The most famous people he worked with were Clint Holmes, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Munroe, to mention a few.
In 1978, Michael was discharged from the active duty Air Force and went into the Air Force Reserve for 18 years. His jobs there included Medical Administration and Human Resources.
His full time jobs during this time frame included working for Valentinos Restaurants out of Lincoln, Nebraska as an assistant manager. They specialized in Italian food. After putting in an average of 80-85 hours a week, he decided that the restaurant business was not for him. Then, Fr. Michael went to be a computer operator for Air Force Global Weather Central as a computer flight planner. He sent computer flight plans for each air force plane worldwide and was in this position for nine years.
After this stint, Michael did some reflection and was facing a mid-life crisis and decided to become a priest at the age of 44. The first few semesters were difficult because he had been out of school since 1964. After the first semester, he was sent to Germany in Desert Storm because he was in the Air Force Reserve. In December 1994, Fr. Schmitz graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In May 1996, Michael graduated with a Masters Degree in Divinity from Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
On May 31, 1996, Fr. Michael retired from the Air Force Reserve and on June 1, 1996, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, which was a very joyful and rewarding occasion. Upon ordination, Michael stated, “I did 30 years of service for our country, and I hope and pray that the Lord will give me another 30 years to serve Him”.
After looking back on his life, Fr. Michael never regretted becoming a priest later on in life, because after high school, he probably would never have made it. Why? He uses his life experiences every day in his ministry.
He comes from a family of seven, six sisters and one older brother. Both of his parents are deceased. Fr. Michael was assigned to St. Rose and St. Andrew parishes in June 2008. He comes to our parishes from his previous parishes at St. John the Baptist at Fordyce, St. Joseph at Constance and St. Boniface at Menominee.
Father Michael’s favorite quote, “Pray, Pray, Pray!”