Father Michael Kapperman is our featured priest this month. He was born in Hartford and has three brothers, two older and one younger. He was ordained May 29, 2020, and is serving as vocations director and Bishop O’Gorman Junior High chaplain.
How did you get your call to the priesthood?
During my junior year of college, I had a profound reversion back to the Catholic faith. In the spring of 2013, I was praying in the church at St. Thomas Aquinas in Madison. During that prayer time, I kept asking the Lord, “How do you want me to be your disciple?” He placed the idea of priesthood on my heart. During the next couple of months I ran from it, fought it and eventually prayed with that idea. Finally, in a moment of prayer, I was able to say to the Lord, “Jesus, I trust you.”
What did you do before the priesthood?
I wanted to be a high school math teacher, so I went to Dakota State University in Madison to obtain a degree in secondary math education.
Is there a particular part of Catholicism that really fascinates you?
Two things, first the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as in his heart we find the perfection of the human heart wedded to the Eternal Son of God. Second, I love the Church’s approach to education.
Who was most influential in your life?
I’d say my parents and grandparents. They embodied a life of virtue and prayer. Though not always perfect, they were great examples of these two things.
What’s your favorite part of being a priest?
Bringing God’s mercy to individuals, especially in the sacrament of Confession.
What’s the most challenging thing?
Challenging people in their sins. Sometimes people don’t do what the Gospels teach us, and, in love, someone must challenge them. It is hard to know the right way to go about it.
Who is your go-to saint? Why?
St. Therese of Lisieux. She saw her whole life through the lens of God’s mercy. Her life was marked by confidence in and love of God. I turn to her often to help me in times of struggle.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love going to high school sporting events, social events and working out.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I also have a degree in computer education.
How can your parishioners and people of the diocese best help you be a great priest?
First, give yourself radically to the love of God (i.e., become a saint and live a holy life). That is the greatest gift you can give to any priest. Nothing is more encouraging to a priest than to see his parishioners fall in love with Jesus.
If you could have supper with anyone from history (besides Jesus), who would it be and why?
St. Therese of Lisieux would be my first choice. Another individual I’d also like to talk to is Lou Gehrig.