By Katie Engesser
On Sunday mornings, Catholic children around the Diocese learn the Word of God during Mass, among them the children at Mary Queen of Heaven Church in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.
Similarly, that’s how Deacon Michael Falce’s road to the priesthood began years ago.
“I can’t really remember a time when we missed Mass, Mass was really important to us,” said Deacon Falce on how being an active parishioner has had an impact on his life.
Growing up in Glendale, Deacon Michael came from a very religious family. His mother is on the Parish Council and a minister of Holy Communion, while his father is a Knight of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
From a young age Deacon Falce followed his family into the faith, becoming an alter server in his parish of Saint Pancras. There, his parish priests soon saw a spark in him, a call to a vocation that even parishioners noticed.
“You know you really make a great priest. We just see you up there, and you even look like a little priest,” members of the Church community would say to him as a child.
When it came time to look at high schools, Falce considered Christ the King, the place where his parents first met.
But then he stepped foot inside Cathedral Prep, a high school and seminary meant to be a place where young boys could consider a vocation to the priesthood.
Falce knew that was where he wanted to go, but his parents were concerned.
“They thought maybe I was signing my life away,” he said.
“You know, in freshman year of high school I was committed to this already at that time, and I remember sitting very vividly in the living room talking about that. My father said, ‘you can get involved in campus ministry in any high school in the Diocese, and you can still explore this vocation while going to one of the other schools,’ and i said ‘no, this is where I want to go. I feel like this place is going to be like a home.’”
Cathedral Prep became more than a home, it became a place where Falce made up his mind to say yes to God.
“I remember the first day of senior year, I asked for the application to Douglaston because I was ready to go,” he said.
And on the day he received his acceptance letter into the seminary, the first people he told were his mom and dad.
“When I got the letter I ran down into the basement and excitedly explained to him I got the acceptance, and he was happy,” Falce remembered.
Now, as Deacon Michael prepares to fulfill that vocation, he is excited to serve the people of the Brooklyn Diocese, and they are excited to have him.
“Everyone wants to keep you in their parish, they want to chain me in the pew. They never want me to leave. It’s a great thing because you see the joy they have, the love they have for the priests of a Diocese.”