Deacon Michael Holmes (BA, 2006; MA, 2016) has experienced and offered so much to people of faith through his life. As he shared story after story, he explained, “none of this would be possible without CDU.” His education from CDU not only informed and helped to form him, but it also helped to transform the way he ministers to people.
All too often, he would see people learning about faith, the Church, and the Catechism with their eyes glazing over. He wanted to help people grow in their faith, to teach people, to answer their questions, and that process did not happen overnight. In fact, it took a few years before he realized that he could teach what was complex in a very simple way. His CDU education laid that foundation. His goal, always, is to provide a basic understanding of what Scripture means and why the Church is teaching it.
Deacon Michael was ministering at a local jail, providing a communion service and reflecting on the readings of St. Paul for the day. Trying to draw out a rather inattentive inmate, he asked what the inmate was thinking. The inmate muttered, “What made Paul so g..d.. good?” Deacon Michael easily replied that Paul had started out as a murderer in that he condoned the stoning of St. Stephen. But, while that is how he started in life, that is not how it ended. In that moment, in that response, Deacon Michael knew his CDU education had enabled him to provide a simple answer to a complex question.
Deacon Michael Holmes has spent his life studying, searching, and serving. He was one of the first students to receive a BA degree from CDU in 2006. He went on to receive his Master’s degree from CDU in 2013. He now serves as the deacon for the very church in which he and his wife were married 40 years ago. He is a preacher, a teacher of adult formation in Arizona, who currently serves on the diocesan deacon council under Bishop John Dolan.
What makes Deacon Michael Holmes so special is that whether he is preparing a homily or a class, what is always at the forefront of his mind is sharing the faith in a way that connects with others. The foundation that CDU provided gives him the knowledge and confidence to do what he loves: proclaim our faith, be in the moment, be present to others, and share the faith in a meaningful way with those he meets. Thank you, Deacon Michael, for touching so many lives!