Michael Willems is a native Floridian born and raised in Fort Pierce. He attended St. Anastasia Catholic Grade School and John Carroll Catholic High School, where he first felt the call to serve the Lord and considered becoming a priest.
He chose to go down a different path and attended Tampa Technical Institute earning a degree in computer electronics. He is an emergency preparedness specialist for Florida Power and Light and a parishioner of Our Lady of Hope in Port Orange. He is involved in the ministries of Cursillo, F.A.I.T.H. and the Human Trafficking Task Force.
In 2007, he attended a Cursillo weekend and his journey to become a deacon progressed from there.
“I kept thinking that it never seemed like the right time,” said Willems, who after speaking with Deacon Mike Rosolino decided to take the next step.
Willems said he is not the same person he was five years ago when he started his spiritual journey of diaconate formation. He has grown closer to his wife, found loving friends along the way, who have been priceless, and it has made him a better person overall. When he becomes deacon at Our Lady of Hope, he hopes to bring the love of Christ to others.
“I hope I’ll be seen as a servant in the community but most of all I want them to see God’s love in the way I treat everyone,” he said. “I want my life to be proof of God’s love.”
He is married to Patti and is the father of Joshua, Benjamin, Morgan, and grandfather of Jayden and Timmy. As an Eagle Scout, Willems enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, sci-fi movies and reading. He is especially fond of grilling out with the family and spending time with Patti, whom he owes a deep gratitude for walking the path with him.
1 of 10 men who shared stories of faith on their diaconate journey before Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate on June 10, 2017