Father Michael Casey '05 has developed a reputation in the Greater Waterbury area for his approachability, accessibility and natural ability to spread God's word to his modern-world congregation. He has been a pillar at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception since July 1, 2015. Recently, he has transferred to the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford where he will serve as Parochial Vicar.
"It is a very active parish," said Father Casey. "We hold two daily masses. It is a very good community. There are lots of great opportunities for outreach and evangelization."
In his new role, Father Casey will work with Father James Shanley, the Rector and Vicar for Pastoral Planning and be the Master of Ceremonies. "In every Cathedral throughout the world, you have the Chair of the Bishop," he said. "The Cathedral is the Bishop's Church. All of the big masses, including the upcoming Easter service, happen here. I will assist in those and organize the nuts and bolts of the Liturgy, including the altar servers."
Father Casey considered devoting his life to God during his days at Holy Cross. His interest began during his Confirmation run. He used his time at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (B.A., Philosophy) in Wynnewood, PA to ascertain if this life was what he wanted.
Following his time at Saint Charles, he attended North American College, Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. In total, he studied for eight years to be a priest before being ordained in Hartford on May 11, 2013 by Archbishop Mansell. He then returned to Rome for an additional year to earn his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) degree. Upon return from Rome he was assigned to Saint James Parish in Manchester, CT. He moved to the Immaculate one year later.
Father Casey has seen one common thread in his three parishes while preaching the Gospel. "The Gospel speaks to the deepest needs of the human heart – acceptance and love. When the human heart encounters that, it fits and responds in a natural way. When the Gospel is authentically preached, it is accepted....Preaching needs to take the reality of Jesus Christ and the love He calls us to. I need to bring that love to the people that the teaching is addressed to. It has to be about the power of the Holy Spirit."
Father Casey describes the Gospel as "ever ancient and ever new in its' presentation. It is the same Gospel and message that has always been said. In my lifetime, the three Holy Fathers have always said the same thing.In my view, Pope Francis is the rock star of our generation. He is consistent in the Catholic teachings that he is bringing to new generations."
In his time, Father Casey has seen church members come, go and come back again. He lives by the principle that Catholics Come Home. "The church is not a club," he said. "The church is where we grow and where we are nourished. We enjoy some of the best and most important moments of our lives there. People wander from home sometimes. It doesn't change the fact that the home is there, and the home is always open."