First Mass of Fr. Michael Passo, FSSP
Father Michael Passo, FSSP, was Ordained on Saturday, June 1, and offered his first Solemn High Mass the next morning at Immaculate Conception, our apostolate church in Omaha, Nebraska. Fr. Passo was assisted by Fr. John Brancich, FSSP, pastor of Immaculate Conception, Rev. Mr. Joseph Heffernan, FSSP, was Deacon, and Rev. Mr. Joshua Passo, FSSP, was Subdeacon.
Father was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and began attending the Traditional Latin Mass at Saint Patrick in Omaha when he was about 12 years of age. Shortly thereafter the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter was invited to Omaha to assume offering the traditional Sacraments.
Father credits the example of his parents, his sister, and the priests of the Fraternity with nurturing his spiritual life and later his vocation.
He recalls the profound effect his sister entering the religious life had on him.
“At the age of six, I was already exposed to a vocation when my older sister left for the Poor Clare Monastery in Roswell, NM. I remember asking her why she was leaving. At six years old I just couldn’t understand, but she looked at me and told me “Because I love God.” The answer didn’t really satisfy a six year old mind, but I never forgot it.”
In a bit of youthful irony, while other friends talked of a possible vocation, Father never particularly contemplated a priestly vocation until he was in high school. After both having attended parochial schools and being home-schooled, he enrolled in a public high school for the sports opportunities, but quickly became disillusioned with the gross immorality of his classmates. This stark contrast first provoked in him the idea of a religious vocation, faced with how different he desired to be compared to “the world.” In particular, while dating a girl in high school, Father realized he was really more concerned for her soul than he was about their relationship.
Even though he first felt a vocation during this time, he spent most of his years in college preparing for a medical career, passively “running from” the call of the Priesthood. Despite his resistance the calling only grew stronger, and he realized that he only felt true peace while at Mass or in adoration before the Eucharist. He made the habit of praying intensely in church ahead of his exams, which fostered his eventual path to the seminary because of his unfailing trust in Our Lady.
In his senior year of college, Father traveled to Mexico to serve with the Missionary Fathers of Mother Theresa. At seeing the happiness of the poor, and their sanctity despite their circumstances, he realized his choice of a medical career was but vanity.
Father returned to Omaha and found a spiritual director that aided his vocation. He realized that if he wanted to be a priest, he wanted to be one according to the model of the Fraternity priests he knew. After entering the seminary with a mentality of “Just one year… give God at least one year to see…”, and thinking that he might return to the medical career, he realized he was where he was supposed to be, gaining peace in what he called “a relief, like a runner after a marathon.” Father didn’t need to run anymore, because he was where God wanted him to be. Seven years later, Father was ordained a priest and offered his first Mass.
Fr. Passo will begin his priesthood serving in our apostolate in Columbia. Enjoy the images.
June 18, 2013