Name: Father Brian Miclot
Years ordained: 35
Current assignment: St. Ambrose University, professor of philosophy. Helps out on weekends at parishes where needed and when asked.
How did you know you were being called to priesthood? During my sophomore year in high school. I was at Assumption High School in Davenport; it was about 12:30 p.m., in Father Marvin Mottet’s class. He was talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Fr. Mottet was using the term “blacks” and talking about civil rights. The rest of us were still using the N word – officially, it was “Negro.” But Fr. Mottet was saying something different. He was soft-spoken. I was almost asleep after lunch in his class. But a vague notion came to me, “I don’t want to be a math teacher like my brother; I want to be a priest.” But I didn’t say anything about it until the end of my senior year. Among those I told was a priest and my girlfriend and her parents. They thought it was great.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass? That’s hard to say. My 25th anniversary (of ordination) Mass in 1999, and a Mass at the Vatican in 2005. I could hardly get through the penitential rite — I got choked up.
Another Mass that was very special was in Georgetown University’s chapel for the wedding of a physician friend of mine who was marrying the director of Georgetown’s Center for Bioethics.
What is most rewarding about being a priest? I am absolutely humbled by people’s generosity and sincere confessions and elated when good preaching finds a good response. Third thing, studying the Scriptures in preparation for sermons.
What is most challenging about being a priest? To know what’s needed, to understand what the Spirit is summoning us to keep and throw away. The muteness of liberal response to abortion. Opus Dei asking only questions based on rubrics.
What is your favorite Scripture passage? A couple: Matthew, Chapter 5 — all of it. And then Philippians, Chapter 2: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave …”
What is your hobby? Hospitality cooking. And I love backpacking, guitar playing and “fun” bicycling. The past two RAGBRAIs, for instance, I bicycled a total of 20 miles with a young man who is autistic. After we were done, we joined his parents for a beer at the beer tent.