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Staff Member: Rev. Mark Brandl

Rev. Mark Brandl

Associate Pastor
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Born in Milwaukee in 1960, I was raised in the faith by very committed Catholic parents. I began my life in the Church at Our Lady of Good Hope in Milwaukee and went to the grade school through 2nd grade. Our family moved to Pewaukee when I was in the 3rd grade and it is where I finished my High School education. I went to UW River Falls and graduated in 1982 with a degree in Farm Management and business administration. During that time, my faith life started to disappear. After graduation, I moved to Newton, WI and worked on my uncle’s dairy farm for the next three years.

By this time in my life, Church was the sacramental life of my family on big occasions. I never stopped believing in God. I just believed in the God who would accept me because I was a nice guy and did nice things for others. In other words, I believed in the God who graded on the curve. That is how our professors graded us in college. It was really a competition but it was what I truly believed. How could God not take me I thought, especially in the age of Jerry Springer and watching society deteriorate. Thankfully during the next 15 years of my life, God had me on a trajectory of hard lessons and a spiritual journey that I did not even really realize I was on.

In the year 2000, I was in an elevator in Milwaukee and I picked up a Christian tract that some Evangelical just happened to drop. Something made me pick it up and I put it in my pocket. When I got home that night, I pulled it out and read it. It touched me to my very core (a St. Augustine moment) and from that moment, it was all God all the time. I know this is an oversimplification of it, because I had some God moments in those preceding 15 years. For the most part though, this was the moment that led me to the priesthood. I began to self-study and pursued God with all my time away from work. I studied on my lunch hour and prayed always. After about three months, I started to look for a Church and decided to “sneak” back into the Catholic Church. After visiting some parishes, I settled on Good Shepherd in Menomonee Falls. Fr. Ken noticed me after a month or two and inquired who I was and invited me in for a visit. I became a member and did reconciliation after 20 years with Him.

During this time, I was working at a job that was being sold to a competitor in a few years (unbeknownst to me) and also having a mini seminary experience…also unbeknownst to me. For three years I dove into the life of the parish and had many ministerial experiences. During this time, our company was sold but we were offered a lot to stay to the end. I had many great spiritual experiences but a few months before my last day of work, Fr. Ken asked me if I had ever considered the priesthood. No I had not, but when I was alone, that is when God began bringing the three years He had just spent with me to my mind and I applied and entered the Seminary in 2003. I was ordained in 2009. I was an associate pastor at St. Alphonsus in Greendale for three years. The pastor of St. Agnes in Butler for eight years, and the pastor of the three Northside parishes of Sheboygan for the past four years.
I had a fall in January and had medical leave for three months to rehabilitate. That was blessed time and had to strengthen myself through some Physical Therapy during that time. I am not back to normal but far better than I was. My life is a spiritual life journey that probably is similar to many people you know. Fallen away Catholics are known to all of us. I hope my life experiences will help you winning back those you care about. Saint Monica, Saint Augustine, and Saint Ambrose are critical for those fallen away. Right now, pray for God to bring a Saint Ambrose into the life of those you worry about. Saint Ambrose was a peer/mentor to Saint Augustine. They need someone they look up to make Christianity palatable for them. I look forward to our time together.

Fr. Mark Brandl

Photo of Rev. Mark Brandl