Followers of St. Francis

Followers of St. Francis: Brother Michael Radomski, OFM

brother michael radomski ofm

From a young age, Michael Radomski, OFM, suffered from various health issues that made him feel different from other kids. His frequent visits to doctors’ offices and a desire to help others led him to pursue a career in medicine. However, as he studied medicine, Michael observed that people coming and going to hospitals were not only hurting physically but also spiritually. Over time, he realized that he was not being called to be a doctor of the body, but rather toward being a doctor of the spirit. 

After many people told him he should look into the priesthood, Michael decided to attend the seminary in Detroit in his home state of Michigan. During his discernment, he realized that diocesan priesthood, where typically one or two priests serve a parish, was not for him. He became involved with the Franciscans at Duns Scotus Friary, north of Detroit in Berkley, Michigan, and was drawn to religious life in a community. “They were so welcoming, down-to-earth and easy to be with,” according to a profile on Franciscan.org. “I felt like it was home.” 

Initially he wanted to pursue priestly ordination. It was not until his health issues arose once again that he realized that serving as a priest was not necessary for him to be fully committed to serving the Church. “I realized that people needed not only priests but also brothers; I wanted to be an individual who could walk alongside others,” said Brother Michael. “I wanted to pick people up when they were down and help people find courage and understanding when they needed it.” 

As a Franciscan, he has had many opportunities to live out this call. During formation, he served in hospital ministry. The former medical student visited and prayed with patients. His next assignment took him to Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, where he became a retention officer. His job was to “check students in and keep an eye on the more vulnerable and at risk,” he said. 

Brother Michael worked closely with the disciplinary office and the school nurse and found fulfillment in guiding students through their struggles. Looking back, he says, he did not fully appreciate the experience until he planned to leave the position, and many reached out to him about the impact he had made. 

Return to Motor City

Following his time at Roger Bacon, Brother Michael moved to Detroit to be closer to his parents, where he joined St. Aloysius Neighborhood Ministries. At St. Aloysius, he lived in poverty and worked with others doing manual labor. Brother Michael became involved in the parish’s “backpack ministry.” 

Along with parish volunteers, he would walk the streets with backpacks stuffed with gloves and hats for the needy and carts full of sandwiches, homemade cookies, water, and other essentials. Walking two by two, rain or shine, they would greet the homeless and lend a listening ear. “It’s not so much about giving out stuff as being available,” he told Franciscan.org. “We don’t preach to them. We’re there to pray with or for them.” 

After his time with St. Aloysius, he returned to the Duns Scotus Friary in Berkley, where his journey with the Franciscans began. Across the street from the Duns Scotus Friary is Our Lady of La Salette Church. There, Brother Michael serves as a sort of “friar of all trades,” doing maintenance work, landscaping, and more. 

In addition to the physical labor, Brother Michael does what he loves most: breaking bread side by side with friends and strangers alike and helping those in need. 

Brother Michael’s life and works are best encapsulated in one of the memories he shared with St. Anthony Messenger. When he found a homeless man seated on the porch of Our Lady of La Salette Church, rather than asking him to leave the premises, Brother Michael sat with him, asked about the man’s life, and used the opportunity to educate him about the Catholic Church and its teachings. 

Brother Michael says he gains as much as he gives in his ministry to the disenfranchised. “I’m very happy with what I have learned,” he says. “Each of my experiences has helped me move forward. Overall, I found the most important things have come from struggle. I am happy to help others as they endure their own struggles.” 


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