Staff Member: Rev. Patrick McConnell
Rev. Patrick McConnell
Born to Pete and Barb McConnell in Baraboo, Wisconsin, I was raised first at an Easter Seals Camp outside of Wisconsin Dells, then in Wauzeka and Prairie du Chein. My family settled in Merrill, Wisconsin where my parents remain as teachers. Raised alongside my older brother Tony and my younger brother Michael, we were given a strong foundation in faith and Christian Catholic values. My childhood is marked especially by the gift of strong parental support. With a love for nature ingrained in me, I pursued studies first in Environmental science, then Life Science Education, from which I gained a Bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, in Winona.. Throughout these years of education I was being challenged to seek what would fulfill me. I quickly learned that true love would be the greatest fulfillment of my heart. It wasn’t until a summer of missionary catechetical work that I realized the object of my heart’s desire was Christ. Through a deeper love of the Eucharist, a greater devotion to Mary, and a deepened love and trust in the Church, I finished my degree in college and left for seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, where I studied philosophy and theology for six years, graduating and getting ordained in 2012. Having first served as an Associate Pastor at St. Patrick in Hudson for three and a half years, I have been serving in the northwoods for about two years. I have been recently blessed with the gift of two sisters-in-law. In my last five years as a priest I have come to find great joy in the service and gift of self that is called forth in parish life and the beauty of sharing Christ with the people of God. The charm of northern Wisconsin has truly captured my heart, almost as much as the people have. I have been serving the diocese as an assistant vocations director, seeking to guide young men on their journey of discernment. Many ask me what I am going to do next. I would answer, I am going to wake up and serve God today thanking Him for the great gift to serve Him and His people as His priest!