By Fr. Mike, O.P.
Hello everyone, my name is Fr. Mike Ford, O.P., and I’ll be your new associate pastor.
It is good to be home. Or, almost home that is. You see, I am from the St. Louis area — Florissant, Missouri, actually. So, Mizzou is about as close as I can get to my hometown without actually being there! I am the oldest of three brothers who attended McCluer High School. While growing up, my brothers and I spent a lot of time camping, hiking, and fishing around the Columbia area with the Scouts (yes, I am an Eagle Scout and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow). I graduated from the University of Central Missouri, in Warrensburg, in 1993 with a BSBA in management. After a successful, 10-year business career with the same company, D. L. Cole and Associates in the St. Louis region, I entered the Dominican novitiate and started my journey as a member of the Order of Preachers in 2003. I graduated from the Aquinas Institute of Theology with dual master’s degrees in Divinity and Theology in 2010 and was ordained a priest on May 9 of the same year.
My first assignment as a Dominican priest was at the St. Thomas Aquinas — Newman Center at Purdue University from 2010 to 2013. One of the reasons I mentioned above that it is good to be “home” is during those first three years of my priesthood, I came to love working with college students and resident parishioners at university parishes. Getting back into campus ministry will be a happy homecoming for me. In 2013, I became the Director of the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude in Chicago and got the opportunity to travel around our wonderful country doing St. Jude missions and events and other national speaking engagements as well as numerous retreats. Since July of 2018, I have been serving as the associate pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest, Illinois.
Some of the other ministries in which I have served during my time as a friar have included being a chaplain for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for five years, serving as the chaplain for three Knights of Columbus Councils, and acting as the spiritual director for two chapters of the Dominican Laity and one Legion of Mary presidium. I am currently the promoter of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary in the central United States (since 2013). Over the years I have been blessed to be able to do a number of mission trips helping those in need here in the U.S. and in places like Haiti and Bolivia.
Another thing I am looking forward to is being able to follow my favorite sports teams. Had anyone told me how difficult it would be to catch a Cardinals or Blues game, not to mention a Mizzou or Chiefs game, in Indiana or Chicago, I would have told them they were crazy. It’s a little harder than you might think. Plus, I know there are a lot of great golf courses and spots to fish close at hand.
Most of all, I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone here and cannot wait to get back into the swing of campus life. Go Tigers!
Peace and Blessings,