We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

Homeless man leaves drugs to become a Franciscan friar

Before becoming a friar Br. Michael Joseph explains he wanted the typical American dream, but it wasn't until he experienced his lowest point that he understood what truly mattered in his life.   

Midwest Capuchin Franciscans
"Like so many young people nowadays I think we get to a point where we realize that no matter how much we jump and run and climb for these things that will never satisfy us, we always end up really unhappy and unfulfilled. And unfortunately for me, I started cultivating a lot of bad, destructive, unfulfilling habits in my life pretty early on."  

He said a lot of these habits involved drug use, stealing and abusing the relationships he had. He soon became addicted to heroin, which forced him out on the streets of Portland, Oregon, and eventually led to his "rock-bottom" conversion moment.  

BR. MICHAEL JOSEPH GROARK Midwest Capuchin Franciscans "I suppose my conversion moment was the typical rock bottom moment. I thought, if there's any moment to pray, if there is a God. this is that moment. And I had frankly abandoned God a long, long time ago. But I dug deep and I tried to remember what's  one prayer that, if there is a God, God would hear it. And that was the Lord's prayer."   

The next morning, he was given clarity of mind to call his dad. He decided to go home and enter rehab to get clean and sober for the first time in years.   

BR. MICHAEL JOSEPH GROARK Midwest Capuchin Franciscans " I had made a lot of bad decisions in my life. I had gained everything and then lost everything, so I was really just starting from scratch. I just saw my call as this huge moment of grace. And really I had no other choice but to run to God full speed and just trust and jump into the deep end and I did that."  

Now, as a friar, he says he feels he is striving toward an attainable, everyday holiness with his fellow brothers, who are all broken, but all need God's grace.