Deacon Michael Mervilde dies at age 74

By Jeff Kurowski | The Compass | January 7, 2022

ALLOUEZ — Deacon Michael Mervilde, who served the Quad Parishes of Green Bay — Annunciation, St. Patrick, St. Joseph and St. Jude — died Jan. 4 at age 74.

Deacon Mervilde and his wife, Karen, were married on Aug. 3, 1974, at St. Stanislaus Church in South Bend, Ind., their hometown. They called the Green Bay area home for the past 45 years.

In 1969, Deacon Mervilde graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin in Texas, and continued his education, receiving his master’s in social work from Washington University-St. Louis in 1975. Following graduate school, he accepted a position in Algoma as the outpatient mental health coordinator for the Unified Board in Kewaunee County. He later worked for Bay Psychiatric Clinic in Green Bay and, in 1985, started a private practice, Green Bay Wellness and Behavioral Health Clinic.

Deacon Michael Mervilde

Deacon Mervilde was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, De Pere when he decided to explore the call to the diaconate. He was active at the parish as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and lector. He and Karen served as VIRTUS (“Protecting God’s Children”) facilitators at Our Lady of Lourdes.

“I was curious about (the diaconate). When (Deacon) Mike Vander Bloomen at Our Lady of Lourdes was in the program, I began thinking about it again,” said Deacon Mervilde in a 2008 interview with The Compass. “I fought it for a long time. I thought, if I don’t explore this, I will never forgive myself.”

On May 17, 2008, Deacon Mervilde was ordained to the diaconate for the Diocese of Green Bay by Bishop Robert Morneau at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.

Deacon Mervilde found similarities in his ministries as a deacon for the Quad Parishes and his profession.

“It’s a little different on the pastoral end, but not all that different,” he said in 2008. “People in the parishes are dealing with issues. I think I bring a certain level of skills that may be helpful. I like people. I enjoy working with people. The parish is not about the building. It’s about the people of God.”

Deacon Mervilde is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Lisa (Josh) Hanson and Michael (Megan) Mervilde Jr.; grandchildren, Fritz, Freya, Tristan, Vienna, Fiammetta; siblings, James (Ginny) Mervilde and Janice Bell; Karen’s siblings, Linda (Tom) Cleveland, Wayne Selig, Marilyn (Mark) Headington, George Selig; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Armond and Amelia Mervilde; parents-in-law, Virginia and Harold Selig; and two brothers-in-law, Harold Selig and Gene Bell.

The funeral Mass was held on Jan. 8 at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Bishop David Ricken officiated. Norbertine Fr. Tim Shillcox served as the homilist. 

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