Former Manitowoc-area pastor dies in Florida

By | November 4, 2022

GREEN BAY — Fr. Michael J. Somers, 76, died Oct. 27 in Lakeland, Fla.

Colorful trees adorn the grounds of Allouez Catholic Cemetery in Allouez, WI. Fr. Michael Somers will be buried at Allouez Cemetery. (Submitted Photo | Special to The Compass)

He was born June 13, 1946, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Leonard and Ruth (Van Bank) Somers. He attended the University of Minnesota in 1969 where he earned a bachelor’s degree. In 1972, he entered the Novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and took first vows on Aug. 15, 1973. He attended the University of Minnesota, earning dual degrees in political science and economics, and a master’s degree from Suffolk University in Boston. He earned a master’s degree from Divinity Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

In August 1977, he was assigned by the Oblate Provincial to St. John the Baptist Parish, Green Bay. On Aug. 21, 1980, he applied to be a seminarian to the Green Bay Diocesan priesthood. On May 26, 1981, he was appointed as a deacon at Sacred Heart Parish, Manitowoc. Bishop Aloysius. Wycislo ordained him to the priesthood on June 5, 1982, at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay.

Fr. Somers’ first appointment was as assistant pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Appleton. He then served as assistant pastor of St. Mary Parish, De Pere (1982-84), and St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Green Bay (1984-86). He served as assistant pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Kaukauna (1986-1988). He was then appointed as administrator and then pastor of St. Joseph Church, Alverno (1988-92).

Due to personal and health reasons, Fr. Somers received senior status in 1992 and resided in Tampa, Fla., for the remainder of his life. His body will be transported to Green Bay. Since he has no surviving relatives, a funeral Mass will be scheduled at St. Joseph Chapel at the diocesan offices. He will be buried at Allouez Cemetery.

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