Fr. Michael Steven Sherliza
October 2, 1956 – October 22, 2018
Father Michael Steven Sherliza passed away on Monday October 22, 2018 after battling a long series of illnesses.
He was born on October 2, 1956 (the Feast of Guardian Angels), in Attleboro, MA, to Robert Joseph Sherliza and Lizzette (Sullivan) Sherliza. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in North Attleboro and was a communicant and alter server at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He was confirmed at the Parish of St. Mark in Attleboro Falls.
In 1968, the family relocated to Griffin, GA. Mike attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church there and graduated from Griffin High School in 1974.
His calling to the Priesthood came during his teenage years. After confessing a particularly troubling sin to his parish priest and receiving absolution, he heard God speak out loud to him, “Go and do likewise.” Father Mike was known for his merciful, kind, and Christ-filled counsel in the confessional. It can be traced back to this original call.
After high school, he entered the Redemptorist seminary at St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, CT, for 4 years. He also served a novitiate year at Immaculate Conception College in Oconomowoc, WI, during this time. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy in 1979. He attended graduate school at Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, NY, but decided to leave the seminary before taking his final vows.
While his calling was never in doubt, his timing was. After leaving the seminary, Michael worked in the business world for 15 years before KNOWING that he was ready to re-enter his training. In 1995, he enrolled at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA, and received his Master of Divinity in 1999. Michael was ordained a deacon on July 1, 1998, at the Cathedral of Christ the King and as a priest on June 5, 1999, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta, both by Archbishop John Francis Donoghue. His first Mass was celebrated at his home parish of Sacred Heart in Griffin on June 6th (the Feast of Corpus Christi).
His first assignment was 3 years at St. Michael the Archangel in Woodstock. He followed this with 3 years at St. James the Apostle/St. Mary, Mother of God in McDonough and Jackson. He spent the next 3 years at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Roswell before settling at his beloved St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marietta in 2008.
Mike’s favorite pastimes were reading, listening to music, praying, travelling, camping on the Appalachian Trail, gaming, and even attending DragonCon. But, he LOVED being a priest and serving the Lord and his people, most of all.
Father Michael is survived by his proud and loving parents in Griffin, GA; one brother, Mark Sherliza (Kathy Gant) in Leesburg, GA; 2 sisters, Jane Wier (Charles) in Brookhaven, GA, and Kathleen Littleton (Mike) in Cumming, GA. He is also survived by his aunt and godmother, Sister Michelle Sherliza, OP, in Columbus, OH, and 3 nephews, Garrison Wier (Jamie) in Denver, CO, Brian Wier in Atlanta, and Evan Wier in Newport, NC.
Father Mike and his family would like to thank Barbara Ange and Christine Davy for their loving, compassionate, and devoted care. In addition, we are so grateful for the wonderful professionals within the Visiting Angels organization. We would also like to thank the WellStar Community Hospice team. Above all, we thank the priests, staff, and parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church for being an integral part of his family. He loved you all.
A Vespers Service will be held on Thursday October 25th at 7:00 PM at Saint Joseph Catholic Church 87 Lacy St NW, Marietta, GA 30060
Father Michael’s funeral Mass will be on Friday October 26th at Saint Joseph Catholic Church 87 Lacy St NW, Marietta, GA 30060 at 10:30 AM
All are invited to wear a black fedora (Fr. Mike’s signature) to the Mass, if you wish. He personally said that he would love this!
Last thoughts directly from Father: “Trust in God’s mercy and love. Repent and believe. Don’t fear the confessional…..Yay, God!”
In lieu of flowers, Father Mike has requested that, if you wish, donations can be made to either Saint Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities. Peace.
- Vigil Thursday, October 25, 2018
- Funeral Mass Friday, October 26, 2018
Fr. Michael Steven Sherliza
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