Affectionately dubbed the “World Youth Day (WYD) vocation”, Fr Joshua Miechels’ experience at WYD Toronto in 2002 put him on a path that would eventually lead to his ordination as a Catholic priest of the Emmanuel Community in 2015.
While his is just one story among the two million expected in Kraków on 25 July, Fr Josh is a living example of WYD’s power for re-version, the returning of the heart to its original fervour.
He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 October, 2015, by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.
As a child, Fr Josh was impressed by the heroic lives of saints John Paul II, Maximilian Kolbe and Francis of Assisi.
Wanting to “give his life for Christ” the twelve-year-old Josh decided that he was going to become a priest. His classmates did not share his enthusiasm.
“When I told people I was going to be become a priest, everyone made fun of me,” he said. This cold response made him conclude that the priesthood was not for him and by the time he finished high school, Fr Josh said he was “pretty much a pagan”.
By early adulthood he was an atheist and it looked as though his story would end there.