Fr. Michael J. Alello, 38
Pastor, St. Thomas More
- Creating a capital campaign and managing the renovation of St. Philomena Church in Labadieville.
- Managing the merger of St. Thomas More and St. Louis King of France communities while accompanying parishioners through these challenging days.
- Evangelizing others through weekly preaching, keynote speeches and parish missions.
On the board of Catholic Charities and ministers at his alma mater, Catholic High School. Brought Blessing Mission group to Baton Rouge, allowing high school students to serve the less fortunate across the city.
WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDATE?
April 22, 1980
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY:
The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A marine biologist! I thought working at Sea World sounded like a great idea until I found out how much biology I needed to learn.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
I worked in the Snack Bar at the Kenilworth Pool starting at age 14. It helped me fall in love with serving other and began my on again, off again affair with the restaurant industry.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
During my time at LSU, I spent a summer as a Secret Shopper for a large property management company outside of Chicago. Every day, I created a new identity and shopped apartment complexes.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Making the person in front of me, the most important thing.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?
Change is difficult and while I’d love to see things happen quickly, change takes time.
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
Extremely, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud. I see social media as an opportunity to meet people where they are and provide spiritual nourishment.
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
0, I can’t handle unread messages. Read, sort, respond.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
Pray as you go
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
Breakfast at home
THE SAYING GOES: “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE YOU “BEING” TO MAKE BATON ROUGE BETTER?
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
I traveled with David, my brother, around Alaska: hiking, eating, kayaking, and laughing.
WHICH TALENT OR SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
The ability to heal others from physical or mental illness; cancer is terrible and our mental health epidemic needs our attention.
WHAT’S A NICKNAME YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE FOR YOU?
Hooch, don’t ask!
WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Tigger, he’s always moving and trying to enjoy life.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND OR SONG?
“Rise Up” by Andra Day.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Work less and enjoy college, you have the rest of your life to work!
Louis, a German shepherd that appeared at the church after the 2016 flood and adopted me.
Marathons, sipping coffee, trying new restaurants, cooking, and travel.
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
The day I was ordained a priest.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
If I type, “complete an ironman,” does that mean I have to do it?
WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Division. We constantly see the struggles our city faces across racial, social, and economic lines.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST HOPE ABOUT THE FUTURE?
I believe people are honest, caring, and selfless, sometimes, we simply need to help them see that within themselves.
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Well, I have at least 5 years left at STM unless the bishop has other plans!
IF NAMED KING FOR A DAY, WHAT IS ONE CHANGE YOU WOULD MAKE IN BATON ROUGE?
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN BATON ROUGE; WHAT WORKS AND WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT?
We are a community with enormous potential, I pray our city’s leaders will unite, vision, and move us forward. And could we please start building a loop?