By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.-On Sept. 1, Fr. Craig Marion, 43, was appointed new pastor at St. Anne, 825 S. Ortonville Road. He replaces Fr. Gerry Frawley who retired after 13 years.
A Madison Heights native and 1996 Lamphere High School graduate, Marion studied business at Oakland Community College and Walsh College where he earned a finance degree. For about 13 years after college, Marion worked several businesses including General Motors for seven years, human resources, a systems analyst and the quick service restaurant business.
Marion, continued to attended his home parish, St. Vincent Ferre in Madison Heights where he served as a lector and an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. Marion was invited to do a ministry titled ‘No One Dies Alone,’ at Troy-Beaumont Hospital. The program provides compassionate companionship to patients at the end of their lives who do not have friends or family available at their bedside.
“About the fourth or fifth time I went they asked me if I would pray with someone who is not Catholic,” said Marion. “Sure, what do I know? I’m an accountant.”
The woman that he was to pray with was a 97-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“I did not know how to pray other than how a Catholic would,” he said. “She looked at me and said, ‘You should be a priest.’”
At first the call to the priesthood was denial, recalled Marion.
“Like Isiah, it was denial,” he said. “There was no way I was being called like this. I did not have the education, did not go to parochial schools, I did not know enough about the faith. Finally my pastor reminded me the many of the apostles were illiterate and told Jesus they received the Holy Spirit. That’s how I found out and two years later I was in Sacred Heart Seminary in 2010.”
Marion resigned from his job spent three years studying philosophy and living in the College of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and graduated in 2013, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. Like all men who now study to be a Priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit, he began studies in Theology at Creighton’s University, within the Institute for Priestly Formation- specifically, the Spirituality of a Diocesan Priest.
“I was at Creighton praying the Rosary that Our Lady said, ‘Yes you are being called,’” recalled Marion. “In my heart that’s what I felt, and that gave me the confidence to keep going. None of us are worthy of the call, we all doubt.”
He then returned to Sacred Heart and began theology in the fall of 2013, as a candidate for Holy Orders and finished with a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Sacred Heart Major Seminary. Concurrently, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology awarded from the Angelicum in Rome. He was ordained June 3, 2017.
Marion served as the temporary Administrator of Sacred Heart in Auburn Hills. Just prior he was serving at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Rochester, Mich. Before that, I was serving as the Associate Pastor at St. Paul on the Lake Parish, Grosse Pointe Farms first for Msgr. Pat Halfpenny, and the final year for Fr. Jim Bilot.