To say June 2020 has been a big month for Fr. Mike Quinn of Hannibal would be an understatement. Today, June 29, Fr. Mike celebrates his 76th birthday. On June 6, he celebrated his Jubilee, marking 50 years as a priest in the Jefferson City Diocese. And tomorrow, June 30, Fr. Mike marks his last official day as pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church as he retires from the priesthood.

In full disclosure, Fr. Mike is my cousin so he naturally has a special place in my heart, but I'm not alone by a long shot. He is well known and widely loved in the entire tri-state area. Through Quincy Cursillo, TEC, REC and dozens of other ministries, Fr. Mike has made an impact on thousands of people.

Fr. Mike married my husband and I, he buried my sister, my mother and my grandparents. Fr. Mike baptized all our children, presided over confirmation and heard confessions that would curl your toes. That brings me to my favorite Father Mike story.

When my KHQA co-worker Chad Douglas got married at Holy Family in Hannibal, he asked me to be a communion minister. I always like to have a clean spiritual plate when I'm a communion minister. Just before mass, I asked Fr. Mike for a "quicky" in the confessional. We giggled about it because that's our brand of humor and we stepped just inside the door of the confessional. I unloaded my sins and as kissing cousins do, we gave each other a chaste little smooch. That was precisely the time an unfamiliar Protestant in search of a bathroom opened the door to the confessional. Startled, I told the woman that this wasn't what it looked like, that Fr. Mike was a priest. That didn't seem to ease her shock, so I went on to explain that he is my cousin. At that point, she just shook her head, shut the door and walked away.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holy Family has had to put off Fr. Mike's Jubilee celebration until September. This is a biography I wrote for the event:

Fr. Mike Quinn was ordained a priest on June 6, 1970.  Now, 50 years later, Fr. Mike has retired to the town where he grew up.

Fr. Mike is the third of six children born to Ambrose and Pauline Williams Quinn in Monroe City, MO where the family operated a trucking business.  Young Mike started his education at Holy Rosary School in Monroe City.  With the encouragement of his parents, the inspiration of his brother Father Pat, and by the suggestion of a family friend, Mike decided to discern his calling by attending high school at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal.

Following his graduation, Mike continued his studies at Cardinal Glennon College, attended Kenrick Seminary and then enrolled at St. Louis University School of Divinity. He served as a transitional deacon at St. Bonaventure parish in Marceline.

On June 6, 1970, surrounded by family and friends at Holy Rosary Church in Monroe City, Father Mike Quinn joined the Holy Priesthood with ordination rites from Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe of Jefferson City.

Remarkably, Fr. Mike has been assigned to only four parishes in 50 years. The first was Immaculate Conception in Jefferson City, where he excelled at youth ministry and became leader of the parish youth group. He was later appointed assistant pastor at St. Stanislaus parish in Wardsville, while working as a faculty member at Helias Catholic High School. He spent his summers in San Antonio, TX earning his master’s degree in theology from Incarnate Word University.

In 1977, Fr. Mike began his ministry at the St. Thomas Moore Catholic Newman Center in Columbia, MO. He flourished there, working with college students and serving as pastor and a chaplain of his beloved Mizzou Tigers football team. He helped establish the St. Francis Catholic Worker community, including the St. Francis House for men and the Lois Bryant House for women and children without a home.

Following 22  years in Columbia, Bishop John Gaydos appointed Fr. Mike pastor at Holy Family Parish in Hannibal in 1998. He served another 22 years ministering at Holy Family until his retirement on July 1, 2020. In Hannibal, Fr. Mike brought a spirit of renewal of faith to parishioners. He led the Christ Renews His Parish retreats and remained very active in Cursillo, Engaged Encounter, TEC and REC.

Fr. Mike’s move to Hannibal brought him closer to his family in Monroe City. He was able to stay overnight on Sundays with his mother, Pauline until she died in 2019 just shy of her 100th birthday. He lost his brother, mentor, and friend Fr. Mike Quinn following a car accident in 1999.  

For 43 years, Father Mike has continued to meet with his friends in his priest support group. 

Fr. Mike now enjoys his retirement in his new home on the golf course in Monroe City.  He continues to offer daily Mass in his chapel and is a member once again of his childhood parish, Holy Rosary. 

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