Hall Minister Q&A: Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.

Hall Minister Rev. Michael Maher, S.J.

The beginning of a new semester is an exciting time — but it can also be an anxious and stressful experience for some.

In addition to the many resident assistants, each residence hall has a hall minister to provide pastoral care to and be a spiritual presence for all residents and building staff.

In collaboration with the staff, hall ministers are charged with helping to form a residential community that expresses the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission, while accompanying individuals dealing with stress, illness, loss, loneliness, relationships, spiritual and emotional health, and more.

In this Q&A, the Rev. Michael Maher, S.J., hall minister for Humphrey Hall, talks about what he likes the most about Marquette University and Milwaukee.

What was your undergraduate degree in? Why did you pursue that discipline?

I have four college degrees including a Bachelor of Arts in history and philosophy; a Master of Divinity degree; a master’s degree in historical theology specializing in Ignatian Spirituality; and a doctorate in history specializing in early modern world. I also have done postdoctoral research in archival science.

Why did you want to be a hall minister?

I have lived in residence halls on and off since the first experience in 1988 living in Mashuda Hall. The contact with students outside of the classroom has provided an important means for meeting with students, parents and the custodial staff. 

What makes Marquette special to you?

My parents met at Marquette. My father studied anatomy and my mother studied biology. Interestingly, my mother was the first woman science teach in the Milwaukee Public School System. So, I guess I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Marquette.  

What is your favorite Marquette memory?

I was working with the Rowing Club in the mid-1990s. There was a student then who later became the coach, Alan Kindler. Alan died of cancer on Sept. 6, 2002. We formed a strong community together as Alan’s sickness progressed. I was privileged to do his funeral Mass both at the Church of the Gesu here in Milwaukee and in his hometown in Omaha, Nebraska. 

What is one thing you’re looking forward to this academic year?

I am looking forward to a return to normality — if college life ever comes close to normality! 

Fast Facts

Favorite movie: Casablanca 

Favorite location on campus: Walking around the side of Alumni Memorial Union where the garden was for the old Jesuit Residence and thinking about the many Jesuits who served at Marquette

Favorite restaurant: Michael’s on Wisconsin Avenue. Can’t beat it for breakfast and burgers.

Favorite dessert: Gilles Custard and their turtle sundae