Father Michael Wagner, was the priest administrator of Holy Rosary and Visitation parishes in Tacoma. He suffered a brain hemorrhage April 10 and died May 2.
Father Wagner collapsed after giving the final blessing at a 7:15 a.m. Mass at Visitation Church and was taken by ambulance to hospital.
Father Wagner was born Sept. 4, 1969, in Poland. At age 15, he left and lived for a year in Rome before immigrating to Seattle.
After attending the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Rome in 2005, he decided to become a seminarian. “In 2006 I answered the call, entered the seminary and crossed the threshold to a lifelong vocation to serve God and fulfill my purpose in life,”. Father Wagner wrote this in his biography on the Holy Rosary website.
He studied at the Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
He was ordained to the priesthood June 11, 2011, by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.
Before being assigned to Holy Rosary and Visitation in 2017, he served as priest administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Elma and St. John Mission in Montesano (2014–17), as a parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish in Olympia (2013–14), and as a parochial vicar at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Everett and St. John Mission in Mukilteo (2011–13).
Before his ordination, he told The Progress, “I always look at things in life as an opportunity … to change the world for the better.”