Monsignor Chester Michael (1916-2014) RIP

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) RSV

(favorite Bible quote of Fr. Chet’s)


Photo by Dr. Tim Short of Fr. Chet who loved to hike in the Shenandoah Mountains


It is with great sadness that we report that Monsignor Chester Michael peacefully passed away on Thursday at 3pm while in hospice care. Rev. Msgr. Chester P. Michael, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, died on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at the age of 97. Msgr. Michael was born in Berkeley Springs, WV, in 1916, ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in 1942, and was a faithful priest of the Diocese for 72 years. Please remember Msgr. Michael and his family in your prayers. 


Remembering Monsignor Chester Michael (click for more stories and photos)

Monsignor Chester Michael, Nov. 2013 – 97 Years Young

Monsignor Chester Michael

Monsignor Chester Michael, founder of Open Door Ministry and the Spiritual Direction Institute

Monsignor Chester Michael, a Roman Catholic priest since 1942, has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from St. Mary’s University in Baltimore, Maryland.  In addition to serving as pastor to four different parishes in Virginia and as a seminary rector, Monsignor Michael devoted a substantial part of his priestly ministry to spiritual direction as director of the Spiritual Renewal Center of Richmond and led numerous retreats and programs throughout Virginia.  He was actively involved as a Spiritual Director in the Cursillo movement of Central Virginia. Prior to his retirement, Monsignor Michael  also founded the Spiritual Direction Institute (SDI) and trained over 500 women and men through the two-year course.    To this day, the Spiritual Direction Institute continues the work of Monsignor Michael training Spiritual Directors in Virginia.

Monsignor Michael has authored numerous publications including: Prayer and Temperament, Different Prayer Forms for Different Personality Types (1991); An Introduction to Spiritual Direction (2004); A New Day (updated 2011); The Human Side of Jesus (currently undergoing updating); A Christian Worldview (2002,2010); and Arise: Jungian Insights for the Christian Journey (updated 2012).  He also wrote numerous essays under the Open Door.   These works will be available on this website in the near future.