Mills, Fr. Elias Mary
A Nebraska native, Fr. Elias Mary Mills, F.I. discernment to the priesthood and religious life began before his graduation from Kearney State College where he majored in Mathematics and minored in Computer Science. There he spent two years in formation as a Carmelite, being professed in 1986. As a volunteer with the Conventual Franciscans at Marytown, he learned about St. Maximilian Kolbe and Total Consecration to the Immaculata.
He entered into his seminary formation at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. During this time, he was introduced to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, who had just arrived at Holy Apostles. Fr. Elias would join the F.I. in 1993 and make his Final Profession in September 1999.
In December, he was then ordained a Deacon in Castelpetroso, Italy. During the Jubilee Year of 2000, Fr. Elias, as a deacon, served in the sacristy of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Later that year on May 27, Fr. Elias was ordained a priest by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In his extensive travels as a missionary priest, Fr. Elias served the Friars’s mission in Western Australia for three years as well as the F.I. Friary here in Griswold and then traveled back to Castelpetroso, Italy. He was then assigned serving nine years as Father Guardian and Retreat Program Director at the Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington, Indiana. In December 2016, Fr. Elias arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin to serve as Rector of the Shrine Church, his current assignment.