Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, Florida and even Australia are all places Michael Whitney has lived. Born in Lexington and baptized at Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, Michael enjoys the outdoors and working with young people.
He attended Central Connecticut State University where he ran track and studied business. An outdoor enthusiast, Michael worked with the Boy Scouts of America organization at the Key West Sea Base program where scouts live on an undeveloped island for a week in tents and also sail and scuba dive. He also was a missionary with NET Ministries that sends young Catholics ages 18-28 around the world for nine months to serve with the National Evangelization Teams (NET). Since 1981, NET teams have led over 34,000 retreats and ministered to more than 2.1 million young Catholics. “One year turned into five years,” Michael says. He lived and worked in Melbourne and Brisbane. “Living in Australia is a lot like living in parts of the U.S. except we drive on the left side of the road.” Michael met his wife Rebecca, an Australia native, while serving there. They’ve been back in Lexington since 2012 and are parishioners at the Cathedral of Christ the King where Rebecca serves as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
When Michael is not processing payments at Pax Christi or checking out the HVAC system, he might be frying chicken at Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurant in Cynthiana, Kentucky. He is the franchise owner of this location, and his family has owned and operated other locations in Kentucky over the years. “I’ve probably eaten a piece of fried chicken almost every day of my life for many years now,” he says. Michael says being a franchise owner means he must step into any role at the restaurant when it’s needed, a skill that is also helpful in his job as business and property manager at Pax Christi.
Even though his family moved around when he was younger, his parents and siblings all now reside in Lexington. “It’s the first time in 20 years that we’ve all lived in the same place,” he shares. Michael says he’s had the chance to meet many volunteers and parishioners since starting in July 2021, and he hopes to meet many more. “I am looking forward to this new journey in my life and being a part of this wonderful and generous parish.”