As far back as fourth grade, Benjamin Little had a pretty good idea he wanted to be a priest when he grew up.

The idea stuck with him through high school and into college, but Little still nearly took another path. He studied politics in college, and his first job after graduation was the Claremont Institute, a political think tank in southern California.

“I was little more than an intern, assisting with scholarship and helping some of the scholars there with their research,” Little said. “It was really kind of a ground-level situation.”

It wasn’t a bad job, and Little found the work interesting. But he still couldn’t shake the feeling there was something missing. The more he thought and prayed, the more he kept coming back to that feeling that started when he was in elementary school.

Little returned to the priesthood, and on July 1 that decision will bring him to St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Farmington.

Little attended seminary at St. Thomas in St. Paul. He was ordained in 2012 and spent two years at St. Peter’s in Forest Lake before moving to Saint Olaf Church in downtown Minneapolis.

When the list of open positions came out for this year, Little indicated an interest in several. None of them was in Farmington. He simply didn’t know much about the city, nor about St. Michael’s.

Shortly after he indicated an interest in a new position, though, he got a call from Archbishop John Nienstedt. Nienstedt asked if he would consider moving to Farmington, and when Little looked into the parish he found something he liked.

“I certainly liked the makeup of the parish, a smaller town but one that’s growing a bit,” he said. “A mix of kind of the rural community and the suburban community is very attractive.”

Little looks forward to going to Tiger football games and getting to know residents. He has already started getting to know staff and members at the church. He attended the St. Michael’s Spring Fling a few weeks ago.

“I felt very welcome,” he said.