Fr. Mario grew up in Woodhaven and attended St. Pius X Catholic School in Southgate and Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Riverview. After high school, he worked in music ministry at Catholic churches in the Detroit area while pursuing a degree in pastoral ministry as well a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Fr. Mario entered the seminary at the age of 22 and for six years discerned and studied for the Catholic priesthood earning a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) and a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.).