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How people reacted to his calling to the priesthood | The Life of a Priest

March 8, 2021

Juan Acosta

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Father Adam Marchese is a priest at St. Margaret Mary in Winter Park, Florida. He is also a military chaplain. In this episode, he shares how his loved ones reacted to his calling to the priesthood. For the full episode, download our free app for Catholics.

Father Adam Marchese shares with us some funny anecdotes of when he told his loved ones that God wanted him to be a priest. Below is the transcript of this segment:

Having that conversation with her, it was kind of sad. She was like, “all right, well this is all the list of things I want to do as a couple”, and I was like, “Oh man.” So eventually it got to the point, and actually it was I really believe that Holy spirit put on my heart. We had just gone to mass, Sunday mass together, and the entire mass I just felt the Holy spirit saying like, “If you’re going to discern celibacy, the only way you can do that is as a single person. You can’t do that while you’re in a relationship.”

And it was after mass that day I was just like, I felt like the Lord gave me just enough grace to make it happen. Because it was a very difficult thing. Again, because that was something like, when I quit my job that affected “me”, that didn’t affect anyone else. It affected my life. But to break up with her, it affected something else, someone else.

My mom’s reaction, at the time she didn’t have grandkids. And I have one brother who’s older, but at the time I was the only one that had been, you know, we’ll say “having dated and long steady relationships.” You know, my brother maybe like dated someone for a month here, a month there, but nothing long-term at that moment.

So she was expecting me to give her grandkids first, and so she was just like, “ugh”. She’s very happy now because she has three grandkids. So she’s very excited about that, but that was kind of a funny thing. My dad asked me, “How much is this going to cost?” He was worried about finances, which the diocese takes care of everything. So I was like, “Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to pay anything.”

Probably one of the funniest reactions though, was my, one of my aunts. My mom’s side of the family especially is a very emotional family. So I get at my ordination, most of the time I’m like just ugly crying, just tears going down my face. It’s terrible. It’s a beautiful thing but at the same time, Bishop was actually concerned for me during ordination because of how much I was crying.

So when I called my aunt Mary, she picks up the phone and my uncle Jimmy is there as well, but he has no idea who called. And so I say, “Hey Mary, um, How are you doing? Oh, good.” And I said, “So I just want to let you know, I think God’s calling me to be a priest. I’m going to enter the seminary.” Well, she just goes (*crying and sobbing sounds*), and all she can say is, “Adam! Adam! Adam!” Well, my uncle thinks I’m dead. My uncle, thinks I got into like a car accident or something like that and wrapped my car around a tree. So he snags the phone. He’s like, “Hello, what’s wrong? What’s wrong? I’m like, “Uncle Jimmy I’m alive. Um, this is what’s going on uh.. so.”

She just couldn’t get any worse, she was just like overcome with emotion and just couldn’t get any of her words out.

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Juan Acosta
Juan Acosta
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