Father peter

Last week I spent a few days with an old college friend.

This particular friend has an interesting faith journey. He grew as the son of a fundamentalist preacher. He attended a mainstream evangelical college. He almost walked away from faith, but was apparently predestined to become a neo-Calvinist instead. Then he converted to Catholicism.

He was ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church ten days before our visit.

One of my favorite points of the visit was having dinner at an Irish Pub in downtown Milwaukee. Without wanting to make light of a complex situation in Ireland, I had the thought, “This should be able to happen. A Catholic priest and an Evangelical pastor should be able to share a good meal with great conversation.”

We hit some points of disagreement in some conversations. I would hit a few points of disagreement with most of my pastor friends if we talked long enough! However, we also had a lot of of areas of deep agreement in our faith and practice.

I always thought that Pete was a bright and thoughtful guy, who was always willing, maybe desiring, to push the status quo. I have to say that Father Peter is even more impressive. Here are a few of the ways that God has molded Peter in the Catholic seminary and ordination process.

Focus: In that past Peter seemed a bit restless. Today he can look you in the eye and tell you his calling without blinking. He has disciplined his life toward that call.

Peace: He seems to genuinely be at peace with himself, his calling, and God. This shows in the way he interacts with others – some of the edge that characterized his in the past has been smoothed out.

Intimacy: Peter seems to know God better than ever before. He has been intentional about genuine spiritual formation, going to great lengths and effort to know God more deeply. It shows!