‘With profound sense of peace,’ Manchester teacher enters priesthood
Nelson’s ordination Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Cathedral. His first Mass is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday at Ste. Marie Church, where he has been a deacon.
Sue Royce, the mother of a 2008 Trinity graduate, recalls spending a week in a summer with Nelson, 10 Trinity students and their parents. They worked at an organic farm that grew food for the needy. They distributed meals and food at New Horizons soup kitchen. They sorted donated goods for Families in Transition. They cleared trails for a therapeutic riding facility.
Nelson said Catholics are called to witness the Gospel, and giving to the needy is profound act of love and faith.
He will be the third priest to be ordained since the Most Rev. Peter Libasci became New Hampshire bishop two years ago, and some indications point to an uptick in priestly vocations.
And the Diocese of Manchester, which encompasses the entire state of New Hampshire, counts 12 seminarans, including Nelson. Four years ago, it had eight men studying to be priests.
“I always envisioned myself getting married and having a family,” Nelson said. “I loved teaching. That was the path I felt was the one for me.”
“When I came to accept it,” Nelson said, “there was a profound sense of peace. That peace has remained.”
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