By Joe Lee
MADISON – While the seminarian journey is lengthy and demands commitment, discernment, and personal growth, the rewards are many. A true highlight for Andrew Bowden, a student at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, was being mentored by Father Nick Adam, director of vocations for the Diocese of Jackson.
“I have been thinking about the priesthood for about as long as I can remember,” Bowden said. “I first got to know Father Nick in 2013 when he was assigned to St. Jude (in Pearl), my home parish, as a seminarian for a summer assignment. I remember working with him on how to be an altar server.
“Then, while Father Nick was in theology at Notre Dame, I was at St. Joseph Seminary College (in St. Benedict, Louisiana). Guys studying for the same diocese are often called ‘diocesan brothers.’ The sense of fraternity among brothers even at different seminaries is desirable. It was always pleasant to visit with guys further along during my first few years of formation.”
The friendship and mentoring from Father Nick deepened once the former St. Richard parish priest moved to his new position earlier this year.
“Father Nick quickly made sure that the seminarians were getting sufficient and equal financial support from parishes and Knights of Columbus councils around the state,” Bowden said. “He updated paperwork in our files. He has shown my diocesan brothers and myself an incredible amount of support and care.
“I had the pleasure of staying in the parish he took up residence in during the summer when he was appointed full-time vocations director. This allowed me to get to know him even better. Toward the end of the summer, I had to quarantine in isolation. Father Nick made a point of regularly coming to check on me and bringing me the Holy Eucharist.”
Bowden, on track to be ordained to the transitional diaconate in spring 2021, will be assigned for several months to a parish of Bishop Joseph Kopacz’s choosing before returning to Notre Dame for his final semester and a half. He will be ordained a priest in spring 2022.
“One of Father Nick’s qualities that I seek to emulate is his reverence and joy in the liturgy,” Bowden said. “Reverence and joy are both appropriate and even necessary but can be difficult to balance. I believe he does this exceptionally well.
By Joe Lee