Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - Updated: 10:22 am
Father Adam Potter
1. How did God call you to the priesthood?
The Lord called me to the priesthood most directly through my love for the Eucharist and a desire to save souls. I first considered the priesthood when I converted from evangelical/non-denominational Protestantism to Catholicism as a high school freshman, after profoundly encountering the Eucharist. I’m so grateful for my Protestant background, which gave me a deep love of Scripture and a recognition of the personal relationship that Jesus was calling me to. As an introvert with a fear of public speaking, there was initially nothing appealing to me about the priesthood. Instead, I could see myself married and working as a math teacher and basketball coach. The Lord did a lot of work to show me that while that was a good life, it was not the life he was calling me to, and ultimately would not satisfy me. God showed me that the desire I had to be a father would ultimately be fulfilled through spiritual fatherhood as a priest, by which God has entrusted to me more spiritual children than I could have ever dreamed of.
2. What is the most meaningful aspect of your ministry?
The most meaningful part is the Mass, every Mass. It’s never a burden to say Mass. The fact that I get to hold the living God of the universe in my hands every day gives me chills. After that, I enjoy the opportunity to build many diverse and deep relationships with the people of God.
3. How do you help people who struggle to have a personal relationship with God, especially amid life’s business?
There needs to be a recognition that faith is hard. The world is good at attacking our faith. My first point of reference and encouragement for people is silence. If you want to encounter the God of the universe who is humble and poor and silent, you need to embrace silence yourself. Our world is so noisy and never ceases to assault us with chaos. Turning off the outside noise is the first step to finding an internal silence. This disposition opens us to encountering the Lord, who speaks to us in the silence. Be silent with the Eucharist. The Lord desperately wants to speak to every one of us, and to start with silence is revolutionary.
4. What do you wish people knew about the priesthood?
I wish people knew that they have priests who really pray. Many people probably know that priests say Mass, visit hospitals, do office work and even know how to have fun. But how many people are convinced that they have priests who get up first thing in the morning and pray, then in the middle of the busy day they pause to pray, and late at night before they retire from exhaustion they fall on their knees once again and pray? I know so many priests who do this in the hiddenness of their private chapels. It’s one of the most beautiful and inspiring realities to priestly life.
5. What is your hobby, or what do you like to do in your free time?
Sports have always been my passion. They’re still what I love to do, even as a priest. I especially love playing basketball, lifting weights and running through Schenley Park.
This is part of a new series, “Take 5 with Father,” spotlighting priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. To learn more about priestly vocations, call 412-456-3123 or go to pghpriest.com.