Have You Ever Thought of Being a Priest

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Have You Ever Thought of Being a Priest

Meet Father Alan Tremblay

By Simcha Fisher

This is the first in a series of columns profiling priests in the Diocese of Manchester.

Growing up, Father Alan C. Tremblay, 41, spent much time running freely through the woods around Biddeford, Maine. To this day, he still loves all things outdoors, including kayaking and fly-fishing, and true to his Maine roots, his favorite meals are lobster or lamb.

When did you first hear the call to become a priest?

I moved out of my parents' house at 18. I was kind of shy, and college was not something hot on my list. My lifestyle was leaving me not just unsatisfied, but unhappy. One night, I was watching Mother Angelica talking about exactly the way I was feeling. She said, "Sounds like you have to go to confession!" So I made an appointment, [then went through] the Life in the Spirit Seminar. I kept hearing this question in my mind and heart: "Do you think you're supposed to be a priest?"

It wasn't earth shattering. It was just a question, like Elijah and the whisper. I put it away for a while, went to college, was in a relationship. But seven years later, the question was still there, stronger than ever. I couldn't ignore it anymore. Once I turned and looked at it seriously, the doors flew open.

What's the hardest thing you face as a priest?

Self-doubt and insecurity. "Am I up to the task? What will people think?" There’s strength and grace that comes from walking through that, looking to God for help.

What's the most rewarding?

When someone who has longed for something for a long time finally breaks open, and you're there to offer it to them. I'm always walking with someone, always looking for that.

What advice do you have for those contemplating the priesthood?

The obvious answer is prayer, but you also need to talk to people about it. I went through it alone. No one in my life, no priest, no family member ever approached me about it. Find someone you trust, and talk about it.