Name: Fr. Chuck Adam
Years ordained: 23
Current assignment: Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, St. Ambrose University, Davenport
How did you know you were being called to priesthood?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific moment of call, but I can refer to many influences that helped me recognize my vocation over time. First among them was the blessing of a childhood in rural Iowa. Being a witness to the beauty of nature and the rhythm of seasons on the farm allowed me to understand that I was a part of something much bigger than myself. Secondly, I credit the blessing of growing up in a family that prayed together and taught me to see church as a community that supported me and one that I had an obligation toward. Thirdly, I credit the influence of a diocesan college seminary that gave me the freedom to discern my gifts and eventually affirm what I thought might be a call to priesthood, while at the same time allowing me to have a college experience very much like that of my peers and like that of the people I would be ordained to serve.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass?
Masses at family events concelebrated with brothers Nick and Rich are certainly memorable. Celebrating Mass at the tomb of St. Peter at St. Peter’s Basilica with my parents was special. Often I think the simple weekday Masses with a small but faithful group of dedicated parishioners sometimes provides the most memorable moments of prayer.
What is most rewarding about being a priest?
One thing I hear consistently in working with college students making decisions about life careers is that they want to make a difference in people’s lives. Priesthood fits that bill perfectly for me and I find that very personally rewarding.
What is most challenging about being a priest?
Keeping current with cultural trends so as to speak credibly in homilies about the things the people in the pews have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Being around college students I realize how quickly one can become irrelevant.
What is your favorite Scripture passage?
Psalm 16:3 which says, “You have put into my heart a marvelous love for the faithful ones who dwell in God’s land.” That line is prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours and summarizes much for me about the meaning of diocesan priesthood. Also, I appreciate the sentiment of St. Paul when he wrote of his connection with the people in one of the communities to whom he preached the Gospel: “I thank my God for you upon every remembrance of you.” (Phillippians 1:3).
What is your hobby?
I enjoy reading a good book and spending time with family and friends. In the summertime I like bicycling along the Duck Creek and Mississippi River bike paths in the Quad Cities and finding just enough soil in my backyard to plant and tend to a few tomato plants.