Tag Archive: priest is in the nude


I struggled even writing this, never mind trying to summarise almost 16 years of my on and off friendship with this person. I wanted to share my story to let others know that they’re not alone (because for a while, I felt very alone and as if no one could understand). If I’m being honest, I’m looking for advice and a resolution too. My name is MA and my priest is J.

I met J through a family friend; they were both attending seminary at the time. I was attending a mass for vocations and after, I went down to the church hall for refreshments. It was then that J caught my eye across the room and right away, I wanted to know: “who is HE?” I cannot tell you how silly I felt when my friend introduced him as a fellow seminarian (he was not dressed in his collar). We talked for a while and I was struck by his smile, his dimples, and his pure excitement about becoming a priest, as well as his commitment to our faith and God. Frankly, I was blown away by the sheer chemistry and energy radiating off him and between us. For the record, it was the first (and last) time someone had ever caught my eye in that way. Regardless, I didn’t think we’d ever see each other again.

The following summer, he was placed at my Mom’s church as an intern. Right away, we clicked. We often joined other parishioners for coffee, attended masses for vocations around my state, and he even met a few of my closest friends and family. At this point, I wasn’t thinking of J as anything other than a mentor of sorts, someone who I could talk about my faith with. He also seemed proud of my work in the healthcare field and we discussed helping others a lot. He shared he had been engaged prior to entering the priesthood and had needed to take a break from seminary in order to discern whether he was on the right path. J admitted he struggled with celibacy and the thought of not being a father.

By the end of that summer, we were even closer & I felt sad that I was losing my friend as he headed back to the seminary. I was also a little shocked and confused as to why he hadn’t yet asked me for my email (no cells back then!). He waited literally until minutes before leaving and heading back to ask me for my contact info. I wish I had seen the confusion I felt then for what it was— a foreshadowing of feelings that would characterize and haunt our relationship.

We continued to email at least weekly during his school year and then he started calling me at work. It happened so often, that I actually got in trouble. Not to mention, every time he called, he would say it was “Father J,” making the poor receptionist have a heart attack, thinking that something bad had happened to someone in my family. I was there for his transitional deaconate ceremony and celebrated with him after. He introduced me to his family and I became friends with some of his family members, often emailing them on a regular basis.

His last year of seminary, J. treated me much like the previous year, except our contact greatly increased. A few months before his ordination, he confided that he “wasn’t so sure he wanted to do this and that his biggest fear was getting to his mid-40’s and realizing that he wanted to be a husband and a father.” At this point, I was starting to become physically attracted to J. and finding him working his way into my thoughts more and more. I struggled between the desires of my heart, being a good Catholic and friend, and giving him unbiased advice. I tried to give the best advice I could, encouraging him to take a good, hard look at his motivations. J. basically summed it up as: “My parents want me to be a priest. Besides, what else would I do? I didn’t go to college.” At the time, he neglected to tell me he was a trained healthcare professional himself.

In the end, he followed through with being ordained and it was one of the proudest, yet hardest, days of my life (it still is). I knew how he had struggled with the academic work, his emotions, but persevered because of his strong faith. As he lied prostrate, it felt like a knife to my heart. I love my faith and God, so I felt guilty and ashamed for feeling this way. It was that very day, probably the proudest day of his life, that I realized I was in love with him. The irony was not lost on me.

J ended up in his first placement as a parochial vicar not far from where I live. He invited me to his first mass and told me that my being there helped to decrease his nerves. He also asked me to continue to attend mass there and I found no problem with this, as I was dating a man from the area and often spent my weekends there. J was aware of this and made it obvious he didn’t approve. Despite the tension that my having a significant other created, our friendship continued to strengthen and we started to create special moments together. One snowy Xmas Eve J. begged me not to leave, as he was “lonely” and estranged from some of his family at that time. I helped to advocate for a family member of his when insurance would no longer cover her chemotherapy and filled out numerous amounts of paperwork to get her additional resources. Meanwhile, my faith was growing stronger than ever, but so were my feelings for J. Looking back on it now, I find it odd how I never dreamed that he could possibly reciprocate those feelings; I was brainwashed and saw him as a priest, not a human being. A person not only who is capable of love, but might even be desiring it. It was only until J started acting funny that I questioned his intentions, but immediately dismissed them. He insisted I have a confession with him when I thought it was a conflict of interest and fought with me about not attending a pilgrimage to Italy with his church (I couldn’t afford it at the time, he offered to pay for me). After mass on a beautiful spring day, he offered to walk me to my car after we spent hours chatting and laughing after mass. A red flag went up; I found it strange because we were in a suburban, safe neighborhood, with my car tucked safely in the church parking lot, in broad daylight. However, I was used to his being courteous, and he always walked me to my car but it was always in the presence of fellow priests. I started to feel funny as I loaded my things into my car, only to turn and find him leaning against my door, in close proximity to me. I started to feel that awkwardness when a first date is ending and you don’t know if the guy is going to kiss you or not. I didn’t know if he was going to do or say something, but I knew whatever was coming would change things for both of us forever, so I literally pushed him away, said goodbye, and drove off. I remember, still to this day, seeing his face in my rearview and cried the whole way home. It was the last time I would see him for a decade. There are no words to describe how I felt that day, other than I loved him so much, I wanted to protect him. I also didn’t want to hurt God. I thought of J over the years and wondered if my gut intuition was right regarding his feelings for me and what he was going to do that day or if I totally misread the whole thing.

To make an already long story longer (kudos if you read this far), I ended up lapsing and not going to church for 6 years. I would be lying if I said my love for J wasn’t part of it. However, my faith and spirituality never faltered. It is my main coping mechanism despite chronic health issues and frankly, it’s what keeps me going. About a year ago, I started to get serious about returning to church and yearned for a place where I wouldn’t be judged, feel comfortable, and not be forced by the pastor to get involved behind the scenes in various roles (this has been an issue for me in almost every church I’ve attended). I looked up J to see where he was and found he was assigned to a parish in the same city I work. I attempted to contact him via parish email to break the ice and make it less awkward for us both if I decided to show up. Naively, I figured that so many years had passed; there would be no harm in seeing him again. I assumed he’s now an experienced pastor, that I have grown leaps and bounds and am pretty good at detecting red flags (that’s what happens folks when you’ve been dating since 15!), and that my feelings for him had leveled out because of lack of contact. I even prayed continuously and agonized over my decision. I prepared myself for seeing someone who might have changed in ways I would not appreciate, expected him to be different, even prepared myself that he might have a significant other (yes, we all know the reality). Nothing could’ve prepared me for what I’ve dealt with since my return.

He claims he never got my email message and within minutes of sitting down at my first mass there, I realized my instincts and gut feelings so many years ago were spot on. He turned pale, then beet red, stumbling over his words, hands shaking when he gave me communion, fidgeting when sitting on the altar. I have seen him drop the Eucharist once or twice and it was always the person before me in line. I cannot tell you how awful I felt, as if I was causing him to feel uncomfortable on his own turf and screw up his at his job.

I have never had a more awkward conversation, as I attempted to explain my presence to him. He couldn’t even look me in the eye and reprimanded me for disappearing all those years ago and not telling him why. I think he sees my leaving years ago as rejection, not the protection I intended. However, he never contacted me to see if everything was ok either. I was struck how emotionally immature he seemed, able to interact with parishioners quite easily, but not with me. For some reason with me it seems different; it’s hurtful and painful. J insists he “likes having me there and it’s not awkward for him,” but I don’t feel he’s being honest. There are days he’s friendly and like old J I knew, we laugh and talk with no issues. Then there are others where he ignores me and I don’t know how to act myself. I have always felt comfortable talking to a wide range of people, especially males; I am a tomboy and have mostly male friends. I talk and listen to people for a living, so to be struggling like this is a foreign concept for me. People always tell me that I am easy to talk to, that they feel like they’ve known me for years, and can trust me with anything. It says something that I don’t know how to act when I’m around J.

Over the summer, I started taking J’s unwillingness to open up personally. I also noticed his friendliness and closeness to another female parishioner our age, who is married and whose husband holds a highly respected job. She is actively involved in the parish in a variety of roles and donates a substantial amount of money to the church. I have seen him engage in a way that I think is inappropriate for a pastor to engage with a parishioner but then I think: “am I just biased? Is it purely the fact that she gives money?” I am aware the church is a business. I don’t find that a comfort though—it makes me think less of him and get angry. If money is what he bases his friendships on, I find it sad and hypocritical. I can’t afford to give thousands to my church, but it doesn’t mean I love God any less. I also don’t want to think of the alternative, that she’s special to him in a way she shouldn’t be.

I struggle to understand why he has no issue interacting with this woman but gets nervous and discombobulated around me. I feel jealous and frustrated, as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. I’m beginning to think we weren’t as close as I thought.

As soon as I pull away emotionally and get to a good place, it seems as if J can almost sense it, and he’ll do something to pull me back in. One day, it was telling how he was struggling. I didn’t want to talk personal issues in front of other parishioners, so I told him to text or call, whatever he felt comfortable with if he needed someone to talk to. It’s something I would do for any friend in need. He’s never once texted, emailed, or called. It’s disconcerting when we used to talk every single week, almost daily. I began thinking if it weren’t for Mary and the Eucharist, I’d consider becoming Protestant. I struggled over the summer to see how my faith could continue to grow in this church, but I didn’t feel like leaving either. I like the people, feel comfortable for the most part, and was doing fine when I got to a peaceful place about J. Finally, I got to a good place emotionally and it lasted for a few months. I was proud of myself.

That all changed. After recently experiencing a serious trauma, suddenly nothing mattered—not J, not this other woman—nothing was as important and crucial to my well-being as God and my faith. I am so thankful and grateful not only to be alive, but to have come to see it as a learning experience that readjusted my priorities. J was involved in my healing process and was honest; he admitted it scared him to see me that way. He told me that “out of all people, you don’t deserve this.”

Since then, I have noticed J. attempting to connect with me, but his immaturity and arrested development often get in the way and act as an obstacle in growing our friendship. He does small things, often within homilies or during prayers that I know are geared towards me. At first, I found myself thinking: “am I narcissistic? Egocentric? I think that was meant for me!” But then a smile or direct eye contact will reassure me, yes, I’m not crazy. I still find my mind drifting off to him, like a school girl with a crush. I feel sad, confused, angry, worried, and alone; it’s not exactly as if I can talk to just anyone about this. There are times, though, when I’m talking to him or praying with him, that I feel such joy and love, love for not only J, but an overwhelming love and closeness to God. One of J’s smiles can send me floating for days.

That being said for me, knowledge is power. I have actually sought out support groups online and in the process, read research and many books about this issue. Yes, women love priests. Some because it’s a challenge, some because they “lack self-esteem,” others because they love the priest not for his role, but because of the amazing man beneath the collar. I fall in this last category; I love J. for who he is, not WHAT he is. Yes, I’ve said it; I’m in love with a priest. It feels freeing to finally say those words. And I am no longer naïve to the fact that priests often love a woman back. I have rationalized my awareness that this man may indeed love me back for way too long. The key is he’ll never love me back in the way I deserve or need. I’ve come to understand that there is no happy ending in this situation. Will I ever tell J how I feel? Probably not, although if he directly calls me out on it, I wouldn’t lie. I don’t plan on leaving his church any time soon either, but don’t have plans to pursue more than a friendship. Believe me, if J ever tells me he’s leaving the priesthood, I’d be the first one (in a long line of women I’m sure) ready and eager to pursue a relationship, one that we both deserve and would be on equal footing.

Meanwhile, I plan on devoting some of my energy to advocating for the married priest movement. Why shouldn’t priests be able to marry? I find it ironic, as they speak about love and counsel married couples. Should a man who has chosen to spread the word of God be “punished” by an inability to experience God’s greatest gift—love? There is no way that anything that involves love can be a sin because it is of God. Period.

In ending, thank you for reading my story. It is because of the courage of the many folks who contribute to this blog that I was finally able to tell my story. I know many of you will relate to me and support me, but I’m also aware that others may think my feelings are wrong and am prepared for possible criticism. If you’re in the latter group, I only ask you to think of how it felt when you first experienced love: the excitement, the joy, and the confusion at times. Be kind to one another and may God continue to bless us all on our individual journeys.

Merry Christmas to All! Readers, let’s be charitable by finding the right phrase or writing, to help this lady.

As we ended our hug, we kissed…

Hello my name is Maria. I’m from Italy. I apologize if my English is not very good.

I bumped into your blog a few days ago and since then I have read a lot of stories that remind me of my own. I always thought I was a one in a million, but I found out that a lot of women know exactly like I feel after all.

I am 44 years old and I met my priest 10 years ago when my girls went to the school where he was the Director. I started to attend mass at that parish where later I became a catechist for 6 years and a member of the church choir (still am).

We began talking more and became friends 6 years ago when I became more and more involved in the activities of the parish. My husband at the time was also a catechist, so we spent a lot of time together. My marriage was having some problems for some time and I looked for him every time I needed to talk, always looking for someone to hear me and advise me. He was the only person I felt comfortable enough to cry and every time we had our conversations I would cry and cry and cry….

My husband and I were driving apart, there were no fights or anything like that between us, but we simply drove apart after having our children. Our kids are everything to us and through the years we forgot about each other, we stopped investing in us as a couple and doing things together like going to a movie or go out for dinner. At that point in my live I felt completely lost….

We used to meet at his office at church and sometimes at his house. We became closer and closer, changing texts throughout the day.

One day we were at his house and after a long conversation we said goodbye and hugged each other (like so many times before), but as we drove away from the hug we kissed and that’s when all started. We didn’t plan it, I never looked at him as a man, only as a priest and a very dear friend until that day. I enjoyed his company very much, loved talking to him because at that time I was in the middle of a depression (still am) and he was the only person I could talk to regarding my marriage problems.

After the kiss we just stared at each other for a couple of minutes not knowing what to say just apologizing to each other. I remember I drove home that night very surprised with what just happened but feeling an immense joy and inner peace.

The next day we talked about it and he said he always had enjoyed my company and he knew he felt different when he was with me, but never understood why. I felt like I never did before with anyone. One of the first things he said to me was that he was never going to leave priesthood because “I love what I am” but that he loved me also in a way he never experienced before.

A few weeks later I decided it was time to end my marriage and so I did. My husband and I had a serious talk and decided it was time to separate although we would still be living together because of the kids.

After three months my priest left the school direction because he was invited by our bishop to be responsible for a bigger school that belonged to the diocese, but he would continue to see me in he parish. It was a very big challenge for him, he started working there over 9 hours a day and then went to say mass everyday. He worked too hard for the first year ending up with a major depression/exhaustion. Soon the doctor made him realize he had to decrease the amount of working hours and medicated him so he could sleep better and rest. In that year we saw each other only on Sundays at mass and texted very little. Sometimes we would have lunch together but he was always very quiet and very depressed.

He began to feel better and text me more often, he was happy, motivated, saying he needed me and never wanted to lose me.

My life was very difficult after all that happened, living in the same house as my husband, falling in love with a priest, seeing him a lot less, all of that broke me. My depression got a lot worse, there were days I couldn’t get out of bed, didn’t want to see any sunlight, be with my kids, work….. All I wanted to do was sleep and cry, I stopped eating and lost a lot of weight at the time. I have to admit that my faith was starting to get weaker and weaker although my priest never left my side, always worried and kept trying to make me get out of the house and see people which I didn’t want to do, see or talk to anyone.

After 3 years of living together I had a huge fight with my husband and decided I wanted to kill myself because I was no good to anyone, I was just making everyone miserable. I texted him that night and told him that I didn’t want to live anymore, that I had enough of pain. He panicked and called my mother and told her to go immediately to my house because I was about to do a crazy thing. When my mother got there I couldn’t stop crying and we decided I would move to her house the day after. So I did, I stayed there for a few weeks before I moved to an apartment where I have been living alone for the past 4 months.

My priest and I have been together for 3 years, with a lot of ups and downs, we broke up a lot of times, but we definitely can’t live without one another. We see each other a few days a week, go out for dinner, sometimes we take a day off and go somewhere nice.

All of the times we broke up, it was always because of me, it always leaves him and me devastated… I respect the fact that he loves what it does, he doesn’t want to leave priesthood and he doesn’t want to loose “us”, he says he feels completed that way and I truly understand, but on the other hand sometimes I feel very lonely, it’s sad not being able to hold hands in public, not being able to be with him in important occasions like his recent 25th anniversary of priesthood or our birthdays. Almost everyday he has meetings at night because he’s responsible for 2 parishes.

I can’t talk to anyone because no one can understand what I’m going through, sometimes not even myself. Women who fall in love with a priest must prepare herself to be most understanding, patient and forgiving. Sometimes it will require more giving than receiving. She must be strong to help, guide and assist him through difficult moments of depression and doubts because a priest, despite his outer austere shell, deep down, is extremely vulnerable and in need of all the support and love he can get. But sometimes I feel like I have no strength to go on, I fear for the future thinking I will end up alone… In all this time we have been together I always felt God was with us, that he is blessing us because he knows that our love is true.

Am I wasting my time with someone that I know loves me and loves priesthood? Why should he be forced to choose? I truly believe my love for him, makes him live his calling on a higher level! I never loved anyone like I love him!

After reading you blog I do think we all have much to learn from one another.  I have so much to learn from each one of your experiences.
I‘m grateful to me given the opportunity to share my story with someone that will understand my joys and my grieves, the extreme emotions that a relationship like this brings.
May God bless you Rev. Daniel.

Dear readers let’s support Maria! Let’s pray for all her needs. Let’s share our thoughts in a kind, non-judgemental way. May God Bless you all!

Finally…..we have a priest admitting of falling in love. So many female readers have asked for a priest to tell his point of view of falling in love. How does a priest feel, falling in love with a woman? Well today you should be so happy as one priest is prepared to spill all the beans about his love story with this wonderful woman. Enjoy your reading!

It is so heartbreaking reading all these messages from broken hearted women in these difficult circumstances. I am Patrick, a 43 yr old catholic priest.. I was ordained at 24 years of age so I am 19 years in the priesthood.

Naturally being human I have felt attracted to different women in my life. That is normal enough even for a celibate. But my difficulty arose 3 years ago when I met Michelle, a 32 yr old single woman at a parish meeting. She had difficulties in her life and we talked privately for a long time. After the meeting ended, I felt so at ease and at peace in her company and for both of us I think we realized that there was some bond or chemistry between us that night.

Anyway we kept in touch mainly by phone for a while and than we agreed to meet mainly to discuss her difficulties which have now been overcome. We enjoyed each others company so much that we kept in touch by phone and meetings even when there was nothing to discuss at a professional level. At this stage we had developed a good friendship which I had no difficulty with as it was within the boundaries of my celibacy commitment.

Unknown to myself this friendship was growing over time and I was blind to it or maybe subconsciously I knew it but needed her companionship and friendship. For her too, Michelle is her name the relationship meant a lot and in her own words transformed her life. She was a broken person when I met her first but now felt whole and complete in herself. This all began 3 years ago, but my difficulty is that in the last year or so the friendship grew into a fully intimate and sexual relationship.

The first time that happened I was taken unaware, one thing followed another and almost unknown to myself I was making love to her for the first time. I experienced the normal fulfilment and excitement that goes with that experience but also I was gripped with awful guilt with the realization that I had broken my celibacy vows. This is still a struggle for me.

During the last year the relationship has continued in full and has grown and developed in every aspect. I feel I have no control over my feelings or where this is leading me.

Obviously I am now at the stage where I have a dilemma on my hands. The relationship cannot continue as it is indefinitely with me in my current life. Do I walk away from Michelle once and for all or do I leave the priesthood and marry her make a new life with her?

Currently we have decided on a 3 month break to help me decide. Michelle has declared her love for me and asked me to leave on a few occasions. I finally promised her I would decide during this break of 3 months, two months of which have already passed. We still email and phone each other but will not meet until the time is up, around Christmas.

I miss her company so much and long to be with her. A sense of loneliness has grown in my life over the course of the relationship as I know now the sacrifice involved in celibacy. I have changed as a person as a result of my relationship, falling in love does change you in a good way. I certainly do not want Michelle to be hurt like many of the women on this blog. If I thought that would happen I would definitely leave the ministry, if you love someone you cannot allow them to be hurt.

Yes in all honesty I am drawn to leave, to life and family with Michelle. I have done 9 sessions of counselling with a lady psychologist and that process is also leading me towards a decision to leave. I admitted this to my therapist in my last session and it was such a relief. She is helping me to process that thought in the coming sessions to a stage where I can own and implement my decision.

What is preventing me? Well I am torn in conflict between the part of me that says I need to move on. I have outgrown celibate priesthood. I need a human relationship with a woman who is Michelle in my case. I love her and want to be with her and she feels the same. Than the other voice says you made commitments for life: you took vows, you owe it to God, the church, your parishioners and your family. This is my dilemma.

I feel I have known the answer for a long time, almost from when I met Michelle, my counselling is leading me to the same answer, but this other voice and guilt feelings still get on top of me at times. I need help to have the courage to do the right thing for me and Michelle over the next 1 month or so.

Readers….it’s your turn. Let’s help our priest is making the right decision. Now you can ask as many questions as you want to!