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!

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