Priest Profile: Fr. Nicholas Adam


Name: Fr. Nicholas Adam

Age: 59

Years ordained: 33

Current assignment: St. Mary’s Church, Grinnell


How did you know you were being called to priesthood? I don’t think I actually “knew for certain” that I was called to be a priest until a couple of years before ordination. However, from my childhood days I do recall that I often thought about such a vocation. This was due to a great extent to my family environment and the important place that Mother Cabrini Church in Richland constantly had in our lives. My parents always took all 13 of us children to Mass every Sunday and on holy days; we prayed the rosary regularly as a family; prayer before each meal was a tradition; mentioning God in terms of his presence in nature and in our farm work was frequent; in short, serving the church and being an active part of it was something that was developed and encouraged throughout my youth and is today, the foundation of my priestly ministry.

Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass?  It’s hard to determine one single memorable Mass in my ministry. Rather, two seem to stand out the most in my life. First, it was the celebration of my 25th anniversary of ordination in 2001 when I concelebrated the Mass with my priest friends and most especially, with my brothers, Father Rich and Father Chuck. Likewise another extremely memorable Mass was the dedication of the new St. Alphonsus Church in Mount Pleasant in August of 2005.

What is most rewarding about being a priest? I would say it is simply to be a part of people’s lives as a person of faith in their time of joy and celebration, sorrow and grief, doubt and confusion. I am especially rewarded whenever I share the sacraments with people and witness the trust they place in God. Being with families in their homes is also a high point in my ministry.

What is most challenging about being a priest? Perhaps the most challenging part of being a priest is trying to convince Catholics of the importance of receiving the Eucharist every Sunday so that they can in turn be like the Eucharist to others in their everyday lives. It’s also deeply challenging to minister in a world which fosters and promotes materialism and self-indulgence rather than spiritual growth and a closer relationship with Christ Jesus.

What is your favorite Scripture passage? It’s actually a combination of Matthew 10:31 (“So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”) and Matthew 28:20 (“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” ) 

What is your hobby? When I find the time I enjoy reading fiction but perhaps my most consistent hobby is running. I’ve been jogging for over 32 years, five miles a time, about four or five days a week. This habit affords me prayer time as well as time to reflect on various situations.

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