Trading in a badge and gun for the cross

From Delaware comes this great story of a former New York cop (he’s the one in the middle, below) who was recently ordained a priest for Wilmington.

Check it out:

Newly ordained Catholic priest Anthony F. Cardone comes to the job with plenty of experience in the study of diplomacy, security and sin.

A former law enforcement officer who handled all three, he’s also known the emotional upheaval of divorce and is thrilled to be stationed near the ocean so he can indulge his passion for surfing.

Not your average 20-something novice.

Cardone was one of three men ordained by Bishop Francis Malooly last month at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, in Wilmington. At 58, he was by far the oldest to take his vows this year in the Diocese of Wilmington. (The two other new priests, the Rev. Joseph W. McQuaide IV of Elkton, Md., and the Rev. John T. Solomon of Wilmington are both 25.)

In his first career — 25 years in law enforcement — he went undercover to buy handguns and confiscate counterfeit money for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

As a special agent with the State Department, he made sure diplomacy at home and abroad was conducted safely, coming into contact with a wide range of political and religious figures, including the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader.

Earlier, as a New York City police officer, Treasury officer and a Nassau County probation officer, Cardone dealt with murderers, thieves and liars.

He was well aware that these folks needed to be arrested. At the same time he’s often felt criminals could use his compassion, and he’s found himself praying for those he booked.

“If you have the right attitude, you’ll do your job but do it in a loving way,” he says.

Read the whole thing. And congratulations, padre.  Ad multos annos!

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