Meet Albany’s New Priest, 74, Who Answered God’s Call to ‘Show My People How Much I Love Them’

Meet Albany’s New Priest, 74, Who Answered God’s Call to ‘Show My People How Much I Love Them’ June 27, 2019
by Nate Whitchurch/The Evangelist

You may remember the story I posted on him a couple weeks ago.

Now, The Evangelist newspaper in Albany, has more on Father Michael Melanson, the widowed deacon just ordained a priest. How did it all come about? Read on:

The calling to be a deacon for Father Melanson had an almost providential beginning.

“I was at church praying alone and I heard Jesus call me ‘Tell my people how much I love them,’ ‘How am I going to do that Lord?’ God didn’t tell me the how-to, it was up to me,” he said. “I wasn’t given any direction what to do, and I found the diaconate through another very dear friend of mine.”

But then everything stopped. Peggy died of breast cancer in 2017.

“I went into deep depression the first three or four months after she passed. I have never been alone in my life … And I was really all alone; my children are gone, my grandkids are gone,” Father Melanson said. “I was at church and I was crying ‘Lord what do you want me to do with the rest of my life?’ I loved my deacon ministries but I don’t know how I am going to survive.”

“And then I heard the same voice that called me into the diaconate ‘Show my people how much I love them.’ Here we go again Lord: ‘What do you mean?’

“I couldn’t possibly be a priest. I am married and then the Angel also said: ‘No you are not; your wife is with me in paradise,’ so that was a revelation. The more I felt Him calling me to the priesthood, the more I said no. And the more I said no, the more He brought me into the path and nothing was an obstacle.”

He consulted with many people at the Pastoral Center, receiving sage advice from Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger (“he jumped out of his seat with joy and happiness.”), his children and Rev. Rick Lesser, who was married, had a family and joined the priesthood at 60 after his wife had suddenly died, and is now pastor at Corpus Christi Church…

…He still wears his wedding ring and will always have his wife near him during Mass.

“I wanted my own personal chalice. And I took Peggy’s crucifix … and I had a jeweler put that on the chalice,” Father Melanson said. “And when I elevate that for consecration, my wife is always with me.”

Read it all. 


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