One Man to Become a Priest June 4
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 2, 2022

ROCKFORD—Transitional deacon Nathan “Nate” Pacer is scheduled to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockford on June 4 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

A Batavia native, he attended high school at Marmion Academy. While there, he was involved in the JROTC program, student government and football, playing defensive end.
Deacon Pacer
“I had the honor to be playing when Marmion went to the State Championship in 2010,” Deacon Pacer said when he introduced himself last summer to parishioners at St. Patrick Parish, St. Charles. “Unfortunately, we lost to Boylan (Central) Catholic High School. Losing was bad enough, but what is worse is that I have to share a residence with a Boylan graduate, Father (Jack) Reichardt, who won’t let me forget it.” 
Father Reichardt, ordained a priest in 2020, was a parochial vicar at that parish where Deacon Pacer served in evangelization ministry last summer.
After high school, Deacon Pacer attended Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, and studied literature and history. “I played rugby there,” he says, “and we won the state championship my junior year – so I guess it kind of makes up for the loss in high school — but the playful teasing continues.”
Sports aside, Deacon Pacer’s interests, he says, include “literature, movies … architecture, gardening, languages. I guess I like chasing the novelty of things and then quitting them when the novelty wears off — or rather I lack the discipline to invest in any single one. Sometimes I return to back to them, and sometimes I don’t. 
“But one thing that I have never stopped pursuing is a deeper relationship with Christ.”
In evidence of that pursuit, before he began seminary studies Deacon Pacer worked for Lighthouse Catholic Media as a copywriter. 
“My vocation story, in its briefest version, is that God called me in high school on a retreat, and it took me almost six years to respond. My vocation story doesn’t have any miraculous signs or crazy conversions in it, but rather shows God’s great patience in waiting for me to give up what I wanted to do (or at least what I thought I wanted to do) and realize that I preferred, and was much happier doing, what He wanted me to do.”
He notes that he has come from “an amazing family, especially my parents Mike and Lori, and great friends … who have never ceased supporting me with their prayers and holy examples.”
Now as ordination nears, Deacon Pacer reflects that, “Though my seminary formation has been long, I have learned a lot and made many great friendships that will support me in my priestly ministry. 
“I can’t wait to be a priest to share Christ with others. I particularly look forward to celebrating the sacraments, getting to know the people I serve, and proclaiming the Gospel in both word and deed. 
“Many people throughout the diocese, many unknown to me, have been praying for me, and these prayers have helped me reach this beautiful day of my ordination.”
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