How a tragic loss led a successful businessman to the priesthood

Peter and Kathy Adamski with their son, John. Credit: Photo courtesy of Father Peter Adamski

He added: “If Kathy were sitting here today, she would tell you those seven different cancers that she had, the kidney disease, the kidney transplant — it was the Alzheimer’s diagnosis that was the toughest.”

Over the years to come, Kathy began to slowly lose her memory. She began to ask the same questions repeatedly and anytime Adamski had to leave the house, even just to walk the dog, he had to leave sticky notes around the house reminding her of where he was. 

It was when Kathy forgot where the two of them got married that Peter said, “it was like a knife going into your heart.”

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Despite the suffering he went through, Adamski never questioned God as to why this was happening to him. 

“Look at him on the cross, what he did for us on that cross — talk about sacrificial love.”

Kathy died on Oct. 10, 2014, in Peter’s arms at home. 

“I had my right hand clutching her right hand, I’m stroking her hair, I’m telling her how much I loved her, thanking her for sharing her life with me, giving me a son, and telling her that she was about to see the face of Christ,” he recalled. 

“And while I’m reciting the Lord’s Prayer, I watched her take her last breath. A more peaceful, holy death … that was the happy death.”

Three days before Kathy passed away, she shared some final words with her husband. 

“She spoke the last words she ever spoke to me,” Adamski said. “I said, ‘I’m thinking about becoming a priest,’ and her last words to me were ‘Peter, you go for it and if there’s any way, I will comfort you.’”

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He explained that it was as if he could hear the Lord say, “Now you’re mine.”

Father Peter Adamski. Credit: Photo courtesy of Father Peter Adamski

Adamski decided to give away his luxuries in order to live a more simple life, saying he then felt “free.”

“When I saw my wife in my living room about to pass over, all of the stuff that we had meant nothing, meaningless. It was all gone. What matters was the love that we shared,” he said.

Adamski has been a priest for four years now and calls it “a joyful experience.” He said he believes his marriage helped him to be a better priest, although he does not advocate for married priests and believes the two need to be “separated.” 

Now, at the age of 70, he feels his life is more fulfilled than ever before, even as he holds Kathy’s memory close to his heart. His son, John, attends many of his Masses.